Internal or External
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Here is a question. Which do you prefer external or internal and why? I personally prefer external because I like to be able to balance things and attach items on the outside. Plus I have heard externals are lighter.
I prefer an internal frame pack. The 'bush' here in NZ where I'm living can be pretty jungle-like and an external frame would just add more snagging hassles when getting through it. Can't really see why an internal frame would be any heavier - I would have thought they'd be lighter. My internal 'frame' consists of just a couple of flat vertical lengths of aluminium, so there's not much weight there. I have no problem adding bits of equipment to the outside of my pack when there's no outside pocket space available and it's necessary (generally, I think attaching items to the outside of a pack is not a good practice and to be avoided if possible) You'd probably be hard pushed to find an external frame for sale here now and that's been the case for many years. I'd think that the popularity of internals and the fact that they seem to have the majority of the market must say something for their efficiency. But like all things, I guess it's a matter of personal likes - if you like it and the option is there, get it! :^)
I prefer my internal pack. This seems to always be a popular topic amongst backpackers, yet I'm not sure why. There are so many more advantages to an internal frame, I'm surprised they still even make externals!
I've always used an external frame, and never had any problems. I do stay on established trails most of the time and never used an internal frame.
I'd have to agree with everyone else on this...I love my internal frame. My only minor complaint is that because it sits right on my back, there is less opportunity for venthilation. Newer packs have somewhat solved this however, so I think that the advantage is still there.
My last memories of an external frame were feeling the bars across my back for the following week!
I used to use an external frame pack, but made the switch quite a while ago. I wouldn't dream of going back now! I think you can still balance your pack, it's just a matter of packing, and I have plenty of straps and pockets on mine that allow me to clip things on with. I also like the ability to make my pack smaller if I'm packing less stuff, something not easily done with an external frame.