Building your better bag: A do-it-yourself guide

By Matthew Bertram — For Rattling Chains

In disc golf’s infancy, simplicity reigned supreme. You took your one disc, carried it in your hand, and played your round.

With the evolution of the game, though, has come a plethora of discs to cater your game to a tee — meaning that, more often than not, two hands aren’t even enough to carry everything.

Here is a Cabela’s bag built with a frame that lifts the discs up into a top-load orientation, allowing the bottom compartment to be used for storage. (photo by Matthew Bertram)

What once was an Under Armour backpack is now a disc golf bag, thanks to some intrepid DIY spirit.  (photo by Matthew Bertram)

Now, disc golf bags are undergoing a similar evolution, moving away from the standard bag-plus-quad straps to more backpack-style bags being available on the marketplace. Players, it seems, are starting to re-think how they carry their gear.

Backpacks are designed to offer better weight distribution by keeping the bulk of your disc weight high and tight to the body. Aside from the comfort aspect, they also tend to offer superior storage capacity. Whether the backpack is best for you is a personal decision, but what you can’t argue is the price — manufacturers of backpack bags demand a premium for the comfort and style they offer. Today, the industry standard for these bags is right around $200.00, and can climb near $300.00.

With the backpack market continuing to grow in 2013, more options will be available to disc golfers. If dropping $200.00 on a bag is of no concern to you, or if you find a backpack that gives you everything you’ve been looking for, then you’re making the right choice. These bags are designed for disc golfers by disc golfers. That fact should not be understated.

However, if you’d rather spend more money on discs or tournament entry fees, there is another path you might take – the do-it-yourself route.

The DIY contingent was once just as niche as the ones who carried true disc golf backpacks. But, as the backpack market grows, so do the amount of players who want more fiscally viable options – myself included. I’ve been tinkering and converting non-DG bags for a couple years now, and what I enjoy is being able to build something that is unique and functional out of a bag that had an entirely different purpose to begin with. My hope is that this article can offer some tips and tricks that I’ve learned (mostly by wasting money), so that you may be able to avoid the pitfalls and reap the benefits of creating your own disc golf backpack.

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