How to Choose a Hiking Backpack

by Emanuel Tammelin March 06, 2016 0 Comments

Do you need help choosing a hiking backpack for your next hike? Choosing the right backpack can sometimes feel a little bit tricky, but don’t worry, we are here to guide you. When choosing a hiking backpack there are two main things to consider: features and capacity. In this article we have listed some of the most common features as well as capacity recommendations for different hike durations.

 

Features

The first thing to consider for your next backpack purchase is what features you are going to need. Different hikes requires different functions. If you are expecting rain you might need a waterproof backpack, and if the weather is hot you might need a built-in water reservoir etc. Below we have listed some of the features you should consider for your next backpack purchase.

 

waterproof backpack cover

Waterproof
We highly recommend a waterproof backpack (or a backpack that comes with a waterproof cover) if you are expected to hike in rain. What could possible be worse than getting your whole luggage soaked in the early stages of a multi-day hike? All of our hiking backpacks comes with a waterproof cover and a dedicated pocket to store it in.

 

hiking backpack ventilation

Ventilation
Good ventilation is definitely something to look for in a backpack. Two main things makes for good ventilation: thick back panels and breathable material. The combination of these two elements will allow air to circulate between your back and the backpack. A well ventilated backpack makes a big difference for your hiking comfort.

 

hiking backpack padding

Foam Padding
Good padding can prevents soreness, even after many hours of trekking. Look for a backpack with padding that is thick and quite soft.

 

hiking backpack pockets

Pockets
A pocket rich design can be very helpful as more pockets allows for better compartmentalizing of your gear. You definitely want an external pocket for a water bottle as well as other essentials that you want to be able to reach quickly and effortlessly.

 

backpack internal frame

Internal-frame
For large backpacks with a capacity of 60 liters and upwards, a frame becomes useful. A frame helps to spread the load of your heavy gear more evenly over your whole back which increases ergonomics considerably. There are backpacks with internal frame and there are backpacks with external (visible) frame.

 

hiking backpack sleeping bag compartment 
Sleeping bag compartment
If you are planning hikes where you stay the night, a special compartment for your sleeping back comes in handy. A sleeping back compartment is normally just two straps on the bottom part of the backpack where you can safely attach your sleeping back without taking a lot of the backpacks capacity.

 

Capacity

Boils down to how long hiking trip you are planning to make. The longer the trip, the larger capacity you need, obviously. We offer backpacks in several different sizes to meet all kinds of different needs.

 

Day trip
If you’re not planning to stay the night, you normally don’t need to bring a lot of gear and thus you won’t need a very big backpack either. Our convenient little multipurpose sling bag is sufficient for a casual day trip. Check out our Sling Bag here.

 

1-3 days (weekend): 30-50 liters
When you are planning to hike for 1-3 days in warmer weather, then a bag in the range of 30-50 liters will be perfect. Remember that packing light requires a pinch of self-discipline and some careful planning. Check out our 50L hiking backpack here.

 

 
3-5 days: 50-70 liters
For 3-5 day hikes you want to look at 50-70 liters backpack. Check out our 60L hiking backpack here.

 

5+ days: 70 liters or larger
For longer hikes stretching over 5 days or more usually requires packs of at least 70 liters. These are also the go-to choice for winter trekking lasting more than 1 day.

We hope you have found this article helpful. If you have any recommendations that we didn’t cover, please let us know in the comments. We hope your next backpack purchase will be a home-run!




Emanuel Tammelin
Emanuel Tammelin

Author

Marathon runner and mostly in the outdoors for running. Occasional hiker. Also a dog lover and likes reading non-fiction books. Loves to explore new travel destinations.



Size Chart

Women's Apparel Size Chart

General Size US Clothing Size Chest/Bust Measurement
(in inches)
Waist Measurement
(in inches)
Hips
(8" from waist)
XS 0
2
32
33
24
25
34.5
35.5
S 4
6
34
35
26
27
36.5
37.5
M 8
10
36
37
28
29
38.5
39.5
L 12
14
38.5
40
30.5
32
41
42.5
XL 16
18
41.5
43
33.5
35
44
45.5

 

Men's Apparel Sizing Chart

General Size Chest Measurement
(in inches)
Waist Measurement
(in inches)
Arm Measurement
(in inches)
Small 34
36
28
30
31.5
32
Medium 38
40
32
34
32.5
33
Large 42
44
36
38
33.5
35
X Large 46
48
40
42
34.5
35
XX Large 50
52
44
46
35.5
36