The ultimate guide to picking the best hiking backpack for you
When it comes to hiking, having the right backpack can make all the difference. A backpack that is too small can leave you without essential gear, while a backpack that is too large can cause serious pain and discomfort. In this guide, we will show you how to pick the perfect hiking backpack for your needs.
GoArmy offer a wide selection of high quality military surplus backpacks without the big brand price tags.
Choosing the Correct Size
The size you need will depend on the type of hiking you plan to do and the length of your journey. For day hikes, a smaller backpack between 30 and 50 litres will suffice. If you are planning a longer hike or carrying more gear, you will need a larger pack between 60 and 80 litres.
Some Features to Consider
- Adjustable straps – for a comfortable fit
- Breathable fabric – to prevent sweating
- Pockets and compartments – for easy access to gear
- Hydration bladder – for carrying water
- Rain cover – for protection from the elements
You will need to consider the features that are most important to you. Some packs come with built-in rain covers, while others have hydration reservoirs and bladders for easy access to water. If you are carrying a lot of gear, look for a pack with external attachment points so you can easily add on extra gear. Other features to consider include comfortable shoulder straps and a hip belt for proper weight distribution, as well as compartments and organisational pockets for easy access to your belongings.
There are three types of backpack frames: frameless, external frame, and internal frame.
Frameless: Frameless backpacks are the lightest and cheapest option, but offer the least support. For those looking for something very lightweight, a backpack with a removable frame or no frame at all is for you. These packs are typically not as durable as other types of packs, and are not well-suited for carrying heavy loads.
External Frame: An external framed backpack is designed for hikers who will be carrying heavy and maybe slightly abnormal loads. Although they offer good ventilation, these packs are less common unless you are carrying abnormally sized gear and equipment like inflatable boats.
Internal Frame: Internal frame packs offer the best balance of weight and support, and are the most popular type of pack for most hikers. These packs are designed to hug your body and distribute the weight evenly, making them more comfortable to carry. They also provide good ventilated and typically have more compartments and organizational pockets than other types of packs
Most backpacks will have their own ventilation system integrated into the back panel. Some hiking backpacks will have a breathable mesh, which rests next to your back allowing the backpack to rest a few inches away from you. This is a tension-mesh suspension that allows air to flow and enhances back ventilation. Other hiking backpack ventilated systems might have channels cut into the foam back panel. These channels help to circulate air and prevent the build-up of sweat. When choosing a hiking backpack, consider the ventilation system to ensure you stay cool and comfortable on your hike.
Once you have chosen the hiking backpack that is right for you, it is important to test the fit before hitting the trail. To do this, first fully load the backpack with all the gear and supplies you will need for your hike. Then, put on the backpack and adjust the straps so that the pack sits snugly against your back. Next, try walking around and doing some basic hiking movements to see how the backpack feels. Be sure to pay attention to how the straps feel and if the pack is stable on your back. If you are comfortable with the fit of the backpack, then you are ready to hit the trail!
If you are planning on hiking, it is important to choose the right backpack for you. There are many factors to consider, such as the type of frame, the amount of ventilation, and the size of the backpack. It is also important to test the fit of the backpack before heading out on your hike. By following these tips, you will be sure to find the perfect backpack for your needs.
Visit goarmy.co.uk for a range of high quality, durable backpacks without the big brand price tags.