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Day pack with a frame?
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Jen Churchward
(mahgnillig) - F
Day pack with a frame? on 09/29/2012 10:59:06 MDT Print View

Last week I did a fairly long day hike up a very steep trail with a relatively heavy pack (at least heavy for day hiking - obviously it's heavier for backpacking). One thing I really noticed was the difference between how my backpacking pack (REI Flash 52) and my daypack (Camelbak MULE) handle weight. While backpacking, the majority of the pack's weight is on my hips, and the shoulders really just hold it in place. With my daypack, most of the weight is on my shoulders, and even if I do the hip belt up tight, the pack rides up and kind of folds so the weight is all back on my shoulders again. I have had the Camelbak pack for years, and it's never really bothered me that much before, but having just bought the REI pack for backpacking, I'm noticing a huge difference in the quality of the suspension between the two.

So here's the question... does anyone know of any daypacks that have a good suspension system and either a stiffened framesheet or some kind of internal frame to stop them collapsing? I went to REI and took a look at the Gregory Jade 28, but that kind of seems like overkill... it's a lot bigger than I need and I could almost use it for weekends! I'm looking for something in the 18-20 litre range that will hold a full Camelbak bladder, will let me strap snowshoes on it in the winter, and will comfortably haul a jacket, lunch, 10 essentials and a DSLR + 1 or 2 lenses.

Gia Le
(giale123) - F
gregory z25 on 09/29/2012 11:23:06 MDT Print View

I have an older barely used gregory z25. 25 litres. It has a red x on the left water pocket, which can easily be washed out im sure (rei sale indicator).
i could sell it to you for 30 shipped?

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Day pack with a frame? on 09/29/2012 13:53:58 MDT Print View

Check out the smaller Osprey Talon, Stratos and Hornet series packs.

Nick G
(HermesUL) - F
Dale said it first but.... on 09/29/2012 15:10:30 MDT Print View

The Osprey Hornet 24, or 32 if you need more space, sounds about right for you.. The 24 is technically frameless, but it's worth trying on--Osprey claims a comfortable load up to 20 pounds. The 32 would serve your functions very well, and will probably be lighter than a lot of packs you might find that are not quite as much "overkill". It's a little expensive as daypacks go, but it is a full backpack and will serve as one.

I use my Hornet 46 that I carry backpacking for a daypack, and it works beautifully. The REI closeout sale I keep talking about is still ongoing, so you could grab one for $111 and have a double purpose day pack and spare frame pack.

What sort of weight/price range are you looking for? There's no necessary need to get the smallest pack that will serve your purposes, if its neither the lightest nor the cheapest available. I'd recommend getting something durable or guaranteed like the Osprey packs, because day packs can take a lot of wear--if you buy something much lighter like the ZPacks Arc Blast, you'll be afraid to use it as often because you want it to last you well.

My recommendation is durable + comfortable as priorities for a day pack, lightweight and comfortable as priorities for a backpacking pack. Personally, cheap is a must for both. My Hornet serves all 4, which is why I haven't been shutting up about it.

nathan matthews
(nathanm) - F

Locale: Bay Area
+1 on Stratos on 09/29/2012 15:14:45 MDT Print View

My girlfriend has been using a Stratos 36 as her backpacking pack (I carry both sleeping bags and disproportionately more volume in addition to higher weight), and she loves it. For her the men's stratos works better than the women's version. Her main reason for getting it was that she wanted a substantial frame even for UL loads, and it has served her well. I think it's worth checking out as a framed daypack.

Just realized that this is much higher volume than you're looking for, but for framed daypacks, I don't think the extra capacity is necessarily a dealbreaker: because of the frame, the stratos 36 collapses down pretty well. I think my girlfriend usually carries it only 1/2 to 2/3 full.

Edited by nathanm on 09/29/2012 15:16:18 MDT.

Phil Erickson
(chinadill) - M

Locale: Oregon
UL frame daypack on 10/03/2012 18:51:44 MDT Print View

Kifaru KU 2200 2lb. 7oz. phil

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Hornet 24 on 10/03/2012 19:52:56 MDT Print View

Not frameless. Has a foam frame sheet and it works great. Been using one for maybe six months now. Never had more than ten pounds in it but it is great. I'm a 19" torso if I recall correctly and the M/L fits very well. This pack puts all the weight on you shoulders and the straps just keep it from falling backwards. Look up my user name and you'll find photos and a couple threads on my search for a lightweight day pack. It weighs 20 oz. with no cutting.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: UL frame daypack on 10/03/2012 20:28:49 MDT Print View

Kifaru? $498 for a day pack?

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: UL frame daypack on 10/03/2012 20:56:32 MDT Print View

I use my Exos 34. Fits and "acts" just like my Exos 58 but a pound or so lighter. slightly lighter than the Stratos series too.

Edited by JakeDatc on 10/03/2012 21:16:57 MDT.

Clint Wayman

Locale: East Tennessee, US
day packs on 10/03/2012 21:09:08 MDT Print View

+1 Dave Ure

I'll echo the comments on the Osprey packs. I used a Stratos 18 for a while and have nothing but praise for that pack-- I still kick myself for selling both it and my DD Jefferson.

Anyway, another vote for the Stratos series.


Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Day pack with a frame? on 10/03/2012 22:51:05 MDT Print View

You might want to check out Black Diamond packs. They are fairly rugged. I like that in a pack, as I am much harder on a day pack than a backpack (I do a lot more day hiking, I scramble and bushwhack a lot more, etc.). They have a decent frame but are fairly light due to their design. They don't have a lot of extra flaps, zippers or compartments. At least, the one I own doesn't (there are probably numerous models and they may have changed over the years).

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Day pack with a frame? on 10/03/2012 23:03:13 MDT Print View

I don't understand this thread.
are we talking about mountaineering or rock climing situations?
why else would anyone need a frame in their day pack.

even the day pack I go climbing in is frameless and weighs only 15 oz.
I carry up to 30 lbs of "day gear" just fine.

for those not climbing,
are you actually carrying more than 10-12 lbs on a day trip ?
do you need a 2 lb pack to carry 10 lbs ?

like I said above, I don't get this thread.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Re: Re: Day pack with a frame? on 10/04/2012 03:21:57 MDT Print View

Well, I do also need a framed pack for day hikes. Most of my hikes are in desert, so I take 6-7 liters of water + base weight + lunch + clothing. All this easily gets to more than 10kg (>22 lb). In this case framed pack is better than UL frameless alternatives.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Day pack with a frame? on 10/04/2012 07:56:47 MDT Print View

My rock climbing pack is frameless.. though i wish it wasn't. i'd prefer some support.. but the distance to most of the places i go it isn't a big deal.

I got my osprey mostly for the mesh "trampoline" back. and the ergonomics and comfort are the same as my full pack. I should be able to get a summer overnight in there too. a pound extra is not really noticed.

David Affleck
Stratos 24 on 10/04/2012 08:26:55 MDT Print View

I've been using an Osprey Stratos 24 for about a year now. Really, really nice daypack that is holding up to frequent abuse quite well. It gets used most often on my almost daily 3-4 mile walks before dinner. I load it with water bottles or canned food just to get some weight to increase the excersize value of the walks. The load is typically right around 20 pounds. The pack carries that weight surprisingly well, the hip belt is quite functional.

For actual trail day hikes it gets loaded pretty heavy too, normally in the neighborhood or 10 pounds worth of camera gear plus lunch, rain jacket, binocular etc.

I've found the trampoline mesh back to be effective at allowing a chance for a breeze in too.

After many hundreds of miles and lots of being dropped and dragged while packed to bulging the pack is none the worse for wear. I'm extremely pleased with it.

- Dave

Ozzy McKinney
(PorcupinePhobia) - F

Locale: PNW
Stratos 18 on 10/04/2012 08:32:11 MDT Print View

I used a stratos 18 for a couple years, and I regret selling it. My wife has the 36 for dayhikes/overnights and loves it. They carry really well, and mine stood up to some heavy abuse as a scrambling pack.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
Mystery Ranch street fighter or the Osprey Kestrel series on 10/04/2012 10:01:26 MDT Print View

I own a Mystery ranch street fighter that caries heavy loads and is bomb proof has adjustable torso length. cost $125.00.

The Osprey Kestrel line has a outside piano wire frame and frame sheet and is adjustable torso length.
I was thinking the ether the Kestrel 28 or Kestrel 32 would fit your needs. I owned Kestrel 32 and 38.

A neat feature for the kestrel series is for water bladder drinkers is you can shove the bladder between the adjustable frame and the pack so your equipment does not get wet and you can pull it out to refill with out unpacking your pack so you change water bladders on the fly.

Hope this helps,

Jen Churchward
(mahgnillig) - F
Osprey on 10/06/2012 10:48:11 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the input folks! I will definitely take a look at some of the Osprey packs next time I go shopping.

As for the reason for my wanting a framed daypack... I think I posted that in the OP, but most of it has to do with the fact that my backpacking pack is way more comfortable to wear than my current daypack when I'm carrying a full water bladder, lunch, a jacket, camera gear and occasionally snowshoes. It would make my life a whole lot easier is I were able to carry all that in a frameless pack with no effort, but like many small-framed women, I find it difficult to carry a lot of weight on my shoulders with no effective waist belt and no pack frame to distribute the weight.