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Backpacks & Accessories

Backpacks & Hip Packs
Sacks & Cases
Travel Bags & Luggage
Backpacks & Hip Packs

Sacks & Cases

Travel Bags & Luggage

Buying Guide

* Volume. Backpacks can be divided into three general categories:

  • Day Packs (5-30 liters)
  • Weekend Packs (32-65 liters)
  • Expedition Packs (65+ liters)

* Load Capacity. An often overlooked factor in properly selecting a backpack is its load handling capacity. If the pack you select cannot comfortably handle the load you intend to carry, you're in for a painful trek. Some things to keep in mind:

  • Most high quality traditional packs can comfortably handle the weight of a full pack.

  • "Ultralight" packs, which often must be designed with lighter-duty (or no) suspensions, stays and strap systems (in order shave weight from the pack) have significantly reduced load handling capacities.

  • Bottom line: If you are in the "ultralight" crowd, great.  But remember: pair your ultralight pack with ultralight gear in order to keep weight to a minimum.

* Fit. Okay, so you've selected a pack with the proper volume and load handling capacity. Happy trails, right? Wrong. Determining proper fit is absolutely critical to a comfortable backpacking trip.

  • Torso Length:

To determine your torso length, measure from the C7 vertebrae (the large bump at at the base of the back of your neck) to the top of your hip shelf.

Although sizing can vary somewhat by manufacturer, the following is a general guideline:

14" 15 1/2" = XS
15 1/2" 17 1/2" = S
17 1/2" 19 1/2" = M
19 1/2" 21 1/2" = L

Also, some manufacturers design packs that are "adjustable" to fit a wide range of torso lengths.

  • Hip Belt Size:

If the pack you have selected comes in different hip belt sizes, measure your waist around the top of your hip bones to determine the proper size.

Although sizing can vary somewhat by manufacturer, the following is a general guideline:

22" 28" = S
28" 34" = M
34" 40" = L
40"+ = XL


 

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