Being lifelong travelers, we all love our lightweight, multipurpose gear that can withstand the rigors of the road. Gear should be dependable, multifunctional, durable and perform beyond anticipation. Nothing could be more true with regards to buying a good hiking backpack, especially considering it’s gonna be your home away from home. Traveling, especially long-term, will literally test the limits of your bag and your body, and as such this decision will not be made impulsively. Buying your backpack really should not be a rushed decision and factors such as trip length, capacity, material, functionally and comfort should always be considered. Initially when i first got serious about investing in a good pack, I was at REI for a good three hours -I think they started to suspect I was trying to get work.
If my three hours was any indication, buying a good backpack will not be a simple task. With countless backpack manufacturers and styles, it could understandably be overwhelming. Whatever you decide to do, don’t go cheap. You’ll do your disservice and buy a replacement anyways. A good backpack is surely an investment. You needn’t spend $500 on a backpack, but be suspicious of cheap, no-frills, ordinary $70 brands, as you’ll regret the design and style flaws and absence of extras. Spend a bit more to get a good backpack from the trusted brand, and it will become your companion for many trips ahead. The Osprey pack I eventually settled on has traveled with me from your U.S for the Middle East for 10 awesome years and I realize it has another great 10 years to visit.
Travel Backpack or Hiking Backpack – Before you start shopping for the best pack, it’s important to know the distinction between travel backpacks and backpack bag wholesale. A travel backpack is actually a backpack-suitcase hybrid with a zippered side panel much like a suitcase. Hiking backpacks are the more commonly seen cylindrical top loading packs with straps, clips along with a top lid. Some people have an opinion that hiking backpacks are just best for the backcountry and contains no spot for the backpacker, I disagree. What works for you ultimately is dependant on personal preference and elegance of travel. Travel backpacks are ideal for easy, organized access to gear and transporting from hostel to hostel. They also function well in short walks or perhaps as a daypack.
On the other hand, in the event you possibly have camping or long treks in your travel plans, you might like to consider a hiking backpack. Hiking backpacks are equipped for comfort, proper weight distribution, and toughness. Unlike a travel backpack, hiking backpacks will have enhancements like full-sized hip belts, shoulder and back suspension systems along with lots of load bearing straps to mitigate discomfort. Granted the very best down packing isn’t as useful to access your gear, but that’s part in parcel to proper weight distribution. An excellent compromise is usually to get a hiking backpack with side load access.
I am just generalizing a bit because they do have travel backpacks which are in the upper capacity range with increased advanced suspension systems, but if you’re going to get a 70L travel backpack, you might as well choose a hiking backpack. Believe me, you’ll be glad you did for the unexpected 20 mile trek to the next town.
Personal Backpacking Style – Next, determine the design of travel you normally want to do. Unless you’re prepared to get a different backpack for every trip, determining your travel style could save you lots of money in the long run and give you a bit of foundation gear that’s ready for virtually any trip. As an example, should you generally carry on week long trips you needn’t get yourself a high capacity bag and could probably pull off a 35 liter to 50 liter (L) pack, whereas living long term on the road might require 65L or greater.
Dimension is pretty subjective though and shouldn’t function as the only determining factor. Many people are able to pack very bare bones, where others require a little bit more. Think about these factors:
How much time is your trip: Depending on the period of your trip the capacity and overall weight of the pack will be different. Short trips require less capacity, and long trips typically require more. But remember that the bigger the pack the heavier it will become. 50lbs may not seem a whole lot initially, but 2 months in and it will think that a ton of bricks.
What sort of Activities are you going to do: Personally, i believe that one bag can rule all of them since I generally use my pack for everything. However, this might not be the truth for everybody. Knowing what type of activity you’ll do will help you zero in on that perfect backpack. If you’re not planning on carrying it around much, think about a travel backpack or even a wheeled backpack, whereas if you foresee yourself doing long treks then the hiking backpack could be more desirable. I love to be prepared for wqkgjq type of spontaneous activity, so I lean more towards hiking backpacks. Also, hiking backpacks are usually produced a bit tougher, so remember that the more challenging the activity, the higher the stress on the bag.
Lightweight or the kitchen sink: Although I mentioned earlier that dimensions are not the primary determining factor, it’s still essential to consider capacity according to what you want to bring. If ultra light is the goal, avoid high capacity backpacks as you’ll invariably bring excessive or should you do manage to pack light your backpack won’t distribute the body weight properly. Conversely, in case your backpack is too small, you won’t have the capacity to fit everything in. Have an idea of the gear you’re bringing and choose the capacity of your bag accordingly. Don’t hesitate to take your items to the shop to view the actual way it fits in the packs. An established retailer, like REI, won’t have a problem with this.
What To Consider In A Hiking Backpack – Backpacks vary in functionality around they actually do in appearance, with the higher priced models obtaining the most features. Similar to everything, your choice here is closely linked to which kind of traveling you want to do.
Water-resistant – Your pack may not be gonna be completely waterproof. Meaning, if submerged, or in a torrential downpour your clothing and equipment will get wet. Although most backpacks now have a rain cover, you continue to want it to be made of the tough, rip proof, and light-weight silicone coated nylon or Cordura type material which allows rain or water to bead off rather than soak through.
Detachable Daypack – this choice is truly a personal preference, and not a real deal breaker, as many travelers bring an additional pack for day trips. But for those centered on traveling light, carrying two bags could be cumbersome. I personally like a choice of a detachable daypack as I already have it only if I want it. In my Osprey, the top lid doubles as being a daypack. Much less comfortable as being a dedicated daypack, however it serves its purpose.
Heavy-duty Lockable Zippers – A chain is just as strong as its weakest link. Regardless of how good the fabric from the backpack, in the event the attachment points, like zippers, are weak the whole bag is worthless. Ensure the zippers are tough and lockable where applicable.
Pockets and Compartments – The greater compartments the higher. Good backpacks will often have several compartments to aid store and separate your gear so that you won’t must search through layers of garments just to find your chapstick. For example, maps can go inside the top flap, while your flip-flops are stored conveniently within the side pocket. However you want to pack, separate pockets allow easy and quick access in your gear. Most backpacks can also get strategically placed pockets, like on the hipbelt, so you can get in your gear without having to drop your pack.
Lightweight Internal Frame – Backpacks generally include an internal frame, external frame, or no frame whatsoever. I strongly recommend a light-weight internal frame created from strong carbon fiber rods. This supplies more load support and merely looks better. External frames are bulky, conspicuous, and use dated technology and frameless backpacks have awful load support at higher weights. Trust me, without the right weight distribution, you’re shoulders are going to feel every one of these pounds.
Side Load Access – I’m seeing less and less of the function on the newer backpacks, but should you eventually choose one with side access you’re golden. You’ll have the capacity to access items from the main compartment from the bag without digging in from your top. You’re life will you should be so much simpler.
Suspension System with Padded Shoulders and Load Bearing Straps. Don’t even consider buying 99 cents items wholesale unless it offers either a flexible or fixed suspension system, along with a lot of load bearing straps. The suspension method is the part that usually rests against your back and where the padded shoulders connect. Fixed system implies that it fits to 1 torso size, whereas the adjustable system could be calibrated. The entire system is meant to help stabilize load and transfer weight to your hips. The burden bearing straps, just like the sternum strap, may also help move the body weight around minimizing discomfort and pain.
Ventilation – To reduce the discomfort from an annoying sweaty back, obtain a backpack with ventilation. Most internal-frame packs will have some type of ventilation system or design feature that promotes airflow, developing a permanent breathable layer between yourself and the backpack. However, not required for load support, it certainly increases your comfort level.
Padded Full-size Hip belt – This is among the most important feature for any backpack since your hips will be carrying 80% of the backpacks weight. The padding in the belt will help you avoid fatigue, discomfort, and of course load distribution. Try and get one that’s full-size, in which the padding comes around your hip bone towards the front, and isn’t only a thin strap with a clip.
Multiple Straps and Tool Attachment Points – This feature is actually a personal preference and doesn’t really impact comfort and load distribution but I do feel it’s equally as important. I like the idea of getting excess straps, clips and tool attachment points. You’re able to perform on-the-fly spot fixes for many different unexpected circumstances, making your backpack function more than simply as a bag. You’re in a position to tie, hook, and rig a complete mess of things while on the road without having to carry additional gear. Some backpacks have begun to include “daisy chains” (typically seen on climbing packs) which is actually a series of tool attachment loops.
Internal Hydration Reservoir – An inside compartment that holds your preferred hydration bladder (i.e. Camelpak, Platypus) so that you have hands-free usage of H2O. Openings on the backpack allows you access to the sip tube rendering it an extremely practical feature on your long treks. You won’t have to dig in your pack or stop your momentum trying to find your water bottle.