How to Choose a Backpack?
5 Things You Should Know
Looking for a hiking backpack and don’t know where to invest? Nothing to worry about; we’re here to help you with this. You would be overwhelmed with various combinations of sizes and styles of backpacks available in the market. It’s the reason that encourages us to put together this essential guide.
It’s easy to find a suitable backpack model according to your needs. Just follow these 5 simple steps to know how to choose a backpack:
Firstly, you must know how big backpack you need to buy. For this purpose, you need to brainstorm about your hiking activities.
For instance, consider the days for which you’re planning hiking and the gears you’re going to carry with you. So, collecting all the gears before buying a backpack is a wise step.
The volume (litres) a backpack can hold defines the size of the backpack. Generally, following guidelines can help you choose the right backpack.
- Weekend trips: 30-50 L
- Day trips: 15-20L
- Multiday (3+ nights): 50-80L
Every ounce matters while packing a backpack. But, it’s not the case for backpack weight. In fact, a backpack should be the last option to consider while cutting the overall weight of the backpack. Otherwise, you may lose comfort, especially while carrying heavy loads.
Backpack sizing is the most important thing to consider while buying a backpack. A backpack that doesn’t fit you properly is of no use. Moreover, it’s the torso length that matters in fitting than your height.
You might be wondering how you would know your torso length. Well, the determination of your torso length is a quick and easy step. You just need a tape measure and a friend. After having both, follow these simple steps to measure your torso length.
- Tilt your head forward and feel the bony bump along your neck base. It’s the C7 vertebra and top of your torso length.
- Now it’s time to find out the bottom of your torso length, the top of hipbones. For this purpose, put your hand on your hips with thumbs pointing backward.
- Request your friend to measure between the top and bottom points of your torso. It’s your torso length.
Now it’s time to know how manufacturers determine size with torso length in mind. Here’s the guide about it:
- Large/Tall: 20” and up
- Medium/regular: 18” to 19½”
- Small: 16” to 17½”
- Extra small: up to 15 ½.”
Hiking is all about health and well being. So, it would be wrong to carry gear harmful to your health and the environment for hiking. All you intent to go hiking for health improvement will be meaningless.
That’s why we recommend you choose environmental-friendly and health-conscious gear for hiking.
Outdoor gears and clothing mostly feature PFCs to add dirt and water repellent properties. But, PFCs are chemical and harmful for humans as well as the environment.
Green peace reports that PFCs are harmful to the immune and reproductive system and are also potentially carcinogenic. Besides, the report also revealed the slow breakdown mechanism of PFCs, which is dangerous for the environment.
So, it would not be a wise decision to buy hiking gear with PFCs. But the question is: how would you know whether a hiking gear has PFCs or not. Well, proper research can save you. Just go to the websites of different companies and get the information from there.
Women’s & Youth specific
Many manufacture design backpacks to fit the female body. But the fact is women don’t feel any difficulty in wearing a unisex backpack. Even some women find the unisex backpacks more comfortable with a better fit.
However, manufacturers design female-specific backpacks with women in their minds. As a result, such backpacks have narrower shoulder width, shorter torso length, and curved waist belts.
Likewise, if you’re planning to take your kids on an adventurous hiking trip, consider buying a youth-specific backpack. Such backpacks come with smaller capacities and adjustable suspension to meet a child’s growth needs.
To get more detailed information about backpack models, read the article top 10 Backpacks for Hiking (coming soon).