Okay I have been using frameless packs almost exlusively for the last couple of years and I like them just fine. However I'm currently in Texas so as soon as I start heading to areas like Big Bend I will be hauling a lot of water. At that rate I'm thinking a frame might be worth it again. The problem is my Gregory Z-55 is about 3 pounds 5 oz. which seems a bit much to carry 4.5 to 7 pounds of gear.
I am considering two options since I don't want to spend much money at all.
1. Wait till I get time (probably this fall) and just make a pack with an alumanium stay or two. I've already made multiple frameless packs so this should be possible its mostly a matter of finding time to do it when I'm not also try to hit the trail.
2. Trim my Gregory Z-55 down a bit. I'm thinking about possibly trimming the front shovel pocket, cutting excess straps and possibly removing the hipbelt straps since I don't use them much anyway. I can also remove the top pocket whenever I want. All this would mess with the design of the pack a bit but I think I can make mods and keep it functional.
What I'm curious about is whether anyone here has trimmed a pack like that (epecially a Z-55) and how much weight each cutting operation saved especially the front pocket which I think would be the most complicated but also save the most weight.