How to Choose Your Perfect Backpack

Posted on 09. Feb, 2010 by in Travel

Before you start planning your dream itinerary, make sure you take enough time to buy an adequate backpack. You can find great ones at outdoor activities stores (Moutain Coop Equipment is great).

Make sure you don’t settle for the cheap one. Trust me, it’s a good investment to buy a quality backpack, although paying more than $200 is probably a rip-off. Your whole body will thank you for it at the end of your trip.

Backpacking requires a lot of prep!

There are a few criteria to look out for to ensure quality and durability. Here are my suggestions:

  • Between 50 and 70 liters
  • Padded hipbelt, shoulder straps and back line
  • Sternum strap
  • Hidden pocket in hipbelt
  • 2 or 3 adjustable straps on the sides of the bag to stabilize the weight
  • Elastic strap on the front of the bag to hold items for easy access (i.e. raincoat)
  • Stitched seams to avoid water leakeage
  • Stabilizer straps to link the top of the bag to your shoulder straps
  • Zipper at the bottom of the bag for easy access to your items
  • Large, strong zippers
  • Aluminium stays in the back line to insure rigidity

Now for the fit:

  • The bag needs to be the same height as your back, from your neck’s most prominent vertebrae down to your hipbone
  • There shouldn’t be any space between the the shoulder straps  and your body, from their starting point to their end. Same thing applies for the hip belt.
  • Shoulder straps should fit in the middle of your shoulder
  • The sternum belt should fit just a few inches down the collarbone

You also need to check out the sex of your bag. That’s right. If you’re a woman, you need to choose a woman bag, as a male bag won’t fit the same way on your shoulders and hips, which will end up unbalancing the weight of the bag and eventually harming you. And we don’t want that!

Happy backpacking!

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