Internal Frame Packs vs External Frame Packs
I'm hoping you can help settle an argument... my understanding is that external frame packs put the load on your back and shoulders and internal frame packs direct it to the hips but I have Americans trying to tell me the opposite is true...
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Army external frame packs back when I was doing serious carrying of them (1999 - 2003) were probably still the ones used in Vietnam, all the weight on your shoulders, absolutely awful compared to my internal frame tramping pack! It did make carrying my tramping pack seem SOOOOO comfortable even with a heavy load!
Forgot to mention this earlier but regardless of the different views on this thread or any other...the thing that's most important with packs is how they feel on you - and that's not up for discussion. I tend to think packs pick people more than we pick a pack. Just likes shoes, they all fit differently and what works for one person doesn't work for another. So if you can, try on a number of designs and make the best decision for your needs.
I had a Go-Lite which had no frame, being a sac with shoulder straps and a hip belt. The trick was to pack your gear in a way that melded into your back shape or use a closed cell foam shaped to fit against the walls of the pack (in a circle) though I didn't do this myself. I had to be careful to put the heavier items e.g. food, against my back and the lighter items against the outer side of the pack e.g. raincoat. I didn't carry more than 10kg all up so the light pack wasn't an issue. However the fabric was against my back and when I started having hot flushes, I got a heat rash so ditched the pack in favour of the Osprey with its ventilated back.
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