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 truer in terms of purchasing a good hiking backpack, especially considering it’s going to 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 must not be a rushed decision and factors such as trip length, capacity, material, functionally and luxury should always be considered. Initially when i first got serious about investing in a good pack, I was at REI for a good 3 hours -I think they started to suspect I was trying to get a job.
If my three hours was any indication, purchasing a good backpack is not always easy. With countless backpack manufacturers and designs, it can understandably be overwhelming. Anything you do, don’t go cheap. You’ll do a disservice and purchase a new one anyways. A great backpack is an investment. You needn’t spend $500 on a backpack, but be skeptical of cheap, no-frills, ordinary $70 brands, as you’ll regret the design and style flaws and deficiency of extras. Spend a little bit more for any good backpack from a trusted brand, and this will be your companion for many trips in the future. The Osprey pack I eventually settled on has traveled with me from the U.S for the Middle East for 10 awesome years and i also realize it has another great ten years to travel.
Travel Backpack or Hiking Backpack – Before you start shopping for the best pack, it’s essential to know the difference between travel backpacks and wholesale backpacks for sale. A travel backpack is a backpack-suitcase hybrid with a zippered side panel comparable to a suitcase. Hiking backpacks are the more commonly seen cylindrical top loading packs with straps, clips along with a top lid. Some people come with an opinion that hiking backpacks are merely best for the backcountry and has no location for the backpacker, I disagree. What really works ultimately boils down to personal preference and elegance of travel. Travel backpacks are ideal for easy, organized access to gear and transporting from hostel to hostel. In addition they work well for brief walks as well as being a daypack.
On the contrary, if you possibly have camping or long treks in your travel plans, you might like to look at a hiking backpack. Hiking backpacks are equipped for comfort, proper weight distribution, and toughness. Unlike a travel backpack, hiking backpacks may have enhancements like full-sized hip belts, shoulder and back suspension systems along with plenty of load bearing straps to mitigate discomfort. Granted the top down packing isn’t as easy to access your gear, but that’s part in parcel to proper weight distribution. A good compromise is usually to obtain a hiking backpack with side load access.
I am generalizing a bit since they will have travel backpacks that are inside the upper capacity range with increased advanced suspension systems, but if you’re going to get a 70L travel backpack, you could also choose a hiking backpack. Trust me, you’ll be very glad you probably did for the unexpected 20 mile trek to another town.
Personal Backpacking Style – Next, determine the design of travel you normally want to do. Unless you’re ready to purchase a different backpack for each trip, finding out your travel style will save you lots of money in the end and give you a piece of foundation gear that’s ready for any trip. For instance, in the event you generally continue week long trips you needn’t obtain a high capacity bag and may probably get away with a 35 liter to 50 liter (L) pack, whereas living long term on the road may require 65L or greater.
Size is pretty subjective though and shouldn’t become the only determining factor. Some individuals can pack very bare bones, where others require a little more. Consider these factors:
How long is the trip: Depending on the length of your vacation the capacity and overall weight of the pack will be different. Short trips require less capacity, and long trips typically require more. But bear in mind that the bigger the pack the heavier it will become. 50lbs may well not seem a lot in the beginning, but 2 months in and will also feel as if a bunch of bricks.
What sort of Activities are you going to do: I personally feel that one bag can rule every one of them since i have generally use my pack for everything. However, this may not be the situation for anyone. Knowing what type of activity you’ll be doing can help you zero in on that perfect backpack. If you’re not planning on carrying it around much, think about a travel backpack or possibly a wheeled backpack, whereas if you foresee yourself doing long treks then a hiking backpack may be a lot better. I like to be ready for wqkgjq kind of spontaneous activity, so I lean more towards hiking backpacks. Also, hiking backpacks are usually produced a bit tougher, so take into account that the better challenging the activity, the greater the stress on the bag.
Lightweight or the kitchen sink: Although I mentioned earlier that dimension is not the main determining factor, it’s still vital that you consider capacity based on what you want to bring. If ultra light is your goal, avoid high capacity backpacks as you’ll invariably bring excessive or should you manage to pack light your backpack won’t distribute the body weight properly. Conversely, in case your backpack is just too small, you won’t have the capacity to fit everything in. Have an idea of the gear you’re bringing and pick the capacity of the bag accordingly. Don’t hesitate to create your items to a store to find out how it suits the packs. A reputable retailer, like REI, won’t have a problem with this.
Things To Look For In A Hiking Backpack – Backpacks vary in functionality just as much as they actually do in appearance, using the more expensive models getting the most features. As with everything, your choice here is closely associated with which kind of traveling you want to do.
Waterproof – Your pack is probably not gonna be completely waterproof. Meaning, if submerged, or in a torrential downpour your clothing and equipment will get wet. Although most backpacks now include a rain cover, you still want it to be made of a tough, rip proof, and lightweight silicone coated nylon or Cordura type material that allows rain or water to bead off rather than soak through.
Detachable Daypack – this choice is actually a personal preference, and never a real deal breaker, as numerous travelers bring an additional pack for day trips. But also for those centered on traveling light, carrying two bags could be cumbersome. I personally like the choice of a detachable daypack because i already have it only once I want it. On my Osprey, the top lid doubles as a daypack. Much less comfortable as a dedicated daypack, however it serves its purpose.
Heavy-duty Lockable Zippers – A chain is simply as strong as its weakest link. No matter how good the content of the backpack, if the attachment points, like zippers, are weak the complete bag is worthless. Ensure the zippers are tough and lockable where applicable.
Pockets and Compartments – The greater compartments the greater. Good backpacks will often have numerous compartments to help store and separate your gear so that you won’t must sift through layers of clothes just to find your chapstick. As an example, maps may go inside the top flap, while your flip-flops are stored conveniently inside the side pocket. However you choose to pack, separate pockets allow simple and easy , quick access in your gear. Most backpacks will also have strategically placed pockets, like on the hipbelt, to get for your gear without having to drop your pack.
Lightweight Internal Frame – Backpacks generally come with an internal frame, external frame, or no frame at all. I strongly recommend a lightweight internal frame produced from strong carbon fiber rods. This provides more load support and just looks better. External frames are bulky, conspicuous, and utilize dated technology and frameless backpacks have awful load support at higher weights. Believe me, without the right weight distribution, you’re shoulders are likely to feel every one of the pounds.
Side Load Access – I’m seeing less and less of the function on the newer backpacks, but should you happen to choose one with side access you’re golden. You’ll be able to access items through the main compartment in the bag without digging in from the top. You’re life will simply be much simpler.
Suspension System with Padded Shoulders and Load Bearing Straps. Don’t even consider buying wholesalers unless it offers either an adjustable or fixed suspension system, plus a bunch of load bearing straps. The suspension product is the part that generally rests against your back and where the padded shoulders connect. Fixed system means that it fits to a single torso size, whereas the adjustable system could be calibrated. The entire system is meant to help stabilize load and transfer weight in your hips. The burden bearing straps, like the sternum strap, will also help move the weight around minimizing discomfort and pain.
Ventilation – To lower the discomfort from an annoying sweaty back, get a backpack with ventilation. Most internal-frame packs could have some kind of ventilation system or design feature that promotes airflow, making a permanent breathable layer between yourself and the backpack. Although not important for load support, it certainly increases your level of comfort.
Padded Full-size Hip belt – This has become the most important feature for any backpack as your hips is going to be carrying 80% of the backpacks weight. The padding inside the belt will allow you to avoid fatigue, discomfort, and naturally load distribution. Try and get one that’s full-size, in which the padding comes around your hip bone for the front, and isn’t simply a thin strap having a clip.
Multiple Straps and Tool Attachment Points – This feature is a personal preference and doesn’t really impact comfort and load distribution but I do feel it’s just like important. I like the thought of obtaining excess straps, clips and tool attachment points. You’re capable of perform on-the-fly spot fixes for a variety of unexpected circumstances, making your backpack function more than just being a bag. You’re able to tie, hook, and rig a whole mess of things while on the road without having to carry additional gear. Some backpacks have started to include “daisy chains” (typically available on climbing packs) which is a combination of tool attachment loops.
Internal Hydration Reservoir – An internal compartment that holds your chosen hydration bladder (i.e. Camelpak, Platypus) which means you have hands free use of H2O. Openings on the backpack allows you accessibility sip tube making it a very practical feature on your long treks. You won’t must dig to your pack or stop your momentum searching for your water bottle.