Backpack Waist Strap DIY

Years ago we got a Camelbak backpack.  I don't remember the circumstances.  Did we buy it?  Get it as a gift?  I don't recall.  But, we pretty much immediately discarded the waist strap on it.  We didn't use the strap and it was always just dangling down getting in the way or tangled on things.

Now, years later, we regret that.  I have a waist pack (think: hard-core fanny back with side water bottle holder) for hikes.  Usually that is all we need to take.  However, on some longer day hikes we have found that we need a little more room (for snacks, extra water, extra clothing layer, etc)  than the waist pack permits.  So Matt wears his backpack--and wishes he had the waist strap to help put the weight of the load on his hips rather than shoulders, as well as to stabilize it side-to-side when moving on uneven terrain.

Matt looked up replacement parts for Camelbaks and found it was going to be about $10 to replace the strap.  But, I looked at it and figured we could fix it ourselves for a fraction of the price.  We found nylon strapping and a "parachute" buckle at Jo-Ann Fabric.  Using a couple 40% off coupons we secured the nessessary supplies for under four dollars.   I took them home and attached the strapping to the waist loop on the bag with a little zig-zag stitch, attached the buckles to the other end and voila!  We have our waist strap back again.
Before:  Empty waist loop on bag and strap and buckle from Jo-Ann Fabric.
After:  Waist loop on bag attached to strap with buckle.
It feels good testing it out around the house.  We're excited to put it to the test out in the woods soon.


  1. Yay for fixing it! This sewing thing is working out to be a real money saver and environmentally-friendly thing for you.

    I know how to sew, but unfortunately don't do enough of it. I occasionally cut off my son's too-short-but-still-fit-at-the-waist pants and hem them for new shorts for him. And we have a long hot season so this is a good thing, but really I don't use my sewing skills nearly enough. I need to make it more of a priority.

    I have a Camelbak and we bought one for my son, too. We bought them new. I still feel they were good investments. We hike a lot and use them when hiking in the summer time especially. I am glad you were able to make yours work again. :)

    1. They are very handy, aren't they!? And so it sewing, for that matter! I say as long as people have the basics and can mend or hem that is frequently all you need to know. So, hey, you've got a leg up on so many people. I still have a lot to learn, but I can certainly tell I've learned a lot already. The strap tested out in the field (in Yellowstone) just dandy!

  2. You ought to look at the way this lady did her sewing room. It might give you ideas. :)

    1. Thanks for the link, Cristy! What a lovely space to make things in. I should, at the very least, look into a wall mount for my thread....


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