Table of Contents
- Advantages of External Frame Packs
- Factors to Consider When Choosing an External Frame Pack
- Recommended External Frame Packs for Various Budgets
- How to Properly Fit an External Frame Pack
- Packing and Organizing Tips for External Frame Packs
- Maintenance and Care for External Frame Packs
- External Frame Packs vs. Internal Frame Packs: A Comparison
- External Frame Packs for Different Outdoor Activities
- The Evolution of External Frame Packs
- The Future of External Frame Packs
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are you an avid hiker, backpacker, or adventurer seeking a reliable and efficient way to carry your gear? Look no further than external frame packs. These versatile backpacks have been a staple in the outdoor community for decades, offering exceptional comfort, durability, and load-carrying capabilities. In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of external frame packs, their advantages, how to choose the right one for your needs, and why they are the preferred choice for many outdoor enthusiasts.
External frame packs are backpacks designed with a rigid frame made of lightweight materials such as aluminum or carbon fiber. The frame is attached to the outside of the pack and provides structure and support. Unlike internal frame packs, external frame packs have an exposed frame, allowing for better weight distribution and ventilation.
Advantages of External Frame Packs
External frame packs offer several advantages that make them a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts:
Enhanced Load Carrying Capacity: One of the standout features of external frame packs is their ability to carry heavy loads with ease. The external frame creates a solid structure that can handle larger volumes of gear compared to internal frame packs. This makes them ideal for long backpacking trips or expeditions where you need to carry camping gear, food supplies, and other essentials.
Improved Ventilation: Due to the external frame’s design, there is increased airflow between your back and the pack. This ventilation helps to prevent excessive sweating and keeps you cooler during strenuous activities. The gap between your back and the pack allows air to circulate, reducing discomfort and providing a more enjoyable outdoor experience.
Excellent Weight Distribution: The rigid frame of external packs allows for better weight distribution. The load is evenly distributed across your hips, shoulders, and back, minimizing strain and fatigue. This ergonomic design ensures that you can hike longer distances without feeling weighed down, making external frame packs an excellent choice for extended trips or challenging terrains.
Versatile Attachment Points: External frame packs often come with multiple attachment points, allowing you to secure additional gear such as sleeping bags, tents, or hiking poles. These attachment points offer flexibility and customization options, enabling you to optimize your pack’s organization and accessibility according to your specific needs.
Recommended External Frame Packs for Various Budgets
When it comes to external frame packs, there are options available for every budget. Here are some recommended packs:
#3. ALPS OutdoorZ Backpack Review – Durable and Versatile Hunting Gear
The ALPS OutdoorZ Backpack is the ultimate companion for hunters seeking durability, functionality, and versatility. Crafted from durable Ripstop fabric, this backpack can withstand the harshest hunting environments and heavy use. Its top-loading design with a spindrift collar and drawcord ensures the main compartment is secure and protected from the elements. With multiple pockets, including a side spotting scope pocket, hinged side accessory pockets, front pockets, and waist belt pouches, organizing your gear has never been easier. The detachable pack bag offers a unique feature that allows you to use the frame for hauling out meat, thanks to the secure lashing system. The anodized cotter and clevis pin design ensures effortless adjustability for a comfortable fit. Stay hydrated on your hunting expeditions with the backpack’s hydration compatibility and enjoy easy access to the main pocket through the lower door. With a total weight of 7 lbs and a capacity of 86 L, this backpack strikes the perfect balance between carrying capacity and lightweight design.
The ALPS OutdoorZ Backpack has gained popularity among hunters for a multitude of reasons. Its durable construction and rugged Ripstop fabric make it a reliable choice in even the most demanding hunting conditions. The versatility of this backpack is unmatched, thanks to the detachable pack bag feature, which allows you to transform it into a hauling system for meat. Hunters appreciate the abundance of storage options provided by the various pockets, ensuring that all their hunting essentials are within reach. The hydration compatibility ensures that you can stay refreshed and focused during long hunting trips. Additionally, the backpack’s drop-down rifle holder pocket and webbing loops for lashing extra gear further enhance its functionality. Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or an outdoor enthusiast, the ALPS OutdoorZ Backpack offers the durability, convenience, and features you need to make your hunting experience exceptional.
- The sturdy ripstop fabric endures demanding usage and challenging hunting environments
- Top-loading design with spindrift collar and drawcord secures the main compartment
- Multiple pockets for organized storage, including side spotting scope pocket, hinged side accessory pockets, front pockets, and waist belt pouches
- Detachable pack bag with a secure lashing system for hauling out meat
- The cotter and clevis pin design features anodization for convenient adjustability
- Hydration compatible for convenience during long treks
- Lower door access for quick retrieval of gear
- Drop-down rifle holder pocket for secure rifle storage
- Webbing loops for lashing additional equipment
- Relatively heavy compared to some other backpacks
- Limited color options (currently available in Coyote Brown)
Why People Prefer This Product:
Hunters choose the ALPS OutdoorZ Backpack for several reasons. Its durability sets it apart, as the Ripstop fabric can withstand heavy use and harsh hunting environments. The backpack’s versatility, with the detachable pack bag and hauling system, adds to its appeal. The convenience of multiple pockets, hydration compatibility, and rifle holder pocket further enhances its functionality. Overall, this backpack offers a reliable and feature-packed solution for hunters.
#2. TIDEWE Backpack – The Ultimate Hunting Companion for Outdoor Enthusiasts
The TideWe Backpack is the ultimate companion for outdoor enthusiasts who are passionate about hunting. With its large capacity of 5500 cubic inches (90L), this backpack can easily accommodate all your gear for a 3-5 day hunting journey. The main compartment features a high-quality strapping system and a two-in-one carrier for your bow or rifle, ensuring secure and convenient storage. Additionally, the backpack includes multiple small compartments, waist bags, and side pockets, offering ample organization options for your hunting essentials. The extension bag with a drawstring on top allows you to increase the main compartment’s capacity even further, making it perfect for those who like to be prepared for any situation. Whether you need to carry clothing, food, tools, or other hunting gear, the TideWe Backpack has you covered.
Not only does the TideWe Backpack offer impressive storage capabilities, but it also prioritizes your comfort and convenience. Designed with adjustable shoulder straps and frames, you can easily customize the backpack to your size, ensuring a snug and secure fit. The ergonomic design with soft and breathable padding reduces pressure on your body, making long walks through the woods much more comfortable. The curved top frame design provides a dedicated spot for your head, offering protection against accidental impacts. Additionally, the backpack’s lightweight and compact frame, along with the folding freighter shelf, make it easy to carry even with heavier loads. With the TideWe Backpack, you can embark on your hunting trips with confidence, knowing that your gear is organized, and accessible and that your comfort is prioritized.
- Large capacity of 5500 cubic inches (90L)
- Two-in-one carrier for bow or rifle
- Multiple small compartments, waist bag, and side pockets
- Extension bag with drawstring for increased capacity
- Adjustable shoulder straps and frame for a personalized fit
- Soft and breathable padding for pressure reduction
- Curved top frame design for head protection
- Reinforced Hypalon for reduced collision noise
- Large capacity to accommodate all gear
- Ergonomic design for maximum comfort
- Noise-free fabric for stealthy hunting
- Durable construction for long-lasting use
- User-friendly features for convenience
- The large size may not be suitable for hunters looking for a more compact backpack.
Why People Prefer This Product:
Hunters prefer the TideWe Backpack for several reasons. Firstly, its large capacity allows them to pack everything they need for a 3-5 day outdoor hunting journey, ensuring they have all the necessary gear at hand. The ergonomic design and comfortable padding make long walks much more enjoyable, reducing strain on the body. Additionally, the noise-free construction and next camo g2 fabric help hunters blend into their surroundings and remain undetected. The user-friendly features, such as the quick access design, compatibility with hydration systems, and waterproof rain cover, add convenience to the overall hunting experience.
#1. MT Backpack Review: A Reliable and Versatile Military-Style Pack
The MT Backpack is a reliable and versatile military-style pack that exceeds expectations in terms of performance and durability. With a spacious main compartment measuring 21 by 14 by 6.5 inches, this pack offers over 2,000 cubic inches of storage capacity, ensuring you have ample room for all your essentials. Crafted from high-density 1000D waterproof Oxford fabric and treated with a two-layer PU coating, the MT Backpack provides exceptional protection against the elements. Its sturdy construction is further reinforced by UTX and Mould Metal Buckles, guaranteeing secure fastening and long-lasting reliability.
Designed with convenience in mind, the MT Backpack features multiple pockets and compartments for organized storage. The three utility pockets on the outside are equipped with adjustable straps and buckle closures, allowing for quick and easy access to miscellaneous items. The top flap pocket, sealed with hook and pile fastener tape, offers additional storage space for your essentials. The pack also includes equipment hangers and drainage eyelets for added convenience. The MT Backpack’s mixed aluminum and iron external frame not only make it lightweight but also ensure its strength and durability. Whether you’re a military professional, an avid camper, or an outdoor enthusiast, the MT Backpack is your go-to companion for all your adventures.
- Durable construction with high-density 1000D waterproof Oxford fabric
- Ample storage space with a main compartment and three utility pockets
- Adjustable straps and quick-release buckle for comfort and convenience
- ALICE Rucksack System with padded shoulder straps and kidney pad strap
- Mixed aluminum and iron external frame for a lightweight yet sturdy design
- Radio pocket for secure storage of communication devices
- Envelope pocket for field pack frame storage
- Equipment hangers for easy organization
- Drainage eyelets for water escape
- Buckles, straps, and D-rings for attachment and anchoring
- Limited color options (only available in army olive drab green)
Why People Prefer This Product:
The MT Backpack’s popularity stems from its impressive combination of features and performance. Its generous storage capacity, rugged construction, and versatility make it a preferred choice for a wide range of users. Whether you’re a military professional, a camping enthusiast, a hiker, or a traveler, the MT Backpack provides the durability and functionality you need for your adventures.
How to Properly Fit an External Frame Pack
To achieve maximum comfort and functionality, it’s crucial to properly fit your external frame pack. Follow these steps:
- Adjust the shoulder straps: Loosen the straps, put on the pack, and tighten them until the pack feels snug but not overly tight. The shoulder straps should distribute the weight evenly across your shoulders.
- Adjust the hip belt: Fasten the hip belt around your waist and tighten it. The majority of the pack’s weight should rest on your hips rather than your shoulders.
- Adjust the torso length: Some packs allow you to adjust the torso length to match your height. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the frame aligns with your back properly.
Packing and Organizing Tips for External Frame Packs
Efficient packing and organization are key to maximizing the benefits of an external frame pack. Consider the following tips:
- Pack heavy items close to your back and center within the frame to maintain balance.
- Utilize compression straps to secure and stabilize your load.
- Place frequently used items within easy reach, such as snacks, a water bottle, or a map.
- Utilize the pack’s attachment points to secure gear that won’t fit inside.
- Consider using stuff sacks or dry bags to keep your gear organized and protected from the elements.
Maintenance and Care for External Frame Packs
Proper maintenance and care can extend the lifespan of your external frame pack. Follow these guidelines:
- Regularly inspect the frame, straps, and buckles for any signs of wear or damage.
- Clean your pack after each trip to remove dirt, debris, and sweat.
- Store your pack in a cool, dry place to prevent mold or mildew growth.
- Avoid overloading your pack beyond its recommended weight limit.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for any specific cleaning or maintenance requirements.
External Frame Packs vs. Internal Frame Packs: A Comparison
When it comes to choosing a backpack for your outdoor adventures, two popular options are external frame packs and internal frame packs. Each type offers distinct advantages and considerations. In this comparison, we’ll explore the features, benefits, and differences between external frame packs and internal frame packs to help you make an informed decision.
External Frame Packs
Frame Placement and Design:
- External frame packs feature a visible, rigid frame attached to the outside of the pack.
- The frame is constructed using lightweight materials like aluminum or carbon fiber.
- The frame provides structure, and support, and creates a gap between the pack and your back, allowing air to circulate for better ventilation.
- External frame packs excel at carrying heavy loads over long distances.
- They have a higher weight-carrying capacity compared to internal frame packs.
- The frame creates a stable platform, distributing weight evenly and reducing strain on your back.
Organization and Attachment Points:
- External frame packs offer more external attachment points for gear such as tents, sleeping bags, or hiking poles.
- Frequently, they possess numerous pockets and compartments to facilitate organized storage.
- The external frame design allows for better accessibility to items without unpacking the entire bag.
Stability and Balance:
- The external frame provides stability, especially on uneven terrain.
- The weight distribution is more noticeable on the outside, which can give a more balanced feel while hiking.
- External frame packs are well-suited for activities that require carrying heavy loads for extended periods, such as multi-day backpacking trips, hunting, or mountaineering.
- They are favored by individuals who prioritize load-carrying capacity and ventilation.
Internal Frame Packs
Frame Placement and Design:
- Internal frame packs have a flexible frame concealed within the pack’s fabric.
- The frame is usually made of lightweight materials such as aluminum or composite materials.
- The frame contours to your back, providing a closer fit and maintaining a lower profile.
Maneuverability and Flexibility:
- Internal frame packs offer better maneuverability in tight spaces due to their sleek design.
- They provide a more natural range of motion while hiking or climbing.
- Internal frame packs distribute weight closer to your body’s center of gravity, enhancing balance and stability.
- The pack’s weight is evenly distributed along your hips and shoulders, reducing strain on specific areas.
- Internal frame packs are versatile and suitable for a wide range of activities, including day hikes, backpacking, and climbing.
- They are favored by individuals who value mobility, agility, and a streamlined appearance.
Comfort and Fit:
- Internal frame packs offer a snugger fit against your back, reducing pack movement and increasing comfort during dynamic activities.
- They provide a more body-hugging feel, which can be advantageous for technical maneuvers.
External Frame Packs for Different Outdoor Activities
External frame packs cater to various outdoor activities. Here are some examples:
- Backpacking and Hiking
External frame packs are a popular choice for backpacking and hiking adventures. Their excellent load-carrying capacity and ventilation make them ideal for long trips where carrying camping gear, food supplies, and equipment is necessary.
- Hunting and Fishing
For hunting and fishing expeditions that involve carrying specialized gear, external frame packs provide ample space and attachment points. They allow hunters and anglers to transport firearms, fishing rods, game meat, and other essentials conveniently.
- Mountaineering and Climbing
In mountaineering and climbing scenarios, where carrying technical equipment such as ropes, harnesses, and ice axes is crucial, external frame packs offer the necessary capacity and stability. Their robust frames provide excellent support and weight distribution on challenging terrain.
The Evolution of External Frame Packs
External frame packs have evolved significantly over the years. Initially designed for military use, they were later adapted for recreational purposes. Innovations in materials, frame design, and ergonomic features have enhanced their performance and user experience. Today’s external frame packs are lighter, more durable, and offer better load-carrying capabilities than their predecessors.
The Future of External Frame Packs
As technology and materials continue to advance, the future of external frame packs looks promising. Manufacturers are focusing on further reducing weight, enhancing ventilation systems, and integrating smart features such as built-in GPS or solar charging capabilities. The goal is to provide outdoor enthusiasts with even more comfortable, efficient, and versatile gear-carrying solutions.
External frame packs remain a reliable choice for outdoor enthusiasts who prioritize comfort, load-carrying capacity, and durability. With their superior ventilation, weight distribution, and versatility, they are well-suited for various activities, from backpacking and hiking to hunting and climbing. By considering the factors discussed in this article and selecting the right pack for your needs, you can embark on your outdoor adventures with confidence, knowing that your gear is securely and comfortably transported.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1: Can I use an external frame pack for day hikes?
A1: Yes, external frame packs can be used for day hikes, especially if you require extra gear or prefer the load-carrying capabilities they offer.
Q2: Are external frame packs suitable for petite individuals?
A2: Some external frame packs are designed with adjustable features that accommodate different torso lengths, making them suitable for petite individuals. Ensure to choose a pack that offers the right fit for your body type.
Q3: Can I attach a tent or sleeping bag to an external frame pack?
A3: Yes, most external frame packs come with attachment points that allow you to secure additional gear such as tents, sleeping bags, or sleeping pads.
Q4: Are external frame packs waterproof?
A4: External frame packs are not inherently waterproof. However, many packs come with built-in rain covers or offer compatibility with separate waterproof liners or covers.
Q5: Can I use an external frame pack for air travel?
A5: It’s best to check with the specific airline regarding their regulations for backpacks and carry-on items. Some external frame packs may be too large to qualify as carry-on luggage.