So, for a long time I've needed a new backpack. My current one has served with distinction for the past 5 years of academia, but it's starting to wear thin. I plan on designing and building my own backpack for daily use as well as possibly expanding it for camping/general travel. The idea is to make a solid frame out of 1/2 inch dowels, with a 'foot' protruding at a right angle at the bottom of the frame. That frame will have the first layer of the basic cloth of the bag, which will ideally be a sandwich of heavy canvas and a type of batting used to insulate ironing boards. The main 'pocket' of the pack will be a open top with a flip over canvas cover with two buckles on leather straps to fasten it. With this design I feel like I gain a lot of flexibility for what kind of things I can put in the pack and it leaves me open to add more pockets all around it as i find them necessary. The whole thing will be machine sewn, and then riveted, but I haven't found a good durable thread that I like yet, short of kevlar. The part of the pack that will actually be against my back will be triple padded with the insulated batting and impact foam over the bars of the frame. canvas straps, 2 inches wide and padded at the shoulders with adjustable buckles (leather)
Has anyone ever done anything like this before? Designed and built their own gear?