Pockets, Zippers, and Shoulder Straps: How to Choose the Right Backpack for Going Outdoors

by - 7:48:00 PM

Imagine your next hike, breathing in fresh air and seeing majestic tree lines and free flowing water trails.  It’s an amazing image, likely to make you feel good.  Are you thinking about your discomfort while hiking?  Of course you’re not.  We don’t always think about the practical logistics when planning. 

For example, depending on the size of journey, you’ll need water, nourishment, first-aid kits and more.  Furthermore, you’ll need a method of carrying needed items with you, a backpack.  But not any backpack will do.  Considering trip length, style, and body type, select the right backpack for your next outdoor journey.

Nature of Adventure                 

What variety of outdoor adventure are you embarking upon?  The breadth and capacity of the trip dictates necessary needs and parameters of the right backpack and outdoor gear.  For example, some manufacturers offer packs according to hosted litres and empty pack weight.  Larger packs, those that can hold 80 litres or more, are suggested for five-night stays or more.  Contrarily, 20-50 litre packs are better for day trips.

Don’t be thrown off by ‘ultra light’ packs; though the packs weigh less in comparison, packs are designed for minimalist hikers and climbers, those willing to sacrifice some needs and comfort for the ability to wear less pounds and keep track of less items.  Beginner hikers, climbers, and those destined for outdoor adventure should not sacrifice integral needs.

A Snug Fit

Outdoor backpacks fit differently than traditional school-related packs.  For one, travellers select sizes according to the length of their torsos rather than overall height.   Secondly, backpacks bear less stress on the body, worn snug around the hips.  (A majority of a pack’s weight, about 80%, should be supported by your hips.)

Smaller children do well in trying women packs; the packs, engineered for smaller body frames, fit better.  Additionally, child-focused backpacks are fit with adjustable suspension, so the product grows with the child.

While convenient, be wary of purchasing packs online without any fitting experience.  Visit brick-and-mortar stores for fittings; vendors situate weights near adventure backpacks, ensuring a good fit for customers.

Features Befitting Style

A number of features dictate the performance and resourcefulness of a chosen pack.
Ventilation – experienced hikers are aware of the feeling of a sweaty shirt nestled against a backpack.  Search for packs with ‘tension-mesh suspension.’  A line of mesh, arranged between the hiker and pack, facilitates ventilation and curbs sweating.

Durability – A number of materials are used for production.  Ensure a chosen pack is durable enough to address the variety of destined hikes.  In some cases, manufacturers sacrifice durability using lightweight material.

Cushion – carrying the weight against one’s body becomes cumbersome, possibly creating minimal but nagging pain in the hip or back region.  A pack, affixed with a hip belt, minimises abrasion and discomfort.
Pocket/Zippers – Once more, destination dictates purchase.  All packs offer pockets and zippers, yet numbers and placement is optimal per activity.  For instance, pockets are convenient for climbers who don’t want to spend time with zippers during times of immediacy.

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