Making My Own Backpack

michelle on top of a mountain, overlooking the viewThis is a backpack I made for the Ripstop By The Roll Maker Sponsorship back in 2022.

This pack was designed specifically to take on my hike up to Half Dome (spoiler alert – I did not finish this pack before my hike), so I wanted it to be large and comfy enough to carry all the food and water for the hike, have a clip for my keys, the side pockets had to be large enough for my Nalgene water bottle, and just for fun – I wanted to create a camera mount mechanism so that I could record my climb up the cables hands-free. I also designed it to include a removable hip belt. so that it could be my everyday work bag.

Most of my materials were sourced from Ripstop By the Roll, but some of the buckles, colored grosgrain and velcro were from Rockywood Fabrics.

details of the hip strap

Here is the list of materials I used to make the pack...


  • 1 ft ⅛” spacer mesh
  • 1 yd of 600D Airwave, custom printed pattern
  • 1 yd of 600D Airwave, custom printed half green & and half brown
  • 1 yd of 210 Robic Ripstop Nylon, black
  • Note: I had plenty of fabric leftover, but these are the amounts that I ordered to make sure I had enough room for mistakes and redo’s


  • 2 yds ¾” grosgrain, green
  • 6 yds 1” grosgrain, green
  • 16” ½” grosgrain, green
  • 12” ¾” grosgrain, brown
  • 1yd of 1” grosgrain, brown
  • 5 yds ¾” webbing (black)
  • 2 yds 1” webbing (black)


  • 2 ¾” buckles
  • ¾” sternum buckle
  • 2 sternum buckle adjuster
  • 1” dual adjust buckle
  • 4 ¾” tri-glide buckles
  • 6 cord locks
  • 1” swivel hook
  • 14” zipper, green
  • 2 10” zippers, green


  • 2 yds ⅛” shock cord
  • 10” 1” velcro, hook & loop
  • 12" paracord

back of backpackfront of backpack How I built the pattern

I sketched out the general design on my iPad and eventually refined the pattern pieces using Adobe Illustrator. A lot of the designing happened throughout the build as I cut out different shapes and test sewed parts until I was happy with them. I looked at packs that I liked for inspiration and studied them to help me construct my own. Also, sewing with a backpack pattern (link) previously gave me a lot of insight on how to put a hiking backpack together.

Things I would change
Next time I would create larger pockets and use some sort of fold over elastic to cinch the top of the pocket, instead of the shock cord method that I used here. I don't mind the way I did it, but it would be easier to throw a bottle in without having to adjust the cord.

I love the top rollover pocket, but it can quickly get too heavy if I overstuff it. I think the addition of a large front pocket would help better organize the pack. I also wish I added some sort of grosgrain ribbon or tab near the zipper of the top rollover pocket so that I have something to grab on to while I open and close the zipper. But that one is no biggie.

Other than that, I’m super happy with the finished product! I can’t wait to take it on many more adventures. Have any questions about making your gear? Feel free to ask them below!

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