frame pack update

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Sep 22, 2006
W Yorkshire
This thought to be an ongoing thread on a projet I'm doing. Hope it's an inspiration to someone.
A couple of weeks ago I found a frame pack I have been looking for for about a year or so. The honourable fjällräven gyro. It is in my, and many others, the best frame pack ever developed. It has a free floating waistbelt system and is fairly lightweight. I have used a lot of frame packs, and this is, believe me, the best. The problem is that is somewhat heavy by todays standards, and as it is a vintage pack, it looked a bit scruffy. Also, it kinds of scream "hippie hiker". Also the sidepockets are useless, and the main bag is somewhat short to allow a pack bag under the main bag (the pack bag was usually loaded with tent or sleeping bag. I prefer one big compartment. Maybe one interior pocket, but no more. Less is more, as always. I paid the equivalent of £7 for it in a goodwill shop. A fair price.

Here it is in all it's glory


It weighs in at 2.3 kilos. Not much really, but it could surely get lighter. I had some trouble finding good material locally, initially I wanted PU coated nylon. But, alas, it couldn't be found. I'm also modernising the harness. The waistbelt will have to get stiffer, and a sternum strap and straps for adjusting the shoulder strap height would be nice. I skipped the typical pack weight nylon route and went with UL spinnaker cloth instead. It will not stand the abuse that nylon does, but it is extremely lightweight and is fully waterproof. As always a trade. Weight/abrasion resistance/water resistance. Note that the lidstraps are 15 mm, today it is usually 25 mm. I love the metallic buckles, specially with the stiff thick straps, totally solid, no need to readjust the straps every kilometer. I have dismantled the sack from the frame, and it looked like this:

1.4 kilos. That will be hard to beat with the mods I'm planning on doing. I'm aiming at 100 liters approximately. With two sidepockets. Hopefully under 2 kilos. Today I sat down to play around with the spinnaker cloth to get to know it. It is an extremely nice material to work with. Very pleasant indeed. I sketched up side pockets with a real volume of 10 liters. No berghausen-liters here. The real ISO stuff. When I made the pattern parts it looked alright, but when I had sewn them I just shook my head, what on earth have I've done?! They were huge! Ruck sack abominations! They were far too deep, should have made them taller. It's always easy in hindsight.. Will add some sort of compression thingys on them I think.

50 cl soda bottle and rubber pig for size reference. And yes, they are almost exactly 10 liters, a hair more. The zippers are covered by a lip for weather protection. Not waterproof, but then, don't put water sensitive stuff unprotected in side pockets... I think I can get a civilian trangia in to them.


The side pcokets weigh in at 66 grams. FOR 20 LITERS!!! Awesome! With this cloth it should be possible to do a 30 litre daypack at around 150 grams! Whoa. That's kind of weird. Next project with this stuff will be a tarptent or a 50-60 L UL back pack.

Tomorrow I'll be doing the main bag and waistbelt.
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Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 24, 2008
Norwich UK
Very interesting, look forward to seeing more later. I've got a vintage Karrimor with similar frame.

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