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A Super-Ultra-Light (SUL) frameless pack is fine for a couple of days in the summer when you can be sure it will stay fine and warm, but for many walkers SUL remains a distant goal. For walkers going on longer trips, or going up in the mountains where the weather is more variable and requires more gear for safety, a slightly larger pack is needed. As the load increases, the limitations of a frameless pack become apparent, and greater comfort can be had with a framed pack.

In this series of articles we survey internal frame packs suitable for those longer trips into more difficult climate and terrain. Not covered here are external frame packs or frameless packs. Our criteria for inclusion were a weight of under 1.6 kg (3.5 lb) and a volume generally in the 50 L to 75 L range. Both criteria were a little soft, allowing us to include packs which looked suitable despite being on the margins. The volume requirement became softer as we discovered that one firm's idea of a litre was not necessarily the same as another's!


  • Crux (UK) AK47
  • Crux (UK) AK57
  • Elemental Horizons Northern Lite
  • GoLite Quest (M)
  • GoLite Quest (W)
  • GoLite Odyssey (M)
  • GoLite Odyssey (W)
  • Granite Gear Escape AC 60
  • Granite Gear Vapor Flash Ki
  • Granite Gear Nimbus Ozone
  • JanSport Big Bear 63
  • Lightwave (UK) UltraHike 60
  • Lightwave (UK) Fastpack 50
  • Lightwave (UK) Wildtrek 55w
  • Lowe Alpine (Italy) Nanon 50:60
  • Lowe Alpine (Italy) Zepton ND50
  • MontBell (Japan) Versalite 50
  • MontBell (Japan) Versalite 50 Short
  • One Planet (Aus) Shadow (M)
  • One Planet (Aus) Shadow (W)
  • Osprey Exos 46
  • Osprey Exos 58
  • REI Flash 65
  • REI Flash 50
  • ULA Circuit
  • ULA Catalyst
  • ULA Camino

# WORDS: 1260

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