I have purchased all materials, patterns, workshops, etc. myself. All opinions are my own.
For my trip to India, I wanted to make a new daypack to take with me. I decided on the Range Backpack by Noodlehead. I had heard a lot of good things about the pattern and instructions and it ticked a lot of my boxes. I had a few requirements:
- The right size. Not too big, but big enough to hold a liter of water, a guidebook and an extra layer
- Waterproof. We would be traveling to the rainiest place on earth
- Good-looking. I have a couple backpacks in different sizes from Osprey, but I’m just not into the hiking look when sightseeing in cities
- Somewhat theftproof. We would be visiting busy tourist hotspots and I’d rather not have to worry about pickpockets all the time
To make it more theft-proof, I decided to add a zipper at the top opening along with a little loop near the end. This would allow me to thread a small locking carabiner through the zipper pull and the loop to secure the zipper shut. I also extended the top by 5cm to be able to fold the opening over once, to make it even harder to access.
Of course, these modifications won’t help if I leave the backpack somewhere unattended. But it should be enough layers of deterrents when I’m just walking around.
The top extension would also come in handy a couple of times when I wanted to shed a few layers as the day warmed up or when doing a bit too much shopping. In those cases, I could just leave the top unfolded and gain some extra room.
To make the bag (mostly) waterproof, I used a PU-coated fabric. I found a great dark gray Cordura with PU-coating, which has great waterrepellent properties.
I knew sewing through it would be a challenge on my domestic machine, especially when a few layers came together. For this reason, I got some beefy Microtex needles to use for this project. In the end, I used the 110 size and they worked out pretty great. At some points my machine had trouble, but I took it slowly and we made it through together.
I debated using seam-sealant tape to waterproof the seams as well, but decided against it. I was running out of time and figured the waterproof fabric would be good enough.
In the end, it did proof to be good enough. We even spent a night sleeping under the stars in the desert and everything got soaked in dew by morning, even the outside of my backpack, but the inside stayed bone dry!