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Air beam/Klymit frame support for backpacks
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Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Air beam/Klymit frame support for backpacks on 02/06/2013 06:47:22 MST Print View

What do you think about the new packs coming out with an inflatable back panel from Klymit?

MLD, GG, and ULA, and maybe a few others are applying this tech to their backpack lineup, and I think I had read somewhere that claimed it was as stiff as a traditional frame sheet.

Personally as of now, I see these as a potential point of failure and a superfluous gadget, especially when you add in the inflation ball. However, I could certainly be proven wrong.

What do you think?
Anyone have any real world experience with it?

Heath Pitts
(heathpitts)

Locale: Nashville
Re: Air beam/Klymit frame support for backpacks on 02/06/2013 12:16:16 MST Print View

I've been using the exodus FS with the inflatable framesheet. It definitely seems as stiff as the traditional variety at least vertically when put in a sleeve. Problems I've noticed are that I have to watch how I pack the FS or it will bulge out and make the backpanel round instead of flat. I consider this a disadvantage over an HDPE or similar framesheet. Although, I have read where people could have the same issue with the ULA Catalyst with its stays and foam backpanel as well. I haven't gotten to the point where I'm comfortable not taking the inflation ball in case the pad leaks and I need to patch and reinflate. The pad seems tough though.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Air beam/Klymit frame support for backpacks on 02/06/2013 12:24:15 MST Print View

How's the comfort?

Does it transfer loads to the hips equally as well as a traditional suspension?

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Air beam/Klymit frame support for backpacks on 02/06/2013 12:53:12 MST Print View

Can an Air beam/Klymit frame fit in the the Golite Jam foam sheet compartment?

Heath Pitts
(heathpitts)

Locale: Nashville
Re: Re: Re: Air beam/Klymit frame support for backpacks on 02/06/2013 12:57:16 MST Print View

Comfort is great. It is a lot more supportive than my old SMD pack that used stays and my sleeping pad. In my experience, the hipbelt becomes the problem around 26 pounds and not the frame.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
airbeam framesheets on 02/06/2013 12:59:45 MST Print View

Richard, all the Klymit framesheets I've seen are rectangular, so they wouldn't mesh perfectly with the Jam. Provided you stuffed the wider bottom corners well this probably wouldn't matter.

My thoughts have been close to yours Travis, but the prices keep coming down and tempting me to try one.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Re: Air beam/Klymit frame support for backpacks on 02/06/2013 13:08:48 MST Print View

Heath, so if coupled with a beefier hip belt, you would expect much better load transfer?


David, I was tempted myself, with the ULA AirX. I ended up ordering the Catalyst mainly due to its tried-and-true reputation, and for the fact that I don't have a lot of cash to throw at trying different packs right now.

Edited by T.L. on 02/06/2013 13:21:32 MST.

Heath Pitts
(heathpitts)

Locale: Nashville
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Air beam/Klymit frame support for backpacks on 02/06/2013 13:14:23 MST Print View

Yes. If I could add something like the ULA hipbelt, the pack would be even better for me. The air frame works very well. I do wish that something could also be done to contain the bulging of the backpanel that occurs though.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Air beam/Klymit frame support for backpacks on 02/06/2013 13:26:14 MST Print View

This technology, along with the new anticipated packs from Six Moons, will be interesting to watch play out and develop.

Art Tyszka
(arttyszka) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Exodus FS on 02/06/2013 19:57:05 MST Print View

+1 to Heath's comments. I really like it in the Exodus FS, but I would guess the carbon fiber rods are responsible for a lot of the transfer as well. I've never carried more than 22 lbs in my Exodus and at that and below it carries like a dream. Ron makes some excellent gear. It's not the lightest pack out there for sure, but extremely well made and durable, and I really, really like it.

Edited by arttyszka on 02/06/2013 19:57:52 MST.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Inflatables on 02/06/2013 22:00:21 MST Print View

I have recently abandoned all inflatables in my camping setup. Just one point of failure can cause you considerable discomfort, and in the case of a mattress, your life.

Closed-cell for ever.

Edited by mdilthey on 02/06/2013 22:00:54 MST.

Art Tyszka
(arttyszka) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Understand on 02/07/2013 07:52:33 MST Print View

I can understand that sentiment, I don't agree with it, but it's definitely a simpler strategy. At least with the Exodus, if the Klymit pad did leak, I don't think it'd be a real issue with loads under 20 lbs, the rods are still there to give it support, and even w/o those, you'd still have a plain Exodus, just pack it so there isn't anything sharp in your back.

But having said all that, this is one tough air pad, it would take something pretty sharp to get through the Dynema pocket before it even gets to the pad, I'm not worried either way.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Hipbelt on 02/07/2013 08:06:32 MST Print View

Heath brings up something.... Often the main topic of discussion in load transfer is the back panel frame, whereas the hip belt is secondary.

Maybe pack makers should put equal emphasis on hip belt support?

As an aside, this is with the understanding that the overall premise is still focused on lightweight backpacking, and one normally does not need terribly heavy packs. However, my recent postings on this thread and others regarding heavier packs acknowledges the fact that there are times when carrying more weight is unavoidable and as such requires a more substantial pack.

Heath Pitts
(heathpitts)

Locale: Nashville
Re: Hipbelt on 02/07/2013 08:13:39 MST Print View

Travis,

Completely agree. I can get by with the hipbelt on the FS if I am just hiking and sleeping and/or taking minimal comfort items. It is when I want to carry additional items like my DSLR that I need something more. Others get along fine with this hipbelt up to 30+ pounds. Wouldn't work for me at that weight.

On a side note, I am considering adding either a Circuit or Catalyst pack to my gear closet just for this purpose. The Exodus will carry more than I need. I just need better hipbelt support for these times

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Hipbelt on 02/07/2013 08:25:13 MST Print View

Brings to mind the recent review on the HMG Porter. When loaded down, it was the hip belt that began to collapse rather than the back panel/stays. In all fairness, there were some pretty hefty weights in the review packs, but it still highlighted where the weakness was.

Heath Pitts
(heathpitts)

Locale: Nashville
Re: Re: Re: Hipbelt on 02/07/2013 08:42:07 MST Print View

I tried on an REI Flash 62 the other day and the frame seemed no stronger than the airframe. The hipbelt was amazing in comparison though. The hipbelt is where I would gladly add weight to my pack

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Air Beam Support on 02/07/2013 17:40:48 MST Print View

Great discussion going here.

I personally don't see any substantive uses for this pad beyond its core function as pack support, so I think it should primarily be evaluated in that context. One could possibly list a few other 'multi-use' attributes, but it seems too small to be a significant piece of a sleep pad system.

So does this contribute enough to pack support/comfort to justify it's choice over another option? I've never used one, but to me it appears to fall in between open cell foam and plastic on the padding vs. support continuum. Gossamer Gears open cell foam 'Nightlight' backpads appear to add a lot of cushioning, but not a lot of support. Conversely, a plastic framesheet can offer a lot of support but not that much paddling.

This appears to fall in between, in that it offers some support and some padding. How well it succeeds at that I can't say. I think to carry significant loads a pack would also need stays (ie. MLD Exodus FS). I tend to like stays + a removable closed cell foam pad so I can use the pad for other uses (ie. sit pad). I suspect I'm happier with my 1.5oz closed cell foam pad supplementing my stays rather than a 4oz air pad, as the CCF pad is lighter, simpler and I'm comfortable tossing it on a rock to sit on it.

Heath Pitts
(heathpitts)

Locale: Nashville
Re: Air Beam Support on 02/07/2013 18:42:47 MST Print View

Agreed, Dan. As I said before, the pad seems tough. But I always have it in the back of my mind that it could puncture if i have it out of the pack. I planned on using it as part of a pillow system but it's not soft or thick enough for that. It also has to be in a tight sleeve to provide support as a frame. Thus, it's not very easy to remove unless its deflated. Which then causes a couple more things to do when packing up for the day. I now just leave it inflated and in the pack so it is not multi-use for my needs.

I do think it is a good idea though and the weight transfer is as advertised. It hasn't punctured so far and I don't really expect it to if it stays in the pack. I feel like the weight savings are somewhat offset by feeling like I need to carry the inflation bulb.

KEN LARSON
(KENLARSON) - MLife

Locale: Western Michigan
Air Beam Support Questions on 02/08/2013 06:06:35 MST Print View

The "Big Question" I have is how this "Air Beam" compares when one looks at the variable of pack & hip belt collapse AND increased comfort when carrying capacities over 20 lbs/ 9kg compared to using:

1.) Solid internal supports - "strut's and full panels (aluminum, carbon fiber, and fiberglass).

2.) Pads type density in a burrito configuration.

3.) Pads type density in a folded configuration.

Concept seems workable but needs comparative testing data and in field demonstration to prove its worth to me.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Air Beam Support Questions on 02/08/2013 06:42:51 MST Print View

>Concept seems workable but needs comparative testing data and in field demonstration to prove its worth to me.

Yup.

Packs are basically a bag attached to a harness in a relatively one dimensional fashion. One side of the bag attaches to the harness while the rest hangs off. I'd like to know how a pack would carry if the hip belt not only wrapped around the hips as they do, but also around the bottom of the packbag. Sort of like if you were going to pick up a large object and you wrap your arms around it for full support and control.

That would create some interesting structural design issues as well as packing techniques.

Fred eric
(Fre49) - MLife

Locale: France, vallée de la Loire
klymit / FS exodus backpack on 06/07/2013 06:41:09 MDT Print View

Bumping this thread because after soon one year using an FS exodus i totaly agree with a few points :

-if i overstuff my backpack ( like when i use my winter sleeping bag ) the backs starts to take a more rounded shape.
i can reduce this effect a little using the 2 volume reducing loops at the bottom ( not reducing at the fullest it would be counterproductive, but i add a small loop of shockcord between )
- the weakest link ( for me ) is now by far the belt,
btw is it effective to have the belt starting at the sides of the backpack ?
if i compare to my (heavy ) but most comfortable carrying belt
on my old osprey stratos 32, the belt starts closer to the middle of the bottom of the back panel.