Anyone who’s ever strapped on a backpack knows that if you wear one for any substantial length of time, your shirt will end up drenched from the sweat off your back. And while we’ve seen backpacks that remedied this by adding a breathable back layer, wouldn’t you rather be able to turn every pack in your closet into a properly ventilated one? That’s exactly what the Ventra Mainframe does.
Designed to cool your back and keep it dry, it’s a metal frame that sandwiches between the back of the pack and the inside of the straps, creating an open space between the bag and your back. With no bag pressed to your back the entire day, it gets to enjoy proper ventilation, putting an end to the sweaty mess it usually turns into well before reaching your intended destination.
Consisting of a contoured aluminum frame covered in a nylon and polyester mesh, the Ventra Mainframe weighs under 13 oz, barely adding any weight to your pack, all while enabling a whole load of previously-unrealized comfort. Sure, adding some space between the pack and your back can make any load feel heavier, but it does keep the distance to a minimum, so any extra imbalance should not be all that significant. The frame can be used loose (as in, you just slip it in between the bag and your back), although they recommend strapping it on the bag using the integrated bungee cords, in order to maximize the lumbar load transfer and keep the frame from moving.
Available in three sizes, the Ventra Mainframe is priced at $75.