Friday, August 24, 2007

Making the Choice Between External and Internal Frame Backpacks

Every backpacker needs a good backpack. They need a sturdy and durable backpack to carry their gear. In addition, the choice of a backpack is essential to a good backpacking experience because differences in design can affect the weight and ease of carrying a backpack. The backpack you choose should be comfortable and able to hold all your essential gear. There are two basic types of backpack construction- external frame and internal frame.

External frame backpacks are backpacks that have the frame on the outside. The actual pack bag is hung on the frame. They are usually rather large and extend above the head when worn. They usually have a lot of pockets and allow for space between the back and the pack for excellent ventilation. An external frame is suited to carrying heavy loads, but should be used on-trail only. They have a high center of balance so they make falls very easy if a person is on uneven ground or tries to bend down.

Internal frame backpacks have the frame on the inside. They fit snug against a persons back which makes them easier to carry than an external backpack. A person will have a natural sense of balance with an internal backpack so they are good for both on or off trail. The smaller size means they carry less, though. They also do not have as many pockets as an external backpack.

When making the choice between an external frame and internal frame you really should focus on a few factors. First you need to determine the average load you carry. Consider if you need a lot of pockets or compartments. Next you should think about your typical backpacking trip and what type of terrain you usually travel on. These things will help you determine which type of backpack is best for you.

Internal and external backpacks each have their own good and bad points. The choice will really depend on the type of hiking a person is going to be doing. External backpacks are good for heavy loads and trips on trails and smooth terrain. Internal backpacks are good for smaller loads and for more diverse and rough terrain.

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