External Frame Backpacks

Brands

Kelty
REI
U.S. Armed Forces
Nimrod Pack Systems
ALPS Mountaineering
Vargo
JanSport
Savotta
other
High Sierra

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

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

ALPS Mountaineering Commander

rated 0.5 of 5 stars I bought this pack four years ago, used it twice to pack out elk quarters for a friend, one load each as there were three of us. Went to use it this year and every single strap broke and fell apart from dry rot or bad quality. Their warranty dept. told me because it's 4 years old it's considered normal wear and tear and not covered. Offered to sell me another one for the same price that I could buy it online for—not a good deal and terrible limited lifetime warranty, more like a one year warranty… Full review

Kelty Super Tioga

rated 3.5 of 5 stars Are YOU a mule? When you need to haul a week's worth of stuff, this pack will do it. I'm not a small guy—6' and 225-230 pounds. I usually have to carry enough to qualify as a mule. This pack carries it all. If you need to carry a real load this is your pack. I know it's considered old school, but hey, it is still made because it still works. If you hike trails and don't want to be Mr. Schweddy, you'll like this pack. It transfers the weight to your hips, and takes it off your shoulders.   The… Full review

ALPS Mountaineering Zion Pack

rated 3 of 5 stars This is a good first pack for a beginner. It is easy to adjust and holds plenty of gear for a week on the trail. I bought the ALPS Zion pack in 2015. I used it on a one-week trek of about 30 miles in 2016 and plan to use it on a two-week trek of over 50 miles in 2017, plus shorter work up treks. Since I bought it on sale for under $100 I consider it a good pack for the money. It holds plenty of gear and I like strapping my tent on top and my sleeping bag to the bottom. The external pouches work… Full review

Kelty Yukon 48

rated 3 of 5 stars Great, durable backpack, used from Cub Scouts to present (I'm 30). I've had this pack since I was 12, and save for a couple squirrel holes internally (my bad. [cub scout]), it's held up amazingly. I've recently gotten into lightening my load (considerably), and took a seam ripper to it (it's from 1997, and I couldn't stand getting rid of it) to fit my new lightweight approach. It now sits just over 3 lbs, and functions as an extremely comfortable (and rugged...(can't do the Cuben/sil-nylon, as I… Full review

Top-Rated External Frame Backpacks

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

user rating: 4 of 5 (11)
Kelty Tioga reviewed Dec 2, 2016
$180
 
user rating: 4 of 5 (7)
REI Trekker Wonderland reviewed Nov 15, 2016
discontinued
user rating: 4 of 5 (39)
U.S. Armed Forces ALICE Pack reviewed Nov 7, 2016
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Nimrod Pack Systems Haul Frame Pack reviewed Oct 21, 2016
user rating: 2 of 5 (2)
ALPS Mountaineering Commander reviewed Sep 29, 2016
$130 MSRP
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (12)
Kelty Super Tioga reviewed Sep 4, 2016
$180
user rating: 2.5 of 5 (2)
ALPS Mountaineering Zion Pack reviewed Jul 26, 2016
$117
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (3)
Kelty Yukon 48 reviewed Apr 25, 2016
$127 - $169
user rating: 3 of 5 (2)
Vargo Ti-Arc Pack reviewed Apr 17, 2016
$300
user rating: 4 of 5 (14)
JanSport Carson 80 reviewed Mar 30, 2016
user rating: 4 of 5 (2)
Savotta 906 reviewed Mar 10, 2016
user rating: 4 of 5 (5)
Kelty Yukon 3200 reviewed Mar 3, 2016
discontinued
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
ALPS Mountaineering Bryce reviewed Dec 14, 2015
$104
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (17)
JanSport D3 reviewed Oct 19, 2015
discontinued
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (4)
Kelty 50th Anniversary Pack reviewed Aug 9, 2015
discontinued
OneCoolBackpack EcoPack-1 reviewed Jun 23, 2015
user rating: 4 of 5 (9)
Kelty Trekker 3950 reviewed Mar 25, 2015
discontinued
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (5)
Kelty Trekker 65 reviewed Feb 7, 2015
$135 - $179
user rating: 5 of 5 (5)
Kelty Continental Divide 5300 (External) reviewed Dec 22, 2014
discontinued
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (5)
Kelty Yukon 50 reviewed Sep 24, 2014
$170
user rating: 4 of 5 (3)
High Sierra Bobcat 65 reviewed Aug 10, 2014
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (5)
Kelty Trekker 4300 reviewed Jul 6, 2014
discontinued
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Seek Outside Paradox Evolution 4800 reviewed May 16, 2014
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2)
Camp Trails Adjustable II reviewed Apr 13, 2014
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (5)
Dana Design K2 Longbed reviewed Apr 12, 2014
discontinued
user rating: 4 of 5 (4)
JanSport Scout reviewed Feb 21, 2014
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
L.L.Bean Hunter's Carryall Pack reviewed Feb 4, 2014
$79 MSRP
 
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2)
Dana Design Glacier (External) reviewed Sep 9, 2013
discontinued
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (3)
Outdoor Products Trailhead Framepack 8.0 reviewed Aug 26, 2013
discontinued
 
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (3)
Camp Trails Explorer reviewed Aug 6, 2013
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (7)
Camp Trails Wilderness (External) reviewed Jul 1, 2013
user rating: 4 of 5 (2)
Kelty Tioga 5500 reviewed Jun 14, 2013
discontinued
 
user rating: 3 of 5 (13)
U.S. Armed Forces MOLLE Pack reviewed Apr 13, 2013
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (3)
Dana Design Longbed reviewed Mar 19, 2013
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Outdoor Products Firefly reviewed Jan 31, 2013
user rating: 4 of 5 (4)
Mountain Hardwear Maestro reviewed Jan 7, 2013
discontinued
 
user rating: 1 of 5 (1)
Asolo Expedition 70 reviewed Jan 3, 2013
user rating: 4 of 5 (4)
JanSport D2 reviewed Jul 2, 2012
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (5)
Kelty Pacific Crest 5000 reviewed Mar 23, 2012
discontinued
user rating: 4 of 5 (2)
Kelty Trekker 3900 reviewed Feb 22, 2012
discontinued
 
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (10)
JanSport Rainier reviewed Dec 19, 2011
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (7)
Norrona Reconpack reviewed Oct 12, 2011
user rating: 4 of 5 (10)
Kelty Trekker reviewed Jun 17, 2011
discontinued
user rating: 5 of 5 (3)
Kelty Cache Hauler reviewed Jun 7, 2011
$220 MSRP
 
user rating: 4 of 5 (1)
JanSport Middleton reviewed Apr 2, 2011
discontinued
 
user rating: 0.5 of 5 (1)
Asolo Backpack reviewed Apr 2, 2011
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (7)
JanSport D5 reviewed Feb 2, 2011
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Barney's Sports Chalet Super Moose reviewed Jan 23, 2011
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Camp Trails Omega Outfitter reviewed Jan 19, 2011
 
user rating: 4 of 5 (7)
Kelty Tioga 5300 reviewed Dec 30, 2010
discontinued
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