Exterior Frame vs Internal Frame Bergans

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
As some of you may know I help with a local Boy Scouts of America troop. The Troop master, old school Scout from Nebraska is convinced that his exterior framed Rucksack is the way to go. I assume this is based on his upbringing and the Alice pack of Vietnam era.

His main preference comes from the hip support and that it allows air to pass around his back being less sweaty.

My opinions are entirely biased based on the OG and DPM Bergans that we had when in green and the brief and horrible experience with the 320 when it was frame mounted. I far prefer our issued kit (though not, obviously the Larry Large pack). Obviously also when I look at a frame keeping the weight further from your body the cantilever effect of the weight makes the frame nonsense to my mind. But then I remember the old SAS Bergan and those guys knew a thing or two about weight carrying...

So whats the DS Solution and has anyone anything good to say about the exterior frame?
 

4(T)

LE
Most decent internal frame rucksacks now have some sort of stand-off back ventilation system, so there is no real argument there. Even the £15 35L pack I bought from Carrefour has a web "airback".

External ladder frames only really come into their own for sherpa-type load lifting, ie where you can chuck away the sack part and strap a couple of goats or three crates of beer to the frame.

Given all the other issues such as ergonomics, load stability, the S-shape of the human back and so on, its hard to see external frame leisure rucksacks as anything other than a faux-traditional fad.
 
But then I remember the old SAS Bergan and those guys knew a thing or two about weight carrying...
The SAS/Para began wasn't designed by "them" it was just what was available on issue and was better than the alternatives at the time, probably because it was made of waterproof fabric , it got to be of legendary status for some reason, probably because " them " used it, I had one and I can't say there was anything good about it except it sat high up on the shoulders , it was still used by some people in the 1990's and longer , patrols platoon all had them just because they had to be different.
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
military packs are not designed for comfort just load carrying without breaking and to sit high on the back needing a good level of fitness. most of europe issued better pack than we did.

the GS/SAS and PLCE bergans were not comfortable at all, the alice is not that bad though the more recent USMC officer designed replacement like the legion one (suffering the same type of designer) was by all accounts rotten.

give it a year or two and framed backs might well come back in as a counter to the ultralight brigade

meanwhile packs like the kelty tioga still have a cult following over there.
 
I used a para bergen for years, simple because as a short-arrse, it was the only thing compatible with 58 webbing. That said, it was a good shape, wider than the alternatives and with a lower centre of gravity. the external frame did not flex or bend particularly when carrying awkward and heavy items such as defence stores, batteries etc so was pretty stable.
 

Oyibo

LE
As some of you may know I help with a local Boy Scouts of America troop. The Troop master, old school Scout from Nebraska is convinced that his exterior framed Rucksack is the way to go. I assume this is based on his upbringing and the Alice pack of Vietnam era.

His main preference comes from the hip support and that it allows air to pass around his back being less sweaty.

My opinions are entirely biased based on the OG and DPM Bergans that we had when in green and the brief and horrible experience with the 320 when it was frame mounted. I far prefer our issued kit (though not, obviously the Larry Large pack). Obviously also when I look at a frame keeping the weight further from your body the cantilever effect of the weight makes the frame nonsense to my mind. But then I remember the old SAS Bergan and those guys knew a thing or two about weight carrying...

So whats the DS Solution and has anyone anything good to say about the exterior frame?
If it is only for walking/hiking, exterior frame is much better. For climbing, and moving through brush (or any situation where a frame can snag), go for interior frame. Interior flexible use, exterior better load carrying.
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
military packs are not designed for comfort just load carrying without breaking and to sit high on the back needing a good level of fitness. most of europe issued better pack than we did.

the GS/SAS and PLCE bergans were not comfortable at all, the alice is not that bad though the more recent USMC officer designed replacement like the legion one (suffering the same type of designer) was by all accounts rotten.

give it a year or two and framed backs might well come back in as a counter to the ultralight brigade

meanwhile packs like the kelty tioga still have a cult following over there.
Yup thats the bloody awful thing.
 

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Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
If it is only for walking/hiking, exterior frame is much better. For climbing, and moving through brush (or any situation where a frame can snag), go for interior frame. Interior flexible use, exterior better load carrying.
On what grounds. Because cantilever etc.
 

Slime

LE
As some of you may know I help with a local Boy Scouts of America troop. The Troop master, old school Scout from Nebraska is convinced that his exterior framed Rucksack is the way to go. I assume this is based on his upbringing and the Alice pack of Vietnam era.

His main preference comes from the hip support and that it allows air to pass around his back being less sweaty.

My opinions are entirely biased based on the OG and DPM Bergans that we had when in green and the brief and horrible experience with the 320 when it was frame mounted. I far prefer our issued kit (though not, obviously the Larry Large pack). Obviously also when I look at a frame keeping the weight further from your body the cantilever effect of the weight makes the frame nonsense to my mind. But then I remember the old SAS Bergan and those guys knew a thing or two about weight carrying...

So whats the DS Solution and has anyone anything good to say about the exterior frame?
I think there is a reason that almost all packs have internal frames these days.

Rucksack design has come on leaps and bounds since the days of eternal framed packs.

That said, the kind of bergen’s issued by the UK are pretty much pants in the comfort department compared to civilian packs.

Modern pack with adjustable back length will be more comfy than an army bergen, and those with articulated hip belts allow for far more movement than packs with fixed belts.

That said, neither of the packs I use the most have any kind of frame at all.
 
As some of you may know I help with a local Boy Scouts of America troop. The Troop master, old school Scout from Nebraska is convinced that his exterior framed Rucksack is the way to go. I assume this is based on his upbringing and the Alice pack of Vietnam era.

His main preference comes from the hip support and that it allows air to pass around his back being less sweaty.

My opinions are entirely biased based on the OG and DPM Bergans that we had when in green and the brief and horrible experience with the 320 when it was frame mounted. I far prefer our issued kit (though not, obviously the Larry Large pack). Obviously also when I look at a frame keeping the weight further from your body the cantilever effect of the weight makes the frame nonsense to my mind. But then I remember the old SAS Bergan and those guys knew a thing or two about weight carrying...

So whats the DS Solution and has anyone anything good to say about the exterior frame?
Take a look around, nobody uses external frames anymore for a reason.
 

Slime

LE
Perhaps external framed packs were better in the days when the weight of the pack was put onto the wearers shoulders.

With internal framed packs putting the weight on the hips there isn’t really a need for a rigid frame.
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
when body armour came into play they looked at framed packs again. after all you have all the padding you need on you already so why add more.

as kid my first bag was a cubmaster, boy that hurt all the weight on your shoulders but then the alternative was army surplus steel framed canvas packs.

I remember being taught to carry the weight high up between your shoulder blades.

how things change.
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer

Slime

LE

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
I gave up on that after 5 minutes. He was making great play of its load carrying ability while talking about carrying half of what a PLCE bergen can easily cope with.

Did it get better?
it was just for a reference

trail hikers usually don't have to carry half a milan post in their packs like we used to
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
You cant do that nowdays though, apparently the BAME members of the platoon are an equal and valued part of the team or something, I wasn't listening.
that's they the US is playing with the robotic mule thing
 

Oyibo

LE
On what grounds. Because cantilever etc.
More efficient for putting weight on hips and better ventilation. I know there's some very good internal framed sacs out there, but they cannot match the traditional external frame for that.
 

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