Three tips to help you decide on a new hiking backpack are design, size and fit.
1. Design – Backpacks or hiking backpacks come in two design options, outer frame backpacks or inner frame backpacks.
The inner frame backpack is very popular these days. They hug the body more and are generally lighter in weight. They also tend to center your load closer to the natural center of your body and allow hikers to be better balanced which is especially important when walking away from the trail.
Backpacks with an outer frame don’t hug your body as much as they actually allow more air to flow between the backpack and your body. Although this type of backpack is not very popular these days, it is worth looking into. They’re great for larger and heavier loads, come with more outside compartments to organize your gear, and can be much less expensive but are probably better for just hiking.
When you head out to your favorite outdoor store, ask to see and try both design options for comfort and fit before deciding what type of backpack is best for you.
2. VOLUME – The hiking backpacks are measured in liters. Liters determine how much will fit in our backpack. Decide how long your hiking trips will take to determine what size your backpack should be. There is no sense in buying a hiking backpack larger than you will ever need. You will end up carrying extra weight with you as well as extra weight.
3. Fit – In addition to being physically fit for long walks, it is also important that the backpack fits you properly. All hiking patagonia black hole vs north face base camp are measured by torso length. This means that you feel this bone at the base of your neck to your natural waistline. A good outdoor store will measure your torso first to determine what size backpack you need.
Once you know the size you need, the fun part begins. Try different makes and models. For inner frame backpacks, I highly recommend looking at Osprey Backpacks. They actually have adjustable torsos and heat-molded hip straps.
Make sure every backpack you try is filled with heavy equipment to give you a more accurate idea of how the pack will feel and how you will wear it when full.
Adjust all straps, starting with the shoulder straps and then the hip belt. Fasten your chest belt and walk. Not all hiking backpacks are the same.
Many backpack manufacturers now make hiking backpacks specifically for women who have narrow shoulder straps and wider hip straps. Worth a try especially if you are a smaller hiker.