February 07, 2016.
Packing - How
to Choose a Backpack
this site has the word backpack in the title, I guess it seems rather
self-evident that a backpack is rather useful when you're
backpacking. But the question does arise (or at least it did for
me) "What kind of backpack should I use?" Well, as with
everything else there is no one set answer to this question. When
considering the purchase of a backpack you should keep several things in
Features to look for in your backpack:
- Your backpack should be comfortable
enough to allow you to carry at least 20-30 pounds.
out different styles ask the sales person for weights to put inside
pack so that you'll have an idea of
what 30 pounds feels like on your back.
- Your backpack should be
proportional to body size
(your pack shouldn't be so large
that you and couple of your closest friends
could fit inside). People under 5'6" inches should try
to make sure their backpack in no taller than 22
inches--taller backpacks will hit the back of your head. Try to limit yourself to a pack that
is between 2,800-5,000 cubic inches/45-80 Liters, unless you and Godzilla are the
- Shop around.
Try out as many different styles as you can before you make
your decision. In other words,
don't buy a pack simply because it comes in your favorite
color and don't avoid trying on a pack simple because it isn't
aesthetically pleasing. The fashion statement you'll be making with
your "stylish" but uncomfortable pack will be one that
only masochists will appreciate.
- The most expensive backpack is not
necessarily the best. Unless
you plan to do quite a bit of backpacking over the next twenty years
or so, that $400 pack will be a waste of money; many moderately
priced packs ($100-$250) will suit your purpose just as
well, if not better, than those high priced packs.
- If possible, get a pack that you
won't have to check in at the airport (size requirements vary,
but a good rule of thumb is to make sure L x W x H doesn't add up to
more than 45 inches). Not having to waste your time
checking and claiming your pack is one of the best things about
traveling light. If you plan on bringing a Swiss Army knife or
something similar, ignore this because only checked luggage may
contain pointed/sharp implements.
zippers that open around 2/3 of the pack like a traditional school
backpack. These are more practical than top-loading backpacks that
often require taking out almost everything in your pack just to
find one thing.
sure each compartment of your backpack has two zippers that can be
locked together with combo or key locks. This will help protect
your belongings when you are away from your main pack during the
day and your day pack while you are out exploring.
bulky metal rods sticking out anywhere=not getting your backpack
caught on something every place you go. Make sure your pack has an
internal frame for added support and comfort.
you carry most of your pack's weight on your hips, make sure the
hip belt is comfortable to wear.
carrying your load more comfortable.
bring weight of load forward by connecting the two shoulder straps
over your sternum. Saves you from excessive shoulder pain.
shaped backs make carrying your pack much more comfortable.
Generally, people wear the smaller day pack on their front when
carrying the larger main backpack on their back. Make sure your
day pack is comfortable to wear on your front. Yes, this does
look a bit strange, but it helps distribute the weight of your
backpacks, preventing you from toppling backwards from the
combined weight of the two packs.
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