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Need recommendation internal frame pack

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  • Need recommendation internal frame pack

    Can anyone recommend a good internal frame backpack to be used for a scout that is going to do weekend trips only with causal hikes to the site. I am looking for a pack that has an internal sleeping bag compartment and can be used for a petite adult or large child (5'2) height. Also this is going to be used as a beginner backpack and will be passed down to about 2 other kids.

  • #2
    I've dealt with this question for decades now and if it is possible, I recommend that you actually visit an outfitter who has a wide variety of packs in stock. Find an experienced sales associate who knows how packs are supposed to fit. Make them aware of the multi-generational need and then, with the boy, pick a pack that has the features you like (pockets, adjustments, compartments, etc.) and then have the associate fit the pack (loaded if possible) to the boy. An experienced associate also will be able to show you and the boy how to adjust the pack as he grows.
    Since this is going to do multi-generational work, I'd stick with well-known brands. Try not to wince at the price.


    • #3
      Agree with Pack. One thing to add, I'd bring my own weight just in case the store doesn't have any. A good outfitter will have weight, but some do not.

      Also BSA does sell some good packs, and they are guarenteed for life.

      While pack prices are steep, if you take care of it, it will last. I still have a used external pack I bought 22 years ago, and the internal frame I bought 11 years ago from the scout shop.


      • #4
        Check out ALPS MOUNTAINEERING. Good packs, very good prices, HUGE discounts (40%) to scouters if you register with them. ( Scout info is at I believe ).


        • #5
          Can anyone recommend liter/ci on a backpack for a weekend camping/hiking trip? 2 Mile hike to camp and back out, taking only the basics.

          Also what features would you look into a internal frame pack? I am looking at the sleeping bag that can be accessed from the bottom.

          I found some cuscus backpacks that might fit the need. I am trying to go low-end pricing to learn more about packs then buy more upper end when I am familar with them.


          • #6
            Kelty, Kelty, Kelty, did I say Kelty? Needless to say, I'm a huge Kelty fan. I've been using Kelty since I bought my first one in 1973, it was an external frame, still have it and used it at Philmont in 2009. I've also got Kelty El Cap from the early 1980s, my first internal frame, huge ruck. Favorite overnight-2-3 day trip bag is the Kelty Gale. If I'm not carrying a Kelty, I like North Face rucks.


            • #7
              I'm with CRK on this one...

              Kelty, Kelty, Kelty.... good advice to go get it fitted and with weight.

              I got my son a Kelty Coyote 2 years ago. I like b/c its very versatile, top can be removed for use as day-pack, has water bladder compartment, has lower sleeping bag compartment, etc...

              MOST important feature: adjustable shoulder and hip belt to resize as he grows !!!

              Go try a few out at the local gear shop. If they don't have a weight, then use some gear in the shop. I had my son do 5 laps around the store with a 20 pound medicine ball from the weights department strapped inside the pack so he could get a feel for the pack with a load in it.

              When you are doing your "trial" run, pay particular attention to areas on the harness that pinch or rub and try to readjust to get rid of such points. If you cannot eliminate this problem, then try another pack. Anything that you can feel and annoys you a little on a 5-10 lap walk around the store will be a major source of pain in the field after 5 miles with a load on.

              My 2 cents....hope this is useful to you


              • #8
                Kelty. We used Kelty Red Clouds on many extended trips. My son worked on staff and downsized to the Coyote pack. Served him well. got a good deal from campmor.


                • #9
                  Don't limit yourself to just internal frame packs. Internals are great if you're mountain climbing, etc. where keeping your pack close to you is key, but externals are making a comeback because they do a better job of load management. I also think they do a better job of disbursing heat build up from your back. Go to an outfitter and ask about both types compared to what activities you are planning to do.


                  • #10
                    Do you have a REI near by? Their house brand packs are very good, they have some great sales, and they have knowledgable sales associates who can properly measure you for a pack. I bought my son a REI youth pack 4 years ago, he still uses it.


                    • #11
                      If there isn't an REI near you or another good outfitter store then at least go to their website and readup on how to size a pack. Torso length and waist size are important numbers to know. A short person may have a long torso and if the torso range on the pack doesn't fit them then it can make for a miserable 2 mile hike. Waist size is important because in the lower price range many of the packs don't have removeable waist belts so you are stuck with what they have.

                      As far as pack size for weekend backpacking, a 3000-4500 cubic inch volume (50-74 liters) is probably the range you'd want in an internal frame pack. My son has been using a Northface Terra 55 pack for over 2 years and always has extra space in it. He is getting close to the limit of the torso range for this pack, growing from about 5' to 5-8", so will probably need another one by Fall. I use an Alps Mountaineering Denali 4500 cubic inch internal frame pack most of the time. It's just about right for winter campouts and has more than enough room in it for the non-winter months. It's torso range is 16"-22", probably too long for the 5 foot tall scout. I am 6'-4" and am at the upper limit.

                      Young scouts could probably do o.k. with an external frame pack in the 2000-3500 cubic inch volume. The sleeping bag can be put in a waterproof bag (plastic garbage bag or waterproof stuff sack) and strapped on the bottom of the frame along with the portion of the tent the scout is carrying.

                      I like the Alps Mountaineering program called for Scouts. They have some decent entry level internal frame packs and external frame packs in the $80 or less range. The Denali 4500 I have cost me $85 and has worked fine for weekend backpacking campouts with the scouts. For that price I won't feel too bad if it gets beat up in the troop trailer, but so far it's holding up well.

                      The Kelty Coyote is a common scout pack. The 4750 cubic inch model is an older line and can usually be found for $70-$80. They have a Coyote 4500 ST (short torso) model that is selling right now for $64 directly from the Kely website. Much less than most of the retailers are selling it for.

                      At that price, the Kelty 4500 ST looks like a very good deal.