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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for a vintage US mfg backpack for just that backpacking. No military ones, commercial. No velcro, heavy duty with an external pack frame. Who made the best ones? Got a hiking/camping trip coming up and need a good one...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
various surplus can be had, swiss made, german made. Heavy duty canvas and leather stuff.
Don't wanna look like Rambo, and it needs an external frame. I do like the european quality though, doesn't have to be US.Just NO chinese crap..
 

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Eberlestock. They have two lines of packs - one if for hunting use, the other for military use. I picked up a "Gunslinger" earlier this year, and I can confidently say that it is better constructed than any other pack I have ever owned.

Since you are set on an external frame, that definitely narrows down your choices.

https://www.eberlestock.com/F1-Mainframe.htm

I will warn you that their gear is not cheap...but you did state that you're looking for first rate gear...and that is what Eberlestock is all about.
 

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+1 on Eberlestock. I own 3 and am preparing to buy a fourth. Not the lightest weight, compared to gear say from the North Face, but extremely rugged. I doubt I will ever wear any of them out, and I use them at least a couple of times a week.
 

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How "vintage" do ya' wanna' go? Until last year "Lowe Alpine Systems" was Colorado-based. It's now been sold to a European company & I'm unsure where the new ones are manufactured. Mine's only 40 years old with a half-dozen world tours. I wish it had an odometer. Truly World Class gear!
 

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Your primary stated criteria "US Made" or even Euro sourced and then non-military PLUS external frame are narrowing your choices to nearly nothing.

Unless you can source a 70's or early 80's pack (think Kelty, Mountain Smith, JanSport, et al) you're gonna have to re-think some things.
 

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Why does it have to be an external frame...?? Depending on the amount of hiking you plan on doing, etc they can get uncomfortable, ESPECIALLY when overloaded which many people do.

I would suggest a medium alice with frame and if you got tired of the frame you can modify or just do away with it as it is designed for either. The alice pack mods are endless which makes it a very qualified/versatile pack for many instances.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've used ALICE in the Marine Corps, and yes its an excellent pack. But like I said its time for a commercial pack. Lots of used ones on Fleabay. Maybe I'll get lucky at this summers yard sales...
 

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I have a Camp Trails "Canyon" external frame pack. This was a pack of average quality for its era. Definitely not a high end piece when it was new. Typical local sporting goods store type of gear.

I have had it for 35 years and beat the crap out of it, and it still works fine. For about the last 10 years I don't use it for my normal pack trips anymore, but it still gets in the rotation when I take people with me who don't have any gear.

Not saying you should look for one like this, but it sure has held up well with abuse...
 

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People say plastic frames are better cuz they flex.But what about in winter ? Wouldn't they be more prone to break then? I guess I'm OCD,cuz I'm really tired of things made to be disposable junk nowadays. I buy pretty much no "durable goods" made in china.
 

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I have a 20 plus year old Kelty internal frame pack that I used for SAR for years loaded to 70 lbs. I would look at a good internal frame pack unless you are humping over 100 lbs. My first SAR pack was an ALICE pack, first time I really had to hump with it I dumped it.
 

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Well, if you decide to delve into internal frames the older Osprey packs made in CO were fantastic. It was the second real pack I bought and I put it through a lot. 30 day WEA course, 2 summers boy scout trail guide, multiple personal trips a year, and multiple work trips a year as an outdoor wilderness counselor. 20 years later, it's in the garage and I'm confident I could load it up and go tomorrow.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
I'm hoping to do a week long backpack trip in the Adirondacks. We usually use a canoe to get into where we camp,this time we're gonna hump it. Hopefully my kids won't need to carry me out...
 

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Do keep in mind that the larger size Eberlestock are not light weight packs.
Hard to beat the quality though, they are Top Notch.

Be mindful of the weight of the pack itself before making a decision. :yup:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
"Be mindful of the weight of the pack itself before making a decision. " I agree, in the past I have suffered from TMS disease(Too Much Shiite) in my packs. I've learned to trim it down quite abit.

UPDATE; Wandering through a 2nd hand store I found a like new red nylon ,Bergans of Norway pack with external frame. It looks like a ALICE pack without the GI look. Just what I wanted. One small tear in a non sensitive spot that I can fix with an iron on patch. I'll beef up the pack straps with a couple GI wider shoulder pads. Should slide right over the existing ones.
 
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