In a previous column, I covered two major companies, Kelty and JanSport, who will introduce retro-style, external-frame backpacks in 2011. The article pitched external-frame packs as throwbacks—bulky, exposed and skeletal products that were left behind two decades ago by anyone serious about carrying loads in the great outdoors.But the external-frame lives on, and it’s not just for the retro crowd. A new entry in the category, High Sierra’s External Frame pack series, include the classic exposed-frame look but with modern touches including hydration-reservoir sleeves and eco-minded PVC-free construction.One pack in the High Sierra line, the Foxhound 50, has a top-load main compartment, contoured straps, and a mesh panel to let air flow between your back and the pack load. There is a removable media pocket on the front to store a GPS unit or an iPhone. It costs $110.High Sierra is hardly the only company in the external game. In addition to their retro lines, Kelty and JanSport sell modern external-frame models. Other companies that sell externals include ALPS Mountaineering, Mountainsmith, Coleman, Texsport, Cabela’s, and Outdoor Products.ALPS, a small company in rural Missouri, offers two external models. The Red Rock, a 2,000-cubic-inch model, costs $89.99.Outdoor Products has a couple packs in the category, including the bargain Dragonfly External Frame Youth Pack. It costs as little as $39.99 on web retailers like Campmor.com and features a plastic-composite frame.Coleman’s Bozeman X 60 has water repellency and a slick, modern look with silicone-treated nylon in a diamond rip-stop pattern. It costs about $150. There is an adjustable torso pin-and-ring system for positioning the frame and pack on your back.The Scout model from Mountainsmith, made for youth, costs $109 and is marketed as offering a “supportive external frame that provides a comfortable backpacking experience for kids.” Its frame is made with 6061 aluminum and it has a “sleeping bag sling,” which looks like a small hammock hanging on the bottom of the pack.Why go external? Cheaper price is a good place to start. To be sure, you can find deals on internal-frame packs. But at retail, external-frame packs are often cheaper than comparably-sized internals.For hot weather, externals can be a good option. With a frame propping the load away from your back, air flow is increased.Some backpackers claim externals offer better support with heavy loads. The packs can sit high and tower up behind your head, offering a higher center of gravity for the load.One thing is for sure: As a backpacker, with an external-frame pack you will stand out. The exposed-frame look is one of a bygone era in the backpacking world. Could these special packs make a comeback? Seems a few big companies are betting externals can.—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com.
Advertisement Sign Up for News UpdatesGet your need-to-know latest news, feel-good stories, analysis and moreSign upNot convinced? Find out more » Joe RobertsTuesday 2 Jul 2019 11:00 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.5kShares Arsenal kit launch horribly backfires with Madeleine McCann and Hitler tweets Madeleine McCann was ‘welcomed’ to the Arsenal squad (Picture: Twitter) Racist trolls hijacked the social media campaign (Picture: Twitter) Inviting Twitter users to customise a social media campaign was not a good idea (Picture: Twitter)Many people questioned why a major corporation like Adidas would let the public influence such a big campaign in the first place.PR guru Andrew Bloch tweeted: ‘Adidas’ #DareToCreate campaign provides yet another valuable reminder to brands on why you should never let the internet customise anything.’Walkers had a similar epic fail in 2017 when they encouraged crisp fans to tweet a picture of themselves for their #WalkersWave campaign.They would then automatically generate a video of Gary Lineker holding the photo.But as you can guess, the TV star was soon joined by the likes of Harold Shipman, Jimmy Savile and Fred West. The PR stunt horribly backfired (Picture: Twitter)Others shirts included the name ‘Innocent Hitler’, while some made fun of Madeleine McCann.AdvertisementAdvertisementAdidas said they immediately turned off the Twitter ‘personalisation mechanic’ after a ‘small minority’ of fans created the offensive shirts.In a statement, a spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: ‘As part of our partnership launch with Arsenal we have been made aware of the abuse of a Twitter personalisation mechanic created to allow excited fans to get their name on the back of the new jersey.‘Due to a small minority creating offensive versions of this we have immediately turned off the functionality and the twitter team will be investigating.’An Arsenal spokesperson added: ‘We totally condemn the use of language of this nature, which has no place in our game or society.‘We work hard as a club to encourage diversity and inclusion through our Arsenal for Everyone programme, launched in 2008 as a celebration of the diversity of the Arsenal family.‘Through a number of initiatives undertaken in the community, inside Emirates Stadium and throughout the club, Arsenal strives to ensure that everyone associated with the club feels an equal sense of belonging.’ The highly offensive versions of the new Arsenal shirt were shared on its official UK account (Picture: Twitter)Adidas has launched an investigation after it shared racist and anti-Semitic versions of the new Arsenal shirt from its official Twitter account.The German sportswear giant launched its #DareToCreate campaign on Monday and invited people to get involved by liking and retweeting its post about Arsenal’s home kit.Adidas would then generate a virtual shirt with the user’s Twitter handle on the back, along with the message ‘welcome to the squad’.But it horribly backfired when Twitter trolls hijacked the good-natured campaign.ADVERTISEMENTSick account names including ‘Gas All Jews’ and ‘Die All ‘N*****s’ were then emblazoned across the Arsenal shirt and sent out from the official UK page. Got a story for Metro.co.uk? Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected] For more stories like this, check our news page. Comment Advertisement A reminder: Never let the public run your campaigns (Picture: Twitter/Walkers Crisps)