DIY Disc Golf Backpack

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DIY Disc Golf Backpack

Postby Steve » Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:37 pm

This is a write up showing how to build your own disc golf backpack using an internal frame hiking backpack made by Swiss Gear. I will walk you through how to build and assemble the frame and the pros and cons that I have found through personal usage. I have sold a couple of these to some local guys as well and will include the feedback I have received from them as well. If you are wanting one of these packs but do not care to make it yourself I have bought some surplus packs I am willing to build and sell.

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The Backpack:

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The first thing you will need is a Swiss Gear internal frame backpack. These are no longer in production from what I have seen but can still be found online if you look hard enough. They come in blue, green, orange and red. The bag has a large bottom pocket that will house the main disc compartment. It also includes a large top compartment with a zippered divider and is set up to accept a hydration bladder(Camelback). The top compartment will carry a soft sided cooler or extra discs and larger gear. On each side of the top compartment is a side pocket. These are great for smaller gear items you may need to carry on the course.

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The shoulder straps are completley adjustable to get the custom fit you need to stay comfortable and the back panel is padded for comfort and allows airflow as well. This bag can get heavy when fully loaded and it is still comfortable. The hiking backpack comes with an adjustable waist belt. I cut this belt off as it is clumsy and hard seems to get in the way. Scissors will remove it easily. There is also a sternum strap that seems to help keep the shoulder straps properly located on your shoulders. I really like the sternum strap but it can be removed easily too.

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There are compression straps on the side of the pack with quick release snap buckles. I use mine to carry my camptime stool or to strap jackets to in the fall and spring. This keeps room available inside the pack.

The bag has two mesh drink holders. One on each side of the pack. I can grab my drinks from the holders with the bag on.

The Frame:
I built the frame out of PVC pipe. It is inserted into the pack by unzipping the top-bottom divider and sliding it down into the bottom section. It is held into place by zipping the divider back up. It will hold 15-16 discs depending on how many are drivers and mids. I carry 4 mids, 6 fairways and six distance drivers in mine. You must keep it mostly full (13-14 discs)to keep the discs from falling out or keep them in the top compartment. I take out 1-3 discs at a time and have never had a spill-out but any less discs and you will need to be careful. It is easy to get the discs in and out of the bag by sliding them in and out of thier respective slots and the fabric tension will hold them in place and secure.

Building the frame:

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You will need the following
2 - 7" long 1/2" pvc pipes
4 - 6.5" long 3/4" pvc pipes
4 - 4" long 3/4" pvc pipes
4 - 3/4 to 3/4 to 1/2 threaded pvc corner pieces
4 - 1/2 threaded to 1/2 slip connecter
4 - 3/4 90 degree elbows

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The first step is to assemble the corners. Just thread the 1/2 adapter into the threaded socket of the corner piece and tighten firmly. You will want to sand or file down any rough edges that may wear out the fabric.

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Then just assemble all the remaining pieces till they look like the picture. I use a hammer to tap the pieces together. You can glue them into place or just leave them tapped together. The frame is so strong I can stand on the top tubes of the frame without it being glued together and I weigh 200 pounds (not recomended to try at home). After the frame is built just slip it into the pack and zip it up and you are all set.

Folding the pockets:

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To make the putter pocket I just fold over the front side organizer pocket and tuck it in. This makes a great place to put two or three putters. I also tuck the bottom pocket in over the frame and under the discs. This keeps it from flapping around and off the ground. If you need to store the bag and discs for travel it is easy enough to pull out and zip up the pockets.

Pros:
Carries 16-19 discs plus tons of extra room for a cooler or other gear
Two mesh drink holders
Comfortable enough for long tournament days
Set up for a hydration bladder (not included)
Very adjustable for any size person
Easy to keep organized
Stands up on its own even on slight inclines
High quality construction and a ten year manufacturers limited warranty (may be voided by modifying)
Easy to take on and off each time you have to throw
Nice padded top handle for carrying it with
Compression straps for extra capacity

Cons:
Bottom compartment needs to be close to full (13-14 discs) or they can fall out
The bigger the bag the more you will carry if you are not careful
Can get top heavy and tipsy when carrying a cooler or heavy gear in top and can tip over on hills
Zipper pulls can come loose ( I replaced mine with a keychain and a 1/2" washer to pull on which can be seen in the first pic on the right side)

Bags for sale:
I have a couple of these bags for sale if you are to lazy to build your own or can't find them. They are $80 plus shipping and come in Blue, Orange, Red, and Green. Please PM me if you are interested. Thanks, Steve

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Re: DIY Disc Golf Backpack

Postby BLURR » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:21 am

I have seen some of Steve's bag setups up close while trading plastic...it's a pretty slick bag. A guy in one of our leagues carries one and loves it.
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Re: DIY Disc Golf Backpack

Postby DiscZombie » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:12 am

Very nice, Steve. Although Swiss Gear does nothing for our sport. I want to put my money into the sport that gave me the love.
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Re: DIY Disc Golf Backpack

Postby Steve » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:32 am

DiscZombie wrote:Very nice, Steve. Although Swiss Gear does nothing for our sport. I want to put my money into the sport that gave me the love.


I assure you that I reinvest the money back into disc golf gear and I even donate time and money to my local club (Des Moines Disc Golf Club). I do see your point about keeping the money in the sport but how much of each bag purchase goes back to your local scene? You could always take the money you save making your own bag ($50-$100) and donate it straight to your local club or league.
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Re: DIY Disc Golf Backpack

Postby jubuttib » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:45 am

Where are they available now? I've spent hours searching for those and got nothing. Swiss Gear can be found, but not that model. Not knowing the model name makes it even more difficult.
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Re: DIY Disc Golf Backpack

Postby floatserv » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:59 am

I did a google search for<Swiss Gear internal frame backpack>

From the looks of it, this maybe it on amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Swiss-Gear-Intern ... B000V0H480

and similarly on Ebay - http://compare.ebay.com/like/3503016348 ... 602_263632
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Re: DIY Disc Golf Backpack

Postby jubuttib » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:05 am

I last searched for it a few months ago, the words "internal frame backpack" weren't mentioned then so I couldn't find it. eBay sucks though, nobody ships to Europe. =P

Well, I've got a backpack now, so it's a moot point.
Parks wrote:If the posts on this forum are any indication, the PD is like a Teebird with sunshine coming out of its butthole so hard that it flies faster.
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Re: DIY Disc Golf Backpack

Postby Steve » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:06 am

jubuttib wrote:Where are they available now? I've spent hours searching for those and got nothing. Swiss Gear can be found, but not that model. Not knowing the model name makes it even more difficult.

I bought most of mine from ebay but they only have green ones left. Some places call it the "Neuchatel" I have searched online and have not found much. I just call it a "Swiss Gear internal frame hiking pack" when I search. I wish I had an unlimited supply of these bags but I don't. I will try to get an accurate count on how many of each color I have posted up soon.

There is a newer style bag that I have not tried yet but looks similar. It is the "Jaeger" also made by swiss gear. I will try building one of these after I sell the first bag to see if it is the right size. I have found those for around $75 Shipped from online retailers.

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Re: DIY Disc Golf Backpack

Postby jubuttib » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:14 am

When I was searching for a backpack I found that it's REALLY DAMN HARD to find one with a bottom compartment big enough for ~15 discs (even harder if you want a frame) AND has a zipper top, not a hood with clips. In Europe/Finland at least. And when I found one that was even close to that it cost like 120€. Luckily I finally found a 40€ backpack that can fit 13 discs (3 large diameter mids, 2 small diameter mids and 8 drivers) in the bottom and then just made a putter pocket for 3 putters on the top. Two safety pins to stop the zippers from opening completely were enough to keep the discs from dropping accidentally.
Parks wrote:If the posts on this forum are any indication, the PD is like a Teebird with sunshine coming out of its butthole so hard that it flies faster.
Anode|ION|JOKERi|MD2|FD|TD|PD|LEGENDa
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Re: DIY Disc Golf Backpack

Postby Steve » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:26 pm

Here are some more pics of the pack.

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Re: DIY Disc Golf Backpack

Postby elnino » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:47 pm

DiscZombie wrote:Very nice, Steve. Although Swiss Gear does nothing for our sport. I want to put my money into the sport that gave me the love.


Is this kind of a joke. i heard that revolution had to stop making discs...now they can "only" make bags. u think making your own backpack is a bad idea??? that is fine but weird.
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Re: DIY Disc Golf Backpack

Postby anntaylor » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:34 am

the 1st three bags are looking great, if i buy 3 of them then how much u give discount?
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Re: DIY Disc Golf Backpack

Postby Steve » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:09 pm

anntaylor wrote:the 1st three bags are looking great, if i buy 3 of them then how much u give discount?


PM sent

I still have some of these for sale if anyone is interested.
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Re: DIY Disc Golf Backpack

Postby floatserv » Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:53 pm

I bought one and although I have only played a couple of rounds with it, I like it.
I am experimenting with a couple tweaks.
For the putter pouch I have actually opened the vertical zipper and put two putters in there. Not sure if I like this better than the way shown or not.

I also Think I want to get a stiff light weight piece of plastic to sit on top of the frame so there isn't as much pushing down on discs making it easier to pull discs out.
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Re: DIY Disc Golf Backpack

Postby Losman1 » Tue May 17, 2011 6:57 pm

The bags look awesome I'm interested in buying a bag from you! How much are they and what colors are available?
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