[Guest Post] How To Choose Your Backpack For Hiking?

uying the right backpack for an adventurous tour is like buying a pair of shoes that you’d wear regularly. Just the way you can’t afford to have shoe-bites, you can’t afford to make a mistake with choosing your hiking backpack. It can be your best friend or your worst enemy (on the trip) if you know or not know how to use it right.

We have brought you some tips to help you packing for your next adventure. But the very first important step is to choose the right backpack.

What is the right backpack size for you?

The first determinant is to consider the weight you need to carry with you. The weight of your backpack will depend on the duration of your hiking tour. Take down some tips from real experiences – here are some ideas if you need help with that – and shape your own itineraries.

Note down the exact duration of your trip and everything that revolves around that. You might be a bohemian to not have a fixed schedule, but it is better to have an estimate and chalk out the necessities you’d need for the minimum number of days of travel. Consider aspects like staying in an overnight camp, trekking for summit climbs, crossing difficult terrains, and more. All these will help you determine the gear you’d need to take. Read below to know the right backpack size for your trip.

One or two days of hiking tour

The backpacks for your one or two days of hiking tour will be light. You need to carry a load of about 5 kg. These backpacks come anywhere in 20 to 30-liter sizes. Try to buy the ones that come with a hip belt so that the weight distributes evenly.

More than two days

Hiking for more than two days definitely doesn’t mean ten long days, but we assume that it can go up to at least five. You can opt for backpack sizes of 40, 50 or 60 liters. These bags can load gear of about 8 to 13 kg. Make sure your backpack has wide straps, hip belts and distributes weight evenly to reduce discomfort. The average backpack size of 50 liters can sustain you for three days, but if you plan to stay longer you should choose the bigger size of 60 liters.

Expedition hiking tours

Expedition tours through hiking or trekking can go longer than a week. You need to carry a lot more load and use a durable backpack. These backpack sizes range from 70 to 90 liters and help you carry 15 to 30 kg load. You need to choose options that have durable internal frames made of stainless steel or aluminum.

There are plenty of good quality hiking backpacks that you can choose and buy for your next trip. However, you must note that carrying heavy backpacks will be way more strenuous than the other options. You should either cut down on your travel days or make alternatives arrangement to have access to basic necessities. If you don’t have either of these options and you need to carry the heavy load, be careful about the fit, the grip and try to minimize your strain balancing out the gear weight.

Things to consider on choosing a hiking backpack

Consider your height

The foremost thing to consider on choosing a backpack is your height. You need to measure your torso and match it with the backpack options you like. Nowadays, backpacking has become easy as the products are designed according to your body size.

Ask a friend to help you measure your torso, by placing one end of the tape where your neck meets the shoulders, and the other end, on the protruding part of the vertebra. Next, place your hands on the hips to feel the hip bone, spread the thumbs towards the spine and ask your friend to measure the space between both the thumbs. The measurement gives you the torso length and you can choose your backpack as listed below:

  • People with a torso length of 15 ½ inches or less must use extra small backpacks
  • People with a torso length of 16 to 17 ½ inches must use small backpacks
  • People with a torso length of 18 to 19 ½ inches must use medium or regular backpacks
  • People with a torso length of 20 inches or more must use large or tall backpacks

Try the product and check the straps

The most important strap of a backpack is the hip belt. According to the size of the bag, it can be ending anywhere around your waistline or your hips. No matter where you can tie up the backpack, you need to check how well it tightens and loosens. Next, check the belts on the lower shoulders as you pull them up. The straps must have a consistent curve that goes around the shoulders from front to back.

Check how wide your shoulders straps can go across the chest, and then load the straps on top of the shoulders straps. These are easy to adjust according to your usability. While hiking, you might have to adjust the straps to a certain degree to make it easy for you to carry the backpack.

When you test the backpack, make sure you add weight to it. You must also check if the mentioned product features are on par with the one you bought. Some features to keep in mind are lightweight, ventilation system, compartments, waterproof, and space for essential gear.

Fill in your comments and queries and tell us where you’re planning to hike next!

About the author

Mads Phikamphon lived in Asia for more than a year. After coming home to Denmark, is constantly bugging his wife about when and where they should travel again.

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