Top 150 Best Reviewed Internal Frame Backpacks - Buyers Guide 2018


Most modern backpacks are internal frame backpacks, but not all of them are equally fantastic. There's a lot of difference between the best and the worst backpacks on the market!

So if you are looking for a new backpack, you need to spend some time comparing the different brands and models.

Check that the backpack you are buying is of great quality, so you don't risk that it falls apart in the middle of one of your adventures!

To help you choose, we have checked 32,675 reviews to find the best reviewed internal frame backpacks.

Check out the top 150 list below - and the top 3 most popular internal frame backpacks, if you just want to check out some of the most popular models (the models that most people end up buying).
How we rate the bags

We have checked more than 800,000 reviews, so we can show you the weighted average rating of thousands of bags.

Using the average ratings, you can check what all the reviewers think instead of just viewing the subjective opinion of one specific reviewer.

It's much simplier to find the best bags that way.



Top 3 most popular internal frame backpacks 2018


The North Face Borealis
The North Face Borealis
Rated 4.8 based on 15,727 reviews.
Osprey Farpoint
Osprey Farpoint
Rated 4.7 based on 484 reviews.
Kelty Redwing
Kelty Redwing
Rated 4.8 based on 628 reviews.

Below is the top 150 list based on the thousands of reviews we have checked.


Top 150 internal frame backpacks 2018


Osprey Kresta
Osprey Kresta
3 models available. 20, 30 and 40
Size 18-38 L (1098-2319 CI)
Osprey logo
5.0
2 reviews

Osprey Xena
Osprey Xena
2 models available. 70 and 85
Size 70 L (4272 CI)
Osprey logo
5.0
27 reviews

Gregory Wander
Gregory Wander
3 models available. 38, 50 and 70
Size 38-70 L (2319-4272 CI)
Gregory logo
5.0
17 reviews

Kelty Redtail
Kelty Redtail
6 models available. 1600, 1800, 22, 26, 27 and 30
Size 27 L (1648 CI)
Kelty logo
5.0
4 reviews

Kelty Riot
Kelty Riot
2 models available. 15 and 22
Size 15-22 L (915-1343 CI)
Kelty logo
5.0
2 reviews

Kelty Revol
Kelty Revol
2 models available. 50 and 65
Size 50-65 L (3051-3967 CI)
Kelty logo
5.0
3 reviews

Kelty Sira
Kelty logo
5.0
1 review

Kelty Sanitas
Kelty Sanitas
Size 34 L (2075 CI)
Kelty logo
5.0
1 review

Mountain Hardwear Direttissima
Mountain Hardwear Direttissima
3 models available. 35, 46 and 50
Size 50 L (3051 CI)
Mountain hardwear logo
5.0
3 reviews

Mountain Hardwear Summitrocket
Mountain Hardwear Summitrocket
3 models available. 20, 30 and 40
Size 20-40 L (1220-2441 CI)
Mountain hardwear logo
5.0
5 reviews

Arcteryx Khamski
Arcteryx Khamski
4 models available. 31, 38, 48 and 50
Size 34 L (2075 CI)
Arcteryx logo
5.0
8 reviews

Mammut Trion
Mammut Trion
9 models available. 22, 28, 35, 35+7, 38, 40, 42+7, 45 and 50
Size 38 L (2319 CI)
Mammut logo
5.0
18 reviews

Mammut Creon
Mammut Creon
4 models available. 20, 28, 35 and 40
Size 28 L (1709 CI)
Mammut logo
5.0
2 reviews

Mammut Ride
Mammut Ride
2 models available. 22 and 30
Size 22-30 L (1343-1831 CI)
Mammut logo
5.0
1 review

Deuter Walker
Deuter Walker
3 models available. 16, 20 and 24
Size 16-24 L (976-1465 CI)
Deuter logo
5.0
5 reviews

Mystery Ranch Pitch
Mystery Ranch Pitch
4 models available. 17, 20, 40 and 55
Size 42 L (2563 CI)
Mystery ranch logo
5.0
11 reviews

Mystery Ranch Cairn
Size 38 L (2319 CI)
Mystery ranch logo
5.0
1 review

Boreas Tsum Trek
Boreas Tsum Trek
Size 53 L (3234 CI)
Boreas logo
5.0
1 review

Montane Medusa
Montane Medusa
Size 32 L (1953 CI)
Montane logo
5.0
1 review

Montane Grand Tour
Montane Grand Tour
2 models available. 55 and 70
Size 55-70 L (3356-4272 CI)
Montane logo
5.0
1 review

Montane Ultra
Montane Ultra
5 models available. 22, 38, 40, 55 and 7
Size 55 L (3356 CI)
Montane logo
5.0
1 review

Fox Convoy
Fox Convoy
Size 3 L (183 CI)
Fox logo
5.0
1 review

Herschel Barlow
Size 20 L (1220 CI)
Herschel logo
5.0
3 reviews

Salewa Pure
Salewa Pure
2 models available. 25 and 30
Size 25 L (1526 CI)
Salewa logo
5.0
1 review

YETI Panga
YETI Panga
3 models available. 100, 50 and 75
Size 50-100 L (3051-6102 CI)
Yeti logo
5.0
1 review

Mystery Ranch Ravine
Size 50 L (3051 CI)
Mystery ranch logo
5.0
26 reviews

Arcteryx Bora
Arcteryx Bora
7 models available. 2, 50, 63, 65, 70, 75 and 80
Size 63 L (3844 CI)
Arcteryx logo
5.0
24 reviews

Arcteryx Altra
Arcteryx Altra
7 models available. 35, 48, 50, 62, 65, 75 and 85
Size 85 L (5187 CI)
Arcteryx logo
5.0
19 reviews

Deuter Transit
Deuter Transit
3 models available. 40, 50 and 65
Size 40-65 L (2441-3967 CI)
Deuter logo
4.9
16 reviews

Patagonia Ascensionist
Patagonia Ascensionist
5 models available. 25, 30, 35, 40 and 45
Size 40 L (2441 CI)
Patagonia logo
4.9
3 reviews

Mystery Ranch Coulee
2 models available. 25 and 40
Size 25-40 L (1526-2441 CI)
Mystery ranch logo
4.9
14 reviews

Osprey Mutant
Osprey Mutant
2 models available. 28 and 38
Size 26-35 L (1587-2136 CI)
Osprey logo
4.9
35 reviews

Mammut Lithium
Mammut Lithium
9 models available. 15, 20, 25, 30+7, 32, 35, 40, 40+7 and 50+7
Size 57 L (3478 CI)
Mammut logo
4.9
10 reviews

Deuter Pace
Deuter Pace
5 models available. [28927], 20, 28, 30 and 36
Size 36 L (2197 CI)
Deuter logo
4.9
10 reviews

Gregory Baltoro
Gregory Baltoro
3 models available. 65, 75 and 95
Size 65-95 L (3967-5797 CI)
Gregory logo
4.9
554 reviews

Deuter Fox
Deuter Fox
2 models available. 30 and 40
Size 30-40 L (1831-2441 CI)
Deuter logo
4.9
59 reviews

Mammut Neon
Mammut Neon
3 models available. 12, 28 and 45
Size 12-45 L (732-2746 CI)
Mammut logo
4.9
26 reviews

Burton Wheelie
Burton Wheelie
2 models available. [31109] and 63
Size 40 L (2441 CI)
Burton logo
4.8
90 reviews

Osprey Kyte
Osprey Kyte
3 models available. 36, 46 and 66
Size 44 L (2685 CI)
Osprey logo
4.8
157 reviews

Marmot Graviton
Marmot Graviton
5 models available. 34, 36, 38, 48 and 58
Size 35-58 L (2136-3539 CI)
Marmot logo
4.8
6 reviews

Osprey Xenith
Osprey Xenith
3 models available. 105, 75 and 88
Size 75-105 L (4577-6407 CI)
Osprey logo
4.8
154 reviews

Gregory Amber
Gregory Amber
4 models available. 34, 44, 60 and 70
Size 34-71 L (2075-4333 CI)
Gregory logo
4.8
89 reviews

Deuter Zugspitze
Deuter Zugspitze
5 models available. 20, 22, 24, 25 and 65
Size 24 L (1465 CI)
Deuter logo
4.8
12 reviews

Fjallraven Stubben
Fjallraven Stubben
2 models available. [31120] and 27
Size 27 L (1648 CI)
Fjallraven logo
4.8
14 reviews

Kelty Redcloud
Kelty Redcloud
8 models available. 110, 5000, 5400, 5600, 6650, 80, 90 and Jr
Size 110 L (6713 CI)
Kelty logo
4.8
11 reviews

Kelty Red Cloud
Kelty Red Cloud
7 models available. 110, 5000, 5400, 5600, 6650, 80 and 90
Size 90 L (5492 CI)
Kelty logo
4.8
12 reviews

Deuter Guide
Deuter Guide
4 models available. 30+, 35+, 40+ and 45+
Size 45 L (2746 CI)
Deuter logo
4.8
5 reviews

Osprey Ariel
Osprey Ariel
3 models available. 55, 65 and 75
Size 55-75 L (3356-4577 CI)
Osprey logo
4.8
307 reviews

Osprey Raptor
Osprey Raptor
4 models available. 10, 14, 18 and 6
Size 14 L (854 CI)
Osprey logo
4.8
376 reviews

Osprey Verve
Osprey Verve
6 models available. 13, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 9
Size 9 L (549 CI)
Osprey logo
4.8
30 reviews

Kelty Coyote
Kelty Coyote
6 models available. 4500, 4750, 60, 65, 70 and 80
Size 80 L (4882 CI)
Kelty logo
4.8
38 reviews

Granite Gear Lutsen
Granite Gear Lutsen
3 models available. 35, 45 and 55
Size 35-55 L (2136-3356 CI)
Granite gear logo
4.8
60 reviews

Granite Gear Crown
Granite Gear Crown
3 models available. 2, 38 and 60
Size 60 L (3661 CI)
Granite gear logo
4.8
62 reviews

Osprey Atmos
Osprey Atmos
2 models available. 50 and 65
Size 50-65 L (3051-3967 CI)
Osprey logo
4.8
1,522 reviews

Osprey Aether
Osprey Aether
3 models available. 60, 70 and 85
Size 60-85 L (3661-5187 CI)
Osprey logo
4.8
814 reviews

Osprey Aura
Osprey Aura
3 models available. 35, 50 and 65
Size 65 L (3967 CI)
Osprey logo
4.8
445 reviews

The North Face Borealis
The North Face Borealis
Size 25 L (1526 CI)
The north face logo
4.8
15,727 reviews

Kelty Redwing
Kelty Redwing
6 models available. 2650, 3100, 32, 40, 44 and 50
Size 50 L (3051 CI)
Kelty logo
4.8
628 reviews

Mountainsmith Apex
Mountainsmith Apex
4 models available. 100, 60, 75 and 80
Size 95 L (5797 CI)
Mountainsmith logo
4.8
22 reviews

Osprey Kestrel
Osprey Kestrel
6 models available. 28, 32, 38, 48, 58 and 68
Size 46 L (2807 CI)
Osprey logo
4.7
683 reviews

Camelbak Fourteener
Camelbak Fourteener
3 models available. 20, 24 and 26
Size 24 L (1465 CI)

4.7
130 reviews

Arcteryx Arro
Arcteryx Arro
2 models available. 16 and 22
Size 22 L (1343 CI)
Arcteryx logo
4.7
89 reviews

Gregory Jade
Gregory Jade
6 models available. 28, 33, 50, 53, 60 and 63
Size 63 L (3844 CI)
Gregory logo
4.7
77 reviews

Boreas Buttermilks
Boreas Buttermilks
2 models available. 40 and 55
Size 40-50 L (2441-3051 CI)
Boreas logo
4.7
29 reviews

Osprey Talon
Osprey Talon
6 models available. 11, 18, 22, 33, 44 and 6
Size 44 L (2685 CI)
Osprey logo
4.7
651 reviews

The North Face Banchee
The North Face Banchee
3 models available. 35, 50 and 65
Size 35-67 L (2136-4089 CI)
The north face logo
4.7
21 reviews

Deuter Trans Alpine
Deuter Trans Alpine
5 models available. 24, 25, 28, 30 and 32
Size 30 L (1831 CI)
Deuter logo
4.7
7 reviews

Fjallraven Kajka
Fjallraven Kajka
5 models available. 100, 55, 65, 75 and 85
Size 55-85 L (3356-5187 CI)
Fjallraven logo
4.7
28 reviews

Osprey Exos
Osprey Exos
3 models available. 38, 48 and 58
Size 38-58 L (2319-3539 CI)
Osprey logo
4.7
784 reviews

Gregory Zulu
Gregory Zulu
5 models available. 30, 35, 40, 55 and 65
Size 30-65 L (1831-3967 CI)
Gregory logo
4.7
161 reviews

Exped Lightning
Exped Lightning
2 models available. 45 and 60
Size 45-60 L (2746-3661 CI)

4.7
40 reviews

Osprey Meridian
Osprey Meridian
4 models available. 22, 28, 60 and 75
Size 75 L (4577 CI)
Osprey logo
4.7
68 reviews

Deuter ACT
Deuter ACT
7 models available. [31110], lite 40+10, lite 50+10, lite 65+10, trail 24, trail 28 and trail 30
Size 34 L (2075 CI)
Deuter logo
4.7
233 reviews

Eagle Creek Gear Hauler
Eagle Creek Gear Hauler
Size 48 L (2929 CI)
Eagle creek logo
4.7
37 reviews

Osprey Farpoint
Osprey Farpoint
5 models available. [27854], 40, 55, 70 and 80
Size 76 L (4638 CI)
Osprey logo
4.7
484 reviews

Deuter Futura
Deuter Futura
3 models available. 22, 28 and 32
Size 32 L (1953 CI)
Deuter logo
4.7
98 reviews

The North Face Surge
The North Face Surge
2 models available. [31059] and 32
Size 35 L (2136 CI)
The north face logo
4.7
4,109 reviews

Slumberjack Carbine
Slumberjack logo
4.6
21 reviews

Black Diamond Nitro
Black Diamond Nitro
2 models available. 22 and 26
Size 22-24 L (1343-1465 CI)
Black diamond logo
4.6
30 reviews

Deuter Speed Lite
Deuter Speed Lite
Size 20 L (1220 CI)
Deuter logo
4.6
492 reviews

Osprey Momentum
Osprey Momentum
5 models available. 22, 26, 30, 32 and 34
Size 32 L (1953 CI)
Osprey logo
4.6
128 reviews

Gregory Denali
Gregory Denali
2 models available. 100 and 75
Size 72-97 L (4394-5919 CI)
Gregory logo
4.6
5 reviews

The North Face Terra
The North Face Terra
5 models available. 35, 40, 50, 55 and 65
Size 55 L (3356 CI)
The north face logo
4.6
189 reviews

Osprey Tempest
Osprey Tempest
6 models available. 16, 20, 30, 40, 6 and 9
Size 40 L (2441 CI)
Osprey logo
4.6
116 reviews

Osprey Waypoint
Osprey Waypoint
4 models available. 60, 65, 80 and 85
Size 80 L (4882 CI)
Osprey logo
4.6
33 reviews

Osprey Volt
Osprey Volt
2 models available. 60 and 75
Size 60-75 L (3661-4577 CI)
Osprey logo
4.6
110 reviews

Patagonia Arbor
Patagonia Arbor
4 models available. 26, 30, 32 and 60
Size 26-60 L (1587-3661 CI)
Patagonia logo
4.6
595 reviews

Exped Torrent
Exped Torrent
4 models available. 20, 30, 40 and 50
Size 20-50 L (1220-3051 CI)

4.6
21 reviews

Exped Transit
Exped Transit
3 models available. 30, 40 and 60
Size 28 L (1709 CI)

4.6
9 reviews

Granite Gear Blaze
Granite Gear Blaze
Size 55 L (3356 CI)
Granite gear logo
4.5
43 reviews

Thule Guidepost
Thule Guidepost
2 models available. 75 and 85
Size 75-85 L (4577-5187 CI)
Thule logo
4.5
23 reviews

Black Diamond Magnum
Black Diamond Magnum
2 models available. 16 and 20
Size 16-20 L (976-1220 CI)
Black diamond logo
4.5
17 reviews

Teton Sports Outfitter
Teton sports logo
4.5
99 reviews

Gregory Alpinisto
Gregory Alpinisto
3 models available. 35, 50 and 55
Size 40 L (2441 CI)
Gregory logo
4.5
40 reviews

Exped Expedition
Exped Expedition
3 models available. 100, 65 and 80
Size 25-80 L (1526-4882 CI)

4.5
4 reviews

The North Face Access
The North Face Access
2 models available. 22 and 28
Size 22-28 L (1343-1709 CI)
The north face logo
4.5
87 reviews

Pacsafe Toursafe
Pacsafe Toursafe
5 models available. [31125], at21, at25, at29 and exp34
Size 42 L (2563 CI)
Pacsafe logo
4.5
50 reviews

Osprey Shuttle
Osprey Shuttle
7 models available. 100, 110, 130, 22, 28, 30 and 32
Size 130 L (7933 CI)
Osprey logo
4.5
35 reviews

Deuter Airlite
Deuter Airlite
5 models available. 16, 20, 22, 26 and 28
Size 16-28 L (976-1709 CI)
Deuter logo
4.5
57 reviews

Osprey Viva
Osprey Viva
2 models available. 50 and 65
Size 50-65 L (3051-3967 CI)
Osprey logo
4.5
21 reviews

Osprey Pixel
Osprey Pixel
3 models available. [31042], 22 and 26
Size 22 L (1343 CI)
Osprey logo
4.5
49 reviews

Osprey Ace
Osprey Ace
4 models available. 38, 48, 50 and 75
Size 75 L (4577 CI)
Osprey logo
4.5
19 reviews

Gregory Deva
Gregory Deva
3 models available. 60, 70 and 80
Size 64-80 L (3906-4882 CI)
Gregory logo
4.4
268 reviews

Deuter Giga
Deuter Giga
2 models available. [28929] and 28
Size 28 L (1709 CI)
Deuter logo
4.4
28 reviews

Osprey Wayfarer
Osprey Wayfarer
2 models available. 70 and 80
Size 70 L (4272 CI)
Osprey logo
4.4
7 reviews

Mountainsmith Mayhem
Mountainsmith Mayhem
2 models available. 35 and 45
Size 35-45 L (2136-2746 CI)
Mountainsmith logo
4.4
16 reviews

Camelbak Sequoia
Camelbak Sequoia
2 models available. 18 and 22
Size 15-22 L (915-1343 CI)

4.4
48 reviews

Gregory Stout
Gregory Stout
4 models available. 35, 45, 65 and 75
Size 35-75 L (2136-4577 CI)
Gregory logo
4.4
73 reviews

Vaude Maremma
Vaude Maremma
4 models available. 26, 28, 32 and 36
Size 32 L (1953 CI)

4.4
7 reviews

Klymit Stash
Klymit Stash
Size 18 L (1098 CI)
Klymit logo
4.4
16 reviews

Deuter Helion
Deuter Helion
2 models available. 60 and 80
Size 60-80 L (3661-4882 CI)
Deuter logo
4.4
8 reviews

Black Diamond Mercury
Black Diamond Mercury
3 models available. 55, 65 and 75
Size 65 L (3967 CI)
Black diamond logo
4.4
71 reviews

Mammut Trion Light
Mammut Trion Light
5 models available. 28, 38, 40, 50 and 55
Size 50 L (3051 CI)
Mammut logo
4.3
3 reviews

Osprey Variant
Osprey Variant
3 models available. 28, 37 and 52
Size 49 L (2990 CI)
Osprey logo
4.3
103 reviews

Camelbak Franconia
Camelbak Franconia
Size 24 L (1465 CI)

4.3
11 reviews

Osprey Kamber
Osprey Kamber
3 models available. 22, 32 and 42
Size 22-42 L (1343-2563 CI)
Osprey logo
4.3
14 reviews

Herschel Mammoth
Size 18 L (1098 CI)
Herschel logo
4.3
1 review

Klymit Splash
Klymit Splash
Size 25 L (1526 CI)
Klymit logo
4.3
9 reviews

Mountainsmith Lariat
Mountainsmith Lariat
2 models available. 55 and 65
Size 48-58 L (2929-3539 CI)
Mountainsmith logo
4.3
3 reviews

Mountain Hardwear Scrambler
Mountain Hardwear Scrambler
4 models available. 20, 30, 35 and 40
Size 21-46 L (1281-2807 CI)
Mountain hardwear logo
4.2
64 reviews

Osprey Cyber
Osprey Cyber
4 models available. [31043], 18, 22 and 26
Size 22 L (1343 CI)
Osprey logo
4.2
93 reviews

Mountain Hardwear Hueco
Mountain Hardwear Hueco
4 models available. 20, 28, 34 and 35
Size 35 L (2136 CI)
Mountain hardwear logo
4.2
21 reviews

Gregory Cairn
Gregory Cairn
3 models available. 48, 58 and 68
Size 69 L (4211 CI)
Gregory logo
4.2
5 reviews

Gregory Targhee
Gregory Targhee
4 models available. 18, 26, 32 and 45
Size 42 L (2563 CI)
Gregory logo
4.2
39 reviews

Mountain Hardwear Ozonic
Mountain Hardwear Ozonic
4 models available. 50, 58, 65 and 70
Size 50-70 L (3051-4272 CI)
Mountain hardwear logo
4.1
8 reviews

Exped Cloudburst
Exped Cloudburst
2 models available. 15 and 25
Size 15-25 L (915-1526 CI)

4.1
11 reviews

Granite Gear Nimbus
Granite Gear Nimbus
4 models available. 3800, 60, 70 and 85
Size 79 L (4821 CI)
Granite gear logo
4.0
30 reviews

Eagle Creek Deviate
Eagle Creek Deviate
Size 60 L (3661 CI)
Eagle creek logo
4.0
25 reviews

Mountain Hardwear South Col
Mountain Hardwear South Col
Size 70 L (4272 CI)
Mountain hardwear logo
4.0
4 reviews

Gregory Maya
Gregory Maya
5 models available. 10, 16, 22, 32 and 5
Size 22 L (1343 CI)
Gregory logo
4.0
46 reviews

Kelty Journey
Kelty Journey
2 models available. [31062] and 21
Size 21 L (1281 CI)
Kelty logo
4.0
1 review

Black Diamond Onyx
Black Diamond Onyx
2 models available. 55 and 65
Size 57-65 L (3478-3967 CI)
Black diamond logo
4.0
11 reviews

Boreas Monterey
Boreas logo
4.0
1 review

Klymit Motion
Klymit Motion
2 models available. 35 and 60
Size 60 L (3661 CI)
Klymit logo
4.0
1 review

Black Diamond Bolt
Black Diamond Bolt
3 models available. 22, 24 and 26
Size 22 L (1343 CI)
Black diamond logo
4.0
17 reviews

Kelty Siro
Kelty Siro
Size 50 L (3051 CI)
Kelty logo
3.9
3 reviews

Deuter Gravity
Deuter Gravity
4 models available. 12, 30, 45 and 50
Size 12-50 L (732-3051 CI)
Deuter logo
3.7
4 reviews

Mystery Ranch Sphinx
Size 65 L (3967 CI)
Mystery ranch logo
3.6
16 reviews

Mountainsmith Pursuit
Mountainsmith Pursuit
Size 50 L (3051 CI)
Mountainsmith logo
3.6
3 reviews

Black Diamond Pilot
Black Diamond Pilot
Size 11 L (671 CI)
Black diamond logo
3.5
9 reviews

Osprey Bitstream
Osprey Bitstream
Size 30 L (1831 CI)
Osprey logo
3.5
2 reviews

Gregory Verte
Gregory Verte
2 models available. 15 and 25
Size 15 L (915 CI)
Gregory logo
3.5
4 reviews

Thule Capstone
Thule Capstone
4 models available. 22, 32, 40 and 50
Size 22-50 L (1343-3051 CI)
Thule logo
3.5
39 reviews

Exped Mountain Pro
Exped Mountain Pro
4 models available. 20, 30, 40 and 50
Size 49 L (2990 CI)

3.0
2 reviews

Exped Serac
Exped Serac
3 models available. 25, 35 and 45
Size 45 L (2746 CI)

3.0
6 reviews

Exped Thunder
Exped Thunder
2 models available. 50 and 70
Size 50-70 L (3051-4272 CI)

2.0
1 review

Black Diamond Element
Black Diamond Element
2 models available. 45 and 60
Size 45-60 L (2746-3661 CI)
Black diamond logo
1.0
1 review

Black Diamond Elixir
Black Diamond Elixir
2 models available. 45 and 60
Size 45-60 L (2746-3661 CI)
Black diamond logo
1.0
1 review

Salewa Peuterey
Salewa Peuterey
3 models available. 30, 32 and 40
Size 40 L (2441 CI)
Salewa logo
1.0
1 review

Kelty Reva
Kelty Reva
2 models available. 45 and 60
Size 45-60 L (2746-3661 CI)
Kelty logo

Mountainsmith Spectrum
Mountainsmith Spectrum
Size 12 L (732 CI)
Mountainsmith logo

Burton Booter
Burton Booter
2 models available. [31102] and 40
Burton logo

Deuter Guide Lite
Deuter Guide Lite
Size 32 L (1953 CI)
Deuter logo

Deuter Ontop
Deuter Ontop
6 models available. 18, 20, 26, 28, 30 and 40
Size 30 L (1831 CI)
Deuter logo

Mystery Ranch Mystic
Size 65 L (3967 CI)
Mystery ranch logo

Exped Black Ice
Exped Black Ice
3 models available. 30, 40 and 45
Size 45 L (2746 CI)


Exped Glissade
Exped Glissade
2 models available. 25 and 35
Size 25-32 L (1526-1953 CI)


Exped Core
Exped Core
4 models available. 125, 145, 25 and 35
Size 35 L (2136 CI)


Exped Vertigo
Exped Vertigo
2 models available. 30 and 45
Size 45 L (2746 CI)


Exped Backcountry
Exped Backcountry
5 models available. [29011], 35, 45, 55 and 65
Size 65 L (3967 CI)


Exped Mountain
Exped Mountain
4 models available. 20, 30, 40 and 50
Size 49 L (2990 CI)


Montane Torque
Size 40 L (2441 CI)
Montane logo

Montane Summit Tour
Montane Summit Tour
2 models available. 50 and 50+15
Size 50 L (3051 CI)
Montane logo

ALPS Mountaineering Wasatch
ALPS Mountaineering Wasatch
Size 54 L (3295 CI)
Alps mountaineering logo

Dynafit Speed
Dynafit Speed
3 models available. [31127], 12 and 90
Size 28 L (1709 CI)
Dynafit logo

Klymit Dash
Klymit Dash
2 models available. 10 and 30
Size 10 L (610 CI)
Klymit logo

Salewa Guide
Salewa Guide
4 models available. 35, 38, 45 and 50
Size 45 L (2746 CI)
Salewa logo

Teton Sports Explorer
Teton sports logo

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If you are planning on exploring the wilderness, the most important tool that you can have at your disposal is a backpack. Not just any pack, however, but an internal frame pack to be more specific. This type of backpack is the new breed, quickly taking over the outdoor gear industry.

Your Guide to Understanding Internal Frame Backpacks (Buyers Guide)

To truly appreciate an internal frame backpack, though, you need to understand the various factors surrounding it. This includes its design, purpose, advantages and disadvantages, and more. Here, you will be able to answer any of the burning questions that you have had about internal frame backpacks. Happy Reading!

If you are shopping for a backpack to take on your travels or while exploring the great outdoors, you are more than likely to almost exclusively come across internal frame versions. This modern design has all but taken over for external frame backpacks due to its improved attributes. Here are the various details that you should be aware of regarding internal frame backpacks:

The Structure of the Internal Frame Backpack

The first thing you need to consider is the frame of the internal frame backpack. As the name suggests, the frames of these backpacks are not visible as they are placed within the structure of the backpack. This frame consists of any number of metal stays. These can be placed in a varying manner but the intention behind the design is the same. The frames need to hug the natural curvature of the back, making the backpack more comfortable and stable for you.

The actual outline of the frame can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Not to mention, that the structure has changed quite a bit since its inception and now there are a greater number of options available. In the beginning, internal frame backpacks used one or aluminum stays that sat right behind your back. The stays were pre-curved to fit the natural curvature of your spine although it could be adjusted for a more custom fit.

These days, however, you can also find X shaped frames that provide you with a multidimensional suspension system that offers up even more stability. Another popular invention is the introduction of frame sheets. Some of these have metal stays incorporated into the sheets while others have external bars that as small springs. The main focus of this evolving technology is to improve the comfort and balance associated with this type of backpack.

The stays and the frames on these backpacks were typically made from aluminum. While this material is still quite common, alloys are also growing in popularity. They tend to be more versatile and have greater durability as well.

Best Internal Frame Backpack

Is an Internal Frame Backpack Right for You?

While these are certainly well-designed backpacks, they are also suited to specific types of individuals and outdoor activities. To determine if an internal frame backpack would be the right choice for you, look at some of the benefits and downsides associated with this design:

Advantages

Greater Stability

One of the key features of the internal frame backpack is that it hugs your back more closely. This provides you with the ability to keep your center of gravity closer to what it normally is. As a result, when you are constantly shifting your body weight and balance on uneven terrain, it is easier to maintain stability. It makes your journey a lot safer. Not to mention, because of the close fit, the pack is less likely to move around and through off your balance.

Large Internal Capacity

These backpacks have large internal areas, which allow them to accommodate a greater number of items. Most, if not all, of the gear can be stored inside the bag. As such, these types of backpacks are well suited for long trips.

Protects Gear

As mentioned, with internal frame backpacks, most of the gear is kept inside the backpack. This helps to protect the gear on climbing expeditions or when you are crossing rough terrain. Since everything is stored internally, there is no chance of rocks or branches snagging on anything that you are carrying with you.

Ideal for Travelers

This type of backpack is relatively flexible which makes it easier to store and travel with. This is particularly true when traveling by plane. With these bags as your luggage, it is easier to store your backpack in the overhead luggage, depending on its size.

Offers Custom Fit

Yet another one of the perks of internal frame bags is that the straps on these backpacks are simple to adjust. Due to this, it is very easy to have almost any bag fit your height and size perfectly. This makes it much more comfortable for people of all sizes to carry.

Disadvantages

Odd Weight Distribution

While internal frame backpacks are capable of carrying greater loads, they don’t do so comfortably. Due to the design of the backpack, you are tasked with having to shoulder much of this weight. This is largely because the backpack causes you to carry the weight lower than usual. To compensate, you will need to walk while leaning forward so that the weight is distributed better.

Poor Ventilation

While one of the benefits of this backpack is that it hugs your back, it can also be seen as a disadvantage. This is particularly true when the weather is quite warm. This close fit means that there is no room for ventilation or for air to pass through. Therefore, your back can get quite sweaty during your hike.

Few Internal Components

One thing that internal frame backpacks can’t really offer you is organization. These typically are top loading backpacks and have precious few internal storage options. This can be quite frustrating to dig through, especially if you are carrying a lot of gear.

Minimal External Storage

With these backpacks, it is all about keeping your gear on the inside. So, there are few options available to carry gear externally. So, if you want easy access to your belongings or want to carry gear on the outside of the backpack, the internal frame backpacks can be quite frustrating.

What Size Do You Need

Since the internal frame backpacks are meant for a variety of outdoor excursions, they tend to be of all sizes. Here is a rundown of the most common capacities and for the activity and duration that they are suited for:

  • Daypack (20 – 40 liters): Backpacks with these capacities are typically meant for hikes that last no longer than a day. These capacities can carry enough stores of food, water, and gear for a short trip. There is usually space for an extra layer of clothing too. Some of these designs come equipped with external hydration packs.
  • Multiday Pack (40 – 80 liters): Backpacks of these capacities are capable of carrying supplies for between two to five days. There are perfect for overnight trips where you need to carry additional gear along with more clothes and food. You should be able to fit in a foldable tent in here as well.
  • Expedition Pack (80+ liters): This type of pack is great for outdoor trips that require a considerable amount of gear and supplies. Although external storage features aren’t usually found in internal frame packs, they are sometimes present in backpacks of this size. These packs can also be used for traveling purposes as well.

Length of Pack in Relation to Torso

As seen above, the pack capacities indicate that the internal frame backpacks usually range from medium-sized to quite large. The actual length of the backpack often plays as large a role as the capacity. The length is often directly related to how much stability to you can expect from your backpack. This is why, for the best hiking experience, your back needs to sit at a specific height on your back.

Ideally, your backpack should be no longer than your torso. In fact, it should sit between your shoulders and the topmost part of your hip bones. A backpack this length will be the most comfortable to carry around as it will distribute the weight around more evenly.

This is not always possible with the larger expedition packs. With these backpacks, the packs are longer than they are wide to help with stability. At the same time, you should look for a backpack that is only a couple of inches above your head. If it is any longer than that, it can have a negative effect on your back, posture, and balance.

The Suspension System

The more that you want to carry in an internal frame backpack, the more important the suspension system in place is. To start with, you will need wide straps with a little bit of padding. This is so that the straps will be spread evenly across each shoulder and will not dig into the skin. The straps should be adjustable so that you can change the length according to the length of your torso.

If you are opting for a really large or heavy backpack, you should consider a sternum strap. This should sit several inches below your collarbone and hold the pack securely to the upper portion of your chest. This strap will be important to minimize the movement of the bag while you walk.

One of the more important components of the suspension system is the hip belt. This is because they are responsible for distributing the weight of the bag across your hips. Since this is the way that you are naturally supposed to carry the weight, it is much better for your posture. The hip belt should sit just above your hip bones, be padded, and be fully adjustable as well. This way, you will be able to get a custom fit.

For women, getting a suspension system that has been fashioned just for ladies could be very useful. This will ensure that the backpack sits precisely where it needs to on your back. The straps will also be comfortable as they are meant to accommodate wider chest and hips.

This is what you need to know about internal frame backpacks and how to choose one that is specifically suited to you.


Last updated on December 14, 2017

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