Mentioned this in another thread and a couple of people showed interest, so here it is... This is a work in progress, and it hasn't been field-tested yet, but I think the idea is a good one.
I've thought for a long time that it would be handy to have a rucksack with a detachable belt that you can carry some kit on. I quite like being able to keep, say, my brew kit in a belt pouch so that you can carry it with you on shorter walks without having to carry a pack. Then of course there's what everyone seems to call a "possibles pouch" - some bits and bobs of handy kit you really wouldn't ever want to be without. A lot of my camping tends to involve getting to a base camp somewhere and then exploring around it rather than through-hiking, so I'd like to be able to assemble the whole lot into one comfotable pack, then ditch the main pack at base camp and just use belt kit or a daysack.
Obviously, the Sabre 45 really caught my eye because of the detachable side pouches you can use as a daypack. My initial thought was just to use a PLCE belt with a couple of pouches worn below the belt for the pack, but that wasn't really comfortable - I needed to wear the belt too low and the pack too high - and the PLCE belt was causing abrasion to the pack belt. Plus, as I'm sure other Sabre 45 owners will attest, the belt on that pack isn't up to much anyway (although I believe the new model is much better in this regard).
So I hit on the idea of modifying the pack to attach to the PLCE belt. I took two webbing loops with fastex buckles (cut from the PLCE hip pad) and sewed them to the bottom of the back of the pack, spaced for the two metal loops on the edge of the belt:
The belt (with hip protector) attaches thusly:
So far, it seems to work OK - it's very comfortable, and seems to transfer weight pretty well. I guess I won't know for sure until I've done a decent hike with a decent load though...
Loaded up, it looks like this from the back:
And this from the front:
So far, the only obvious problem is that it's just too camo... Maybe I'll spray paint it all Hot Pink.