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Going Frameless? Will my back regret it?
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Doug Coe
(sierraDoug) - F

Locale: Bay Area, CA, USA
Re: It's not necessarily for weight savings... on 11/27/2012 23:02:18 MST Print View

Jennifer--Sorry for the thread highjacking, but the GG Gorilla does have an internal frame, doesn't it?

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Re: It's not necessarily for weight savings... on 11/27/2012 23:06:25 MST Print View

Hey Doug, this is from the product page
"Quick Overview
A tough, smaller volume, Ultralight backpack with an internal frame and integrated hip belt pockets good for just about any kind of trip."

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Going Frameless? Will my back regret it? on 11/28/2012 05:56:57 MST Print View


You've gotten many good responses and suggestions on this thread. One thing that I have not seen mentioned is what kind of sleeping pad you use and your method of packing it into your pack.

What is your pad style? Do you use an inflatable or a foam pad? Who is the manufacturer?

Do you fold or roll your pad? Is your packing method the "burrito style" or do you fold your pad and keep it close to your back?

I recently switched to an inflatable ProLite Plus pad and the folding pad method in my pack. I use a frameless MYOG pack without a hip belt and carry approximately 23 pounds in my fully loaded pack. This includes food, water and fuel for about a week or more.

If my pack had a hip belt I believe that I could carry a somewhat heavier load easily due to the folded inflatable pad's "stiffness" helping to transfer the weight.

+1 for the conditioning of the shoulders.

My MYOG pack has 3" wide shoulder straps made of 4mm spacer mesh and Xpac fabric only. There is no foam padding and as I mentioned there is no hip belt. On a recent outing I carried my full load quite comfortably. The trick is the wide straps distributing the load over a wider area and getting used to carrying the weight on your shoulders only.

I hope this helps rather than confuses the issue. ;-)

FWIW I am 58 years old.

Party On,


James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Going Frameless? Will my back regret it? on 11/28/2012 09:34:24 MST Print View

Newton, On a summer backpacking trip, my daughter had nothing but problems with her pad folded. (She was using a Gossamer Gear G5 Sil.) In the pad pocket, it would continually bunch up. I finaly sugested she use the rolled methode inside the pack after the first day and it carried far better. I was using the Murmur with a 5 piece NightLite pad in the pad pocket that was carrying more weight (around 20 lbs) than hers and it carried easily. The inflatable seemed to fail for this use. We did not try it folded inside as you suggest, though. (She had about 17 pounds for 5 nights.)

I would suggest that the inflatable pads loose a good portion of their stiffness when only partially inflated. Inside, she was able to stuff her bag and gear, then inflate the thing pretty well. She *did* complain about it rocking on her back, though.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: Re: Going Frameless? Will my back regret it? on 11/28/2012 12:30:46 MST Print View

Hi James,

Does the G5 hold its pad in the same way as the G4 does in the picture below?

G4 pad pocket

My MYOG pack has lycra pockets on its sides.

MyOwn lycra side pockets

In one of them I carry my tent. I have noticed that the lycra tends to stretch and relax a bit after a period of time. I have also noticed a distinct tendency of anything in a lycra pocket to slip. My tent is stored in a silnylon stuff sack. On a recent hike it ejected itself from the pocket while the pack was lying down on a truck bed as I attempted to pick it up.

When my inflatable pad is folded it is purged of air and the valve closed. The pad is folded in as many sections as it takes to approximate the width of my pack. The deflated and folded pad is inserted into the interior of my pack next to my back. It is located by two elastic bands sewn into the seam allowances at about 8" from the top and 8" or so from the bottom. This hold my pad against to front panel of my pack and keeps it from shifting or moving around.

The rest of my gear is packed inside of a trash compactor bag inside of my pack. My pack is sized to my carried gear with a little extra space for "extras" but not much.
This probably helps in keeping the pad located as well.

I'm sorry that it didn't work in your daughter's case but it works well for me when done as described above. YMMV

Party On,


Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Frame in a gorilla on 11/28/2012 15:10:01 MST Print View

Yep, the gorilla has a removable aluminum stay...which I removed. It does use the sit pad (as seen in the previous post's G4) but honestly I didn't notice any difference with or without the stays. The sit pad gives it nice structure without the stays and carries very well. Having used the more substantial ospreys and Gregorys I really think its a stretch to equate those frames with the little piece of bent aluminum in the gorilla. Perhaps in a purist view of frameless...but functionally I think the gap between those product types is quite large.

Maybe if I topped 20# I'd try the stays again, but so far my weekend jaunts with it have been <15. Having the flexibility is nice.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Frame in a gorilla on 11/28/2012 20:40:13 MST Print View

Having pulled apart some of those frame packs (a Deuter, most specifically, but one without the suspended mesh backpanel), I can say that many use a surprisingly similar system to the Gorilla. The Gorilla is something of an odd hybrid, being able to between framed and frameless.

However, I don't know what kind of alloy the Deuter pack used. I have heard that the 6061 of the Gorilla is quite common in mainstream packs, but I can't say for sure.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Re: Re: Going Frameless? Will my back regret it? on 11/29/2012 04:07:32 MST Print View

Yes. So far, all the GG packs I have tried fit the 5 piece pad, it looks like it is pretty standard on the older G4, both G5's(spinnaker & sil,) the Miniposa and the Murmur. The material stretches when new, but quickly learns it's place.

She never got a chance to cut and tape her nightlite (she's works as a RN, has two kids.) I will probably do it for her since last summer bothered her. Yeah, inside seems to work better with the inflatable pads...hers crushed easily from the weight, especially the bottom was not supplying enough support for all the junk she brings...books, newspapers, towel, bag, water bottles. I have the rest of the camp in my pack (tarp, cookset, food, sleeping bag.) Using the pad pockets for more than 10 pounds of gear is kind-of wasted. I thought the pad would be OK since she wasn't carrying a LOT of weight(~17#,) so, OK'ed it. That was my mistake.