Rucksacks are essential, whether you are carrying school supplies or going on a long hike. There are three basic types of rucksacks or backpacks – Frame less, and those that have internal frames and those with an external frame.
Within those three types, there is an almost overwhelming choice of colors, materials and designs. In general, canvas rucksacks with frames are considered to be more comfortable as the frame allows the weight to be distributed evenly on all sides.
Many rucksacks also come with a zipper to close them instead of a drawstring; others have straps and buckles.
External Frame: Some of the companies that manufacture external frame rucksacks are Coleman, Kelty and Jansport, although this type of rucksack is also routinely used by the military and professional mountaineers.
This type of rucksack traditionally used a frame to support the bag which was often made from cloth or leather; today’s external frame rucksacks have much lighter frames.
External frame rucksacks also have a smaller main compartment, leaving room for such items as a small 3 man tent or sleeping bag to be strapped to the frame. They also usually use rigid straps and wide pads for added support and comfort.
Internal Frame: As the name suggests, the frame is inside the rucksack and this type of bag also uses a system of straps that distribute the weight and make it easy to carry. The storage compartment is usually larger on internal frame bags and they generally cannot hold as much weight, although improvements have been made in recent years.
Frameless: These rucksacks are carried on the shoulder by using straps and are the simplest type of design. Although you can find stylish and sophisticated designs such as the leather rucksack, most of them are much simpler and they are commonly used by students to carry books or supplies.
More expensive bags have additional features such as reflective material, additional pockets, padded straps for the shoulders and a waist strap.
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