I've read a lot of interesting stuff on this forum about different external frames, whether it's Jansport, Kelty, or Dana Design. Seems like a lot of people around here have put a lot of thought into what makes a frame work. I'm wondering about the strength of two different Kelty frames that seem identical to me. If I knew how to post images, I'd post one here of the Cache Hauler frame. It is the standard Kelty H-shaped frame, except it's green and it has a fancy hinged load shelf attached to the bottom. I have handled one in person just once, they don't have them in any stores near me anymore.
Here is where I'd post a picture of my Kelty Trekker 4300 that is about fifteen years old. I haven't used it as much as I'd like, but I do like it and keep it around for some reason. The frame looks like the same old H-frame, except it's black and of course no load shelf. The shoulder straps seem just about as beefy, and so does the hipbelt (that has definitely changed on later Kelty Trekkers).
Can anyone tell me if the actual frame on the Cache Hauler is significantly beefed up compared to a standard Kelty frame? Is the aluminum different? Are the welds extra solid? Like I said before, I'm not really asking about the newest Kelty Trekkers, which seem like they have noticeably lower quality than the ones from fifteen years back.
This is all kind of just satisfying my curiosity. I'm looking at elk hunting for the first time next fall, and while I've done a ton of backpacking I haven't dealt with hunting loads and don't know what my Trekker is up to. And I know none of the Keltys are high end (or even mid-range) packs. I'm just trying to learn everything I can as I think about gear for the future.