Future Of Backpacks

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Harlen
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Re: Future Of Backpacks

Post by Harlen » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:35 am

Paul wrote:
Originally I bought the frame bare, no bag, and made my own cavernous pack bag out of 8 oz. packcloth. Later I remodeled, switching to 4 oz. oxford and trimming a bit off the top of the pack frame.... As it stands the total weight is 3 lbs 10 oz with a pack bag that is full length on a slightly shortened frame...... and I expect the total weight would get down under 3 lbs while still maintaining a volume that exceeds anything I'd be likely to want to carry.... ...Simplify and you can lighten up without losing any essential function.
Great ideas Paul. Getting the weight below 3 lbs. would be remarkable! Thanks for your reply and ideas.

Besides causing foot injuries, my other small problem with the old Kelty is that the big bear can doesn't fit inside; did you redesign your pack bag hold a sideways bearcan? It's only a small problem because I like to have that weight up top, and it does balance nicely there, and also strapped below the packbag when necessary. I am not yet seeking ultra-light gear, though I am heading that way.

What I am most interested in learning is how to make the EF pack a bit more stable. It's been many years since I've used one, and though I am happily reminded of how well they carry heavy loads, I am also noticing the extra movement of the load. I know they are better for trails than class 3 passes, and look forward to the challenge, but I am thinking up ways to steady the load. This version of a Kelty has the sternum strap, but no stabilizing webbing between the top corners of the frame and the shoulder straps, and I may decide to add those.

Did you come up with any clever stabilizing modifications Paul- anyone? Thanks, Harlen.








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Harlen
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Re: Future Of Backpacks

Post by Harlen » Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:35 am

We just returned from 9 days of backpacking using those old Kelty EF packs. Overall, it went well. Carrying the weight (45lb) higher and flatter toward our backs was nice-especially on the trail portions of our route. My Kelty was the only one with a straight bar across the back, rather than a curved bar, and I suffered a bit for it. When I exchanged packs, My friend and I both noticed the difference- Carleton was keen to give mine back!
So, do I put it in a vice and crank on it? Luckily, I'll often be able to choose from among the other two curved Keltys, as I go solo most often.
Besides that, I did feel that when scrambling on unstable slopes I would have been more solid with my heavy old Lowe IF pack. I think I am in the market for a lighter weight IF backpack- heads up Mav. :)

Note: I did sew in the stabilizing straps mentioned above, and they did help minimize load sway.
Last edited by Harlen on Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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maverick
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Re: Future Of Backpacks

Post by maverick » Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:41 pm

I think I am in the market for a lighter weight IF backpack- heads up Mav.
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Re: Future Of Backpacks

Post by paul » Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:49 pm

Harlen - I never made much effort towards stabilization with my EF pack. The only thing I did was to shorten the frame - cut some off the top - so that the load rides a bit lower. I did use it for some off-trail stuff but I woudn't anymore, my internals are just so much better for that sort of thing.

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Harlen
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Re: Future Of Backpacks

Post by Harlen » Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:16 pm

Paul, I was just being frustrated online, trying to pick the perfect IF pack- one big enough for my long trips/winter trips. I thought to return to HST, where a few favorite backpacks were mentioned by our folks, and now here is your reply. So, what is your favorite big IF backpack? I know already that your choice will include a pack that "skis well," and has side slots for storing the skis too. My personal favorite pack design detail is the "floating top," which allows me to greatly expand loads when necessary. Other than that, I am open to anything. Thanks in advance, Ian.

p.s. I just re read this thread, and note that you are one of those custom pack makers Paul. I'm not sure I'll be up for that right now. I also noted that both WD and Phil advocate EF Packs for heavy loads, so maybe I'll just monkey around with the best of the 5lb Keltys... but what about long distance ski travel with them?

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Re: Future Of Backpacks

Post by paul » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:18 pm

I would never, repeat, never, do a ski trip with an external frame pack. Did it many years ago and learned my lesson. Backpacking - sometimes an EF could be good - but never for skiing. There is however a middle ground that I don't know too much about - Seek Outside makes packs that have an external frame but are not built like an old style external frame. I haven't tried one, just looked at the website and read reviews.
If you have the budget, look at McHale custom packs. In my opinion, the best internal frame packs on the market and built to fit you specifically. If you can talk Dan into using some nice light fabric and eliminating some bells and whistles you should be able to get it pretty light and with his suspension you can carry more than you should ever want to.
I don't have a lot of knowledge on current pack offerings, since I have been using my own productions for so long. Simple is my motto - features are heavy. Simple sack, really good suspension is where it's at, but that is hard to find it seems. Pack makers like features.

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Harlen
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Re: Future Of Backpacks

Post by Harlen » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:46 pm

Thanks Paul. Not much of a budget around here, but I'll look into McHale's packs, and keep studying IF suspension. I'm sure you're right about skiing with EF packs.

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Re: Future Of Backpacks

Post by JosiahSpurr » Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:05 pm

longri wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:41 pm
Maybe a wheel on the pack? I've seen those on nicely groomed trails.
Oh, yes, that sounds like a good idea! It seems to me, that, moving weight off one's legs and onto a wheel will slow down the deterioration of one's body as one approaches 100 years old. But, then again, "the pack that walks like a man" (aka, Norman Clyde) is *the best* non-repetitive motion work-out *ever*! Especially off-trail and with obstacles in non-horizontal terrain (still want to revisit Carroll Creek near Owens Point to see if I can get through all those boulders that once seemed impossible). My body has gotten stronger & stronger thanks to lots of bush-wacking in the Eastern Sierra's. But, there are jaunts where I just wished I didn't have a pack on my back that was throwing me off-balance. A wheel... and some rope...

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Re: Future Of Backpacks

Post by Wandering Daisy » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:31 pm

A wheel on a pack may not be legal in the wilderness. It may be considered same as a bicycle, which are not allowed on most wilderness trails.

I do not think there ever will be a "do-all" pack. I have several and use each for different situations. My biggest gripe about current packs is fit. If you are small or large, most packs will not fit. And there are so many body types that the S-M-L sizing is inadequate. A few brands are using more adjustable designs or the option for different sized components. This is a step in the right direction.

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