Latest pack design and build. The Sasquash. I'm a giant, the pack is large and it’s meant to quash things between it and the frame.
Whether I go on a 2 hour Sunday afternoon June hike or a 2 day February ice climbing trip or a 2 week October canoe trip to Quetico, there are always things I want and need. First aid kit, sweater, dry socks, pot, fire starter, rain gear, water purifier, etc. No matter what, I want to have those items. Other items carried are contingent on activity, duration, and time of year. More insulation, food, activity specific gear (ropes, food barrel, video gear, etc.), etc. Then I can add those items to the frame, and remove them when I don't need them.
I've tried a few approaches to this idea, but this one gets me closer to the ideal set-up. I think. We'll see.
I made an earlier take on this that was a full suspension pack in its own right in addition to being able to be carried on a frame. This time I opted to just have the ability to attach shoulder straps - no stays or frame sheet or waist belt attachment points - and to mainly have it be carried on the frame.
I've had a Kifaru Duplex Frame for 15 years, and think it's one of the best gear purchases I've ever made. Highly recommended. I made this to mate with it.
Here it is with a dry bag attached. I'll be making 2 pack sacks that fit on here.
The pack itself with the compression straps removed, and the back with Kifaru X-Ray straps attached.
Just the compression straps themselves, removed from the pack. You can also see the small tabs I added so that should I choose to, I can also rout bungee cord through to lash things under. (You can see it in the first photo.) Not sure that I will, but never hurts to explore possibilities.
If I want I can utilize just the compression straps to carry a load on the frame.
Here you can see the degree of squashage that can be achieved.
The mesh on the back allows for (hopefully) a little bit of breathability and also holds a ½" foam pad. Both to add a bit of form and rigidity to the pack and also to pull out as a sit pad.
The sides, showing the trekking poles.
Another view without the trekking poles to show how they're attached. There are two ½" pieces of webbing and cord locked bungee cord to hold them in place.
You can also see the five tabs to hold the compression straps in place if I use it in pack mode without the Duplex frame. And, you can see how the compression straps are attached to the Duplex frame.
I made the water bottle holders so the straps can route behind them.
Top lid and bottom. I hemmed and hawed about putting a pouch up there like the Kifaru Express for instance has. Decided to put some tabs so I could attach a pouch I might make later. Also added some tabs that allow me to attach Kifaru Pods if I wanted.
Bottom also allows for Kifaru Pod attachment and has a covered drain hole.
The cargo straps also allow me to lash a poncho, blanket, rain jacket, wet tarp I want to dry out, under it.
I put a mesh zippered pocket in the top lid.
Another feature of Kifaru's packs I really like are their Chamber Pockets. I wanted to add that feature here as well.
I modified a NiteIze RunOff pouch so that I could carry it like a chamber pocket as well.
I lined the inside with white 420D packcloth to avoid the cavernous black hole effect.
The mesh pocket is removable and if I wanted to I could add PALS backed pockets to the Velcro.
Made some simpler shoulder straps as well. About half the weight of the Kifaru X-Ray straps.