Buying the right backpacking backpack is vital to a comfortable, successful backpacking trip.
Choosing the right pack can be confusing; knowing how big you want your bag, what size waist belt you need, and how the pack will feel with weight in it are all relevant considerations.
Here are five essential tips on how to buy the right backpacking backpack.
1. Ask the staff at the for help
When buying a backpacking pack, you can't just walk into the store and choose the first bag that catches your eye.
Most likely, you won't know too much about the logistics of a backpacking bag if it's your first ever purchase. Luckily, the staff at the store are knowledgeable about packs and how to help you choose the right one.
Even if you have had a backpacking pack before, it's necessary to ask the staff to fit you with the right bag.
2. Consider what kind of trip you need the bag for
Are you going to be trekking, and need camping equipment? Will you be going somewhere cold where you need bulky layers? Or are you just backpacking through cities?
Typically, the size of the bag you need is dependent upon these considerations. If you're planning on trekking or going somewhere you need bulky layers, you will need a bigger bag with a capacity of at least 65 liters. If you're only planning on backpacking through cities with mild temperatures, a 35-50 liter backpack will suffice.
3. Try at least 3 backpacks with weights inside
While a bag may seem nice on the outside, it might be very uncomfortable. How comfortable the bag feels on your back is the most critical part of finding the right one.
Trying on at least three backpacks is necessary for finding the most comfortable bag. You don't realize how uncomfortable one bag is until you try on another one.
When trying on different bags, it's also essential to put weights in the bag. You will always be carrying weight in your backpack when traveling, so it is important to get a feel for how the pack feels on your back with weights from the store.
4. Have the staff size you for the right waist belt
The single most important part of your backpack is the waist belt. Most of the weight from your pack is carried on your waist, so getting a proper waist belt can make or break a trip.
Ask the staff to size you for a waist belt; the original belt on the bag might not be the right size for you.
5. Buy the essential accessories for your new pack
Did your pack come with a rain cover? If not, you should buy one for your backpack. Rain covers not only keep your baggage dry in weather but also can ward off pick pockets in the city.
If you are taking a lot of trains, buses, or airplanes, buying a compact duffle bag is a good idea. Duffle bags have several useful functions: they can protect straps during travel, allow your luggage to be easily locked, and can be used as a separate bag if needed. These duffle bags can fold up into themselves, and don't take up a lot of room in your pack.