Shoulder and waist straps?

Posted by: Quigley

Shoulder and waist straps? - 01/12/10 10:14 AM

Thinking about making my own pack frame. Material for it isn't a problem butI have no idea where to look for shoulder straps and a waist strap. Any advice?
Posted by: balzaccom

Re: Shoulder and waist straps? - 01/12/10 11:11 AM

You can buy these premade...or even cannibalize them off other packs. I've also been able to find a few at various outdoor stores.

If you are looking for a pattern, you can find thoise in a number of places...including the DIY section in this website, I believe. It's not complicated--a sleeve, a little closed cell foam inside, and a bit of webbing on each end should get you going.

Here's a link to one of the patterns on this website:

Posted by: DJ2

Re: Shoulder and waist straps? - 01/12/10 11:24 AM

For starters you might try using 2" polypro webbing.

For the waist belt you can attach it to a 2" side release buckle that is adjustable from both ends. No sewing involved. You'll still have to find a way to attach it to the pack frame, however. I like to use T shaped nylon plumbing fittings for that.

For the shoulder straps you could sew the tops to the bag or sew a loop in the top and loop it around the top cross bar (if one is reachable on the outside of the pack). Sewing a ladder lock buckle to the bottom of the straps will give you the adjustment capability you need.

Everything I've mentioned so far is readily available on the internet.

I think most waist belts and shoulder straps are overbuilt. I bought a waist belt from Camptrails a few years back that weighed over 12 ounces. That's equal to the current weight of my entire pack.

Want to get radical? I recently made some shoulder straps by sticking 2" strapping tape to a 2" wide X 12" long piece of blue foam. Very light. Haven't used it and it might self destruct fairly quickly. I just throw it out to get your creative thinker going.

I think Thru hiker still sells shoulder straps if you want to go that route.

Best of luck. Making packs can be a lot of fun.

Posted by: Quigley

Re: Shoulder and waist straps? - 01/13/10 10:28 AM

Thanks for the help. DJ2 I read your lite weight pack frame and that's what got me started on making my own. I couldn't find a pack I thought was the right size to do both day hikes and overnite camping. But when I saw your packframe with the 3 different items all tied to it that's when it clicked. I can carry as much or as little as I need that way.
Gonna give it a try anyway and see how it goes.
Posted by: TurkeyBacon

Re: Shoulder and waist straps? - 01/13/10 11:57 AM

Whats your goal as far as weight carrying ability. I personally make all my shoulder straps and hip belts. My pattern came from a pack I already owned. Trace the straps and add about an inch on all sides for the seam and shape allowance. Blue foam is a good choice, but I also make lightweight straps out of fleece. I end my straps with a triglide and them attach them to the pack with a piece of webbing sewn to the pack. Think like a climbing harness and "double backing" to attach the triglide to the webbing.
Posted by: Haiwee

Re: Shoulder and waist straps? - 01/13/10 04:41 PM

After several failed attempts at making hip belts for my home made external frame pack I finally gave up and purchased one from Luxury Lite . It works real well, is comfortable, and doesn't rub sores into my hips like all my home made belts did.
Posted by: Quigley

Re: Shoulder and waist straps? - 01/14/10 10:13 AM

As for weight carrying I want to stay around 30 lbs max. Probably would only camp for one nite or two at the most so the weight shouldn't get to close to 30 lbs unless my kids are with me and I carry some stuff for them.
I'll check at the local army/navy surplus store and see what they have laying around.
Posted by: DJ2

Re: Shoulder and waist straps? - 01/14/10 11:50 AM

I forgot to mention that straps are also readily available at thrift/second hand stores.

You can often buy a used pack for a few dollars that has straps on it. For awhile I was buying used Gerry Baby Carriers that had all kinds of straps and buckles on them. Many of them were new because styles or safety requirements had made them obsolete.
Posted by: Quigley

Re: Shoulder and waist straps? - 01/14/10 03:10 PM

I know this is another subject but how do I determine the length and width of the pack frame? I've read on how you take the measurements and how you need this info to find a pack that fits you. But that doesn't tell me anything as to how wide & long to make the frame. Looked at a couple of articles here that talk about the frame but doesn't give details on how to determine what you need measure to fit your body.
Posted by: DJ2

Re: Shoulder and waist straps? - 01/14/10 04:10 PM

This video from Backpacker Magazine might be of use.

I've been making the frames of my packs 12" wide. I put all sizes of bags on the frames. My bags are usually about 50" in diameter and about 24 inches to 30 inches tall.
Posted by: JeremyDuncan

Re: Shoulder and waist straps? - 02/14/10 11:58 AM

Originally Posted By DJ2
This video from Backpacker Magazine might be of use.

They need to fire their camera man.
Posted by: pinku

Re: Shoulder and waist straps? - 02/15/10 06:29 AM

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a backpack and frontpack with releasable shoulder and waist straps showing my new design;

FIG. 2 is a rear elevational view thereof;

FIG. 3 is a left side elevational view thereof;

FIG. 4 is a right side elevational view thereof;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view thereof; and,

FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view thereof.

The broken lines shown on the surface of the pack throughout the drawings are understood to represent stitching.

acura slx steering rack