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Will the Pack Wheel carry a backpack?

Sitting at a bench with a Pack Wheel and an Alps Mountaineering Zion External Frame Backpack
The Alps Mountaineering Zion external frame backpack works really well with the Pack Wheel.
Backpack loaded on Pack Wheel. Hiking with the Pack Wheel strapped to my backpack.

On this JanSport external frame backpack the bar of the external frame pack just above the sleeping bag is resting against the two front posts on the Pack Wheel. Use care in making sure that the Pack Wheel bars are positioned so as not to damage your backpack.

This is a good way to balance the weight, if your pack will load this way without damaging it.

Can't make it around a creek, boulder field, or dead fall trees, need to hike off trail — load the Pack Wheel on your backpack and carry it across the rough terrain..

Hiking with a Pack Wheel strapped to my backpack.

Yes. Using the Pack Wheel with panniers is the preferred method for carrying gear however the Pack Wheel design is versatile so that you can haul packs, tree stands and other gear on top. Carrying gear on top works well but does not take full advantage of keeping the weight low.

External frame backpacks are the easiest and quickest to strap to the Pack Wheel. And if the trail get just too rough, you need to cross a river, or you need to go off trail — at under nine pounds you can collapse the Pack Wheel and strap it to your backpack and carry it with you.

Using the Pack Wheel with panniers is the preferred method for carrying gear however the Pack Wheel design is versatile so that you can haul packs, tree stands and other gear on top. Carrying gear on top still works very well but does not take full advantage of keeping the weight low. Not all backpacks work as well as others but every pack we have used works with the Pack Wheel. You will want to experiment with your packs to see how best to use them and secure them to the Pack Wheel frame. Here are the packs we have tested on the Pack Wheel.

  • Alps Mountaineering Zion — Works great, see video below.
  • Alps Outdoors Commander Frame Only— This pack works really well tied down on top your sleeping bag, tent and sleeping pad with the top of the pack sticking out in front. The buckle system to hold gear on the pack works great and giving quick access to day packs, spotting scopes and other gear on top. It also provides a great kick stand off the front of the Pack Wheel. (see photo)
  • HideAway Expedition Frame Pack — This pack also works great and add great versatility to what you carry.
  • An Old JanSport External Frame Pack — This pack works very well also.

When loading a Backpack on the Pack Wheel you will first slide the front two forks of the Pack Wheel through the back of the frame in between the bottom of the main pack and above the gear that is strapped to the bottom of the pack (sleeping bag etc.). After you have this in place tie the top bar of the pack tight against the handle of the Pack Wheel.

Near the middle to bottom of the pack use some webbing with cinch buckles or a racket strap to hook each of the sides of the external frame pack and around the frame of the Pack Wheel. The video below shows this being tied off with some rope which works fine however we recommend that you use something that allows you to cinch this off fairly snug to make sure that the load does not shift along the trail.

When carrying a backpack on the Pack Wheel we recommend not carrying more than 50 pounds of weight in this position on the cart. Carrying a backpack works really well with the Pack Wheel. You will find that using panniers to get the center of gravity lower and closer to the pivot point, that being where the wheel contacts the trail, is even better. As an example the eight year old you can see in videos using the Pack Wheel with Nashbar ATB cycling panniers has absolutely no trouble at all keeping the Pack Wheel balanced and rolling up, down and around the trail. This same eight year old would have some difficulty keeping the Pack Wheel upright if he had the same weight in a backpack on top of the Pack Wheel. He is just not big enough and strong enough to handle balancing the weight at the greater distance from the pivoting point.

Pack Wheel with an Alps Moutaineering Zion backpack Pack Wheel with an Alps Moutaineering Zion backpack resting on the ground
On the trail with a Pack Wheel and an Alps Moutaineering Zion backpack. With a backpack on the Pack Wheel it also makes for a great standing resting position by holding the brake and tipping the Pack Wheel down to rest on the bottom of the pack.
Hiking with a Pack Wheel and an Alps Moutaineering Zion backpack. Pack Wheel with a HideAway Expediton Frame Pack.

Hiking with a Pack Wheel and an Alps Moutaineering Zion backpack, Alps Chaos 3 tent and other camping gear.

A Pack Wheel with a HideAway Expediton Frame Pack. This is a virsitale pack giving you the option to use cycling panniers on the side and a platform on top of the pack for a tent, sleeping pad and sleeping bag. If need to go off trail you can place the panniers, the Pack Wheel and all you other gear on the frame pack and hike with it until you get to a trail again.
Pack Wheel with a JanSport external frame backpack Backpacking with a Pack Wheel strapped on a JanSport External Frame backpack
Backpacking with a Pack Wheel strapped on a JanSport External Frame backpack Backpacking with a Pack Wheel strapped on a JanSport external frame backpack.
 
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