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Internal Frame Backpacks have become by far the preferred backpack design for today’s serious backpacker. Easy to spot along the trail, with their smoother, more trim and form- fitting design, these Backpacks provide a number of advantages not available with the External Frame Backpacks.
To begin with, since these Backpacks hold the load closer to the backpacker’s body, it provides greater stability on the more rugged, uneven, and less maintained trails. The slimmer design also reduces the likelihood of these backpacks catching on uneven brush, tree branches or protruding rock surfaces.
A significant advantage of these Backpacks over External Frame Backpacks is the increased agility these packs provide the backpacker, especially when encountering unexpected obstacles that require a quick response to stay upright. They are able to more readily twist and change directions suddenly without loosing their balance. The increased closeness to the backpackers body also supports greater efficiency in load transfer to the hips.
Since the popularity of this style of Backpacks has significantly grown over the last several years, a much broader selection of these packs is now available. This increased demand has also expanded the manufacturers search for more cost-cutting materials and overall innovation, like improving the adjustable suspensions to improve the fit and load bearing comfort, as well as the body cooling designs of the internal frame backpack.
Another significant design difference with these Backpacks compared to External Frame Backpacks is the options the backpacker has to access these backpacks. While most External Frame Backpack designs are accessed from the top of the pack, Internal Frame Backpacks are designed with a variety of access panels and pockets from a few to many. Main compartments can be accessed from the sides, front, or from the top.