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What is the difference between a backpack frame and frame stays?

The 3400 has two aluminium frame stays that slot into stay pockets behind the shoulders
The 3400 has two aluminum frame stays that slot into stay pockets behind the shoulders

Many ultralight backpacks come with frame stays instead of a full backpack frame. These are usually one or two aluminum rods that slot into channels in inside the back of a pack. Their primary benefit is that they’re lighter weight than a full frame, but they can usually be bent to customize the backpack to fit your body shape better than a full manufactured frame. Frame stays also help prevent the collapse of a frameless backpack when you load it up with gear. Called torso collapse, the use of frame stays helps prevent the pack torso length from shortening, which can result in poor load transfer to your hips.

See also:

How to Bend Backpack Frame Stays

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