I thinking of adding some type of chest pack to shift some of the load to the front. It would add a little more access to things I use more often. I know someone here has done this. I would like to see sme examples and different attachment methods.
The reason for this question is not so I can add more stuff. It' to eliminate the extra weight ofthe pack hood. It's kinda useless for keeping often needed items in unless you like stopping, removing your pack to dig thru things. I've got the razor blade ready.
Thanks. This is what I was refering to. I had seen this before but couldn't remember where. I want to attach this type of front bag to the straps of a REI UL 60. I really like the pack but feel that the weight distribution should be more centered. The hip belt works great and I plan to add a little padding to the shoulder straps by way of a sheepskin seatbelt cover. Now to construct something and figure out the attachment method. I may use a modified bag/sac?? or something thats already available. My goal is to keep the overall loaded weight to 30 lbs max. Gear water and food.
I suggest you experiment with temporary attachments until you get things the way you want.
I like to use 1/2 inch webbing with 5/8 inch quick release buckles. Webbing is plenty strong and the undersized webbing adjusts easier than the webbing that the buckles were designed for.
Buckles and webbings can be tied to bags or frames quite easily using light cord. Buckles can be kept attached to webbing by tying a knot in the end of the webbing.
Adjustable quick release buckles will really help with the experimenting. It also allows you to take the front bag off and on easily. You may not want to wear it all the time. When I'm going up steep hills I carry the front bag high so it doesn't bump my knees. When going down hill I carry it low for more convenient access.
I've attached lightweight fanny packs through the pack shoulder straps on the front. Works great but you want the thinnest waist straps on the fanny pack you can find, plus the less gizmo's (zippers/pockets/hangy loops, etc.)on the fanny pack, the better. In summer it's very hot...at least here anyway.
I like Aarn’s approach of 2 smaller front packs that don’t need to be attached and detached from at least one of the shoulder straps whenever you put on and take off the pack. I’ve always liked the front and back approach. I’ve related here a few years ago how I made a baby carrier that could detach from its own straps and re-attach to the front of my backpack. Aside from smaller trips, we used this for a 3-day backcountry hike when the girls were 8 months-old and 5 and 7 years. I regularly advocate for a similar approach for two-kid carries on the babywearing forum I follow, using a backpack kid carrier.
For our canoe trips, all food, cooking, toiletries and first aid for the 5 of us go in the same pack for hauling up trees so there’s no such thing as a lightweight food pack on those outings. We use a small day-pack at the front for balance and extra volume. It’s one of those cheap “stow in its own pocket” packs whose shoulder straps are just 1 inch webbing so they are perfect for re-threading into clips, buckles and additional straps at the front of the backpack.
In terms of attachment points there’s usually plenty enough buckles on a backpack to co-opt for front carrying. What I have found quite useful on occasion are the tri-glide Slik Clips that let you insert a triglide in the middle of a captive length of webbing (eg sternum strap adjustment webbing). You can then thread an additional piece of webbing through the tri-glide to create a front pack buckle anchor point at the height of your choice. The tension through the Slik clip will often make it difficult to thread the additional anchor webbing but with pliers and patience, all is possible. If there is no other way, you can also have the main weight of the front pack held at the top by a strap attached to an anchor point further back and/or up than the shoulder strap and just re-direct and balance the front pack to the front of the shoulder straps with smaller straps wrapping around it.
Finally, this may be less critical for lightweight hikes but when I use front packs, I find it essential that the backpack has a rigid frame that is taller than shoulder height and that the front pack’s weight is correctly transmitted to the top of the frame, rather than the top of my shoulders. Otherwise, the “saddlebag” effect of carrying weight front and back over the shoulders, grinding them down, gets very wearisome very quickly.
"I like Aarn’s approach of 2 smaller front packs that don’t need to be attached and detached from at least one of the shoulder straps whenever you put on and take off the pack"
I've eliminated the conventional shoulder straps on my pack so there is no attaching and detaching of the front bag to the shoulder straps. The front bag works for front straps even when it is empty. Straps at all four corners of the the front bag, when tightened, create a very comfortable chest harness that does everything that shoulder straps do. I put the pack on and off by poling my head between the front bag and back bag like a paper delivery person might do with a newspaper carry bag.
"I find it essential that the backpack has a rigid frame that is taller than shoulder height and that the front pack’s weight is correctly transmitted to the top of the frame, rather than the top of my shoulders."
I agree. I try to have the front bag straps running is a straigt line from the top of the front bag to the top corners of the backpack frame. I like them to just kiss the top of my shoulders. All of the weight of the front bag is transmitted to the top corners of the backpack frame and then downward to the waste belt.
i use a military surplus gas mask bag its meant to be worn as a messenger bag and then as a front bag when the gas mask is engaged. i love it its got one main compartment and a few smaller ones for organizing. not only do i use it to carry items i need on the go (like snacks lol) but i also use it for carrying water back to camp and other things like that, its very versatile. it even has a waist strap to keep it from bouncing around ill get a picture up
Thanks for the video. It did a good job of showing some of the aspects of this unique pack.
Sure. Here's another design that you might want to look at. It's a bit of a shameless plug but people really seem to like the idea of this front pack. Even though you might want something integrated, it might give you more ideas on design.
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