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#124697 - 12/04/09 01:31 PM Very Light Pack Frame
DJ2 Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 1347
Loc: Seattle, WA


Picture above shows a typical pack frame that I have used to make a half dozen external frame packs and to add an internal frame to a travel pack. I've been experimenting with it for about 10 years.

The one pictured weighs 1.7 ounces. Black pieces are carbon fiber or fiberglass tubes (can't remember which for this frame) and the white things are nylon plumbing fittings drilled out slightly to accomodate the tubing.

I thought this might be helpful to some of you contemplating the design of a lightweight pack. With this basic skeleton all of the pack's weight can be transferred to the waist belt. I've made packs ranging in total weight (pack, frame, straps and waistbelt)from 12 ounces to 1 lb with volumes up to 5000 cubic inches able to carry up to 40 lbs.

Thanks to phat for showing me how to post a picture.




Edited by DJ2 (12/04/09 01:35 PM)

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#124712 - 12/04/09 06:43 PM Re: Very Light Pack Frame [Re: DJ2]
Shrike Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 59
Loc: Minnesota
Question: which end goes up and why? confused
I can think of pros and cons to both.

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#124724 - 12/04/09 11:29 PM Re: Very Light Pack Frame [Re: Shrike]
DJ2 Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 1347
Loc: Seattle, WA
Good question.

The cross piece is at the top. Think inverted "U" when you look at the pack on a person's back in a standing position.

The top cross piece serves a couple of purposes. It keeps the vertical spars from coming together from the force of the pack hanging from them. It also gives you something to tie straps, tents, sleeping pads to.




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#124727 - 12/05/09 12:42 AM Re: Very Light Pack Frame [Re: DJ2]
Shrike Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 59
Loc: Minnesota
Just wondering cause I will be making some new gear during winter break. I might experiment with a pack or maybe just get a cuben one from zpacks.
Thanks

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#124728 - 12/05/09 12:52 AM Re: Very Light Pack Frame [Re: Shrike]
DJ2 Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 1347
Loc: Seattle, WA
I was thinking of making one out of cuben fiber...just for the fun of seeing how light I could go. The fabric weight in my last pack, using 1.9 ounce uncoated nylon, came to about 6 ounces. So, with cuben fiber, I could save about a quarter of a pound (4 ounces) by using cuben fiber. I haven't worked with it before but the experience of others is promising.

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#124734 - 12/05/09 07:28 AM Re: Very Light Pack Frame [Re: DJ2]
Rick Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 708
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Thanks for sharing this idea DJ2.

I've never made a pack, but I would certainly like to. Is there a design that you favour. Perhaps you could post a picture of it and how this frame has been incorporated into the design. Thanks.

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#124740 - 12/05/09 12:00 PM Re: Very Light Pack Frame [Re: Rick]
DJ2 Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 1347
Loc: Seattle, WA
I'm currently working on a new one for my wife and I'll post a picture of it when I'm done. I love that I now know how to post pictures.

You can see a couple of my older models in the Make Your Own section of this website. Look for DJs 1 lb frame pack and its update.

I'm more into function than looks with my gear. Please don't be put off by the funky looks of my stuff in the Make Your Own section. I think there are some useful ideas in there and if you make one for yourself you can take the time to make it look the way you would like it it look. I often startle or scare people when they see me coming down the trail with my latest experiment.

I can assure you however that with time and patience you can make a frame pack that will carry all of your backpacking stuff comfortably and efficiently and weigh a pound or less. Many people could take several pounds off their total load by doing so because most (but not all) of the frame packs weigh 3-6 lbs.

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#124807 - 12/06/09 11:54 AM More Pictures [Re: DJ2]
DJ2 Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 1347
Loc: Seattle, WA





Pictures above provided in response to requests for more info/pictures.

This is one adaptation of the basic frame. Three bundles have been lashed to the frame. This is similar in concept to the Luxurylite packs. I experimented with this about 20 years ago but found that I preferred on big bag instead of three bundles lashed on to the frame.

The frame, shoulder straps and waist belt of the pack pictured here come in at around 12 ounces. It would be easy to shave some weight because the shoulder straps and waist belt aren't very light. I robbed them from some other packs.

This pack can be constructed with no sewing. The shoulder straps and waist belt can be salvaged from 2nd hand stores and almost any stuff sack can be lashed to the frame. Campmor, for example, sells 10" diameter silnylon stuff sacks for $13 that weigh a little over an ounce and have about 1500 cubic inches of capacity each. So three of these could be lashed to the frame and total pack weight would be about 1 lb.

With quick release buckles these three bundles can be added or removed from the frame in seconds.

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#124820 - 12/06/09 04:42 PM Re: More Pictures [Re: DJ2]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2745
Loc: California
From the picture, it looks like the load is pulling you back. You either need load lifters or attach the packstraps higher on the frame. A curving frame would help too.

Neat pack. My comments are just suggestions.

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#124822 - 12/06/09 05:07 PM Re: More Pictures [Re: wandering_daisy]
DJ2 Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 1347
Loc: Seattle, WA
Good observations.

This is the frame from my wife's pack and is a little short for me. My pack also has a front bag which keeps everything in balance front and back.

I also quickly threw the pack on for the photos. If I tighten the shoulder straps the carbon fiber tubing curves to match the pronounced hunchback that I call my own.

Take a look at my next picture post. I'll tighten up the shoulder straps and you'll see what I mean.

Part of the challenge working with carbon fiber is to find a length and stiffness that supports the load but bends enough to conform to one's back curve. My wife's back is very flat and straight. The frame in the pictures fits her well without even bending.


Edited by DJ2 (12/06/09 05:23 PM)

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#124823 - 12/06/09 05:20 PM Photo-Really Big Fanny Pack [Re: DJ2]
DJ2 Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 1347
Loc: Seattle, WA





This might be the world's largest fanny pack. I know it looks silly but it rides surprisingly well. I've only walked around the yard with it, however. I haven't taken it on a backpack trip. It's a little bouncy but less than you might think.

One really nice thing about this configuration is that it balances so well. There is very little forward or backward pull to it. There is plenty of space to attach more stuff to the upper frame but it is cool to walk around with very little on the upper back.

We are still in the about-a-pound overall pack weight category(frame, shoulder straps, waist belt & bag) with this option.



Edited by DJ2 (12/06/09 05:33 PM)

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#124843 - 12/06/09 11:36 PM More Photos [Re: DJ2]
DJ2 Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 1347
Loc: Seattle, WA




These photos show a more conventional pack configuration. Still using basic 2 ounce frame. Total weight still about a pound.

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#124845 - 12/07/09 12:47 AM Re: More Photos [Re: DJ2]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I have always loved your out of box thinking. When I finally get around to making my own pack, it will at least have elements stolen from you. By the way, who is the painting of?
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#124849 - 12/07/09 12:00 PM Re: More Photos [Re: finallyME]
DJ2 Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 1347
Loc: Seattle, WA
Painting is my wife's, inherited from her mom. We don't have info about it and nothing is written on it.

Good luck on whatever project you tackle, whenever you tackle it. I love building things and sharing ideas and seeing what comes from it so please post if you make something.

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#124851 - 12/07/09 12:43 PM Re: More Photos [Re: DJ2]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1186
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
Two comments:

1) The painting brings to mind the style of some classic Dutch Master.

2) One fellow gear-tinkering enthusiast that I met a couple of years ago suggested sewing large stuff sacks so that they open/cinch at BOTH ends. This allows access from the top and bottom and any rain that might sneak in to easily drain. Of course, knowing Murphy to be an optimist, we can expect our gear that usually finds its way to the bottom of any bag will now migrate to the center of this bag.

CM

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#124867 - 12/07/09 03:39 PM Re: More Photos [Re: CamperMom]
DJ2 Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 1347
Loc: Seattle, WA
I recall that posting. I thought it was a grat idea.

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#124870 - 12/07/09 04:29 PM Re: More Photos [Re: DJ2]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By DJ2
Painting is my wife's, inherited from her mom. We don't have info about it and nothing is written on it.



Isn't google wonderful. Here is a link to info on the painting. It is called "Grace".
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#124877 - 12/07/09 06:33 PM Re: More Photos [Re: finallyME]
DJ2 Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 1347
Loc: Seattle, WA
finallyME,

Thanks for the info. This could get interesting. My wif'e last name is Enstrom. This spelling is rather rare so I'm thinking this Eric Enstrom might be related to her. I'll report back after she sees this.

By the way, how do you google a picture?

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#124905 - 12/08/09 09:47 AM Re: More Photos [Re: DJ2]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By DJ2


By the way, how do you google a picture?


When you go to google, in the upper left hand corner there is a bunch of options like "map" or "video" or "image". Yahoo and others have similar options. I did an image search. First I tried "painting white beard" and couldn't find it. Then I tried "painting white beard praying" and couldn't find it. Then I tried "painting praying" and found it on maybe the tenth page. That link only had the name of the painting, and the artist. So, then I used the name of the painting and the artists name as my search, and found a bunch of information sites. laugh Image searches are fun, just make sure you have "safe search" on. wink
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#124907 - 12/08/09 11:51 AM Re: More Photos [Re: finallyME]
DJ2 Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 1347
Loc: Seattle, WA
Thanks. Always something new to learn.

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#125021 - 12/11/09 09:08 AM Re: Very Light Pack Frame [Re: DJ2]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I think it looks great.
The old guy in the picture seems to be thinking otherwise. wink
Probably needs some trial and error.

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#125066 - 12/11/09 10:48 PM Re: Very Light Pack Frame [Re: JAK]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I think that thing looks awesome.. something definately worth trying!
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#125238 - 12/15/09 02:03 AM Re: More Photos [Re: finallyME]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
I googled "old man praying over bread painting" and it was the second image that came up. The more detail you can give the easier it is to find things. Very famous Minnesota painting apparently. In those pictures it does look like an old Dutch master, but now that I've seen it up close it is clear the guy is wearing a plaid flannel shirt! LOL!
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#126658 - 01/11/10 10:14 AM Re: Very Light Pack Frame [Re: DJ2]
Quigley Offline
member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 22
Loc: Alabama, USA
I love making my own stuff and I'm new to hiking. Seeing your pack frame gives me plenty of ideas on how to make mine. Thanks and I'll look for your other post as well.
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#126738 - 01/13/10 09:10 AM Re: More Photos [Re: midnightsun03]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By midnightsun03
I googled "old man praying over bread painting" and it was the second image that came up. The more detail you can give the easier it is to find things. Very famous Minnesota painting apparently. In those pictures it does look like an old Dutch master, but now that I've seen it up close it is clear the guy is wearing a plaid flannel shirt! LOL!


LOL, I didn't see the bread in the painting at first. I might have tried it in the search if I had. smile
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I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#130609 - 03/12/10 06:36 PM Re: More Photos [Re: DJ2]
wildthing Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/02
Posts: 982
Loc: Victoria, B.C.
Dj2 I checked out your photos and they look very interesting! Yep with that simple a bag I can see how you can do it for a pound. You'd have to be wondrously organized.

I'm still considering any way I can to lose a pound or two for the big 4....and the sleeping pad is the first thing I'm considering, going to a Neolite would save over a pound!
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#131050 - 03/21/10 06:44 PM Re: More Photos [Re: wildthing]
Bushman Offline
member

Registered: 07/01/09
Posts: 122
Loc: California
wow this is what I have been thinking about doing for a while.
1) for making one for my fantic fringe pack
2) the other and external like that!

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#131065 - 03/22/10 04:26 AM Re: Very Light Pack Frame [Re: DJ2]
GreenLanturn Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/22/10
Posts: 5
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
that looks awesome, lol, I think I might have to try that one day. nice work
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