Should I get a pack with an external frame? (1 Viewer)

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storyofrachel

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I'm having trouble with my current pack, either because It's not the right size for my torso, or because I have scoliosis. Or maybe because I had never been hiking or anything before becoming homeless. Would an external frame pack be better? I don't plan on train hopping, but I do a lot of walking.
 
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CaptainCassius

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May 24, 2013
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Both have pros and cons, IMO it's important to have a pack with a frame whether internal or external.

External:
You can strap more stuff to the external which is nice, or strap it to other things for that matter, plus it makes a better chair. Can be a bitch to get through some tight spots or stow it, and doorways.. The skinny ones on DPUs come to mind.

Internal:
*usually* lighter and definitely easier to squish into things. If you get something like a MOLLE pack you'll also have a somewhat decent system for ad-ons and carrying extra gear. I don't think I've seen many 'hiking backpacks' that have that kind of feature although most are aimed at ultralight hiking and mountaineering purposes.
 

Eyegor

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Dec 24, 2015
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New York
Since the OP said lots of walking and no hopping plus back issues I would suggest an external frame but I’m bias. Either type will do the job IF properly fitted. Internal frames are a little more discreet and you will have way more choices.
If I may make another suggestion? Re-evaluate what you’re packing around with you. Lightening the load works wonders.
Good luck and let us know how it works out.
 

benton

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Apr 12, 2014
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Little Rock, United States
In my opinion, the main thing is to get the weight as high up on your back as possible and make sure the hip belt fits properly to transfer the weight to your legs.

This can be easier to accomplish with an external.
 

Porky81

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Oct 19, 2017
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Milwaukee wi
As I get up in age I'm starting to like my internal frame pack more and more partly due to the (independent suspension) straps and belly band but also the weight factor its lighter then my external frame pack but the external frame allows some more oppositions like adding more things but that also means more weight you have to carry on your back and didn't you say you have back issues as its is if that's the cases I'd look in to a frameless cubenfiber pack and then you build your frame with what you put in it ex your sleeping pad bedroll stuff sacks and what nots and them are super light and strong just something to think about
 

Tadaa

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Apr 18, 2010
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Tallinn, Estonia
I'm having trouble with my current pack, either because It's not the right size for my torso, or..

What pack do you have now?
Most larger bagpacks have adjustable parts for your length.. sometimes there are a bit hidden underneed the pads tho.
Also it takes a bit of practise to walk around with a bag.. how to load it, devide the weight vs reaching things easily. How to adjust all the straps.. (length, shoulders, waist)

I had an external one. 2 trips , 2 different bags. Both short hiking trips.. never again. Hated them. Couldnt find the proper way to put it on.

I swear by internal frame. More flexible, easier adjustments. Softer. Not always better aircirculation between yr back and the pack tho. (Cheaper once usually have less circulation.

Wouldnt mind trying a new external frame once.. but the 2nd hand stuff you find is all crap in my opinion.

My favourite pack was an haglöfs from 8 years ago. Borrowed itfrom a friend to walk across iceland 2 summers ago. skipping, jumping, climbing,.. no problem.. tried buying it from my friend but she loved it too.
It was a womens. Meaning the hip part is slightly different but it fitme perfect. As a lot of other packs slide down my waist cause i am skinny. ( this one rested on my hips just perfect cause the shape.


Keep playing around with all the straps untill you find the most comfy possition. If nothing else works check out a new one..

If you buy a new one its Better to spend a bit more money on one that fits you perfect then buying something cheap. Walk into all outdoor stores, try em on. Ask to put weight and volume in em .. especially if you are gona spend a few 100 dollars you want to have something that wont hurtor annoy you..

A few 100 dollrs is a lot of money if your homeless.. but its your everything..
And you can just try em on in stores and find something you love. Then try and find them online 2nd hand
 
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Tadaa

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Apr 18, 2010
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Tallinn, Estonia
https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/backpack.html
Pretty good info here..

Or..
https://www.mec.ca/en/explore/choose-and-fit-a-backpack

All outdoorstores i have been too like those above (rei, mec,..) have pretty knowledgeable staff. Tell them what you need. (Size, use, pricerange,. ) ask em for their own experience too to get an idea what they are used too.. go in quiet hours as then they have more time for you. (I always end up talking travelling and gear for a long time if i really need aomething

Hope all this helps

Ooh.. and https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/loading-backpack.html
 
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Hobo Mud

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Nov 25, 2015
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43
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Columbia, Tennessee
I have a lot of back issues and due to this I do not use external frames anyone. They seem to hurt my back a lot more than eternal frames. Before my back got as bad as it has, I didn't mind external frames.

As suggested external frames are not recommended for train hopping however for hiking long distances it certainly can help in my opinion. In the end your just going to have to do some experimentation to figure out what best works for you.

Make sure your weight in your pack is balanced properly as well. This can make all the difference. Safe travles friend.
 

Soulutions

Newbie
Joined
Dec 8, 2017
Messages
35
Location
richmond
After having a simple, small eternally framed, Walmart bag for awhile, then recently switching to an external, I'd say I prefer the external.

As an aside, is hopping with a external frame pack completely stupid or just harder?
 

Hobo Mud

Vagabond
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Nov 25, 2015
Messages
363
Age
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After having a simple, small eternally framed, Walmart bag for awhile, then recently switching to an external, I'd say I prefer the external.

As an aside, is hopping with a external frame pack completely stupid or just harder?
The problem that you would run into and why it is not recommended to use external frames pertaining to train hopping is because of the size of the frame and other factors.

Trying to squeeze a external framed back pack into a double barrel shotgun grainier can become a nightmare and catching a train on the fly and getting that frame snagged or caught onto the ladder or something on the train is another issue.

I have brought external framed bags before on trains and every time I have done so I have regretted it. Some people bring them however once again for me as far as training hopping is concerned it always becomes a aggravation.

I wouldn't go as far as saying bringing a external frame on to a train is stupid, it all just boils down to the aggravation that one might encounter while train hopping with a external framed back pack.
 

spoorprint

Pilgrim
Joined
Dec 21, 2007
Messages
182
Location
Steubenville, United States
Let's talk budget. Where I live you can find an old external for $15-$25 at a second hand store or flea market- but since availability is the problem with second hand shopping, it can be tricky. Be sure to check the zippers; of course you can't do that online.
 

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