If you are a card carrying member of the ultralight set, you know that every ounce counts. Klymit has created an inflatable backpack frame sheet that is as stiff as a normal plastic frame sheet but much lighter and even more comfortable. With vibration dampening to decrease fatigue and increases comfort, the new Klymit Air Beam frame sheet offers a nice dynamic load carry.
Constructed out of a lightweight fabric, the Klymit Air Beam backpack frame sheet is inflated with pressurized air in order to create a strong structure. The inflatable frame sheet weighs 2.4 ounces, compared to 5 ounces or more for a standard plastic frame sheet.
A simple hand pump is used to customize the amount of air pressure you want in the frame sheet, depending on load weight or personal comfort preference. The pump will add 0.8 ounces to the weight of your pack if you decide to carry it along with you.
At less than an inch thick, the Klymit Air Beam keeps the load close to your back for a direct transfer of weight to your hips. The inflatable frame sheet can protect your back from pokey water bottles and other pointy gear, while also functioning as an extra bit of insulation or a super minimal sleeping pad.
Klymit has already partnered with a few ultralight gear makers including Granite Gear, Cilo Gear, and Mountain Laurel Designs. Granite Gear's Vapor Trail packs can be modified to use the Klymit Air Beam by taking out the die-cut HDPE frame. Switching to the inflatable frame sheet will save 2 ounces while keeping the load rating at a very comfortable 35 pounds.The Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60, combined with the Klymit Air Beam, weighs just a fraction of an ounce over 2 pounds.
The Air Beam frame sheet fits perfectly into the 45L, 60L and 75L Cilo Gear WorkSacks and similarly sized Haulys. The inflatable frame sheet can be used in the 30:30 and the 40B, but you must fold down the pad slightly to accommodate the shorter back panel of the smaller packs.
The Klymit Air Bean inflatable frame sheet is currently available from Cilo Gear for $60, and will be more widely available at retail this fall for $50.