Author Topic: If you were to make your own caving bag....  (Read 1916 times)

Offline JWright

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If you were to make your own caving bag....
« on: November 02, 2020, 07:35:58 am »
What features would you give it?

UK Caving

If you were to make your own caving bag....
« on: November 02, 2020, 07:35:58 am »
Warmbac

Offline Badlad

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2020, 07:58:30 am »
Lightweight and indestructible would be good - very similar to Petzl classics over the decades.  I guess the big question for me is always going to be -  with or without drain holes.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2020, 08:16:40 am »
I would make it exactly like the red and black Lizard bags which that genius Dave Elliott used to produce. These fit 2 x 6 litre Daren drums perfectly or a 12 litre diving cylinder. And yes, drain holes for wet caving. (No point lifting water unnecessarily and I can't think of any real disadvantage.)

Offline PeteHall

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2020, 09:01:28 am »
Sounds like a Warmbac Daren Cilau tackle sack, Pitlamp: http://www.warmbac.com/listing_tacklebags.php

Probably the best tackle sack out there, other than when you need something smaller  :)
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2020, 09:12:09 am »
The Lizard bag had aluminium D rings at the top rather than fiddly tape loops. It also had a very well designed base, which made it last a long time. The bag you flagged up Pete does look very similar in many ways - but the shoulder strap adjusters look less convenient to adjust.

Actually, if I was in need of more tackle bags at the moment, I think I'd go for one or two of those!

Online Ian Ball

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2020, 09:34:49 am »
I would have a circular bag with drain holes, reinforced base, high shoulder strap attachment and adjustable straps, d shaped metal hauling loop away, handle on base and side, max diameter 25cm, no more than 30 litres volume.
This is mostly from using a Landjoff 33HW bag.  The base fails first, the bag seems a little too wide and big so you really get one heavy bag to carry when it's full.  The integrated non twist hauling system always gets in the way and the shoulder straps seem to always be under a knee when crawling. 
Having used a few bags, Warmbac, Beast, Daleswear, Petzl, Landjoff, Lyon and even the Lomo, I would say the one I like the most is the Petzl classique, but I'm too cheap to buy one.  The Landjoff has the fabulous addition of a waist belt which makes a big difference on a long walk in, but I would say a rucksack would be even better and if you bought the slightly shorter 28l then perhaps it wouldn't necessary anyway.

Offline mrodoc

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2020, 09:36:12 am »
Best bag I have ever had is a Swaygo. If somebody could make a version as good and tough in the UK they would do really well. I bought one in the US a few years back. Because of its ergonomic design it can be worn in all but the lowest passages (I can get to Frozen Deep in Resevoir Hole without removing it). The design also allows it to be towed without snagging eg I have pulled one through the Long Crawl in DYO trailing it behind me with no problem. That size carries my Canon G12 and 4 flashes in two boxes. Oh and it is an excellent buoyancy aid having an Ortlieb style closure. It was all I needed to get me across all the lakes in Hundidero Gato a couple of years ago (the inflatable rings we took were useless).

Offline PeteHall

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2020, 09:48:42 am »
The Lizard bag had aluminium D rings at the top rather than fiddly tape loops.

I thought the Daren Cilau bag had a metal loop to be honest, but it doesn't appear to from the pictures. The 100m bag is basically the same size but a bit less tough. It does have a stainless D ring at the top though.

While at uni, I found a manufacturer selling bags for tree surgeons that looked a lot like caving bags. I got a sample (which seemed good) and sent dimensions for various size bags and it worked out about half the price of Warmbac and made to measure. Unfortunately the bags lasted less than half as long though, so a false economy in the end...

If anyone is serious about making a new range of caving bags, the key thing will be longevity, then price. If you can't make something that lasts as long or longer than what's out there already for considerably less money, I can't see it taking off.
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Online Wardy

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2020, 09:53:12 am »
A well known caving cartoonist mastered the Helium bag in the mid eighties
Whilst a little frustrating for others with a heavier bag, the concept was genius
It would also include a "voice pitch" warning system in case of leaks to warn you that things were about to get harder

Offline andrewmc

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2020, 10:16:45 am »
My go-to bag is the Petzl 30l bag (because I like to drag too many things around, apparently) with a 45l bag for bigger trips - the material is pretty tough (as long as the contents are padded); the clip-in point is fabric but seems very robust, and the bag keeps water out pretty well (no drain holes for me). The lid does get a bit destroyed in time but that doesn't actually really matter. I am wearing out the bottom of my older 45l bag slowly though - but they can be repaired (boat adhesive glue and PU-coated nylon patches; they aren't PVC). The waist strap on the 45l bag is also great when you can carry it on your back heavily loaded for walking caves or long walk-ins. You can get 200m+ of 9mm in one.

Two things are very annoying about the bag though...
1) for most dragging they are fine, but for dragging when full in rocky passages they always roll over so the off-centre attachment point is at the top and then they tend to dive into every obstruction... it should be possible to construct something to incorporate extra bits of cord or something to make it drag better by running them through the tightening cord holes.
2) (the really annoying one) for me, they wear through at the base of the shoulder straps where they are attached to the bag, and it is a bugger to fix (on the 30l you have to sew onto a patch and glue on, on the 45l it's very hard to fix). You never need to adjust down that far, so if you get some fat tubular webbing, and slide it over the straps and glue in place you can protect the connection from abrasion (you need to cut out a bit of the webbing where the strap attaches to the bag so it is covered).

also the fact that they are very expensive :O
For warm tropical caving though, the 45l bag is great :)

I have the 15l Petzl, which is nice, but I don't like the built-in donkey, erm, appendage - it's short and very thin. I'd rather have had a robust clip-in loop and use my own. It looks like the 22l bag has the same bit of cord?

Incidentally, all the Petzl bags are made without drain holes, and you can be free of the tyranny of drain holes if you ask someone (such as the sponsors of this forum) nicely. I assume you could also get Warmbac bags without the hole but they might need to be specially ordered or something?

Online Fjell

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2020, 10:29:08 am »
Ladies of some refinement prefer Petzl Classique in my experience.


Offline Tseralo

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2020, 04:33:57 pm »
I really like the AV 25L, 35L and 45L comfort. The TSG have several 25s and 35s and they are our go-to for ropey trips. They seem to have held up to almost weekly use for a few years now. The 45 is very good to put a heavy Peli 1200 in, a pair on 7s or a single 12L cylinder, and carry for long-distance due to the waistband.

Offline cavemanmike

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2020, 08:40:39 pm »
I quite like the beast mummy off Tony seddon.
Dragged it all over the place and

Offline PeteHall

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2020, 09:06:58 pm »
I quite like...

Not a phrase I would ever use in relation to a tackle bag. Tackle B@$t@rd more like!

Wardy's mention of an anti-grav bag sounds more likable. Perhaps somene can invent an anti-grav Tardis bag, that weighs nothing when full, holds 200m of rope and fits in your oversuit pocket?  :thumbsup:
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Offline JWright

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2020, 09:11:53 pm »
The reason I as Is because i have a sewing machine and some cordura and, perhaps stupidly, thought: how hard could it be?
I have made 4 caving bags so far with each one getting better.
Some features I have added:
- Carabiner loop at top (but i like the idea of a metal d ring that some people are suggesting)
- Drain hole in the bottom
- Adjustable shoulder straps
- Carry hand down the back between the shoulder straps

They are all cylindrical. I think the bases need more work. It is really difficult to get the size of the fabric right to sew into it.
You have all made me think about how to reinforce the base....

Offline JWright

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2020, 09:13:04 pm »
Just noticed a suggestion of a base carry handle and a waist strap. Is that a popular idea?

Offline PeteHall

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2020, 10:17:45 pm »
I have made 4 caving bags so far with each one getting better.
You'll have to share some pictures  :thumbsup:

Carry handle on the base is really useful for dragging through narrow crawls and also for tipping the water out a bit quicker; definitely worth including if you can.

Likewise metal D-ring is a useful feature. I think I've got quite a few of these knocking about from dead tackle sacks, so PM me if you want a couple posted.

Just a thought, if you are doing this for your own use, why bother with the cylindrical base? If you just sew the base flat (like a beast bag?) when it wears out, you could just re-sew it an inch higher up and keep on going until eventually you end up with a rigging bag... You might have to re-sew the straps each time, but it would be a lot less faff than making or repairing a base for a cylindrical bag.
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Offline ZombieCake

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2020, 01:02:37 am »
I believe that the best bag comes equipped with its own porter.

Offline JoshW

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2020, 09:36:56 am »
Just noticed a suggestion of a base carry handle and a waist strap. Is that a popular idea?

base carry handles I find very useful for caving in UK caves with 20-30L tackle sacks. personally only time I've found waist straps helpful is for either caves with long walk ins or with caves where you don't need to remove the bag regularly - mostly in asia. Otherwise it just becomes another strap to get caught on something.

Offline MJenkinson

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2020, 10:25:11 am »
I really like my Warmbac Huatla which is an oval base 35l.  My only experience of cylindrical bags are some club meander bags which are a pain in the ass to pack. The Huatla is arguably a bit more snaggy but if a cave is small enough that the shape of a bag makes that much of a difference - I am unlikely to be in it!

My list of requirements

Tough
Drain holes
A metal ring on top is nice as opposed to just a fabric loop
A nice little pocket on inside for small bits
Shoulder strap adjusters at the top - why oh why are the Huatla ones at the base of the sack - absolute PITA
Clip loop on inside for rigging tackle / crabs etc

Online Ian Ball

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2020, 12:29:34 pm »
The cylindrical shape is better for cylinders and bdhs etc.

I have a waist belt on the 33l sack I got from Landjoff and it's great, it is detachable which is a benefit.  I generally leave it at a cave entrance though.

Interestingly the design of the Landjoff bag has changed with the later versions and it's all for the better.

the straps used to go through the bottom drain holes as a way of secure them, it means the straps are really long and often you knelt on them when crawling.  the new bag has pvc fins with a drain hole eyelet in which the strap is secured to.  It also allows the waist belt to be attached to the bag via little duffel coat like toggles rather than the original style where webbing was threaded through the lowest side drain hole eyelets.  fine to start with as you have an empty bag, thread in the belt and fill up the bag, then slide it out at the cave, but on the way home you have to pretty much empty the bag to reattach the belt. 

The base also has piping around the edge to protect it a little more.  It means the Landjoff bag is no longer ludicrously good value as the postage from Bulgaria makes them the same price as buying a bag from a UK manufacturer but I like the one I have.  Not to plug them any more but if your club sets up an account with them (and you can use a members details and they just assign the club account to it) there is a ten percent discount.

However having just had a look, the postage costs more than buying a bag as they are only sending via courier.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2020, 12:37:21 pm »
Does anyone remember those "Bomb Proof" tackle bags that were around for a while? Tough as nails but made from black tractor tyre rubber evidently, so very heavy. Great for resistance training before expeditions!

I wonder if these are still made, for other markets?

Offline MJenkinson

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2020, 01:44:32 pm »
The cylindrical shape is better for cylinders and bdhs etc.

That depends on what you are carrying - for example I can get 2 x 3s in my Huatla - I can only get one in the cylindrical bags the club has. But horses for courses of course.

Offline JWright

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2020, 10:38:28 am »
SO these are some bags I've made for climbing shoes. Idea is that you put your approach shoes and a belay jacket in there, strap it round your waist. Then at the top you have your shoes to put back on. Might be useful for caving?

Offline JWright

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2020, 10:41:02 am »
And these are the bags I've made for my fiends with the idea of caving. There is a drainage hole in the bottom and after I made these I made one with adjustable shoulder straps.

Online Ian Ball

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #25 on: November 07, 2020, 12:34:48 pm »
They look the business

Offline JWright

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2020, 01:30:28 pm »
My only worry is that they aren't as tough and long standing as I would like them to be. I guess only time will tell...

Offline PeteHall

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2020, 08:48:18 pm »
If you can fix them yourself (and enjoy making/ fixing kit) it doesn't really matter if they don't last as long as something else.

Anyway, right now, everything is lasting much longer than usual! Perhaps the only good thing to come of this lockdown...
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Offline JWright

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2020, 09:47:11 am »
So I think I have made in the region of 15 bags now. Every iteration gets better and better. The next bag to make is going to have the handle and loop as 1 piece of webbing. (My friend Joe suggested it)
Here are some pictures!

Online Ian Ball

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2020, 12:28:47 pm »
They look the business

Offline jcarter5826

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #30 on: December 29, 2020, 08:40:11 am »
Having the handle as one piece of webbing running up the length of the bag is the way to go. Look here:

https://jcarter5826.wixsite.com/johnshomebuiltstuff/caving-rope-bag-1


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Offline MinimalMayhem

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #31 on: December 29, 2020, 08:57:45 am »
Having the handle as one piece of webbing running up the length of the bag is the way to go. Look here:

https://jcarter5826.wixsite.com/johnshomebuiltstuff/caving-rope-bag-1


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OT I know, but I’m loving the cartwinder on your site


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Offline PeteHall

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Re: If you were to make your own caving bag....
« Reply #32 on: December 29, 2020, 10:17:52 pm »
Thanks very much to JWright for the bag (picture 2/3 from his post above). It's been put through its paces, but after a quick scrub in the bucket (after I'd broken the ice off) it's looking pretty much like new!

I would echo John's advice regarding the webbing for the side handle. I think that this does most of the work when the going is tough, so it's worth putting in the extra effort to strengthen this.

Also, for the benefit of anyone else making their own bag, make sure to leave a bit of slack for the cord through the eyelets, or it has a tendency to jam up when muddy...

The distance between stupidity and genius is measured only by success.

 

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