View Full Version : Frame or No Frame?

04-05-2007, 10:48 PM
I've seen people with frames for their back packs and i've seen people without. Whats everyone think? Does it help or does it just add more weight without any benefit?
I would think it does help because i know the military uses them but there not always right.:eek:

04-05-2007, 11:57 PM
I suggest a frame of some sort some bags come with internal frames, these are built in to the bag, and some are the regular external frame either way it helps distribute the weight of your gear along your back. Which any bag packed right will fill 10 times liter plus the frame helps you care the load correctly. It all boils down to how much weight are you packing and for how long

04-06-2007, 02:20 AM
The first consideration: What's the pack for? Short walks, full-day rambles, occasional overnights, every-weekend year-after-year long-distance hauls --- the needs differ. As they do for trail-tramping, peak-climbing, snow-sliding. Even foreign travel.

Then, how's the banks account? The hiker with money-lumpy pockets can fill his basement with special packs for special purposes... But poverty-stricken youths and parents impoverished by numerous offspring must spend carefully and not very often, seeking compromises between cost, versatility, and durability.

With these questions in mind and a resolution to keep cool, the novice is ready to address the three categories of pack: The rucksack is mainly used for day hikes but in larger models handles overnight gear decently. The packframe and bag (external frame) can do day duty well enough but is cheifly for overnight and longer. Occupying a shifty in-between position is a hybrid, more or less inaccurately but quite generally called the softpack (or internal frame), with distinctive virtues for special situations.

Inexpensive, continuing utility (school, work, kids, etc), capacities ranging from several hundred to a couple of thousand cubic inches, the heavier models are comfortable up to 30 pounds.

Softpacks (internal frame):
Leading designs now are simply overgrown rucksacks with flexible internal frames of plastic or aluminum or wood or fiberglass, many have all-around compression straps to crush the load for compactness, capacities ranging from 3,000 to more than 5,000 cubic inches, the heavier models are comfortable up to 50 pounds, unlike packframe-bags which totter high and unstable above the shoulders, the softpack puts the center of gravity low and snugly against the back, although in hot weather the snug fit makes for a sweaty back, having less room the softpack is fussier than the packframe when it comes to packing - demanding more attention as to how gear is stowed.

Packframe and bag (external frame):
The external frame is rather self-explanatory, with capacities ranging from 5,000 cubic inches on up (depending on how tightly you pack your equipment), a properly loaded quality packframe can hold over 100 pounds of equipment, a good packframe is expensive and considerably more uncomfortable than a rucksack, but a trek through the Amazon or up Mt. Everest or across the American plains or anything else truly extreme really demands a proper packframe and bag.

All of this was procured from "Backpacking: One Step at a Time" by Harvey Manning. Virtually every aspect of backpacks and especially different types of and the history of packframes are covered in Chapter 10. Excellent read, would recommend it to anyone considering or currently backpacking or hiking.


04-07-2007, 09:32 AM
Personally i prefer an internal soft frame pack. If you don't know how to pack it though you should learn because that can make a huge difference. They are lightweight and are pretty comfotable. Thats what i've always used.

04-07-2007, 03:52 PM
i personally like a framless bugout bag for my outings which consist of 1 to 30 days. it holds everything i need with room to spare woodsey.....

04-14-2007, 08:54 AM
I use a frameless bag called a Duluth Pack. They are made for canoeing but I use it for everything. It has something called a tumpline that you can use when carrying heavy loads. I do not walk long distance with it. The pack that I use is 5000 cubic inches. This is the packs website. They sell very good gear.


05-01-2007, 10:09 PM
I have a Kelty Red Cloud interenal frame, and I used it all over and it has always had more then enough room (5600 cu) and I can always put what I nned in it. I like the internal frame beter become sit can conform to your back better and relieve key stress points. OF ran rough trek though a.k.a. Mt Everest, Kilimanjaro, Mt McKinley, Amazon type jungle, anything that is more hten your average two week hike in the decidiuos forest mtns I would suggest an external frame, the only good external frames ones are quite expensive, but you have to have money for a large hiek anyways, they are worth it though. But I woulnd't trade my pack for anything int heworld though.

05-31-2007, 08:04 PM
i use a woods expedition (70L or 4250 cu) with an internal aluminum frame to haul more then 60 pounds of gear , it barly feels like 30 lb , make sure the pack you buy has padding and is high quality , its no good if it rips right away , what is your limit for spending $$$ ? (personally my gear cost $843 but iv accumulated it over 3 years so it didnt seem as much) a good pack is as good of an investment then a good sleeping bag and almost as valuable as a good leatherman (or other good multi tool) so its worth it to buy a good one right at the beginning , unless you arnt planning going for long hikes/backwood camping trips/ wilderness survival tests etc... then theres no point in buying a huge pack lol, wholesale sports has some fairly cheep external aluminum frame packs that you could check you if your planning on going for hikes 2+ weeks. Though i have gona on a 6 week survival training test with only what was in the pack and it was more then enough , so it all depends on what kinda things your bringing , personally the heaviest and largest (besides tent/tarps) items in my pack are my 4lb hatchet and military issue folding shovel so i dont have much trouble with a 70L pack , everyones needs are diff though so you should try with just a normal school pack (if you have one lying around) and if its enough , and doesnt hurt your back/shoulders, then its prob good enough and you dont have 2 worry about buying an expensive pack

07-30-2007, 11:18 PM
What's a back pack?

But seriously, there are a lot of things to consider. I just use a North Face pack that you can find in any department store. But if you're an equipment hound, you might prefer something bigger and heavier.

Internal frames are good for eneven terrain, as the center of gravity is closer to your body.

External frames are good as they can be used to pack out an injured companion.

No pack is good if you really like to rough it.

Not much of an answer, I guess

07-31-2007, 07:55 AM
One thing I like about external frames is they often keep the pack off the back, with an air space between. This can help reduce sweating.

07-31-2007, 11:08 AM
i know the military uses them but there not always right.:eek:

They're not?? Well, that explains the latter half of the 20th century, thanks for that. I have a couple of small day packs laying around, like marcraft I've accumulated gear over the years. For longer hikes, I recommend something with a frame, internal is fine. The extra weight consideration that you mentioned is non-existent, the frame distributes the entire weight better. If you're canoeing and have to portage, you may wind up with a goodly portion of canoe resting on top of your pack, so the frame is a big advantage there.

07-31-2007, 06:47 PM
What RobertRogers said, external frame packs usually have a space of air between the pack and your back so you don't sweat too much. I personally use an external frame pack. I think that non frames are best for mountains, snowy areas, and off the trail places. Therefore, I also think that frame packs are best for fairly flat areas and commonly walked trails etc...

07-31-2007, 08:07 PM
a back pac is what i put on my mule so me and horse can just amble along with no problems

08-01-2007, 10:28 AM
I preety much agre with strider on this one.I have read some where that generally speaking external pack are designed for well established trails and internal packs are better for off trail the load is close to yor body you can kep your balance better, either way a framed pack in or out helps with heavy loads expecialy over the long trail. Deluth packs are great but are concidered portage packs more for short heavy loads.