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Virtual Frame
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John G
(JohnG10) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic via Upstate NY
Virtual Frame on 03/05/2008 08:23:54 MST Print View

Which way of using a foam sleeping pad as a virtual frame gives the best weight transfer ? (Assuming side compression straps are used to cinch the load tight, etc)

Option 1. Pad rolled into a loose tube with all the gear stuffed inside it.


Option 2. Pad folded back and forth and stored along the back / inside of the pack.

Also, how well does the weight transfer of using the pad as a virtual frame compare to using a pack with a "framesheet" that is really just a thin piece of flat plastic ?


Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Virtual Frame on 03/05/2008 09:04:59 MST Print View

I have done each method and I found that the rolled up pad with gear stuffed in the middle is mouch more effective at distro'ing weight. In the Grand Canyon last year I carried 32 lbs (8 lbs of gear and 2 gallons of water) and I was comfortable all things considered.

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Virtual Frame on 03/05/2008 10:20:05 MST Print View

The rolled tube works best for higher weights.

Another issue is the distance between the heavy dense things in your pack and your back. A 40" long .5" thick pad folded moves the weight a minimum of 2" away from your back and that can create a leverage effect.

A virtual frame can be just a rigid as metal stays. The advantage of metal stays is that you can bend them to conform to shape of your back.