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.
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Also made a rifle carrier based on the Kifaru GunBearer, so that I could lash a rifle or shotgun under the pack.

Another item I made to go hand in hand with this is the BigButt, a groundsheet with a twist.

The foam sheet that sits along the back of the pack can be inserted into a pocket on the front of this.

I can also take the trekking poles, insert them into a pocket on the back, and turn it into a chair. I based it on the Jerry Chair, Mountainsmith has a similar idea.

I put tabs on the sides so that I could both stake it down, or, fold it in half and string it up as a gear hammock to keep stuff off the ground, or, put insulation between them and lash it to the bottom of my hammock as a rudimentary underquilt.

It attaches to the bottom. I can either take it right off, or just unroll a part of it if I want to have a dry spot to sit on a break.

Also made the Yet-Mor-I, a pouch that attached to the front to increase the volume.

The straps on the back are spaced so the compression straps can route through.

It's about 27" high, 9" wide and 4" deep at the bottom, and 12" wide and 6" deep at the top.

I'm not sure, but I reckon it's around the +- 35 liter mark. With the Yet-Mor-I, the volume increases about 10 liters. It's a very comprehensive pack in its own right.

So far, very happy with it.
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Though about it, but I think this is already a pretty hefty pack with just the main compartment. The expansion pocket even feels like over kill. (It was an idea in my head, so what the heck, make it to try.) The idea there was if I did want to carry extra food, I could put it there, or, transfer some lighter items from the main pack, put them there, and then the food in the pack.


Mar 5, 2018
To transfer the usual stuff isn't handy, to put food in your outer pocket pulls you back.

I think the best place for the 1800 ml bushpot is in a well fitting side pouch.
And that's also a good place for food in my opinion, because like that it's out of the way.