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FRAMELESS, NOT BLAMELESS

Written by Andrew of oldieoutdoors.com

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As everyone knows, Montane is a decent company conscientiously making innovative, functional gear. Nonetheless I personally found their Ultra Tour 40 backpack uncomfortable. Explaining why enables me to explore some general issues with frameless packs, as well as to relate how, for me, this particular pack seemed to make those issues worse than they need to be.

 

On the left my Berghaus Roc, a dear old friend, ca. 1999 and still going strong, veteran of two Pennine Ways and many other adventures. No frou-frou pockets or dangly dongles, tough as old boots, made from gnarly mil-spec nylon. This is the backpack to fling onto the roof of an Indian bus. I love it and still find it very comfortable. In this fully framed pack, internal metal struts make the back panel completely rigid. Hence, as you can see, it stands up by itself even when mostly empty. The elephant in the tent is that it’s heavy, by modern standards, and my knees aren’t what they used to be.

 

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