Why Buy Internal Vs. External Frame Backpack?

Why Buy Internal Vs. External Frame Backpack?Having the right backpack can make the difference between a good trip and a great trip and a poorly fitting pack can make for a terrible trip. It is important to choose wisely when shopping for a backpack. A backpack needs to fit your body well and be the right size. Several years ago, most of the packs out there were external frame packs but the majority of backpackers prefer internal frame packs these days. Here's why.


The design of internal frame packs causes the pack to carry the weight closer to your back. This is good for balance, especially if you intend on hiking on uneven trails or off trail.


Internal frame packs are designed to stow your belongings inside the pack. They are more streamlined, which means you have less of a chance of snagging your bag on brush and branches if you are a bushwhacker.


Internal frame packs are far more comfortable than external frame packs because you don't have any hard metal against your body. The frames of the internal packs are padded by the pack itself and most are designed with extra padding around the shoulders and hips for comfort.

Full Protection

Internal frame packs hold more stuff. Compare two packs, one with an external frame and one with an internal of the same height, and you will notice that a large portion of the external packs are metal bar extensions meant for strapping sleeping bags and pads onto on the outside. Not only does an internal frame pack protect all your stuff from the elements, but it confines all your belongings into one smooth unit, which again is better for preventing snagging.

Volume Control

Internal frame packs are better for compression. When you have packed all of your gear, with an internal frame pack you can cinch down those traps and compress your pack tightly. External frame packs are usually do not have this feature and can only remain one constant volume.

Article Written By Naomi Judd

Naomi M. Judd is a naturalist, artist and writer. Her work has been published in various literary journals, newspapers and websites. Judd holds a self-designed Bachelor of Arts in adventure writing from Plymouth State University and is earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.

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