External Frame Backpacks

Brands

High Sierra
Kelty
REI
U.S. Armed Forces
Seek Outside
Vargo
ALPS Mountaineering
Camp Trails
Dana Design
JanSport

Genders

Unisex
Men's
Women's
Kids'

Price

less than $100
$100 - $199.99
$200 - $299.99
$500 and above

Recent External Frame Backpack Reviews

High Sierra Bobcat 65

rated 4.5 of 5 stars Great size and lightweight for an older female. This pack was a great find for me, I am an older female that needed to put an emergency 3-day pack together, I have severe cervical spine problems and this wonderful pack made it easy for me to be able to "carry my own load." The pockets are very large and easy to access the most used or wanted items..water, snacks, rain gear, etc. I am now confidant that I will be ready for at least 3 days in case of evacuation or road trip problems. One never knows… Full review

Kelty Trekker 4300

rated 5 of 5 stars I got my first Kelty in 1968, and still use it for day hikes. In addition to the 'orginal' Kelty, I have the Trekker 4300 and the Tioga 5500.  Use depending on the length of the hike. Love all three.  Most of my hiking is in the desert SW and Grand Canyon. The externals allow greater airflow. Load is balanced over the hips—the long hike up from the bottom of Grand Canyon goes much easier with the 'over-the-hips' weight distribution. I still do an annual Rim-2-Rim at the Canyon—and of course… Full review

REI Trekker Wonderland

rated 5 of 5 stars I pack in bear country, so I really like the squeak. I pack in bear and lion country so the squeaking is a plus. It has all the room I need for a week out, and it is very comfortable. I have two other packs, top of the line, but I am liking this one the best. I bought it used, in like new condition for $18. SCORE!!!! Full review

U.S. Armed Forces ALICE Pack

rated 4 of 5 stars This is a great, huge pack with plenty of large pockets to organize and fit more supplies in. It is pretty water resistant but I wouldn't guarantee anything there. The MOLLE straps on the outside are good for hanging stuff from with bungie cord or clips. Extra pouches can also be added to the outside :) I would recommend this to anyone who would like to go for a longer trip, not just a day hike. These packs are for sale, made brand new in the curragh army shop. Full review

Seek Outside Paradox Evolution 4800

rated 5 of 5 stars I missed my external packs from the days long ago, until I found this one. It articulates as good or better than any of my internal frame packs and best of all, THE HIP BELT WILL NOT SLIP. I know, an amazing assertion, but true. PARADOX PACK by SEEKOUTSIDE 4800 WITH BASE TALON I found out about this external frame pack that feels like an internal frame on BACKPACKINGLIGHT. That (and other reviews, I read them all) haunted me until I purchased one and tried it out. It boasted an external aluminum… Full review

Vargo Ti-Arc Pack

rated 4.5 of 5 stars The external frame pack is back! The Ti-Arc is a first generation backpack from the company that brings us all things titanium. As an initial foray into pack design, the Ti-Arc is a solid first step, merging the best aspects of external and internal frames. The design is innovative. The comfort is phenomenal. Vargo still has a few kinks to straighten out in the design. However, the Ti-Arc has decisively brought the external frame pack back out of obscurity. This is the pack I want with me on the… Full review

Kelty Trekker 65

rated 5 of 5 stars Bought to replace my first and last internal pack that I will ever own. I bought this pack after jumping on the internal bandwagon and being highly unsatisfied. I absolutely love it! I have used this pack for several miles of trails both wide open trails and narrow unbeaten trails. I could live out of this pack if I needed to for as long as I needed. The weight is distributed much better than my internal. I have been able to strap items to the frame if I needed (my Gerber machete is fixed to the… Full review

ALPS Mountaineering Commander

rated 4 of 5 stars The ALPS Commander frame pack is very comfortable to wear and is extremely durable. It is lightweight, solid, adjustable, and easy to use. I wasn't sure how well the pack would fit my shoulders with a heavy load, so in order to test the capabilities I piled everything on it. The Commander has a shelf that can be lowered and this is a great feature. I loaded camera gear, a spotting scope, tripods, food, water, etc. You get the picture. When I weighed the pack 3/4 loaded it was 57 lbs. I'll admit,… Full review

Camp Trails Adjustable II

rated 5 of 5 stars Camp Trails is the under-rated champion of solid, versatile backpacks. The Adjustable II lives up to the Camp Trails U.S.-made tradition of reliability and ruggedness. Two, 20"-long, zippered, vertical pouches on either side of the main compartment are ideal for fly and tent poles in one, tent body and pegs in the other. An extender bar is made (maybe hard to get, now?) so that you can lash your pad horizontally to it, over the main compartment. The main compartment is only a single space (no separator),… Full review

Top-Rated External Frame Backpacks

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

High Sierra Bobcat 65
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: 4 of 5 (5)
REI
Trekker Wonderland
reviewed Jun 20, 2014
discontinued
 
user rating: 4 of 5 (38)
U.S. Armed Forces
ALICE Pack
reviewed Jun 3, 2014
Seek Outside Paradox Evolution 4800
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Seek Outside
Paradox Evolution 4800
reviewed May 16, 2014
Vargo Ti-Arc Pack
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
Vargo
Ti-Arc Pack
reviewed May 5, 2014
$299
Kelty Trekker 65
user rating: 5 of 5 (4)
Kelty
Trekker 65
reviewed Apr 24, 2014
$135 - $179
ALPS Mountaineering Commander
user rating: 4 of 5 (1)
ALPS Mountaineering
Commander
reviewed Apr 17, 2014
$130 MSRP
Camp Trails Adjustable II
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
JanSport Carson 80
user rating: 4 of 5 (12)
JanSport
Carson 80
reviewed Apr 1, 2014
JanSport Scout
user rating: 4 of 5 (4)
JanSport
Scout
reviewed Feb 21, 2014
$75 - $100
L.L.Bean Hunter's Carryall Pack
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
L.L.Bean
Hunter's Carryall Pack
reviewed Feb 4, 2014
$79 MSRP
Kelty Yukon 50
user rating: 4 of 5 (4)
Kelty
Yukon 50
reviewed Jan 24, 2014
$127 - $169
ALPS Mountaineering Zion Pack
user rating: 2 of 5 (1)
ALPS Mountaineering
Zion Pack
reviewed Sep 29, 2013
$112
 
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2)
Dana Design
Glacier (External)
reviewed Sep 9, 2013
discontinued
Outdoor Products Trailhead Framepack 8.0
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
Kelty Tioga 5500
user rating: 4 of 5 (2)
Kelty
Tioga 5500
reviewed Jun 14, 2013
discontinued
Kelty Super Tioga
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (11)
Kelty
Super Tioga
reviewed Apr 24, 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
Nimrod Pack System
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)

Nimrod Pack System
reviewed Feb 17, 2013
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Outdoor Products
Firefly
reviewed Jan 31, 2013
Mountain Hardwear Maestro
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
Savotta  906
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (1)
Savotta
906
reviewed Nov 1, 2012
JanSport D2
user rating: 4 of 5 (4)
JanSport
D2
reviewed Jul 2, 2012
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (16)
JanSport
D3
reviewed Mar 28, 2012
discontinued
Kelty Pacific Crest 5000
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (5)
Kelty
Pacific Crest 5000
reviewed Mar 23, 2012
discontinued
Kelty Trekker 3900
user rating: 4 of 5 (2)
Kelty
Trekker 3900
reviewed Feb 22, 2012
$135
 
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
Kelty Tioga
user rating: 4 of 5 (9)
Kelty
Tioga
reviewed Aug 24, 2011
$180
Kelty Trekker
user rating: 4 of 5 (10)
Kelty
Trekker
reviewed Jun 17, 2011
discontinued
Kelty Cache Hauler
user rating: 5 of 5 (3)
Kelty
Cache Hauler
reviewed Jun 7, 2011
$200 - $249
 
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
 
user rating: 4 of 5 (5)
Kelty
Super Tioga 4900
reviewed Dec 13, 2010
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Trailwise
Freighter Frame
reviewed Nov 18, 2010
discontinued
 
user rating: 0 of 5 (1)
Kelty
Yukon 3500
reviewed Oct 25, 2010
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Mountainsmith
Eagle
reviewed Oct 22, 2010
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (7)
Camp Trails
Wilderness (External)
reviewed Jul 1, 2013
Kelty Cache Hauler (Frame Only)
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (1)
Kelty
Cache Hauler (Frame Only)
reviewed Sep 5, 2010
$120 - $149
Mountainsmith Youth Scout
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Mountainsmith
Youth Scout
reviewed Sep 5, 2010
$90 - $95
Kelty Trekker 3950
user rating: 4 of 5 (8)
Kelty
Trekker 3950
reviewed Aug 11, 2010
discontinued
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