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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Choosing the right hiking backpack

Here are a few things you might want to consider prior to buying a pack for your hike regardless of its duration.  It is very important to choose your pack accordingly, and get one that you feel is comfortable and convenient for your needs.  Select something that doesn't give you any pain, but that you enjoy having on your back.  After all, a hike that was only supposed to last a few hours can turn in to complete agony for those who choose a pack that wasn't suited for them.

Before Buying - Ask yourself

Will I be using this pack for day or overnight hikes?  Vigorous backpacking trips?  Climbs?  Will I be using it  in the winter or summer months, or both?

Step 1
What pack should I get?

Here's a few thoughts:
(1) Day packs - They are small, and are good for a day long hike (as the name implies).  Make sure to get one that has a hip belt as they help to distribute weight more evenly.
(2) Hydration Packs - They are good for any kind of hike.  But is this something that you want, or will carry a bottle of water do?  Remember, hydration packs might be helpful to those on long treks as it frees up your hands from bottles, but you still need to carry the weight of the water on your back.
(3) Multi-Day Packs - Are good for those going on a hike that will last at least two days.  They help by carrying a lot of weight (as will be the case on a long hike), and are able to carry essentials like a small tent and sleeping bag.
(4) Internal Frame Packs - Unlike their external frame counterpart, internal frame packs tend to be lighter, and you don't have anything on the outside to get snagged on.

Step 2

Packs are measuresd in liters.  They used to be measured in cubic inches, but that method is becoming obsolete.  Packs range anywhere from 8-100 liters.  A day pack shouldn't be much more than 30 liters in size.  Where as, a backpacking trip may require a bag as big as 100 liters.  Again, this is personal preference, and also based on what you'll be carrying.  Don't get a pack that is too big as it's just unnecessary weight on your back.

Some basic pointers

(1) Packs for day hikes should be no bigger than 30 liters;
(2) Use light-weight gear;
(3) Allow for additional space for winter hiking (you'll need to carry more clothes);
(4) If kids are coming along make sure you have room for their belongings;
(5) Trip duration: How long will you be hiking for?  If space is the thing in question, go for something with a little more space.

Step 3

Sizing corresponds to torso.  Packs are made specifically for men, women, children, and are also made unisex.  See the sizing chart below for a better understanding:

We have a large arrange of packs, and recently just started carry the Vaude line of packs.  Vaude packs are extremely well-made and durable, and are made in Germany.  See the link below:

We'll be adding more Vaude packs to our line up as the days go on so remember to keep checking back!!

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