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Outdoor Products Internal Frame Pack Too Cheap!

Reviewing: Outdoor Products Large Internal Frame Pack  |  Rating:
Joan Young By Joan Young on
Badge: Editor | Level: 34 | Outdoors & Recreation Expertise:
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I bought this pack for light duty use, and it has not held up even to that standard. It was too expensive for such poor quality.

There is only one thing that I really like about this pack, and it is the one reason that I bought it. I needed a pack with something of a frame (this one is internal with aluminum stays), that did not have any part of the pack above my shoulders. I wanted to be able to walk one direction to my bike, and then be able to ride the bike back to the car. All my other packs came up high enough in the back that they would bang on my helmet when I rode the bike.

I have hiked with this pack for a total of only 232 miles, all of them day hiking. This is very little use on a pack designed for backpacking. This means that I never had over 20 pounds of weight in the pack, and very little bulk, and yet the pack is coming apart.

I don’t like the way the pack is designed either. It has one large central drawstring pocket, with top access, and also access through the bottom pocket via another drawstring. There is a bottom pocket, supposedly designed for a sleeping bag, but it is too small for any but the smallest packing bags. The flap with the loops is designed to slip a hydration bag behind it. There is a pocket in the hood as well. There are two mesh pockets on the sides for water bottles. The padding on the shoulder straps is pretty good, and it has a sternum strap. There is a carrying handle strap at the top of the shoulder straps.

The hip belt is wide, and it is comfortable enough. There are compressor straps around the sleeping bag compartment, and three straps compress the hydration panel to the pack, compressing the main compartment. It claims to have 5900 cubic inches of space. It may have, but if you filled them all it would pack very poorly.

The first thing I learned is that if you don’t fill the sleeping bag compartment you need to cinch the bottom compression straps very tight or whatever load you are carrying will drop completely to the bottom of the bag and bang on your rear end when you walk.

But the final straw was this summer when it began to break down despite such light use compared to what it claims to be for. The hood ripped completely off on one side– a 14 inch separation that we had to sew by hand and hope that it would hold for the rest of the hike. The nylon fabric had not been incorporated deeply enough into the seam and it simply frayed out. Then (fortunately on the next to the last day), the main hip belt clip broke into several pieces and was completely unuseable. I just tied the straps together for the last fifteen miles. But this would have been a serious nuisance if it had happened earlier in the trip.

There is supposedly a lifetime guarantee, but it does not cover “normal wear and tear.” If I had used this for a real backpacking trip, it might have failed in less than a week of serious pack use. Then I certainly would have pressed them to live up to the guarantee.

Well, at least I was able to ride my bike with the pack in place!