Problem/Issues experienced with backpacks and duffle bags carried along - SailNet Community

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Old 03-12-2013
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Smile Problem/Issues experienced with backpacks and duffle bags carried along

Hello Everyone,
Great to be part of SailNet Community.
I am completing my undergrad in university in Product Design and Environment Management. I am working on a small project to make bags by combining waxed canvas (waterproof) and old sails. I would like the bags to have max usability and solve some of the problems sailors or backpackers/explorers experience.
I would be very keen to hear from anybody who has travelled, went sailing (how ever little) and get your thoughts on any problems, issues, pros and cons that you experienced from your backpacks, duffel bag. From the day to day tasks such as washing, or, getting cloths out etc. the list is endless.
Please, if anyone has had experience with the use of a backpack please comment on any issues that you have had.
Would love to hear
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Old 03-12-2013
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Re: Problem/Issues experienced with backpacks and duffle bags carried along

two things come to mind after decades of using backpacks....

the material of the backpack is coarse and acts as sandpaper against business clothes. In short order your shirts, slacks and jackets will "shine"...sail cloth and canvas even more so. Packs and cases made from these materials look good, and hold up well...but are tough on clothes, car seats and furniture

secondly and more annoying...if you "wear" the back pack any length of time and it has stuff in it, the back of the pack nearest your back will chafe your back and you will sweat a lot from the contact and the motion. It hasn't mattered what the material is, they all cause your back to sweat. If you are active or exert your self, the sweating is awful. The material needs to breathe.

Other issues are manageable with proper design and fit.

best of luck, would love to see your finished product to see how it changes the market.
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Old 03-12-2013
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Re: Problem/Issues experienced with backpacks and duffle bags carried along

Hi kd3pc, thank you so much, I will post the pictures when it is complete. Really important concerns, working on reducing back sweat will be a challenge and I am going back to the drawing board tonight. Try to see what I can do and then hopefully prototypes give the intended result.
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Old 03-12-2013
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Re: Problem/Issues experienced with backpacks and duffle bags carried along

First, bad design: I find traditional school-type backpacks very un-useable. They are really just shaped to carry books, will never sit on the base without falling over, and the zip down design causes things to fall out everywhere when unzipped. I'm not a big fan of the scratchy material used.

Better design: I won a Flash-18 lightweight daypack from REI at a trail race last summer. It has an interior pocket that is supposed to accommodate a Camelbak bladder for use when running/hiking/etc. I tried that feature and it simply sloshed all the time; the chafing from the pack would have been horrible if I had run in it. But I liked the lightweight design, breathable mesh straps, built-in emergency whistle, narrow profile, top-loading, and quick-pull closure. It also has a mesh interior pocket that zips closed. I keep a camp spork and chapstick there, and sometimes my phone and wallet. The fabric is very lightweight parachute-type tech material. Since I wasn't going to run in it, it sat around a while. Then in the past few months it gets daily use...first and foremost as a simple way to carry my change of clothes to the bathhouse when I shower (I'm a liveaboard) and second (and very handy) as my go-to "dinghy purse." Getting in and out of the dinghy is a two-handed task, so I use the pack to carry snacks and drinks and whatever if I am dinghy-ing over to visit friends at another marina. I expect when cruising it will serve the same purpose...handy for carrying my wallet, a light jacket, and for bringing smaller items back to the boat if I do shopping and exploring ashore.

Wish list improvements:
- I wish it were waterproof (I guess I'll spray it with 303).
- I wish it had a handy place to attach a handheld VHF radio and handheld GPS in case of emergency (to use as a ditch bag, e.g., or to have handy and attached to me in foul weather).
- I wish it had a wider selection of colors (it's a yucky guacamole color, I would've loved graphite or purple).
- I wish it had a way to expand for when I need it to have a wider capacity; perhaps zippered or snap-out gusseting. (But in general I like it's narrower design, which is the perfect size 85% of the time.)
- I wish it had built-in or attachable dry bags for wallet and phone.

I hope that helps your research! I'll be happy to test out your prototype.
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Re: Problem/Issues experienced with backpacks and duffle bags carried along

Thank you RunningRabbit! will be taking it into consideration. I will put up pictures when it is complete
Looking for more opinions from more members too
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Old 03-13-2013
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Re: Problem/Issues experienced with backpacks and duffle bags carried along

Sounds like a great project. Of course, space and weight are always considerations on sailboats. Often carried in packs are food supplies, sometimes obtained by biking somewhere. Equipment and bulky/heavy items, including electronics need to be carried sometimes. I keep a large frame pack aboard into which fit all my electronic units if I'm leaving the boat for any amount of time (and don't wish to return to find everything has been stolen). I wish it had exterior padding to cushion things. Being able to convert a pack to some sort of pannier for the bike would be a plus. Carrying a heavy backpack on a bike for any distance is no fun. Waterproof is necessary as mentioned above. Things get wet on a boat by some sort of magical process so dry-bag level protection is the best.
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Old 03-13-2013
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Re: Problem/Issues experienced with backpacks and duffle bags carried along

Please - NO zippers
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Old 03-13-2013
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Re: Problem/Issues experienced with backpacks and duffle bags carried along



You would have to look at camelbacks which allow me to carry 100 oz of water and enough food and clothing to go out and move up and down some nasty stuff for 10 hours in total comfort

It's a pretty tough act to follow and i want modern fabric like gore-etx that keeps we warm dry and alive
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Last edited by tommays; 03-13-2013 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 03-13-2013
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Re: Problem/Issues experienced with backpacks and duffle bags carried along

Zips Are a pain in and around the salt environment and scratch that which they should not. All my backpacks and laptop bags have no zip's. Also the backpack need to be waterproof and reflective, able to carry a case of beer and on occasions a gallon (4 litres) milk, and groceries without splitting at the seams. But be small enough that when rolled up take up little room and not be so big that you try to fit a whole shopping cart of groceries in it, because your wife will try and You will have to carry it.
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Old 03-13-2013
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Re: Problem/Issues experienced with backpacks and duffle bags carried along

ZIPS ! Whatever material they make the zips from on stack packs PLEASE use the same on the back packs.

Stack pack is 7 years old and the zip is fine. I also have a cheap Euro back pack that is 20 years old with good zips. I have just discarded a 2 year old expensive Victorinox back pack with zip failure due to corrosion. This despite frequent lubrication.

I LIKE having lots of compartments esp one that holds the lappie for shore trips.
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