Some backpacks are specifically designed to carry certain items. Common examples include backpacks for small valuable items such as laptops and cameras;[10] backpacks designed to hold laptop computers in particular generally have a padded compartment to hold the computer and medium-sized pockets and flaps to accommodate accessories such as charger cables and mice. These are especially common in college and university settings. In order to supply these devices with electricity, a few high-end backpacks are equipped with solar panels.[12]
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The external frame is typically made from aluminum, other lightweight metal alloy, and recently reinforced synthetic polymers or plastic and is equipped with a system of straps and tautly-stretched netting which prevents contact between the metal frame and user's back. In addition to comfort, this "stand-off" provides the additional benefit of creating air circulation between the frame and the wearer's back. For this reason, external frame packs are generally considered to be a "cooler load" than internal frame designs. External frame packs have a fabric "sack" portion which is usually smaller than that of internal frame packs, but have exposed frame portions above and below the sack to accommodate attachment of larger items. In addition, the sack can often be removed entirely, permitting the user to customize the configuration of their load, or to transport a non-conventional load such as a quartered game animal. Military packs are often external frame designs due to their ability to carry loads of different shapes, sizes and weights.
The other type of external frame which recently was proposed, is made from composite plastic which is not flexible like current backpack straps and also it is a kind of material that can be shaped like human spine curvature. In this type of backpack, load directly transfers to the shoulders through the non-flexible straps. This non-flexible structure diminishes the momentum at lumbar region of the back. Strap curvature is shaped close to spine curvature and there are two flexible drawstrings to prevent backpack movement in transverse plane. The straps of this backpack are wide enough to distribute the pressure on shoulders and also a white glass wool layer is added to the internal part of them to absorb dynamic forces, which could be produced through walking. This backpack type is an experimental sample that need further options to be prepared for usage. One of the benefits of backpack with external frame is preventing the spine to incline forward during walking that would be helpful in preventing damage of long term backpack carrying.[4]
A daypack is a smaller, frameless backpack that can hold enough contents for a day hike, or a day's worth of other activities. They are not large enough for average wilderness backpacking that use full-sized sleeping bags and backpacking tents, but may be large enough for ultralight backpacking. Padded or unpadded waist straps may be provided to distribute weight across the body.