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Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1A: Testing Overview and List of Packs Tested
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Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Pack pockets on 09/08/2010 14:33:30 MDT Print View

I like properly-done pack pockets, because they make it easier to be organized. If you always put the same thing in the same place, it is easy to quickly find what you want (without opening the main bag for small things or disturbing everything else). Furthermore, it is easy to keep everything in its place, even when in camp.

The downside is that by permanently partitioning the pack volume you make it less flexible. As far as I am concerned, that is no problem -- I am looking for convenience, not a freighter.

These days, in the name of light weight, I accept the loss of convenience. Doesn't mean I have to like it, though.

-- Bob

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: bask light 69 on 09/08/2010 16:04:24 MDT Print View

Hi Roman

Well, I don't speak Russian, but that sure looks like an internal frame pack to me. Good specs too. How do we get one to test?


Dan Healy

Locale: Queensland
pack comfort ... and carrying water on 09/08/2010 21:56:56 MDT Print View

Geez Rodger you sure picked a tough gig on this one. Good on you. Qualitative data is easy to come by in packs - just check out some of the manufacturers websites. There are some very expensive packs out there with very little science behind them so some hard data is really appreciated.

But I am thinking that at the end of the day that 'comfort' is waaay too subjective. … for example…
Our club has a Tuesday night pack training hike and we often swap/try packs. Interestingly the owner of a new pack would never admit that the 15kg or so does not carry with the same 'comfort' as another pack - while it is obvious to everyone else!

I do have to disagree with you on the water front though. By carrying water (we use bidons) on the front of the harness you are able to monitor how much water you are using - as opposed to a bladder in the pack – (critical if you are carrying 2 days worth and it has to last), water is easy to use on the move as opposed to a bottle in the pack, significant weight is taken from your back and put on the front of the pack. A bidon is great for getting water from shallow pools and getting a bladder out of a pack can be a pain and then filling it from a pool and putting a soaking bladder back in your pack is not great. A bidon/s on the front of the harness does not impede general travel but does need to be moved to a pocket for scrambling and climbing of course.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: pack comfort ... and carrying water on 09/09/2010 04:17:05 MDT Print View

Hi Dan

> By carrying water (we use bidons) on the front of the harness you are able
> to monitor how much water you are using - as opposed to a bladder in the pack

A lot of assumptions there! Let's see:

For a start, we don't use bladders. Second, we don't drink on the move either. Only when we stop every few hours.

I assume by 'bidon' you really mean some sort of bottle? Well, we use 1.25 L PET (fizzy drink) bottles for water carrying, and they give us a very good measure of how much water we have at any time. And yes, we do use them for dry camps overnight.

But those bottles go inside our pack, out of the way, especially in scrub and around cliff lines. Since we don't drink all the time, that works fine for us. Ymmv.

> 'comfort' is waaay too subjective.
Well .... true in some ways, but I know when something is NOT comfortable!


Alexey Adamov
(BASK-company) - F
BASK light 69 on 09/09/2010 06:48:40 MDT Print View


My name is Alexey and I work in BASK company Russia.
I tested Light 69 by myself in Asian mountains in winter and found it very nice, comfort and surprisingly durable. Actualy we developed this moder for the famous russian climber Gleb Sokolov, he wanted light, comfortable, easy pack without any odd or unnecessary parts.
Here is a Google translated web page about this backpack

There you can find 3D picture and take a look at the pack from all sides (even if you do not have 3d glasses)

In future we plan to make it even lighter 850gr vs 1kg (current weight)

Perhaps in future we will get an English version of our website.

Right now we have one sample that can sent for testing if you provide us with detailed testing results, description and pictures.

For any questions you may wright on my e-mail

Have a nice day

Dan Healy

Locale: Queensland
Re: Re: pack comfort ... and carrying water on 09/11/2010 18:22:06 MDT Print View

Roger, re water carrying... you have a different option with keeping water bottles in the pack. I was more pointing out that that technique is not the only one employed in Australia and ergo is perhaps not the reason we don't have mesh side pockets on many of our packs here.
I think the reason is, as you suggested, that when you go off track here the scrub is very tough on mesh and loose pockets. Though I am not sure it should be. The bigger the pack the harder it is to push through stuff... I am sure you remember the old Mountain Mule style - low and wide - great for scrub bashing.

Edited by electricpanda on 09/11/2010 18:22:52 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: pack comfort ... and carrying water on 09/12/2010 15:44:21 MDT Print View

Hi Dan

Oh yes: my wife had a Mulette for many years.
Edit: and she says she had bruises on her arms from the wide frame too!


Edited by rcaffin on 09/13/2010 16:29:49 MDT.

Daniel Fluri
(dani) - F
BP-L? on 09/17/2010 01:18:24 MDT Print View


Your statement

"A Super-Ultra-Light (SUL) frameless pack is fine for a couple of days in the summer when you can be sure it will stay fine and warm, but for many walkers SUL remains a distant goal. For walkers going on longer trips, or going up in the mountains where the weather is more variable and requires more gear for safety, a slightly larger pack is needed. As the load increases, the limitations of a frameless pack become apparent, and greater comfort can be had with a framed pack."

is pretty far away from the truth as not only I experienced it. We just did a three week trip on the HRP (Pyrenean Haute Route) me with a golite breeze and my friend with a GG mariposa (with the stays removed!).

Living in Switzerland we hike the alps quite regularly, always just with our 200-500g bags and yes, we do carry crampons, tarps, sleeping bags, mats etc., and no, it is not uncomfortable.

This venture into the ever heavier and sturdier is very much in contradiction of all that has been established, not only by this website, over the last say ten years.

I do however see the limitations of SUL. Once you have reduced your pack weight to zero, the website and all that live of it become obsolete. Go-Lite experienced this a couple of years ago, so they went Go-Heavy. Let's hope BPL does go the same way.

Best Regards from Europe

Dan Healy

Locale: Queensland
Re: BP-L? on 09/19/2010 23:49:27 MDT Print View

I am going to defend Mr Caffin here... he said 'greater comfort' ... not... 'you can't do it'

You also said 'it is not uncomfortable'... your 'not uncomfortable' is someone else's 'not comfortable enough' and someone else's 'its ok - but I wouldn't carry it for a week' ... etc etc...

I think we agree that 1.5kg pack will carry 12kg more comfortably than a 500g pack... whether you are ok with the weight trade of is up to each individual.

Rolfe de la Motte
(rgdela) - F

Locale: Northern Tasmania
An affordable alternative on 04/18/2011 04:35:27 MDT Print View

Terrific work Roger.
I would like to propose the Black Wolf B-lite 55 for inclusion, perhaps in your suggested 'frameless with a little stay' reviews. It's a 55 litre, 800g internal frame pack which can be purchased (online) for $79.50 + $15 postage (in Australia- not sure about general distribution). I've done a little review at if you would like to have a look.


James Anson
( - MLife
Your MYOG Pack on 08/18/2011 14:53:08 MDT Print View

You've piqued my interest with your comments on your MYOG pack. Can you show us a picture or tell us more about it?