Make large Molle II Rucksack look more friendly
April 16, 2018 7:22 PM   Subscribe

I have a Large Molle II Rucksack, and I would like to make it look more civilian and less military. What can I do (besides dye it) to mod/customize it? Budget under fifty bucks.

This is someone else's picture of the beast: https://imgur.com/a/Hz3nl That top flap actually covers most of the back, and is my main target.

I am thinking of attaching a panel of fabric on the top flap. I have a big orange bandana from the Ely Folk School, and I could add some Kam Snaps so it's removable. Or maybe a custom silk map from these people. A waterproof panel with a star map?

Maybe patches? I have my old BSA 50 Miler, and a few others -- but I think those might not change the look enough. The plate-sized "MGM Lion" OA jacket patch would be awesome but it would get ruined. I have some old batik I made as a Kindergartener but I am afraid the dye would run. A flag?

Has anyone used fabric from spoonflower.com?

Something made of Tyvek?

Some stretchy orange netting?

What am I not thinking of?
posted by wenestvedt to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total)
 
Throw some interesting pins and tin badges on it?
posted by sagc at 7:30 PM on April 16


It’s for camping and hiking, not everyday. (And I have 26 pins on mt work ID badge lanyard already!)
posted by wenestvedt at 7:32 PM on April 16


I'd stay away from orange. Going around in regular life wearing orange + camo = this guy has at least one gun on his person and tells racist jokes.

If you want to lighten the mood of the pack, I'd either make some big googly eyes out of felt circles and fix those on, or get a silly, super cute keychain friend and clip it to a strap.
posted by phunniemee at 7:32 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


Sashiko. Either directly on the flap, or on a piece of fabric sewn onto it.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:36 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


Consider writing a poem or some other bit of text on the straps? Bits of quilt sewn on in various places? An old favorite scarf quilted on? Look at this gorgeous fabric gift wrap!
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:00 PM on April 16


I have no ideas about your backpack, sorry to say, but I have ordered custom-made clothes from Spoonflower and have been very pleased. Holds up well, good quality even after washing. FWIW...
posted by mccxxiii at 8:32 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Yes, some fun and colourful patches would go a long way. Some cartoon animals maybe? If the flap is large enough, what about a big baboon?
And you could get some Sharpies and draw patterns on the straps.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:17 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


I'd stay away from orange. Going around in regular life wearing orange + camo = this guy has at least one gun on his person and tells racist jokes.

On the other hand, it's easy to find yourself out with hunters during some of RI's odder hunting seasons so maybe safety orange is a good choice. Add some other bright colors like green and hot pink for a folk art look?
posted by Botanizer at 5:00 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


Try: looking at "back patches" as a search term on Etsy. Try: looking at how folks diy modify denim and leather jackets. Try: looking at all the embroidered patches aligned with your views and preferences that you can order on eBay. Best luck!
posted by enfa at 7:10 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Fabric paint. Painting your own design would seem easiest.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:31 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


I don't think it looks military, just (not olive) drab. If you let phunniemee talk you out of orange, red would be equally appropriate. Some strips of reflective tape would be a safety improvement in the dark.

I think that with a little experimentation, a few appliques in the right places could make it look like an owl.
posted by SemiSalt at 9:14 AM on April 17


When I see people wearing digital camo I tend to assume that they are either soldiers, ex-soldiers, or military fetishists. There's not a lot that would make that backpack read as non-military to me aside from dyeing it. You could maybe get it to cross over into anti-military subversion with the right accessories, but even that is a pretty confrontational look. If you're set on that backpack I would honestly just dye it purple or something. The camo pattern would probably show through but it wouldn't read as military to me if it were an obviously non-military color. Just my own take, obviously.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 12:03 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Anticipation...The, that's exactly what I fear. And that's why I removed the two small Sustainment Pouches from the sides, which would definitely peg it as as ex-Army. Which, of course, I am not: the guy I got it from was, but I never pretend otherwise.

I am currently thinking of either a "Great Wave Off Kanagawa" or a giant Andre The Giant "OBEY" patch/paintjob covering the whole back flap edge-to-edge (about 18"x20"), plus maybe painting the frame with navy blue Krylon, and replacing all of the OD green zipper pulls with cheery purple knots. :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 12:18 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


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