While many of us often buy things blindly, without much consideration to the product’s features, when it comes to buying a hiking backpack this is most certainly not the case. You will want to be sure that you know what to look for in a hiking backpack before making your purchase.
The primary reason why people are seeking out new backpacks is because they need a bigger one. Sometimes this is to accommodate more gear, and other times it is a sign that the pack does not fit as well as it should. No matter what size you are looking for there are several factors that will influence your decision.
When you have figured out the perfect backpack for you, be sure to check out our best backpacks under $100 list for more great choices.
The capacity of the pack is always going to be one of the most important features, although it sometimes gets overlooked because other factors are deemed more important.
The fact remains though that you must know how much stuff you normally carry and find a pack with a similar capacity in order to ensure that you are carrying an appropriate amount of weight.
If the pack is not large enough, then it will be unable to distribute the weight properly and your body will suffer for it. Likewise, if you try to stuff too much into a small pack you will also run into problems balancing the load in addition to potential comfort issues.
There are several factors that influence the capacity, including the length of the frame, the number of exterior pockets, and whether or not there is a hydration sleeve.
The size of your pack will be important because it ultimately determines how much you can carry in it. The average hiker carries about 35 to 40 liters, which is why this size frame is recommended for most backpackers.
If you feel like you need to carry more than this, then your best bet is to find a pack that has an adjustable suspension system that will allow the frame size to be changed in order to accommodate larger loads. This doesn’t change the capacity of the bag, but it does allow you to spread the weight of your gear out more appropriately.
Locking Zipper Pulls
When you are moving quickly, especially when there is not much weight in your pack, it can be easy to snag the zipper pull on up against a branch or rock. This causes frustration and can potentially damage your pack as well if it is particularly sharp.
In order to help combat this, you should invest in a pack with locking zipper pulls. These paired pulls will keep your gear on the inside of your pack and prevent snags from occurring during your travels.
The Size of the Shoulder Straps and Hipbelt Padding
It is important that you find a backpack with shoulder straps and hipbelt padding that is sufficient to protect your body from the weight of the pack. If these straps are not long enough or do not have sufficient padding, then they will dig into your shoulders and hips causing discomfort throughout your journey which could potentially last for hours.
It is an uncomfortable feeling to be constantly adjusting yourself because you are in pain. To help ensure that you find a backpack with proper padding, try to find one with an ergonomic design. This not only ensures that the straps will be comfortable but also reduces stress on your body in general by evenly distributing weight throughout.
In conclusion, be sure to know what size, capacity, and features your pack should have before making a purchase. These three factors will play a big role in determining whether or not you find a backpack that is perfect for you.