External Frame Backpacks

12:48 p.m. on September 13, 2008 (EDT)
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I tried the Kelty Tioga 5500 backpack, but the waistbelt clasp is too fragile, and broke when pressure was exerted on it. I also have an Internal Frame pack, which I used on three trips, but I like the external Frame pack better. I wore out a couple of Camp Trails, and loved the old fashion buckle on the Waistbelt, because I cinched it up real tight; but they are no more. My pack load runs around fifty pounds. I'm open to suggestions........blaster

3:59 p.m. on September 13, 2008 (EDT)
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One of the best external frame packs I ever had was a Peak 1, by Coleman, from around '96. It had a Kevlar-reinforced polymer frame, so it was flexible, strong, and pretty light for an external frame. Large too, probably around what your looking for space-wise, with tough, water resistant fabric, and a lot of lashing points. Very adjustable and comfortable on the back and shoulders. You can pick one up on e-bay for around $30-$50, depending on condition--look for the ones which have the more fluid, sculpted frame, as opposed to being more squared-off. I loved that pack, and it took a hell of a beating, with no holes or tears after years of abuse from countless boy scout trips around the country.

For a new external frame pack, I would look at Bergans first, and then Mountain hardwear.

10:50 p.m. on September 13, 2008 (EDT)
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Is the Mtn Hardwear really considered an external? Just wondering. I've always thought it was their own new spin on a suspension system within an internal frame.

A couple of different reviews (including one here on TS) says the Outdoor Products Saturn uses an old-fashion belt a la the Peak 1. Haven't seen this first-hand, but I've heard someone else I know mention this as well that likes his old frame packs. Worth a look at such a low price.

Blaster, be sure to read some reviews over here:


11:07 p.m. on September 15, 2008 (EDT)
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210 forum posts

I bought the Saturn because i wanted to annoy a friend that makes fun of OP packs, and I need an external frame for desert hiking. So far, it seems OK, going to do a load test and run up and down the stairs with it and see how it holds up. The frame is VERY interesting, and I can't wait to take it on a quick overnight hike -- its going to be wierd not hearing it squeak!

11:26 p.m. on September 15, 2008 (EDT)
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I just looked at the Saturn, and it has the same frame as the 1st-generation peak-1 packs. It looks like a pretty good sized pack, and the reviews here on trailspace are good, so that might be a good option for you, blaster.

Otherwise, I'd still try to find a used, 2nd-generation frame peak-1 pack, if I were you. I've worn both of the frame styles, and I can tell you the later style is more comfortable because it flexes more freely, and flares out a bit at the bottom to let you move in a more dynamic manner.

12:13 a.m. on September 18, 2008 (EDT)
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430 forum posts

Jansport Carson. I really like mine.


11:15 p.m. on September 26, 2008 (EDT)
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134 forum posts

If you can find a deal on a Kelty 50th Anniversary on EBay, jump on it. Probably the pinnacle of external frame development. I think mine is a little over 4 pounds. I use it when I have to do heavy loads or it's hot, but usually try to use my GG Mariposa now.

2:22 p.m. on October 3, 2008 (EDT)
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I purchased a K2 Longbed external backpack manufactured in 1998 without any documentation. I don’t know what size is this pack and how to adjust torso length; I cannot find any real documentation in the internet.

I'm looking for:
1) A user manual and technical documentation of this backpack or any other Loadmaster backpack (Shortbed, T1 or Teraframe)

2) Frame dimensions of long or regular Loadmaster backpack. ( to detect which size I have )

3)Any advice or tip from experienced users of Loadmaster backpacs how to use this backpack.

I will very appreciate any help

5:05 p.m. on October 3, 2008 (EDT)
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3,956 forum posts

Hi boaz, Here is a link to the Marmot page where you will find contact info for information on older K2/Dana packs.

Maybe others here can tell you more.

April 24, 2018
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