Saturday, August 9, 2014

What winning at storm collars looks like

I'm not the biggest fan of cinch top storm collars (also known as snow collars, shrouds, and probably something quaint in the UK) but probably my favorite design to date is the FILBE:

 It has a double row of draw cords (I could take or leave the bottom one) set in a doubled over layer of 200d uncoated packcloth. This allows for very smooth cinching with none of the bunching that can occur with coated fabric. For durability the grommets are set in a narrow strip of 500d Cordura.

The real magic is opposite the cordlocks, a slit was made and finished with edge binding (uncoated packcloth frays like nobodies business) that allows access into the very wide channel created by the doubled over packcloth. This makes repairs infinitely easier then the usual narrow channel that you have to thread your replacement cord through. Despite what I first thought the cord stays put at the top of the channel and never seems to wander around, or if it does it makes no difference when you go to cinch it up.

I'd bet money this is one of Mystery Ranch's design influences, because after the ALICE and MOLLE grommet-and-paracord closure failure I can safely say the US military couldn't come up with something this slick. I haven't looked at a Mystery Ranch pack up close so this could be a standard feature on MR top loaders that I am ignorant of, but regardless it's the way to be.

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