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Thread: Add rails loops to existing bag

  1. #1
    Registered User snowbot's Avatar
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    Add rails loops to existing bag

    I know that a few of you have said that you've modified an existing bag to work with the cache on rails system. I want to do this with my original-style cadet, but I don't have any bags with rails capability to base the modification on. I would love it if people posted photos that show how long the loops should be and how high up on the bag I should put them.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    snowbot

    I am just about to start to retrofit rail loops to my older TB bags. From what I can see, the length of the rail loops are the same as they are for the TB backpack waist straps. Basically, the loops just need to have enough space to fit the gatekeeper clips on. As confirmed by the TB crew, the rail loop webbing is 1" wide, 7" apart on those bags that accommodate horizontal caches (e.g. Tristar, Cadet and Pilot) and are centred in the bag.

    I am going to sew the webbing onto the thick interior seam in my Tri-Star (so are not to cause problems with water resistance). The same should be able to be done for your cadet. Below is a picture someone posted of the rail loops in their Tristar.

    http://www.tombihn.com/forums/attach...ls-photo-2.jpg

    Hope this helps

    I recall reading that the there is some play with the spacing between the loops - so being slightly off should not be a problem. I will post a few pictures when done unless someone else has some pictures already of their work.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 02-16-2014 at 10:46 PM.
    Zephyr/SA/BB/Co-Pilot (Black/Black/Steel), S25/WF/TS/A45/Pilot/Cadet (Black/Iberian), DLBP (French Blue), Ego (Black/Black/Steel with Indigo Stripe), CPF (Black/Indigo/Steel), EB (Black/Steel/Steel), Vertical & Horizontal Brain Cells, Vertical and Horizontal FS, Camera I/O, PCBP/PCSB/TT (400d Nordic), SE (Black/Iberian), Lead's Pocket (Black), Tall YSS (Iberian)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowbot View Post
    I know that a few of you have said that you've modified an existing bag to work with the cache on rails system. I want to do this with my original-style cadet, but I don't have any bags with rails capability to base the modification on. I would love it if people posted photos that show how long the loops should be and how high up on the bag I should put them.

    Thanks in advance.
    @Snowbot I had a chance to see the new horizontal cache with rails for the first time when my Pilot arrived. One of the things I realized is that I don't actually have to cut off anything from the webbing rails in the original style Cadet (15/13 size) to make it work with the new Cache with Rails. There are probably neater ways to do this, but all I had to do was clip something near the top of the webbing rails that were sewn (at the top and bottom ends of the webbing) to the inside of the original style Cadet, in order to stop the polycarbonate slider ends of the Gatekeeper rail clips from sliding down past that point. Of course, if you cut the webbing to entirely remove the bottom length, and end the top part of the webbing in a sewn loop, that's another way of preventing the slider ends of the Gatekeeper rail clips from moving any further down.

    If you want to modify your old style Cadet to work like the new ones, and you want to cut and sew up the rails, then the loops at the top end (below the zipper) are sized to allow you to just thread one of the 5/8 inch wide keystraps or handle loops through them. That's the size in my (vertical) Synapse 25 and in my new (horizontal) Pilot. What I did as an experiment was simply attach either an Annex clip or a web dominator clip to the rail, then experiment with hooking in the Gatekeeper rail clips above this point. You can do this yourself to check the position of the webbing loop. By the way, I've only tested this with 13" MacBook or MacBook Air caches.

    I don't plan to cut the rails on my Cadet, but I might look for neater and smaller attachment clips to use. First of all, I have the horizontal caches with Rails that were designed for the (original) Cadet. These earlier caches used denser foam and a smoother and more tightly woven exterior that I prefer. They also fit better if I want to use a cache for the 13" MacBook Pro (as opposed to the 13" MacBook Air or Retina MacBook Pro). The same caches can be used in my Imagos or Synapse 19 (pre-rail models). I see no reason to cripple the existing Cadet rails if I can use them with both kinds of caches. I might look for a neater clip solution, though. These kinds of clips seem to abound in Tactical Supply Stores.

    Will try to post some pictures of the above. For a very good set of pictures showing the rail design and setup, see the pictures that Sid O'Neill took of the inside of his (Black/Solar Smart Alec). The rail spacing is for the vertical caches, but the size of the loops and the picture of the GateKeeper Rail Clips are all the same. You already know that the rail spacing for the horizontal caches with rails matches the rails on your Original 15/13 Cadet. (If you're trying to modify the 11/iPad Cadet, I don't know how that works.

    The Crate of Penguins Smart Alec Review (uses flash for the photo display, so you can also see the pictures at the Flickr pages below, if that gives you problems)
    The picture set on Flickr/

    HTH.

    moriond

  4. #4
    Registered User snowbot's Avatar
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    Thanks moriond and tpnl. The photos help a lot. I look forward to a photo of moriond's no-cut, no-sew method, too. I wasn't able to do the cadet modifications in time for today's trip, but my computer and cache fit well in my Imago.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tpnl View Post
    I am just about to start to retrofit rail loops to my older TB bags.
    Did you ever end up doing this? Contemplating the same on my prior rev TS. The rail loops were added to the TS in the last design update that inverted the zippers, yes?

  6. #6
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    @squaredot, I did add some rail loops to my prior rev. Tri-Star.

    However, I needed to do things a bit differently than I originally thought.

    In the Tri-Star laptop compartment, there is only one seam bead between the zipper and the top exterior fabric. I could have used that seam but it seemed a bit flimsy and might be stressed too much if pulled when taking your cache with rails in and out. In the official version, the rail loops are actually sewn where the interior 200d Dyneema fabric meets the 1050d Ballistic Nylon (in my case). See my first post to see how it is sewn in “from the factory”

    I did not want to remove any original stitching (my own rule) as the workmanship is so good so I opted to sew the loops through the 200d Dyneema interior just below where the factory ones are put in. As the opposite side (the back compartment of the Tristar) did have a seam bead I could use, I sewed the thread coming through to that bead.

    Please note the specifications for the horizontal rail system - 1" webbing used to make the rail loops and the loops are 7" apart centre to centre.

    Below are some pictures that hopefully will clarify things:

    Here are pictures of the rail loops themselves, how they look with the gatekeeper rail clips in place as well a comparison to the annex clip setup

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    Here is a closer look of how the rail loop is attached in the laptop compartment and in the back compartment (2nd pic)

    Name:  TS-Rail_Loops_LaptopCompartment.jpg
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    Please remember that this will void your warranty for that part of your TB bag so you need to be ok with that before you go ahead.

    Hope this helps!

    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 10-24-2014 at 01:54 AM.
    Zephyr/SA/BB/Co-Pilot (Black/Black/Steel), S25/WF/TS/A45/Pilot/Cadet (Black/Iberian), DLBP (French Blue), Ego (Black/Black/Steel with Indigo Stripe), CPF (Black/Indigo/Steel), EB (Black/Steel/Steel), Vertical & Horizontal Brain Cells, Vertical and Horizontal FS, Camera I/O, PCBP/PCSB/TT (400d Nordic), SE (Black/Iberian), Lead's Pocket (Black), Tall YSS (Iberian)

  7. #7
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    tpnl: Thanks for taking the time to not only reply, but post pictures of your handiwork.

    I must confess, I feel like a bit of a dunce because I grabbed my TS to look at the seams to see how I might lay out my work ... and discovered it has the rail loops in place. They had flipped up under the bias-taped seams and I never noticed them!

    I am, however, gonna go and add similar modifications to some other bags. Thanks for the support and encouragement.
    tpnl likes this.

  8. #8
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    @squaredot, there is a similar post that addresses adding the Rail Loops to a Western Flyer but also shows a way to retrofit using the Annex Clip Loops - very nice work there by @Perseffect based on ideas from @Pokilani and @moriond IMHO. I do not see why this cannot be done for other older version bags (Zephyr, Smart Alec, Brain Bag, etc).

    Cache with Rails in a Western Flyer?

    Hope this continues the ideas going!

    Cheers!
    Zephyr/SA/BB/Co-Pilot (Black/Black/Steel), S25/WF/TS/A45/Pilot/Cadet (Black/Iberian), DLBP (French Blue), Ego (Black/Black/Steel with Indigo Stripe), CPF (Black/Indigo/Steel), EB (Black/Steel/Steel), Vertical & Horizontal Brain Cells, Vertical and Horizontal FS, Camera I/O, PCBP/PCSB/TT (400d Nordic), SE (Black/Iberian), Lead's Pocket (Black), Tall YSS (Iberian)


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