View Full Version : Navigator/Marauder Pocket Attachment Tip

07-18-2006, 08:20 AM
As the regular readers of this forum may be aware , I received a new Navigator a month or two ago.
Since then I have been on several camps/hikes and my affection for my Navigator has only grown stronger.

However for me there has been a niggling annoyance the whole time. I suspect Marauder owners might have the same "problem" (though I have not tested my "solution" on a Marauder).

That annoyance was how best to attach pockets (Long Pockets in my case) to the side of the Navigator, and still allow:
<ul> the use of the compression straps - especially the side compression straps - or some other means to relieve the strain on the main panel zip a means to easily release the side compression straps without having to lift or roll the pack all external pockets to be easily and quickly removed and replaced the contents of all attached pockets to be easily accessable while the pockets are attached the panel to be easily opened with a minimum of buckles to undo[/list]

<a href="http://www.zeroniner.com//images/external_links/navigator_attachments/nav_bad_far_thumb" target="_blank">http://www.zeroniner.com//images/external_links/navigator_attachments/nav_bad_far_thumb (http://www.zeroniner.com//images/external_links/navigator_attachments/nav_bad_far.jpg)</a> <a href="http://www.zeroniner.com//images/external_links/navigator_attachments/nav_bad_close_thumb" target="_blank">http://www.zeroniner.com//images/external_links/navigator_attachments/nav_bad_close_thumb (http://www.zeroniner.com//images/external_links/navigator_attachments/nav_bad_close.jpg)</a>
(Click photos for Higher_Res versions)

The first and most obvious way to attach pockets is something like the method shown above.
The problems with this are:
<ul> when the pack is on the ground, panel up (which is after all one of the main attractions of a panel loader), you need to roll it over/lift the side to undo the side compression straps and open the main panel the main panel's zipper rain flap is pulled back/open by the strain of the pocket's attachment. compression straps being routed around the side pockets makes it that much harder to quickly remove the side pockets (or in the case of Side Zip Long Pockets, to access the contents of the pockets)[/list]

This technique also makes removing the side pockets more difficult as you need to release the side compression straps to get the pockets off.
Running the side compression straps under the pockets alleviates this, mkaing the removal of side mounted pockets faster and more convenient, but at the expense of making the opening and closing of the main panel even more painful.

A variation on this method is to connect the pocket's SR female to the main panel, and leave the main panel's compression strap undone and tucked out of the way.
This "fixes" the rain flap being pulled back, and still offers support for the main panel zip, but introduces 4 extra SR buckles to release when you want to open the main panel and means that there is no support for the main panel zip if you remove a pocket, unless you stop to employ the compression strap.

Clearly this method of attachment and its variants are sub optimal.

However by adding a female SR buckle to the same PALs colum that the pocket attachs to and using that to fasten the main panel's side compression straps to, you alleviate many of the problems illustrated above.
This should give you an arrangment like this:

<a href="http://www.zeroniner.com//images/external_links/navigator_attachments/nav_good_position_thumb" target="_blank">http://www.zeroniner.com//images/external_links/navigator_attachments/nav_good_position_thumb (http://www.zeroniner.com//images/external_links/navigator_attachments/nav_good_position.jpg)</a> <a href="http://www.zeroniner.com//images/external_links/navigator_attachments/nav_good_med_thumb" target="_blank">http://www.zeroniner.com//images/external_links/navigator_attachments/nav_good_med_thumb (http://www.zeroniner.com//images/external_links/navigator_attachments/nav_good_med.jpg)</a>

The main panel's zipper is supported by the main panel's compression straps (attached to the newly added SR females).
The panel can be opened by releasing only 6 SR buckles (2 at the top, and 2 on each side) - which is the same as if you had no pockets attached.
The side pockets can be removed and re-attached with only 4 SR buckles and the main panel zip rain flap is not pulled back by the stress of the side mounted pockets, as long as the main panel's compression straps are done up.

<a href="http://www.zeroniner.com//images/external_links/navigator_attachments/nav_good_close_thumb" target="_blank">http://www.zeroniner.com//images/external_links/navigator_attachments/nav_good_close_thumb (http://www.zeroniner.com//images/external_links/navigator_attachments/nav_good_close.jpg)</a> <a href="http://www.zeroniner.com//images/external_links/navigator_attachments/nav_good_far_thumb" target="_blank">http://www.zeroniner.com//images/external_links/navigator_attachments/nav_good_far_thumb (http://www.zeroniner.com//images/external_links/navigator_attachments/nav_good_far.jpg)</a>

You can then re-route the tail ends of the main panel's side compression straps through the D ring son the opposite side to which the side compression straps is fastened.

By doing this the tail end main panel's compression straps are easily accessable (but from the opposite side to that which they fasten), making it possible to tension them with relative ease, even with another pocket, such as an E&amp;E affixed to the back of the panel covering them, simpl;y by pulling on thier "tails".

<a href="http://www.zeroniner.com//images/external_links/navigator_attachments/nav_panel_open_thumb" target="_blank">http://www.zeroniner.com//images/external_links/navigator_attachments/nav_panel_open_thumb (http://www.zeroniner.com//images/external_links/navigator_attachments/nav_panel_open.jpg)</a>

And the main panel can still be opened without removing any pockets or undoing more than the original 6 SR buckles.

Another handy tip if you do not have a Cargo Chair is to cut a piece of closed cell sleeping mat foam ("ensolite") to fit in the main panel's internal pocket.
This stiffens the main panel some what mkaing it easier to manage with Lock 'n' Loads attached internally or other pockets attached externally.

It also gives you a nice handy little piece of insulation for sitting on at the halt, keeping hot food pots off the cold ground etc.

07-18-2006, 08:54 AM
I didn't consider those problems (since I've only had my Marauder for a few days) but I like what you did. I'm definately going to do that on my pack, thanks for the post.

07-18-2006, 09:19 AM
might i ask what your primary shelter is in that setup, and where it's stored?

07-18-2006, 10:05 AM
Glad you found the suggestion useful.


My shelter is an Aussie army Individual Shelter (aka a "hootchie" basically a military issue tarp tent).
It is stored in the the horizontally orientated Lock 'n' Load #7 pocket accross the very top of the pack's main section, along with a space blanket I use as a ground sheet.
The tent pegs (stakes) and cordage are in the one of the chambers on the inside of front panel.

07-18-2006, 05:28 PM
wow... that is some seriously ***y gear.

07-19-2006, 03:55 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Originally posted by nut_sak_himself:
wow... that is some seriously ***y gear. </div></div>Thanks Nut.

Unfortunately the only credit I can accept is for good taste.

I "blame" Mr. Smith


07-19-2006, 08:21 PM
what is that one column of pals webbing right on the inside... side... of the pack for; right next to the zipper?

07-20-2006, 06:55 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Originally posted by nut_sak_himself:
what is that one column of pals webbing right on the inside... side... of the pack for; right next to the zipper? </div></div>That is a custom mod I requested.
There is another at the base of the wall of the pack, hwehre the sides join the back. They extend from ewehre the sleeping bag section starts, all the way around the edge, like an upside down horseshoe.

This allows me to attach Lock 'n' Loads into the pack so that they are facing up when the pack is on it's back (like that one accross the very top in the last pic).

I also intended to make some sort of arrangment to hold in closed cell foam ('ensolite'), or perhaps soem thin plastic sheet, to give the pack walls some stiffening. At the moment I just have a 1" or so wide strip of that foam tucked vertically in behind at each "corner" of the main section which seems to do pretty well at holding the sides up.
The idea is to was to get an effect somewhat like Scott Cunningham did by adding slot pockets to his Marauder (http://forums.kifaru.net/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=000926;p=1#0000 51)

I also have a couple of PALs rows on top of the pack, which is how I have that claymore pouch attached.

Unfortuantely my understanding is that there is no more custom work being done at Kif now, so I think you'd need to get that sort of thing added by a third part now.