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Internal/External Frames?

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Internal/External Frames?

Postby gary c. » Sat Jan 13, 2007 2:47 am

My first pack was a cheap internal frame pack that has worked well but now I am ready to upgrade. I like the idea of an external framed pack and wondered what some of you thought of the differences between the two. I'm going to to buy a 4-5000cu pack for basic trails, no rock climbing or peaks. Most of what I've read suggests that if you are not going to be climbing or on mostly uneven trails that the external frame is the way to go. What do you guys think?
Gary C.



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Postby BSquared » Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:21 am

Well, I went the other way -- hiked with external-frame packs of various descriptions for many years, then moved to internal frame. However, as any good pack dealer should be able to tell you, the most important thing is how the pack fits and feels, not whether the frame is internal or external. I think there is absolutely no substitute for going to a good store (your local REI or EMS would almost certainly do) with a lot of packs and try them on under the supervision of a knowledgeable salesperson. The main benefit of external-frame packs, imho, is that you can sling extra stuff all over them. If you're trying to go light, this ability can quickly become a liability!

I'm trying to move to semi-ultralight, and my latest pack is an internal-frame Granite Gear Nimbus Ozone, which I have (alas!) yet to take on an extended trip, but which has excellent reviews. For the day trips I've taken it on, it's so far proved to be extremely comfortable, for whatever that's worth.
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Postby gary c. » Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:01 pm

Thanks' BSquared, I think I've decided to stick with the internal frame. I went to the local Sports Chalet last weekend and I'm going to try to get down to the valley next week so I can go to REI.
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Postby markskor » Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:52 pm

If it were I, and being as I have not (yet) totally adopted the complete "ultra-light" mania currently so much in vogue, $$$... (It appears that you are looking in the 4,000 – 5,000 ci range, and may have similar requirements too.), I would make a trip to REI and try on a few Gregory packs…Shasta (I carry this one), Palisade, Boltero…and when satisfied as to size, buy one on eBay.

There are so many out there…un-used…barely broken in…why spend the $$$,...With the money saved, I would buy a great down bag or a tent. Then, even with a bear can, fishing gear, and week’s worth of good food, you can still come in way under 45 lbs…comfortably.
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Postby BSquared » Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:03 pm

Amen, Marskor (as usual, I might add ;) ). Colin Fletcher has always been a fan of Gregory packs, and he's had almost as much experience as you. :unibrow:
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Postby gary c. » Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:31 pm

markskor, one of the first things that I thought of when I decided to buy a new pack was reading your suggestions about Ebay :nod: As a matter of fact I lost a bid last night on a 5000ci North Face pack. The problem for me so far with Ebay is that there are so few quality large capacity packs listed. Thats what got me considering external frames in the first place. 98% of the larger ones are $50 cheapos which is what I'm trying to get away from. It's early in the year and I'm in no rush so I can wait until I find something I like and am willing to pay for. I'm not too cheap to pay for anything that I really want but tight enough to enjoy saving dollar that I can :D
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Postby markskor » Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:48 pm

In going over recently completed Ebay auctions...2 week period:
Gregory Shasta Backpack - large $125

Gregory Shasta Internal Frame Pack approx 4900 cu $103

Gregory Shasta Internal Frame Backpack large $142

All recent auctions…all large enough…"barely used"...all damn fine packs, IMHO.

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