Kifaru backpack modifications (pic heavy)

Jimbob

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
1,184
Location
Smithers, BC
I posted some pics on another thread of modifications I did to an eberlestock pack and a few guys liked them so i thought I would share what I'v done with my Kifaru. The mods to the eberlestock was more damage control to fix a poor design, the mods to my kifaru where done to tweak and improve an already great design.

pack - Kifaru G1 spikecamp - Original weight 2 lbs 10.7 oz. Modified weight is down near 2lb 6oz and that changes depending on what accessories I use
Modifications:
1. Remove extra webbing and anchor points that i wont use - weight savings of 1.5 oz
2. remove water bladder - if i use a bladder it doesn't need its own sleeve - weight savings of 1.68 oz
3. Install carbon fiber stays that are two inches longer than original aluminum ones - weight savings of 3.4 oz



4. make exteneded stay pockets and add load lifters to shoulder straps- all material and hardware ADDS 1.75 oz



5. Fix accessory straps on hip belt. The original straps were thin and just sewn in to the cordura of the hip belt. Worked ok for light pockets but was horrible when I had my rifle in the gun bearer. The thin straps pulled down hard under the weight of the rifle and applied pressure through the hip belt that actually wore the skin off my hip. My design is thicker, attached to the webbing of the hipbelt (applies pressure more evenly so it doesn't wear on my hip) and one side disconnects so i can add any accessories with a loop that i want (knives, camera cases, range finder water bottle etc.) The connect connects into the same place as the shoulder straps. Total this ADDS 0.7 oz





6. added a mesh pocket on the top flap, great for organizing. ADDS 0.8 oz


7. made my own chamber pocket from sil nylon, again some needed organization - 0.9 oz


8. Made my own pod from silnylon and 3/4 webbing and buckles. I have a Sitka 90% in there in the picture and it is about half full - pod and hardware weighs 3.4 oz



For the future I will be making a top lid/pocket that connect to the top of the stays then to the back of the pack. This will give me a few hundred CI and the ability to strap things to the top of the pack, total it should weigh 3-4 oz.

In the future I might see if I can swap the stays for 22" of 23" and buy a lumber pad from kifaru and add it to the pack. This would really beef up the pack and give more comfort with heavier loads.

Right now I have no problem doing 3 days out with this pack.

I use my wife's sewing machine to do everything and I get the materials from various places online. Its a fun process and allows you to get exactly what you want.

ask any questions if you want.
 

RosinBag

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Feb 27, 2012
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Roseville, CA.
Jimbob, that all looks like good quality craftsmanship from you. Kifaru is always looking for quality people to sew their packs. All your mods look good.
 

Becca

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Feb 26, 2012
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Wasilla, Alaska
Wow Jimbob, awesome! Did you have to use a heavier needle at all? I have broken sewing machine needles trying to sew webbing straps before... Also, did you use a special thread at all? I have typically used upholstery thread on outdoor gear because it's sturdier, but it's thick and sort of hard to work with...

Thanks again for sharing your mods!
 
OP
Jimbob

Jimbob

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
1,184
Location
Smithers, BC
No special needle, I can go through 3 layers of webbing without major issues. I use 100% polyester thread, this is on recommendations from other DIY gear builders.

I have broken one needle when I was trying to sew in some buckles. More my fault then the strength required for what I was doing though, I jammed the buckle half under the foot as I was rotating and there was just too much torque.
 

Chesapeake

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2012
Messages
215
I use nylon and polyester threads. I order my fabric, buckles, thread, ect... From Seattle Fabrics Inc.

T-46z nylon thread
T-G110 polyester thread
T-46v polyester thread

Those are about the largest thread the machine I use will handle. I break a few needles but they are cheap. Pretty well always from me putting sideways pressure on the needle and causing it to bend and miss the hole in the bottom of the machine.

I made a few scabbards, stuff sacks, and other odds and ends.
 
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