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Homemade Double Gearsling with Loops

Submitted by slacklinejoe on 2005-07-24

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I couldn't go climbing today, so instead I made gear.

More info: A thread discussion on this gear

I normally rack on my harness, but after accumulating more and more gear I've been wanting to rack on a gear sling, if nothing else just for the approach and organizing my gear at home. Besides, how do you know that you prefer racking on a harness until you've tried a gear sling?

What I learned, even the industrial machines I use BARELY had enough clearance to force that much webbing and fleece together for sewing. I did 3 full wraps of fleece on one, which was overkill and lead towards stitching problems, so I switched down to 1.5 on the other. There is a slight difference in comfort, but not much of one, but it had a huge difference in how easy it was to sew. Also, having a double sling that converts to a single is just plain cool.

If I had't already had all of that stuff laying around there is no way I'd have paid that much to make it, then again, some of those double slings run $80. Total cost to me was somewere around $15 which was mostly the connectors and buckles.

I didn't bother making it suitable for chest harness duty even though it would have only requires a few modifications of my design.

Making a double gear sling with multi-loops from scratch By Slackline Joe

From idea to reality in under an hour. As a bonus over purchased gear slings I also made an extra adjustment to make it convert to 2 single gear slings if I wanted. I also made it support my hydration bladder.

Parts needed
3 feet of 2" webbing
2 adjustment buckles for 1" webbing
6 feet of 1" webbing
6 feet of 5/8" webbing
a half yard of fleece
1 plastic 1" clip type buckle (could be a harness style if you want)
3 feet of plastic aquarium tubing (sized to fit inside the 5/8" web)
Heavy duty thread
Sewing machine that can do very, very thick materials
A can of PAM the cooking spray (optional)
(measurements are approximate have a little extra in case)

Remember, these get sized for going straight down, not over the shoulder like a single gear sling. Also, if you are interested in making your own but need miscellaneous parts like the climbing buckles or 2" webbing contact me, I might be able to set you up with parts cheaply.

Step by step
Cut your 2" webbing to fit for your shoulder pads

Wrap it in a few layers of fleece for padding. More wraps is softer, but make sure your sewing machine can handle the thickness. Once wrapped, sew the fleece where it will not slide around.

Now grab a small piece of 1" webbing and add your harness buckles for adjustability.

Attach the 1" webbing on the other end of the shoulder pad, and loop back through the buckle - cut to fit, allowing for adjustability for smaller or larger partners.

Now for the hard part, figure out your exact preference for where the loops should be and the exact size of them. Make sure you measure it on you with the buckles toward the rear.

When you mark where your loops go, make sure and leave room for the stitching in between the loops.

Sew one end of the 5/8" webbing in place for the first loop, then chop the plastic tubing to the right size. Now for another difficult part, spray the tubing with Pam, then start threading it through the 5/8" webbing. The Pam helps lube it a bit. Once it is in place, sew the loop to the 1" webbing, the repeat for as many gear loops as you are making.

Now repeat all of those steps to make a second gear sling.

Now, figure out exactly where you want the two to be connected, for me this was above the buckles about mid shoulder blade high.

You have a few options on how you attach them. You can permanently sew it, but if your partner has a different frame size this might not work well. I chose to do something unique, instead of sewing an adjustment buckle, I sewed two small loops on the shoulder pad, then ran a loop of webbing between then and tied it with a water knot. Why tie it when I've already sewn so much of it? Easy, I can remove that loop and use one side as a multi-gear loop just fine with nothing flopping around.

This last part is optional, but I wanted a chest strap to help hold the load on overhanging rock. I sewed in a plastic buckle on the front with it adjustable on one side. As long as I grab the female side when I go single sling there won't be anything extra flopping around.

Random gear racked

Finished product

With Hydration pack
It may look tacky but it works fine.

As a single sling
I was lazy and didn't adjust it out for fit just for the photo, but you get the idea.


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pretty handy.

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