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Stays in Frameless Packs
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Samuel Kau
(Skau) - M

Locale: Southern California
Stays in Frameless Packs on 12/13/2011 14:15:07 MST Print View

I have a SMD Swift and was wondering how the optional stays work. I feel that the pack carries great under around 22 pounds with a ridgerest but I am planning on changing pads to an inflatable and want to carry around 25+ comfortably (for extended trips for food and water). Since the stays are not directly connected to the hipbelt, I understand that it is not a true framed pack but...

Some questions I have for stays are:
-will stays carry more comfortably than a folded up ridgerest?
-Like a real internal or external frame, will stays make packing my pack tight and compressed be less important because I can't feel the contents within? for example a bear canister?

I understand that there are limits to a frameless pack but carrying 25 pounds for me would only be for extended trips which do not make up the majority of my trips which is why I want to solve carrying heavier loads with a $20 stay, not a another expensive pack. Thanks!

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
RE on 12/13/2011 14:23:40 MST Print View

"Some questions I have for stays are:
-will stays carry more comfortably than a folded up ridgerest?
-Like a real internal or external frame, will stays make packing my pack tight and compressed be less important because I can't feel the contents within? for example a bear canister?"

Disclaimer I have not used that particular pack.

1. The review of frameless packs concluded that frameless packs with optional stays carried best with stays AND a folded pack for support. You are right that the hipbelt isn't going to be attached to the frame but if nothing else the stays help prevent torso collapse i.e. to much weight on your shoulders.
2. I doubt it. You just have the two stays not the plastic backpanel and padding common on internal frame packs. If you have a foam pad I'd fold it against the back on top of the stays. If you want an air matt you might consider trying a short section of foam pad. Thats what I've done with my MLD Burn. I have a very short peice of folded foam in the back and the squisher thermarest goes on top of that. I'd try that first. If it just doesn't work I'd use the thermarest and it you really need more padding put a small air mat on top.

Edited by Cameron on 12/13/2011 14:27:29 MST.

Mark Fowler
(KramRelwof) - MLife

Locale: Namadgi
Re: stays in Swift on 12/13/2011 15:14:44 MST Print View

I have a 2011 Swift with the inverted U shaped stay. I have used it with and without the stay and I much prefer the carry with the stay, especially with weights up around 25lb. It is even better with a pad in the back as well. I am using a double layer (4 folds) of a Z-lite (100 grams) as the pad although I could drop to a single layer (2 folds). The pad doubles as a sit pad and a pad for my feet when sleeping (I use a short Neoair).

The pad is important as without it things do dig into your back without very careful packing. If you don't compress the contents well then things do move around and the load tends to settle into the bottom of the pack which is less comfortable to carry.

I am surprised by the large volume of the Swift and am currently considering a somewhat smaller pack for 2-4 day 3 season trips. My feeling is that compression systems are good for getting rid of 20-25% of the pack volume but if you need more reduction than this a smaller pack is a better option.

Edited by KramRelwof on 12/13/2011 15:24:26 MST.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
folded pad+ stays on 12/13/2011 16:53:07 MST Print View

I think optional stays are worth it in a frameless pack when paired with a folded up pad, especially when you breech the upper limits of a frameless pack, like at the start of a multiday trip loaded up with food and water.

My Ohm, not a direct comparison I know, carries well in the 20-25lb range with the addition of the inverted U stay, it helps keep the torso from collapsing severely like others mentioned. Pair a folded up foam pad inside the pack with a stay and you have yourself additional rigidity which helps tremendously, assuming the pack fit is proper. If you're comfortably carrying around 20lbs in your frameless pack I think it is safe to say that the addition of a stay can wncrease your load by 5lbs. What a stay doesn't help diminish is shoulder fatigue and discomfort, so make sure your arms and pack are up for heavier loads.

William Chilton
(WilliamC3) - MLife

Locale: Antakya
MLD/Klymit backpad for SMD Swift on 12/13/2011 23:35:07 MST Print View

MLD is now selling the inflatable back pad from their Exodus FS pack. I got the small size for my SLD Swift. I only got it yesterday so I haven't had much time to play with it, but it seems to fit perfectly in the pad pocket. It is quite pricey, but so far I'd say it really adds to the Swift, especially with the stay.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Stays in Frameless Packs on 12/14/2011 00:03:48 MST Print View

Hmmm, well stays will increase the rigidity of your pack, preventing torso collapse and ensuring that you can distribute the weight to your hips. Without the stays, heavier loads will make your pad buckle over and throw it all on your shoulders.