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Pouch design for every day carry items

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In this Instructable I present a tutorial to built a protecting pouch for small every day carry items like a multitool, a folding knife, a flashlight, etc. The initial project was to build a sheath/pouch for my multitool. The design was so effective, simple and cheap that I used it for other items. This instructable reflect that general versatile aspect so the readers can get a feel for other potential applications.

You can find a multitude of sheath/pouches on the market but you typically find yourself in two situations:
- either you can find and buy one custom made for your item with varying quality and price
- or you buy a general product but it's very likely that the size won't fit. Hence your item will not be well protected and you will loose some precious space in your backpack.

I found online a very nice sheath for my multitool from Skinth (see last two photos), but at $25 a piece (excl. shipping) I figured out that I could build my own. The entire project was completed within a week-end and cost roughly a dollar per pouch.

The main criteria I selected for this project were:
- Low cost
- Easy to build with limited skills and equipments
- Versatile application so I can re-use the same design for various items.

The key features I was looking for in the end product were:
- Light & Robust. The pouch is build out of a strong nylon strip.
- Accessibility. A velcro (hook and loop) fastener is used for quick and easy access to the item in the pouch.
- Secured pouch - I found an effective way to secure the item in the pouch even when the lid is open.

Not really knowing what I was heading to I decided to test the concept with a very small item: a button compass. I was very pleased with the result so I build a second pouch for my multitool and then a third one for a flashlight. Each time I followed the same identical steps. In the following tutorial I will present each individual steps and will use the multitool pouch for illustration.

After nearly a year of every day carry, the pouches show no sign of fatigue.

Updates after questions/comments from readers:
. Note that I didn't use a press stud like in the online example because the inside part of the stud would damage the multitool. My aim was to keep the design simple so I used some velcro.
. Note as well that I purposely didn't included a belt-loop on the back of the pouch. The multitool is too small for this. It fits in my pockets or in my backpack along with my keys. If I have to build a larger version I will definitely include a belt-loop.


This Instructable was accepted for the 'I could make that contest' so if you wish to vote for it I invite you to use the small voting button on the top right corner of the page.


 
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roboer91 month ago

Why did you steal images from Skinth? You didn't even give them credit for the pictures, and made them look like you made those pouches. I think this is a cool, interesting project, just wondering about the photos.

YPF (author)  roboer91 month ago

Fare comment. I do mentioned in the introduction that my project was inspired from a sheath available online and shows the two photos but I forgot to mention the brand. I've corrected that. Note that this project was submitted to a contest where you show that you replicated a product available on the market and it was compulsory to put a photo of the original product. Initially I didn't put the photos and I was told off. Anyway, there was not bad intention. Thanks to your feedback I've corrected that.

Ravirar6 months ago
You know that you can get sheaths from some kitchen knives that work well for multitools, right? Personally, I didn't want to go buy a sheath either, so I just grabbed a piece of fabric I had and sewed a pouch. Anyone could do that sew job, as it was really easy. (That was my third or fourth time sewing, ever, and it's more customizable in color.) Still, this is cool since it is durable. TIP: Add some paracord or utility cord on to that thing so you will be prepared in a survival situation. (LEATHERMAN IS AWESOME)
reallyreally10 months ago
Nicely done! I think this would be a good project for cub scouts. Think I'll give it a go!
YPF (author)  reallyreally10 months ago
You will be surprised how easy it is to work with nylon. You can cut it and stitch it very easily. It add to the safety factor. It's not like working with leather where you need expensive and very sharp tools.
I'm preparing another project that might interest your scouts, so watch this space.
FuzzyBearGeek10 months ago
So very nice! Next, an instructable for your Instructables Avatar! *chuckle*
But on a serious note again. I'm stopping playing on the internet RIGHT after this message to go make this for my any tiny USB Thumb Drive to hook to my keys! WTG!!
YPF (author)  FuzzyBearGeek10 months ago
Thanks and good luck with it.
MiltReynolds10 months ago
Elegant! So very elegant! Simple, functional, fetching appearance...it's a complete package! Your 'ible is top-rate...great photos, straightforward but complete instructions. Thanks for posting...keep 'em coming!

Nylon straps...the new leather!
YPF (author)  MiltReynolds10 months ago
Thank you for your nice comments!
criggie10 months ago
I like it! Personally I'd prefer a press stud for the closure of the flap, that way there's a positive feel for it being shut. I'd also prefer a belt-loop on the back rather than let it dangle.

My pouches tend to wear off on the bottom bulge corner facing outwards, lasts about 5 years before you can see through it :)
YPF (author)  criggie10 months ago
You are absolutely right, a press stud would give a more firm closure. In fact, it was my initial plan to use a press stud because it looks nicer than a velcro. However, I never implemented that idea because I couldn't find a coated one. The last thing I wanted was to have the inside metallic part making some scratches on my multitool each time I take it out.
I have a concept in mind with a belt-loop on the back. The multitool is way too small for it so I will implement it for another item. I will submit another instructables if the result looks good.
johngriswold10 months ago
Pretty clever! How wide can you find the nylon strapping?
YPF (author)  johngriswold10 months ago
It seems that you can get any size. The biggest nylon strap available in my local store was 2", but I saw some 4" straps on the internet. You want to be careful with the nylon density. Large straps are often for heavy duty work and you will have a hard time stitching them together. If you really want large then you can find some 60" nylon canvas by the yard.
SussoGobbino10 months ago
Spreading the fibers is a very good idea. I made a very similar pouch for my Leatherman and I had punched a hole through the nylon. After some time, it started loosening and it started ripping near the hole.
Nice job!
YPF (author)  SussoGobbino10 months ago
Thanks. It's to avoid exactly your problem that I looked for an alternative solution. I initially thought that I could cut a hole through, place the eyelet and gently heat it up to melt the loose nylon fibers around. But this could go terribly wrong. On top of that after being melted the nylon becomes more brittle. So it was a no go for me. After having done 3 pouches I think a D ring would be even simpler.
jrv41110 months ago
I really appreciate the advice to "open" instead of "cut" the nylon strap. Screwdriver trick is perfect!
Thanks!
YPF (author)  jrv41110 months ago
Just make sure the eyelet is long enough to go through the two layers of nylon. As the screwdriver go through the nylon it stretches the fibers open but also slightly upward. You want to make sure you can reach the other side.
bcavaciuti11 months ago
this is cool though i don't see the need to make a whole new pouch for the little button compass when you could incorporate it into the main pouch ...maybe at the top or velcro the back of it and stick it inside somewhere. seemed abit much effort for such a small thing.
YPF (author)  bcavaciuti10 months ago
Very good point. This is a nice suggestion for a future project.
Note that I did the small pouch first to test the design on something small so I could see the end result quickly before doing something a bit bigger. I had never worked with nylon, velcro, etc so I wasn't sure how easy it would be to put the whole thing together. The pouch is so small that it was done in no time. I could have saved the effort by buying the same compass already mounted on a keyring of some sort but then I would have missed some fun.
joseqtb11 months ago
cool
YPF (author)  joseqtb10 months ago
Thanks for your comment, much appreciated.
jarcher1211 months ago
Nice, but for my edc needs I prefer to use very small S biners bought at ace, connect them to my items (in my case a very small sak a mini lighter and a mini flashlight. they all hang out together in my pocket with minimal feeling of bulk or weight. They can also of course be clipped onto a larger biner and then onto a belt loop.
To connect items that do not have a ring attachment I usually use a small bit of thin climbing string/rope and secure it with duck tape.
YPF (author)  jarcher1210 months ago
I take your point. This is the obvious solution, to clip them directly. However I wanted to avoid having scratches all over my multitool and my flashlight. I have the tendency to carry them around in my pockets or in my backpack along with my keys, a folding knife, etc. Too many sharp edges to do some damage. For my mini flashlight and other items I don't care too much and use your approach.
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