Re-inforcing the stitching for straps on a pack

9:21 a.m. on October 1, 2009 (EDT)
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135 forum posts

I am wanting to reinforce the stitching for the straps on my day pack so that I can carry more weight then the manufacturer's reccomended weight limit without having to worry about the stitching failing on me. I have a couple of ideas on how to try and do this, but wanted to get a few more ideas from anybody who may have done this already. Thanks in advance.

12:36 p.m. on October 1, 2009 (EDT)
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The manufacturer-recommended weights have more to do with comfort than with strength of the stitching. If the pack is of good quality from a reputable manufacturer (and with reasonable care on your part), you will get years and hundreds of miles of use without any need for reinforcements. My recommendation if you have doubts about the integrity of the straps is save up the bucks (skip the fast-food lunches, for example) and buy a better quality pack from one of the manufacturers that are highly rated in the Trailspace reviews. I have several daypacks that have seen a lot of use, abuse, miles, and years and are still in excellent shape - no stitching blowouts. By "abuse" I mean that I have tossed 30-40 pounds of climbing gear (including pitons in the old days) in what was nominally a "day pack", tossed it on the ground at the base of the climb, hauled it up the climb, tossed it in the back of the car, "stored" it in the garage, left it sitting out in full sunlight at high altitude (lots and lots of UV!), and so on. I have discarded a number of packs from obscure manufacturers that failed within the first hundred miles and less than 6 months of hiking the local hills, many of which were FREE FREE FREE offers with subscription renewals, handouts at the Outdoor Retailer Show, or other sources, all due to poor construction in the first place.

Actually, I have never had a shoulder strap or waist belt fail on a pack. The failures have all been at seams in the bag (usually the bottom), failure of the fabric of the bag, one haul strap (on a cheap pack), or the foam in the shoulder straps deteriorating after 20 years.

8:26 a.m. on October 2, 2009 (EDT)
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A secondary reason I looking for suggestions on how to do this because I enjoy working on my gear and modifying it. I figured this would be a good intro into modifying my pack.

3:31 p.m. on October 27, 2009 (EDT)
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If you dont have a comercial grade sewing machine you will not be doing your pack any service in the "improvement" area.Home machines do not handle the thread ness for this kind of sewing.

6:39 p.m. on October 27, 2009 (EDT)
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5,245 forum posts

A cross stitch pattern is best and go around the area the strap is stitched on in a square then do an X pattern stitching. Use nylon thread or fishingline and pull all the stitches tight. A loop stitch is also good, thats where when you push the needle thru the material and come back thru you thread the needle thru the last stitch and then back to the other side and repeat on that side and back and forth. I used to do leather work. It can be hard to do the stitching properly, you may be able to find someone who can do it with a sewing machine.

9:42 a.m. on October 28, 2009 (EDT)
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Practice on a cheaper pack. You will make some ugly stitches, but with practice you will be sewing like a pro in no time.

6:49 p.m. on November 7, 2009 (EST)
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1,370 forum posts

I had a 3500 cubic inch Sundog pack back in the late '80s which hauled too much for too long and blew out the left shoulder strap where it connects at the top. I used a hobo's sewing machine: a pair of pliars and a stout needle and some dental floss. Dang thing was better than new.

5:40 a.m. on December 22, 2009 (EST)
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google" speed stitcher " I"ve got one -bought at a yard sale with the right thread the stitching is bomb proof

11:39 p.m. on December 23, 2009 (EST)
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99 forum posts

Remember the 8000 cuic inch Lugger I mentioned a few threads ago? Well, I blew out one of the shoulder straps on a trip years ago. And I mean, FULLY disconnected it from the pack. To fix it I used the big-ass needle that I always have along when camping, and some 10 pound monofilament fishing line. This was more than 10 years ago and I haven't had a problem with that strap since. So, it can be done and it works quite well. I also used the 10 pound fishing line to repair the sternum strap 'round about the same time. Still as good as the day it was fixed. As a matter of fact, on many of the cheaper packs I've bought I've often reinforced the upper and lower shoulder strap attachment points before taking it out on it's first trip. Turns a $50.00 pack into a $50.00 pack that can take at least twice it's rated load before structural failure.

Righty then.


6:09 p.m. on December 26, 2009 (EST)
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12:37 p.m. on January 11, 2010 (EST)
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3 forum posts

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Got a similar item at Harbor Freight Tools for $3, on sale. Works good!

May 24, 2018
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