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  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-11-2019
    Location
    Ajijic, Jalisco MX
    Age
    54
    Posts
    9

    Default Framed or Frameless?

    Hello all. My wife and I are planning for an AT thru hike next year. She is 5"3 and around 110lbs. We are both in our early 50s. She doesn't have much hiking experience so we are really trying to get as much info as possible about packs. Her planned base weight is about 9 lbs so we are looking at a TPW of no more than 20. OK so enough of the numbers. We are looking at something like the Zpacks Arc Scout or maybe a LiteAF or MLD frameless pack. We are worried that having her first experience with long distance being frameless with no load lifters might be challenging. Any women out there go straight for frameless and can share experiences? Do you recommend a framed pack/load lifters even for light pack weights?

    Thanks much in advance for any and all advice.

  2. #2

    Default

    Well, if you aren’t going to do your thru until next year, you have time to test a few different packs. I assume you know some other hikers, who might let her test their packs on day hikes or overnights. I’d think she’d get a good idea of what she feels comfortable with fairly quickly. That said, try to spend your time looking at quality, respected brands. They usually got their reputations by being comfortable and durable, which are great attributes of backpacking equipment. Good luck! Pringles

  3. #3

    Default

    I'm not a fan of frameless packs. They tend to be little more than a bag with shoulder straps. As a result, you have full body contact in the back and that leads to Sweaty Back Syndrome or SBS. It's also hard to get a decent weight distribution. Okay for a day pack, but not good for the long haul.

    The Zpack Arc pack design seems to be a good compromise and is a pack that I want but have been putting off...
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  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-07-2017
    Location
    Exeter, New Hampshire
    Age
    31
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Older thread, but I thru hiked in 2018. Zpacks are a good system. The arc is so sweet. I am not a fan of frameless, but with a 9lb base weight it would be a non issue.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    05-18-2019
    Location
    Winchester Virginia
    Posts
    24

    Default Framed or Frameless?

    we like gossamer gear and six moon designs. both are relatively light but extremely comfortable. both companies are worth looking into.also six moon is having a big sale right now I'm considering the swiftx.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-23-2020
    Location
    Wilton, Connecticut
    Age
    52
    Posts
    12

    Default

    I've done a few long distance hikes, and have used both frames and frameless packs - ULA * Gossamer Gear mostly. I'm 52 now and find I know prefer a pack with a frame. If I'm hiking long mile days, it gives me more options to disperse the weight as I get tired. For long distance, I definitely prefer comfort at the expense of a few ounces. I currently use the ULA Ohm.

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