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William S.
(will4242) - F
Frameless without a pad? on 08/13/2009 10:11:08 MDT Print View

I'm looking to buy a pack and now that I've dived into the wonderful ultralight world, things have gotten shaken up. Here's my dilemma: I'd like to loose the weight of a frame and somehow utilize my tent poles instead. (just bought a tarptent cloudburst w/ two sets of poles. put them on the left and right sides?).

I went to REI and tried out this theory and was completely dissapointed. I placed two poles on each side of a display "Golite Jam", and filled it with pillow, beanbag, pillow. It was extremely uncomfortable because the pack bulged into the middle of my back in between the poles.

So now I'm looking for pack recommendations. Or, was this just a bad test for the Golite? I don't plan on hiking with a sleeping pad, but rather an inflatable mattress (worth the extra oz for comfort) Therefore I don't have the luxury of using one as a frame.

Also, a pack with room for a bear canister inside or outside would be good. I'd also be willing to sew in internal straps for my tent poles, so that they'd stay in the right place

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Frameless without a pad on 08/13/2009 10:35:41 MDT Print View

Oh boy - no that is not how to create a frame in a frameless pack. I am not sure if you are serious or just joking around and if it is the former, I apologize in advance. If it is the latter, I would like to see pictures :)

Okay - assuming you are serious, there are essentially three ways to create a virtual frame in a frameless pack:

a.) use a rolled closed cell sleeping pad. Roll it and stick it vertically inside the pack to create 'structure.'

b.) use a folded pad inside the pack and against your back (held in place by either straps that come with the pack or just through packing the rest of your gear.

c.) pack tightly your 'soft' goods against your back and make sure the pack is 'tight' through compression (compression straps).

For some packs, like the Golite Jam and Pinnacle, a foam back panel already will lend some support. For others the above is a must if going over about 20lbs.

John Paul Reid
(Reid) - F

Locale: SouthEast
frameless packs on 08/13/2009 10:42:11 MDT Print View

I've had all kinds of frameless packs and IMHO the frame is well worth the weight.

William S.
(will4242) - F
Re: Frameless without a pad on 08/13/2009 10:53:43 MDT Print View

a) and b) are not options, because, like I mentioned, I'm using an inflatable mattress. I posted this because I knew those two were standard methods that wouldn't work. And my reasoning behind using tent poles was that, if I had to pack them vertically anyways, why not pack them close to my back so that I can get that bit straight.

c) on the other hand, is a potentially good idea. I'll just have to examine my gear list and see what I can stick on the back,

Thanks for the help

Ernie Elkins
(EarthDweller)

Locale: North Carolina
Re: Frameless without a pad? on 08/13/2009 11:04:56 MDT Print View

If you haven't already, you should definitely take a look at Gossamer Gear's Mariposa, Miniposa, and Gorilla packs. They address a lot of the issues that you're confronting in very innovative ways -- they include a foam back panel (dual use SitLight pad) which adds structure to the pack, an optional curved stay for load transfer (more effective than the improvised tent poles), and the "Y" lash strap on top will securely hold a bear canister.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
c) on 08/13/2009 11:14:22 MDT Print View

Yeah c) is the way to go. I use a Jam pack with a NeoAir and roughly use the c) method.

The whole idea when you are packing the pack is to avoid lumps in the back area and pack the whole thing tightly. With the compactor system and 4 compression straps the Jam is easy to reduce in size enough to pack pretty much any load tightly.

I typically insert my 2 man tent into the Jam vertically and on one side of the pack. When I pack my tent I roll up the tent with the poles inside (like a hot dog) so the tent is both smooth and soft against my back. The foam panel in the Jam also helps a lot to smooth out any smaller bumps which is great. Without this you'd have a hard time getting the back smooth enough to be comfortable...you'd pretty much need a sleeping pad frame.

After I have the tent in, I insert my Ultra 20 quilt (in a 7L dry sack) down beside it at the bottom. From there I pile other soft-ish stuff on top of the quilt (like clothes)and harder goods behind the tent/quilt so they are away from my back. I think others don't use a sack for their sleeping bag/quilt so it can spread out and take up more space (plus it's less compression) but I like having it in my lightweight (1oz) dry sack so I know the down doesn't get wet. I don't use a pack liner.

I'm probably making this sound harder than it is...Just avoid any huge bumps in the back and the foam panel will smooth out the smaller ones. Snug up the compression straps so the gear doesn't move around and you are good to go.

Edited by dandydan on 08/13/2009 11:19:01 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Frameless without a pad on 08/13/2009 11:31:59 MDT Print View

Here is the good news - an inflatable will work with method a and b. Simply unroll (or fold) the pad and blow a little air into it. Works like a charm.

The nice thing is if you can do a and c or a and b together, you can create a nice tight load.

David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: Frameless without a pad? on 08/13/2009 11:50:42 MDT Print View

I've been using a sitpad made of cheap blue foam as a frame in my ULA Conduit and several MYOG packs. It works well enough for UL loads. The 20x12" piece of pad weighs 2oz. It doubles for sitting and rolls up for a nice pillow in a stuff sack.
There are several packs available that have partial frames like the ULA Ohm and GG options, a few lightly framed packs like the Granite Gear Vapor Trail and Osprey Exos 46 which can be trimmed down to 2lbs, maybe less. Some frameless packs have features to use sitpads as a frame, while you can improvise with others. Six moon designs has some nice packs with removeable stays all under 2 lbs which may fit the bill really well.
I wouldnt be caught using my Big Agnes as a frame though. The risk of holes seems too high.

Derek Cox
(derekcox) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Frameless without a pad? on 08/13/2009 12:08:56 MDT Print View

I second what David said. I use a frameless pack with an inflatable mattress and just roll it around the inside of the pack like you would do with a CCF pad and then inflate it until it takes up however much space you have remaining. This can be done before putting gear in the pack, after, or a combination of both, which is what i generally do. Also eliminates need for much compression.

the pole things isn't such a horrible idea... it could work better if you added some slots that the poles would fit in. look at how packs like the smd and gossamer gear ones that use stays and see how close you can get to emulating that using your poles.

Sunny Waller
(dancer) - M

Locale: Southeast USA
Frameless with a pad on 08/13/2009 12:32:33 MDT Print View

I also use a folded inflatable pad in a frameless pack..slightly inflated for comfort..I pack my gear up in 4 seperate stuff sacs and just stack it up against the pad. Very quick and easy.. if you try that you can experiment with the order you stack your gear in.. I put my sleeping bag on the bottom.. my heaviest stuff sac goes on top of that.. This works best for me- a short female... most of the guys I know will pack the weight up higher in the stack.

Johnathan White
(johnatha1) - F

Locale: PNW
Frameless without a pad? on 08/13/2009 14:45:30 MDT Print View

Many times I have used my Prolight 4 as my frame for winter backpacking. I expel all air by way of rolling and compressing, and then open it back up fully. It ends up flatter than my Ridgerests. I then roll it up loosely and stick it in the pack vertically. I unroll it within the pack, pack up my gear within the now-unrolled pad and open the valve before adding a bit of air to tighten it all up.

Just make sure there isn’t any sharp gear aiming towards the mattress.

Edited by johnatha1 on 08/13/2009 16:26:42 MDT.