I just finished making a G-4 pack. After trying it out with my gear, I think it might work better for me with stays and have decided to try installing a set. Has anyone done this? If so, can someone provide me with a reference or describe how it is done? Thanks.
I was starting to sew a G-4 pack, and got hooked on the idea of stays to stiffen it up, since I had only experience with external framed packs at the time.
I called Gossamer Gear and talked to them. They described the modification as easy to do.
If you use aluminum tubes (arrow shafts) you need to make a sleeve in which to contain them and to have the containing sleeve sewn to the back of the pack. You make the sleeve with nylon webbing and pick the width that will work with your reinforcement.
Suppose that the pack needs a stay of 20 inches, then you will need something like 45 or so inches of webbing. Start at the top of the stay and lay the stay on the webbing at the end of the webbing. Fold up the webbing over the other side of the stay and imagine sewing up the sides of the webbing giving a relatively snug fit to the stay. Then, with velcro, take the remaining portion and imagine that you construct a foldover top to keep the stay nicely inside this webbing structure. Then, imagine sewing this reinforcement structure to one side of the back of the pack, preferably on the inside. And imagine repeating this for the other side of the back of the pack.
Now, you can imagine the structure you would like to build.
Figuring out how to build it is relatively easy if you haven't yet built the pack, because you don't have to undo any seams to get the pack parts onto the sewing machine. It is harder to figure out how to do this if the pack is all sewn up, but maybe you can turn it inside out and with a free arm machine, you might be able to get all of the sewing done.
Otherwise, you will have to pop open some seams to do it on a sewing machine, or you could hand sew it together.
By the way, I never did this as I never finished the project... Bought a pack instead.
Here is a related link to look at.http://www.backpacking-lite.co.uk/diy/ultralight-external-frame-pack.html
Go to nearly the bottom of the page to see putting a frame into a Golite pack.