When it comes to outdoor activities, it’s hard to name any essential gear other than the backpack. Whether it’s a short hike or long camping trip, your backpack is the most important thing, and its quality could affect your whole adventure. With today’s new features, there are hundreds of backpack types that you could choose from, which can make it a bit challenging to choose the right one that fits all your needs.
How to choose the right bag for your outdoor adventures?
When you’re getting a new backpack for your next adventure, you need to get the one that fits your activities the most. Each bag has its own capacity, features, and fitting.
Choosing the capacity of the backpack should be based on the nature of the adventures you choose and how long your outdoor activities usually take. Is it a one-day trip? Three- to five-day trip? Or five+ day trip? The duration of the trip is an essential factor when determining the capacity of the bag you’re willing to get. Because if you got a bag that holds 15 to 40 liters for a 5+day trip, you would not be able to pack all of your things.
There are three types of frames you can choose from, frameless, internal frame, and external frame.
- The frameless backpack is typically used for one-day hikes which don’t require much gear. They don’t add weight to your back and are perfect for lightweight activities.
- An internal frame backpack provides better stability than frameless backpacks and are also ideal for lightweight activities. However, the inner frame is usually made from metal and has metal strips.
- External frame backpacks are a lot heavier than frameless bags and internal frame backpacks, but they provide a proper load in the back and the hips.
The padding outside the backpack is usually present on the hip belt to provide stability and comfort while carrying the bag. The padding inside the backpack differs from one backpack to another, and there are lots of options when choosing a backpack based on the inside padding. For example, the AmazonBasics bag provides removable padded dividers for your laptop, camera, and lenses, which allow you to customize the space based on your needs. So basically, you should choose the backpack’s padding based on how fragile the gear you usually carry is.
The most common backpack opening is the top-loading system, which allows you to access your items from the top of the bag. However, it’s harder to reach stuff at the bottom of the bag. Front and bottom openings give you easier access to all the items inside the bag, but this feature is usually present in heavier backpacks that are used for 3 to 5 or 5+ day trips.
There are a few essential features to consider when buying a backpack, such as the ventilation, rain cover, sleeping bag section, attachment points, and extra pockets.
- The ventilation feature is mainly to make the backpack breathable and allows airflow to provide comfort to your back.
- The rain cover feature should be present if you usually hike or camp on rainy days.
- The extra pockets such as side pockets, below side pockets, and internal pockets are essential on 5+ day trips as they allow you to carry as many items as you want.
- The sleeping bag section is not present in all backpacks. But if you go on 1+ day trips, you will definitely need a sleeping bag section so you can easily carry it around with you.
- Only look for backpacks that have attachment points if you use trekking poles or ice axe in your outdoor activities. However, if you don’t use them, you should not worry whether they are there or not.
The backpack size should be based on your weight and height. If you don’t know what size you should get, you can ask someone in the store while you’re purchasing the backpack or check the online charts.
When buying a backpack, you should consider a lot of factors as your backpack plays an important role in how comfortable and smooth your adventure will be. You shouldn’t get a bag just because it looks cool, or it’s trendy; you should choose the one that makes you comfortable on long trips and keeps your items safe. When buying a bag, you should also consider your back’s health. Don’t get a heavyweight bag to carry all your items and then results in damaging your back. If you’re having any shoulder or back problems, it’s preferable to consult a doctor to know what type of bag you can carry during your outdoor activities.