As is known, “backpack” has similar meaning with “pack” or “bag” in the outdoor contexts. Its importance is self-evident in hiking, camping, cycling, mountaineering, skating, skiing, etc. According to the structure, backpacks can be classified into two categories: frame backpacks and frameless backpacks. Furthermore, frame backpacks can also be divided into internal frame backpacks and external frame backpacks. There is no absolutely “good” or “bad” for any of them, and the best backpack is the one that is right for you. Bearing the characteristics of each backpack in mind can assist you to choose your right backpack.
Frameless backpack is the most simply-designed one. It has no stays or the metal (aluminum) rods to support the structure, but attaches the bag to a set of shoulder straps. So the lighter weight can be the biggest advantage of the frameless pack. They rarely weigh more than 30 ounces. In addition, they are mainly made of nylon and other ultralight water-resistant material, which made it quite popular among some hikers. The frameless backpack has less room to cram your stuff in it, and all your belongings must be loaded in the main compartment. Although you can pack your luggage as you like without considering the internal frame, yet it is also less convenient and time-consuming for you to take your specific thing off. Because this type of backpacks is light, smaller, and cheap, it is suitable for short-distance hiking and camping.
External frame backpacks are designed to attach the pack to rigid aluminum or metal rods. They were once popular among the mountaineers and hikers, while they gradually fade out with the appearance of internal frame backpack in the late 1970s. Since its rods are separate from the pack, it is not convenient to move your body freely without catching the rods in your moving. Due to its strong and rigidity, these types of backpacks are suitable to carry heavy loads along trails. Compared with the internal one, they are heavier, which results in its less popularity. However, external backpacks have more pockets to distribute your gears and open space between the frames for better ventilation. Military backpacks are often external frame designs attribute to their ability to carry loads of different sizes, shapes and weights. Choosing your best backpack really matters the realization of your purpose.
Internal frame backpacks are designed with the rods and sticks to support the structure inside the pack. Since its frame is hidden out of the view, it is more convenient and comfortable than its counterpart external backpack in the body movement. They are often manufactured with padded shoulder straps, waist belt and hip-belt, which tighten the loads and minimize the shifting. Therefore, the pack does not bounce on your back but sit closely to your body, which help you to keep balance. What’s more, these straps and belts can evenly distribute the loads on your back, shoulders and hip, thus lightening the whole burden and ensure you a happy journey. Besides these advantages, internal frame backpacks also has enough compartments for you to load your gears separately, thus enable you to possess a neat and ordered pack. Internal frame backpacks are designed for all categories of packs such as expedition backpacks, mountaineering backpacks, and backpacking backpacks, etc. That is because they are ideal for all outdoor activities like hiking, camping, scrambling, mountaineering and skiing, etc.
Every backpack has its own strength and shortcomings. The best backpack is the one that is right for your utilization. Various reasons can affect your decision in choosing a backpack. Beyond the information above, you can also search the internet or ask your friends for more ideas, which will help you to make a good decision.