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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So.. I picked up an old Jansport Cascade external frame backpack for $7 at a thrift shop... for only the frame that I want to use.
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Before, as I got it.
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After disassembly
Then I ordered 4x 1" D rings with single bolt mount clips so that I could use ALICE style straps instead of making either grommet adapters or whole shoulder straps. Am waiting on Fire Force ALICE belt to mod. If the D rings works excellently, I will get a few more for another of my external frames that is currently in storage
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I plan on using one of these green fabrics for a 3,000-4,000 cubic inch pack bag.. haven't decided which design to use yet.
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more info on the fabrics here https://www.hipointfirearmsforums.com/threads/im-feeling-green-fabrics.335225/
 

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That Jansport pack looks like one I used for a Boy Scout backpacking trip back in the '80s--just a different color. Ten miles was farther than I'd ever hiked at that point, and I'd certainly never done it carrying a pack like that. My dad bought that thing in the '70s, but the frame design and padding were better than that of any of the other packs the other Scouts had.

You chose a good frame as the foundation of your new pack.
 

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You sure didn’t get hurt. Score!!!
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Everyone, thank you! I am still working out a design for the pack bag itself... all I know that I want are...
1. Between 3,000 and 4,000 CI
2. No zipper, maybe only 1 YKK zipper
3. Compression straps
4. Fold flat/expanding side pockets similar in concept to these but sewn on, https://pocketup.net/?product=morph-pockets
5. Fills as much of the frame below the top hoop as possible, either a single bigass compartment or two compartments
6. No MOLLE field. Lash points, sure but not MOLLE mounting points

Now the design questions.
Easiest would be top/bottom load, with possible roll closures and a floating lid

Roll closure but its panel loading, as in the opening is on the "front face", usually where most bags are zippered there

Zipperless panel opening and not roll closure, this would be multiple pieces and may be the most difficult to ensure that nothing will fall out, unless I add a sort of storm collar/drawcord closure underneath the "lid panel".
 

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I've never seen this done, but to me it seems that splitting the main compartment, vertically, would be a good approach. Most split it horizontally, which causes the separator to sag if there isn't much stuff in the bottom.

You could have a pair of zippers that each service flaps attached with their bases at the left and right side of the pack, respectively, and the flaps would run from the bottom of the pack to its top. They'd be like a pair of barn doors but with a frame section between the doors, instead of the doors touching each other..

For strength, you could make the vertical sections of each flap's zippers meet no closer than about 4" from each other along the vertical centerline of the pack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've never seen this done, but to me it seems that splitting the main compartment, vertically, would be a good approach. Most split it horizontally, which causes the separator to sag if there isn't much stuff in the bottom.

You could have a pair of zippers that each service flaps attached with their bases at the left and right side of the pack, respectively, and the flaps would run from the bottom of the pack to its top. They'd be like a pair of barn doors but with a frame section between the doors, instead of the doors touching each other..

For strength, you could make the vertical sections of each flap's zippers meet no closer than about 4" from each other along the vertical centerline of the pack.
There is a pack that is sort of like what you describe, but it is a soft pack with 3 compartments. I don't remember if there are 2 zippers on that one specifically.
https://www.rivendellmountainworks.com/product-category/our-packs/jensen-packs/

It has a main compartment that is bisected into L and R compartments, on top of a large sleeping bag compartment thats accessible by a horizontal zipper
 

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There is a pack that is sort of like what you describe, but it is a soft pack with 3 compartments. I don't remember if there are 2 zippers on that one specifically.
https://www.rivendellmountainworks.com/product-category/our-packs/jensen-packs/

It has a main compartment that is bisected into L and R compartments, on top of a large sleeping bag compartment thats accessible by a horizontal zipper
That's in the general area of what I was thinking. Theirs doesn't look like it has the zipper travel up the middle, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That's in the general area of what I was thinking. Theirs doesn't look like it has the zipper travel up the middle, though.
Yea, i found more photos, looks like 1 horseshoe shaped zipper right at the back panel, plus the horizontal compartment zipper.
 

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Yea, i found more photos, looks like 1 horseshoe shaped zipper right at the back panel, plus the horizontal compartment zipper.
Yep. I was thinking two horseshoes, with the open ends at the outer sides of the pack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yep. I was thinking two horseshoes, with the open ends at the outer sides of the pack.
So..
Like a butt or cleavage? )( ? Zippers do not like sharp corners by the way. Also, having a L and R compartment may play havoc with packing because of the need to keep most of the weight balanced, which is why the majority of packs divide in horizontal. And it may not be all that useful if the compartments are smaller than the whole, especially if items planned are gonna be rather bulky (winter clothing and foods).
 

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So..
Like a butt or cleavage? )( ? Zippers do not like sharp corners by the way. Also, having a L and R compartment may play havoc with packing because of the need to keep most of the weight balanced, which is why the majority of packs divide in horizontal. And it may not be all that useful if the compartments are smaller than the whole, especially if items planned are gonna be rather bulky (winter clothing and foods).
Well, I was thinking more along the lines of cleavage for the shape of the two halves. If the two sections protruded like they do in that one pack you showed me, you would't have to bend the zippers sideways around the curve--you could bend them down around the curve.

As for weight distro, you could split everything between the two sides, with the heavier stuff on the bottom. When you lay the pack on the ground, you could open the flaps and look into each half like you were looking into an open trunk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Eh. Maybe on another pack.. here are the three basic design sketches for this frame. Roll closure is most like these bags at bottom. Roll closures requires a lot of extra fabric vs zippered and flaps
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Simms dry duffel bags, their method of roll/ 2 buckle closures versus the usual roll and hoop into single buckles
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That side roll idea is interesting. Makes access easier, as the bag lays on the frame and wide open, rather than having to balance on end while loading/unloading through the smallest dimension. You could also have a horizontal shelf/divider sewn in, without needing a separate zipper to access the compartments. Nice way to separate sleeping stuff and clothes from the rest of the gear.

If you used horizontal straps, like compression straps that go all the way around, to reinforce it, I think that could be a real winner.

That frame is so large, you could almost make two separate bags fit on, and give one of them some basic “hideaway” straps so it can be removed and used as a smaller/lighter day pack to carry if you go fishing from a base camp, or whatever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That side roll idea is interesting. Makes access easier, as the bag lays on the frame and wide open, rather than having to balance on end while loading/unloading through the smallest dimension. You could also have a horizontal shelf/divider sewn in, without needing a separate zipper to access the compartments. Nice way to separate sleeping stuff and clothes from the rest of the gear.

If you used horizontal straps, like compression straps that go all the way around, to reinforce it, I think that could be a real winner.
The only thing making me think twice, thrice on doing the side roll closure system is the larger relative amount of fabric needed to make it compared to the other designs. Since the frame is 14" wide, even with 7" deep sides dictated by the top hoop size (14x7ish), that size requires more than double the side depth for whatever height..in order to cover the width and have enough to really roll together. Making it double ended with two roll closures on the sides may work OK but doesn't really give me confidence, again because of the 7" depth which means 7"x34" openings? Versus 14"x34" opening or 21x14 with a "bucket" on the overlapping flap design which likely will have a drawcord closure secondary cover sewn out of 200D fabric underneath the flap.

That frame is so large, you could almost make two separate bags fit on, and give one of them some basic "hideaway" straps so it can be removed and used as a smaller/lighter day pack to carry if you go fishing from a base camp, or whatever.
with the removable/adjustable level hoop up top, that may limit where I could put a removable day pack... but it is a good place for a 14x7x whatever depth lumbar/waist pack that functions as a lid for a top loader main bag. 2 bag idea was a possibility if doing something similar to how the old 1st/2nd gen MOLLE rucksacks were setup with the sleep carrier being able to be taken off if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Actually, on further consideration.. perhaps a hybrid of the flap and roll closure may work? An U shaped strip of webbing for the stiffening and buckles, but a panel thats similar to the typical zipper system.. basically there would be a shorter depth to it because the flap can overlap, and one rolls the 3 sides over, capturing the fabric together to make a sealed bag.
 

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I would have thought you just make the sides normal 7-8 inches, then add the front panel, an extra 10-12 inches wide, plus whatever the zipper sews to, split it, put in a zipper, then you have 5-6 inches to roll. Should be good enough for 2-3 folds. So if the normal thing is 56” around, make it 68-70 inches, then split it in the center and add the closure plus buckles top and bottom.

Another thing. You don’t need a zipper at all, if the straps are holding it. Velcro the edges together, and roll. Or just do the dry bag thing, and don’t worry about it, let the rolling take care of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
My Fire Force USA ALICE belt came in from Amazon finally; had to replace the tension strap that came with it... so I cut a longer section and used a tri glide and a metal low profile cam buckle for it. It is definitely meant for an ALICE frame; barely. I will be adding 2 vertical straps to tie it to the bar above it, and 1 vertical strap to tie it to the bar below it. The padded belt is quite a bit lighter than the original ALICE belt pad, and if I like how it feels, I might buy another one for a different frame, or I might make a very similar belt/pad but sized to fit the 14-15" wide frames with vertical straps as well. Photos are in no particular order; in one it is shown against the 500D Camo Green 483 fabric I am going to use for its main pack bag. The shoulder straps currently on it are definitely Olive Green, probably can replace with Camo Green LC2 straps I have in storage, if I don't buy a set of Fire Force Camo Green ALICE straps.
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I went simple on the vertical locating/retaining strap. 1.5" main looped over the belt, and 1" secondary, sewn to the main strap with plastic cam buckle. 1.5" triglide for locking the main strap. Strap is removable in case I want to use belt on an ALICE belt. Time will tell if this method actually works after I redo the cutting plan for the pack since I'm thinking maybe I want to give it some room to adjust up and down with the hoop up top
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