Are you planning to go outdoors and you don’t know how to choose the right pack? Well, it seems hard to pick one among so many, right? It must fit your back if you want to have a pleasant trip, or else you will be disappointed.
It must be comfortable because you will carry it on your back and durable so you will have it for a long time. Also, consider size, water resistance, padded back and shoulders, and compartments where you will store your items.
No matter if you are a beginner outdoorsman or an avid outdoor enthusiast, I will help you to decide which one is right for you.
Backpack buying factors
Not every pack is good for you. One of the most important factors is its size and length. It can be too small or too big so be careful and choose the one that will fit your body and be proportional to the spine.
There are also other features that you should consider as side load, frame, pockets, etc. Before you jump and buy the first one that you see, let’s see which factors you should consider if you want to have the right backpack on the trail.
How to fit a backpack?
One of the most important factors to choose the right backpack is to check if it fits on your back. It shouldn’t be too long because your spine will be overburdened. It should fit your spine and provide comfort when using it otherwise you could face pain and injuries.
So, what should you focus on? Some rucksacks have adjustable back systems to help you adjust it according to the length of your spine and body structure.
I recommend that you try a full one and walk for a few minutes to see if you are comfortable wearing it. Remember, it must fit on your shoulders, spine, and hips, or else it is not a good fit for you.
What are the different types of backpacks?
You have to know which types of backpacks you have as an option. Consider all to know which type will fit you and your hiking adventure.
What is a daypack used for?
These are the smallest of all and appropriate for a daily hike. If you intend to go on a short hike on the hill or around the woods, this one should fit you fine.
What can you store in a daypack?
They aren’t suitable for storing bigger gear like a tent but you will be able to store your personal items in it. You won’t have a problem with storing a water bottle, a sandwich, and other smaller things in it. Their capacities vary between 20-35 liters.
It is lightweight, durable, and spacious. This one is meant for hikers who are going on short trekking. You will be able to store your basic camping gear and clothes in it.
Trekking backpack features
Its capacity is around 40 liters and more. This one should have a bottle compartment so you can easily reach the water. It also has functional straps so you can attach a sleeping bag or other equipment on it.
It is for those who will go on an expedition to the mountains for example. Its material is stronger and more durable than in a trekking backpack.
Expedition backpack features
They are heavier than trekking ones and have to be more padded due to weight you will be carrying. It will also have extra external pockets, straps, and storage panels.
Backpack size & capacity volume
There are sizes and capacities of the backpacks that you should consider. The simplest rule is to bring one that will store crucial things on the trail and won’t burden you the more it should.
For example, do you need a large backpack if you are going on a one day trip in the woods? I don’t think so. Why? Ask yourself what will you need on such a trip. Due to my experience, you won’t need a tent, pillows, and other bulky stuff that come handy when you backpack for a long time.
So, let’s take a look at which one to choose regarding the type of trip you will go to and the capacity that will fit you.
A weekend trip
If you are going to spend time in nature for a weekend then you need a smaller pack that has 30-50 liters. It should be lightweight as you don’t need extra strong (heavy) material to withstand the rough terrain. With this lightweight one, you will be able to store hiking essentials.
A few days trip
These packs can carry from 40-70 liters and are popular among hikers, backpackers, skiers, and others who love to explore the wild. You will be able to store all the essentials in this one since you will have to have food supplies, sleeping bag, an outdoor tent, and clothes by your hand.
A week trip
If you will be outdoors for more than a few days then you need a big pack. In the case of long backpacking or camping, you will need to change your clothes and have enough food supplies to have a secure and enjoyable trip. These ones have the capacity of 70 liters + and are big enough to store all your essentials and personal items in it.
Backpack features explained
Ok, and now a few words regarding its features. These are as important as choosing the right size backpack.
Waterproofness of the backpack
If you worry about the precipitation, you can get a rucksack that is made of fabrics that are coated with synthetic layers to protect your backpack from getting wet and all the stuff that you are carrying. A rain cover can solve your problem also.
A compartment for hydration system
It is recommendable that your backpack has a compartment for a hydration system that you can grab whenever you feel thirsty. It should be accessed easily without putting your pack off your shoulders. This feature is a must if you don’t want your items to get wet inside and if you don’t want to waste time by opening the rucksack to drink a sip of water.
Air flow channels
When you are on the trails for a long time on a sunny day you will sweat. The air flow channels will help you to ventilate the back. Its ridges will try to balance comfort with air flow.
A backpack with rain fly
We have two types of backpacks regarding the waterproof feature. Some don’t have this feature so they come with a rain fly. If yours don’t have it you can get it separately. This way you will secure it additionally.
They feature 2 types of frames that help you to carry weight. Here are their benefits and differences.
An external frame
You have two options when picking a backpack frame – internal and external frame. External one helps you carry heavy weight and are usually made of aluminum tubing. It transfers the load weight to the hips for better balance and stability. This frame’s benefit is also an air pocket that comes between the pack and your back and enables ventilation.
An internal frame
An internal frame comes in many backpacks that sell today. You can’t see it because it is stitched to its material. These offer a proper weight distribution and more stability. You have aluminum or fiberglass ones.
The backpack that fits
Consider all these options if you want to have a pleasurable and safe hiking trip without facing the back pain or injuries. Remember, your back and shoulders must be relaxed when you hike with the backpack. Choose the right rucksack regarding my recommendations and your personal needs.