Loc: Eastern MA, USA
I haven't seen one of your posts for a long time. How are you doing? Well, I hope!
Can I hijack this thread to ask about the pump you had for your balloon bed? I know that you have moved on to some other tubes. The balloons look like they would be cheap and good for occasional usage. I'm thinking stranded in ariports, backups for when I intend to hammock, but a nasty thunderstorm has me heading for a shelter, or the once every 5 years I can get hubby to take a camping vacation and we can't hammock.
I found a pretty small one that looks like about the size and shape that a mutual friend (from Delaware) said is like what you used. It blew up when I let someone else try it. I don't think it was being abused, but I can't say it was handled as I intended, either. I need to find one like yours, I think. That, or see if your poly tube source will sell some more tubes.
I hope you are willing to share these sources, if you aren;t sworn to secrecy!
My pack frame evolution has been similar to yours. I started off by cutting everything I could from a Jan Sport frame.
I ultimately jumped to making a new frame from scratch, however. My goal was to come up with the lightest frame I could that would transfer all of the pack's weight to my hips.
Latest version is shown in the Make Your Own Section here under DJ's 1 lb frame pack -updated.
Frame weighs under 7 ounces, with hip belt, and can easily carry 40 lbs. I use a large back bag with a smaller front bag that also serves as shoulder straps. These two bags are under 8 ounces so total weight is about 1 lb.
After cutting and sawing and adding the 11 ounce pack bag in place of the old pack bag, my old 6.8 lb. D-3 went down to only 3.3 lbs! And i am still thinking of drilling some holes out of the frame to drop more weight. I do not want to make the frame unstable or weak, though. A new, lighter hip belt and set of shoulder straps would help, also.