Jonsky’s Guide to Hiking Backpacks – External Frame Hiking Pack vs Internal frame hiking backpack

April 17, 2009 | By Guest | Filed in: Camping Gear.

A backpacking bag is great for backpacking as it keeps your hands free for more important things like eating a snack or to hold a trekking pole. Carrying a duffel while hiking in the woods would be inconvenient and would make a man tire very fast.

Backpacks generally fall into two categories for outdoor activities like hiking. Traditionally external frame bags were commonly used but since mountaineers made it cool internal frame packs are more common.

The frame of an external frame backpack is usually made of tough and lightweight aluminum. The way the load is placed in an external frame backpack makes it difficult to keep balanced. You’ll find that it’s not easy to climb and incline or up hills but manufacturers came up with the obvious solution, the internal frame backpack, was born.

But some still choose external frame backpacks because you can carry some essentials by securing it to the external frame. Most people like to tie essentials that they may need easy access to the external frame. Be careful not to have too much hanging on the frame that it turns into something like a bus in India. It can make moving around difficult or make you lose your balance too easily.

Some still use external frame backpacks because they’re cooler. I’m not talking about “cool” in a sense that your friends would think it’s cool but because the pack is not close to the body, ventilation is good so it is cooler to wear.

In this modern day external frame hiking backpacks have almost been completely replaced by internal frame hiking backpacks. Overall they are simply much more convenient and carrying a heavy weight is so much easier because the center of gravity is much lower and since the weight is much more closer to the body, it is also more balanced.

Internal frame hiking backpacks compensates for the lack of external lashing points with a big holding capacity. Some have straps so that you can carry your other backpacking equipment like tent, mummy bag or poles on the outside. The close proximity of the pack to your back also makes it less bulky in a way, giving you more freedom to move. A higher level of comfort is achieved even when they tend to make your back sweat. Some makers are sharp enough to improve the overall ventilation of the hiking backpack by having minimal surface area in contact with the back.

Whether you choose external frame or internal frame hiking backpacks it is important that you get the right fit for you because it makes a really big difference in the comfort you feel especially if you carry a heavy weight. Also remember that expensive doesn’t always imply better quality. You can still get a cheap hiking backpack that’s of high quality.

Shop for internal frame bag at

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