May 14, 2013 at 8:57 pm #1302934
Anyone have any good tips or suggestions for avoiding the sausaging/barreling of a frameless pack as it gets stuffed towards it's limits? It's turned any frameless pack I've tried into an unstable slightly annoying lump on my spine, that doesn't ride well with my movements. I know I could go framed, but I'd like to give frameless packs a real shot, this season.
Add a full-ish hydration bladder, and the barreling gets REALLY bad.
I don't use a foam pad for shape, so a rolled foam pad isn't the problem. Punching shape into the soft contents doesn't really last very long. I've tried the sleeping-bag-in-a-stuff-sack-placed horizontally trick and it helps (not great, but so-so), but I'm hoping for other suggestions.
If someone has an idea for a really lightweight framesheet that still maintains vertical flexibility, I'd really love to hear it. I've been contemplating pulling a 'Mountain Hardwear Hardwave' framesheet out of one of their packs and giving it a try – I believe they'd probably come in at a couple ounces, and I'm sure I could get a framesheet directly through a local dealer for around $20.
Thanks!May 14, 2013 at 9:04 pm #1986177
Luke SchmidtBPL Member
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
For a while I used a MLD Burn. Since I wanted to use an inflatable pad I had a peice of foam about 20 inches long that I folded over once and put against the back. I then packed everything up against that. It worked well for about 15 pounds but the pack didn't quit fit right so I sold it.
I tried hard to make a Jam2 work with a folded ridgerest. It was okay but not great, eventually I decided my framed pack was better for loads over 15-20 pounds.May 14, 2013 at 9:14 pm #1986179
Yeah, I've been able to drop my loads down to 11-15lbs for 3-5 day trips. I won't need a hipbelt, vertical structure, or transfer to hips at those weights, so I don't need that kind of rigidity (in fact, I DONT want that kind of rigidity), I just need to prevent the barreling/sausaging.
For most, it probably doesn't really matter, but I spend a ton of time off trail, scrambling 3rd, 4th and low 5th class ridgelines, where balance is critical (death being a possibility). The barreling effect is NOT good in that kind of terrain – it's very awkward to make more difficult moves when your pack is fighting you.
It'd be nice if the frameless pack makers (at least one of them!) would get smart about how they cut their backpanels, so that it's more likely to adhere to the shape of someone's back, rather than just a tube. However, I'm not aware of anyone doing this, outside of MYOG stuff.May 14, 2013 at 9:18 pm #1986181
I don't like frameless packs but the Jam does have a shaped panel. Hard to barrel that one.May 14, 2013 at 9:21 pm #1986184
Put some rigid plastic in there, like corrugated sign board.May 14, 2013 at 9:42 pm #1986187
> Put some rigid plastic in there, like corrugated sign board.
I'd like to try that, but that adds rigidity in both directions. I need rigidity only in the horizontal direction (so the backpack conforms to your back on the vertical plane).May 14, 2013 at 9:47 pm #1986189
Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I like to put my tent poles on the back side. A strap with buckle on the top to pull the top of the pole towards my back which flattens the pack.May 14, 2013 at 10:04 pm #1986200
Justin BakerBPL Member
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
I use a z-rest folded up as a back pad/frame. It works very well and I never feel the contents of my pack poking into me.May 14, 2013 at 10:16 pm #1986206
For the corrugated plastic, cut it so the corrugations are horizontal (perpendicular to the up/down back panel), that way, it can bend to conform to your spinal curve, but won't barrel out side to side.
Others have also pierced thin brass or aluminum tubes into it as well then bend it to give it a permanent spinal curve… I believe there are some pictures floating around on the forums here.
-|—|-May 14, 2013 at 11:24 pm #1986229
Alex WallaceBPL Member
@feetfirstLocale: Sierra Nevada North
nmMay 15, 2013 at 5:44 am #1986273
David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
A sheet of fairly stiff foam, ideally in a full sleeve, will help prevent the barrel effect somewhat. Side panel contouring will help keep that rigid shape closer to your back, but I'm not aware of a manufacturer whose figured that out. In the end it is possible to overstuff a frameless pack, for ideal carry you'll have to restrain your stuffing enthusiasm, and either bring less stuff of strap something outside.May 15, 2013 at 6:16 am #1986279
Matt WeaverBPL Member
Klymit pack frames work well.May 15, 2013 at 6:52 am #1986287
Wouldn't the Klymit give you a fairly inflexible framesheet?
Again, I'm not looking to make the pack fully rigid. I'm looking to make it rigid only in the horizontal direction, to prevent barreling. My back isn't straight, it has a curve.May 15, 2013 at 7:17 am #1986290
@nsherry61Locale: Mid-Willamette Valley
1) Separate your gear into two halves so you can stuff your pack as two tubes of gear, one on the left and one on the right. I used to use two stuff sacks stuffed into my pack vertically, side by side. It works quite well. It even helps with load distribution in an internal framed pack.
2) Quit over-stuffing your pack. Take less gear or get a bigger pack.May 15, 2013 at 7:29 am #1986294
Daryl and DarylBPL Member
@lyrad1Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Here's a variation on the side be side stuff sacks suggestion.
A tightly stuffed tubular stuff sack placed horizontally in the bottom of the backpack bag will counter the tubing that you describe. The stuff sack works best if it is longer than it is wide and fits tightly into the backpack.
When viewed from above the pack bag assumes a shape that is more rectangular than tubular.May 15, 2013 at 7:55 am #1986307
Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I made a pack with two vertical tubes. It's a bit difficult to divide your stuff between the two tubes.
Like my mattress goes in one tube and the sleeping bag in the other, etc.? Then the two tubes won't be the same.
But, if your tent poles go verically into a sleeve on the rear, and you pull on the top of the pole with a strap and buckle, it will pull the pack into the same shape as if there were two tubes, but you can divide your mattress and sleeping bag between the two "tubes" so the tubes are the same shape and density. Plus the poles give some stiffness but the contents of the pack allow it to conform to the shape of your back.May 15, 2013 at 8:30 am #1986315
Separating my gear into two halves sounds great in theory. This doesn't work very well in practice, at least with UL loads. My sleeping bag takes up about half the volume in my pack. Have you actually done this before? If so, describe how you divide your gear into two halves? Personally, I'd rather just carry the extra weight of a framed pack over dealing with the hassle of figuring out how to pack an ever-changing load into two halves. For me, SUL/UL is just as much about simplicity, as it is about weight.
Getting a larger pack also sounds good in theory, but also doesn't work well in practice. I don't want my gear shifting around inside my pack while moving, as that will throw my balance off as well.May 15, 2013 at 11:29 am #1986380
Take a look, scroll down to one of the OP's replies. He has a picture of his pack with corrugated plastic. The corrugations are running horizontally so it will not barrel out on the horizontal plane, but it can still bend/flex on the vertical plane between the corrugation.
Just like card board. It's easier to fold it along/between the corrugation than across them. You can just pluck any ole local political campaign sign out from public roads/lawns.May 15, 2013 at 1:46 pm #1986415
Thanks, I'll try that out. Still concerned it won't be flexible enough on the vertical plane, but we'll see. I suppose I could score it with a knife, if so. Looks pretty lightweight at 2-3oz from what I've read – sounds like ounces well spent.May 15, 2013 at 7:26 pm #1986579
@nsherry61Locale: Mid-Willamette Valley
Okay, so I oversimplified my description previously because I was in a hurry and typing on my phone, and thought the idea would come across just fine. The following is how I actually regularly pack my packs whether soft or with an internal frame. It works very well for both shaping the bag and helping transfer load to the hips in soft packs with larger loads.
1) I stuff my sleeping bag into the bottom of the pack, frequently stuffed horizontally inside a stuff sack of its own.
2) Then I divide most of my remaining gear into roughly two groups. Maybe food and clothing on one side and tenting and cooking on the other, whatever works, often mixing soft stuff with odd shaped stuff for packing efficiency. If I want some extra back padding I may fold my tenting/tarping flat and put it against my back with the "tubes" of other gear behind it.
3) I always have some misc crap that doesn't fit or that I forgot to fit into one of the horizontal divisions, or that I want inside the pack, but need ready access too, and it all just gets stuffed on top (e.g. rain gear, extra water bag, whatever).
As to concerns about bigger packs allowing gear to move around and shift. You can overstuff anyting so it is a round sausage. If you use a slightly bigger bag, sausaging is reduced well before stuff starts shifting all over the place. Then, if you don't use compression straps on your bag, use anything you have that's puffy like a sleeping bag or puffy jacket, or fleece and don't overstuff it, use it as filler around everything so everything stays in its loose, well padded space.
Good luck. Have fun. And yeah, if you don't want to have to think about how you pack your pack, don't go quite so ultra-light and get a frame.May 15, 2013 at 8:13 pm #1986599
Frameless UL packs are most comfortable when packed loosely so that they conform to your back.
If you cant do that, you are in the realm of trading comfort for lighter pack weight.
Be sure its worth it.May 15, 2013 at 9:26 pm #1986620
Max DiltheyBPL Member
Myself? I use a Boreas Buttermilk 40. It's about a pound heavier than most UL Barrel packs, but the tradeoff is a foam back that gives the entire pack a near-perfect structure that I can also use as a leg pad at night.
So, look for an UL pack with foam. The REI Flash comes to mind. Other than that, I think packing looser is the only realistic way to do it.May 16, 2013 at 2:09 am #1986673
I already have a few of those types of packs, Max. I'm looking for a lightweight/zero-weight solution to modify a frameless pack. The real problem is that most such packs are not designed with UL principals/fabrics. All of them are designed and manufactured by mainstream brands, and, as such, are unnecessarily heavy. The lighter weight ones tend to be made with non-durable fabrics also. I need something in the 25L-30L range, around 10oz, max. Otherwise, I'll just use a Mountain Hardwear Pack at sub-16oz – cheap and it works.May 16, 2013 at 8:57 pm #1986959
Paul McLaughlinBPL Member
Something i have done on a number of frameless and internal framed packs is to insert an aluminum rod or tube just above shoulder height running across the front panel (by which I mean the panel that rides against your back) of the pack. The top of the pack thus cannot round out – the worst it can get is a "D" shape, with the flat side of the D against your back. Works quite well. Framesheets don't work as well at preventing round-out as this does in my experience.May 17, 2013 at 7:05 am #1987014
Cool Paul! Thanks for your insight! Very excited to try it. Did you form the rod at all, or just keep it straight? What diameter of rod have you experimented with? How did you fix the rod at it's location?
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