Dec 13, 2019 at 8:07 pm #3622702Christian KBPL Member
I’ve been recently mulling over with Y-frame concept, like that used in the Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor, and have been thinking about using for an MYOG backpack. Since it has the central support and then branches off towards the shoulders, it seems like a nice frame to follow the centerline of spine. Maybe out of aluminum flatbar that can be bent?
Has anyone tried integrating a backpack frame that can in essence “clip” onto a belt to transfer the load from shoulders to hips? I have a leather belt that is AWESOME, and any hip clip or tool clip I’ve used (maintenance work) carries just fine and isn’t the slightest bit uncomfortable. I’m talking a clip like this:
Probably not a new idea, but I couldn’t find anything on Google. I didn’t really know what to search :)
It seems like the Y-frame would be a good contender for this.
I don’t normally wear a belt while backpacking, but I’d consider using one or wearing a front facing fanny pack (maybe put a light water bladder bag in it?) to offer the support for the frame clip.
Execution is key here, because you of course wouldn’t want any rubbing on your lower back/waist. Maybe it’d cause too much pressure on a single point? Just wanted here some other thoughts on the idea….
-ChristianDec 13, 2019 at 8:10 pm #3622706Christian KBPL Member
Also, I realize it would kinda require wearing some belted or sturdier pant, and probably wouldn’t work on running shorts.
Also, a T, frame is probably easier to make with flat bar or carbon rod. But you can’t contour a carbon rod to your back (right?).Dec 13, 2019 at 11:21 pm #3622748RSpectator
You definitely *don’t* want the full weight of your pack concentrated in 1″ of metal pressed in to your lower back with out any padding.
That’s what hip belts and lumbar pads are for.
Otherwise, your theory is correct. My Exped Lightning has the equivalent: a small webbing pocket on the back of the hip belt that the flat aluminum frame bar rests in, secured w/ copious velcro. The bar is contoured to my back and features a horizontal ‘T’ element at the top, sewn in to the pack body. The T-top can swivel with my shoulders; the single point of support down at the hip belt leaves my pelvis free to rotate.Dec 14, 2019 at 1:08 am #3622774Ken MBPL Member
@kenmozLocale: Louisville, Oh
Ref: LuxuryLite backpack… aka Neotrekk StackPack by Bruce Warren. Lift the pack on-off and leave belt on. It is mentioned to use additional velcro to secure if trail running. I use the original version of pack with a velcro attachment (pre-hookbelt) so I can’t vouch for the “hook” feature. I think you would still need padding behind the hook and around the hips or eventually you will be rubbed raw.
Dec 14, 2019 at 1:42 am #3622779jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
the thing about the Luxury Light pack is, you can just use/buy the frame and strap a super lightweight pack onto it. I prefer that to the canisters. It’s an incredibly comfortable pack and carries a bear canister very well. I don’t like weight on my shoulders and this pack transfers everything to the hips. The belt is very very comfortable. Mine has the hookbelt. It works well.Dec 31, 2019 at 6:46 pm #3625030
Re: “You definitely *don’t* want the full weight of your pack concentrated in 1″ of metal pressed in to your lower back with out any padding.”
Even with padding, the pressure of a metal bar on the lower back may not be such a hot idea. With many miles of backpacking, and the pressure rubbing right on the lower spine, discs could herniate or worse (rupture), squeezing spinal nerves between the disc and bone (orthopedists have nifty little models to show this). The result is crippling sciatic pain, beginning in the butt and moving down the leg.
Some packs have thick lumbar pads to protect this area, often around the L-4 and L-5 vertebrae, from such rubbing and pressure. The hip belt is run through a tunnel behind the lumbar pad. But I think it is better to not have any portion of a weight bearing frame pressing the spinal cord at this area. There are lots of ways to do this in order to reach the desired result, and are best illustrated by visiting a pack shop with a good selection. My preference is a suspended mesh backband that does not allow any part of the frame to press against the lower lumbar area, through padding or otherwise. Osprey has marketed a number of designs that accomplish this, and they have improved over time.Dec 31, 2019 at 8:01 pm #3625035jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
Sam, in my experience pressure on the vertebra is not an issue with the luxurylite pack. The belt that comes with this is highly padded–the ‘luxury’ part of the equation, I’d say. Even with full bear canister at the bottom my my pack, I’ve never felt pressure against my lumbar area or on any vertebrae. Au contraire, this pack transfers weight to the hips and off the shoulders and spine. this is precisely why I love it.Jan 1, 2020 at 4:42 pm #3625129
J – Haven’t had any experience with the Luxerylite, so did not have it in mind when posting. Tried to keep my observations general, so no one would infer that I was singling out any product for criticism.Jan 23, 2020 at 4:08 pm #3628440Diane “Piper” SoiniBPL Member
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara
These warnings about putting weight on your fragile spine, especially in the context of putting about 20lbs of weight where much of it is supported through leaning against the whole of your back, remind me a lot of the warnings about the dangers of doing barbell squats. If I can “load my spine” with 200lbs with no ill effects, and you men can load up 300 or more for squats with only weeks of training, then I think the human body can handle a 20lb backpack attached at the waist on a hook resting on a stiff leather belt. Furthermore, you’ve got guys in the Himalayas carrying masonry boulders and sheets of plywood with a tumpline on their foreheads in their flip-flops.Jan 23, 2020 at 5:00 pm #3628447Roger CaffinModerator
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Can I suggest that a key point may have been missed here by some people? The idea that a pack should be comfortable misses the point completely. What matters is whether you are up with the most advanced trendies.
The concepts of load balancing and distributed loading are quite irrelevant to the fundamental imperative of looking fashionable. Or heroic, or something.
CheersJan 28, 2020 at 10:51 pm #3629159
Re: ‘“load my spine”’
Weight lifting is done with supervision, by folks who have developed healthy spines and well developed musculature. However, over the years a healthy body declines. It is part of the natural cycle of life, and death. Add to that years of backpacking interspersed with sedentary employment in a service economy, or even a serious accident and injury, and the spine becomes more vulnerable. That is why those in the medical profession who treat these issues do very well, from whole practices devoted just to epidural injections of corticosteroids to a host of chiropractors, and so on. And their waiting rooms are filled with folks in many stages of life.
As an “Ugly American” In Southeast Asia, I often saw people loaded up with huge bags of rice that were larger than they were. None of them had reached late middle age, although some looked much older than their years. The illusion of immortality is a Western invention and luxury that for all but a few lucky ones, is fast disappearing, as for more and more people the quality of life becomes more akin to that of folks who live from cradle to grave in the third world,
Understanding this, and if one wants to enjoy backpacking as a life long pursuit, it is only smart to take precautions, and using gear that can abuse the spine makes no sense. This is particularly true with MYOG gear, often fashioned by people like me in garages or basements without much guidance. This assumes, of course, that our remaining wilderness areas will last as long as we do, and not be devastated by climate change.
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