There are lots of factors to be considered when choosing a backpack for hiking or camping backpack. If the bag is too big, you will be left with too much extra space and unnecessary extra weight. If your backpack is too small, you will not have enough space to fit in all the things you need. If you pick one made with inferior materials, you may get unlucky, and every single thing in your bag will become soaked in the rain.
There are many backpack brands and these brands produce backpacks suited for different purposes. There are traveling, school, hiking backpack and other outdoor activities, etc. In this article, we will guide you on how to pick the right backpack for hiking and also suggest five of the best brands of backpacks you can choose from.
When going on a one-day hiking trip, a hiker can carry the same size and type of backpack a high school student carries every day to school. After all, he would need just a few things for the day, and they may definitely fit into the backpack. However, when it comes to a camping trip where the hiker has to spend some days away from his comfort zone, he has to look out for the best backpack for hiking that will contain everything he will need for the number of days the trip is slated to last.
Having this in mind, it is left for you to either choose a backpack that will suit your need and provide an exciting camping expedition or choose one that will contain a few things, stuff your days up with hassles and make your camping experience a miserable one. For a fun camping experience, have these guides in mind when selecting a backpack from your local vendor. We have also listed some outstanding features you need to look forward to when picking a backpack for hiking.
TOP FIVE BRANDS OF BACKPACK FOR HIKING
Hikpro Ultralight Packable Travel Backpack [Best Hiking Backpack]
The Hikpro Ultralight Packable Travel Backpack has a capacity of 25 liters and has a weight of 8 Oz. This hiking backpack is designed with a high-quality water-resistant nylon material. It has many pockets, which can serve myriad of purposes, and the body is reinforced in more than 12 places using very sophisticated Bartack process. It comes with a warranty of 5 years by Hikpro. This backpack for hiking is very comfortable, and its incredible light weight makes it all the more sleek and stylish. It has adjustable frame and straps which are ideal for distribution of the weight to ensure comfort, and the body is made with high-quality zippers and materials.
This camping backpack has a capacity of 40 liters. It has six adjustable straps designed to distribute the weight accordingly and ensure your comfort. It comes in medium and large size which can contain enough gear that can last you for a week long hiking trip. When you want a bag which combines affordability and high performance, this is the bag to look out for. The frame can be adjusted to fit the spine and have the weight effectively distributed. It contains an interior bladder for hydration, water resistant material and zippers and removable rain cover designed to keep your items safe during the rains. Though the capacity of this bag may not be much for a long time trip, when you consider the price and the comfort, you will realize that it is a nice choice to make.
If you need a backpack that is so comfortable and yet so beautiful, then you should consider buying the Outdoor Master Hiking Backpack. This backpack has a carrying capacity of 50 liters, and many other pockets where you can fit in as many gears and items as you wish. It has a weight of 2.6 pounds, and the dimensions are 23 x 14 x 9 inches. It has a meshed air ventilation system and space for a hydration pack. The material has water resistant coating and an extra pocket for water resistant rain cover. At the cost of $ 39.99, you can buy the Outdoor Master Hiking Backpack and have a fun hiking and backpacking experience.
The Teton Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack has a capacity of 55 liters and weighs 4.5 pounds. It is made with very strong 600D Ripstop Nylon material, and this makes the backpack so strong that no matter what you through into it, it remains tear resistant. It is very studied and has enough padding on the shoulder straps, the back, the waist strap and the top handle. It comes with space for a hydration pack, and an extra raincoat is covering to protect your items from the rain.
The Outlander Packable Backpack is sometimes made of cloth materials, and other times leather material. It has multiple pockets and is packable (it can be folded into itself) when not in use. So you can fold your Outlander Packable Backpack and toss it into another bag until the time you’ll want to use it. It is very lightweight, and durable. It comes in 33 liters and 20-liter sizes; hence it may not be suitable for a long time hiking trip where a lot of gear is required. It is made with water resistant material.
Factors to consider when choosing backpack for hiking
The most vital thing you need to consider when choosing your backpack for hiking is a comfort. Remember that you are going to be stuffing a lot of things into that bag, and it is going to be hung mostly on your back. So you need to consider your comfort. The comfort of your spine and your back as a whole is very important, especially because the content of your bag may weigh up to a hundred pounds.
Different parts of your spine react to pressure in different ways, but generally, the more parts of your spine that come in contact with the load, the more comfortable you get, and the easier it becomes to handle the pressure. Let’s use an analogy here; have you ever tried lifting a gallon of water with one finger? You will find out that it is too heavy, and will even threaten to break your fingers. But if you try lifting the same gallon with two fingers, though it will also be heavy, the pain and pressure reduce a little. This continues to reduce as you add more fingers, but when you use the whole of one hand, you find out that it becomes very much easier to lift the gallon. This same thing applies to backpacks. A good backpack for hiking comes with a hip belt, which when you buckle it up, transfers some weight of the load to the hips. It also has a shoulder strap which helps fasten the load on the shoulder, and also a sternum strap, which moves some of the pressure away from the shoulder.
You have to check these things very well before making your choice. Check if the shoulder straps fit comfortably, check the sternum strap and find out if it crosses the chest a point where you won’t feel choked when you wear it for a very long time. Also, check the hip belt, buckle it and check if it fits comfortably. The hip belt needs to be a position where it successfully transfers much of the weight to the hips. This is a comfortable position because the pelvis bone and the leg muscles are stronger than those of the shoulder and the upper parts of the body. Although every good backpack for hiking has enough padding around the hip area, still test the belt and check if there are any chafe points, also be sure that it wouldn’t slide lower than your waist region. Test the straps and make sure that they are adjustable because you will need to adjust them from time to time.
After making sure that the straps are comfortable, next thing you should consider is the frame. The frame of most good backpack for hiking is designed to fit the complex shape of the spine. Some of them are adjustable such that it can be made to curve like the spine, thus helping to alleviate the pressure. Some of the backpacks for hiking have removable pads which can be removed, heated and adjusted to fit the lumbar region of your body.
Having covered the issue of comfort, let’s talk about some other points. When choosing a hiking or camping backpack, one of the first things to consider is what you are going to use the backpack for. As said earlier, for a day’s hiking exercise, you can use the kind of backpack a high school student uses, but for a week-long hiking adventure, you will most probably need to have a lot of things in your backpack. You also need to consider the distance you are traveling to. Below are some of the factors you need to take into consideration when choosing a proper backpack for hiking use.
Volume of the backpack
When going on a hiking trip, you will need a lot of gear. Because of this, the volume of your backpack for hiking is something you need to pay very close attention to. For a trip of five days to seven days, you should consider buying a pack of over 4,000 cubic inches. You have to also bear in mind that the weather up in the mountain is unpredictable; hence your backpack should be able to have enough room for everything you will need for cold weather.
You should also consider the weight of the load you want to carry in your backpack. You will need a bag with enough bells and whistles that will have enough space for you to carry everything you need for your mountaineering adventure. Considering this, you need to make sure that the bag you end up selecting is resilient enough to withstand the weight of the gears you will need throughout the expedition.
Space is very essential in a backpack for hiking. Some bags have a top zipper which all things must pass through before they can be fitted into the bag. Some have different side zippers which open into other smaller compartments. You can fit some items, including sleeping bags and clothes into these compartments. The side zippers and netted side compartments are also useful for accommodating bottled beverages which you may need on the go.
When walking a long distance, you will need to stay hydrated. Many backpacks today have compartments meant for water bottles. These compartments are mostly located on both sides of the bag, just above the hips. Some new ones now come with smaller compartments inside for carrying water bladder; these bladders come with an exterior hose which one can use to suck the water directly from the outside without needing to open the bag.
Sometimes, you find out that some of the load you need for your hiking trip cannot fit into the interior of the backpack. In such scenario, it becomes necessary for your bag to have external straps which you can use to fasten such loads. External straps are also useful in stabilizing your load because you can choose to tighten it down for more comfort.
In general, before you choose a bag, consider what you are using it for, and look out for those features you need, which would be useful for your trip.
How to take care of your backpack for hiking
For hikers and travelers in general, the backpack is a very important item that needs to be well taken care of to avoid damage such as tearing of the zip or the body. To maintain your backpack for hiking or travel/trip backpack, you need to follow the tips below.
Be careful with sharp objects
Be careful when packing sharp and metallic objects so that they don’t tear the bag.
Always keep it clean
After every trip, clean the bag. Open all the compartments and zips and keep it tidy, keep it in a clean place until the next time you will need it.
When you clean your backpack for hiking, do not leave it in the sun for a long time because ultraviolet rays of the sun can be harmful to the nylon fabric of the bag.
Be gentle with the zipper, don’t force it.
If you do not want the zipper of your backpack to last long, avoid overstuffing the bag with items. When you overstuff the bag, it may be difficult to close the zippers. And this might make you want to force it to close. When you overstuff your bag, don’t fall for the temptation of using the zipper to exert pressure, instead, use your hand to pull the contents together and try zipping it close. If it still doesn’t work, then you may consider removing some items from the bag.
Don’t apply so much pressure when trying to pull the zip across a snag. Instead, pull the metallic pull tabs to move the pressure away from the zip. At this point, the silent zippers which do not have metallic pull tabs become more advantageous. Whichever kind of zipper you get, just always bear it in mind that when you pull it the longer it lasts.
Keep the Zippers clean
To extend the life of your backpack for hiking, you need to always keep the zippers clean. As much as you can, make sure grit and dirty things do not get stuck in between the teeth of the zipper, especially when you are in a dusty environment. It is very common to see dirty zippers, in fact, it is easier for the zipper of a backpack for hiking to get dirty than it is for trip/traveling backpacks and if the dirt is not removed, it will reduce the lifespan of the zipper. You can remove the dirt by washing with soap and water, and a washcloth.
Keep the zippers lubricated
For your zippers to run smoothly, you need always to keep them lubricated. Clean the zippers very well before you apply lubrication.
Use silicon spray to polish any point where the material of the bag is in contact with the external frame. That way, you get to avoid some unwanted squeaks. If your backpack for hiking comes with an external frame, it is advisable to have extra clevis pin and split rings just in case the external frame misbehaves, to avoid being left stranded.
Always check those stress points like the shoulder strap, suspension stabilizers, and hip belt to make sure that there is no wear or tear. And whenever there is a tear, stitch it up with strong threads.
Always keep your backpack in a cool, airy and dry place. Make sure it does not get into contact with mildew because this can spoil even bags made with waterproof fabrics.