Modular AVY Pouch Prototype

When Mike St. Pierre from Hyperlite Mountain Gear was hanging out at my house this summer I was throwing out ideas for all kinds of things when he playfully mentioned that it’s not the ideas that are the hard part of gear design.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of business or marketing experience, which I think is what Mike was alluding to.  Still, I threw out the idea of an ultralight ski pack, perhaps based on the Windrider pack they already make, and Mike seemed intrigued.  After reading that I had been taking the Windrider out on some ski tours, Mike suggested that his new Porter pack might be a better fit for skiing.  After a brief email exchange where I told Mike about some upcoming ski courses I would be working for NOLS, he sent me out the Hyperlite Expedition, the big brother to the Porter, and I agreed that I would prototype an Avy pouch that would attach to either the Porter or Expedition.

Hyperlite Expedition Pack. Photo courtesy of Hyperlite Mountain Gear.

The Porter/Expedition packs are no frills ultralight packs in classic mountaineering style.  The packs are constructed from the same Cuben Fiber hybrid as the Windrider, but features a beefier (but not bulkier) waist belt and shoulder straps.  The packs can be closed in either drybag style – creating a loop at the top, or with the removable vertical straps for a clean top.  Along each side of the pack runs a vertical daisy chain, to about halfway up the length of the pack.  On the rear of the pack run another pair of daisy chains, framing the rear panel.

I spent an evening this week building a Prototype Avy tool pouch that should work well.   Overall, I am happy with how this “first draft” turned out, though it wasn’t without its trials and a few ripped seams.  I can’t seem figure out pattern making yet.  I find it helpful for conceptualizing and laying stuff out, but my sizing keeps coming out a bit off.  Easily fixed at the sewing machine though!   It attaches securely with 3/4″ side release buckles and remains quickly removable.  The pack has three compression straps on the sides which should allow ski carry in the A-Frame method, which isn’t my preferred way to haul skis around when they aren’t on my feet, so I’ll continue to look at ways to incorporate a diagonal carry method with the new pouch attached.  After some testing this winter, I’ll send the pouch off to Mike and we’ll see if he can adapt my “train-of-consciousness” sewing job into a refined Cuben Fiber product worthy of his pack line.

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3 Comments

Filed under backcountry, DIY, equipment, Fabrication, gear, lightweight, MYOG, Outdoors, Sewing, skiing, ultralight, Uncategorized

3 responses to “Modular AVY Pouch Prototype

  1. Love it! I did some prototyping of my own awhile back on a similar attachment for my (much lower volume) GoLite Ion. I’d love to swap notes if you’re interested. (donmeredith74 at gmail.com)

  2. Ryan, it looks good! Might I suggest a zipper across the top and down one of the sides. in a upside down L shape. It will open wider and give easier access to the shovel.

    Diagonal ski options might open up if the pouch has 3/4″ side release buckles on two sides.The pouch would cover the skis after attached. There are some other mil-spec option out there that works with PAL webbing.

    Excited to see what you have cooking.
    JC

    • Thanks JC,
      The L is an interesting idea, I’ve already written some notes for changes on the pouch itself, I think it could also have hidden thin shoulder straps so you could just tour with the pouch. Right now it has 3/4 side release at four corners and the top center, if I release the top center buckle and extend the sides a bunch it does indeed clamp the skis nicely! I should have made the straps longer though, I’ll have to post some pics.

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