Useful Tips on How to Choose the Right Backpack for Hiking?

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By: Sonia Zannoni

Picking the right backpack is paramount for your trip. If your bag is too large, then you will be carrying too much extra weight, and if your bag is too small, then you won’t be able to fit everything inside. Moreover, if you get a rucksack made of a material that isn’t waterproof, then your things will get soaked in the rain.

Similarly, there can be dozen other options that can ruin your trip, so how to choose the right backpack then? The best backpacks have some standard features that make them the perfect choice.

Those features are mentioned below:

Water Resistant Material

You do not need to keep your bag 100 percent waterproof, but you should definitely ensure that it is at least semi-waterproof so that nothing gets wet in case of drizzling.

Also, the material should not stay wet for a long time because that will get musty.

The water-resistant material should not weigh that much and should be checked before leaving for the trip. You can test it by pouring a cup of water on it.

Lockable Zippers

You should go for backpacks that have two zippers so that you effortlessly lock them. Locking a rucksack is basically to save it from any outside interference. When buying locks for your bag, you should always buy TSA-friendly locks.

Now, in case there aren’t two zippers then you should go for Pacsafe which wraps a lockable metal mesh around your backpack. Pacsafe, however, can add a little weight to your knapsack.

Multiple Compartments

A good bag is one that should have multiple compartments. This makes it easy for the user to divide his/her items into sections that can be placed according to their frequency of use.

For instance, water bottles and torch lights can be kept inside pockets that are within immediate range. The rest of the items like clothes, tents, and toiletries can be stored in the large main compartment.

Internal Frame

These days the new backpacks that are being made have an internal frame. This means that the supporting rods and the frame are built inside and therefore cannot be seen.

The internal frame should always be preferred over an external one because the rods will not get caught in anything while traveling and it also looks better overall.

Internal frames are also slimmer, lighter, and therefore are easy on your back.

Padded Hip Belt

Most of the weight that you will be carrying will be put on your hips. So, the hip belt must be padded, which will help balance the pressure and won’t put more strain on your hips.

The hip belt should further be adjustable so that users can change the fitting to fit their different sizes. The padded hip belt makes supports the weight more comfortably.

Padded Shoulder Straps

Shoulder straps have the same job in that they are in constant contact with your body throughout the trip. Half of the weight is put on your arms, so if the shoulder straps aren’t padded; you’ll feel pain and will get tired real soon.

Padded straps will put less pressure on your shoulders and will also take some of the pressure off your lower back. If the pad is made from a single type of material, then that will be better because the risk of tearing apart would be very less.

Contoured/Padded Back

A lumbar-shaped back makes it easier to carry the weight and distributes it more evenly.

A contoured back is also beneficial because it creates a small space between your back and the bag which allows the air to pass through efficiently. This fixed airflow prevents any sweating or irritation.

Attachment Points

Bungee cords, clip-on points, and daisy chains all allow you to fasten other belongings to the outside of your knapsack.

Backpacks that allow these clips on should be preferred.

Here is a video that summarizes some of the primary criteria you will need to take into account while choosing the right backpack for hiking:

Final Tips

Other than these features, you need to make sure that the size of your rucksack is perfect for your use. There are backpacks in 40 and 80 liters capacity.

Deciding on the size depends on your own height and the weight of essentials that you are supposed to carry along.

The brand of the backpack is also critical, and therefore you should do a little research online before making any purchase.

You should go for the brand that has the most positive customer reviews.

With all these points in mind, you can definitely choose the best backpack for your hiking trip.

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