M Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1B: Theory and Technology

by Roger Caffin

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Article Summary:

A Super-Ultra-Light (SUL) frameless pack is fine for a couple of days in the summer when you can be sure it will stay fine and warm, but for many walkers SUL remains a distant goal. For walkers going on longer trips, or going up in the mountains where the weather is more variable and requires more gear for safety, a slightly larger pack is needed. As the load increases, the limitations of a frameless pack become apparent, and greater comfort can be had with a framed pack.

In this series of articles we survey internal frame packs suitable for those longer trips into more difficult climate and terrain. Not covered here are external frame packs or frameless packs. Our criteria for inclusion were a weight of under 1.6 kg (3.5 lb) and a volume generally in the 50 L to 75 L range. Both criteria were a little soft, allowing us to include packs which looked suitable despite being on the margins. The volume requirement became softer as we discovered that one firm's idea of a litre was not necessarily the same as another's!

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