View Full Version : What is most comfortable

06-17-2016, 06:15 PM
Say carrying 30-60 lbs of gear for normal back ( not flat)
An internal frame full suspension system like a xing, zxr
The new external frame/suspension with molded composite/aluminum frame stays and a similar size pack as xing/zxr attached.

06-17-2016, 06:36 PM
Answer depends on your height and torso length. I'm 6ft with an 18 inch torso, and between those choices with that weight the external frame is more comfortable. The belt and lumbar padding are thicker, and the stays provide more meaningful lift (22inches vs 24-26). At 30-35lbs the longer stays begin making a difference; at 45-50 there's no comparison--the ability to keep all or almost all of the weight off the shoulders becomes more important as the pack gets heavier.

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06-18-2016, 05:47 PM
I feel my Late Season and 26" UL Duplex frame carry 50# equally. Past that I prefer the UL Duplex every time. Not to say the LS can't carry it but the 26" stays really get the weight on my hips and makes heavier loads more "enjoyable".

molon labe

06-18-2016, 11:22 PM
My feeling is that if I'm able to spread the load over taller stays, I'm keeping it closer to me, and am better balanced. The antithesis of this (my opinion) is an ALICE frame that by design, keeps the weight out behind your hips, meaning forward lean's required to even stand upright. I just donated all of my ALICE stuff to the Knights of Columbus garage sale. A good friend saw it as I was bringing it in, had the same kid in the candy store look I did ~15 years ago. Child-like naivete. "This is REALLY COMFORTABLE!!" Sure it is. Write them a check for $25 and hope you don't have to carry a big load in it for very long.....

I've got a ZXR and a G1 duplex with a cargo panel and a 65 liter ILBE sack and a few pods. I choose between the two depending on volume. Kinda. Obviously, the duplex scales more readily from 600 ci XTL to as big as I care to go pretty well. Adding a bivy/bag/tent to that takes nothing. I think the duplex wins for scalability from nothing to kitchen sink by adjusting straps. The ZXR protects things better, and things like tent poles & rod case ride in the slot pockets better, and wins for general backpacking, but, I haven't had it as long, but like it for training with steel plates and sleeping bags packed around them.

I think the thing to ask yourself is what you do more of: general backpacking or weird backpacking where loads can change or are really BIG, like hauling meat or other people's stuff. I'm not using a Kifaru bag, necessarily, on the Duplex, but I totally dig pods. Have kind of started using a packed pod as a chair as well, and, it works in snow, unlike most actual chairs...

That AMR is a big a$$ed pack, I can't speak anything about how well it scales to fit load sizes like I can a cargo panel. I have looked at the EMR II, that thing scales freakishly well, don't know if that was Eric or Aron's design, but, I think that's the holy grail as far as 1 bag doing everything well. I can say that at 5'10", I initially started with the 24" duplex, and traded for a 26" and like that better for when loads are bigger/bulkier. I can honestly say that the ZXR will hold my winter bag/bivy/pad, 8 man tipi, medium box stove, food, water, guns/ammo, and have room for weird stuff like a float tube or a dutch oven if I feel stupid. I don't have the answer to the duplex vs wraptech for the 1 and only pack figured out. I did, but, like a fickle hot chick, I had a wandering eye, envisioned the slimmer loads better contained with the ZXR, and bought one. I've been able to string along my duplex without breaking its heart..

I think every trip's different, and having choices is sweet...

06-19-2016, 05:15 AM
I was just going through this dilemma myself. Very difficult to decide when your bout to drop $400 plus on a pack. I ended up purchasing a 22" UL frame, and just received it a couple weeks ago, and I'm thrilled I went the route of the UL frame mainly due to its versatility. The padding is real thick, and the lumbar pad is bout half the size of my pillow at home (dramatized). Just took it on a 10 mile hike yesterday with about 20lbs, across 7 ridges and the pack felt like it wasn't there. The pack actually gets more comfortable the more weight you put in it. I don't own any of their other packs, but I'm sure they're great too. Although I don't see my self switching only because I feel like the possibilities with the frame are endless.

06-19-2016, 08:05 AM
I own a Pointman and the new Kifaru Ultralight tactical Duplex. I don't carry much over 60 lbs anyways. But I agree up to 50# the pointman and Duplex are on par. After that it starts to go downhill for the pointman. Which is fine because of the limited capacity of the Pointman I can only get 50# in it.