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F-Stop GateKeepers: Alternatives

An interesting feature of the F-Stop backpack system is that GateKeeper straps can be added at various positions on their bags to enhance the functionality. I ordered a few of these to go with my Kenti and Loka packs, however they are chronically backordered and I'm not sure when they will arrive (see update at the end of this post).

I ran across this strap from Tom Bihn (below) that looks to have very similar clips as the GateKeeper straps; it likely would work, although the webbing seems significantly longer than necessary and would probably require some modifications to get the length right (i.e., so that there's not too much excess strap).

Update (June 26, 2013): here's another alternative from MindShift:

Then recently I was at my local REI and found these Gear Aid Quick-Attach Tri-Glide Buckles (also available at EMS), which looked like they would fit nicely into the GateKeeper attachment points on F-Stop packs.

Paired with some 1" webbing straps, I figured they would work as an alternative to F-Stop's own GateKeepers straps. The webbing straps at REI were by Redpoint and come in different lengths (24", 40", and 60") and colors.

Here's a shot of the clips attached to the Kenti...Not sure that green was the best color choice, but it illustrates this alternative system pretty well. The total cost was about $15 for these two straps (two 2-packs of clips and one 2-pack of straps). 

Update #1 (July 29, 2013): The F-Stop website has shown Gatekeepers as "in stock" for a while now. I was on vacation and assumed that my backorder would ship and be waiting for me when I returned. However, they weren't, and an email on July 22 from F-Stop support confirmed that they handn't shipped. Somehow my backorder got lost in the shuffle and didn't ship; I wouldn't have known this if I wasn't periodically checking their page to know that they were in stock. The nice person at customer service said they would ship ASAP...But they didn't. A week later and still no Gatekeepers. With a follow-up email I learned that they bungled the shipping again. Hopefully they shipped today; I'll update if/when they arrive.

The interwebs are filled with similar comments, but I'll restate what others have observed: F-Stop makes an awesome product, but their availability, (back-)ordering, and shipping reliability leaves much to be desired...

Update #2 (August 2, 2013): Although the person I emailed with on Monday (in Update 1) said "they will ship today," just now (Friday) I got an email with shipping details. According to UPS a "shipping label has been created" and (maybe?) the are actually shipping today...five days after F-Stop said they had shipped. Well at least hopefully this is out of F-Stops hands and I only need to rely on UPS now...

Update #3 (August 7, 2013): The Gatekeepers have finally arrived, and they are slick. I seem to have ordered two more sets than I need (my guess is that when ordering, I didn't realize they came in pairs), so I have an extra set of both the long and short straps. Next time they go out of stock at F-Stop, they'll be like gold.

Reader Comments (8)

Are those the 24'' straps?

June 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSSL

Yep, the 24" straps from REI.

June 15, 2013 | Registered CommenterBen

Thanks for the tip! I just ordered a set to go with a Kenti instead of waiting for "Fall 2013" to roll around.

June 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSSL

Awesome-- I hope it works out for you!

June 18, 2013 | Registered CommenterBen

Hi Benjamin,

What is minimum and maximum adjustable length of the short and strap? I've asked f-stop this question, but have yet to hear from them. They should list these specs on their site. Glad to hear you finally got your double shipment.


December 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTony

Hi Tony-- I measure the maximum as 15.5 inches and the minimum is 5.5 inches (measured metal clip to metal clip).



December 9, 2013 | Registered CommenterBen

Thank you for all the info! Exactly what I needed trying to find F-Stop's own gatekeepers whilst they are out of stock.

Cheers mate!

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTim

Thanks for this! I've been looking for more sources for these sorts of clips .

BTW the Tom Bihn strap you showed is designed for use as a waist belt on some of his smaller bags, hence the long webbing. I tend to use velcro straps to tame long loose webbing ends. Other people are fond of the ITW Dominators though I haven't tried them myself. But yeah, better to not have to deal with it at all.

Tom Bihn also calls them "Double Gatekeeper" clips, so I suspect he just sources them either from F-Stop or from the same people they get them from. If it helps, you can order just the clips (no straps attached) for $1 per pair from this page, though shipping costs will likely outweigh the cost of the clips: http://www.tombihn.com/accessories/TB0560.html

August 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel

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