DIY Shoulder Pouches

My new Zpacks Arc Haul Ultra came without shoulder pockets (or pouches) as I could so easily make my own, as I have done this morning (forgetting to photograph the process too sorry!) If you have recently purchased a sewing machine as I have (often) suggested, you can make a pair too. I hope this post helps you do so.

I measured the space on the pack where they would have to fit and came up with dimensions of my four pieces of material as follows. Two pieces for the pack strap sleeves that started at 7″ x 6″ and two pieces for the pouches that stated at 6″ x 15″.

DIY Pack Strap Pockets

I first hemmed around the sleeve pieces.

Then I sewed a loop of gross-grain ribbon on the outside of the pouch where it would need to be, then sewed on the sleeve just below it.

Then I turned it inside out and sewed up the hem on either side of the pocket or pouch.

Then I rolled the ‘casing down and sewed all around it leaving a approx 1/2″ gap just above the gross-grain loop.

Then I turned it right side out.

I threaded a piece of dyneema cord through the casing to make a draw-string closure.

DIY Pack Strap Pockets

Another loop of dyneema cord and micro-cord lock make the securing loop which prevents the pouch from sliding down the pack strap. Most packs have daisy chains which you can secure to – otherwise you will have to sew another gross-grain loop to the pack straps.

DIY Pack Strap Pockets

This cord lock loop is passed through the loop on the pouch and the corresponding one on the pack strap then the micro cord lock passed through the loop on the other end of itself (like the worm Ouroboros), and voila: it is finished.

DIY Pack Strap Pockets

DIY Pack Strap Pockets

Each pouch weighs 5.3 grams each including the two micro-cord locks and the dyneema. I could have made them lighter, but these will last a long time – likely longer than me! They took just a few minutes each to make. They were just made out of some ‘scrap’ 2oz/yd2 waterproof ripstop nylon I had lying around. Cost: Practically nothing. (I buy my micro-cord locks from Aliexpress.

Hope that’s clear.

See Also:

100+ DIY Ultralight Hiking Ideas




4 thoughts on “DIY Shoulder Pouches”

    1. We received a Xmas card (returned to sender) from Zimbabwe many years ago marked ‘Deceased’ I rang his place of work at the time. The girl who answered sounded very frightened but assured me he had been ‘very sick’. I have not been able to find out anything else. Very sad. A lovey man. He did tell me the last time I spoke to him (here) that he wanted to die in Zimbabwe. Looks like he got his wish. I suspect Mugabe’s thugs may ave had a hand in it though. His sister (in Canberra) may know more but I don’t know her name. Cheers, Steve.

      1. Hello Steve I apologise for the long delay in replying …. I was expecting and hoping for an email…. is mine.. Wondering about Andrew this morning caused me to do another internet search… That is when I found this reply.

        I knew Andrew when my wife and I were living in Echuca around 1974….. he became a drop in anytime visitor at our home….. he was very proud of his sculptures……especially his Mildura placements.. I had a cast lead model of his hand for a long time… He seemed to have a source of family funding – finance… He bought a house in Echuca and proceeded to board up all of the doors and windows…. he then cut little holes in the walls at floor level like giant rat holes to interconnect each room…. he then painted the entire inside of the house black… ceilings… floor and walls. The house became a black cave. Visiting him was fun… entrance hole followed by internal holes to get to each room…

        My job took me to another city and we did not see each other again. I missed him…. knowing of his demise…. I am sad..

        1. Hi Greg,
          Thank you for your anecdote about Andrew. We knew him from 1976-1983 at Kyabram and then corresponded or talked on the phone when he was living in Zimbabwe. When we knew him he owned a little shop/residence in the main street of Toingals which didn’t have a street number so he called it 34 1/2 – something like that,He kindly allowed us to stay with him for a few days when we were first appointed to Kyabram High School in Feb 1976. He fled Zimbabwe (for a year) around the turn of the century having been badly beaten but decided to return as he nonetheless loved it. Unfortunately it did not work out for him. He either became ill and died or something bad happened to him. I was unable to find out any more as I did not have his sister’s contact address or even name – in Canberra I think. He certainly was a lovely man though. We regret his passing a lot.
          Steve & Della Jones.

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