Crudelis Sed Iustus
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Posted: 9/26/2008 12:58:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/12/2008 5:11:15 AM EDT by raf]
I have a very early CFP-90 made by Lowe Alpine products. It has the Torso-Trac suspension pioneered by Lowe, and whose componente were, at the time, manufactured by ITW NEXUS company.

Not all CFP-90 packs had the TT system, some of them, particularly aftermarket units had a very different shoulder harness attachment/adjustment system.

To tell if you have the Torso-Trac:

Look at the inside back of the pack, the part that rides against your body. If it's a TT model, the shoulder straps will attach to the black plastic covered adjustment track via a black plastic item more-or-less the size of the palm of your hand, and roughly shaped like a duck's foot.

Problem is that this plastic item, the duck's foot, is a LOT more fragile than it first appears. At it's thinnest, it's less than 1/16". This thin portion is the part that flexes and thus subject to fatigue. Examine yours CLOSELY and with good light. You will be astonished at how thin the material is.

Over time (20+years), and subject to the abuse of picking it up by one or the other shoulder straps instead of lifting it by the centrally-mounted lift loop, the duck's foot ripped at the thinnest part, resulting in a detachment of the shoulder straps from the pack.

Some CFP-90 packs suspensions differ slightly; mine had some additional adjustment straps that would have allowed me to get home. Other, later packs may lack this feature, in which case, the user is SOL.

Solution: Sorry, there is no simple solution.

I was able to obtain two samples of the "duck's foot" which is actually a two-piece assembly, with the material for the shoulder straps sandwiched in between the two plastic parts, and the whole thing stitched together. Mine is being stitched together now, along with some seat-belt strapping, by my local cobbler.
I had to promise to NOT reveal the name of the vendor who supplied me with the samples, as they are not equipped to sell to individuals. Sorry.

I suggest three possibilities:

1) Contact Lowe Alpine and see what they suggest. It's a replacement part, and still in production, so you probably won't have to send the whole pack to them. They DO have an e-mail addy.

2) Using your old 'duck's foot" as a pattern, make a new one out of 3/16" thk aluminum. You will have to drill and countersink two holes for the screws that affix the DF to the Torso Trac.

Now read carefully the rest: Some shoulder straps are attached directly to the DF, and some, like my early unit, attach to the DF via what is basically seat belt webbing, and then vis bickles to the shoulder straps themselves.
For the first, drill the aluminum DF to allow the shoulder straps to be attached via 4 stainless steel machine screws and ss nylock nuts WITH ss washers helping to clamp things together. I'd make a thin ss bar to clamp the material to the DF instead of washers. Make the bar/washers as wide as possible, and clamp everything tight as a clam's azz at low-tide.

3) OR, you can mill two slots in the DF so they will accept seat belt straps. Get some earth tone webbing from your local junkyard (mine was free) and use the slots to attach the straps to the aluminum DF, and then stitch the strapping to the shoulder straps or thread it through the buckles attached to the shoulder straps, depending on what version you have. Make CERTAIN to chamfer/round any edge that the strapping might contact else the sharp edges will cut the strapping. Doing this will allow the user even more adjustability, which might be VERY useful to people with long torsos.

Good luck, and I will answer any questions posted in this thread.

BTW, there's some good general info on the CFP-90 pack in the thread linked below, as well as some info, linked within, on the equipent system that includes the CFP-90 as well as other pieces of LBE equipment.


ETA: Got back from cobbler my two Torso-Trac "Duck's Feet" shoulder strap assys which he assembled with longer seatbelt straps I provided. His work was, if anything, superior to that done by the original Mfr, and I made sure he used NYLON, no-rot thrread. My CFP should be GTG for quite a while now.

The longer-than-original straps I provided to him allow users with a long torso (like me) a wider range of adjustment than the OEM straps allowed. For the first time I am able to adjust and wear the pack properly, and with greatly enhanced comfort. It's better than new, now.

So, there IS a silver lining inside that particular cloud.

"The M1 Rifle is the greatest battle implement ever devised." General George S. Patton Jr.,US Army