Best Hiking Backpacks in India 2019: Whether you are heading to the mountains for a quick weekend hike or are planning to roam about in the wilderness for weeks at a time, you need to make sure you have the right gear. One of the first and most important hiking gears you would be needing is the backpack.
Gone are the days when backpacking consisted of strapping on a huge external frame and lumbering through the trails with a sore body. These days, backpacks that deviate towards minimalism and have a thoughtful, ergonomic design, are in vogue.
List of top 15 best hiking backpacks in India 2019
However, choosing the best backpack for hiking isn’t easy. The internet is inundated with luggage and outdoor brands, all of which claim to make the best hiking backpacks. In this article, we will review the best hiking packs for you and help you pick out the Best Hiking Backpacks in India 2019 for your adventures.
Top 10 Best Best Hiking Backpacks In India 2019 Reviewed
1. Mufubu 55-Litre Rucksack
- Capacity: 55-litres
- Shoe compartment
- Water-resistant polyester fabric
- Adjustable strap & mesh pocket
- Dimensions: Length - 32 cm, Width - 24 cm, Height - 65 cm
- Weight: 330 grams
- Easy to carry and use
- Padded back straps
Why We Recommend It?
Spacious capacity: The 55-litre capacity is spacious and can accommodate your hiking gear and belongings with ease. The broad, adjustable straps distribute the weight evenly on your shoulders which allow for a comfortable trekking experience. The front compartments can be used to store your essentials which facilitate easy access.
Closing cap: This rucksack is equipped with a Cap closure which keeps your belongings safe and securely stored while you are on the move.
Shoe compartment: This bag has a large shoe compartment for your shoes that helps you in efficiently access your items without any hurdle.
Water-resistant: The water-resistant polyester fabric protects your belongings from adverse weather conditions while you are trekking or hiking.
Polyester material: The rucksack is made from polyester fabric, which provides strength and long-lasting performance.
Adjustable strap & mesh pocket: This rucksack comes with a separate mesh pocket to store your bottle securely while you are trekking or hiking. This ergonomically designed rucksack comes with broad adjustable straps which evenly distributes the weight on both your shoulders.
Multipurpose: This rucksack is a perfect travel essential for hiking, climbing, biking, and camping. Enough small and large pockets in this rucksack can easily hold all your hiking and travel gears.
2. Wildcraft 45-Litre Grey and Orange Rucksack
- Outer Material: Nylon,
- Colour: Grey & Orange
- Water resistant
- Dimensions: 56.8cms x 33.6 cms x 5.4 cms (LxWxH)
- Top loading pack with draw string opening for easy and quick access
- Strengthened haul loop to take on heavier loads
- Ideal For - Men & Women
Why We Recommend It?
Wildcraft Rucksacks are made to help you on the long journey through difficult conditions and terrains. Built with the traveller in mind, our rucksacks are designed with an ergonomic build that helps increase comfort while reducing pack weight. Longer journeys while trekking and hiking through the outdoors do demand a heavier load but Wildcraft bags help you share this burden. Long, adventure journeys and hiking trips need a lot of items to pack. The bags are also very comfortable for the carrier with an improved back system. They are multi-functional and help you enjoy your outdoor treks and hikes. These bags are fitted with several pockets placed and designed to help you pack and easily access your outdoor essentials. Made with abrasion-resistant material and fabric with high tensile strength.
3. Impulse 65-Litres Blue Rucksack
- Rucksack with zip pockets on the hood
- One main compartment with Drawstring closure
- One front zip pocket
- 2 Side Compression Strap
- 2 Side Mesh Pocket
- Padded Mesh Back
- Comes with separate zip pocket for carrying a complimentary rain cover.
- Capacity: 65-litres
- Weight: 990 grams
- Dimensions: 12 inches x 10 inches x 28 inches (LxWxH)
- Warranty: 1-year manufacturer from the original date of purchase.
- Complimentary Rain cover
- Metal Frame for Comfort And Back Support
- Fibre Padded Cushioned Back
Why We Recommend It?
Impulse Rucksacks cater to the needs of travellers who commute fully prepared with the essentials when they head out on a long and adventurous journey. These Rucksacks are as enduring as you are and they can offer all the comfort that you need while travelling with travel gears and equipment. It’s sportive design and robust quality make them an ideal travel partner that keeps you ready for the road. It features multiple pockets and huge storage capacity to leave nothing behind, from hikes to trekking and touring these rucksacks can go anywhere
The Enduring Outdoor Travel Gear: Explore the world while being smartly organised with all your travel needs packed in this robust rucksack.
Built For The Outdoors: This rucksack is made of super-tough polyester fabric. Hence, it is ideal for exploring the outdoors. Its capacity is 65 Litres in volume and has a 900Denier thick PU coated polyester base that stands well against wear and tear.
Organise Smartly: It features multiple pockets to give all the room required to stay smartly organised. It has two side mesh pockets, and two zip pockets on the hood along with a spacious central compartment to hold everything you need.
Practical Shoulder Straps: The s-shaped shoulder straps are ergonomically designed with padded support and soft edges.
Ventilated Back Panel: The air mesh provides effective ventilation between the rucksack and the wearer’s back by allowing proper dispersion of moisture.
Auxiliary Parts: For added convenience, this rucksack comes with multiple auxiliary support systems. The hood zip pocket can hold a rain cover, the 2-side compression strap can make the bag compact and the hip belt can transfer some of the weight to your hip for ease of carrying. The main straps are designed in a way to hold your yoga mat with ease.
Design: Featuring padded handles and shoulder straps, zipper compartments and bottle holders, this bag comes with everything you need to tackle your daily commute.
Compartments: This bag features buckle Inner Pockets, so your belongings are safe, secure and well organized inside. A mobile pocket is provided to keep your phone in case you want to go completely hands-free.
Material: Polyester is widely popular on account of its durability and toughness. Made of fibres that do not wear down quickly even with daily use and it is resistant to wrinkling and shrinking. The lightweight feel of the material also makes it a very in-demand material for backpacks.
Rucksack: The Impulse backpack is a sleek, light bag with a young-at-heart design that’s perfect for school or daily travel. Made for daily use, this bag is not oversized and is meant to carry your essentials. With its trendy looks and easy to organize design, this bag is cute and suave as well as useful, to help you complete your look. Quietly stylish and durable, it features multiple compartments to help organize your stuff.
4. AmazonBasics 75-Litres Hardback Hiking Backpack
- Internal-frame backpack for hiking and camping
- Durable polyester construction
- Extensive storage pockets and compartments
- Large sleeping-bag compartment
- Multi-directional compression straps
- Adjustable straps for a secure fit
- Lumbar support for added comfort
- Thick padded shoulder straps
- Integrated water-resistant rainfly
- Water-repellent exterior coating for light rain
- Waterproof cover for heavier rain
- Extension collar for added, optional storage space
- Choice of colour and size
- Backed by an AmazonBasics limited one-year warranty
Why We Recommend It?
AmazonBasics Internal Frame Hiking Backpack with Rainfly: Gear up for your next great outdoor adventure with the AmazonBasics Internal Frame Hiking Backpack with Rainfly. Ideal for hiking and camping, the backpack provides a durable design for reliable performance, and it offers loads of space for all those must-have essentials. Best of all, it ensures a comfortable fit that will help inspire you further along the trail and onto that next beautiful vista.
Made of durable polyester, the hiking backpack comes in a choice of colour (green or black) and a choice of size (70L, 60L, or 50L)—each with an extension collar for an additional 5L of optional storage space.
Comfortable Fit: Designed for a variety of body sizes, the backpack provides a secure, fully adjustable fit around the torso, an adjustable waist belt, and adjustable straps at the shoulders for upper-load balance and support. An open-cell foam lumbar pad and moulded channels offer important lower-back support and promote increased airflow, while thick padded shoulder straps make even heavier loads comfortable to carry. The backpack’s design accommodates women and men, youth and adults alike.
Water-repellent: Don’t let a little rain slow you down. The hiking backpack features a water-repellent exterior coating, plus an integrated water-resistant rainfly, which prevents light rain from getting inside. For heavier rain, use the included waterproof cover to keep everything from clothing and food to cameras and other electronics safely protected and dry.
Ample Storage Space: Extensive pockets and roomy compartments help keep stored items organized and easy to find. Even more, the backpack comes equipped with multi-directional compression straps, which help hold your gear securely in place and prevent items from jostling around.
Sleeping Bag Compartment: The backpack’s large sleeping-bag compartment provides designated space for neatly packing and transporting your sleeping bag. The sleeping bag remains perfectly rolled and easy to access right when you need it, whether sleeping in a tent or under the stars.
5. Novicz Trawoc 55-Litre Backpack
- Capacity: 50-Liters
- Made of waterproof material
- Made of lightweight materials with durability and utmost comfort in mind
- Featuring padded adjustable shoulder straps with a maximum load capacity
- Enough small and large pockets this backpack
- Holds all your hiking and travel essentials
- Dimensions: Height - 70 Cm, Length - 33 Cm, Width - 25 Cm
- Warranty type: 1-year Manufacturer Warranty
- Weight: 449 Grams
- Material: Synthetic
- Special Features: Back Strap
- Closure: Zipper
- Inner Material: Nylon
Why We Recommend It?
Explore the world in a new style with TRAWOC TM Hike Plus backpacks. It features a spacious main compartment with side mesh pockets, distribute the load from the shoulder to the hips and are ideal for heavy loads and lots of luggage. A variety of well-placed pockets improve access to trail essentials when you’re on the move. Comfortable and breathable mesh design on the backside, especially when the days heat up. During hot climates or intense activity, the back system encourages maximum air circulation. This hiking backpack is versatile to go for a multi-day travelling experience and for maximum comfort throughout the day.
6. Aristocrat 45-Litre Hiking Rucksack
- Dimensions: 36 cm x 24 cm x 60 cm (L x W x H)
- Capacity: 45-Litres
- Compartments: 3
- 17-inch Laptop Compatible
- Premium Durable Coated Polyester
- Superior Back Padding
- Shoe Compartment
- Large Mesh Pockets
- Spacious Utility Pockets
- Water Resistant Fabric
- Hidden Secret Pockets
- Compression Straps
- Waist Straps
Why We Recommend It?
45L Hiking Rucksack: The Aristocrat backpack is a sleek, light bag with a young-at-heart design that’s perfect for school or daily travel. Made for daily use, this bag is not oversized and is meant to carry your essentials. With its trendy looks and easy to organize design, this bag is cute and suave as well as useful, to help you complete your look. Quietly stylish and durable, it features multiple compartments to help organize your stuff.
Design: A sleek, all-black design that is typically rugged – like a hiking bag should be, this bag features padded straps and a rectangular shape with strong zippers and a logo that stands out and add to the classiness of the design.
Compartments: This bag has three compartments and can hold a laptop that is up to 17 inches in size.
Material: Polyester is widely popular on account of its durability and toughness. Made of fibres that do not wear down quickly even with daily use and it is resistant to wrinkling and shrinking. The light weight feel of the material also makes it a very in-demand material for backpacks.
7. Pole Star 44-Litre Blue Grey Rucksack
- Made from premium water-resistant polyester fabric
- Provide strengthen and long-lasting performance
- Colour: Blue & Grey Closure
- Type: Drawstring Closure
- Strap Type: Adjustable
- Capacity: 44-Liters
- Product Dimensions (L x W x H): 64 cm x 32 cm x 22 cm
- Ideal for carrying heavier loads than day packs
- Well suited to walkers and hikers
- 12-months warranty
- Shell: Soft
- Special Features: Back Padding, Drawstring Closure, Shoulder Strap, Water Bottle / Umbrella Pouch
- Closure: Drawstring Closure
- Handle: Extendable
- Inner Material: Polyester
- Water Resistant
- Warranty Description: Warranty for Manufacturing Defects
Why We Recommend It?
40 Litre Polyester Rucksack: Embark on your dream trekking plans with this polyester rucksack by Pole star. The 40-litre capacity is spacious and can accommodate your hiking gear and belongings with ease. The broad, adjustable straps distribute the weight evenly on your shoulders which allow for a comfortable trekking experience. The side compartments can be used to store your essentials which facilitate easy access. The water-resistant polyester fabric protects your belongings from adverse weather conditions while you are trekking or hiking.
Water-resistant polyester fabric: This trendy rucksack is made up of water-resistant polyester fabric which makes it suitable for use during trekking or hiking. Protect your belongings from the damp weather when you embark on your dream trekking or hiking trip with this polyester rucksack.
Adjustable straps: This ergonomically designed rucksack comes with broad adjustable straps which evenly distributes the weight on both your shoulders. Trek and hike comfortably with the right gear.
Separate bottle pocket: This rucksack comes with a separate bottle pocket to store your bottle securely while you are trekking or hiking. We have an extensive range of rucksacks which have been specifically designed for hikers and trekkers.
Drawstring closure: This polyester rucksack from Pole Star is equipped with a drawstring closure which keeps your belongings safe and securely stored while you are on the move. Drawstring closures are easy to operate, which makes them a popular choice for rucksacks.
Spacious capacity: This polyester rucksack has a spacious capacity of 40 litres which lets you store all your trekking gear in an organized manner. Furthermore, it comes with side zippered compartments for storage of essentials which makes them easily accessible.
Ideal for walkers and hikers: This sporty rucksack from Pole Star is ideal for hikers and travellers who like to traverse rugged terrains. It is equipped with multiple compartments for easy storage of essentials. The bottle pocket can be used to store your water bottle in a secure manner.
8. Chris & Kate Black Travel Rucksack
- Material: Polyester, Sturdy, heavy duty construction in thick Polyester, Well designed and high quality Rucksack Backpack; Color: Black; Closure: Drawstring closure for easy to access.
- Water repellent: Yes, Compartments: 2, 1 large main compartment, 1 big zipper front pocket for easy to access, 2 side mesh pockets for water bottle and other stuff, hydration compatible and 2 big Zippered side pockets. Adjustable and breathable padded shoulder strap with maximum load capacity. Padded Mesh Hip Belt for a extra support. Zippered big pocket in the hood to Store extra stuff. Roomy and large pockets this Rucksack Backpack holds all your hiking and travel essentials.
- Capacity: 45 litres, weight: 0.52 kgm, dimensions: 58cmx27cmx27cm.
- Utility: for travel, hiking, trekking and camping, day trip.
- NOTE:-Chris & Kate has not authorized any other seller to sell their products. Buy Genuine products by ensuring that the seller name is Chris & Kate only; Warranty type: Manufacture, Warranty is applicable if seller name is Chris & Kate; Accessories: High Quality Zippers & accessories, Well stitched, finished seams for added durability and extend its life. Accessories shown in the picture are not part of the bag. Proudly made in India from Chris & Kate.
Why We Recommend It?
Polyester 45L Travel Rucksack Backpack: A stylish and trendy Rucksack backpack can easily turn a layman into a traveller. This is not a saying, but it can actually happen. This Rucksack backpack comes in black colour. This rucksack is a perfect travel essential for hiking, climbing, biking, and camping. Enough small and large compartments in this rucksack can easily hold all your hiking and travel essentials.
Excellent-Unique Design for Youngsters: The combination of black and orange colour with excellent design makes the rucksack fashionable and trendy. This rucksack backpack from Chris & Kate has got 2 side mesh pockets for water bottle and other stuff, hydration compatible and 2 big Zippered side pockets. Adjustable and breathable padded shoulder strap with maximum load capacity. Padded Mesh Hip Belt for extra support. Zippered big pocket in the hood to Store extra stuff. Roomy and large pockets this Rucksack Backpack holds all your hiking and travel essentials. Has high-Quality Zippers & accessories, well stitched, finished seams for added durability and extend its life.
Light & Durable High-Quality Polyester Material: Both the inner side and outside of the rucksack bag is made of polyester material, Sturdy, heavy-duty construction in thick Polyester, Well designed and high-quality Rucksack Backpack. Which can withstand tough pressure and different weather condition. This material makes the rucksack bag tough, durable yet lightweight. The back part of the rucksack bag is extra padded that not only provides comfort while carrying.
Spacious compartment for organized storage: Roomy capacity with easy access, can hold all your daily necessities such as Water bottle, moisture pad, sleeping bag, clothes, climbing shoes, umbrella, cup, shampoo, toothbrush, first aid kit, rope, food. Easy access (top) means you can get to items from the Top of the bag with ease. Also has top lid to store extra stuff and there’s a quick access front pocket.
Large Mesh Bottle Pocket: This rucksack comes with a large bottle mesh pocket on both sides to carry a water bottle and other necessary accessories like earphones, phone charger or maybe toothbrush. The side pocket can carry up to 1-litre water bottle.
Utility of the bag: For travel, hiking, trekking and camping, day trip. Ideal for long-duration hikes or travel lasting more than 10 days. Soft breathable cushioning on the back provides comfort and easy airflow while walking for long hours. Equipped with multiple straps for holding additional gear and well stitched using durable and high-quality polyester, the rucksack is a multi-utility rucksack built for carrying excessive luggage comfortably.
9. Gleam 75-Litres Climate Proof Mountain Rucksack
- Metal Frame
- Bottom Shoe Compartment
- Rain Cover is at bottom zip
- Expandable Sack & Adjustable Waist Belt
- External and Internal Zipped Pockets in Hood
- High Durability and Weather Resistant
- Spacious, Lightweight and Durable
- Item Height: 85 Centimetres
- Item Length: 40 Centimetres
- Item Width: 42 Centimetres
- Capacity: 75 Litres
- Weight: 1.20 Kilograms
- Material: Polyester, Nylon
- Special Features: Back Padding, Expandable, Laundry Compartment, Hip Belt
- Closure: Drawstring
- Strap: Adjustable
- Water Resistance: Water-Resistant
Why We Recommend It?
Metal frame and bottom shoe compartment: This climate-proof mountain rucksack has been fortified with a metal frame to ensure increased back support. The separate compartment at the bottom also adds to its convenience as it lets you keep your trail footwear and worn clothes well-sorted and separated from the rest of your belongings.
Expandable sack: This spacious 75ltrs backpack expands further to store more essentials. The expandable feature of the sack is an additional boon to its already-sufficient capacity for storing and managing your belongings more efficiently while you are on the road.
External and internal zippered pockets in the hood: This backpack is equipped with strategically placed compartments to lend it additional functionality. The presence of the external and internal pockets on the hood give you easier access to those articles that you might need to reach out to more often.
Comes with rain cover: Built for the challenging trails, this rucksack is designed to face the elements. To give your belongings more protection against unexpected showers, this backpack comes with a rain cover which can be stored away in a separate zippered compartment at the bottom.
Adjustable waist belt: This backpack has been built to offer you increased support as you take on the open roads. The waist belt can be clamped to keep the pack securely on your back. The belt is also adjustable, thus ensuring that you get the right fit.
Durable and weather-resistant: Carry this backpack when you hit the trails to bid adieu to all your weather-related woes. Not only can it stand up well to an unexpected bout of rain, but it is also built to endure light exposure to the elements, which, in turn, extends its life.
10. Fur Jaden 15-Litres Grey Anti-Theft Waterproof Backpack
- Capacity: 15 litres
- Weight: 600 grams
- Dimensions: 30 cms x 12 cms x 42 cms (LxWxH)
- Number of compartments: 1
- Grey Colour
- Light weight casual waterproof backpack for men and women for stylish office use as well as for trendy college and school students
- Easy Access Pockets on the Shoulder Strap as well on the Backside of the Bag for quick access to essentials
- Huge compartment size that can fit all laptops with ease
- Additional Anti-Theft Pocket on the Back
- Multiple pockets for other accessories
- You can also fit several books with ease into this bag
- Charging on the Go
- Warranty: 100% Genuine Fur Jaden Men products, 10 days No Question asked replacement guarantee from the date of delivery. 6 Month Warranty Against Manufacturing Defects
Why We Recommend It?
Practical and stylish: This unisex laptop backpack from Fur Jaden comes in an anti-theft design which lets you carry your laptop anywhere with confidence. Keep your belongings secure as your score high on the style quotient with this functional backpack.
Charging on-the-go: One of the most striking features of this backpack is that it allows you to charge your phone while you are travelling. The charging dock which comes attached to the backpack allows you to connect your portable charger seamlessly for maximum convenience.
Material: The material of this backpack from Fur Jaden is water-resistant, which keeps any worries about getting it wet in the rain or accidental splashes at bay. Your laptop and every other belonging will stay safe from water as long as you keep them inside your backpack.
Capacity: This laptop backpack from Fur Jaden comes with substantial capacity to accommodate your laptop and other goods with ease. The large capacity of this backpack can store laptops up to 15.6 inches without any hassle.
Anti-theft design: Weighing in at only 0.6 kg or 0.77lbs, this Fur Jaden laptop backpack with an anti-theft feature is a breeze to carry around. Most of the weight you will feel is that of the goods you carry inside, as the backpack does not impose much weight on the user.
Multipurpose: This multipurpose and water-resistant backpack from Fur Jaden can take you from day to night, thanks to its multiple compartments. With 1 main compartment and 7 small, inner pockets, it lets you store all your belongings and keeps them sorted too.
Hiking Backpack Buying Guide – How do I choose a hiking backpack?
When choosing a backpack, one of the first things you need to decide is the capacity. The capacity of the backpack is largely going to depend on the type of backpacker you are. For example, if you’re an ultralight backpacker you’re probably carrying a lot less gear and you can get away with something much smaller whereas if you like to have some luxury, then, you’re probably going to want a larger backpack.
Weekend (1-3 nights; 30-50 litres): Generally speaking, if you are doing a weekend trip, you’re looking at a backpack that’s somewhere between 30 and 50 litres. These are great for weekend trips, for overnight trips or for warm-weather backpacking where you don’t need to carry a lot of heavy gear.
Multiday (3-5 nights; 50-80 litres): If you’re looking for a multi-day backpack, you’re going to want something that somewhere between 50 and 70 litres. These are great for carrying some additional items as well as layers of clothing and more food and fuel. This is a pretty common sized pack and it will work for a multitude of different trips.
Extended trip (5+ nights; 70 litres or larger): If you’re looking for something that would carry a lot of gear, you’re going to need an extended trip backpack. Opt for something that’s 70 litres and above. These bags are really designed to haul a ton of gear, so, they’re good for mountaineering or for extended winter backpacking where you’re carrying a lot of heavy layers in gear but they’re also great for parents who are backpacking with children if they need to carry their kids’ stuff in the pack as well.
A backpack frame is designed to transfer weight from your shoulders and onto your hips for a more comfortable carry. There are two main types of pack frames right now – the internal frame and the external frame.
Internal frame backpacks are certainly the more common type of backpacks nowadays and they’re definitely lighter than external frame packs. There are a few different ways that a pack may have an internal frame. It could be a metal tubing that runs around the outside of the pack. It may also have a metal V shape or even just a hard sheet of plastic.
External frame backpacks are very durable but they’re not as common and you really don’t find them very much anymore. These are a good option for people who want to latch a lot of gear to the outside of their pack, so, they’re a good choice for hunters or anyone who’s going to be carrying unusually sized loads.
Frameless backpacks don’t do as good of a job of transferring the weight to your hips. These are basically just rucksacks that have backpack straps attached to offer some protection. You can add a closed-cell foam sleeping pad on the inside of the pack and this will protect your back from the gear inside and provide a little bit of structure.
Keep in mind that any features that you add to your pack are also going to add weight, so, you want to strike a balance between the ease of use of the pack and the additional weight that you’re adding. There are a ton of different features that you may find on backpacks. We’re just going to cover a few of the pretty common ones.
Access: Most backpacks are going to have top-loading access. This is just a cinch cord that opens and allows you to get to all of your gear. You may also find packs that have side zippers or U zippers. This gives you access into the main compartment of the pack, so, you can get items that are at the bottom or in the middle of the backpack.
Pockets: Another really common feature is pockets. Backpacks may have pockets on the side for water bottles or two pockets on the hip for different items that you might want to stash. There also might be pockets that are in the lid or in the bottom of the lid. Backpacks will also have lash points or daisy chains on the outside. This is for strapping loads like crampons on the outside of your packs they don’t scratch up the inside. Backpacks may also have tool attachment points for attaching ice axes or trekking poles and shovel pockets for stashing light-weight items.
Ventilation: Some backpacks feature a suspended mesh back panel to provide ventilation and combat the sweaty-back syndrome you tend to get with internal frame packs that ride against your back.
Backpack sizes are based on the torso length of the user. This depends on two landmarks – the Iliac Crest and the C7 vertebrae. The iliac crest is at the top of your hip bones right below the squish. Set your hands-on top of your bones. Draw a line right between the iliac crests on either side to the middle of the spine and that’s going to be your first landmark. The other landmark we’re looking for to measure torso size is the C7 vertebrae which is the one that pops out when you put your chin to your chest. Once you have established these two landmarks, measure from top to bottom to get your torso length. Ideally, a small-sized pack is perfect for people with a 16 to 18 inches torso and a medium pack is good for people with a torso for 17 to 19 inches.
Next, calculate your hip size. Wrap the measuring tape around the top of your hips, hugging the iliac crest for accurate hip size. Since you’ll be carrying 80% of your pack weight on your hips, a good hip-belt fit is critical. Ideally, a small-sized pack should fit people with a hip size of 30 to 38 inches and a medium pack should fit people with a hip size of 32 to 42 inches.
If you get either of these sizes wrong, your backpack is going to be uncomfortable.
Frequently Asked Questions about hiking backpacks
When you’re first putting your backpack on, make sure you have a little bit of weight in it. 7 or 10 kgs is a good approximation of how the pack is going to sit on you on the trail. When you put the weight in, close the backpack up and make sure you buckle it close so that the weight isn’t running around on you while you’re trying to adjust everything. The other thing before we get to fitting the backpack is to make sure all the straps on the back end of the backpack are loosened up so that we can do that adjustment once it’s on
To fit the backpack, start at the bottom of the pack and then work your way up. Almost all backpacks have four primary adjustment straps: Hipbelt, Shoulder straps, Load-lifter straps and Sternum strap.
1. Start with the hip belt. Make sure that the hip belt and the padding is centred on your hip bones. Buckle it and then tighten it down. Ideally, when you’re fitting a backpack you want about 80% of the weight on your hips so that your legs are carrying most of the weight rather than your shoulders carrying it, so, your hip belts need to be pretty tight in order to do that.
2. The next step is to tighten your shoulder straps. Grab the straps and pull them down and back to tighten. The point where your shoulder and meets the back of the backpack should about an inch or two lower than the height of your shoulder. Also, there should not be too much of a gap between the shoulder and the strap of the backpack. If you have pressure points in the front of your shoulders it probably means that your shoulder straps are too tight. Loosen them.
3. Next, adjust the load lifters. Load lifters basically pull the weight of the backpack forward so you’re not careening backwards while you’re wearing the bag. Tighten the load lifters just a little bit, to the point where the weight starts to come forward, but not so tight that it’s crushing your back. The angle of the load lifter straps should be at about 45 degrees. If the strap looks like it’s angled really steeply or is super shallow, it could be an indicator that you need to adjust your torso within the size of your backpack. Some backpacks allow you to slide the torso component up or down by a little bit. If you get pressure points in the back it probably means that your load lifters are too tight. Loosen them.
4. The last step is to adjust your sternum strap. There is no need to tighten the sternum strap too much. Just buckle it close with a little bit of tension on it so that you’re pulling weight away from your shoulders
Once you have the pack on and fitting comfortably, walk around for about 20 minutes or so. This will give you a good idea of how the pack will feel on that trail.
When all your gear is packed perfectly in your backpack, here’s how to get it on your back. Proper lifting will make it easier on your body and on your gear.
1. With your pack sitting upright on the ground, use one hand to grab the pack’s haul loop.
2. Using a wide stance with knees bent, slide the pack up your thigh and let it rest.
3. Keeping a hold of the haul loop and steadying the pack, slip your other arm and shoulder through the first shoulder strap.
4. Smoothly shift the pack onto your back and slip your arm through the second shoulder strap.
5. Stay bent over and tighten up the hip belt.
6. Stand upright and finish off your fit and you’re set to go.
No matter what you decide to take in your backpack, you always must have the following ten essentials
1. Navigation: map, compass, altimeter, GPS device, personal locator beacon (PLB) or satellite messenger
2. Headlamp: plus, extra batteries
3. Sun protection: sunglasses, sun-protective clothes and sunscreen
4. First aid: including foot care and insect repellent (as needed)
5. Knife: plus, a repair/tool kit
6. Fire: disposable butane lighter, waterproof matches and Fire starters like dry tinder, candles, priming paste, heat nuggets or lint trappings
7. Emergency Shelter: carried at all times (can be an ultralight tarp, a bivy sack, an emergency space blanket or even a large plastic trash bag)
8. Extra food: Beyond the minimum expectation
9. Extra water: Beyond the minimum expectation
10. Extra clothes: Beyond the minimum expectation
Apart from these essentials, you can also carry the following items:
1. Hiking boots or shoes
3. Sleeping bag and sleeping pad
4. Stove and fuel
5. Water-treatment supplies
6. Hygiene/Toiletries supplies
Once you’ve gathered all your stuff for backpacking, it’s time to pack it into your bag. There is a method to the madness here and a well-packed bag is going to feel a lot lighter than a poorly packed bag.
On the bottom of your bag, it’s a good idea to carry the lighter items and the fluffier items. For most people that’s going to be your sleeping bag. Putting something fluffier at the bottom basically creates a pillow on your lumbar, where the heavy items can sit on top. This is because you just don’t want anything super heavy and dense on your low back because that’s going to be really painful as you’re hiking around. Some people also choose to put their sleep clothes towards the bottom.
The middle of the pack is a good spot to carry all those heavier and bulkier items because that’s where they’re going to feel lightest on your back. It’s basically a good centre point for your back. So, by putting those items in the middle section of the backpack you create the most strength within your backpack without having it be painful on your shoulders or on your low back. These heavier items usually include your food, cooking kit, water reservoir, utensils, etc. Take the extra clothes that you’re not going to need on the trail and stuff them into the gaps in the middle of the pack to create a denser system that’s not going to move around while you’re hiking.
Next comes the top of the pack. Some people like to keep their tent towards the top of the main compartment so that they can get to it quickly in case the weather changes. Some people will choose to strap their tent to the outside of their bag or to put it towards the bottom. That’s totally up to personal preference.
Next, pack the different pockets on the outside of the pack. First, keep the water bottle in one of the pockets so that it’s easily accessible. In the other pocket, keep your poop kit and bear spray. Then, keep your headlamp and a first-aid kit in the top lid of the pack so that you can get to it in case you get hurt on the trail. You can also keep your camp shoes/water shoes in one of the outside pockets so that they are easily accessible. The last things to pack in the outside pockets are your mobile phone and trail snacks. Keep them in your hip belt pocket so that you can get to them quickly.
Some backpacks also have latch points on the exterior that can be used to carry crampons, ice axe, trekking poles, etc.
Washing your backpack when it gets dirty will help prolong its life. When it’s time to clean your backpack, you’re going to need some detergent-free soap, a clean sponge and a soft nylon brush.
1. Start by shaking any loose dirt, sand or crumbs out of the backpack. If necessary, you can even vacuum out your bag.
2. If your bag has removable shoulder straps, hip belt or frame, take those off first. Then, soak the bag in lukewarm water and use your sponge to wipe out the interior. Unless something has spilled inside, you shouldn’t need soap.
3. Spot clean any particularly filthy areas on the outside of the pack with your sponge. You may need to add a drop of soap for the worst spots. Most packs have some protective coatings so it’s best not to scrub down the whole pack. Pay special attention to any areas that collect sweat, like the pack’s back-panel, shoulder straps and hip belt. Use a little soap with your sponge to freshen them up.
4. Next, use your brush to clean out the zippers. Dirt and sand can degrade the zipper over time. Once you’re done cleaning, rinse everything thoroughly with cool water.
5. Then, hang the backpack either indoors or in the shade to dry overnight. Make sure to never use heat or tumble dry your pack.
Conclusion – What is the best day hiking backpack?
Honestly, it depends on what kind of adventure you are going on – will you be heading into the mountains for weeks at a time or simply going on day hikes? So, it’s our advice to first focus on the duration of trips you typically take. Then, shortlist 2 to 3 features that you’d like your backpack to have and prioritize your picks according to your budget. We hope that our reviews and buying guide will help you narrow down your options.
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