How to Choose a Backpack and Not Get Lost in All the Options
A backpack is a necessary item for camping and, sometimes, in everyday life. But when choosing one for yourself or for your child, we often pay more attention to the design rather than other important parameters.
5-Minute Crafts decided to find out what things we should pay attention to when choosing a backpack to prevent a backache and wasting money.
Decide what you need it for
Before you go to the store, you can ask yourself several questions that might help you. If you are not planning to use the backpack to carry lots of stuff, the requirements are lower. You should consider these things:
- time of year and destination
- how many days you are going to travel
- the number of things you need
- the kind of activity you will do
- the landscape
- how big and strong you are
After you determine your goal, you can start choosing the model, size, weight, and shape.
How much space you need
- If you are traveling for 1-3 days, you need about a 30-50-liter backpack. Of course, you have to be able to pack well. If you do, your legs will thank you.
- If you are traveling for 3-5 days, you need a 50-80-liter backpack. This is great for short trips too.
- If you are going for 5 or more days, you need at least a 70-liter backpack. It’s usually a good choice for winter camping that lasts more than 2 days. A big backpack is good for additional clothes, a warm sleeping bag, and a tent. Also, these backpacks are perfect if you are traveling with kids because parents usually carry most of the equipment.
Internal and external frame
- There are backpacks with internal and external frames. The former helps you to keep your balance on a surface that is not flat, it’s close to the back, and additional parts place the weight on the hips.
- The latter is better for big weights. It’s got good ventilation and a lot of options to place things in different ways. The metal carcass (often made of aluminum) is outside of the backpack.
- There are frameless backpacks that are good for short and light camps. But they are not good for lots of weight.
Every backpack might not have all the things listed below but they are the things you should pay attention to:
- The hip belt is an important element that puts weight on the hips. The belt also has pockets that are great for storing little things like a phone, wallet, gloves, and other things you might need often.
- The chest strap doesn’t allow the straps to fall off the shoulders and helps with equal weight distribution.
- You can put some small things in the front, lower, and side pockets.
- Straps and loops can help carry skis, ice picks, and other stuff.
- The side straps can adjust the volume of the backpack.
- Some backpacks have a drinking system — a water tank with a tube coming out of it. Athletes and tourists often use it because they can drink water and still do what they need to do.
Determine the size
After you’ve chosen the type of backpack you need, choose the one that is best for your body. It has to be in line with the length of your torso and the volume of your hips.
You can find the length of the torso by measuring the distance from the cervical vertebrae to the hip bones. The distance from the upper part of the shoulder straps to the belt should be as long as the torso. Tall people might have short torsos, and short people might have long ones. Some backpacks may be adjusted, and some — may not.
Most of the weight of the backpack (80% or more) has to be supported by the hips. The side straps are usually good for hips of different sizes. Sometimes, slim people can’t make the hip belt tight enough. In this case, they might need a smaller backpack.
Quality and price
An expensive backpack is not necessarily the best. But a high price often indicates a good fabric and great characteristics. So, how much you will spend depends on your goals and your budget. If you go camping rarely, you don’t need to buy an expensive backpack with hundreds of functions. But if you travel for several days at a time, regularly, a good backpack might be worth it.