Backpacking lets you explore places in the wilderness that most people never see. Your gear, including your boots, will have a big impact on how much you enjoy your backpacking trip.
Here is the Gear Guy’s guide to picking the perfect pack.
This backpack is functional and affordable. It has features seen in more expensive backpacks, such as shoulder straps, hip belt, and padding on the back. It also has an aluminum frame. The pack can handle multiday trips. It has side compression straps to keep partial loads stable and fabric that is as good as what you find in more expensive packs. Plus, the pack is adjustable to fit a wide range of torso sizes.
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How big should your backpack be?
Backpacks with a capacity of 40-50 liters are generally made for carrying some personal gear – like a sleeping bag, pad, clothes, and some personal items – but not all of the team gear.
If you are planning a backpacking trip that will last a few days, look for a backpack that can hold 50-65 liters of gear and weighs no more than 2.5 pounds when empty.
A backpack that is around 65 liters is good for a weeklong trip. This size is comfortable and can carry up to 40 pounds.
For longer trips that require a lot of gear, you will need a backpack that is 70 liters or larger and has a supportive suspension system. This system will help to carry the weight of your gear more evenly. The backpack should also have additional features, such as compartments and straps, to make it easier to transport your belongings.
The Granite Gear Blaze 60 backpack is a great option for people who need to carry a lot of gear. It’s comfortable to wear, even when carrying up to 50 pounds, due to the lightweight framesheet and foam padding on the shoulder harness and hip belt. These are both adjustable so that they fit users of different torso lengths and waist. The six external pockets include two big pockets that close with zippers and a deep pocket on the front. The lid that comes off can be used as a chest pack. It hangs on the shoulder harness. The Blaze 60 backpack is a great choice for people who need a versatile backpack. It is light weight and can carry a lot. It also compresses well so it doesn’t take up a lot of room.
GET THE RIGHT FIT
If you are still growing, use an adjustable-suspension backpack that can adapt to your body as you grow. You can also use a fixed-suspension backpack, but you might have to buy a new one when you grow out of it.
No matter if the pack has an adjustable or fixed suspension, it is important to fit it correctly for comfort. This requires knowing your torso length. Here’s how to measure it:
Stand up straight and put your hands on the shelf-like top of your hipbones. Your thumbs will point to a spot on your spine. Ask someone to measure how long your torso is from your thumbs to the bone that sticks out at the base of your neck when you tilt your head forward.
A pack is more comfortable when it fits you well. Make sure to try on the pack before buying it to make sure it is comfortable. If it’s not, don’t buy it.
Expert tip: If you don’t want to measure and fit your backpack, you can go to a store that sells outdoor gear. There you can ask someone who works there for help finding a backpack that fits you well.
Deuter Fox 40 The Deuter Fox 40 backpack is a good backpack for young people. It is adjustable to fit torsos from 11-18 inches. It also has two external pockets and multiple attachment points for hanging gear. The backpack is made with durable ripstop fabric.
PICK YOUR FLAVOR
There are many different types of backpacks. Some have different shapes, some open in different ways, and some have more pockets than others. Find the backpack that is right for you and your backpacking style.
Gregory Zulu 55/Jade 53 For people who are serious about backpacking and want a good pack, the men’s Zulu and women’s Jade packs are a good choice. They fit well and have features that other packs do not have. This includes a suspension system that helps to prevent hot spots on your body. This pack is lightweight and can carry up to 40 pounds comfortably. It has an open-air ventilated back panel and an adjustable torso length, which makes it comfortable to wear. The U-shaped zipper opening up the main compartment is a nice touch, as is the integrated rain cover. The large hip belt pockets are also a plus.
Higher prices usually mean that a product is better quality. The materials and construction are more durable, and sometimes the technology is cutting-edge. However, even a lower priced pack can get you into the backcountry.
Osprey Ace 50 The Ace series packs, including the Ace 38 ($140) and Ace 75 ($180), are a good balance between price and quality. The Ace 50’s adjustable harness fits people of different torso lengths, while the Ace 38 fits torsos down to 11 inches and the Ace 70 reaches up to 19 inches. The LightWire frame and plastic framesheet can handle loads of 25-30 pounds or more. Large stretch-mesh front and side pockets and zippered hip belt pockets (on the 50L and 70L) offer abundant external organization, and an integrated rain cover comes in handy. Fits torsos 13-18 inches.
TRY ON THE BACKPACK
Just like you would try on boots before buying them, you should also try on backpacks. This will help you see if the backpack is comfortable and fits well. You should also walk around with the pack to see how it feels. After doing all of these things, you can decide if the backpack is right for you.
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