When planning for a hiking adventure, you’ll need to have the proper gear. One of those things you’ll need is a hiking backpack. Not any old ordinary backpack, you’ll need one that fits you and one that is made for the type of hiking that you will be doing. There are different types and sizes that are available on the market today, but we will be focusing on the kind of backpacks that you would use for a day hike or up to 3 nights which would be a typical weekend hike. So, let’s learn how to choose a hiking backpack.
What Size Backpack?
The size of backpack you choose will depend on the length of your hike, the amount of gear you will need to carry, how many nights you will be staying out on the trail, and if you are hiking in warm or cold weather. The length of your hike and the amount of nights you will be staying out on the trail are related. So, if you are spending a weekend on the trail, you will need a larger pack than if you were out for just a few hours. This is also related to how much gear you will need to carry with you. Since the more nights you are out on the trail, the more gear you will need to have. And then there is the weather element. If you are hiking in cold weather, you will need to carry more gear due to the colder temperatures you will have to endure. So, if you will be hiking for the weekend, a good sized backpack will range from 35 to 50 liters. If you need more carrying capacity, you could go up to 70 or 80 liters also. So, for a day hike, you would choose a backpack that is less than 35 liters so you won’t need to carry that excess weight.
The Proper Fit
Now that you’ve chosen the proper size of backpack, you’ll need to determine the proper fit. A backpack with the right fit will be the right size for your torso as well as a comfortable fit on your hips. Some backpacks are available in different sizes ranging from extra small to large to fit a variety of torso lengths. Other backpacks have an adjustable suspension which can be adjusted to fit your torso length. About 80% of your backpacks weight should be supported by your hips. So, an adjustable hipbelt that fits your hips snugly will help you get the right fit that you need. It is important to get the proper fit for a backpack so it is comfortable to carry.
The backpacks made today contain many features for the convenience of the hiker. One feature is the frame, it is included on some backpacks to provide support for the weight and to transfer the weight to the hips. Some backpacks don’t have any frames at all, while the larger backpacks will have either an external frame or an internal frame for proper support. For the convenience of the hiker, most backpacks have multiple compartments. There could be side compartments and a top compartment for access to the inside of the backpack. Some backpacks are made so you can add a hydration reservoir with a hole to slip a sipping tube through for easy access. You could also purchase a backpack that is already made with the hydration reservoir inside. The video below may provide you with more information about choosing a backpack. After you watch the video, you are welcome to take a look at our Top Rated Hiking Backpacks.
If you have any feedback, questions or experiences related to how to choose a hiking backpack, I would love to hear them. Simply drop a comment below, and I will be sure to get back to you.