View Full Version : Mitylite Coupler - How difficult
My wife and I want to use the Mitylite bag as a quilt, but we find that we really like a coupler under us to keep one person from pulling it off the other :) We have shared an Ultralight bag for the summer time without a coupler, and it worked okay, but a coupler would really make it wonderful.
The coupler that western mountaineering makes weights 1 lb 4 oz! Ouch. I called them to see if I could get them to build it out of their 0.9 oz fabric, but they just basically said "No." They weren't interested at all. So, it looks like we will be making it ourselves. Pretty much our first project.
We don't have the bag yet. I'm wondering, does anyone know what size zipper we need? Any tricks to getting a zipper the right length? What about the 90 degree turn?
Thanks for any help anyone can give us!
i sewed a doubler for our REI Subkilo bag, and it was pretty easy. for a semi-rectangular it shouldn't be too much more trouble. i made the top of the doubler just under 40 inches wide - the width of our two sleeping pads laying side by side. then i just cut it into a triangle with 2 long sides (each side the same length as the zipper on the sleeping bag). for a semi-rectangular, your doubler shape should probably be pretty close to the outline of the unzipped bag.
i am no zipper expert, but the zipper on the bag should have some identifying marks - it's probably a YKK zipper. if you contact OWF (outdoor wilderness fabrics) or if you go to the make your own gear forums on backpacking.net, or the message board over on thru-hiker.com, somebody should be able to help you figure out what kind of zipper you'll need to make your doubler. for the fabric, i think the the .8 oz uncoated ripstop that AYCE sells on thru-hiker.com should work just fine. if you're concerned about durability, use the slightly heavier ripstop.
then it's just a matter of figuring out the dimensions, cutting the fabric, and sewing on the zipper. my best advice: DON'T CUT THE FABRIC UNTIL YOU"VE PINNED IT TO THE BAG AND TRIED IT ON FOR SIZE. lay the bag down on the fabric, trace the outline of the bag onto the fabric, pin the fabric along the outline (pin it to the zipper so as to avoid putting pins into the bag's shell fabric), then get into the bag and try it on for size. lay it on top of your sleeping pads to get a really good feel for it. when you cut out the fabric, don't forget to allow around 1 extra inch of fabric all the way around, so you can make a seam around the edge of the fabric and prevent it from fraying. once you have cut and seamed you can sew the zipper on. sewing the zipper along the curve is easier than you think - it may not turn out as pretty as you'd like, but functional is better than pretty.
well, i've probably made it sound more complicated than it really is. if you have more questions just write to me - tarbubble at yahoo dot you know what.
I did about the same as you have. I was able to buy a new Mitylite on sale a few months ago. I then called WM about a lighter coupler, NO. I then asked if I could just buy a set of zippers that would fit the Mitylite. Yes, they would sell me a set of zippers. I had to go over each zipper on my bag and tell them what it was. I waited over a week and no zippers. I called back and Oh, we have been busy and they hadn't been mailed yet. I now have the zippers and will use them for an under-quilt that will attach to the Mitylite so I can use it with my hammock in cold weather, maybe. The zippers I got were about $25 total with S&H.