View Full Version : No Frame Pack question

08-15-2014, 11:36
So, I was given a pack from North Face that has no frame, weirdest thing I've ever seen. I don't know if they wanted the padding to be the frame or what. At any rate, my question is, do you amazing people have any ideas on whether it's feasible to maybe build a frame inside the pack maybe out of PVC or something to give it more support? I can take pictures of the pack or whatever helps you guys.

Josh D
08-15-2014, 11:44
If they designed the pack without a frame it means it's meant for carrying light loads. Designing your own frame for it would probably give subpar performance to simply buying a pack that is designed for heavier loads that already has a frame.

I use the ULA CDT pack which is also frameless. they recommend keeping the pack weight below 20lbs. never had 20lbs in it but it rides really nice with 15 lbs and for me that is enough for a all my gear and 5 days of food. with good packing skills it is possible to give a frameless pack a decent amount of structure and with my pack i even feel like there is a decent amount of weight transfered to my hips as opposed to my shoulders. foam sleeping pads are best for creating structure and comfort the a frameless pack.

08-15-2014, 12:15
I don't know the liter rating for this pack, but it is pretty substantial. I can't imagine cramming just 20 pounds in that joker but I may be wrong. I think it is probably doable once I get my carabiners and slap straps for my hammock.

Just Bill
08-15-2014, 12:46
No frame in a daypack.
Generally speaking- the definition of an Ultra light pack is one without a frame. The frame itself (and it's related components) can be 8-24 ounces alone.
Most UL folks use a foam pad, or inflatable to create a false frame.

Did I send you an inflatable mat? If so, you can also fold that up into a 10" or so flat rectangle. Put a little air in it, and place it directly against your back. Just this bit of rigidity in the pack will allow a UL pack to carry 15-25lbs as well as a pack with a frame. If you pack perfectly and know a few tricks- a frameless pack can carry up to 35 pounds reasonably. Basically you are assuming you are eating/drinking/consuming a few pounds a day and will be reach a more comfortable carry shortly into the trip. (You suck it up for a few days and deal with the discomfort of overloading the pack)

08-15-2014, 13:14
You did send me an inflatable mat Bill :) Crazy, it's almost like you knew what you were doing or something lol. I'll have to try and take some pictures of the pack in a little bit so ya'll can see what I mean. It looks gigantic for a day pack but again, what do I know? :P

Just Bill
08-15-2014, 13:25
It is likely bigger than a daypack, sorry- comment was only meant to say that you have seen a frameless pack before- in the form of a daypack.
Or (someone will likely correct this)- the original packs were all frame-less really. The basic rucksack- where you military boys get the term- was basically a stuff sack type bag with shoulder straps. Pack frames were for Hauling supplies, not for backpacking. Most turn of the century folks like Kephart used a basic frameless rucksack for backpacking.

Yar- if you have something bigger, like that TNF bag. I would highly suggest you sort out how to pack it.
Fold up the pad I sent, lay it on the bottom. stuff the foot of your sleeping bag in to start, then slide your food, cook kit, and waterbladder in close to your back.
Add your spare clothes, diddy bag, and other odds and ends near the top, but still close to your back.
Stand up the pack, cram in the rest of your sleeping bag to fill the outside of the pack.
Tuck the tarp, groundsheet, stakes, line into an outer pocket so you don't have to unpack the body of the pack in the rain- and hit the trail.
With a few days food and even a full bladder of water- likely you will be in the low 20's on the scale at the visitors center. Your knees will thank you.

Kraken Skullz
08-15-2014, 19:26
My six moon designs pack is frameless as well and can easily hold 30lbs of gear (food and water included) for a multi-day hike.

08-15-2014, 19:45
Does the pack have a model name so we can google it and see what North Face says about it?

North Face packs are typically pretty solid. Maybe it had an internal frame which was removed?

08-15-2014, 20:29
I can't find a model, believe me, I tried. It has a funky must about it so I'm airing it out. I'm going to try and get some pictures up and such.

08-15-2014, 23:19
I've been thinking about a frameless pack with a foam pad for a multi-purpose pack frame and dog sleeping pad combo. Has anyone else done something similar?

08-16-2014, 06:58
There are many choices of frameless packs for backpacking (one (http://www.golite.com/Jam-50L-Pack-Unisex-P46812.aspx), two (http://www.ula-equipment.com/product_p/cdt.htm), three (http://gossamergear.com/packs/backpacks/g4-ultralight-backpack-all-bundle.html), four (http://www.zpacks.com/backpacks/zero.shtml)), usually chosen by ultralight hikers with base pack weights under 10 pounds (that's all gear and clothing -- everything inside the pack except food and water.) That puts the total with food and water around 20, maybe 25 after a huge resupply.

I've tried several different models, and for me they are only comfortable if my *total* pack weight, with gear, food, and water, is around 20-22 pounds. Otherwise they hang on my shoulders like an angry monkey.

I have met some hikers who have closer to 30 pounds in a frameless pack, like one of the Golites, and claim to be comfortable. I couldn't do it.

Kraken Skullz
08-16-2014, 11:04

See my post above yours. My SMD pack is frameless and other than having thinish shoulder straps, it can hold 30lbs very well. Rarely do I put that in there since it kinda defeats the point of having a light pack and loading it up, but I can do it with ease.

08-16-2014, 13:24

See my post above yours. My SMD pack is frameless and other than having thinish shoulder straps, it can hold 30lbs very well. Rarely do I put that in there since it kinda defeats the point of having a light pack and loading it up, but I can do it with ease.

Understood. I was noting my own experience, which is max 10 kilos (22 lbs) in a frameless ruck or I'm miserable.

Kraken Skullz
08-16-2014, 13:26
Oh. I am not saying it is fun to carry 30lbs but it is possible.

Josh D
08-16-2014, 14:25
max 10 kilos (22 lbs) in a frameless ruck or I'm miserable.

these days I get pretty cranky when carrying more than 15 lbs, regardless of the pack. I've seen the light! (see what I did there?)

08-16-2014, 14:43
Man, I just opened a rabbit hole with myself lol I was all happy that I finally have everything I need to go out and overnight and I guess I still do thanks to the stuff Bill sent me. I can tarp tent it until I can get some slap straps and carabiners for my hammock which will still let me be pretty light weight. Thanks again everyone :D