Classic External Frame Project
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Gerald L
(Mtngeronimo) - F

Locale: SoCal
Classic External Frame Project on 03/15/2014 21:42:31 MDT Print View

This thread;

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=88729

....inspired me to pull out this old beauty

Vin1

Vin2

Vin3

I was surprised at an estimated weight of 36oz-38oz on my bathroom scale for this load hauler. Could be a fun project. Hmmmm.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Classic External Frame Project on 03/15/2014 22:03:15 MDT Print View

What kind of pack is this one?

Edited by kthompson on 03/15/2014 22:03:49 MDT.

Gerald L
(Mtngeronimo) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Classic External Frame Project on 03/15/2014 22:16:42 MDT Print View

I have no idea who the maker is as there are no identifying marks. Should be a fun weekend pack with a few modifications such as a more comfortable harness system and integrated back pad. All the YKK zippers are still functional. I even found a couple sierra cups inside as well, one AL and one Stainless.

David Adair
(DavidAdair) - M

Locale: West Dakota
Re: Re: Re: Classic External Frame Project on 03/16/2014 00:38:17 MDT Print View

That looks like an old Alpenlite pack made in Claremont, CA. That pack was, in my humble opinion, the highest refinement of the external frame packs. Even better than the old Kelty's. In the old days you got frames made out of aircraft tube, skillfully hand welded by Americans. Now you get plastic crap and a line of BS that plastic is better. Please use it before you start modifying it. Congratulations and good find!

(I used one for a several years until the guy that actually owned it realized I still had it and took it back! Can't trust anybody it seems:)

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re: Re: Re: Re: Classic External Frame Project on 03/16/2014 03:39:51 MDT Print View

Maybe consider getting some smaller alum rod and bending it. The stuff I'm talking about can be bent with your hands but it's rigid and flexible. Then for the main pack attach a cuben stuff sack. Then get a webbing hipbelt. At this point you probably are not going to use anything off the old pack... you could get it down to 14oz I imagine.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Classic External Frame Project on 03/16/2014 05:15:49 MDT Print View

Well, I think at 3 pounds, save it and use it. 3# is about where any external pack should be and plenty rigid enough for 70-80 pounds (military packs being somewhat more specialized.) They never seem quite right with 20 pounds in them.

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Classic External Frame Project on 03/16/2014 09:13:01 MDT Print View

The bend in the frame at the bottom looks like it is intended to push the bottom of the pack backwards and thereby help lean the top forward for better balance of the load?

I like the look of this pack and would choose it over any comparably weighted internal frame that I'm aware of.

I'd be reluctant to modify it without some current usage to refresh the memory of what worked and didn't work about it.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Classic External Frame Project on 03/16/2014 09:26:19 MDT Print View

Looks too nice to hack up.

Have you tried it as is?

Edited by kthompson on 03/16/2014 09:27:22 MDT.

Gerald L
(Mtngeronimo) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Classic External Frame Project on 03/16/2014 09:32:20 MDT Print View

I'm certainly not looking to convert this pack to 'UL' by any frame modifications.The weight is just fine and for an external frame I would say it is already 'UL'. I like the frame and pack. Any belt and shoulder strap mods will attach by the existing frame mounts either by pins through existing holes or wrapping around the frame. To carry this I will need a more comfortable harness system. I do appreciate the fact that this may be an American made product. I also still have functional Outdoor Research and Jansport bags from 25 years ago with 'Made in USA' tags.

Edit: 'Outdoor Research' lumbar bag is actually 'Outdoor Products'. Not sure if it is the same company.

Edited by Mtngeronimo on 03/16/2014 09:45:31 MDT.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re: Re: Re: Classic External Frame Project on 03/16/2014 09:38:18 MDT Print View

Hey it's an Arc blast!

:)

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
Re: Classic External Frame Project on 03/16/2014 20:42:37 MDT Print View

Well, that's a neat-looking backpack and some good numbers on the weight. This could be a cool project!


Wait, who in their right mind uses an external frame pack?

bradmac mt
(bradmacmt) - F

Locale: Montana
Re: Re: Re: Re: Classic External Frame Project on 03/16/2014 20:52:13 MDT Print View

It is, in fact, an Alpinlite.

Good pack. I preferred the Jansport D3 as the rigid wings on the Alpinlite had no give, unlike the "live wings" on the Jansport.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Classic External Frame Project on 03/16/2014 22:32:06 MDT Print View

It looks like an Alpenlite frame, but not the bag. Look closely at the outside of the frame and you can see holes in it where the bag should be attached, and it looks like the area around the holes are discolored from a bag that was once mounted there.

I do question the weight (36-38 ounces on a bathroom scale). I had checked a couple out in the early 70's and they weighed the same as my Kelty with the upgraded hip belt, around 54 ounces depending on the size.

Another problem with the alpenite is the belt frame, which must be closely matched to the size of your hips (the aluminum frame section isn't adjustable). When I tried them in, they were all too big for my hips... So I passed and kept what I had.

Gerald L
(Mtngeronimo) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Classic External Frame Project on 03/16/2014 23:33:26 MDT Print View

Thanks for the input guys.

Nick, good observations. I enjoyed reading your write up on the Kelty pack and the vintage equipment trip report.

A quick search brought up an old ad for the Alpenlite and does indeed show the pin holes as attachment points for the bag. To bad it is not all original. I was not able to find any stock photos matching the bag.

I'm going to see if I can find a more accurate scale for the weight although the alternate bag may contribute to the weight discrepancy. There is a sticker on the frame that says it is a medium and the width of the frame at the hip belt is 14" which is about where I am at. Again, I think this would be fun for a weekend hike. I really like the 'stand up' feature of the frame.

Alpenlite

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Classic External Frame Project on 03/17/2014 00:08:50 MDT Print View

Actually, the ability of the back to stand up on its own was one of the deal-killers (other than hip belt fitment) for me. A hiking staff and an external pack are easily converted into a nice back rest.

Staff n pack

Back rest

Edited by ngatel on 03/17/2014 01:21:59 MDT.