The Vault Regulars

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Alpkit Gourdon 25L daysack Modifications.

The Alpkit Gourdon range of daysacks are or were* a quite unique bit of kit. They are simply roll top dry bags with straps and a few other features.     *(Exped are doing a similar bag too now)
I bought the 25L model for both myself and Sheila and we use them regularly on day walks.
Photo 1
They are light in weight, waterproof and comfy.

Main sack
 Made from Taslon Nylon with the seams fully taped, mine has a PU coating so it is probably a pre Taslan model made from 300 denier nylon.
The bags have a roll top closure that needs to be folded 3X to ensure no water gets in and secured with a Duraflex buckle.
The buckle is then secured to 2 rubber tags for added security. I have modified these as i found them too difficult to undo or fasten when wearing gloves or with cold fingers. (See photo 2 below.)
Down the centre of the sack is a clear plastic strip put in so that you can identify where things are within the sack.
I first thought that this was a good feature but to be honest i can’t say i have used it and i wouldn’t mind if this was deleted.
 Exped have a similar strip on their sack but it isn’t see through, it’s slightly misted and it’s also located between the shoulder straps so that other folk cannot see what you have in the sack as you walk. This is better in my opinion if you want this feature.
The main shoulder straps are adjustable and are made of edged mesh, lightweight and quick drying. Attached and between them is a useful adjustable chest strap.
A narrow waist strap finishes the restraints with another Duraflex buckle.
The sack has a removable back support which i thought was quite heavy in comparison to the sack itself so i discarded the mat provided and used a piece of closed cell foam instead. As the original mat was quite small for a dual role sit mat, i made my foam 2x size and folded it to fit.
If you want to use a bladder and tube hydration system then this will fit into the mat compartment in place of the mat. (or it might take both, i havn’t tried it as i don’t use bladder systems)

1. Lid securing tags. I replaced the originals with the green tubing shown in Photo.2 These were made from a biro outer tube and are now very easy to undo with cold hands or with gloves on.
Photo. 2
2. I wanted an internal pocket so that i knew where my car keys, phone, wallet, small change etc would be and so i added a Pour and Store heavy duty sealed clear bag to the back panel. I secured it in place with 2 strips of self adhesive black velcro. (Photo’s 3 and 4)
 Photo 3.
Photo 4.
3. The next mod was for me the most important.
 The one good thing about the sack is it’s capacity to keep water out. However a draw back from this is that it also keeps water in, if it gets in.
This can arrive with the inclusion of your waterproofs. After it has stopped raining and you want to shed your outer layer you need somewhere to put the gear so that the jacket and over trousers will drain.
I decided to add shock cord or bungy cord as some name it so that i didn’t have to put them in the sack when wet. See (Photo 5)
Photo 5
The cord supports are bathroom/kitchen suction hooks purchased from Wilkinsons at a cost of £0.74p for 4. Secured to the sack with Araldite Rapid glue. The hook which is removable from the base was obviously removed so that the 3mm shock cord would pass through the holes.
The cord was from Cotswold Outdoors at £0.60 per metre and i used approx 1.5m here.

For anyone who wants to do a similar job using the same type of retainer as i have used. Ensure that the surface of the sucker is scoured with a rough sand paper otherwise the sucker will pull off.  (As i found out to my cost in time.)   Also, both the sack and the sucker needs to have glue applied to them.

That’s my mods so far. I hope others find this helpful.


Al said...

Good mods those, I have the Exped version and I'm going to give the internal pocket idea a try. Got to say it'd never occured to me! I'll let you know how it goes.

AlanR said...

Hi Al
I used Pour and store self sealing bags which are quite heavy duty and will last a long time with care. See link.
I got mine from Quality Save local shop. £0.75 for box of 8.
You won't have a problem installing it with velcro.

-maria- said...

Nice bags and good modifications! I was about to ask about the bag when I saw it on Sheila's bag in the pictures of your previous post.

I do some sewing and it is always a problem with the waterproof fabrics that you want to avoid unnecessary holes (which you would need to seal later on). I find the ways you did these mods (both the self adhesive velcro and the suction hooks) very clever.

AlanR said...

Hi Maria,
Thanks for your kind comments.
One of the main objectives of any mods was not to compromise the basic sack. If the mods didn't work then i still wanted the bag in a useable condition. So no cutting and no sewing.
I am pleased with the results and as usual, the mods don't cost too much money.
I am thinking of adding a couple of small mesh pockets next.

Unknown said...

Nice mods. Really like the internal pocket. Very useful. Thanks for sharing :)

AlanR said...

Appreciate your comments and for stopping bye.

Pete said...

Love the shock cord mod. I wish alpkit would add the compression cord from the G20 to the G25 and G30, but you've done it anyway!

Unknown said...

Nice mods, I was thinking of an internal pocket too to keep keys, sunglasses etc from dropping to the bottom of the bag. Thought I'd Google first to see if others had done it. I like how they don't compromise the bag.

AlanR said...

Thanks Pete, I find the mod very handy. Exped have done it on their small daysacks.

AlanR said...

Thanks Bealer. Glad you found it useful. Thanks as well for looking.

David said...

Did you ever add mesh pockets? If so, how? Cheers

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