Thursday 1 September 2016

MYOG Dyneema X Backpack

Not exactly pushing the boundaries of lightweight pack design but I've always wanted to make my own backpack so here it is, attempt number 1.

I opted for a simple no frills pack with no hipbelt/frame etc and a pretty standard UL pack layout of two side pockets, mesh main pocket, roll top closure and top strap. I've found this type of pack (frame/hipbelt-less) and this layout works fine for me when carrying less than 7kg or so.

The main fabric used is Dyneema X Gridstop which is approx 165g/sq m. I love this fabric for packs and found it really easy to work with which is always good. For the shoulder straps I used some 4mm 3D spacer mesh and evazote foam for the internal padding. The padding is pretty minimal but the shoulder straps are fairly wide so hopefully they'll prove comfortable enough for the loads I intend to use this pack with. The shoulder strap attachment points are reinforced with hybrid cuben.

The pack is 260w x 165d X 790h (mm), if it was a perfect box shape the volume would be approx 34 litres, knock a bit off this to allow for the fabric used up forming the roll top and the useable internal volume comes in at around 30 litres. With that said the pack feels like a BIG 30 litres. I'd guesstimate total volume around 36l including the 3 pockets.

The front mesh pocket is 390mm high with 3 pleats in the fabric to allow for plenty of gear stuffage. The top of the pocket is elasticated which at the moment is adjustable using a cord lock. I thought this might be handy to allow for easier access and figured I can just tie the elastic off and trim the cord if I find I don't use the feature. I sewed a small loop to the top of the pocket which can be looped over the buckle for the top strap to help prevent the pocket from opening if stuffed full. The side pockets are 225mm high and are again pleated but with a non adjustable elastic opening. They easily take a Nalgene sized bottle plus some smaller bits or most of my tarp like shelters. 

I went with a simple roll top closure and added 3 KAM snaps to the opening to help keep the top closed, I also added a couple of loops in the centre to ease opening the pack.

There are 6 loops sewn around the back panel to allow a sit/back pad to be attached and another 6 loops around the front mesh pocket which allow attachment of some bungee over the mesh pocket or bits and pieces like ice axe/poles etc. The loops are offset front to back to allow some cord to be threaded zigzag up the sides of the pack for volume compression, I doubt I'll need to do this but the option is there if needed.

The final weight comes to 325g which includes the removable top strap, removable front bungee compression cord, removable bungee for the back pad and the removable sternum strap.

Pretty pleased with the end product, no real dramas along the way except a near miss with the iron when I almost didn't realise it was set far too hot.

Looking forward to using it now :-)



  1. That looks like a really professional job Matt. Great weight too. I've never used a pack over 10 litres without a hip belt but with weights under 7kg's I don't suppose it's an issue (except for coping without those useful hip belt pockets) So ....... when are you giving up the day job? :-))

    1. Thanks Steve, I really enjoyed making it, so much so I've almost finished mkII :-)

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