Also in test folder at
Integral Designs Silcoat Backpack - Initial Report
by Bill "AsABat" Jeffrey
Email: wjj2001 "at" yahoo "dot" com
June 1, 2005
Tester Personal Biographical Information
47 year old male, 6'4" (193 cm) tall, 225 pounds (90 kg)
San Diego County, California
Email: wjj2001 "at" yahoo "dot" com
I have over 30 years backpacking experience, starting with Scouting
as a youth. I am currently the High Adventure Leader for a Scout
Troop. I try to get out once or twice a month, plus at least one week-
long trek each year. My trips are of two types. First, I am hiking
the Pacific Crest Trail in sections, and generally use a lightweight
approach on these typically solo trips. Other trips involving family
involve more traditional backpacking equipment. Terrain varies from
sea level to 14,000 feet (4,300 m), desert to mountain, and trail to
cross country, occasionally including snow travel.
This is the first of three reports of the Integral Designs Silcoat
Backpack and is based solely on inspection at home. Future reports
will describe my experiences with the backpack over two and then six
Made by Integral Designs (http://www.integraldesigns.com), this
backpack is a stuff sack that doubles as a small day pack.
The backpack arrived stuffed in its integrated stuff sack that
doubles as an inside pack pocket, along with a single-sided card
describing the product and a catalog. The MSRP is US $50.
Most of the backpack is made of grey silicon-impregnated ripstop
nylon (that Integral Designs calls "Silcoat"). The back of the pack
is black 200 denier pack cloth with a waterproof coating on the
inside, while the bottom is two layers of silnylon. The top has a
typical drawstring closure backed by a simple flap. The drawstring is
reinforced with a grommet and small patch of pack cloth, and includes
a toggle lock.
The pack measures 18 inches (46 cm) tall from the bottom of the hip
belt to the bottom of the drawstring tunnel. The width of the pack
cloth back panel is 9 inches (23 cm). Integral Designs states the
pack capacity is 25 liters (1,500 cu in), with a limit of 12 pounds
(5 kg). They do not recommend carrying sharp objects or using the
pack to haul gear up rock faces, as the lightweight fabric is thin.
Inside the top of the pack is a pocket approximately 6 inches (15 cm)
square, which can hold small items when used as a pack and otherwise
serves as the pack's stuff sack.
The two shoulder straps are made of 2-inch (5 cm) nylon webbing with
3/4-inch (2 cm) ladder-lock adjustments. The distance between the top
and bottom shoulder strap attachments is 12 inches (30 cm), and the
tops of the straps are 4.75 inches (12 cm) apart.
A tunnel sewn into the lower end of the back cloth panel contains a 1-
inch (2.5 cm) nylon web belt with a buckle. The belt is easily
removed from the pack by simply sliding it out of the fabric tunnel.
The stated weight of the pack 4.5 ounces (125g). I measured the pack
at 4.6 ounces (131 g) with the belt and 3.6 ounces (104 g) without.
Initial Impression: The pack makes double use of a stuff sack by
allowing it to also function as a small day pack while away from
camp. The pack, while very light in weight, is very well constructed,
with double stitched and flat-felled seams without loose fabric ends.
The pack rides very high on my 22-inch (56 cm) torso and the belt,
when fastened, goes directly across my chest like a sternum strap
would. I will not be using the belt. As I often do with other day
packs, it is likely I will often find it just tossed over one
Next: Initial testing will be on a week-long backpack in the
mountains of Southern California. Elevations will range from 700 to
at near 10,000 feet (200 to 3,000 meters). The weather could be
anything from a warm and dry 85 degrees F (30 C) to a pleasant 30 F (-
1 C). I expect wind and anticipate rain.
I will test the pack as a stuff sack inside my regular overnight
backpack, and see how it may be used on short day hikes from camp or
down to a water source. Testing will include:
Comfort of the pack against my back and fit of the shoulder straps.
Pack capacity to carry jackets and water bottles comfortably.
Ease of storage and access to cargo.
Waterproofness of the fabric, top closure, and seams.
Durability, resistance to snages and abrasions, and seam integrity.