Big sewing achievement unlocked–I made a hiking pack! No, it’s not an ultralight 50L for backpacking, but it’s exactly what I needed: A comfy, colorful little friend for our shorter trips.


I love how functional this is–it held just enough water for a 2.5 hour jaunt, it held all our snacks and first aid stuff, and it was so comfy. There are “load lifter” straps that can cinch it up if it’s full so it sits tight and close to your back, and there’s a double foam panel in the back so it keeps it shape.


This is the Stitchback Patterns’ “Lumbar Pack”  and it was a beautiful pattern. Everything went together without any sweating and the instructions were super clear and detailed.

  • I had the Ottertex canvas in lime and army green on hand, plus the orange zippers and orange mesh.
  • The orange on the waist straps exterior is HyperD 300 from Ripstop By The Roll (oops I bought new fabric for it after all).
  • The lime green toggles and orange buckles/webbing/grosgrain were from Strapworks.
  • The khaki buckles, webbing, and shock cord plus orange spacer mesh were from Rockywoods.
  • The pattern called for 5mm and 3mm EVA foam and I ended up just buying sheets of craft foam from JoAnn.

Some details: I added a front panel pocket and a key leash; those load lifters that are so cool;  the pocket in the interior for the 5mm foam panel (plus bound interior seams); a zipper pocket in the lid and interior tie loops.


Final verdict: I love this. It’s so nice to not have the weight of my Osprey pack dragging on my upper back. I didn’t realize how uncomfortable it was until I made this. (I’ve probably been wearing it badly adjusted for 12 years… )

Plus, having a waist pack means you can just swing it around and access your snacks, no need to stop and unload everything.

Great pattern, great sewing experience, and great usability–the trifecta of sewing unlocked!