7

Is there a way to upgrade a bag to have hip belts?

If so what should I look for in identifying a good product to fill this niche?

Something like this but a hip belt

I would prefer not to have to sew, but this does not have to bear any weight, so I'm hoping that is not an issue. My main concern is to be able to clip easy-access storage onto the new belt.

  • That depends on your specific backpack model and your ability/willingness to sew. Please add some info about that. – imsodin May 14 '18 at 9:52
  • @imsodin not sure how to specify a backpack model without making this question too specific to be useful, so I will skip that for now. – Pureferret May 14 '18 at 12:01
  • Regarding your adding tags, we have a convention of using gear instead of equipment and I am not sure about mods vs modification. Maybe a meta post would be a good thing? – Reinstate Monica May 14 '18 at 14:36
  • @CharlieBrumbaugh ah thats a good idea. I picked quipment-mods due ot length, but gear-modifications might fit. – Pureferret May 14 '18 at 15:45
5

Bags that are long enough and sturdy enough to take a hip belt probably already have them. The belt needs to couple well to the frame/load if it's going to take any weight so you need more than just sewing skills. This doesn't mean it's impossible, just hard, and the best source of materials might be a hip belt off an old rucksack. The only reason I could see to want to add a hip belt is for a challenge, unless the pack is very special.

A stabilising waist belt doesn't take any significant weight, but would be much easier to add. This can be as simple as two pieces of webbing with an adjustable buckle. Waist belts are often attached to the same points as the bottom of the shoulder straps, so stitching or knotting a belt there should work (it would probably ride up if just clipped). You could cut a webbing belt in half, seal the ends, and tie it on, for example, though I'd put a few stitches in to get the angle about right.

As it's mainly storage you're after: backpacks that lack hip belts are often comfortable over a separate belt, either with built-in pouches like those sold for running/cycling/cameras, or with extra pouches threaded on. Such a belt could be hung from the backapck to keep them together, using a couple of lengths of paracord to the bottom of the shoulder straps.

2

If you just want extra load carrying space then you can buy suitable belts from military suppliers.

you can either get plain belt and separate padding which you can slip onto the belt, which is best if you want to use simple loops or you can get complete units which often have MOLLE type strips on the outside which needs compatible pouched but is very versatile and also works well with anything with a pocket clip etc.

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For small items like torches, fist aid kits, compact cameras etc, these work pretty well and there is a huge range of pouches available and will take a fair amount of weight and it keep small, frequently used items compartmentalised and accessible. If you add a yoke which clips to the D rings on the top edge you can carry quite heavy stuff.

Having an entirely separate belt also gives you a bit more flexibility in many situations as you can leave your main pack off but still keep belt mounted items handy.

  • This is a good answer but I think I'd prefer to have it attached to the bag so I only have one piece of gear to track and not two. – Pureferret May 16 '18 at 11:12
  • 1
    You could always either use the d-rings on the belt to attach it perhaps by sewing or even gluing on some Velcro tabs to the bottom of the pack or sew on some tape and use the MOLLE loops to attach it or even lust use some lengths of cord so it sis attached but 'floating' as it were. Plus all these options could be easily removable so you get the best of both worlds. – Chris Johns May 17 '18 at 16:28

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