I wasn't talking about "camera" packs, but about real packs. Take that load you've got and add a week's worth of food, a tent, and all your
essentials for the outdoors and then see how well it holds up.
Totally agree. I don't do much real backpacking anymore (age has caught up with me), but did do a lot in the past and always used the original U.S. Kelty external packframes. Still have two of them - not for sale, but for nostalgia. They held up well under 82 lb loads that included climbing gear for glacier travel with Sinar Norma 4x5. 5x7 and 8x10 are a different story.
A lot of people bought nice gear way back when and never even used it. Within the last two years I've picked up a brand new Calif-made
Kelty pack that just sat in someone's closet for decades, as well as several brand new vintage Camp Trails US mfg packs - all of these cost
over $200 way back in the 70's, but I got one of em at a garage sale trading for a half empty qt of marine varnish. These were way better
built than packs nowadays and I find them suitable for almost everything except as an airline carryon. For the latter application I have a good legal-sized airporter pack with shoulder straps tucked away. It will accept my Ebony 4x5 system or a 6x7 system, including my Gitzo carbon-fiber tripod and filmholders. I wouldn't want to do any serious backpacking that way, however. Now all I gotta do to be really in style for old
age backpacking with a vintage Kelty is to replace the handle on my wooden ice axe. Alas, I too opted for a modern fiberglass version after
taking a particularly interesting downhill exodus. The point of the old wooden axe and half the shaft have been inadvertently donated to
mountaineering posterity, still up there somewhere... Then a couple years ago I took a good dunking in ice water when one of my nice new fiberglass trekking poles snapped during an early season ford, so newer tech isn't always better! Fortunately, I keep all my photo gear, clothing, and sleeping bag etc double-wrapped in big plastic garbage bags just for such incidents.