1. Are you a current member with account or password issues?

    Please visit following page for more information

    Dismiss Notice

DIY - Cheaper Than Dirt Level III Assault Pack Modification (lots of pics)

Discussion in 'Do-It-Yourself & Gear Modifications' started by bruner, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. bruner

    bruner Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    4,148
    Likes Received:
    36
    I've had a Cheaper Than Dirt (CDT) Level III Assault pack for some time now, but never used it. It's just been sitting in my closet. My intent was for it to replace an old book bag that I used back in high school and have been using for taking small hikes. The thing that turned me on about it was all of the straps and buckles and such, but that ended up being a real turn off. I didn't want to have to deal with all of those compression straps just to get in and out of the bag. So, I cut them all off and made a single compression strap out of the salvaged material. Here is a photo of all the material that was removed. Note, this photo does not show the chest belt and waist belt, which were also removed.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a photo of the CDT pack.

    [​IMG]

    Notice the red and green circles. Red circles indicate things that I have removed and green indicate the location of three nylon loops which are present on my pack, but not present on the photo. Keep in mind that CDT has many vendors. What you see advertised is not necessarily exactly what you will get. My modification requires the middle of those three nylon loops to be present on both sides of the bag...

    So, first thing that bothered me was the two zipper pulls per compartment. Only one per compartment was needed, so I removed one zipper pull from each compartment. This was not easy. I used a pair of wire cutters to nibble away at the zipper pull until it could finally be removed. Here is a photo of the removed zipper pulls and the bag compartments with only one pull needed.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    From the salvaged material, I made a single compression strap shown in the photos below. Believe me, my sewing ability has a lot to be desired, but I dd the best I could and used heavy duty upholstery thread. I then added some crazy glue to insure it would never come appart.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I also changed how the shoulder straps attach and how they work. I left a lot of strapping available to make adjustments down the road. I won't try to explain exactly what I did, instead I will let the photos speak for themselves.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Overall, I am now very happy with my pack and will definitely be using it. If you have any questions I will by happy to try and answer them, just ask below.

    Thanks for looking,
    Dan

    :)
     
  2. deeker

    deeker Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,525
    Likes Received:
    2,156
    I have the same pack. I think I might remove the extra zipper on the smaller pockets. That seems a bit overdone. I'm not sure about removing the double zips on the bigger pockets, it might be handy to have them for my uses... Not sure.

    I also sewed the shoulder straps at the top of the bag to keep them from working their way loose as I hiked/walked around.
    I swapped out the crappy zipper pull cord for some yellow reflective paracord and pinched the zipper hooks themselves a little tighter.

    I've been happy with the bag thus far; good to see you've made some modifications to make the bag work for you.
     
  3. inmypocket

    inmypocket Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    2
    pictures? theres no pictures?

    Scott
     
  4. bruner

    bruner Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    4,148
    Likes Received:
    36
    Actually, I did not sew my shoulder straps on as you did. I wanted to keep it as adjustable as possible, so all the extra strapping is kind of tucked into areas on the top and cable-tied on the bottom.

    The images have been working off and on it seems since I posted this last night... I don't know if there is a problem with imageshack (my host) or what.

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  5. Blackheart

    Blackheart Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,967
    Likes Received:
    1,378
    Imageshack is frequently out-to-lunch. Been that way for a long time.

    Great job on the bag. Thanks for all the photos. Nice to see what people are up to.
     
  6. phatch

    phatch Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,244
    Likes Received:
    269
    One zipper can work for a carefully and consistently packed bag. Can be a good choice on some small pockets.
    I've done some similar extensive pruning of straps and such on one of my backpacking bags for the weight savings and simplicity.

    Double zippers can be handy on large zipper runs. It allows you to open the pack at any point along the zipper run to get what you need without opening everything. This offers flexibility for a small amount of weight, a little more hassle for some uses, and a slight increase in failure points.

    For my EDC purposes, long zippers need two pulls.

    Phil
     
  7. bruner

    bruner Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    4,148
    Likes Received:
    36
    Phil,

    That is very good point, and one I kind of wish I had thought about before removing all the double pulls.

    If I could go back and do it again, I would take your advice and leave at least the larges zipper run with two pulls.

    As it is, I'll be ok with what I have.

    Dan

    :)