If you have recently discovered that you love backpacking, the chances are that you are thinking about investing some money into a good backpack. It is an important part of any adventurer’s tool kit. Whether you are looking for something to take with you to the park or you are looking for a backpack that will help you conquer some difficult routes, it is necessary that you choose something that will fit your body type, as well as something that will be able to sustain heavy loads of items.
However, choosing a backpack can be time-consuming and overwhelming, especially if you are buying it for the first time. A lot of products are technical and the wide range of gear can make your head spin. Hence, here is a list of things that you should consider when buying a backpack and other items like bags, fanny packs, and totes:
1. Think about what you will use it for
Before you go out and buy a backpack, think about what you will be using it for. Size is one of the most important things to consider. Hence, if you are going on a weeklong hiking trip in the Talladega national forest do you really need a 6.000 cubic inch backpack? If you are planning a long distance hike, you will need something that is lightweight. Also, if you are planning on going to a place where the climate is really hot, look for something that has ventilation. Even during cold seasons, you will want ventilation to prevent sweat from pooling on your back.
2. Do some research on the basics
Another important thing you should do at the beginning is to familiarize yourself with a few basic designs, which will help you make your decision. For example, an external-frame backpack will allow more ventilation, however, an internal-frame backpack will allow the fit to be better, distribute the load evenly, and it weighs less. Also, you should consider whether you want a hydration tank, which will allow you to drink water while hiking. To further help you, think about how much volume you will need in your pack. For a winter trip or a weeklong trip that requires you to carry bulky gear, choose a pack with 65 or 70 liters of volume. For a trip that will last 3 to 5 days, 50 to 70 liters will work fine. And for a weekend getaway, you can buy a pack that is 30 to 50 liters.
3. Choose a daypack carefully
According to Pakapalooza, a usual backpack should be enough to hold all your essential items for a day or two of hiking. These unique backpacks will be able to hold your water, snacks, extra clothing, and food. They are even fun for children since they will be able to wear these backpacks, hence they will have a true hiking experience. Keep in mind that with usual day backpacks, you will not be able to adjust the harness, hence make sure that the pack will fit you.
4. Choose the right size
Once you have decided on the model, have a salesperson measure your upper body – from the hips to the base of your neck – in order to determine which size is the best for you. Keep in mind that some backpack manufacturers offer shoulder straps or waist belts in different sizes so that you can adjust the fit.
5. Try the pack with some load in it
The store clerk should be able to fill your backpack with around 20 pounds of load and then they should let you try it on. When all the straps are secure, make sure that the pack is sitting comfortably at the hips and shoulders.
This list of things to consider will make the whole process of choosing a backpack time-efficient and less overwhelming. You can rest assured that once you follow these tips, you will be able to find a pack that will fit you perfectly.