Vargo Ti Arc External Frame Backpack...Thoughts?
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Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
Vargo Ti Arc External Frame Backpack...Thoughts? on 08/03/2013 11:14:40 MDT Print View

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgbJrWaf_po

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Vargo Ti Arc External Frame Backpack...Thoughts? on 08/03/2013 11:44:31 MDT Print View

That shape will make packing a canister difficult. I think there is a reason why packs have developed the shape they are. Also, how is that rigid hip belt mount going to give you freedom of movement as he suggests? I get it that Vargo is all about titanium. But is it really the best choice for a pack frame?

next.

Chris C
(cvcass) - MLife

Locale: State of Jefferson
it looks interesting on 08/03/2013 14:10:12 MDT Print View

It will be interesting to see how it performs, the pack bag looks small so I don't see the point for an external frame. That's not to say it won't fit some niche well... I used to think frameless packs were pointless and now thats all I use.

I like to see something different coming from the outdoor market.

(edited for spelling corrections)

Edited by cvcass on 08/03/2013 14:37:33 MDT.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
re: ti frame on 08/03/2013 14:11:55 MDT Print View

I think a cannister might be strapped onto the top "arc" bar?

What bugs me is that apparently Vargo didn't notice that the human back isn't flat, but a long s-curve. It seems we are stuck with straight carbon rods for that frame struts, but why couldn't they bend the ti rods to approximate the human back? Doing so would make for a much better carry.

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
Vargo Ti Arc External Frame Backpack...Thoughts? on 08/03/2013 16:43:37 MDT Print View

Found some pics:

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Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Vargo Ti Arc External Frame Backpack...Thoughts? on 08/03/2013 17:00:29 MDT Print View

Looks chid size.

Matt Weaver
(norcalweaver) - F

Locale: PacNW
Re: Vargo Ti Arc External Frame Backpack...Thoughts? on 08/03/2013 18:54:26 MDT Print View

I think it's kind of funny that the purpose of arcing the top of the pack was to cut down on branch snags, yet there's two metal bars sticking straight up far beyond the shoulders. I will note though that the cuben option does seem to come with a surprisingly small additional fee.

Edited by norcalweaver on 08/03/2013 18:55:25 MDT.

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
Vargo Ti Arc External Frame Backpack...Thoughts? on 08/03/2013 19:12:50 MDT Print View

"I think it's kind of funny that the purpose of arcing the top of the pack was to cut down on branch snags, yet there's two metal bars sticking straight up far beyond the shoulders."

I was thinking the exact same thing, Matt. I guess you could just take a hack saw to it, but it being titanium, it might be awefully hard to cut off. Also, there is no way to reach the side water bottle pockets without taking the pack off. A better spot would have been to put them at the top/side of the pack bag, like the old Gregory Wilderness externals had. Very interesting and has tons of potential, though. Hope they sell just the frame so we can all DIY our own pack bags and belts. Anyone else think that hip belt is way too padded for a light-weight oriented pack?

Matt

Peter Longobardi
(paintplongo) - F

Locale: Hopefully on the Trail
Saw It on 08/03/2013 19:29:00 MDT Print View

Wasn't overly impressed over what's available on the market currently. They would probably be better off sticking to their brand's categories that they've been successful in given that most retailers aren't going to throw one backpack SKU into their mix.

Ken Strayer
(TheRambler) - F
re: "Vargo Ti Arc External Frame Backpack...Thoughts?" on 08/03/2013 20:31:15 MDT Print View

The frame stays seem way too far apart to be extremely effective. Overall design just seems lackluster and generally poor to my engineer brain. Thinking they should have actualy hired someone to design it if they didn't know what they were doing. Concept would easily gain ground if they put more than half a thought into the design.

Edited by TheRambler on 08/03/2013 20:36:27 MDT.

Rodney Mruk
(rodney_mruk) - M

Locale: Northeast Oregon
Vargo Arc Pack on 08/03/2013 21:03:30 MDT Print View

Two thoughts.

1. The sales rep said the arc was to keep branches from getting caught. As pointed out, many other parts of the pack may prove to catch on branches. Therefore, it is a good possibility they used the arc form to eliminate two seams. This would save money.

2. I think the external frame has been way underrated by the lightweight community. External frame packs have a lot of positive points. Up until now the number one downside of external frames was their relatively high weight. But now we have an option for an external frame pack at two pounds. I would love to try one out. The only problem is I would need to shell out $300 ! No way. And that is why I do not believe this pack will sell well.

My two cents anyways.
Rodney

Paul Ashton
(PDA123) - F

Locale: Eastern Mass
How much? on 08/04/2013 16:09:47 MDT Print View

Make your own for $10

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9fOa98ry1o

Then sew a large stuff sack from whatever material you think suitable (or can afford). This same chap make a triangular, "Rycroft" frame which could also be made from PVC pipe and would be a lot lighter, and with that one, you use your tarp as the pack, so saving another 500 grams.

I recall seeing one on this forum that used carbon fibre arrow shafts which would be as light or lighter , and cost a lot less than $300

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: re: ti frame on 08/04/2013 17:41:07 MDT Print View

"It seems we are stuck with straight carbon rods for that frame struts, but why couldn't they bend the ti rods to approximate the human back? "

I don't think Ti is happy being bent, at least the forms I've looked into using. You lose some of the mechanical properties of the material as a result of bending it. That and I think it's difficult to bend effectively.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: ti frame on 08/04/2013 18:29:04 MDT Print View

"I don't think Ti is happy being bent, at least the forms I've looked into using. You lose some of the mechanical properties of the material as a result of bending it. That and I think it's difficult to bend effectively."

Airplanes, tent stakes.

Nothing is impossible with metal. Vargo has a history of releasing products without good testing/engineering. No surprises here.
Decagon stove anyone?

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Vargo Ti Arc External Frame Backpack...Thoughts? on 08/04/2013 18:49:54 MDT Print View

I like it that they are experimenting. Kudos to them.

Needs to be an S-shaped frame, like the old Keltys. Seems that Titanium tubes would be easier to shape and lighter. Don't know if that could be done or if it is cost effective.

Obviously few here have hiked with an external, those protruding frame posts are a great place to hang stuff like camera or binocular straps. I have done fine with an extension cross bar at the top of my externals.

Who said externals are heavy? My 40+ year old D4 weighs 3 lbs 9 ounces, to include the heavier wrap-around waist belt that replaced the original. And it can comfortably carry a week's worth of food and a gallon of water.

Ken Strayer
(TheRambler) - F
re: "Vargo Ti Arc External Frame Backpack...Thoughts?" on 08/04/2013 18:57:58 MDT Print View

Who told you that you can't bend or shape Ti. It's just a metal alloy, nothing really special. Its just as shapeable as any other metal, more so when its thin like normal with Ti products. They can shape it anyway their little hearts desire. Its just poor design.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: re: "Vargo Ti Arc External Frame Backpack...Thoughts?" on 08/05/2013 18:01:24 MDT Print View

"Who told you that you can't bend or shape Ti. It's just a metal alloy, nothing really special. Its just as shapeable as any other metal, more so when its thin like normal with Ti products. They can shape it anyway their little hearts desire."

Oh you can definitely bend titanium but it exhibits more spring back than more common formed metals making it more difficult to work with.

For my particular application that I was referring to above, the loss of strength that results from residual stresses in the material post-forming pretty much made it a non starter. Granted, my application was quite a bit different from a pack frame. Cost and component mass drove me to an aluminum alloy instead.

Mike Whitesell
(madgoat) - F

Locale: Ohio
hmmmmm on 08/06/2013 06:12:21 MDT Print View

I like the idea of external frames. I cut my teeth on external frames. A well designed external frame avoids monster sweaty backs, gives good variable load handling ability, and gives you instant throwback trail cred.

However, I am less than enthused by Vargo's offering. This pack from Luxury Lite has been around for years and seems to be far more innovative. But it suffers from an even higher cost once you purchase the pack frame and the gear cylinders.

http://www.luxurylite.com/stackpackindex.html

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Vargo Ti Arc External Frame Backpack...Thoughts?" on 08/06/2013 10:24:43 MDT Print View

You can strap a soft pack like the GG Mariposa to a Luxury Lite frame. Works great. The LL frame carries a bear canister just brilliantly.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
swing and miss... on 08/06/2013 16:52:43 MDT Print View

I like that someone is trying to bring back the externals, but disappointed that they seemed to have failed so miserably. Frame looks poorly designed, and the pack bag looks like an internal frame that they just modified for the external frame. They should be able to go a lot lighter by getting rid of a lot of the extra "features." I'd be interested to see how much less the cuben weighs.
A bear can wouldn't be a problem though, there is plenty of room underneath the bag to attach a bear can.

My Jansport scout only weighs 3lbs. and IMO is better designed with an S curved frame. Also, I don't see the need for the "hang bar" on the top, curved or square. I took that off my scout, and it stays on the frame just fine. It has more volume than I need, but it's carries the same load more comfortably and with better ventilation than my Internal frame that weighs the same.

In this pic from last weekend's trip, you can see mine with the top two bars removed, and my brother is wearing the exact same pack with the top two bars intact.

bigger version: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlarsen4540/9438275807/sizes/h/in/photostream/