Trekking Backpacks

Trekking Backpacks

How to choose your backpack for hiking.

With the plethora of manufacturers of hiking backpacks on offer, it is not always easy to choose the bag that best suits your aspirations. From a half-day hike to a multi-day trek in isolated territory, your constraints and expectations are not at all the same. It is often said that "the most can do the le...

How to choose your backpack for hiking.

With the plethora of manufacturers of hiking backpacks on offer, it is not always easy to choose the bag that best suits your aspirations. From a half-day hike to a multi-day trek in isolated territory, your constraints and expectations are not at all the same. It is often said that "the most can do the least". When hiking, however, beware of the oversized bags that you will fill with more or less useless things.

The storage volume.

In order to choose your hiking bag properly, it is advisable to first determine your practice and the duration of your outings. This will give you an idea of the bedding (storage volume in litres) of the hiking bag you should adopt.

-Day trip: Recommended capacity: 10 to 35L.

From a simple walk to a race to a technical day in the mountains, the choice of your bag and its accessories will not be the same at all.

For a walk, you will take with you something to protect yourself from the weather and something to eat slightly. A bag with a capacity of 10 to 25 litres will be more than enough.

For a ski touring or mountaineering trip, it will be necessary to provide a suitable bag for all safety accessories and a larger volume of clothing. It will be necessary to plan a minimum of 20L (ski mountaineering races), 30-35L are more reasonable.

-Hiking up to 3 days: Recommended capacity: from 30 to 50L.

If you go for two days with a night in a refuge, a 30 to 40L bag will be enough for your clothes, some toiletries, your water pocket or gourd and a small sleeping bag. In the case of a self-sufficient hike, you will need a 50L hiking bag to put your stove, mattress, tent and some food in addition.

-Trek of 4 days or more: Recommended capacity: 45L to 70L

For the ultra-light hikers, who only carry the strict minimum a 40L bag will suffice, for the others and depending on the duration and the carrying of food and equipment it will take 50L and more. For treks with more than one week's autonomy, choose a hiking bag of at least 60L.

Note that some hiking bags have an adjustable volume thanks to a chimney that increases the volume (55+10L for example).

The porting.

From the construction, the "back" and the belt of your backpack, will flow the qualities of its carrying. For small bedding backpacks, used on a daily basis, there is usually a foam back and a very lightweight waist belt.

As soon as you increase the loading weight and bedding, you must pay close attention to the comfort of the lap belt, which will support more than 70% of the load.

Most brands now offer bags with stretched backs, a net frame that separates your back from the bag and allows optimal wicking of perspiration. For heavy loads, where support is essential, prefer a perforated foam back.

Most brands offer bags adapted to the female morphology with back heights and belts designed for women's hips.

The accessories.

Our elders' hiking bags consisted of a pair of straps, a tube and a flap. Today, the bags are equipped with a multitude of accessories to make your life easier:

-The integrated raincover: Hiking bags are generally not waterproof and some models offer waterproof protection that unfolds and covers the entire back of the bag.

-A space provided to install a water bag and all the necessary loops to fix your pipette.

-Multiple openings. Some bags have a specific pocket for your sleeping bag at the bottom of it. No need to unpack everything to get it out of the bag. Others have a straightforward side zip that allows easy access to your business.

-The external pockets and nets to hold your small accessories.

-Specific stowage: ice axe, poles, rope, mattress, tent, etc.

The weight of the bag.

The bag will often be the heaviest part of your equipment. It is always interesting to optimize your package when you start on long routes. For the same storage volume, one bag can sometimes weigh half as much as another. At Osprey, for example, the Levity 60 weighs only 870g, the Kestrel 58: 1.7Kg. Lightweight backpacks, even with a large volume, are designed to carry light loads. If you take a light bag, you will have to optimize all your equipment or risk having a degraded wearing comfort that can spoil or even stop your hike.

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