Being lifelong travelers, we all love our lightweight, multipurpose gear that may withstand the rigors of the road. Gear should be dependable, multifunctional, durable and perform beyond expectations. Nothing could be truer when it comes to purchasing a good hiking backpack, especially considering it’s likely to be your home away from home. Traveling, especially long-term, will literally test the limits of your bag and your body, and thus 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 comfort ought to always be considered. 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 employment.
If my three hours was any indication, investing in a good backpack is not a simple task. With hundreds of backpack manufacturers and designs, it may understandably be overwhelming. Whatever you do, don’t go cheap. You’ll be doing a disservice and end up buying a new one anyways. An excellent backpack is an investment. You needn’t spend $500 on a backpack, but be wary of cheap, no-frills, ordinary $70 brands, as you’ll regret the style flaws and lack of extras. Spend a little more to get a good backpack from the trusted brand, and this will become your companion for most trips in the future. The Osprey pack I eventually settled on has traveled with me from the U.S to the Middle East for 10 awesome years and i also know it has one other good 10 years to travel.
Travel Backpack or Hiking Backpack – Before you begin shopping for the best pack, it’s vital that you know the distinction between travel backpacks and wholesale backpacks in bulk. A travel backpack is a backpack-suitcase hybrid with a zippered side panel much like a suitcase. Hiking backpacks are the commonly seen cylindrical top loading packs with straps, clips and a top lid. Some individuals provide an opinion that hiking backpacks are only designed for the backcountry and it has no location for the backpacker, I disagree. What matches your needs ultimately is dependant on personal preference and style of travel. Travel backpacks are ideal for easy, organized usage of gear and transporting from hostel to hostel. They also work well for short walks or even being a daypack.
On the other hand, if you possibly have camping or long treks within your travel plans, you might like to think about a hiking backpack. Hiking backpacks are equipped for comfort, proper weight distribution, and toughness. Unlike a travel backpack, hiking backpacks could have enhancements like full-sized hip belts, shoulder and back suspension systems along with plenty load bearing straps to mitigate discomfort. Granted the best down packing isn’t as useful to access your gear, but that’s part in parcel to proper weight distribution. A good compromise will be to get a hiking backpack with side load access.
I am just generalizing a little since they have travel backpacks which can be in the upper capacity range with increased advanced suspension systems, but when you’re getting a 70L travel backpack, you may also go with a hiking backpack. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did for the unexpected 20 mile trek to the next town.
Personal Backpacking Style – Next, determine the design and style of travel you normally want to do. Unless you’re prepared to buy a different backpack for every trip, figuring out your travel style will save you a lot of money in the end and give you a piece of foundation gear that’s ready for any trip. For example, if you generally carry on week long trips you needn’t get a high capacity bag and can 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 function as the only determining factor. Some individuals have the ability to pack very bare bones, where others require a little more. Think about these factors:
How much time is the trip: Depending on the period of your trip the ability and overall weight of your own pack can vary. Short trips require less capacity, and long trips typically require more. But remember that the larger the pack the heavier it is going to become. 50lbs may well not seem a lot at first, but 2 months in and will also feel as if a ton of bricks.
What sort of Activities do you want to do: I personally believe that one bag can rule them all since I generally use my pack for everything. However, this will not be the case for everybody. Knowing what sort 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 possibly a wheeled backpack, whereas should you foresee yourself doing long treks then a hiking backpack could be more suitable. I like to be ready for wqkgjq kind of spontaneous activity, therefore i lean more towards hiking backpacks. Also, hiking backpacks are usually produced a bit tougher, so keep in mind that the better challenging the action, the higher the stress on the bag.
Lightweight or the kitchen sink: Although I mentioned earlier that size is not the key determining factor, it’s still important to consider capacity according to what you plan to bring. If ultra light can be your goal, avoid high capacity backpacks as you’ll invariably bring a lot of or should you manage to pack light your backpack won’t distribute the body weight properly. Conversely, if your backpack is too small, you won’t be able to fit all things in. Know of the gear you’re bringing and choose the capacity of your own bag accordingly. Don’t hesitate to bring your things to the shop to view the way it suits the packs. A reputable retailer, like REI, won’t have difficulties with this particular.
What To Consider In A Hiking Backpack – Backpacks vary in functionality around they are doing in looks, using the more expensive models getting the most features. Just like everything, your decision the following is closely linked to which kind of traveling you love 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 include a rain cover, you continue to would like it to be made of a tough, rip proof, and light-weight silicone coated nylon or Cordura type material which allows rain or water to bead off and never soak through.
Detachable Daypack – this option is actually a personal preference, and not a real deal breaker, as many travelers bring an additional pack for day trips. However for those focused on traveling light, carrying two bags can be cumbersome. Personally, i like the option of a detachable daypack when i get it only once I would like it. On my Osprey, the very best lid doubles as a daypack. Less comfortable as being a dedicated daypack, however it serves its purpose.
Heavy-duty Lockable Zippers – A chain is only as strong as the weakest link. No matter how good the material from the backpack, when the attachment points, like zippers, are weak the whole bag is worthless. Make sure the zippers are tough and lockable where applicable.
Pockets and Compartments – The more compartments the better. Good backpacks usually have numerous compartments to help store and separate your gear so you won’t must sift through layers of garments just to find your chapstick. For instance, maps may go within the top flap, while your flip-flops are stored conveniently inside the side pocket. However you want to pack, separate pockets allow easy and fast access to your gear. Most backpacks can also get strategically placed pockets, like on the hipbelt, to get for your gear without needing to drop your pack.
Lightweight Internal Frame – Backpacks generally come with an inside frame, external frame, or no frame at all. I strongly recommend a lightweight internal frame produced from strong carbon fiber rods. This gives more load support and just looks better. External frames are bulky, conspicuous, and make use of dated technology and frameless backpacks have awful load support at higher weights. Believe me, without the right weight distribution, you’re shoulders will feel every single one of these pounds.
Side Load Access – I’m seeing less of the function on the newer backpacks, but should you do happen to locate 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 that much simpler.
Suspension System with Padded Shoulders and Load Bearing Straps. Don’t even consider buying wholesale suppliers usa unless it offers either a variable or fixed suspension system, in addition to a bunch of load bearing straps. The suspension system is the part that usually rests against your back and where the padded shoulders connect. Fixed system means that it fits to one torso size, whereas the adjustable system could be calibrated. The whole system is supposed to help stabilize load and transfer weight to your hips. The burden bearing straps, such as the sternum strap, will even help move the body weight around minimizing pain and discomfort.
Ventilation – To minimize 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, making a permanent breathable layer between yourself as well as the backpack. Although not important for load support, it certainly increases your comfort level.
Padded Full-size Hip belt – This is probably the most important feature for any backpack because your hips will be carrying 80% of your backpacks weight. The padding within the belt will allow you to avoid fatigue, discomfort, not to mention load distribution. Try and get one that’s full-size, where the padding comes around your hip bone for the front, and isn’t only 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 having said that i do feel it’s just as important. I like the idea of having excess straps, clips and tool attachment points. You’re in a position to perform on-the-fly spot fixes for a variety of unexpected circumstances, making your backpack function more than just as being a bag. You’re in a position to tie, hook, and rig an entire mess of things while on the road while not having to carry additional gear. Some backpacks have begun to include “daisy chains” (typically available on climbing packs) which is a number of tool attachment loops.
Internal Hydration Reservoir – An inside compartment that holds your favorite hydration bladder (i.e. Camelpak, Platypus) so that you have hands free usage of H2O. Openings on the backpack enables you accessibility sip tube making it an extremely practical feature during your long treks. You won’t must dig into your pack or stop your momentum trying to find your water bottle.