Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Light Weight External Frame Packs?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Charles Schaefer
(ArmchairRacer) - F

Locale: Utah
Light Weight External Frame Packs? on 07/06/2012 21:26:15 MDT Print View

I love external frame packs, they're infinitely more comfortable imo than internal frame, and yes, that's after trying on some of the nice internal frame packs from Osprey and the like. So here's the problem I have: I need a pack that's in about the 40 liter range and I'd like something fairly light weight, but that's sort of a back seat to comfort. Well anything that small in an external frame is a youth size pack that wont fit my 21 inch torso, and every external frame I can find that will fit my torso seems to be 65+ liters. So, barring the $600 luxury lite pack, does anybody know of an external frame pack, that fits a 21 inch torso and is roughly 40 liters?

I've never done any myog before so I'd like to avoid it if I can.

Thanks for any help.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Light Weight External Frame Packs? on 07/06/2012 21:32:54 MDT Print View

William Wang
(billwang) - M

Locale: SF Bay Area
Zpacks Exo (or Arcblast) on 07/06/2012 21:33:24 MDT Print View

I have a Zpacks Exo. If you order tall size it goes upto 24" torso. 14oz!

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Light Weight External Frame Packs? on 07/06/2012 22:09:18 MDT Print View

The ULA OHM is an external and the main bag is about 40l.

Charles Schaefer
(ArmchairRacer) - F

Locale: Utah
Re: Light Weight External Frame Packs? on 07/06/2012 23:21:02 MDT Print View

Thanks, the zpacks looks like a decent option, not a big fan of how the ula ohm looks. I was really hoping for something more like a traditional external frame pack, I guess if I can't find anything I could try my hand at making a bag and putting it on a pre-existing frame.

rich y
(gkine) - F

Locale: NorCal
Re: Light Weight External Frame Packs? on 07/06/2012 23:32:57 MDT Print View

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
UL Externals. on 07/07/2012 01:59:28 MDT Print View


Edited by bigfoot2 on 07/07/2012 02:01:00 MDT.

David Goodyear
(dmgoody) - MLife

Locale: mid-west
Myog on 07/07/2012 05:00:08 MDT Print View

I do agree that there is nothing like the comfort and carry of an external. I was where you were a year ago and bought an external with a robust belt and frame - cut it up and made a packpag that fit my needs.

MYOg was the way to go for me and it may be for you. The beauty of it is that not only do you get what you want, you develop skills to repair, modify or replace gear as you see fit. Plus, you don't have to spend $$$$$ for gear - only $$.

Good luck in your search.


I'm not sure this will be helpful, but use it as you see fit.

Vince Contreras
(pillowthread) - F

Locale: like, in my head???
DIY FTW! on 07/07/2012 10:55:14 MDT Print View

Hi Charles!

I think MYOG may be the best option as well; were I you, I'd look over the offerings over at I have one of their 2012 ICON frames on order, and plan to have Joe over at Z-packs or Chris at Zimmerbuilt build a cuben pack-bag for me. One of the best parts about a packbag, in my opinion, is the ability to use it like a "beaver tail", stuffing extra gear in-between the pack-bag and one's pack frame. The new KUIU ICON frame promises to be the stiffest, strongest frame on the market for its weight.

Charles Schaefer
(ArmchairRacer) - F

Locale: Utah
Thanks Guys! on 07/07/2012 14:38:46 MDT Print View

I think I'm going to start watching yard sales, craigslist, etc for old external frame packs and I'm just going to go the myog route cannibalizing an old frame.
Those KUIU packs look really nice, but at $300 for just the frame and suspension that's a little rich for my blood; I'm still in college.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
: "Light Weight External Frame Packs?" on 07/07/2012 16:43:54 MDT Print View

I bought a used Luxury Lite pack and then got rid of the cylinders. Instead I just strapped a GG pack on the frame. It carries a bear canister great and is very comfortable and light. Not for everyone though.

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Thanks Guys! on 07/07/2012 17:24:53 MDT Print View

Start watching ebay for Alpenlite external frame packs. They can actually stand up because of the frame style. Air moves up your back and keeps it cooler. You can use the original nylon packs or lash anything to it-Sil nylon drybags, cuben etc.Shop right and wait for a deal-about $50 plus shipping.
Example (not mine}.

Edited by Meander on 07/07/2012 17:49:48 MDT.

David Goodyear
(dmgoody) - MLife

Locale: mid-west
here ya go on 07/07/2012 17:54:13 MDT Print View

Here is the frame I used - frame only for $90 - you can carry an elephant with it. Great suspension and belt with good ventilation - feels much better than the old externals.

Link: cashe&Hit=1



edit for speelling mistakes

Edited by dmgoody on 07/07/2012 17:55:16 MDT.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Light Weight External Frame Packs? on 07/07/2012 22:20:39 MDT Print View

This is bigger than you want, but it's likely the lightest frame you'll find for a low price:

Says it goes up to 21" torso.

Use it as is, or hack off some of the pockets to lighten it, or make your own bag from lighter fabric, or lash on some stuffsacks. the bar that holds up the top of the packbag can be dispensed with if you make your own bag or do the stuffsack thing.

Making your own bag I'd bet you can dip under 3 lbs total, maybe get down to 2 1/2 lbs.