The best hiking backpacks will fit your own body comfortably. Look for backpack ratings and ultralight backpacks for comfort as well as the different brands like the Northface backpack styles. In addition to the two basic designs outlined below, there are also ultralight backpacks and even children backpacks.
Backpacking backpacks or hiking backpacks are available in two basic designs:
Outside of these two categories to choose from there are also the following:
We recommend that kids carry only 10-15% of their body weight on their backs.
Fitting a kids backpack is just as important as it is for adults and how to pack a backpack for kids is the same for adults.
How to pack a backpack
The premise of any backpack is to carry all your backpacking essentials on your back comfortably.
Both internal and external frame backpacks are equipped with a hipbelt, shoulder straps, chest strap and adjustable straps for your shoulders and hips. They also come with lots of compression straps to keep your gear in place.
A good backpacking backpack should be able to transfer most of the weight onto your hipbelt to take the weight off your shoulders.
Ideally you should only carry 25-30% of your ideal body weight on your back.
An experienced and very fit hiker may be able to carry more weight and a less experienced not as fit hiker should consider packing a lighter load.
Backpacks are generally sized by torso length. From the top of your spine (you can feel the bone at the base of your neck) to your waistline. Have the store measure you for a proper fit.
A good thing to consider for most women.
If you're in the market for a new lightweight backpack look for lots of pockets to hold things you will want easy access to like your water bottles, snacks and compass or maps.
Backpacks come in litre sizes. How many days you will need your backpack for determines the size you want. There is no sense in buying a hiking backpack that will carry more than you'll ever need. It becomes wasted space and extra weight you don't need to carry.
When you are trying on backpacks make sure you fill it with weights or weighted bags the store should carry. This will give you a much more accurate idea of what it will feel like and how you will be carrying it.
Backpacks for hiking should be comfortable to wear and are one of the most important pieces of backpacking gear. Take your time choosing your next hiking backpack, it'll be attached to you for a long time!
Go to Internal Frame Backpacks