Titanium, External Frame, new Vargo Backpack

A place to chat about gear and the philosphy of ultralight. Ultralight bushwalking or backpacking focuses on carrying the lightest and simplest kit. There is still a good focus on safety and skill.
Forum rules
Ultralight Bushwalking/backpacking is about more than just gear lists. Ultralight walkers carefully consider gear based on the environment they are entering, the weather forecast, their own skill, other people in the group. Gear and systems are tested and tweaked.
If you are new to this area then welcome - Please remember that although the same ultralight philosophy can be used in all environments that the specific gear and skill required will vary greatly. It is very dangerous to assume that you can just copy someone else's gear list, but you are encouraged to ask questions, learn and start reducing the pack weight and enjoying the freedom that comes.

Common words
Base pack backpacking the mass of the backpack and the gear inside - not including consumables such as food, water and fuel
light backpacking base weight less than 9.1kg
ultralight backpacking base weight less than 4.5kg
super-ultralight backpacking base weight less than 2.3kg
extreme-ultralight backpacking base weight less than 1.4kg

Titanium, External Frame, new Vargo Backpack

Postby Tuna » Tue 17 Jun, 2014 12:32 pm

Have been at work today and got a new bag in the shop that I thought I'd put up here and see what people think. It's really light when you pick it up, weighs 1300 grams. Vargo is an American company that's slowly infiltrating into the country with it's ultralight cookware. And now they decided to make a bag it seems. The actual bag is a nice size, but it's the frame that is interesting. I haven't seen an external back frame since we cleaned out my uncle's old shed and dug up his long lost camping gear from years back, his one definitely wasn't made of titanium though, it was pretty heavy and nothing to rave about..

Do people still use this style bag? Am wondering what people think about this one...

http://www.vargooutdoors.com/ti-arc-bac ... 5-izGSztvk
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Re: Titanium, External Frame, new Vargo Backpack

Postby Strider » Tue 17 Jun, 2014 12:44 pm

Looks very American with the lower portion designed for stowing things outside the pack. Interesting.
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Re: Titanium, External Frame, new Vargo Backpack

Postby walk2wineries » Sun 22 Jun, 2014 12:32 am

heard of American packs wh can be towed as little sleds, is that one? :)
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Re: Titanium, External Frame, new Vargo Backpack

Postby GPSGuided » Sun 22 Jun, 2014 6:13 am

1.3kg is not exactly light for a pack capacity of 36L, is it?
Just move it!
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Re: Titanium, External Frame, new Vargo Backpack

Postby ofuros » Sun 22 Jun, 2014 8:20 am

I'm guessing it's gives easier access to a weighty, cumbersome bear canister,
which has to be used in some N.Parks in the USA. They're used to protect the
bears from human habituation. Once a bear loses his fear of humans,
and begins to see hikers as meal-tickets, that bear becomes a “problem.”
Black bears that become aggressive get reported and are often killed.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/bears.htm
http://www.nps.gov/romo/parknews/pr_bear_canisters.htm
http://www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/bears_bc.htm

Not really aimed at the aussie market......unless you like to keep your bulky stuff on the outside,
your into the retro styling or have a pack fetish. :wink:

.....thinking it over a bit more, might be useful if your strapping your packraft to it too.

pack-bear-canister.jpg
Last edited by ofuros on Sun 22 Jun, 2014 12:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Titanium, External Frame, new Vargo Backpack

Postby jackhinde » Sun 22 Jun, 2014 8:36 am

i have an aluminium external frame pack, same one I have had since the 80's. Good for fire trail bashes which involve ascents and descents, no good for actual bush walking. Weighs about 1.5 kilo.
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Re: Titanium, External Frame, new Vargo Backpack

Postby Moondog55 » Sun 22 Jun, 2014 9:25 am

I see no real advantages over Aluminium tubing here, my external frame summer pack also weighs around ~2kg for a 65 liter capacity and still with the ability to lash a small drum if I fit a 100 gram frame extension
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Titanium, External Frame, new Vargo Backpack

Postby Franco » Sun 22 Jun, 2014 9:38 am

That photo with the bear canister does illustrate the marked this pack is designed for.
I would imagine that pulling out and putting back inside a standard pack a food cylinder of that size could become a bit of a pain particularly at lunch time.
Apart from that I don't see a practical reason for it .
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Re: Titanium, External Frame, new Vargo Backpack

Postby Orion » Tue 24 Jun, 2014 2:43 am

There is a market for external frame packs. Some people really love them. While they've mostly gone out of fashion over here, some people prefer external frames because they carry differently than internal frame packs and they are more suited to simply strapping items on instead of having to stuff everything carefully inside. They're perfect for many of the wide open trails you find in the USA (not so good for brush or scrambling up steep terrain).

External frame packs predate bear canisters. People usually don't take bear canisters out of their packs for lunch. They carry their lunch food separately, outside of the bear canister.

It appears that the Vargo pack is lighter, at least lighter than the half dozen or so others I just looked up. This may have as much or more to do with the volume and fabric as the frame material. The next closest one in weight I found (same pack volume) was 400g heavier.
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Re: Titanium, External Frame, new Vargo Backpack

Postby Tuna » Tue 24 Jun, 2014 2:08 pm

walk2wineries wrote:heard of American packs wh can be towed as little sleds, is that one? :)


I don't think it's been designed specifically for that purpose, but I can see potential for some of your own ingenuity there. :)

This is definitely a more specific bag not for everyone. It's design certainly stands out, particularly in an Australian market where not as many are floating around. Vargo is am american company, so that side of the design certainly makes sense.

I think it could be a bit easier to pack this up each day as you don't have to tetris everything in your bag or disturb everything to get to just one or two items. I also like that you're able to carry certain items outside of your bag, like wet things like a ground tarp and tent, or even if you have a gas cooker or cylinder that you don't want to put inside your bag, so it doesn't stink everything else up with the smell of petrol, or get black muck all over your clothes or inside your bag.

There's probably much less of a limit with what sized equipment you can carry in regard to odd shaped bulky things, you're not limited by the shape of your bag, just your knot abilities. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing though I'm not sure, sometimes it helps you carry less things when there are restrictions in size.

The rigidity of the frame does feel good though on your back, the bag doesn't sag and everything feels very close to your core, doesn't feel like it's hanging off your shoulders, but much more supported. It's a really wide belt strap that goes around your girth and adjusting it is pretty straightforward.

Would be nice if it had some kind of waterproof cover though
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Re: Titanium, External Frame, new Vargo Backpack

Postby Tuna » Tue 24 Jun, 2014 7:09 pm

We loaded the bag up today to try and see how it'd hold up...

20140624_105347 (1) copy.jpg
20140624_105253 copy.jpg
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Re: Titanium, External Frame, new Vargo Backpack

Postby Lindsay » Tue 24 Jun, 2014 8:44 pm

What was the verdict?
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Re: Titanium, External Frame, new Vargo Backpack

Postby Strider » Tue 24 Jun, 2014 9:51 pm

Tuna your comments remind me of the One Planet Polar Pack. Another interesting beast.

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Re: Titanium, External Frame, new Vargo Backpack

Postby ofuros » Wed 25 Jun, 2014 7:33 am

One Planet's Polar Pack.......they're well made, heavy duty, have a nice comfortable waist & shoulder harness.
Top section/pocket is detachable. Front pocket cannot be removed. I use mine on my longer, heavier laden adventures.
Just have to keep gear in dry sacks since the sides are open to the elements.
A flexible load carrier, but not for the ultralight brotherhood out there.

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Apologies for the short off topic side trip, now back to the original posters External Framed Vargo........
Mountains view are good for my soul...& getting to them is good for my waistline !
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Re: Titanium, External Frame, new Vargo Backpack

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 25 Jun, 2014 6:27 pm

Tuna if getting pockets helps you to organise your gear most packs can use external pockets as add-ons
They do add extra weight tho which is kinda against the UL philosophy
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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