After looking for ways to get my backpack weight down, and browsing through $450 ultralight backpacks, I stumbled upon a Reddit post of a guy who made his own pack.
This caught my interest and 1 hour later I had purchased a few Ikea bags for $6, and started hacking them up.
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I decided I needed some basic plans and sketched up a rough draft.
My plan was to make the bag a little smaller than my other pack and I decided on going 15" wide and 7" deep, and I added an inch to both dimensions for the stitches.
I kept the front, back and bottom all one piece, hoping that it would look a little smoother once it was finished.
The $0.99 Ikea Frakta bags were rated to 55lbs, which gave me some confidence in the material.
After reading other MYOG (Make Your Own Gear) posts, I learned that the bag needed to be made from the inside out.
This rounds off the flat stitches once you turn it rightside out.
The first thing I did was work on the shoulder straps and waist belt.
I used part of an old 5mm SeaWorld wetsuit for the padding, which I then wrapped in some cheap unknown fabric (I hope this doesn't come back to bite me).
Second step is to sew on all of the components such as the webbing, straps, and waistbelt to the ikea material.
The front and back are all one piece, but I had to sew the sides onto the bottom.
I went with a rolltop clip system, as it seemed like an easy way to keep the bag waterproof, and I was unfamiliar with it.
Now that I have all of the components sewn to the bag, I was able to man handle a ton of fabric through the machine to join it all together.
I turned the bag rightside out, and I was very happy with the results.
The completed bag weighs 17oz. Far lighter than my expectations.
I made sure to include a sleeve that I could slide a Zlite sleeping pad into. This acts as a frame and stiffener, and also as a cushion from the items that you are carrying.
The total cost of the pack was about $30, and a lot of time, but that is part of the fun.