Sunday, January 14, 2007

External Frame for a Winter Pack Bag

External Frame for a Winter Pack Bag

Question: I have previously read the thread and looked at the pictures when you developed the External frame. I forget why you still use it. Was it primarily for ventilation? It was my understanding that external frames are most advantageous when hauling big (heavy) loads. Are there more advantages I am not aware of?


I have always liked the external frame for the reasons you stated and a few more.

Ventilation for me is first on the list but I think the way the External Frame carries a pack bag is also just better. With the right frame I can just change pack bags for the type of hiking I am going to be doing.

For back ventilation I believe that if I can move my pack bag a couple inches or so away from my back the "Highly Engineered Fabric" in the garment on my back will be able to do what I expected and paid for it to do. When you put a internal frame or pad supported pack on your back, you all but kill the fabric's ability to breath and deal with your sweat / heat. I will say that several pack makers have started to design ways to allow some venting to take place between their packs and your back. I am not sure how good their ideas are working. It is a step in the right direction. There was a time that when garments were tested the review would talk about how well they worked under a pack or didn't and most didn't. Now most reviews have removed comments about the item while wearing a pack.

For an External Frame to work in todays "Light Pack" world it has to be very light. My lightest so far was about 7 ounces. It was great for a pack weight of about 15 pounds total. The problem at that time was my pack weight was not that low. I also wanted something for cold weather hiking when the weight and pack volume goes up.

I have tried a lot of different materials and designs. They all work but were not what I am looking for.

The frame in the pictures is a work in progress. This frame has a lot of new ideas but is not made with the lightest materials. It is a design "test mule". After some testing I will decide what worked and what didn't and then make a new version out of lighter materials.

I can make a pack bag out of different Cuben Fiber that weigh from less than 1 ounce (G6 size) to 2.5 to 3 ounce like the bag in this thread. If you look at all the black loops, webbing, hardware etc. on the pack bag - they alone add up to a little over 1 ounce.

My External Frame goal is a frame that is around 1 pound and that could carry 20 to 25 pounds. The one pictured here is about 1.75 pounds. It has no Titanium in it but the final version will. The way to my one pound goal will be with Titanium and Carbon Fiber Composts.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like your gear.

I have a homemade pack that might give you some ideas for your external frame pack project. The frame of my pack weighs less than 3 ounces.

My home made external frame pack allows me to carry 40 lbs in comfort and the whole thing (back bag, front bag, straps, frame and waist belt weigh about 1 lb. It has about 5000 cubic inches of capacity and a top bar for strapping on additional gear.

It doesn't have the ventilation that yours has between pack and body. I know that was a criteria for you.

My homemade pack with 2007 update can be viewed at, Make Your Own, DJ's Frame Pack.

Friday, February 23, 2007 10:08:00 AM  

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