How to make your own gear sling?


Original Post
Robin S · · OR · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 30

Anyone got any ideas as to how to make your own gear sling? I know I could buy one but it seems like a fun project. Seems like I could run some cord through plastic tubing for the loops, so I'm mainly looking for ideas for the pad.

Nick Young · · Spokane, WA · Joined May 2015 · Points: 215

Could get some foam of your desired thickness from a hobby shop or upholstery shop, cut it to size/shape, and then stitch on your favorite fabric after having run your webbing through there. Could be a cool project, make sure you post pics when you finish!

sherb · · Loveland, Ohio & Wheat Ridg... · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 60

I made an ugly gear sling. Sewed webbing into a loop for my size. For the shoulder part I had a pair of brushed denim jeans I didn't want to wear anymore. Cut a leg off and folded it over a few times. Didn't put any foam in it, and it still feels padded. It's mostly good to distribute the weight over a bigger surface area, being wider than the webbing. Might have cut a single layer of tanktop to put in as padding if I did, but don't think I did. I have a thin piece of foam from packaging I might sew in if I were to make another gear sling, but even that might be bulky.

Ethan Clark · · Verona WI · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 260
Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,755

I made my first gear sling decades ago. It was patterned after a commercial sling of the time, starting with 1-1/2 in. flat webbing across the shoulder (padded with denim...like Ana). To each end of this was stitched a short (2 in.) length of 1" tubular webbing. Inserted into the lower opening of this was 7mm accessory cord. With hand feeding, it wasn't too hard to get the sewing machine needle through the cord and the webbing.

I currently use a multi-loop Metolius sling. I really need the separation of the loops since I carry my whole rack on the sling (draws go on the harness). One comment about the "cord through plastic tubing" approach: while that is what you want to do, you need "hard" tubing. Like polyethylene. Don't do what I did on a later sling and use Tygon tubing (real easy to get this from any chem/bio lab). Tygon is grippy and you'll have a hard time slipping biners on/off it.

wivanoff · · Northeast, USA · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 472

I made a gear sling years ago with seat belt webbing and a "speedy stitcher". You rolled the webbing and stitched it to make it "round" where you wanted to hang gear. It was similar to one made by Chouinard. Like this: tinyurl.com/jt4yw6s

Some people back then used some kind of 2 to 2-1/2" wide fabric with a psychedelic pattern on it. Similar to the ones sold by Bill Forrest. Don't know how strong it was or where they got it.

You can get clear plastic tubing at Home Depot or Lowes.

Brian L. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 90

I put one together last year. Fixed length, 3 gear loops, made from 1" tubular webbing, 1/2" light weight webbing (for the gear loops), fleece, and 5/8" vinyl tubing. Had everything except the tubing laying around, which I got from Lowes.

For reference I sewed it with a Singer 4423, and used Coats and Clark Outdoor polyester thread, and a size 18 needle.

Fleece was tripled to make the pad. I tried a sliding pad but it just bunched up, so it's fixed in place now.

I experimented with gear loop size. Don't remember the specific dimensions, but I ended up with 3 loops (which keeps everything in easy reach - a common complaint for 4 loop designs). The center loop is 4"x7" I think. The outer loops are 7" arc length (I think) , but with a narrower chord so they droop more (otherwise your gear all bunches up at the sewn connection). I don't remember how narrow I used, but I think it could be narrower, maybe only 2" chord.

I'll tale some pictures when I'm out climbing today and post tonight.

Brady3 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 15

I don't have a picture at the moment, but I made one with 1" tubular webbing. It's sewn in a fixed loop to fit me and has a pad that can slide back and forth on the sling, I used foam from a Walmart sleeping pad for the padding. For the gear loops I folded the webbing in half around a piece of plastic boning (found at any sewing store) to stiffen them. I had made one before without the boning and thought the loops got too floppy.

David Baddeley · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 30

I've got one made out of a retired 1" tubular webbing sling (joined with a water knot). Gear loops are accessory cord threaded through polyethylene tubing and tied round the sling. No sewing required. The 1" webbing is wide enough to be fine without padding, and is still full strength if you need to use it as an anchor

gear sling

King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 430
David Baddeley wrote:I've got one made out of a retired 1" tubular webbing sling (joined with a water knot). Gear loops are accessory cord threaded through polyethylene tubing and tied round the sling. No sewing required. The 1" webbing is wide enough to be fine without padding, and is still full strength if you need to use it as an anchor
Yea, if you are going to make one yourself put a tied connection in there somewhere for reliability. That way if you are having an epic somewhere and need to leave a sling on a rappel you have got one more if needed etc.
Robin S · · OR · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 30

Thanks all. I have the waist belt of an old BD Momentum that has stiff gear loops on it, so I may try to salvage those and attach them to some narrow webbing. I like the fleece idea although fleece can be hot--I may go for something less insulating.

Thanks for all the input!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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