Lightweight Frameless Backpacks State of the Market Report 2011: Part 1 – Choosing and Using a Frameless Pack
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Lightweight Frameless Backpacks State of the Market Report 2011: Part 1 – Choosing and Using a Frameless Pack on 05/31/2011 14:41:06 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Lightweight Frameless Backpacks State of the Market Report 2011: Part 1 - Choosing and Using a Frameless Pack

Edited by addiebedford on 05/31/2011 18:50:53 MDT.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
nice on 05/31/2011 15:13:43 MDT Print View

I like state of the market reports.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Thanks on 05/31/2011 17:47:26 MDT Print View

I'm more into MYOG, but you have good info about fabric, packing, fit,...

For example, my pack usually doesn't extend much above the shoulder attachment but I think it would be better if it was a little smaller diameter and extended a few inches higher, like you said, thanks.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Art and equipment design on 05/31/2011 19:20:47 MDT Print View

"Think of features in terms of weight and functionality, not art."

I disagree! There's no excuse for functional design that isn't artful-- that is what craftsmanship is all about. A well designed and manufactured pack can have the same appeal as any functional object. In fact, I'll bet that those packs that are functional failures probably look the part in use.

Jeremy Platt
(jeremy089786) - F

Locale: Sydney
Great write up on 05/31/2011 22:48:51 MDT Print View

Thanks a bunch for this, really helpful tips!

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Lightweight Frameless Backpacks State of the Market Report 2011: Part 1 – Choosing and Using a Frameless Pack on 06/01/2011 10:46:47 MDT Print View

Thanks for taking on this SOTM 2011. Excellent start and I'm looking forward to the upcoming series.

Jeremy Gustafson
(gustafsj) - MLife

Locale: Minneapolis
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Windrider on 06/01/2011 10:57:46 MDT Print View

Will,

The HMG Pack had previously posted it's volume incorrectly on its website and has updated it in the last couple weeks. It is now posted as 2400 for the main compartment plus 600 for the outside pockets for a total of 3000.

Thanks for all your work!

Francis DeRoos
(fderoos@comcast.net) - M

Locale: Mid Atlantic
no ohm or circuit? on 06/01/2011 11:27:43 MDT Print View

Great article and I'm really looking forward to the next few weeks. Curious why the only ULA pack included was the CDT? What about the Ohm and Circuit? Both seem to meet all the criteria and they are often discussed on the forums so an indepth look into these packs would be a great interest to many. Not to nitpick, just curious.

Thanks for all this work.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Lightweight Frameless Backpacks State of the Market Report 2011: Part 1 – Choosing and Using a Frameless Pack on 06/01/2011 11:37:21 MDT Print View

The Ohm and Circuit were not included because they are not considered frameless:

"The purpose of the stays is to increase pack stiffness; they do not create an internal frame backpack because the stays are not solidly anchored to the hipbelt to directly transfer weight to the hips."

The frames they use are anchored to the hipbelt.

What is interesting about Will's perspective on this is that my Mchale LBP34 has stayes that are not connected to the hipbelt. Does this make it frameless? ;)

Nathan Lare
(cirque) - MLife
Timing on the rest of the report??? - Finger hovering over the submit button for my order on 06/01/2011 12:15:00 MDT Print View

Thanks for the good information. Has there been a published schedule for the remaining parts of the report? I am getting ready to order a new pack and was curious to see how they were rated.

Kyle Meyer
(kylemeyer)

Locale: Portland, OR
Re: no ohm or circuit? on 06/01/2011 12:43:08 MDT Print View

I agree about the Ohm & Circuit—both have as much a removable frame as any of the Gossamer Gear or Six Moon Designs packs. The fact that these aren't even considered in the state of the market when they're so wildly popular is a pretty big oversight or pedantic miscategorization.

"The purpose of the stays is to increase pack stiffness; they do not create an internal frame backpack because the stays are not solidly anchored to the hipbelt to directly transfer weight to the hips."

This report doesn't include some packs with removable stays because those packs use those stays in a more efficient manner? I don't understand the dichotomy between frameless packs with removable stays that are used one way versus another, and think it's silly to exclude a pack like the Ohm because it makes use of a stay too efficiently.

Edited by kylemeyer on 06/01/2011 13:06:51 MDT.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Re: no ohm or circuit? on 06/01/2011 13:11:32 MDT Print View

The circuit was in the internal frame SoTM report. Do you want it in both? I think the Ohm was excluded from that one due to size? Or am I remebering wrong?

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Lightweight Frameless Backpacks State of the Market Report 2011: Part 1 – Choosing and Using a Frameless Pack on 06/01/2011 13:15:04 MDT Print View

@ Kyle - one has to draw the line somewhere or then the review becomes one of increasing cross over. If you want to read about the Circuit, as Michael indicates, read the SOTM on internal framed packs.

Given that I have the Wind Rider, I completely understand where Will is coming from. It is essentially a frameless pack with minimally stiff stays that provide some back support but no stiffness into the belt.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Lightweight Frameless Backpacks State of the Market Report 2011 on 06/01/2011 14:15:35 MDT Print View

I'm also wondering why the very popular ULA Ohm was excluded from both this and the internal frame packs report! If my current pack (2005 version of the SMD Comet) should fall apart (no symptoms yet, fortunately!), the Ohm is the first pack I would look at as a possible replacement.

I realize that you have to draw the line somewhere, but considering how often the Ohm is recommended in this forum, I'm surprised that it wasn't reviewed in one or the other pack category!

Edited by hikinggranny on 06/01/2011 14:18:24 MDT.

Kyle Meyer
(kylemeyer)

Locale: Portland, OR
Re: Lightweight Frameless Backpacks State of the Market Report 2011: Part 1 – Choosing and Using a Frameless Pack on 06/01/2011 14:36:35 MDT Print View

"Given that I have the Wind Rider, I completely understand where Will is coming from. It is essentially a frameless pack with minimally stiff stays that provide some back support but no stiffness into the belt."

Sounds like there's room for improvement in the design then!

Thomas Trebisky
(trebisky)

Locale: Southern Arizona
Transfer weight to the hips???? on 06/01/2011 15:54:34 MDT Print View

I am baffled by this, and have been for a long time. The past few years I have been doing lightweight trips (a week long, starting at 32 pounds or so, but ending near 20 pounds) with a MLD exodus (which is a great pack). I never use the waist belt, nor do I want to with loads that are this light. Back when I was ignorant and carrying 50+ pounds, using the waist belt gave some relief (or enabled my entire body to suffer equally). Now that I am carrying nominal 25 pound loads I can whistle a tune and carry the pack all day without getting tangled up with a waist belt.

So, all I ask of my packing methodology is that I don't have jabby things jabbing me. I am not on some macho trip, just surprised that so many are enamored of waist belts, is this really so?

Matthew Black
(mtblack)
waist belt on 06/01/2011 16:02:40 MDT Print View

I carried 17.4 lbs over the Memorial day weekend in a Swift without waist belt for about 10 hours and found it really comfortable. I got the pack specifically because it is so modular and it seems like it will work great for me. I am uncertain about 25 or more lbs in the pack but it was great below that and I felt much better without the belt.

Gerald Weigl
(Overton) - F

Locale: 3rd rock from the sun
Terra Nova Ultra 20? on 06/01/2011 16:05:37 MDT Print View

I am missing the Terra Nova Ultra 20 pack here. Now that its available from backpackinglight, it should be included. Thanks!

Mark Hudson
(vesteroid) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Sierras
agree on 06/01/2011 16:23:36 MDT Print View

I agree, not having the ohm and circuit for whatever reason is simply subjective in your analysis of frame less or not. You show an aluminum "u" which seems to be exactly what is in my ohm regardless of how its anchored.

David Passey
(davidpassey) - F - M

Locale: New York City
Re: Transfer weight to the hips???? on 06/01/2011 16:29:11 MDT Print View

I vastly prefer a hipbelt, a wide thin hipbelt. I've resorted to MYOG to get exactly what I want.

For me, the hipbelt is not necessary, but it enhances the trip by making the carry that much better, far more than the offsetting 3-4oz drag associated with adding the belt. I don't cut weight unless it's neutral or enhances the overall experience.

Lighter on the shoulders, snug to the body when moving fast and hopping. All the benefits of a hipbelt applied to a 15 lb pack--a dream to carry.