If you have been following along with my backpack designs and attempts, this is my third and final one for a bit. I need a break! But I am very excited with how it came out and took it on its first short trip this weekend. If you didn't check out my first two attempts you can see them and the build process at these links:
Before we get into whats different with version 3 here is the finished product:
The main difference with V3 versus V2 is the main body on V3 was made with Dyneema Cuben Fiber 2.92 oz Composite Fabric Hybrid CT5K.18/wov.32c instead of LiteSkin 07 (LS07). The LS07 on my V2 backpack is 3.4 oz/yd2 while the Dyneema Cuben Fiber I used is 2.92 oz/yd2.
The LS07 worked out nicely but the Dyneema Cuben Fiber despite bing lighter should hold up better over the long term. The Dyneema is also a little more rigid and the pack just feels a lot better structurally overall.
The main design feature of both packs is the zipper down the center to allow access to the main compartment quickly while on the go. I love roll-top backpacks for their ability to change size based upon the adventure you are going on. Roll it down small if its a lite loadout or keep it full heigh if you need to carry a larger load. This pack came in a bit over 25 Litters at its max internal capacity then has a Dyneema Mesh zipper pouch on the back for smaller items.
The issue with rolltop though is that its awful for accessing gear quickly which is why I added a zipper down the back. My main use is a day hiking pack with my photography gear. I want to be able to quickly access and switch camera lenses.
As you can see, I can quickly grab my camera out and my goldfish if I get hungry...
When I am carrying it, the zipper hides well under the roll-top to keep stuff from getting into the pack:
The one issue with this back zipper that I had on V2 was that it was a little difficult to pull back up because there was no zipper tab for me to hold onto at the bottom of the zipper. Instead of putting the zipper pull tab at the bottom of the zipper, I placed it on the bottom of the pack so it didn't rub on my back while hiking:
Side Pull Down Cordage
My second issue with my V2 pack was the side pulldowns which were supposed to pull the rolltop sides down tightly attached to the same point where the side compressions straps were. When the V2 pack was mostly empty I couldn't get the sides to tight at this attachment point. On V3 I put a small loop in the bottom of the side pockets so the cord to pull the rolltop sides down went all the way to the bottom. This allows me to get the pack nice and tight even when it is fairly empty.
Overall I really like how this backpack came out. I had a few places where I thought I had to completely scrap the pack but I was able to salvage it after taking a few days to cool off. Despite the price, I am very happy with the Cuben Fiber Dyneema composite fabric. I think I have one of the lightest camera bags on the market!
The build process for V3 was very similar to V2, so you can read that here. I did add extra backing when sewing the shoulders to add more strength and support there on V3.
After taking the pack on its first test hike, it performed great. I unfortunately didn't get any pictures with it on though, so I will post some after my next hike with it on!