Buying Your Hiking Backpack – What Is Really Important?
A backpack is a must have when hiking is considered. There’s always the pros and cons but what is really important in buying your hiking backpack?
Do you want a good investment or are you just planning to buy one for a single usage?
Below, I outlined some of the important things to consider in buying your backpack.
For the past couple of years of hiking, I found out that these things are the most important, so take note and choose your backpack carefully!
Weight and Capacity
When a backpack weights lighter but can accommodate more capacity, it’s a plus!
You need to consider that there should be an extra allowance for packing your gears and stuff.
A planned single day hiking might turn out to be a multi-day, so a bigger capacity might come in handy!
The bag needs to be durable but lightweight so it will not put too much stress on your shoulders.
Sweat is inevitable when hiking and doing outdoor activities.
A ventilated back panel is a must!
Whenever you are sweating, you need evaporation.
In order to do that, you need ventilation. Otherwise, you’ll be going home sick!
Look for a backpack that has a good quality of back panel ventilation and you’re good to go!
I’ve been asked by a lot of hikers several times about which backpacks are the best for an all-around hiking experience. Many seem to be having trouble finding a backpack that caters to both all multi-day long hikes and long distance backpacking. Well, time and time again, I recommend my picks for the best hiking backpacks below. While these 5 picks are all great for all types of hiking and backpacking, they do have their own pros and cons, which I spelled out below.
Top 5 Best Hiking Backpacks 2017
By far the cheapest on the list, the Everest Hiking Backpack, is a lightweight, inexpensive, and meets the size requirements of carry-on luggage. If you’re looking for a simple with not much frills and features, this hiking pack is the best pick. I would not recommend this though for heavy use.
- Highly adjustable and custom fit for all torso sizes Huge main compartment, plenty of room for packing
- Solid compression straps allow neat packing and secure everything Water resistant fabric
- Medium sized
- Not suitable for heavy usage Higher Sternum strap Suitable only for starter packs
- Single person usage
If you’re not sold on the Everest Hiking Backpack, the Deuter Futura Pro 42 Backpack might interest you.
Don’t let the lesser known name scare you, the Deuter Futura Pro 42 Backpack might be the backpack you’re looking for! This backpack comes in handy when you want a good balance and a comfortable day pack. It also comes in with a built-in rain cover. This backpack is best suited for day hikes and extended hikes.
- Vented back panel Built-in rain cover
- Good balance from the swivel waist belt
- Comfortable hip belt with extended foam Durable
- Streamlined and organized
- Many pockets and room for packing Waterproof zipper pockets
- Includes top compartment, sleeping bag compartment, hiking pool/axe loops
- No pockets on waist belt At 3lbs weight, slightly heavy Suitable only for 1-2 days backpacking Pockets on the front are smalls
If you’re looking for a hiking backpack that can serve a lot of different purposes, the Lowe Alpine AirZone Pro 45:55 is the best pick! A 4-season hiking pack, this backpack has a lot of space to stuff your extra gears.
Capacity 45 L+10 L extension/ 55L / 2745+610 cu in
- Suspension provides more comfort
- Includes multiple pockets (waist belt, water bottle pocket), features and more access points
- Double purpose: can be used for hiking and travelling Includes rain cover and water resistance
- Lightweight material might pose concerns on durability Too many dangling straps
- Design issue – reaching for side pockets might be a bit uncomfortable
But if you want something brandy and versatile, the Osprey brand of backpacks is your best pick!
Capacity 2600 cu in / 42 L
- Very versatile, suitable for almost any kinds of backpacking adventures Made from lightweight materials
- Ventilation via the Airspace back panel
- Go anywhere, do anything type of pack Durable
- Multi-day hikes
- Sternum strap too high
- Side straps compress the storage for the side pockets Bigger belt size pose some issues with long torsos A little pricey
Next is the TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack. With slightly higher price than the Everest Hiking Pack, this affordable pack is suitable for hardcore hikers looking for a reliable pack that can accommodate multi-day hikes.
Capacity: 3,400 cubic inches or 55 liters
- Compact internal frame Includes rain cover
- Includes height-adjustable straps for different sizes
- Suitable for multi-day hikes with its bigger capacity of 55 liters/3,400 cubic inches
- Compatibility with many hydration systems
- Contoured pads
- Could be carry-on luggage Pass-through side pockets Separate sleeping bag
Sometimes, people have very specific requirements as to what features their backpack should have. Same thing with hiking. Most of the products I’ve mentioned will do magnificently, and yet, they are your typical backpacks without any unique paradigm.
Hydration is important for hiking. So, sometimes people need easy access to their water supply. All of the backpacks mentioned above can help you with that, however, that cannot give you an instant access. That doesn’t mean there are no backpacks to help you with that. You are welcome to have a look at hydration backpacks. Their main purpose is to provide instant access to your water supply. Forget about getting thirsty even if you’re climbing a mountain.