Hiking, camping and backpack go together like pepper and salt. There’s no way you can enjoy a hiking trip without taking some essentials items with you, and if you’re planning to be into the wild for more than one day, even more so. Just as there are different types of outdoor adventures, there are different types of outdoor backpacks to make the experience more convenient and complete. That being said, let’s see what you need to know prior to choosing a backpack or more backpacks for your upcoming plans…
First, let’s start with some basic terminology, When you see the phrase backpack capacity, bare in mind that this has a lot to do with the length of your trip and how much weight you can carry for a certain period of time. Backpack features are the different refinements that have to do with how the backpack works for you regarding some of your individual needs. Backpack fit is a term related to the length of your torso (often confused with height). Now, let’s go on with the different types of outdoor backpacks according to their capacity.
The Weekend Choice (1-3 nights; 30-50 liters)
In order to use such outdoor backpack, you must be able to plan carefully and have self-discipline. These are used for keeping things light and simple, so the most important thing is to avoid packing more than you need. The best thing is how light it will feel on your feet not having to carry something heavy.
The Multiday Option (3-5 nights; 50-80 liters)
These are the most popular type on almost every backpacks sale and for a good reason too. They are an excellent choice for trips that last 3 or more days, or less than 3 days. People also use them for backcountry skiing and as overnighters.
The Extended-trip Deal (5+ nights; 70 liters or larger)
Extended trips call for extended capacity. These packs are the usual choice when it comes to winter treks that are to last more than one night. The reason for this is their ability to accommodate extra clothing, a tent and a warm sleeping bag. They’re also used by parents who end up carrying a lot of things for their kids so that the experience can be more enjoyable.
Now let’s move on to some of the most important features you need to consider.
- Internal-frame – This is a body-hugging type of frame that can help keep you stable on uneven terrain, especially for when going off-trail. These usually feature plethora of load-support technologies, the purpose of which is to transfer the load to the hips.
- External-frame – This type of frame is the right choice for hikers carrying heavy, irregular load (inflatable kayaks for instance). These usually offer great ventilation and many options for good organization.
- Frameless backpacks: This type is for those who like their hikes ultralight. They are for people who prefer to move very fast and therefore the frame is removable.
There are three types of pockets: elasticized, hipbelt, shovel and front. The elasticized ones are flat when empty, but when you put something in the, they stretch. The hipbelt pockets ate used fro keeping small items that you need at hand at all times – your phone, some snacks or a flashlight. The shovel pockets are flapes stitched onto the front of the pack and feature a buckle closure. Hikers usually put maps or some lightweight items there. The last type are in fact added to the exterior of the shovel pockets and are only used for keeping smaller, lightweight items.
The most standard way to access one’s belongings from a camping backpack is the top loading opening. When organizing with this type of access, the things you won’t be needing right until the end of the day should go at the bottom of the backpack. Some models also have a zippered front panel or a side zipper for easier access to the items placed on the bottom.
The sweaty-back syndrome isn’t anyone’s favorite. This is something that occurs mostly with camping backpacks that have an internal frame. This is why some packs feature a suspended mesh back panel. This is a trampoline-like addition that separates the frame and your back for about a few inches and this may your back rests against a breathable mesh. An alternative way to solve this issue and promote airflow are the ventilation chimneys which are a part of some backpacks’ panels.
Other Useful Additions Not to Miss Out on
Sleeping Bag Compartment
This is a very useful addition usually found at the bottom of the backpack that allows you to get your sleeping bag quickly, without too much effort. You can also use it for some other item you’d like to have easy access to.
A lightweight backpack that features a rather minimalistic hipbelt and lumbar pad can cause sore spots on the hiker’s hips and lower pack. If this occurs toy you, it’s smart to start using a cushier hipbelt.
If you think there’s a chance of rain on your trip, then this is an item you shouldn´t leave without. Although the backpack’s interiors are treated with a waterproof coating, they still have spots through which water can enter, such as the zippers and the exterior itself if it soaks enough water. This is when a raincover comes in to save the day and all of your belongings. However, there is an alternative – you can put all of your items in separate dry sacks, but it’s a bit more time consuming than simply getting a raincover. Plus, with a raincover, you can be protected even if the weather changes unexpectedly, provided you have taken it with you.
Last, but not least, almost all packs feature an internal sleeve into which a hydration reservoir can be slipped. This item is usually sold separately along with 1 or 2 “hose portals” through which you would have to slip the sip tube.
Best Hiking Backpack
Backpack trends these days are more minimalist, versatile and ergonomically designed to offer space and ultimate comfort. Right? A pack is one of the gears that you’ll be wearing for hours when going for a hike so you’ll have to go for the right one which meets your needs and makes your life easier.
This rock climbing backpack review will show you which backpack you’ll need to invest in whether you’re talking a 50L small hiking backpack or an 80L pack for multi-day hiking, we’ll help you out on how to identify the one which best suits your needs.
How do I Choose Hiking Backpack?
Just like finding an excellent travel companion, there’re some critical considerations that you need to evaluate before purchasing a backpack. Your pack will add weight to your hiking gear and so to keep the overall weight down we recommend a lightweight, durable and comfortable product.
That said, in the new era of lightweight backpacking, you may want to choose a pack with a large capacity. A 40-50L pack should fit a seasoned backpackers gear. Another critical factor to consider is fit- measured by your torso length and hip belt size.
Also, don’t forget an adaptable backpack should not break your bank. We recommend you go for a solid pack that meets your budget needs but also appeals to your style and fashion preferences. Since the entire outdoor industry is going light and versatile, we’ve handpicked top three best camping packs 2018 offers in the market right now. Let’s dive right in.
Why we like it: The Teton Sports Mountain Adventurer 4000 backpack is loaded with a ton of unique features, is super versatile and comfortable with a lot of room for whatever you may want to bring. It’s also affordable making it the best hiking pack and our editor’s choice for multi-day hiking adventures.
Ultra-lightweight Internal Frame
This sixty-six lighter backpack features bungee storage that allows you to keep all your hiking gears organized without breaking your back. The shoulder straps are padded which makes it easier to carry a full pack for extended periods. Besides, the shoulder straps feature webbing loops that are used to secure the water hose.
Also, the internal frame on the backpack features aluminum construction with high-load buckles for stability to hold up the pack under heavy loads.
Extra-large Sleeping Bag Compartment
Several backpack Amazon reviewers found that the multiple compartments in this versatile backpack gave them many access points so you won’t have to waste time looking for what you need. There’s front access to the main compartment and a separate section for a sleeping bag with a standard horseshoe zippered closure for more room during long trips.
In addition to the features above, Teton 4000 comes with a hydration pack sleeve and water hose ports located on the two top sides of the pack. There’s also an integrated Ripstop poncho with several tie-off points that can for use in a camp with 2000mm water-resistant coating that can with a waterproof shelter.
Teton camping adventure 4000 camping backpack with sleeping bag features plenty of pockets that you can use to stash all your supplies. All the zippers are equipped with pull loops to keep all things securely.
- Includes free tarp/poncho
- Well-made with durable zippers
- Well featured for the value
- Hard to release the Velcro flap on the bottom to get out the rain cover
- The size of the sleeping bag could be improved
Why we like it: This robust 75ltr pack is sturdy and roomy enough to comfortably carry a heavy load that weighs more than 50 pounds. Teton Sports Outfitter 4600 high-performance backpack is the best rock climbing hiking backpack and our best buy with a price tag that’s hard to match any pack in its category.
This best rock climbing backpack features a sleeve bag inside the main compartment which you can use to store a three-liter water bladder and a Velcro tab where it can be securely attached. Also, there’s a handy feature in this waterproof climbing backpack rarely seen in many packs.
The pack includes a zip-away partition inside the main compartment that can carry heavier loads. Also, Teton included a top that is contoured away from your head so that your head will on no occasion come near to the pack.
Teton Outfitter 4600 features several compression straps that are all over the pack which keeps things from shifting. The duo compression straps that run horizontally in front of the backpack are handy for attaching clothes or equipment. The ones on the lower section can be used to connect your tent or sleeping pad.
This pack has so many attachment points that you can get confused to figure out which strap goes where. The removable brain doubles up as a fanny pack when camping.
This innovatively designed pack features two zippered pockets that you can stash your snacks and two mesh side pockets for holding your water bottles. There’s a bigger zippered pocket on the lid and inside it another zippered one that gives you extra storage for extended trips outdoors.
In addition to this, there’s is another stretchy pocket secured with a buckle on the top side that can stretch enough to fit in a pair of shoes. Teton Outfitter 4600 features another zipper that runs down the middle of the pack while the right hip belt is also zippered for storing small items.
- Well-made and sturdy
- Remarkable price
- Very compressible
- Too many compression straps
- No measurements for torso adjustments
- Zippered hip pocket is too far back and hard to open and close
Why we like it: If you’re looking to stay agile when outdoors, Outlife Hiking backpack features a robust design with high-quality nylon construction, durable buckles, water and tear resistant making it the best hiking backpack for the best value.
This backpack is specifically designed to last you a long time. The nylon fabric, waterproof materials and the double layered bottom gives this best hiking backpack extra strength while the EVA padding material on the shoulder strap and waist belt provide comfort when carrying a heavy load. The water-resistant feature included in this pack keeps your things dry when it rains.
60L Large Capacity
This hiking backpack features several large compartments with a main pocket with a drawstring closure and enough room to allow you to carry all that you need for your trip suitable for hiking, camping, sporting activity and occasional outdoor traveling.
In addition to this feature, Outlife included multiple large compartments to keep things organized. The sections include side pockets, a front pocket that gives you easy access, a waist pocket that can hold small items like keys and a bottom pocket that you can put a pair of shoes. Also, this hiking backpack features a protective inner pocket that you can safely keep your laptop or tablet.
The breathable mesh paddings featured in Outlife hiking backpack provides a back-ventilation for great aeration to keep your back cool and dry during a long hike. The padded shoulder strap and waist belt release the stress of a heavy load for added comfort.
The external hanging straps will allow you to carry more things like a sleeping bag, a tripod or trekking poles best for use by both men and women.
- Remarkable storage capacity
- Large zippers with convenient strings loops that make opening and closing easy
- easy to adjust
- The sewing on the straps is lacking
- Short straps at the bottom
How to Pack a Hiking Backpack
If you’re having trouble how to pack your hiking backpack, you need to pack light and small and carry your pack in the plane instead of checking it for the luggage department. We also recommend that you wear your hiking clothes so that you can create more space in the pack.
Also, you can eliminate any extra items that you can purchase at your destination like toiletries and food to further reduce the size and weight of your pack. To protect your backpack when traveling ensure you store in a duffel bag to keep the compartments and straps safe.
How do You Pack a Tent in a Backpack?
A tent is one of the heavy items that you may need for your camping trip. If you pack it the wrong way, it could lead to a back injury. A hiking backpack with an internal frame is spacious enough and will allow you to hold the tent inside but if you’re worried that it’s too big, get a compression bag that will help you as compact as possible.
When you’re hiking, you’ll cover great distances. It’s important to keep the heavier items at the bottom while the lighter ones should be at the top of your backpack. The tent should be packed in the middle to distribute the weight across the pack evenly.
If you’re planning an epic hike or a weekend adventure, keeping your backpack’s weight down is key. A comfortable and lightweight pack will allow you to walk more miles and use less energy. You’ll also need a product that suits your need and features a large capacity so that you fit all your travel essentials if planning a long trip.
If you’re an international traveler and wondering how to pack a backpack, these top three packs we’ve discussed here will be your best bet for lightweight and comfort.