- Jul 3, 2019 at 6:18 am #3600428Doug CoeBPL Member
@sierradougLocale: Bay Area, CA, USA
I saw an interesting MYOG backpack experiment on Reddit today. He was trying to get the weight transferred to the sides of the hipbelt.
That rings a bell, but I can’t place where I’ve seen a current/recent pack that tried to do that, at least somewhat. Anything come to mind?Jul 3, 2019 at 6:59 am #3600429Franco DarioliBPL Member
As mention at Reddit, I would suggest taking a look at what Aarn Tate (Aarn Packs) has been doing for over 20 years nowJul 3, 2019 at 10:02 am #3600435Larry SwearingenBPL Member
@larry_swearingenLocale: NE Indiana
The old, I’m talking early 1970’s, Adventure 16 external frame backpacks made in San Diego had
a sort of “wing” that extended out from the frame to about the center of your body that the hip belt
was attached to. So it swiveled around that point. I have no idea what the weight of that pack was.
As I recall we didn’t worry about that at the time. :>)
Larry SJul 3, 2019 at 12:30 pm #3600440bradmacmtBPL Member
The old, I’m talking early 1970’s, Adventure 16 external frame backpacks made in San Diego had a sort of “wing” that extended out from the frame to about the center of your body that the hip t belwas attached to. So it swiveled around that point.
Adventure 16, Alpinlite, and Jansport all offered models with “side bars.” Only the Jansport “D” series side bars swiveled. The Alpinlite and Adventure 16 side “wings” were fixed/welded.
The concept worked “ok” but never really caught on. Because they were immovable, the Adventure 16 and Alpnlite frames only fit a small variety of hips. The Jansport D series was far more popular because the wings could swing in and out (like a gate), had multiple attachment points for the hipbelt, and as a result fit nearly everyone. However, the D-wings connections weren’t very robust. In 1977 the wings on my Jansport D3 blew apart on a 2.5 mos long AT walk. The D series lasted into the 1980’s but the “D” was eventually replaced with a solid aluminum wing.
The concept works, but it’s not a simple element to properly design and implement.
Here’s a pick of the circa 1977 Jansport “D” wing pulled off the net:Jul 3, 2019 at 4:36 pm #3600480ThomasBPL Member
@thomas51Locale: Rainy Pacific Northwest
I misread the meaning of your question, then tried to edit and delete my post. Then I clicked the “inappropriate content” button and that didn’t work either. Oh well. I realize now that I can’t delete posts.
It was a good answer, but to a different question. I thought you were trying to put more weight of the pack on the tips of your hip *bones*, and less weight onto your shoulder straps.Jul 3, 2019 at 5:04 pm #3600486John VanceBPL Member
@servingkoLocale: Intermountain West
I carried a Jansport with the hinged “wings” on the PCT. It was a load monster but comfortable with heavy weights. I mostly carried 8-12 days between resupplies and lots of water. Trail angels and stocked caches rarely existed and when they did, it was both a miracle and magic.Jul 3, 2019 at 6:03 pm #3600488Philip TschersichBPL Member
@philip-akLocale: Kodiak Alaska
The Seek Outside frame and suspension largely accomplishes what that Reddit post was after. The U-frame is in 2 pieces that join at a slip union at the center near the lumbar and so twisting of the torso is not inhibited. The packbag and frame ‘hang’ off 2 straps sewn to the hip belt a bit posterior to the lateral position. Because the frame isn’t actually attached to the hip belt in a conventional sense and is suspended on the straps, when the user bends forward the hip belt can stay in place and the lower end of the frame can lever out to the rear unimpeded. It’s a pretty cool system.Jul 3, 2019 at 8:40 pm #3600516Ed TyanichBPL Member
The Dana Design Longbed & Shortbed packs had what they called “Magic Wands” to transfer the load to your hips while allowing natural motion. Dana received a patent on the “Magic Wands” in 2001.Jul 3, 2019 at 8:54 pm #3600518bradmacmtBPL Member
The Dana Design Longbed & Shortbed packs had what they called “Magic Wands” to transfer the load to your hips while allowing natural motion. Dana received a patent on the “Magic Wands” in 2001.
Ed, I’d forgotten about that. You are absolutely correct.Jul 4, 2019 at 2:23 am #3600565Doug CoeBPL Member
@sierradougLocale: Bay Area, CA, USA
Everyone—I remembered what I was trying to remember: it was on the Aarn packs site on one of his videos.
Thanks for all the info on those older and innovative pack designs.Jul 4, 2019 at 4:50 am #3600572Craig BBPL Member
Wow, Dana W. Gleason has 14 patents for pack designs over the years. I just checked out his Mystery Ranch site and his current harness looks very similar to McHales’, especially the hipbelt and lumbar region. He’s another proponent of not focusing on how much a pack weighs, but how it carries. If I wasn’t designing my own pack, I think I’d want to get one of those two!Jul 4, 2019 at 4:16 pm #3600600Michael KBPL Member
The last iterations of the Golite Quest also had weight transferred to the sides of the belt to what they called “horns” on each side…….they claimed it better-distributed weight. I think that it carried okay, but it only lasted me about one month of heavy backpacking before both of these horns started blowing out of the fabric on the bottom of the horns. I was carrying 50-60 pound loads with lots of fishing and climbing gear. The horns put lots of pressure on the fabric underneath them and I just don’t think it was durable enough. I also think that the belt would have carried heavy loads more confortably if the belt was taller……it was relatively skinny. See the horns in 1.54-2.11 in this video:Jul 7, 2019 at 12:54 am #3600889Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
bradmacmt, I have that belt from the old Jansport “winged” pack frame. I use it for a pulk sled B/C the leather covered side loops are great for holding the wands with captive aluminum pins & rings.Jul 7, 2019 at 3:05 am #3600902
The shafts of the delrin “U” frame on the old ULA OHM 1.0 seated in 2 pockets sewn to the hipbelt wings just forward of where they attached to the main compartment. That transferred the weight to the hipbelt. The only problem with the 1.0 was that the hipbelt wings were too small, and did not spread the weight over a large enough surface to be comfortable for long days. That said, I carried 30# in that pack comfortably for several hours at a time, at which point I had to take a break. Unfortunately, when the OHM 2.0 came out, the much larger hipbelt wings were attached to the center of the pack with velcro in the lumbar area, and the weight was no longer transferred to directly to the hipbelt wings at the sides of the main compartment. This led to sagging and a less optimal weight transfer. I’ll never understand why they didn’t just enlarge the hipbelt wings and stay with the 1.0 weight transfer system. In the end, I purchased a 2.0 hipbelt and modified my OHM 1.0 to use the larger 2.0 hipbelt wings with the old transfer system. Best of both worlds. Carries like a dream with no sag.
Note where the poles seat in pockets at the back of the hipbelt wings in this picture of an original OHM 1.0. It is not my pack, just a picture lifted off the net. Now picture that pack with the much larger 2.0 hipbelt wings and you have a pack that will comfortably carry 30# , maybe a bit more, while weighing 24 oz, stripped, in a medium.Jul 7, 2019 at 10:39 pm #3601020Paul McLaughlinBPL Member
I have serious doubts about this sort of thing. I tried the Jansport and the A16 packs on back in the day, and I felt like they were restrictive in ways that most framed or internal frames are not, because having the attachment point of belt to frame at the sides means that your hips cannot move up and down in their normal manner – one side goes up, the other down, alternatively with each step. With the load transferring to the back of the belt, the flexibility of the belt allows for this kind of movement. The other drawback is the weight of the structure that is required to cantilever the load out to the side attachment points.Jul 8, 2019 at 2:23 am #3601071obx hikerBPL Member
@obxcolaLocale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Jack Stephenson was making a pack/frame like this back in the 70’s.The wings swung in or out like a gate and the whole load was transferred to the belt which was supposed to ride on your hips. Very adjustable. It did shift the weight to your hips and did a pretty good job of taking it off your shoulders but it didn’t exactly hug your back and the whole load could shift/tilt to one side on you in such a way that you’d nearly jackknife The pack was a box with 2 levels and 4 compartments like a cabinet. Really nice Silvery coated ripstop It was all very George Jetson, space age, aeronautical engineered Jack Stephenson type design. Loved that stuff! I carried 40 + with it on trips like down Bill Hall trail Deer Creek and Tapeats and the last time I used it hiking into the Enchantments. Thought I was going pretty darned ultralight too!Jul 8, 2019 at 2:55 am #3601077
“I have serious doubts about this sort of thing……………”
That is a fine hypothetical concern that does not, IME, bear out under field conditions. I have used both the OHM 1.0 and my own version in some fairly demanding terrain, and experienced none of the limitations you mention. Then again, perhaps there’s something unusual about the way my skeletal muscular system is configured. Did you try either of the packs you cite out under field conditions, or just in the shop? Or the standard OHM 1.0?Jul 9, 2019 at 1:19 am #3601196StumphgesBPL Member
Transferring the weight of the pack to the sides of the hips, specifically more or less directly over the hip joint axes, is ideal, IMHO.
This pack appears to me the most ergonomic design every made: https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/backpack-articulationfreedom-of-movement/page/2/#post-3463268
It’s patented, but so far no sign of it in the market. I’m using an old Black Diamond pivoting hipbelt pack for summer trips this year. Below 20 pounds it allows unrestricted movement and natural, unconstrained gait. Above that, because the belt attaches to a centrally-placed 3D pivot, the hipbelt begins to sag.
BTW, I’m with Paul in believing that routing the weight this way requires some kind of pivot or joint unless one is willing to accept restricted movement at the pelvis, or lots of sliding between the hipbelt and the pelvis. E.g. the Osprey Atmos packs extend the frame down into and around the hipbelt, providing load transfer to the sides of the pelvis/hips. I found this very uncomfortable, as it particularly restricted pelvic, and thus also spinal, movement in the coronal (vertical side to side) plane. Sagittal (horizontal) plane rotation is somewhat preserved due to the flexible mesh accommodating rotation within the belt/mesh backpanel. But it’s far from ideal suspension.
Has anyone tried the 2019 version of Gregory’s Zulu packs? They are suspended mesh backpanel packs like the Osprey stuff, but the mesh hipbelt has some articulation or freedom of movement that they call FreeFloat Dynamic Suspension.Jul 9, 2019 at 1:22 am #3601198Al BrassellBPL Member
@jambeauxLocale: Southeastern US
I have 2 Aarn packs and once I got used to them they became my favorites.Jul 9, 2019 at 2:04 am #3601201StumphgesBPL Member
Al, do either of yours route the packweight into the sides of the belt? I know Aarn has at least one design that does.Jul 9, 2019 at 2:07 am #3601202Paul McLaughlinBPL Member
Tom- I have never seen an Ohm, and my comments were not intended to refer to that pack, just the Jansport and the A16 packs. I never had them out on the trail, but did load them up with weights in the shop.
From your description the Ohm sounds like a much more flexible construction than the Jansport and the A16, which were both pretty rigid – especially the A16.
Different folks will always have different experiences with any pack, and in this case there is a wide variation in gaits and the amount of hip movement associated with the stride. Some people have more vertical movement in their hips as they walk, some less, so how restrictive a rigid structure loading at the outside of the hips would be would of course depend on that variation. But I still think that for most, a structure as rigid as the Jansport or A16 would be restrictive. Could be why the concept never really took off. I can recall another manufacturer using the concept back then, but I’m not sure who it was. May have been Sierra West or Alpenlite.Jul 9, 2019 at 2:40 am #3601210Al BrassellBPL Member
@jambeauxLocale: Southeastern US
Al, do either of yours route the packweight into the sides of the belt? I know Aarn has at least one design that does.
The packs achieve the weight distribution and balance through the use of “pockets” that attach to the shoulder straps and has a lug at the bottom that fits into a stirrup on the hip belt. The things I like best about using these packs are the weight that is shifted to the hip belt enables me to walk without the tendency to lean forward. The other thing I like is the front pockets enable me to access items that I would use while hiking without having to take my pack off and dig them out. When I pass a water source my filtering system is right there in the front pockets as are my water bottles. My Gps device is also in the pockets as is my phone and my snacks and other item. If you could tell me how to get a photo into this message or otherwise get it to you I can provide you with a photo of me wearing my pack on the ATJul 9, 2019 at 2:46 am #3601214
“From your description the Ohm sounds like a much more flexible construction than the Jansport and the A16, which were both pretty rigid – especially the A16.”
You put your finger on it, exactly. The “frame” consists of 2 carbon fiber stays connected by a flexible Delrin(polypro, I think) curved hoop at the top. This provides the flexibility needed to move with the user’s gait across quite a wide range of body types, and also transfers the load very efficiently to the hips.Jul 9, 2019 at 5:52 am #3601235Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Re: “. . .having the attachment point of belt to frame at the sides means that your hips cannot move up and down in their normal manner . . .”
The Stephenson design solves this problem by attaching the belt to the frame at only three points: At the small of the back, and at the points of the sidearms, furthest from the pack, forming a triangle. So each side of the belt is free to move independently up and down as one walks:
And each side of the belt rests on each hip bone (the ILIAC crests, not the hip joint), so the weight does not rub against the hips. The attachment at the small of the back is recessed, so only the belt, not the frame, contacts the back.
The attachment at the small of the back is a key element of the design, as it keeps the center of gravity over the lumbar area, and not further backward, causing the pack to rotate rearward, and place much more pressure on the shoulder straps, as was the case with the Jansport D model packs. and some others with sidearms.
A number of methods of attachment at the small of the back have been tried, including fittings that rotate 360 degrees: but only slight freedom to rotate at the small of the back is needed for the belt to rotate freely with the hips, which is actually more desirable to assist keeping the pack upright; and more elaborate attachment methods are not needed.
A modification allows the arms to rotate freely, and snug the belt as tightly as desired against the hips, as on this butterfly frame with a suspended mesh backband:
But using the Jansport fittings for the sidearm hinges requires 5/8″ tubing, too heavy for a really light frame; so in progress is a butterfly, or hourglass-shaped frame from prebent Easton 340 tube, which is less than half the weight of the Jansport tube. Roger Caffin was kind enough to use his homemade ‘Rolling Jenny’ device to prebend some Easton tube to the desired amount for the side arms and hourglass part of the frame.
Another lesson was the need to keep the sidearms several inches up from the pack bottom, again to limit top heavy rotation of the pack sideways. Using the common feature of bottom side pockets for water bottles also moves the center of side rotation upward, further helping to keep the pack upright..
Still another lesson in going to lighter tube was that the cross bars behind the belt must be strong and rigid enough to keep the sidearms from opening slightly so that the snugness of the belt is lost. A front buckle like Stephenson’s will solve this; but making the belt keep snug without a buckle makes for much greater comfort. .
The greatest thing about this design is that with a contoured hipbelt of ordinary width, slipping of the belt is a thing of the past, and all of the pack weight is transferred to the hips, with none on the back. The greatest drawback is that the frame must be more tailored to the wearer’s hips and body size, so while great for MYOG, probably not marketable. But there is more freedom for variation than initially thought.
Will post on MYOG when the frame is done, with more photos.Jul 9, 2019 at 8:56 am #3601239Franco DarioliBPL Member
As an aside , I could be totally stupid but to me the way to balance the weight on your back is to put weight on the front. The same reason why a weight on the left side is balanced by one on the right.
Yes , I do realise that people with large stomach bones are already equipped with the balancing weight.
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