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Dan, I find design considerations interesting and so I did some loose measurements of the vx07 fabric. What my admittedly unscientific result showed was .77oz. or 22 grams weight savings versus using all tougher vx21 fabric. Did you consider that or was primary focus on weight and vx07 deemed good enough.
For me having an all round tougher pack would be worth the slight penalty as I hike in places where even some trees have thorns. I'd also conjecture that the heavier fabric supports the fabric used for the daisy chains better and add to that durability aspect.
Of course where hikers spend the majority of their time enjoying the outdoors will color their views as to what works best. But that's why collective experiences are so important. And shows that despite misuse the internet is still a valuable. resource.
I'll come clean and admit that I also like the green color better. :)
It's true that a tougher fabric wouldn't add too much weight. When you think of it is in isolation (e.g would I prefer more VX21) going for the more robust option is often attractive. The problem is that there are many such decisions and together they add up. A bit tougher fabric, a bit wider sternum strap, a bit thicker padding etc - each is not too much weight but if I do a few of them suddenly the pack is uncompetitively heavy.
So I try to strike a balance and use the heavier fabric in the more exposed areas. I think that works pretty well because all the VX07 is quite protected, but certainly some people would prefer the beefier fabric. Right now the pack is about as heavy as I'd want it to be, but maybe if I can shave some weight somewhere else then I could do more VX21.
Yea, trying to meet weight goals does present the need to compromise. I have a feeling you were shooting for a 32 oz. pack and almost hit it but then shipped from the factory they came a bit higher. Mine was 33.34oz for example. So what happens in my mind is once the magical 2 lb. limit is passed I start thinking "whatever" if my pack is 34.2 oz and all vx21. But yea, you designed it to be a 2 lb. pack and you stuck to it so all good there.
I was just giving the view if I was in the design room what my suggestions could have been. I might have left out the foam pad, which I would have been criticized for I'm sure, and used that weight savings for the wider straps you mentioned. It's all just feedback, at least from me, when I bring up points like fabric.
Because in the end you know you'll want to make another one someday. All green.