View Full Version : ?? Temp & Time for molding Osprey hip belts

No Belay
05-29-2008, 10:46
Can anyone help me out with the time and temp the Osprey dealers use to custom mold their hip belts. I've lost some weight and want to re-mold mine. The original molding was done in a carnival looking convection heater which I'm sure I can duplicate in my convection oven. I wasn't real sure that the molding made a difference, but after trying a new unmolded belt, I'm a believer.

gold bond
05-29-2008, 10:58
First of all congrats on the weight loss....second of all just take it into the nearest outfitter that sells Osprey they might just help you out.

No Belay
05-29-2008, 17:37
First of all congrats on the weight loss....second of all just take it into the nearest outfitter that sells Osprey they might just help you out.

Thanks GB for the encouagement on the fat reduction. I'm 120 miles from my closest Osprey dealer and they want $15 to do it. At 22 miles to the gallon it becomes a $39 trip. That's why I was asking. The oven they use is a forced air convection oven of the lowest quality. I'm sure I could replicate the process in my convection oven if I knew the temp and time.

05-29-2008, 19:21
You might call or email Osprey and ask them.

05-29-2008, 19:35
You just saved $39 on beer/grub! Call them. I bet a nickel you like this "problem."

No Belay
05-29-2008, 20:04
Osprey won't give the info claiming it voids the warranty on the belt if anyone does it besides a certified dealer. I guess it's kinda like asking Oscar Meyer what they put in their hot dogs. Big secret. I've packed Ospreys since before they went into production in Vietnam and have never had to use the warranty yet so voiding it isn't a big concern. The molded belts are a big improvement.

05-30-2008, 09:27
I didnt even mold mine, just left it alone, because i am currently losing weight also. I would go with 450 for 15 minutes, then continue to baste and stir when steami.... Oh wait, wrong forum :D

05-30-2008, 12:29
If you think it through, you might find a way.

How does the fitting actually work. They heat it and then slap it on your body and strap it and let it cool and conform?

If that is the process, you can postulate that a temperature of 150* is pretty much an upper limit. The reason is the risk of burning your skin with the high temperature.

So, you might consider trying a few temperatures lower than that. Some custom molding shoe inserts involve heating to 125* and then quickly being put in the shoe along with the foot (perhaps with sock, perhaps not - I lost the instructions). Since 100* is too easily obtained by just hot days, you might consider 100* too low a temperature, and creep the temp up gradually from there.

If you can get slivers of the materials from spots, you could conduct a screening where you expose the slivers to different temps and then remove them and squeeze them with your hand (Gloved?) and let them cool squeezed to see when they can be made to take a permanent set.

You might consider calling some dealers by phone and asking what they would suggest you do in your circumstance. You need to convince them that you are taking all of the risk and that they won't be hit back upon if you screw up your own hipbelt.

You could also call up some dealers and ask if they can sell you a replacement hipbelt and give you instructions for a DIY fitting.

I suppose that you have googled this thing as well. Not only for the brand of belt on Osprey, but any brand of belt.

05-30-2008, 12:42
found this on BPL forums:

"I talked with Osprey today and they do recommend having it done in store and don't provide any suggestions as to how to mold the hipbelt at home.

The chap who answered the phones also said that the molding wasn't really necessary, and that with use the hipbelt will come to fit as if it were heat molded"

if it helps at all

05-30-2008, 13:08
Google search found some patents on moldable backpack hipbelts.

================================================== =====

In accordance with the present invention a moldable hipbelt blank is constructed using a core of suitable thermal moldable foam material. As examples, suitable materials include All EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate) foams of various densities. Those skilled in the art will recognize many acceptable alternatives which can be chosen depending on the particular characteristics desired. It is highly desirable to select a foam which may have sufficient conformablity in its ordinary state so that the hipbelt may be comfortably used even without being custom-formed. A benefit of EVA foam is that the temperature which it requires for semi-permanent molding is higher than typical temperatures which may be encountered by the belt after molding, even in the extremes that might be encounterd in, for example, the trunk of a car parked in the sun. This helps insure that the custom molded belt retains its shape after being custom molded.

The inner soft EVA foam is cut to ¾″ thickness with enough surface area to accommodate the pattern pieces for pad portions for left and right sides of a belt. The inner foam is then assembled to a stretch woven nylon fabric on both sides using a high-temperature heat-activated film adhesive as illustrated in FIG. 4 shown. This assembly is then heated to achieve lamination. The laminated assembly shown in FIG. 3 is heated to approximately 240 degrees F. for approximately 5 minutes. This assembly is then placed in a hydraulic press under approx 20 tons of pressure for 10 minutes with the appropriate shaped and sized mold. This creates a hipbelt pad as shown in FIG. 5 which is installed into a sleeve to become the final hipbelt blank A shown in FIGS. 1, 7 and 8 .

The sleeve is comprised of nylon fabrics which are cut according to patterns and sewn together into the appropriate configuration order while inserting the main closure and attachment webbings. This creates the left and right hipbelt pad sleeve/backing. These sleeve/backing assemblies are then sewn to the appropriate pads to create a pad assembly. Additional suitable nylon fabrics and high density (HD) EVA approximately 0.25 in. are cut according to the patterns to become an outer sheath and shell. The sheath materials are sewn to nylon webbing and stay sleeves and then the HD-EVA outer shell to create the outer shell assembly shown in FIG. 4. The outer shell assembly is inserted into the left and right pad assemblies which are then individually sewn together, creating a hipbelt blank with substantial thickness and suitable for molding.

Hipbelt blanks are constructed as described above in several sizes which are selectable to provide initial fitting to a user. The molding process is accomplished using a completed blank appropriately sized and adjusted for a particular user.

A molding oven 10 is provided having a main heating cavity 11 capable of receiving a hipbelt blank A while allowing the ends of the belt and buckles 2 to remain outside the heating cavity. Alternatively the entire belt can be placed within the heating cavity with buckles ends insulated or otherwise covered or protected to prevent heating of the buckles. Generally, it is desirable to have the belt blank A hang freely within the cavity 11 of oven 10 during the heating process as shown in FIG. 2.

With these steps taken to prevent heating of the buckles, the hipbelt blank is placed into the oven cavity at approximately 210 degrees F. (100° C.) for approximately 10 minutes. Upon completion of the heating process, the hipbelt is fitted with a lumbar spacer pad for appropriate fit and placed on the user. The hipbelt is then tightened around the user's hips and thereby compressed (or cinched) until the inner foam layer is a barely separate from the outer foam layer (shell). The hipbelt is then loaded to simulate the force and direction of the a load of a weighted backpack. In order to simplify the molding process and minimize the time lapse between heating the blank and molding it to a user's hips, the preferred method of simulating such a load is to place the hipbelt blank by itself on the user's hips and have the user simply place his or her hands on the hipbelt to apply a slight downward pressure to mimic a weighted pack load Alternatively the heated hip belt may be attached to a backpack structure capable of providing an actual load comprising either an actual backpack or similar simulated structure which can be readily attached to the belt and worn by the user. This simulated or actual load is maintained for approximately 10-15 minutes while the hipbelt cools to just above room temperature. At this point the foam components of the hipbelt will have taken a permanent “set” and the belt will have been custom molded to the anatomical shape of the user. Typically a hipbelt blank can be re-molded several times if there is an apparent problem with the initial molding or if it is desired to reshape it for another user.

05-30-2008, 14:03
I bought an Aether pack, and right or wrong, the very outdoor savvy sales guy said it was kind of a gimmick, just wear and it will fit/mold to you with use. Since I wasn't doing any real serious backpacking soon, I didn't bother. I have practice pack walked with 27# of charcoal now for about 50 miles, and it always felt really good. So, what am I saying, who knows if it is better? And I may go back and have it fitted, just to see if there is any difference. Store is 180 miles away thou, will have to do on next business trip there.

No Belay
05-30-2008, 15:46
Thanks RocketMan. Between the info you provided and a discussion I had with "Ye Olde Backpacker" via PM we got it figured out. After doing both belts it appears that 10 minutes at 210-215 degrees works great. Both belts conformed perfectly to my fluffy hips and lower back. I did mine in a convection oven and don't think I'd try it in a coventional oven unless I had a fan in with it. Foyt, get yours molded now and you can remold it again later when you drop your weight. You'll be surprised at the difference it makes. If I had a dealer telling me that wear fitting works just as well, I'd be looking for anther dealer. Even if wear fitting did work, why go through the 100 miles it would take when you can have a custom fit when you hit the trailhead?

Thanks to all. The info was much appreciated.

05-30-2008, 15:58
I bought an Aether 70 at the Atlanta REI (I-85), and two sales guys were dismissive of the molding oven in the corner. Got the feeling they were "too busy" to fiddle with it, or they had no experience with it.

05-30-2008, 16:17
...or they had no experience with it.
Best probablility. At least half the sales staff in EMS stores has no clue and/or couldn't be bothered with much of anything.

05-31-2008, 09:59
Thanks for the tip. Will do.

06-05-2008, 16:34
Custom Fit Orthodic
molded to your feet
Cost less than $10


Instructions (abbreviated)

0. Wear thin socks

1. Trim orthotic as needed

2. Preheat, regular oven to 225*F

3. Place orthotic in oven 2 minutes

4. Remove from oven using heating mit or pad to protect your hands and place immediately inside both shoes.

5. Wearing thin socks, immediately place your feet inside the shoes.

6. Stand on the insoles with weight equally balanced on both feet for two (2) minutes


I couldn't find these instructions when we were discussing the topic at first.

No Belay
06-06-2008, 00:01
The time difference must be due to the thickness variation between the 2 products. I did 2 of the CM belts at 215* for 10 minutes and it worked great, The belt actually duplicated the ripples on the waistband of my shorts. Thanks for all the great info. It gave me a good starting point.