When we began packing, using, and carrying the Techonaut, we were surprised to discover that we didn’t feel it needed an internal frame — we had assumed that we would be including an internal frame with the pack. Nonetheless, Nik designed an internal frame, and we tested it in the Techonaut — nope, didn’t do much for us.
Our next step was to test that perception further by packing two Techonaut 30s — one with an internal frame, one without — and asking various folks at the factory to try them on. No one knew which bag had the frame and which didn’t; folks wore each bag with and without a laptop in the device compartment.
Nearly everyone preferred the Techonaut without the internal frame; we suspect this has to do with the structure of the bag and the Skeleton back panel design: it helps the bag hold its shape and the integrity of the back panel without the need for an internal frame.
When we performed the same tests wearing the Techonaut 45 with the internal frame, the results were different — and 50/50 split. Half of the crew liked the way the Techonaut 45 Internal Frame changed the carrying experience, and half felt it didn't do anything for them.
So, rather than subject folks to an additional expense that may not improve their experience of the bag, we decided not to include the internal frame with the Techonaut. That said, we heard from many of you who still wanted the ability to order an optional internal frame, so this one's for you!
The frames are made of die-cut .055” thick High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), with a nylon webbing sleeve sewn down the center that encases a 1/2” / 13mm wide 6061 aluminum half stay.
We’ve bent the stay to a generic spinal curve; we recommend you re-bend and/or adjust the curvature to best fit your own back (see here for instructions). If you just want a frame sheet, the stay is removable, though it's worth noting that a frame sheet sans aluminum stay does just about nada when it comes to shifting the weight of the pack onto one's hips. (Read more about that here in our Guide To Backpack Frames.)
And if you're using the optional Techonaut Internal Frame, you might want to add a 1" Padded Hip Belt (works great with the Techonauts!) too.
Stay tuned for photos and instructions on how to install the optional frames in the Techonaut.
Sewn in Seattle
Our bags are designed and sewn right here in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
That allows us to be control freaks in the best way possible; we have direct control and oversight of the quality of our materials, our products, and the jobs and working environment that we help create. It also offers us a unique spontaneity: when we have an idea for a new product or accessory, we can design it, figure out how to build it, add it to our website and be ready to ship it out our front door all within just a few weeks. How cool is that?
Intrigued? You can find out more about the unusual way we do business on our Company Philosophy page.
THE BIHN Guarantee
Everything you buy from us here at TOM BIHN is satisfaction guaranteed. We’ve been in business for over 30 years and we stand behind what we make.
If something goes wrong and it's our fault, we'll fix it for free. Repairs due to normal wear and tear or due to other things that are not our fault will be performed, when possible, at a reasonable charge right here in our Seattle factory where your bag was made. Defects in materials or workmanship are uncommon and almost always evident while the product is still new. Keep in mind that bags and packs are often subject to extreme wear in everyday use: do not expect them to last forever. Only true love lasts forever! You can expect a TOM BIHN product to give years and years of hard service.