External vs internal frame packs. (1 Viewer)

mkirby

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I've been torn about this for a while. I've always gone internal because I thought they were lighter, but I've been seeing a lot of externals lately that were lighter than internals. And there's the added benefit of being able to lash stuff to the frame, and the fact that your back doesn't get as sweaty in one.

What do you think?
 
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wartomods

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I prefer internal ( mine doesnt have steel or metal as frame but like a huge plate of plastic or some kind of semi flexible composite, it was cheapest i could get) and i guess it is cool because it draws less attention than a external frame.

I dont know but probably external can be more efficient and more durable, cause when you put it on the floor it is the metal that touches it.
 

ianfernite

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If you pack light (under 20 pounds, I'd say) go with internal. External frame packs can often times hold more (I've never seen an internal frame pack that had as much capacity as my large ALICE). External are good for the lack of back sweat (as long as your frame isn't bent like mine is, ugh). They seem to be simpler, too; less stuff that can break.
 

Ravie

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hey kid, figure out what your talking about before you speak. I have an internal frame pack and it carries around 60 lbs of shit. it's huge, makes your back sweat because of the comfy cushy shit(but it's worth it when it's rubbing on your back for 5+ miles. And the frame of my pack is a very lightweight metal. the pack by its self is probably less than 5 pounds. The problem with external is that some have metal bars that show or that stick out. when trying to be discrete, you do not want the shine of a light to reflect off of you...its a dead giveaway. and the metal bars sticking out(some have the bar behind the head) is that if your trying yo get over a fence, dodge through trees, ect... your probably going to get stuck on a branch or something, and because its the frame to your pack...you arent going anywhere until your unstuck...i prefer my sweaty internal.
 

Angela

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hey kid, figure out what your talking about before you speak. I have an internal frame pack and it carries around 60 lbs of shit. it's huge, makes your back sweat because of the comfy cushy shit(but it's worth it when it's rubbing on your back for 5+ miles. And the frame of my pack is a very lightweight metal. the pack by its self is probably less than 5 pounds. The problem with external is that some have metal bars that show or that stick out. when trying to be discrete, you do not want the shine of a light to reflect off of you...its a dead giveaway. and the metal bars sticking out(some have the bar behind the head) is that if your trying yo get over a fence, dodge through trees, ect... your probably going to get stuck on a branch or something, and because its the frame to your pack...you arent going anywhere until your unstuck...i prefer my sweaty internal.

External frames also don't seem to be designed to fit alot of different body shapes. If your short or hefty or a combination of the two(I'm both) they don't tend to ride in the right spot for comfort. They also can't be crammed through small spaces. For general versatility I definitely prefer internal frame packs or packs that are as marketed as large day packs.
 

Bendixontherails

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I prefer an internal myself. two long aluminum stays and a plastic 'framesheet' in the one I have right now. though it is likely to be replaced soon.

anyone here ever have a cfp-90?

it's a military patrol pack, not as big as the molle gear, but more 'hiker-pack' style than an alice.

cfp90specialforcesbackpack.jpg
 

Calea Spots

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i just traded my external for my buddy's internal. the external had just a bit more space but was so goddamn awkward to move around. i almost brained this toddler hauling it out of a ride's car (i know, i know... shameful shit). i like the internal more because i can toss it around stress free. i haven't walked more than a mile or two in it yet so i dunno how it's going to feel with chafing, sweating, etc. we'll see but so far i'd say go for an internal over an external. unless you're down with slaughtering babies.
 

finn

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Internal. All externals that I've seen have very rigid frames that stick out and prevent you from stuffing it into a locker. It might be fine if you're on the AT, or off in the middle of the wilderness, but otherwise you're not going to be needing all the carrying capacity and ability to strap endless things to the frame. Also, if you have to run, and the frame catches on something, it'll flip you right on your back.
 

ianfernite

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I take back what I said. External frame packs are sweet and tough as shit (military packs, I mean; other external frame packs don't look quite so tough), but they weigh too much to be practical for a scrawny motherfucker like myself.

Although, I did find a good way to judge whether or not a pack is too heavy; if you can't ride a bike without wobbling, you're probably carrying too much.

On a related note, I now have a spare large ALICE. Haha.
 

freepizzaforlife

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I have an internal frame pack, it gets the job done, it carries my shit. your hitching and/or freight hopping, you shouldn't be traveling with a lot of shit. just a few pairs of clothes and some other stuff. its a bitch to catch out, and walk down the high way for 5+ miles with a pack full of unneccssary shit. ALWAYS pack light.
 

spoorprint

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For general travel, an internal.They keep your stuff together (though I still wish they had lots of pockets like externals for organization).

I used to use an external to thumb. It was awkward.I got one of the "horns " (the end of the frame at the bottom) stuck in a car door once.Keeping the sleeping bag lashed to the bottom can be tricky getting in or out of vehicles.On buses or planes I fret about the sleeping bag getting lost. I think Shoestring pointed out that externals won't fit in certain grainers.

If I was going on a really long hike,I would still want an external.Lots easier to pack, rides higher,You can always lash more to the frame.Also, in the woods, you can pull out the cotter pins that hold the pack to the frame,maybe use something to pad the frame a bit,and lash cargo that wouldn't fit in the pack directly to the frame.Good for collecting fire wood, hauling sacks of potatoes into Rainbow,etc.
 

Poe Boy

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For carrying huge loads, I much prefer an external frame pack. But I'm talking going camping for a week kind of stuff.

For hoboing, if you NEED an external frame, you're humping too much shit. When I was on the road, I used a medium ALICE pack, with no frame -- since been gifted to another.

IMO a 40L (2400 CI) or so pack should be enough to carry everything inside, assuming you're taking winter gear along. Maybe 25L if not. Good internal frame packs in that range are fairly easy to find and not a fortune.
 

Peregrin

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I apologize in advance if this has already been covered, but I couldn't find anything that related to my question.

I have two nice large packs a friend gave me... one is an LL bean, real nice padding along the back... squishy, and the material covering it seems breathable.

the other pack is an equally large military pack... weighs about 10lbs empty. it has two metal inserts as a frame, and the shoulder straps are on an adjustable strap. the padding is pretty minimal, a small pad near the lumbar.

which pack is going to be better for long hikes? i don't plan on ever carrying more than 40lbs... they both have equal space and pockets, autoflail, waist belts, all the bells and whistles. i'll try and get some pictures up if that helps.

is camo going to give me punk points?
 

oldmanLee

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As far as punk points go,I'm about 25 years out of date with what works,but the best method I can think to test the two out would be as follows:get 5 1 gallon jugs,fill with water.Put them in one of the packs and try dealing with the pack for 12 hours(carrying,keeping track of,running;the standard day to day on the road).Whichever of the two doesn't make your lower back and knees feel like they are going to fall off,that's the one!
 

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