M Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2011 – Part 2: Lightweight Backpacks, Stoves, and Accessories
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
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Although there are a lot of new packs coming out, our only focus is the lightest of the batch. Most of the truly lightweight frameless backpacks are available from small companies, as detailed in our recent Lightweight Frameless Backpacks State of the Market Report while most of the lightweight Internal Frame Backpacks come from larger companies, as detailed in our recent Lightweight Internal Frame Backpacks State of the Market Report.
Truly lightweight internal frame backpacks are fairly scarce. While large companies may be willing to lighten up other gear, there are limits to how light they are willing to go on backpacks. The obvious reason is backpacks get some rough use and manufacturers don't want them to fail. Frameless backpacks have also trended to more durable fabrics. Truly ultralight backpacks require an experienced and careful use and have a limited lifespan. The bottom line is that more durable fabrics don't add that much weight to a backpack; the frame, padding, straps, and connectors account for most of the weight.
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