If you are ready to pick up some new gear before you head out on your next back-country hiking trip, then you may be interested in these tips on getting the best backpacking backpacks. Of course, there is not a one-size-fits-all backpack out there because everyone is different and has different needs.
The first tip is to decide what you plan to use the pack for. Decide the kinds of trips you are mostly taking. If you are an avid camper and hiker, the majority of your trips may be a few days to a week or more. These trips require a larger pack than if you simply like to go on day trips or even go out for a couple of hours every day. For the avid campers and hikers, you will want a large pack that can hold all of your gear for several days.
This is the volume aspect of the backpacking backpacks. Most of the expedition-style backpacks can handle a volume of 60 liters and up. Go with the size that will fit your gear. If you like to bring everything but the kitchen sink, then you will want one of the largest packs. In addition to volume, you may want to look at the configuration of the pockets on the exterior as well as the interior so that you are comfortable with the way the pack will organize your equipment and gear.
If you use specialized gear such as crampons, climbing ropes, ice picks, snowshoes, skis, and even a snowboard, you will be able to find backpacking backpacks that are specially designed to allow you to carry these items and other heavy gear. There will be special cords, pockets and strap configurations that make it easy to attach these types of equipment to your pack. This may be a major selling point if you are prone to use these types of things.
Hydration is an important part of backpacking and camping. There are many backpacking backpacks that are designed with a built-in hydration system or you can install your own system. Many people appreciate the packs that don’t make you dig for the water bladder when you want to fill it up. Others have the water bladder much closer to the surface so that it is quite easy to fill. You may prefer water bottles, so having a built-in hydration system is not something you will need.
Depending on where you go camping, you may have a greater need for waterproofing than you might in other places. None of the backpacking backpacks is 100% waterproofed. Most are water-resistant, however. If you are hiking in the Cascades or other areas where it tends to rain frequently, you will probably want a splash cover for your pack. Some packs come with these attached and others have them as a separate fitting cover. Either way, you will be able to protect your pack and your gear from the rain. These also work well if you are crossing a river or doing other things near or around sources of water.
Although all of those features are available in backpacking backpacks, the feature that will make all the difference to you is the fit. Because you are an individual, you will need to be fit individually. It is a good idea to shop where you can try on several types of packs and decide for yourself whether they are comfortable or not. The important points are the shoulder strap, the chest strap, and the hip belt. These must be able to be adjusted to fit your particular body.