Great External Frame Backpacks - Backpacker

Great External Frame Backpacks

If you’re planning a hike to a campsite, you already know a daypack won’t get you and your gear there in comfort. Backpacks designed for camping come with two basic designs, internal and external frames. While internal frames are more popular with dedicated backpackers (and available in outdoor specialty stores), external frame backpacks have plenty of worthwhile advantages. They have better ventilation and position weight higher on the back for upright trail walking. There are more side pockets on an external frame pack to organize personal items. Plus, there are places to lash gear right to the frame. They are also great for hunting and heavy loads. Check out some picks for external frame backpacks, selected for their added features, weight, and carrying capacities.

Best for Weekends

Kelty Trekker 65L Backpack

Efficient and Durable. This five-pound five-ounce pack has a 65-liter capacity and optimal carry weight of 22 to 55 pounds; the adjustable suspension and zippered side and front pockets are perfect for easy organization.

What We Liked

The pack features an indestructible design with details to make outdoor adventures more comfortable. The hydration sleeve, for example, lets you stay hydrated on the trail without ever reaching for a water bottle, and the padded straps from sternum to waist keep the load secure and comfortable, even when the trail’s not.  Shop on Amazon. 

Best for Hunters

ALPS OutdoorZ Commander + Pack Bag

Rifle and Scope Accommodations. The Commander Plus Pack bag weighs seven pounds five ounces with the frame, and it has a 90-liter capacity, along with outside pockets for carrying a rifle and scope.

What We Liked

It’s large enough that you won’t need to lash anything to the outside of the pack, even tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping roll. The frame comes with a unique lashing system with extender straps and a freighter shelf, designed for hauling meat out of the field. Available on Amazon.

Most Versatile 

Stansport Deluxe Freighter Pack Frame

Carry Any Load. The aluminum frame weighs four pounds and allows you to carry 75-pound loads; it has padded straps, adjustable suspension, and you can lash any load to the ergonomic frame.

What We Liked

You can convert your favorite pack into a frame backpack with this versatile and affordable gear. The many attachment points and freighter shelf will carry everything you may need in the backcountry.  Shop Today

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