Who Still Makes External Frame Pack's

1:39 p.m. on January 18, 2009 (EST)
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I'm wondering who sill makes a external frame packs? I know Kelty still has a few. Outdoor Products & Jansport have one or two, but are there any others. I would like to get a new one and I want to do some comparing first. I stick with the external frame because of 2 reasons. A) I am a bit old school, and B) I am a hot hiker even in the winter. In the past 25 years I have had a couple internal frame packs but I don't like them, although I would consider a hybrid pack. Any information would be much appreciated. Thanks girls & guys.

11:14 a.m. on January 19, 2009 (EST)
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I wouldn't bother with the Outdoor Products brand. Kelty and Jansport are likely your best bets. There may be some European brands that make external frames, but that's about it. There may be offerings from LL Bean or Cabelas if you search their web sites, but likely these are made for them via Eureka (which now owns the Camp Trails brand). Eureka may sell external frames in Cananada, you can check this via their web site.

For a modern version of an external frame, you can try Luxury Light gear. Otherwise look for a used pack in good shape on ebay.

11:47 a.m. on January 19, 2009 (EST)
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8:28 p.m. on January 19, 2009 (EST)
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Thanks for all your help people it looks like ill be waiting for the new 2009 Kelty Tioga 5500 to come out in mid February or early March. Jansport does have one and Cabelas also has a few. I could not find any euro company's that have any true external frame packs. As far as Outdoor Products go I would keep my current or dig out my old Alice pack before I buy one of those things.

8:03 a.m. on January 23, 2009 (EST)
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If you do not require a totally new one, I suggest that you can go to ebay, some of them are like new!
I got one dana design T1 from ebay before, it is a very nice pack and like new.

2:28 a.m. on January 31, 2009 (EST)
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mike i believe bergans of norway still makes external frame packs. there are some reviewed on trailspace. the bergans packs use smaller diameter frame tubing like the jansport frames, but bergans are welded. a friend of mine had one for years, it is still the one he talks about. they have been making external frame packs for a long time. i like the way the small diameter tubing carriers the load. they seem to have more flex which makes them a little more comfortable

the old kelty frames were probablly the strongest made. i have heard of them taking incredible falls without sustaing much, if any damage. the large diameter tubing will be stroger than the small diameter.

k2 and dana seem to be quite popular, but i have no experience with them at all.

by the way mike i never was able to find any of the backbands that i know i have around here somewhere.
good luck with your new pack.

7:29 p.m. on January 31, 2009 (EST)
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If you did not find the page. here is the bergans page http://www.bergans.no/sider_eng/start_produkter.asp Their frame packs are popular here with those who is on the opposite side as the "ultra-light" trekkers, and also for hunters of reindeers and elks.

3:48 p.m. on March 8, 2009 (EDT)
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I'm hanging on to my Diamond Brand Blue Ridge 5 Pack that's for sure! It's no longer made/available.

I got to use it these last few days. Did an overnight backpack trek here in Ohio's Wayne National Forest on the Archers Fork Trail.

This pack is pretty basic but it very tough, the materials that it is constructed of. I just wish the shoulder straps were more comfortable.


4:32 p.m. on March 8, 2009 (EDT)
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Thanks for the input people I bought a Kelty Tioga 5500 2009 version at the end of January. It seems to be a good pack but I have only used it once on a short trek so I really don't have enough info to give a very good review yet. The frame is the same frame as last year, The harness in made of a diffrent material (which seems to be more comfortable) and (they have discontinued the load lifter system on the Tioga series for 2009) The bag section is redesigned and I like it better and I think it is larger than the last version.

All in all I would recommend the Kelty Tioga 5500 (2009) to a friend (so far)

I did look at the Bergans PowerFrame 3810 and I liked it very much but it is a bit pricy at about $400 and I wish in a different color besides OD green. I may save up my penny's and get one later this year. I would like to do a long expedition 2 - 4 weeks next year and I think it would be a nice pack for that.

8:11 p.m. on March 23, 2009 (EDT)
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If you can get by without a new one I can probably get you something for less than 20.00

10:46 p.m. on March 23, 2009 (EDT)
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Ah darn, you already got one! I was gonna tell you how to make one out of an old aluminum lawn chair. Believe it or not these backpacks turn into a lawn chair.

Seriously though, glad you got the Tioga.

11:02 p.m. on March 23, 2009 (EDT)
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Alan, remember the old JanSport D5s (I think that was the model)? I never had one but always thought they were a really cool design. I did have a JanSport travel pack with a tube frame sewn into it and a waistbelt on a U shaped piece that attached with small bolts to the bottom of the frame.

4:41 a.m. on March 24, 2009 (EDT)
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Lol a lawn chair id love to see that it sounds cool.


Jansport does have a slightly different design for there external frame packs.

9:51 a.m. on March 24, 2009 (EDT)
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Tom, the Jansport D series were great packs. I have a D2 in my collection. Jansport also made the more common D3 and D5. The D5 was identical to the D3, just a smaller sized frame and bag. The D2 has a larger packbag with a few more bells and whistles. The travel pack you mention was the framesack. I've got one of these as well, one of the first travel backpacks made.

10:11 a.m. on March 24, 2009 (EDT)
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The D2 looks like this.

If you really want obscure, go with the Jansport Alpine Phantom.

2:15 p.m. on March 24, 2009 (EDT)
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Thanks for posting the pics Alan, that's what I remembered them looking like-with the blocks on the tubes. If I remember right, couldn't you move the cross pieces up and down the tube to size the pack to your torso?

I still think that is a good design-probably a bit heavy by today's standards, but the design seems really practical. The Yellow D2 looks great.

I used the travel pack a lot. The great thing about it, as you know, is that you could tuck the straps into the flap on the front and check it in like a suitcase without worrying about anything getting hung up on baggage handling machinery. I gave it away to someone when I moved to the mainland years ago. Should have kept it. Doh!

2:34 p.m. on March 24, 2009 (EDT)
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You're right. The packs came with tools so you could move the horizontal pieces a bit up and down. The D2 is so big, if you fill it up, you sure don't want to carry it.

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