If you are currently interested in backpacking, you might consider investing in a durable backpack that can last longer. This is an important accessory for any adventurer. Whether you are looking forward to successfully conquering a tough terrain or just want to enjoy a long day hike, your backpack must fit your body type. At the same time, it can make you feel comfortable while carrying those heavy loads.
However, choosing the right backpack can be overwhelming, especially, if you are a first-time buyer. Nowadays, most of the products that are available in the market are quite technical, and you can easily get confused with the gear jargon. Additionally, you do not know what the right questions are to ask. In this guide, we are going to help you in choosing the right backpack, so you can feel confident while hitting that trail.
Consider Your Purpose for Using It
If you are hiking in hot weather, then it only makes sense that you have to choose a backpack that has good ventilation. Before investing in a backpack, you have to consider the type of excursion where you will be using it. One of the essential considerations is size.
For instance, if you are going on a weeklong trek, you should get a 6,000-cubic-inch backpack. While if you are only going for a weekend excursion, then a 3,000-cubic-inch backpack will be enough. If you are interested in participating in longer distance hikes, then you should go for something that is super lightweight. Just remember that you can always choose a bigger pack if you are interested in going on longer trips.
In addition, if you are hiking in warm weather, then you should look for a backpack that can provide you with abundant ventilation for your back. And even during the winter, when you have to deal with humidity, you will be needing a well-ventilated backpack that can prevent sweat from accumulating on your back.
Do Some Research to Know the Basics
Another important thing to do when choosing a backpack is to familiarize yourself with the different backpack designs, which can help you in deciding. For instance, a backpack with an external frame provides more ventilation. On the other hand, if the backpack has an internal frame, then it can offer a more custom fit while distributing the load evenly, making it lighter to carry.
When it comes to internal frame backpacks, top loaders weigh less compared to panel loaders. Top loaders refer to those that you fill starting from the top. While panel loaders refer to those that you load through the different panels. One of the most significant advantages of panel loaders is that you can have several access points.
This means you can easily retrieve whatever you need without digging through every stuff. With several external pockets, you can properly organize your gear. Also, you might consider the convenience of a hydration reservoir, wherein you can drink from a tube. This is extremely significant when you are hiking.
To narrow down your options even further, you should consider the appropriate volume that you need. You should choose a backpack with a volume of 65 to 70 liters or more if you are going on a winter trip that requires larger gear or when going for a weeklong backcountry trip.
While a backpack with a volume of 50 to 70 liters is more appropriate if you are going on a trip in warmer temperatures or for a trip that lasts for 3 to 5 nights. A backpack that has a volume of 30 to 50 liters might be the right option if you are going on a long weekend.
Choose Your Daypack Smartly
For a day of hiking, a backpack of 30 liters will be enough in carrying all your essentials along with some water, snacks, and extra clothes. If you bring your kids with you, you can level up to 40 liters for your kid’s stuff. Keep in mind that if you choose smaller day packs, then you won’t be able to adjust its harness for a customized fitting.
So, it is vital to ensure that the backpack can fit you comfortably when loaded. For more flexibility, consider having a backpack that includes a hydration reservoir and elasticized side pockets for holding water bottles.
Buy Only at Outdoor Specialty Stores
Although it is more convenient to buy your backpack online, if you are a first timer, then you should shop in a brick-and-mortar store. You could find backpacks at big-box stores. However, if you are looking for a high-quality backpack that can fit you comfortably, then your best option would be to visit an outdoor specialty store.
This is more appropriate, especially if you are looking for larger backpacks. Here, you can find the latest gear that is available in the market. Consequently, their staff is well trained in helping you choose the proper backpack for you. You can tell the staff the types of trips you will be taking and the environment you will be getting yourself into. This can help them determine the proper size of your backpack.
Obviously, a high-quality backpack could likely cost more. However, spending more on your backpack can greatly make a difference if you truly want to enjoy your outdoor adventure. In addition, a cheaper backpack will not last long.
Select the Right Size
Choosing the right volume of your backpack is an important decision. After choosing a particular model, let the staff measure your torso to ensure that the backpack fits you comfortably. You should also consider that some manufacturers provide shoulder straps and waist belts in various sizes to customize the fitting.
Try on a Loaded Backpack
Let the staff fill the backpack with at least 20 pounds of load and try it on. Ask how to properly adjust the hip straps, waist belts, sternum straps, shoulder straps, and load-lifter straps. After you have secured all the straps, check if the backpack properly sits on your hips and shoulders. You can also ask for some suggestions on the proper way of packing your gear so that the load can be balanced more effectively.
Make Sure That It Has a Good Fit
Ensuring that your backpack has a good fit is very important so you can have an enjoyable hike. Do not be afraid to wear the backpack and walk around the store for a few minutes. Try to determine how it feels. If you need to make some adjustments to the straps, then you could ask for some help from the staff. Be sure that the load is well-balanced between your hips and shoulders.
Don’t Forget the Accessories
Some of the essential accessories are a hydration reservoir, a raincover for your backpack, and some extra straps for securing items to your backpack. There is no need to purchase them all at once. You can always purchase the others later on.
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