External Frame Backpacks

Brands

Camp Trails
Norrona
Kelty
L.L.Bean
Nimrod Pack Systems
Outdoor Products
Barney's Sports Chalet
Bergans
Seek Outside
ALPS Mountaineering

User

Unisex
Men's
Women's
Kids'

Price

less than $100
$100 - $199.99
$200 - $299.99
$300 and above

Recent External Frame Backpack Reviews

U.S. Armed Forces MOLLE Pack

rated 3 of 5 stars Not bad for what you pay for it these days, more for mountaineering than backpacking and thru-hikes. Way to bulky for day hikes. I carried max loads in the military with it and about a 40-lb load with an added 15 to 20 lbs of firewood and it carried that load well. I still prefer lighter civilian packs like Osprey, which only weighs slightly over 4 lbs and has an AG suspension harness. Full review

Dana Design K2 Longbed

rated 5 of 5 stars Dana Design screwed up discontinuing LongBed K-2. It is bomb proof, great organizing external pockets, comfortable waist strap, adjustable upper frame extension, enormous capacity. It is built to last not years but decades. If you like to take the kitchen sink this is the pack for you. It is over built and will last, I dare say a lifetime. I wouldn't sell mine EVER. There is nothing out there that could replace it. People on the trail are always commenting on my pack and want to know were to get… Full review

JanSport D3

rated 5 of 5 stars Purchased my D3 from R.E.I. in 1979. I have used this pack on the Appalachian Trail, hiking in Wyoming, more camping trips than I can count, and for a season of wilderness guiding in Maine. Love this pack. I have had this pack for 38 years. I have replaced both front panel zippers, but otherwise the pack has held up well. It has always fit me well at 5'7". It is very comfortable even with a heavy load. I love most that it has a large capacity to haul multiple days of bulky food packages. The front… Full review

JanSport D3

rated 5 of 5 stars Though the D3 is now considered a "classic," since 1974 I've always considered it to be an everyday "workhorse." I'm replacing the shoulder straps (one had gotten a serious cut) and I once added a layer of Ensolite on the inside of the hip belt, but otherwise the pack has already been ready to do its job regardless of whether it's for an easy overnighter or a ten-day, 75-lbs adventure. My Jansport D3 backpack is now over 40 years old. I bought it new. Over most of those years it has been my… Full review

Kelty Tioga

rated 4 of 5 stars Proven design. I owned and carried one of these for years, as did a college roommate. It was quite a number of years ago but the new models seem essentially the same. It was basically the first aluminum external readily available anywhere. Other makers quickly followed when the market became obvious, but Kelty was there first and for many, including me, the proven and well reviewed design sold me.  It cost an impoverished college student a pile of money for those days. I probably ate less for a… Full review

Kelty Tioga

rated 4.5 of 5 stars This is a great pack for 10 days in the mountains. I like the 3 L water side pouch that you can fill up with the Playtpus 3 L bag. Frame pack makes it easier to get on over your head. Holds a lot of weight. I used this pack while hiking Philmont Scout Reservation. It did the job for 10 days on the trail. External frame held up in the rugged environment. Easier to get on than the internal framed. Lot less bulk when empty to carry restock supplies at camp then repack. The zippers seemed to stick but… Full review

REI Trekker Wonderland

rated 3.5 of 5 stars I like the many pockets for all of my gear Full review

U.S. Armed Forces ALICE Pack

rated 4.5 of 5 stars The medium ALICE is the most versatile durable pack and less expensive than other brand name packs. A medium ALICE pack can be bought separately from an issue frame. If it is surplus it will have three internal strings to reduce its size for hiking (YouTube has a vid on how to turn it into an assault pack). Ten to 15 lbs will carry fine without the frame. For camping a DIY frame (see YouTube vids) or after-market frames (see YouTube vids) allow you to buy and attach a MOLLE 2 hip pad belt to transfer… Full review

Nimrod Pack Systems Haul Frame Pack

rated 5 of 5 stars I'VE BEEN MILITARY 28 YEARS!!! I can tell you that the military could learn a few things from Nimrod Packs systems!! I own every piece from binoc/45 case to the meat rack. If you spend your money on the OTHER guys costing twice your money you're wrong! This stuff is top quality and the craftsmanship is excellent. The owner is a top quality individual and the warranty is world class. Try it! It will be the last one you will ever need!! I tell everyone I meet they need to look at the prices the "Hunting Magazine… Full review

Top-Rated External Frame Backpacks

Sort by: name | rating | price | availability | recently reviewed

 
user rating: 5 of 5 (7)
Camp Trails Wilderness (External)
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (7)
Norrona Reconpack
user rating: 5 of 5 (3)
Kelty Cache Hauler
$220 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
L.L.Bean Hunter's Carryall Pack
$79 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Nimrod Pack Systems Haul Frame Pack
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Camp Trails Omega Outfitter
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Outdoor Products Firefly
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Barney's Sports Chalet Super Moose
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Bergans Powerframe 3800
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Seek Outside Paradox Evolution 4800
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Camp Trails Omega/Camo
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
ALPS Mountaineering Bryce
$149 MSRP
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Bergans Powerframe
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Recon LK100
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Karrimor Condor 60-80 (External)
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Mountainsmith Youth Scout
$109 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (19)
JanSport D3
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (7)
JanSport D5
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (6)
Dana Design K2 Longbed
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (5)
Kelty Trekker 4300
discontinued
user rating: 5 of 5 (5)
Kelty Continental Divide 5300 (External)
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (3)
Dana Design Longbed
discontinued
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Outdoor Products Saturn
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
K2 Shortbed
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Kelty Radial Light
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Dana Design K2 Terraframe
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Haglofs Alaska
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Dana Design K2 Terraframe Longbed
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Cerro Torre Yark I
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Dana Design Shortbed
discontinued
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Kelty West Coast 4800
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Mountainsmith Eagle
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Trailwise Freighter Frame
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Contour Outdoor MOLLE Pack
discontinued
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Kelty Junior Tioga 2050
discontinued
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (5)
Kelty Trekker 65
$180
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (5)
Kelty Yukon 50
$170
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (3)
Kelty Yukon 48
$170
 
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (3)
Camp Trails Night Song (External)
 
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (12)
Kelty Super Tioga
discontinued
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (5)
Kelty Pacific Crest 5000
discontinued
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (4)
Kelty 50th Anniversary Pack
discontinued
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (3)
Outdoor Products Trailhead Framepack 8.0
discontinued
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2)
Kelty Tioga 4500
discontinued
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2)
Camp Trails Adjustable II
discontinued
 
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2)
Kelty Trekker 3900 ST
discontinued
 
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2)
Dana Design Glacier (External)
discontinued
 
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2)
Dana Design Terraframe
discontinued
 
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
JanSport Tundra 80
discontinued
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (3)
Outdoor Products Dragon Fly
discontinued
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