Frameless Packs: Avoiding the tube with straps?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Frameless Packs: Avoiding the tube with straps? on 05/14/2013 21:57:58 MDT Print View

Anyone have any good tips or suggestions for avoiding the sausaging/barreling of a frameless pack as it gets stuffed towards it's limits? It's turned any frameless pack I've tried into an unstable slightly annoying lump on my spine, that doesn't ride well with my movements. I know I could go framed, but I'd like to give frameless packs a real shot, this season.

Add a full-ish hydration bladder, and the barreling gets REALLY bad.

I don't use a foam pad for shape, so a rolled foam pad isn't the problem. Punching shape into the soft contents doesn't really last very long. I've tried the sleeping-bag-in-a-stuff-sack-placed horizontally trick and it helps (not great, but so-so), but I'm hoping for other suggestions.

If someone has an idea for a really lightweight framesheet that still maintains vertical flexibility, I'd really love to hear it. I've been contemplating pulling a 'Mountain Hardwear Hardwave' framesheet out of one of their packs and giving it a try - I believe they'd probably come in at a couple ounces, and I'm sure I could get a framesheet directly through a local dealer for around $20.

Thanks!

Edited by lindahlb on 05/14/2013 22:00:53 MDT.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Framesheet on 05/14/2013 22:04:48 MDT Print View

For a while I used a MLD Burn. Since I wanted to use an inflatable pad I had a peice of foam about 20 inches long that I folded over once and put against the back. I then packed everything up against that. It worked well for about 15 pounds but the pack didn't quit fit right so I sold it.

I tried hard to make a Jam2 work with a folded ridgerest. It was okay but not great, eventually I decided my framed pack was better for loads over 15-20 pounds.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Framesheet on 05/14/2013 22:14:06 MDT Print View

Yeah, I've been able to drop my loads down to 11-15lbs for 3-5 day trips. I won't need a hipbelt, vertical structure, or transfer to hips at those weights, so I don't need that kind of rigidity (in fact, I DONT want that kind of rigidity), I just need to prevent the barreling/sausaging.

For most, it probably doesn't really matter, but I spend a ton of time off trail, scrambling 3rd, 4th and low 5th class ridgelines, where balance is critical (death being a possibility). The barreling effect is NOT good in that kind of terrain - it's very awkward to make more difficult moves when your pack is fighting you.

It'd be nice if the frameless pack makers (at least one of them!) would get smart about how they cut their backpanels, so that it's more likely to adhere to the shape of someone's back, rather than just a tube. However, I'm not aware of anyone doing this, outside of MYOG stuff.

Edited by lindahlb on 05/14/2013 22:17:31 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Frameless Packs: Avoiding the tube with straps? on 05/14/2013 22:18:00 MDT Print View

I don't like frameless packs but the Jam does have a shaped panel. Hard to barrel that one.

And E
(LunchANDYnner)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
rigid plastic on 05/14/2013 22:21:31 MDT Print View

Put some rigid plastic in there, like corrugated sign board.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: rigid plastic on 05/14/2013 22:42:50 MDT Print View

> Put some rigid plastic in there, like corrugated sign board.

I'd like to try that, but that adds rigidity in both directions. I need rigidity only in the horizontal direction (so the backpack conforms to your back on the vertical plane).

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: rigid plastic on 05/14/2013 22:47:35 MDT Print View

I like to put my tent poles on the back side. A strap with buckle on the top to pull the top of the pole towards my back which flattens the pack.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/myog_silnylon_backpack.html

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Frameless Packs: Avoiding the tube with straps? on 05/14/2013 23:04:41 MDT Print View

I use a z-rest folded up as a back pad/frame. It works very well and I never feel the contents of my pack poking into me.

And E
(LunchANDYnner)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
corrugated plastic on 05/14/2013 23:16:21 MDT Print View

For the corrugated plastic, cut it so the corrugations are horizontal (perpendicular to the up/down back panel), that way, it can bend to conform to your spinal curve, but won't barrel out side to side.
Like this:
-------
-------
-------
-------
-------
-------

Others have also pierced thin brass or aluminum tubes into it as well then bend it to give it a permanent spinal curve... I believe there are some pictures floating around on the forums here.
Like this:

-|---|-
-|---|-
-|---|-
-|---|-
-|---|-
-|---|-

Alex Wallace
(FeetFirst) - F

Locale: Northern California
nm on 05/15/2013 00:24:09 MDT Print View

nm

Edited by FeetFirst on 05/15/2013 00:33:02 MDT.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
The barrel pack on 05/15/2013 06:44:12 MDT Print View

A sheet of fairly stiff foam, ideally in a full sleeve, will help prevent the barrel effect somewhat. Side panel contouring will help keep that rigid shape closer to your back, but I'm not aware of a manufacturer whose figured that out. In the end it is possible to overstuff a frameless pack, for ideal carry you'll have to restrain your stuffing enthusiasm, and either bring less stuff of strap something outside.

Matt Weaver
(norcalweaver) - F

Locale: PacNW
Re: Frameless Packs: Avoiding the tube with straps? on 05/15/2013 07:16:56 MDT Print View

Klymit pack frames work well.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Frameless Packs: Avoiding the tube with straps? on 05/15/2013 07:52:39 MDT Print View

Wouldn't the Klymit give you a fairly inflexible framesheet?

Again, I'm not looking to make the pack fully rigid. I'm looking to make it rigid only in the horizontal direction, to prevent barreling. My back isn't straight, it has a curve.

Nelson Sherry
(nsherry61)

Locale: Mid-Willamette Valley
Re: Frameless Packs: Avoiding the tube with straps? on 05/15/2013 08:17:19 MDT Print View

1) Separate your gear into two halves so you can stuff your pack as two tubes of gear, one on the left and one on the right. I used to use two stuff sacks stuffed into my pack vertically, side by side. It works quite well. It even helps with load distribution in an internal framed pack.
2) Quit over-stuffing your pack. Take less gear or get a bigger pack.

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Re: Frameless Packs: Avoiding the tube with straps? on 05/15/2013 08:29:54 MDT Print View

Here's a variation on the side be side stuff sacks suggestion.

A tightly stuffed tubular stuff sack placed horizontally in the bottom of the backpack bag will counter the tubing that you describe. The stuff sack works best if it is longer than it is wide and fits tightly into the backpack.

When viewed from above the pack bag assumes a shape that is more rectangular than tubular.

Edited by lyrad1 on 05/15/2013 12:29:58 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Frameless Packs: Avoiding the tube with straps? on 05/15/2013 08:55:47 MDT Print View

I made a pack with two vertical tubes. It's a bit difficult to divide your stuff between the two tubes.

Like my mattress goes in one tube and the sleeping bag in the other, etc.? Then the two tubes won't be the same.

But, if your tent poles go verically into a sleeve on the rear, and you pull on the top of the pole with a strap and buckle, it will pull the pack into the same shape as if there were two tubes, but you can divide your mattress and sleeping bag between the two "tubes" so the tubes are the same shape and density. Plus the poles give some stiffness but the contents of the pack allow it to conform to the shape of your back.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Frameless Packs: Avoiding the tube with straps? on 05/15/2013 09:30:01 MDT Print View

Separating my gear into two halves sounds great in theory. This doesn't work very well in practice, at least with UL loads. My sleeping bag takes up about half the volume in my pack. Have you actually done this before? If so, describe how you divide your gear into two halves? Personally, I'd rather just carry the extra weight of a framed pack over dealing with the hassle of figuring out how to pack an ever-changing load into two halves. For me, SUL/UL is just as much about simplicity, as it is about weight.

Getting a larger pack also sounds good in theory, but also doesn't work well in practice. I don't want my gear shifting around inside my pack while moving, as that will throw my balance off as well.

Edited by lindahlb on 05/15/2013 09:48:30 MDT.

And E
(LunchANDYnner)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
look here on 05/15/2013 12:29:31 MDT Print View

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=76958

Take a look, scroll down to one of the OP's replies. He has a picture of his pack with corrugated plastic. The corrugations are running horizontally so it will not barrel out on the horizontal plane, but it can still bend/flex on the vertical plane between the corrugation.

Just like card board. It's easier to fold it along/between the corrugation than across them. You can just pluck any ole local political campaign sign out from public roads/lawns.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: look here on 05/15/2013 14:46:45 MDT Print View

Thanks, I'll try that out. Still concerned it won't be flexible enough on the vertical plane, but we'll see. I suppose I could score it with a knife, if so. Looks pretty lightweight at 2-3oz from what I've read - sounds like ounces well spent.

Edited by lindahlb on 05/15/2013 14:47:22 MDT.

Nelson Sherry
(nsherry61)

Locale: Mid-Willamette Valley
Re: Frameless Packs: Avoiding the tube with straps? on 05/15/2013 20:26:14 MDT Print View

Okay, so I oversimplified my description previously because I was in a hurry and typing on my phone, and thought the idea would come across just fine. The following is how I actually regularly pack my packs whether soft or with an internal frame. It works very well for both shaping the bag and helping transfer load to the hips in soft packs with larger loads.

1) I stuff my sleeping bag into the bottom of the pack, frequently stuffed horizontally inside a stuff sack of its own.
2) Then I divide most of my remaining gear into roughly two groups. Maybe food and clothing on one side and tenting and cooking on the other, whatever works, often mixing soft stuff with odd shaped stuff for packing efficiency. If I want some extra back padding I may fold my tenting/tarping flat and put it against my back with the "tubes" of other gear behind it.
3) I always have some misc crap that doesn't fit or that I forgot to fit into one of the horizontal divisions, or that I want inside the pack, but need ready access too, and it all just gets stuffed on top (e.g. rain gear, extra water bag, whatever).

As to concerns about bigger packs allowing gear to move around and shift. You can overstuff anyting so it is a round sausage. If you use a slightly bigger bag, sausaging is reduced well before stuff starts shifting all over the place. Then, if you don't use compression straps on your bag, use anything you have that's puffy like a sleeping bag or puffy jacket, or fleece and don't overstuff it, use it as filler around everything so everything stays in its loose, well padded space.

Good luck. Have fun. And yeah, if you don't want to have to think about how you pack your pack, don't go quite so ultra-light and get a frame.