Internal Frame Backpack Guide

Best Internal Frame Backpack Guide 2016

Internal frame backpack guide 2016

Thanks for dropping by and checking out our Internal Frame Backpack Guide. Once your done with reading our guide you will find out why internal frame backpacks are so popular and how to find the best pack for your next trip.

Firstly some history on Internal frame backpacks, they are a fairly recent innovation and were made popular by Greg Lowe in 1967. Lowe eventually founded companies such as Lowe Alpine and Lowepro, both of which specialized in backpacks.

So what is an internal frame back pack. The standout feature of this type of pack is that a durable fabric is stretched over a series of frames, which forms the internal frame of the pack.

The framework of the internal backpack is generally made out of pieces of aluminum, titanium or a sturdy robust plastic. The internal framed backpack gained popularity because it is extremely light to carry and also allows the wearer to minimize the pack shifting around on ones back, making hiking with it far more comfortable. The pack also provides better ventilation, so the person wearing it does not feel as much heat.


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Comparison Table

Use our interactive chart to quickly compare the best packs we could find based on features, user ratings and more.

TETON Sports Scout 3400

High Sierra Appalachian 75

TETON Sports Explorer 4000

TETON Sports
Scout 3400

High Sierra
Appalachian 75

TETON Sports
Explorer 4000

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30" x 17" x 12"

34" x 14.25" x 10.25"

32" x 18" x 12"

(cubic inches)













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Recommended Backpacks

There’s a vast variety of packs available, we’ve rounded up the top 3 based on features, price and user ratings with a more in-depth review.

TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack

The TETON Sports Scout3400 received a remarkable 4 ½ out of five stars by 475 Amazon reviewers, making it one of the most sought after and highly acclaimed internal framed backpacks on the market. The TETON Sports Scout3400 ranges in price from $60 to $130. This compact pack offers 55 liters of storage and is perfect for any trip.

TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack

The durable dual aluminum frame contours naturally to ones shoulders and waist and provides a nice comfortable support system for the back. The adjustable shoulder straps also allow customization for various torso lengths, making this pack perfect for man, women or child. The TETON Sports Scount3400 offers a large main compartment, a sleeping bag compartment and dual side secure zipper pockets.

High Sierra Tech Series 59404 Titan 55 Internal Frame Pack

The High Sierra Tech Series 59404 Titan 55 Internal Frame pack received a total of 4 ½ out of 5 stars of all total Amazon customer reviews. This 55 liter pack sell anywhere from $95 to $260.

High Sierra Tech Series 59404 Titan 55 Internal Frame Pack

This pack is extremely durable made out of dura-lite nylon and is sure to last for years. With an internal hydration reservoir, this pack is perfect for long trips. The s-shaped ergo fit shoulder straps offer the utmost comfort and support and make a long hike far more comfortable.

Kelty Redwing 50-Liter Backpack

The Kelty Redwing 50-Liter Backpack is a backpack that is ideal for simplified travel or in case you need to be on the trail for a night. Its great features and accessible price has made this backpack a favorite among users.

Kelty Redwing 50-Liter Backpack The Kelty Redwing 50-Liter Backpack received a total of 4.8 out of 5 stars of all total Amazon customer reviews.

What to Look for in a Good Internal Frame Backpack?

Choosing the right internal framed backpack is a very important element to any successful trip. If you choose a pack which is too heavy, you will be in for a long haul and a very sore back, and if you choose a pack which is too light you may not be able to get all of the necessary gear or clothing in your pack and be left stranded in the rain without the proper attire. With so many options available on the market today, it can be extremely confusing as to which internal framed backpack is the right one for your needs. Some of the most important things to consider when shopping for a good internal frame backpack are:

  • Water resistant material – even if the backpack is not 100% waterproof, it is extremely important the material be at least semi-water proof to help protect the contents of the bag from sprinkling rain. A semi-water proof material will allow you to keep hiking and give you adequate time to get out of the rain, all while protecting the contents of the backpack.
  • Lockable Zippers – lockable zippers are a feature which often gets over looked, but can come in extremely handy. Not only does it keep people out of your packs if you are traveling via train, bus, or airplane, but is also keeps animals like raccoons out, when you are out in the wilderness. It is also really comforting to you know your belongings are locked in safely in case you trip and fall and drop your pack and give you piece of mind that your belongings won’t be tumbling down a hill, or into a lake, if your pack is dropped.
  • Padded hip belt – since most of the packs weight will be supported by your hips, it is vitally important to ensure your hip belts is padded. Not only does the hip belt provide support, but it also aids in distributing the weight of the pack across your back, shoulders and hips to help eliminate pain and stress.
  • Padded shoulder straps – like the padded hip belt, padded shoulder straps will make carrying the backpack a lot more comfortable. Padded shoulder straps also provide a space between your back and the pack, allowing for airflow and to help keep you cooler.

Choosing the Right Capacity – why does it matter?

Ensuring you have the right storage capacity with your internal framed backpack is extremely important. The right capacity equates to having the right storage and internal volume available inside the pack. The internal storage capacity is measured in liters, so it is easier to compare one pack with another and also extremely easy to remember.

When considering what the right internal capacity is for you, you need to first consider what your needs are. Are you going on a long trip or a short trip? Do you hike or camp often? How much weight do you want to carry?

Below is a list which can be is used to help find the right internal storage capacity based upon their needs.

  • Day/Overnight trip = 20-50 liter pack capacity
  • Weekend (2 to 3 nights) 50-60 liter pack capacity
  • Multiday trip (2 to 5 nights) 60-80 liter pack capacity
  • Extended trip (5 or more nights) 80 or more liter pack capacity

If you go on both long and short trips, it is recommended to purchase two different packs. A lighter model pack will be more than sufficient for shorter trips, while a longer trip will require more gear, and therefore a larger pack.

Fit Customization Tips

The most important thing to consider when finding an internal backpack which fits is to consider the length of your torso. Regardless of how much gear you have, or how light your pack is, if the frame does not fit your torso well, it is going to be a long uncomfortable hiking experience. A properly fitting frame is one which will grip snuggly to your hips and is also size appropriate to your torso length.

Another excellent customization feature on a lot of internal framed backpacks is adjustable suspensions. Adjustable suspension systems allow the shoulder harness, or straps, to be adjusted to provide a more body specific fit. This is a great feature for people who are in-between heights and sizes, such as a teenage boy.

Packing tips

When deciding how to pack your gear there is actually a few key items which need to be taken into consideration.

Main compartment – this is the perfect place to pack items which are not needed right away, such as a sleeping back or a change of clothing.

Outside pockets – perfect for holding water bottles, snacks, a map, pocket shovel, or other small items which may be needed often.

Top lid – this is the perfect place to keep a camera, snacks, a map, sunscreen or other items which you plan to use a lot.

Typical cost of an internal frame pack

Much like there external frame counterparts, internal frame backpacks can range drastically in prices. Smaller, less durable packs can cost as little as $49 USD, a middle of the road pack will cost approximately $110-$150 USD while a top of the line pack will run a person anywhere from $169 – $269 USD.

Popular Backpacks

TETON Sports Scout 3400
TETON Sports Scout 3400
TETON Sports Hiker 3700
TETON Sports Hiker 3700
TETON Sports FOX 5200
TETON Sports FOX 5200
High Sierra Long Trail 90
High Sierra Long Trail 90
Kelty Redwing 50-Liter
Kelty Redwing 50-Liter
TETON Sports Explorer 4000
TETON Sports Explorer 4000


Backpacking, hiking, hunting and other outdoor activities are extremely rewarding. The outdoors offers fresh air, unrivalled scenery, exercise and a chance to be one with nature. However, in order to truly appreciate the outdoors and submerge oneself into the great outdoors, they need to be properly prepared. Having the right internal frame backpack is a must have item for anyone looking to delve into nature.

An internal frame backpack allows you to carry all your necessary supplies such as: food, water, extra clothing, shelter, and even protection and emergency gear. When choosing which internal backpack is right for you, it is important to consider the duration of the trip you are about to embark upon, your personal style of backpacking (or hiking/hunting trip) and also your body type and torso size.

Backpacks are not a one size fits all piece of equipment, so it is important to consider all aspects of your trip and to shop around for the best internal framed backpack for you and your personalized needs.

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