Monday, February 29, 2016

Savotta Retkilaukku 16 upgrades

Here are the upgrades I recently made to the Savotta Retkilaukku 16 - haversack. Mainly the shoulder strap, because the original one was just silly!

 I bought all the supplies from Varusteleka for around 10€. All the sewing was made on my Singer Heavy-duty 4423 sewing machine. It took me all in all 15min to complete the upgrades.

Theese upgrades could of course be done on any shoulder bag!

- 3m of  green heavy duty 40mm webbing strap, milspec rated av 1200kg and above
- 4 itw nexus triglides, milspec(-50 to +60 degrees, over 150 kg...)
- 2 itw nexus quick release buckles milspec(-50 to +60 degrees, over 150 kg...)
- 1 german army(Bundeswhere) surplus strap padding

What I did was:

1. remove the original strap that was a ca 80cm long an 20mm wide webbing strap sewn into place at one end and adjustable at the other with a metal triglide.
2. Cut 2 25 cm long pieces of the 40mm strap
3. Sew the 25cm straps to the bag, one at each side. I used a straight stitch, 2mm, and sewed "a box" with a "cross" and then reinforced the stitching with a tight zigzag at the top and bottom of "the box"(see picture). I used a standard all-round foot for the machine and a jersey needle.
4. Cut the main strap to roughly 130cm
5. Attach the QR-buckles to the straps on the bag with triglides and to the main strap.
6. I burned all the ends with a cigarette lighter to keep them from unthreading
7. Place the padding on the strap
8. adjust the straps and voila: done!

With the hardware I used the stitching or the bag will break before any of the straps or plastic parts.

"the box" from the outside

"the box" from inside

Strap  and hardware configuration 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Savotta Retkilaukku 16

Here is a short overview of the Savotta Retkilaukku 16 - haversak or shoulder bag. I've had this bag for a while now and in this short video I post some thoughts and observations.

The bag has a capacity of about 16 litres and the approx. dimensions are: 40cm x 25cm x 10cm. The bag is made of sturdy waxed cotton and features a webbing shoulder strap. The bag can hold: a guide book, waterbottle, notebook, knife, puffy jacket, binoculars and odds and ends. Perfect for a day hike. I mainly use it for birdwatching and EDC.

Two things that I dislike about the bag:

The shoulder strap: it is made from 20mm webbing. It is absolutely too thin and starts to dig in to my shoulder quickly. Also it is too short, only about 70cm. Due to this the bag rides a bit too high for my liking, just above my waist. The strap is not removable. I think I will upgrade the strap to a 40mm strap with quick release buckles.

The quick release buckles that close the bag are high quality, but there is no way to adjust the lid. The length of the strap holding the buckles is fixed.