Open main menu

External Frame Backpacks

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (5)
Kelty Yukon 48 reviewed Aug 7, 2020
$180
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (8)
JanSport D5 reviewed Jul 3, 2020
discontinued
user rating: 5 of 5 (21)
JanSport D3 reviewed Jun 9, 2020
discontinued
user rating: 4 of 5 (12)
Kelty Tioga reviewed Apr 14, 2020
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (3)
Camp Trails Ponderosa reviewed Dec 5, 2019
discontinued
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (8)
Kelty Trekker 65 reviewed Sep 12, 2019
$135
user rating: 4 of 5 (1)
Savotta Saddle Sack 339 reviewed Jun 2, 2019
user rating: 4 of 5 (6)
Kelty Super Tioga 4900 reviewed Jan 6, 2019
discontinued
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
LuxuryLite StackPack reviewed Nov 30, 2018
user rating: 4 of 5 (4)
Camp Trails Explorer reviewed Jul 28, 2018
discontinued
user rating: 4 of 5 (2)
Kelty Sierra Crest reviewed Jun 19, 2018
discontinued
user rating: 4 of 5 (41)
U.S. Military ALICE Pack reviewed May 17, 2018
 
user rating: 4 of 5 (11)
JanSport Rainier reviewed May 3, 2018
discontinued
user rating: 4 of 5 (2)
Kelty Cache Hauler (Frame Only) reviewed Nov 22, 2017
$120 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (8)
Norrona Recon reviewed Aug 19, 2017
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
Seek Outside Unaweep 6300 reviewed Jul 25, 2017
$429 MSRP
 
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (9)
REI Trekker Wonderland reviewed Jul 12, 2017
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
The Big Heavy reviewed Jul 5, 2017
 
user rating: 3 of 5 (14)
U.S. Military MOLLE Pack reviewed Jun 1, 2017
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (6)
Dana Design K2 Longbed reviewed May 6, 2017
discontinued
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
discontinued
user rating: 3 of 5 (2)
Vargo Ti-Arc Pack reviewed Apr 17, 2016
$300 MSRP
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: 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: 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
$120 MSRP
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: 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 (3)
Outdoor Products Trailhead Framepack 8.0 reviewed Aug 26, 2013
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (7)
Camp Trails Wilderness (External) reviewed Jul 1, 2013
discontinued
user rating: 4 of 5 (2)
Kelty Tioga 5500 reviewed Jun 14, 2013
discontinued
 
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: 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: 4.5 of 5 (3)
Kelty Trekker 3900 ST reviewed Feb 22, 2012
discontinued
user rating: 4 of 5 (10)
Kelty Trekker reviewed Jun 17, 2011
discontinued

Recent External Frame Backpack Reviews

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Kelty Yukon 48

Yukon 48 is my fugged-about-it pack. It might not do everything well. However, you can trust the pack to do just about everything. It's the multi-tool of the backpack world. Construction: There's nothing particular unique or exciting about the Kelty frame pack. Humans have been using external frames for thousands of years. For instance, most people will notice Native American cradleboards are essentially small, baby-laden external frames. You have a rigid frame with a bundle attached to it. The… Full review

rated 4 of 5 stars
Kelty Trekker 65

I started out with external frame packs in the '80s, joined the internal frame craze in the '90s, and joyfully returned to external frames with this pack about nine years ago. It is an eternally adjustable, heavy-load-eating comfort-monster. This pack can be tweaked endlessly to find that perfect fit. The frame itself can be shortened or lengthened, the pack body lowered or raised on the frame, the hip belt and shoulder straps replaced. To that end, I am a slender man, and found the factory-installed… Full review

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Kelty Trekker 65

Lots of room in this pack. I am a big guy and it fits very comfortably and does not shift much. I would recommend this pack for people who tend to pack a few more things than the average hiker would. I use it for three-day trips and it still has plenty of room left. This pack fits very well and as I have mentioned I am a 230+ guy. The pads fit very well and are comfortable around the shoulders and waist. Depending on where you like to sit your pack I feel this one rides very well when I have it… Full review

rated 4 of 5 stars
Savotta Saddle Sack 339

A robust well-made bag that will last for decades. Heavier than many other backpacks, its environmental credentials, durability, robust construction, and ease of use more than make up for it. The Savotta Saddle Sack is a real workhorse. Yes, it is significantly heavier than most other modern sacks but, unlike them, this pack is likely to be still be carrying loads for decades to come and it can take a serious amount of abuse. This is central to the company’s values which reject our "throw away… Full review

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
LuxuryLite StackPack

I have used the pack for a total of 20 days—two trips into the Gila Wilderness and two into the Pecos Wilderness. My pack has an external frame and four 25-litre, waterproof bags. The bags only weigh 4 oz. each, and the total empty weight for a 75-litre backpack is 32 oz. It is very comfortable to wear, however unconventional its design is. No signs of wear yet. The most weight I have carried so far is 28 pounds (my first trip), as I am solo hiking (and kind of a newbie). The pack is infinitely… Full review

rated 3 of 5 stars
Kelty Trekker 65

Lots of room, comfortable after alteration. Lacks a critical adjustment option, but with some imagination and a trip to your local machine shop the pack can be re-engineered. I like external frame packs because they sit off my back and allow air to circulate. My 25-year-old one finally bit the dust, so I bought the Trekker 65. Unfortunately, the vertical position of the pack on the frame is not adjustable, leaving the pack way too high on the frame. Kelty could not correct the problem, but with… Full review

rated 1 of 5 stars
U.S. Military ALICE Pack

Primitive, heavy, and outdated, an Alice Pack would never make it into my gear collection. We used these in the NZ Army back in the '80s. Like a lot of the gear back then it was 1960s Vietnam era.Back in those days the gear was so bad that soldiers would go out and buy their own gear, mostly civilian issue.  SAS soldiers used to go out and buy MacPac and Fairydown backpacks. The Alice Packs were just not capable of carrying sufficient load comfortably and I can only suggest they are basically rubbish. Full review

rated 4 of 5 stars
U.S. Military ALICE Pack

Not a bad pack as long as you are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the design. The as-issued ALICE does the job and holds up well to rough use, but it lacks the comfort of more modern designs and the refinements and fashionable trends of civilian products. However, upgrade the straps and the waist belt with MOLLE II replacements and you've got one solid feeling pack that is comfortable and does just about anything you want a pack to do while remaining simple in nature. Consider adding the… Full review

rated 5 of 5 stars
Kelty Cache Hauler (Frame Only)

Absolute best pack for hauling out elk from deep in the back country. Carry 120-150 pounds, no problems other than being tired. This is the absolute best pack you will ever need to haul out a whole deer, elk halves or quarters, moose, caribou, bear, you name it! I have had 150 pounds on this pack numerous times and this pack is still very comfortable!  It fits perfectly. When loaned to my buddies they rave about the pack and most have bought one themselves. If you like hunting in the deep backcountry,… Full review