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Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
A look at an old Jansport external frame pack on 03/01/2013 20:55:44 MST Print View

Another thread drifted to external frame packs and I came across an old Jansport yesterday and thought it would be interesting to look at it with 21st Century eyes.

I don't know the exact model on this one. I did find a label that identified it as a medium size.

Specs and features:

Frame:

Tubular aluminum with machined aluminum joints. Approximately 33.5" tall and 14.25" wide. It has two cross bars plus the bag mounting frame. The bag mount mounts via two machined blocks and spring/ball detents. The lower cross bar is fixed at 14.5 inches above the bottom of the frame. The lower section of the frame is a U-shaped section of tubing that completes the rounded rectangle shape of the frame and attaches with the same pins used for the lower attachment of the shoulder straps. There is a top cross bar that forms the upper attachment for the shoulder straps and can be adjusted using sliding aluminum blocks with cam-action locks

Suspension:

The shoulder straps are closed cell foam padding with nylon fabric covering and molded plastic mounts at each end, attaching to the frame with aluminum pins and split rings. The top mount can be adjusted for width by moving the pins to one of two holes drilled in the top crossbar. The crossbar is adjustable to suit torso height. There is no sternum strap on this version, although I have seen other models with one.

Back band:

There is a 6" tall soft mesh and foam back pad held in place with web straps and ladder locks. I recall seeing back bands that were a plain sheet of mesh, almost like window screen. The back band keeps the user's back from sinking too far into the frame and making contact with the tubing. It hits me at the lower ribs, with the lower edge about 2.5" above the waist belt. It can be adjusted for tension and height; the pack back mounts and the center cross bar form some limitations to the placement of the back band.

Waist belt:

It feels like open cell foam with a Cordura-like covering. There are 1-7/8" straps sewn to it that couple in a big side-release buckle. It is attached to the frame sides using a horizontal 3" wide webbing band sewn to the back of the padding. There are no adjustments on this band; it simply slides onto the tubing when the bottom section has been removed. There is a 1.5" webbing strap that runs from the horizontal band and goes around the bottom of the frame and is adjusted with a ladder buckle. There are two 3/4" webbing strap that run from the top of the horizontal band up to the middle cross bar. This arrangement allows the waist belt to slide up and down the frame rails to adjust to the user's torso length.

Pack bag:

Coated nylon pack cloth, measuring roughly 21" tall by 13" wide and 8" deep, totaling 2184 cubic inches or about 36 liters. I estimate that the top side pockets are 2 liters each and the lower side pockets look like simple water bottle pockets, so I would add another liter for each, for a total capacity of about 42 liters (I think I'm being very conservative with that). The left top side pocket has panel behind, forming a sleeve to allow long poles to be carried. The main pack body has two panel-loading compartments with zippered openings; the upper compartment is about 31" tall and the lower one is 8" tall. There are no openings between the compartments. There is a flat zippered pocket on the door of the lower compartment with a mesh outer panel. There are four plastic loops on the bottom of the bag to attach web straps to lash on large bulky items like a sleeping bag, pad, or tent. There are also two lash tabs on the top panel for the same purpose. There is a single compression strap across the top compartment with a side release buckle.

The pack bag mounts to the frame using the U-shaped tubing bar that snaps into the top aluminum blocks and runs through a channel sewn in the top edge of the bag. There are also three Velcro straps on each side that simply wrap around the side frame rails. The bulk of the weight is carried by the top bar, much like a curtain.

The pack weighs 59 ounces (3lbs 11oz) total. The bag is 19 ounces and the frame with suspension is 40 ounces (2lbs 8oz). I didn't tear it down further to get the weight on the bare frame or suspension parts.

What is good about this pack:

My general impression is that the design is very simple with a minimum of buckles and hardware.

I think the tubing mount for the top of the bag is genius. By hanging the weight from the top, there is no need for compression straps or reinforcements to keep the bag from collapsing on itself. The rest of the bag mounting (which amounts to about 24" of 1/2" Velcro) is mostly to stabilize it on the frame and the bag simply hangs like a curtain. The pack bag is basically a big cube with a couple panel loading compartments. There is no padding, just the coated pack cloth and one mesh pocket. The side pockets are very straightforward zippered compartments.

The frame is light and relatively low tech aluminum tubing, with no apparently exotic materials or manufacturing techniques. The cam/lock blocks for the shoulder strap top bar are probably the most complex parts to manufacture. There are no welds in the design. Most of the plastic hardware can be found in any catalog. The top mounts for the shoulder straps are the only specialized plastic parts and don't look complex to manufacture.

Although the pack bag is about 46 liters, the carrying capacity extends far beyond that. There is 5" between the top of the bag and the top of the frame and the load could be extended past that. It looks perfect for placing a bear can or a tent. There is an 11" space between the bottom of the bag and the frame bottom. It was common to stow a sleeping bag, pad or tent (or all three) horizontally in that spot.

What can be improved with modern materials and techniques:

Frame materials: I think aluminum has a great cost/weight ratio, but titanium and carbon fiber tubing certainly come to mind. It could be pulled off with square tubing too.

Smaller frame size: Dana Design made an external frame pack where the frame closely followed the perimeter of the pack bag, avoiding the extensions found on this Jansport. If you don't need to lash bulky items to the frame, dropping the top of the frame would clean things up a bit. The current Jansport Carson model has a much larger (80-90L)pack bag that extends to the top of the frame, but the bottom is much the same as the example here. I think that begs for a top heavy load, not to mention encouraging the user to attempt to fill all that space. It can catch on brush and makes crawling under a log difficult. The bottom frame extension does help protect the bottom of the pack and it gets that massive load up another 11"-12" towards picking it up to get it on your back. Some of that space is used for torso adjustment, but not nearly that much. This frame could be shortened 8" without changing the suspension geometry.

Pack bag materials and design: it begs for Dyneema or Cuben fabric. There is the panel/top load debate and I would keep to the panel loading, but with a 1/2 height zippered door and a good stretchy mesh pocket on the lower half for wet gear and daily trail goodies. I would drop the upper side pockets and re-work the lower pockets into good water bottle carriers. I would definitely keep the bag top mounting bar.

Suspension: I take advantage of newer 3D mesh and padding materials and construction techniques, using more ergonomic designs. Waist belt pockets and a sternum strap would be welcome.

Why bother? The external frame design is simple, well ventilated, and very efficient at weight transfer. It lends itself to multiple interchangeable bag designs and is excellent for hauling bulky items like bear cans, inflatable boats, photographic equipment, tools, or scientific instruments. I think smaller packs are better suited to internal frames, but once the 50 liter mark is reached, an external frame can be lighter and handle the bulky or heavy load more comfortably. The ability to adjust the frame to a wide range of torso sizes can make them useful for families and outdoor organizations.

Jansport external frame backpack

Jansport external frame backpack

Note: the orange and black rod is a trekking pole to prop it up for the photo:
Jansport external frame backpack

Jansport external frame backpack

Edited by dwambaugh on 03/01/2013 21:03:10 MST.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Re: A look at an old Jansport external frame pack on 03/01/2013 21:40:13 MST Print View

FYI: I have a newly identical one but a little older I think with metal hardware.
Here are my numbers:
Stock: 4lb
Minus "hanger" bar and removable top cross bar: 3lb 5oz
Harness + frame, no bag: 2lb 3oz
Frame + bolts: 1lb 5oz
Bare frame only: 1lb 4oz

I'm actually working on a Carbon fiber version with a lot of the upgrades you mention. I'm about to start a movie, so I'll have to elaborate later...

ETA: I changed my mind. I'm not going to go into details as I know at least one other person is working on something similar. I guess I'll just wait until I have a proven prototype. I am excited about the possibilities though, and I'm excited to see what comes of other peoples work.
I do agree with a lot of your points, and I think it's possible to see a true external in the weight range of some of the popular UL frameless packs.

Edited by stingray4540 on 03/02/2013 00:24:38 MST.

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
Re: Re: A look at an old Jansport external frame pack on 03/02/2013 09:44:33 MST Print View

All this external-frame talk is heretical and surely upsetting to some folks, so let's just avoid posting and reviewing any "Revisiting the Raichle Boots" kinda stuff, m'kay?

That's a great look at a Jansport, and probably the most detailed review I've ever seen. I think three things used to stand out about the Jansports:

1) contoured frames that follow the back, unlike the rigid Kelty ladder frame;
2) some torsional flex for comfort, which I also attribute to the squeak some had;
3) Jansport-specific ideas on configuration and placement of the pack bag.

I guess I should add that I recall they cost a lot more than the paradigm Keltys, too, but that's long ago.

When I see these photos and the analysis (and coming from the perspective of *liking* my external), I think about how cool it would be to have a packbag made with much lighter materials and updated suspension components. With an intention to lighter loads, think how that hip belt on the Jansport could be redone!

Cool post, thanks for doing it!

Nelson Sherry
(nsherry61)

Locale: Mid-Willamette Valley
Pinnacle of ultra-light "external" frame designs on 03/02/2013 11:04:46 MST Print View

If you're not careful, and you keep pushing this external frame idea to its ultra-light pinnacle of design, you may just end up with an Osprey Exos pack.

Coming from the bicycle industry which uses lots of both aluminum and carbon fiber, there is no doubt the carbon fiber rocks in modern bicycles. Why? Great strength to weight, kinda like aluminum, and better vibration damping than aluminum. Vibration damping isn't a big deal in pack frames. Flex can be. Lower end carbon fiber technology actually doesn't save weight over the much less expensive and easier to work with high-end aluminum. So, to build a carbon fiber pack frame that has any real advantage over an aluminum counterpart is going to require the highest end carbon fibers ($100's worth of raw material) and custom layup and molding ($10,000's in tooling and design). Pre-made carbon tubing, cut and bonded or clamped, will NOT outperform aluminum in this application in my opinion. And, any advantages of the highest end, best designed carbon, will be slight if measurable, and prohibitively expensive.

P.S. I have an old squeaky bolted together external frame Jansport backpack that we still use. They were and are, great bags if renowned for brackets coming loose, weak zippers and thin fabric . . . our's hasn't completely failed yet.And old, still used, Jansport external frame pack

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
My Version on 03/02/2013 11:15:44 MST Print View

Erik,

"I think about how cool it would be to have a packbag made with much lighter materials and updated suspension components"

I started with a 4+ pound Jan Sport frame (with MSR bag) and kept modifying and replacing things until I ended up with the 7 ounce pack shown in the link below.

Pack

Daryl

Edited by lyrad1 on 03/02/2013 11:16:34 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Pinnacle of ultra-light "external" frame designs on 03/02/2013 13:15:53 MST Print View

"If you're not careful, and you keep pushing this external frame idea to its ultra-light pinnacle of design, you may just end up with an Osprey Exos pack."

I already have one :) My Exos 46 is 2lbs 4oz, but it doesn't have the hauling capacity of the Jansport. We're 1.5 pounds apart as is. The Exos design is guilty of complexity. IMHO, the design team should be taken to the woodshed for piling on all the gadgets and geegaws to the excellent core design of the Exos. It reeks of marketing types co-opting the committee

I would lean to the Osprey style ventilated shoulder and waist straps. It crossed my mind to just buy spare suspension parts from one of the packs that offer interchangeable sized hip belt and shoulder straps.

I agree on the carbon fiber issues. Anyone who has the resources and capital to go after a similar design will run a gamut of patents, so this is probably a MYOG endeavor at best. The frame on the Jansport is easily adapted with common home workshop tools and so well executed that I would concentrate on pack bag and suspension to lighten this thing. If you dissected the components of a good Cuben pack (in design), and add them to a bare Jansport frame, you could end up with a big hauler in the neighborhood of 2.5 pounds. The economics would be questionable unless this is a budget MYOG project; otherwise, I could see it gobbling cash in big bites. I will probably approach it as a Frankenstein project, waiting to find a trashed backpack with adaptable suspension components. REI has the Crestrail 70 shoulder strap module for $22 and the women's version is just $8 --- less than the hardware alone would cost.

The whole project only makes sense if someone wants to haul heavier, bulkier loads, which is rather antithetical to general UL principles in the first place. If you shrink the frame on the Jansport significantly, you will indeed end up with an Exos-like pack; it would certainly look like a Dana/Mystery Ranch external.

One thing that inspired this post was a recent acquisition of a Gregory Z65, which is the antithesis to the Jansport design. The Gregory is big and complex, festooned with straps, buckles, zippers and padded panels. It weighs another 7oz over the Jansport too.

Gregory Z65
Gregory Z65
Gregory Z65

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.wordpress.com
External Heresy on 03/02/2013 13:21:36 MST Print View

Was this birthed out of that novice Max Dilthey asking about external packs? ;)

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: External Heresy on 03/02/2013 13:50:08 MST Print View

There was a bit of UL synchronicity there, no doubt, along with the thread accompanying Roger's review of the Deuter Actlite 40 +10 backpack.

Edited by dwambaugh on 05/21/2013 00:20:34 MDT.

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
External Heresy on 03/02/2013 14:07:45 MST Print View

"All I did was give it a bath and brushed its hair"

IT'S ALIIIIIVE!!!

scott Nelson
(nlsscott) - MLife

Locale: So. Calif.
Jansport Project Pack on 03/03/2013 00:09:49 MST Print View

I was happy to find a garage sale Jansport pack that I could hack up with no guilt if the project failed. I was able to eliminate three of the cross bars and with a new simple bag and hipbelt, it weighs 3 lbs. 4 oz. I am thinking this will be good on trails for winter and in summer when I have to use a bear can. I may go back and make a smaller bag for summer.pack 1frameeliminated parts
Scott

Edited by nlsscott on 03/03/2013 00:13:39 MST.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Re: Jansport Project Pack on 03/03/2013 06:32:29 MST Print View

Looks nice.
But, after all that chopping you only saved an ounce?! What happened?
Did you use really heavy fabric or a lot of straps or something?

P.S. what's the capacity on that pack? Must be enormous!

Edited by stingray4540 on 03/03/2013 06:34:02 MST.

Lance Stalnaker
(Katangi)
Jansport on 03/03/2013 07:30:08 MST Print View

Don't tell anyone, but I still have an old 80's Jansport D4 hangin out in my gear closet...nice review on the pack, I enjoyed it.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
D4 on 03/03/2013 07:47:24 MST Print View

Time to come out of the closet Lance, the externals are making a comeback!!!

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Jansport Project Pack on 03/03/2013 07:59:23 MST Print View

Pretty work Scott! ;-)

I've got one of those 4 pound 13 ounce packs languishing in my gear closet.

I bought it for all the wrong reasons back in the day. It was relatively cheap and had almost 5000 cubic inches of room.

Live and learn.

Party On,

Newton

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
Now at Hammacher Schlemmer on 03/03/2013 09:59:57 MST Print View

Daryl's truly UL external is pretty darn cool!

However, I want the new OCLV monococque, carbon-fiber-framed external frame backpack with the dyed-cuben/dyneema grid packbag modeled after a Super Tioga and bearing the limited-edition, "throwback" Kelty logo that's on Hammacher Schlemmer for only $1,400.00. 26 ounces.




Okay, like maybe next year.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Now at Hammacher Schlemmer on 03/03/2013 10:27:30 MST Print View

What, no waterproof down?

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: Re: Now at Hammacher Schlemmer on 03/03/2013 10:31:21 MST Print View

"What, no waterproof down?"

Waterproof BREATHABLE down!

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Other externals on 03/03/2013 11:38:04 MST Print View

I found the Zen website with some external frame info at http://zenbackpacking.net/Backpacks.htm . They note that Evernew made some titanium load frames for sale in Japan. My searches came to dead ends.

More to the thrift store side of things, they claim the the Outdoor Products frame is the same as the Coleman Peak 1 Ram-X plastic frame. I have seen many more used Outdoor Products version and passed on them, assuming they were inferior copies (I may still be correct) I've thought this frame style had good UL potential because of the multiple attachment points and the design used to make the attachments: a metal toggle that sldes into the slots in the frame. I'll have to keep an eye out for one.

Outdoor Products Enduroflex frame from their Saturn backpack:
Outdoor products frame

I found a photo of another Jansport that has a top design I haven't seen before:

Jansport frame detail

Note the bend in the tubing at the top X. This eliminates the machined blocks and the ball detent/frame piece to hold the top of the bag. The lower X is at the joint that allows the top section of the frame to be removed/replaced, allowing it to be threaded through the sewn channel in the bag. It's not as elegant as the machined blocks, but this is much more approachable for a MYOG builder with a conduit bender and some tubing. The bag is still suspended in the same way.

Imagine melding this with something like the plastic frame from the Outdoor Products/Coleman frame above.

Edited by dwambaugh on 03/03/2013 13:21:15 MST.

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Jansport Bag/Carbon Fiber Frame Hybrid on 03/03/2013 16:32:20 MST Print View

Here's what you get when you hang a Jansport bag on my myog carbon fiber frame.

x

x

xx

Weights
Jansport bag 18 ounces
Everything Else 5.6 ounces
TOTAL about 1 1/2 pounds

This Jansport bag has about 2400 cubic inches in the main bag and 300 cubic inches in the pockets for a total of about 2700 cubic inches.

Tent, sleep pads, etc. can be strapped to top bar of frame (say 700 to 1500 cubic inches?)

I also use a front bag with at least 600 cubic inches.

So this set-up could carry anywhere from 2700-5000 cubic inches (44-81 liters).

The Jansport bag is a bit smaller than the 1-4 ounce bag I usually use on this frame.

Edited by lyrad1 on 03/03/2013 16:49:36 MST.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Now at Hammacher Schlemmer on 03/03/2013 16:46:06 MST Print View

"I want the new OCLV monococque, carbon-fiber-framed external frame backpack with the dyed-cuben/dyneema grid packbag modeled after a Super Tioga and bearing the limited-edition, "throwback" Kelty logo that's on Hammacher Schlemmer for only $1,400.00. 26 ounces."

You're just mean. I went to the Hammacher Schlemmer site with credit card in hand ready to buy this thing, then found out it doesn't exist. Jerk.

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Re: Pinnacle of ultra-light "external" frame designs on 03/03/2013 17:01:07 MST Print View

"The whole project only makes sense if someone wants to haul heavier, bulkier loads"

Dale,

I'm not into heavier but I do like the capacity to carry bulky loads. The weight cost of a larger backpack is small but the convenience is big, in my opinion.

I like having the capacity to carry an extra bear canister, a 5 gallon bucket, a 1arge Japanese fish float, a big synthetic sleeping bag, litter from the beach, my hiking partner's pack, etc.

That's why I've stayed with the external frame concept for the last 50 years or so.

Daryl

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: External frame packs and bulk on 03/03/2013 18:28:23 MST Print View

I was using a 4x5 camera in the mid to late '70's and it was a big monorail rig, not a folding field model. I rigged a "freighter" style frame to haul it all--- upwards of 45 pounds. It was goog for short hauls.

Hauling bear cans would be high on the list; I can imagine a coordinated can and pack frame system. A pack fram with a waterproof compartment for photographic equipment would be interesting too.

Ultimately, I would want something more compact with a lower center of gravity.

I recently saw an ad for an internal frame using wood parts. A finely laminated wood frame isn't out of the realm of possibility. Nicely done, it would be very much at home in the wilderness, much like a wooden canoe or laminated fly fishing net.

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
Re: Re: Now at Hammacher Schlemmer on 03/03/2013 20:59:37 MST Print View

"I went to the Hammacher Schlemmer site with credit card in hand ready to buy this thing, then found out it doesn't exist."

Well now, Doug, the only reason I mentioned the Carbon Fiber Kelty is because I want one from Hammacher Schlemmer and you may know somebody in a similar
situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if you're in a
situation like that there's only one thing you can do and that's go to Hammacher Schlemmer and say, "I want a Carbon Fiber Kelty". And walk out. You know, if
one person, just one person does it they may think he's really sick and
they won't help him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony,
they may think they're both faggots and they won't help either of them.
And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in, asking for a Carbon Fiber Kelty and walking out. They may think it's an
organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,I said
fifty people a day walking in, askin' for a Carbon Fiber Kelty and then walking out? Friends, they may think it's a *movement*.

And that's what it is , the Backpacking Light Carbon Fiber Kelty Movement, and all you got to do to join is sing it the next time it come's around on the guitar.

With feeling.

:)

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear) - M
Re: Re: Now at Hammacher Schlemmer on 03/03/2013 21:01:04 MST Print View

"You're just mean. I went to the Hammacher Schlemmer site with credit card in hand ready to buy this thing, then found out it doesn't exist. Jerk."

Haha, there is always hope, you can still buy my carbon fiber framed, dyneema external backpack which weighs 13 oz for 1400--heck, i will be magnanimous and sell it to you for a meager 1200.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Alice's Hikin' Hut on 03/03/2013 21:28:38 MST Print View

"And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,I said
fifty people a day walking in, askin' for a Carbon Fiber Kelty and then walking out? Friends, they may think it's a *movement*"

Arlo would be proud. But does the AT go through Stockbridge, Massachusetts?

Walk right in,
It's around the back,
Just a half a mile from the railroad tracks
You can get anything you want
At Alice's Hikin' Hut

Eeeeeeeexcepting Alice.....

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Alice's Hikin' Hut on 03/04/2013 08:47:11 MST Print View

>"But does the AT go through Stockbridge, Massachusetts?"

The AT passes about 5 miles to the SE of Alice's where it goes by Mount Wilcox. It you detoured through Stockbridge instead of going through Beartooth State Park, it would be a little easier (a couple more miles but much flatter).

I like how Daryl uses "27 8×10 color glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was" to explain his projects.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Alice's Hikin' Hut on 03/06/2013 17:48:53 MST Print View

All I can remember is the Group W Bench.

:)

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Coleman Peak 1 on 03/07/2013 22:59:28 MST Print View

I found one of the Coleman Peak 1 packs today. I gave it a scrubbing and will post photos when I get it reassembled.

The frame is 28oz, a little more than I expected. It would be cool in carbon fiber with foam-filled channels to stiffen it. The simple slot system for hanging and adjusting the suspension is sweet. I could still see this done in beautiful laminated wood, or carbon fiber and wood. Add some updated straps and a Cuben pack bag and you have a hiking jet pack :) More to follow.

Updated photos and weights.
Frame: 28oz, 26" tall by 12" wide.
Coleman Peak 1 frame

Suspension items:

Waist belt 5.6oz, which I think is pretty good
Shoulder straps: 2.2oz each
Back band: 0.8oz
Coleman Peak 1 suspension items

The waist belt is held in place with two plastic loops on webbing mounts as toggles. The toggles simply slip through slots in the frame. Simple and light. The shoulder straps and top corners of the back back use the same mounting system.
Coleman Peak 1 waist beltColeman Peak 1 detail

The pack bag mounts using aluminum clevis pins that run through holes in the frame and on through grommets in the pack bag. They are retained by a stiff wire run through the pins from inside the pack bag. I would have used the loop and webbing system used elsewhere; my guess is that pins and wires are snug and cleaner in appearance. The pins and wires are 1.6oz total. There are toggles in the top corners.
Coleman Peak 1 detailColeman Peak 1 detail

The assembled pack is 3lbs 7oz. The bag is just 14.6oz, which surprised me. It is PU coated nylon and panel loading with large vertical side pockets and small outer pocket in the front panel. It is roughly 18" tall x 13" wide x 7" deep (1638ci/26.8L) and the side pockets are very loosely 14"x4"x4" (224ci/3.7L) for a total of 34.2 liters. There is about 7" of space below the pack bag and the top has lash tabs to store more above.
Coleman Peak 1Coleman Peak 1

Using a Zpacks Blast 36 as an example, it would be possible to replace the pack bag and suspension with the 9.4oz Blast components, plus a bit more for the extra toggles and a continuous waist belt. Lets say 12 ounces. Add the 28oz frame for a total of 2lbs 8oz (40oz). That is almost a given as we have real world examples and weights. My guess is that the frame weight could be halved with UL laminates for a imaginary total weight of 28oz. Could be cool.

The goal is a pack with excellent weight transfer properties plus the extra capacity to haul bulky, ungainly stuff like inflatable boats, tripods, or bear cans. A frame designed expressly for bear cans could be very cool.

I think making an UL pack to haul more traditional heavy loads is antithetical to the whole UL process and should be avoided. Murphy's Law of Luggage states that "any travel container will be filled to just over it's designed capacity," meaning that if you build a pack capable of carrying too much weight, it will be used that way and more.

Another design that popped into my head would be to have a carbon fiber can with ergonomic styling on the pack panel with bosses and tabs to mount the suspension components. Top it off with a Cuben shower cap for a lid and you have a waterproof pack that is also the frame. You could mold recesses into the sides or front and bridge them with netting or mesh for outside pockets, or just tack on Cuben pockets where you like them. Make the top saddle shaped and your bear can could nest there.

My $0.02

Edited by dwambaugh on 03/08/2013 15:48:51 MST.

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
Re: Re: Coleman Peak 1 on 03/08/2013 06:53:48 MST Print View

Dale, it may have been posted on here by someone with specificity, but I am certain I have seen those nylon flex frames under another brand's name/backpack on trail and at either Campmor or Sierra Trading. Squeak-free, torsionally-flexible and relatively light are how I remember those from buddies that had the Colemans. Swap out the stamped-steel washers used to hold the bag onto those slots for a strong plastic, and I bet you could put a pretty lightweight bag on that thing!

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Coleman Peak 1 on 03/08/2013 12:00:08 MST Print View

The Enduroflex frame is used by Outdoor Products and Basspro has a freighter style frame with their RedHead brand on it:

Redhead Field Frame pack

They have that pack on closeout for $50. Published weight is 5.19 pounds. It is a lot larger than the Coleman or Outdoor products packs at 37" tall and 17" plus the much more developed suspension, waist belt pockets, etc.

The Coleman uses aluminum clevis pins to attach the pack. The suspension parts use plastic loop mounted with webbing and the loops slide into the slots in the frame. I like the light simple design and the easy adjustment. Note that these frames have load lifters too.

Imagine a molded plastic frame using materials like the molded frame sheets found in many internal frame packs, perhaps a hybrid with some aluminum here and there. that would be quick and cheap to produce in a factory environment. I still like the idea of carbon fiber with foam channels-- it could look very techy, but it would be spendy.

I ran across a Kelty freighter frame while surfing this subject. Imagine a Cuben fabric "shelf" on the bottom with Cuben wings on the side. Drop in your waterproof stuff sack and strap it down. Kind of like the Equinox packs with an external frame.

Kelty frame packEquinox pack

Edited by dwambaugh on 03/08/2013 16:09:37 MST.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Re: Re: Re: Re: Coleman Peak 1 on 03/08/2013 14:03:46 MST Print View

Why even bother with the wings? You could probably just attach 3 straps right to the frame. Better yet do a zigzag of guy line across the back and cinch it over you stuff sack. You could probably get away without the shelf even, depending on how u rig it.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Coleman Peak 1 on 03/08/2013 14:32:01 MST Print View

"Why even bother with the wings? You could probably just attach 3 straps right to the frame. Better yet do a zigzag of guy line across the back and cinch it over you stuff sack. You could probably get away without the shelf even, depending on how u rig it."


Good points, like the high grade stuff Vaude uses on their packs.

Part of my idea was to be able to handle things like inflatable boats and bear cans. Those wings would take the stress off of SUL stuff sacks. We're talking Cuben--- my TP stash would weigh more :)

Edited by dwambaugh on 03/08/2013 15:54:56 MST.

scott Nelson
(nlsscott) - MLife

Locale: So. Calif.
Hack off parts of the Peak 1 frame? on 03/08/2013 21:56:32 MST Print View

I'm surprised that the Peak 1 frame is so heavy with no bag attached. I wonder if you could take a hacksaw to that plastic frame and eliminate some of the cross bars and central "plate"? Light arrow shafts could be substituted for the interior vertical spars to maintain the space between the bag and your back. How low could it go and still support a moderate load while providing better ventilation and separation from a bear can,etc,? Scott

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Hack off parts of the Peak 1 frame? on 03/08/2013 22:35:26 MST Print View

Waste of time I think. The Coleman stuff is really dense and it needs the bracing for structural integrity, so you need to start over with lighter material. If it could be stamped out in aluminum or titanium with all the edges radiused it might work. Some sort of honeycomb sheet could be interesting. A combo of welded aluminum sheet and tubing could duplicate most of the Coleman frame design, or use custom aluminum channeled extrusion with the slots in it welded to the central plate. That could be really sexy with a cool anodizing job. But I still think carbon fiber is the way to go.

I'm sure the designers at Coleman wanted some gorilla proof gear. Imagine what their returned gear looks like.

Take a look at a Kelty welded aluminum frame-- way overbuilt. I think that is where the Jansport stands out: they used light materials with good engineering and design.