Rebuilding backpack mesh panels like CamelBaks- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    JXG
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    Rebuilding backpack mesh panels like CamelBaks

    It is the gear repair time of year so thought I would toss out this technique to give people ideas.

    Backpack mesh panels are comfortable but often not durable. I had already sewed up the mesh on my CamelBak once and decided it was time for an upgrade. Fortunately this can be done without much work.

    Rebuilding backpack mesh panels like CamelBaks-20161215_150701_hdr-medium-.jpg

    After looking at a lot of meshes, I bet on a half-yard of Leno Mesh: This nylon mesh is tough and most commonly used to cover foam on the shoulder and waist straps of backpacks. Also used for venting and pockets in bags.

    Mesh for Clothing, Bags, Screening and more!


    I also got a sample pack of other mesh fabrics from Seattle Fabrics and this convinced me that Leno Mesh is about the right balance between comfort and toughness.

    Installation was simply whip-stitching (a spiral of thread) the new mesh over the old mesh. I used a very heavy waxed thread similar to Speedy Stitcher thread.

    The sewing was done with a curved half-circle needle that I got in a sailmaking / carpet repair kit years ago. This worked great to reach down into the old mesh.

    Rebuilding backpack mesh panels like CamelBaks-20161216_090415_hdr-medium-.jpg

    Definitely worth having around if you repair gear.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Upholstery-C...-/131831360040

    But really any heavy nylon thread and needle should work fine.

    Not fancy but looks like an effective repair. I will update this post after a couple hundred hours of use.

    Rebuilding backpack mesh panels like CamelBaks-20161216_095109_hdr-medium-.jpg

    BTW, the first episode in this CamelBak saga was coating it with urethane:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/apparel-prote...d-1002163.html

  2. #2
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    If you get some upholstery thread, it will be very heavy and it's black so it won't show.

  3. #3
    JXG
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    That's a good idea. Just make sure it is nylon.

  4. #4
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    The thread fiber is important. I'm pretty sure the speedy-awl stuff is a waxed cotton which will rot from salt very easily.

    Fwiw, I build white water gear bags out of Leno lock. I am curious to hear how it works for you. Personally I've never seen it in the uses that Seattle Fabrics claims. It's pretty sturdy And rough for next to body but it should work ok.

  5. #5
    JXG
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica View Post
    The thread fiber is important. I'm pretty sure the speedy-awl stuff is a waxed cotton which will rot from salt very easily.
    I have been using Speedy Stitcher thread since the 1980s and it has always been nylon.

    Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl

    The interaction between Leno mesh and the jerseys I wear (Xcel and O'Neill rash guards) is very smooth so I'd guess it is going to work well.

    If people want to make an exact mesh selection, the Seattle mesh sampler is a good way to see the whole range. Many of the other options are very open and rough.

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    I have one going back into the early 70's and as I recall the thread was waxed flax/linen, at least back then. That's the stuff they used to sew shoes and boots together, so it's pretty tough.
    Do the math.

  7. #7
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    Natural fibers are most suggestible to salt and UV breakdown. I'm in no way trying to slam the repair, on the contrary, I think it's pretty cool and shows a lot of initiative and creativity. I get paid to repair things like like, but replacing pack mesh/anything that can't be shoved under a sewing machine presser is a place I won't go. If I had a post/stand machine maybe, but since I don't, hat's off.

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