Is this your first time looking to purchase a hiking backpack for an upcoming hiking trip? Having difficulty, or headache trying to pick the one that’s right for you? Wanting information on brands, styles, and sizes? Then you’re in luck! This guide was made just for someone like you, to provide information on how to pick that perfect first hiking backpack for yourself. There are a few questions that you will need to ask yourself while making your selection, and after answering these questions, your choice will become much easier. Think of these questions, and we’ll go over them in detail further in this article. First, “what kind of trip is this going to be?” second, “what kind of hiking trip am I most likely to go on in the future?” and third “for the backpack to fit me comfortably, how big of a pack am I going to need?” Let’s take a look at these three major questions, shall we?
First thing to consider, the type of trip you are initially making the purchase for. As this is your first trip you’ll be using this hiking backpack on, it’s important to consider how long the trip is going to be, and what kind of terrain you may be traveling on. Rough terrain and lighter loads most often would call for the use of an internal frame backpack. The reason for this is the load is fit more closely to your body, which allows the weight of the load to move with you, allowing better balance and agility on uneven trails. For beginners, heavy loads, and easy even terrain, this would constitute the use of an external frame pack. For heavier loads, external frame backpacks place the load more squarely on the hips, which is more comfortable, and easier on your back while carrying heavy loads. Because the weight is fitted more loosely, they are not preferred for uneven terrain, as they don’t move quite as easily with the hiker. Another thing to consider is the length of the trip, if it’s only a day trip, getting a day hike backpack might be your best option, as they are not bulky, and fit more like an internal frame backpack.
The next thing to ask yourself is “what type of hiking trips am I most likely to go on in the future?” Purchasing a hiking backpack is not a one-time use thing, you’re going to be using the backpack over and over again. If you’re the type of person that likes to take a day and just escape in the wilderness, you might want to consider the purchase of a day pack. These have enough room for all the provisions you may need for a day’s worth of hiking, they’re lightweight, and they fit tight to your body. For anything longer than one day, it would be wise to consider the purchase of either an internal or external frame backpack. Also, ask yourself if you’ll be going on multiple day trips, if you would like to go on hikes to explore trails near your camp site? If so, the purchase of both may not be a bad choice, and often you can easily strap your day pack onto your internal, or external frame packs.
Lastly, you want to consider the fit of the pack. How large or small does the pack need to be to fit comfortably? How much adjustment space does this particular brand and style offer? Are you a tall person? Do you have wider hips, and broad shoulders? These are all questions you should be asking yourself as you consider the purchase of a specific brand and style of backpack. It might not be the worst idea to go and get yourself measured if that can help your decision even more. When looking at a pack, look at the dimensions, if you’re at a store, ask to try it on, ask if they have sandbags, or something to put inside to weigh it down so it’ll feel more like it would while you’re on the trail. Once you’ve found the right fit, write it down, and keep it with you while you shop around.
After having answered these 3 questions, “the type of trip this initial purchase is for?” “the trips you’ll go on in the future?” and “the fit of the pack?” finding that perfect hiking backpack should be much easier. And when you’re ready with the perfect backpack in mind, all you need to do is find the right price on said backpack. Once you’re at this point, shop around, look online, compare, and save. This is not a choice to be taken lightly, as you’re sure to use the backpack more than once. You deserve to find the best backpack for yourself, with the best price.