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  1. #1

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    Default Advice on external frame

    It seems I will be carrying 40+ lbs in the near future, for reasons I won't go into. I normally carry a Mariposa or ULA Catalyst, but looking for a pack to carry more weight. I carried lots of weight in the '70s on external frames, and wouldn't mind going back to one. Not espcially interested in LuxuryLight ($$$$$). Suggestions?
    Last edited by chiefduffy; 09-28-2012 at 09:52.
    Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. -Kahlil Gibran

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefduffy View Post
    It seems I will be carrying 40+ lbs in the near future, for reasons I won't go into. I normally carry a Mariposa or ULA Catalyst, but looking for a pack to carry more weight. I carried lots of weight in the '70s on external frames, and wouldn't mind going back to one. Not espcially interested in LuxuryLight ($$$$$). Suggestions?

    You can borrow my Jansport. You know you can load at least 90 lbs on it.
    I'm not really a hiker, I just play one on White Blaze.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefduffy View Post
    It seems I will be carrying 40+ lbs in the near future, for reasons I won't go into. I normally carry a Mariposa or ULA Catalyst, but looking for a pack to carry more weight. I carried lots of weight in the '70s on external frames, and wouldn't mind going back to one. Not espcially interested in LuxuryLight ($$$$$). Suggestions?
    Take a look at the Kelty Trekker. I have one and really like it for the heavy loads. (luxury hikes) I have a ULA Circuit also for distance hikes. Someone else mentioned the Jansport D2 in another thread that looks like it could carry a ton comfortably.
    "Hiking is as close to God as you can get without going to Church." - BobbyJo Sargent aka milkman Sometimes it's nice to take a long walk in THE FOG.

  4. #4

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    "You know you can load at least 90 lbs on it."

    Ah yes, how could I ever forget!!
    I'm hoping someone is manufacturing a nice, relatively small, lightweight EF these days. I have no idea what's on the market.
    Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. -Kahlil Gibran

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  6. #6
    Ickybod jburgasser's Avatar
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    +1 on the Kelty Trekker. Own one myself and works great.

    Ickybod
    I gotta get my head out of the clouds, but that is where my heart is.

  7. #7

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    +1 for kelty trekker

    I have the old SCOUT model that works well when I am carrying all the common equipment for my family.

  8. #8
    Registered User Moose2001's Avatar
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    you could also look around for a used Gregory Lassen or Whitney pack. Double stays that will easily carry 40+ pounds!
    GA - NJ 2001; GA - ME 2003; GA - ME 2005; GA - ME 2007; PCT 2006

    A wise man changes his mind, a fool never will.
    —SPANISH PROVERB

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Ender's Avatar
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    I have a much, much, much older version of this pack:
    http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___90387
    I'm not sure if this new pack is descended from or inspired by my old pack, but it's the same idea; a plastic frame external. I love that old pack... the plastic frame flexes just enough to have it carry a little more comfortably. It's a super comfy pack to carry, and I imagine this new one is similar in that regard. Weight isn't bad either.

    I also have a LuxuryLite pack, and that thing is very comfortable, though the frame doesn't flex like the one above would. The LL is a lot lighter weight though.
    Don't take anything I say seriously... I certainly don't.

  10. #10
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    See Ebay for many used externals. Campmor for new.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  11. #11
    Hike smarter, not harder.
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    I'd take a used Jansport D5 over anything currently on the market.
    Con men understand that their job is not to use facts to convince skeptics but to use words to help the gullible to believe what they want to believe - Thomas Sowell

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    Thanks for the replies! Lots of good suggestions here. Stumbled across the Jansport Carson, which looks good in the pictures(if you cut off the side pockets), I but haven't made up my mind yet. I am considering buying a used frame and making my own pack from modern materials to ride on it. Will definitely look into the plastic frame externals!
    Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. -Kahlil Gibran

  13. #13
    Registered User russb's Avatar
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    Garage or estate sales are a good place to find them. I have gotten quite a few in really good shape for $5-10. I give them to people who are just getting started. The externals are more forgiving for how one packs their load, allow better ventilation for ones back than almost all internals, they are not as heavy as some might think. I have one old external from my days back in the 70's which is under 3lbs. With the L-shaped aluminum frame, it makes a great chair too. The frame also allows one to really tie down the load; to compress it, keep it from shifting and to move the center of mass closer to ones back. While I usually am using a different pack, my external does get use and has many advantages over my others for certain trips, and not just because it can handle a heavier load.

  14. #14
    Registered User russb's Avatar
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    I have never been a fan of the plastic external frames. In fact, I my experience with them is so bad I loathe them. I have seen them break, split etc... winter is especially bad. Apparently others have had different experiences with them. The reasons I use externals on some trips require the type of frame provided by the aluminum tubing. So it is a right tool for the job type of thing.

  15. #15
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by russb View Post
    I have never been a fan of the plastic external frames. In fact, I my experience with them is so bad I loathe them. I have seen them break, split etc... winter is especially bad. Apparently others have had different experiences with them. The reasons I use externals on some trips require the type of frame provided by the aluminum tubing. So it is a right tool for the job type of thing.
    Smiled when I saw this. I had no personal experience with them (I used a Kelty Tioga back in "the day"), but a friend of mine was sponsored by Coleman Peak 1 on a cross-country backpacking trip in the early 80's. They used his photo and story for advertising later. They were always careful in the ads to say that Phil carried "a" Peak 1 pack the entire way. They never hinted at the fact that he actually used 4 or 5 different packs because the adjustable straps always pulled through the holes in the frame.

    I'm sure they're great for typical backpacking use, but long-distance, hard core may not be their sweet spot.

    My vote would be Kelty or Jansport. GREAT packs. Just have to watch how strong the back bag is if you go with used. They do deteriorate and weaken with exposure to ultraviolet light (sunlight).

  16. #16
    lemon b's Avatar
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    What I used for years was a Kelty Super Tioga. Only bothersome thing was those wire rods that run on both sides. I ended up cutting them off just below the clips. The pack is a beast. Never had a lack of room problem. Once in awhile as can be expected the top of the frame banged off overhangs. The hipbelt was nice. I pawned it off on one of my kids.

    Nice pack for a young back.

  17. #17
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
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    Just wanted to add, Phil's experience was when the Peak 1 pack was first introduced, perhaps they improved over time in some way. First impressions, however ...

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
    Smiled when I saw this. I had no personal experience with them (I used a Kelty Tioga back in "the day"), but a friend of mine was sponsored by Coleman Peak 1 on a cross-country backpacking trip in the early 80's. They used his photo and story for advertising later. They were always careful in the ads to say that Phil carried "a" Peak 1 pack the entire way. They never hinted at the fact that he actually used 4 or 5 different packs because the adjustable straps always pulled through the holes in the frame.

    I'm sure they're great for typical backpacking use, but long-distance, hard core may not be their sweet spot.

    My vote would be Kelty or Jansport. GREAT packs. Just have to watch how strong the back bag is if you go with used. They do deteriorate and weaken with exposure to ultraviolet light (sunlight).
    You gotta love "commercial" wording. Kinda like the 5 hour energy drink interviewing 3000 doctors. Is the 5 hour energy drink for you? Ask your doctor. We asked 3000. WOW! 3000! WOW! The 5 hour energy drink has to be for me!
    "Hiking is as close to God as you can get without going to Church." - BobbyJo Sargent aka milkman Sometimes it's nice to take a long walk in THE FOG.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by russb View Post
    I have one old external from my days back in the 70's which is under 3lbs.
    Would it be possible for you to post some info (brand, model) about your pack? A photo would be great too.

    Thanks.

  20. #20
    Registered User squirrel bait's Avatar
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    Another vote for an external, got mine right here on WB, it's a Kelty and it's blue. It survived being flooded by Hurricane Irene, just hosed it off with a slight bleach solution and was good to go. Bomb proof. And for AT, listen to the 5 hour energy commercial where they say of those 3 thousand doctors, "of the ones that responded 73 percent said" wow so how many responded wow.
    "you ain't settin your sights to high son, but if you want to follow in my tracks I'll help ya up the trail some."

    Rooster Cogburn.

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