Backpacking is one of my favorite activities as it lets you ditch the crowds and find new unique destinations. However, it’s also a challenge as you must carry everything you’ll need. Because of this, you need a dependable bag that will fit well. Below we’ll dive into eight of the best backpacking backpacks on the market and how to choose a backpacking pack.
- Length of the trip: The length of your journey will determine how large of a bag you get.
- How it fits: Sizes are confusing when choosing a pack. The sizes listed are based on torso size, not your height or weight. For example, I’m six feet, yet I’m still a medium. The last thing you want is to buy a pack that doesn’t fit well and ruins your trip.
- Consider how many outside zippers there are. These allow quick access to snacks and gear without unpacking your bag.
The 8 Best Backpacking Backpacks for your next trip
First and foremost, you’ll want to ensure the backpack is the right size for your body. This means choosing a backpack that is proportional to your torso length and that can be adjusted to fit your shoulders and hips snugly. One way to determine your torso length is to measure the distance between your C7 vertebrae (the protruding bone at the base of your neck) and your iliac crest (the top of your hip bones). This measurement will give you an idea of what size backpack you need. Even a 6-foot male will be a size medium, so keep that in mind.
Another important factor to consider is the backpack’s capacity. Backpacks are typically measured in liters, and you’ll want to choose a backpack that is large enough to hold all your gear but not so large that it is difficult to carry. A good rule of thumb is to choose a backpack between 50-70 liters. For a trip between 1-3 days, a 55L should work. For trips of 4-6 days, I’d recommend a 65L or larger.
How to choose a backpacking pack
Once you’ve chosen the right size and capacity for your backpack, you’ll want to think about the features that will be most important to you. Some backpacks come with built-in rain covers, while others have pockets and compartments specifically designed for different types of gear. Consider the features that are most important to you, and choose a backpack that has those features.
Let’s talk about how the backpack fits you. It’s crucial that the backpack fits you comfortably. Otherwise, you’ll be in discomfort during your hike. A well-fitting shoulder strap and hip belt will help distribute the weight of your backpack evenly across your body, making it more comfortable to carry. Also, ensure the backpack has a good ventilation system to keep your back cool and dry.
Another tip is to try on different backpacks with weight inside. This will give you an idea of how comfortable the backpack is when fully loaded. Adjust the straps and belts to find the most comfortable fit. You can even walk around the store with the backpack on to see how it feels when you’re moving. This is one of my favorite tips about ‘How to choose a backpacking pack.’ Giving yourself some real-life situations is perfect.
Regarding durability, look for backpacks made from high-quality materials that can withstand the wear and tear of backpacking. Also, look for backpacks with reinforced stitching and thick straps. These are signs of a well-made backpack that will last for many future adventures.
8 Best Backpacking Backpacks for you
Why this one: I’m a bit biased because this is my bag, but it’s the best backpacking backpack on the market. It might be a bit pricey, but it’s worth it. I’m going on five years and have put hundreds of rugged miles on it. Highly recommend.
Why this one: REI’s done extensive research on how to make an impressive bag, and they nailed it. With enough room to make a four-day trip, you can enjoy your trek without breaking the bank.
Why this one: If you push the boundaries in the wild, Mystery Ranch is for you. Their packs can hold up to 150 pounds comfortably and allow you to put serious miles between you and the trailhead.
Why this one: Osprey doesn’t mess around with their bags. As one of the top brands on the market, they consistently produce 10/10 bags. In addition, their AirScape back panel keeps the air flowing, so you don’t feel gross at the end of the day.
Why this one: Gregory makes incredible, long-lasting bags, and this one’s no different. So if you want a dependable bag, choose Gregory. This is perfect for trips between 2 and 5 nights.
Why this one: $199 is a steal and won’t break the bank. This is perfect for your first adventures for those who are newer and want a smaller bag. Plus, none of the sizes crack 3 pounds which is fantastic.
Why this one: Arc’teryx’s RotoGlide hip belt will help provide added stability and make your trip more enjoyable. Plus, at 4 pounds, it’s a perfect weight.
Why this one: Big Anges’ bags are new, but they make some of the best gear on the market. Weighing right around 4 lbs, it won’t weigh you down!
As you’re looking for your new bag, do your due diligence and find one that works. You want your trip to be a success, and getting one that works for you will make it better! Feel free to reach out to me on Instagram if you have questions on how to choose a backpacking pack.
In conclusion, when choosing a backpack, it’s important to consider its size, capacity, features, fit, durability, and design. Make sure to try on different backpacks with weight inside, adjust the straps and belts to find the most comfortable fit, and choose a backpack that you like the look of. With a little bit of planning and research, you’ll be able to find the perfect backpack for your next adventure.
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Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.
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