HOW DO YOU CHOOSE YOUR HIKING BACKPACK?

Whether you're walking for a few hours, practicing fast hiking, or setting off for a one-day or multi-day hike with equipment on your back, check out the criteria you'll need to consider before choosing the right backpack.

HOW DO YOU CHOOSE YOUR HIKING BACKPACK?

There are 3 key criteria to consider before choosing a backpack:

(1) Duration of your excursion, (2) amount of up or downhill walking involved, and (3) quantity of equipment you'll need.

Read on to find out what to look out for with each criterion!

Before choosing your backpack, consider asking yourself these questions:

"Exactly how long do I want to hike for?"

"What type of terrain am I going to encounter?

"Will there be lots of up and downhill sections?"

"Will I have to carry equipment for other hikers (e.g. children)?"

"Will it be a self-sufficient expedition or will I have a stopover?"


Once you've answered these questions, you'll be in a position to match your needs to the type of hiking and the different types of bags available.

Whichever model you choose, ensure that your backpack has sufficient storage for your organizational requirements. Some people like to use pockets on the hip belt while others don't.

Check that the bag has all the necessary adjustment features to ensure maximum comfort.

For long walks, choose a bag with a reinforced back, a hip belt, chest belt and load-lifter straps on the shoulders as well as an adjustable torso length so that it will really fit you properly.

Finally, to protect your back as much as possible, opt for a lightweight bag.

Important:

Take time to try out your bag in-stores, packing it with equipment to assess how comfortable it is to carry.

You can also borrow different bags from your friends and try them out, packed with gear, in the field.

You can adjust the capacity depending on your size and preferences. An adult can carry roughly 25% of his body weight on his back.

Make sure you don't exceed this limit or you could damage your back.

for a few hour walks in LOWLANDS OR ON GENTLE SLOPES

For this activity, you must have sufficient room to carry water, food, a windcheater or lightweight, waterproof jacket in case of showers and a fleece to cope with a sudden change in temperature.

A backpack with a capacity of 10 - 30 litres is perfect for this type of excursion. Your backpack, which is specially designed for hiking, can easily accommodate a water bottle or small water pouch.

List of essentials to carry in your backpack:

- 1L of water

- A snack, cereal-type bar

- A waterproof, raincoat style, windbreaker

- A fleece if you're walking in temperatures that may fluctuate

nature-hiking-backpacks

for day hikes in the mountains

We recommend using a bag with a 20 - 40 litre capacity.

If you're hiking with children, choose a larger bag so you can alleviate their burden as much as possible as children shouldn't really carry more than 10-15% of their body weight.

You can reach this limit quite quickly simply by adding water, snacks and a few items of clothing!

Quechua has developed AIR+ backpacks which are lighter with a well-ventilated back for lightweight, day-long hikes.

List of essentials:

- 2L of water per person

- Lunch

- Cereal bars

- Sunglasses and sun cream

- An extra, fleece-type layer

- A waterproof layer

- A hiking map

- A camera to capture your experiences

- Hiking poles (optional)

mountain-hiking-bags

for trekking several days in the mountains

Do you love losing yourself in the mountains for a few days? 

If you're setting off on a totally self-sufficient hike, you'll be carrying your tent, water, food and everything you need for a good night's sleep. 

So you'll need to find a bag with a capacity of 50 litres or more. 

On large volume backpacks of this type, the shape of the straps and belts can be adapted to suit your gender: straps that can accommodate a woman's bust etc.

Comfort is essential if you're going to be hiking several hours a day for several days. 

Our single advice: try on your loaded bag in the shop and then try on your pack with all your equipment inside

Doing so will prevent you from realizing too late - after several hours of trekking - that your load is poorly distributed.

List of essentials:

- A lightweight, trekking tent

- A mattress and sleeping bag

- A stove

- A head torch

- Freeze-dried meals

- Water-purifying tablets

- Clothing made from merino wool which prevents odours

mountain-trekking-backpacks

for DISCOVERING NEW REGIONS OR EXPLORING COUNTRIES

Do you dream about setting off, backpacking, and discovering new cultures? Have you ever considered taking a year's sabbatical to prolong the adventure? Is backpacking your ideal way of life? Whether you're setting off for 3 weeks or on a world tour, we have the bag you need.

Forclaz's Travel range has been designed to take adventurous backpackers all over the globe. Because your bag will be your home for a few days or a few weeks, our design team has focused on safety and sturdiness.

As you'll be using your bag in transit, remember to take a smaller, compact bag that you can use when you set off to explore. As usual, remember to try out your packed backpack before setting off!

List of essentials:

- A padlock

- A cover to protect your bag when in transit

- Small bags to divide up the contents of your backpack

- An extra lightweight/compact bag

- Clothing made from merino wool which helps reduce odours

- Microfibre towel

- Powerbank

- Passport

travel-backpacks
backpack-warranty

DID YOU KNOW...?

Because your bag is your faithful hiking companion, we do everything in our power to ensure it doesn't let you down!

This includes testing resistance to abrasion and tearing, colour fastness when exposed to UV light and washing, and waterproofing etc. Thanks to a series of rigorous lab tests, we can check the durability of our components (fabrics, foam etc).

We also test our finished products to check the strength of the assembled parts and fastenings. 

The backpacks are then filled with weights and attached to a model which recreates the movements of a hiker fast walking, thousands of times.

Here's to your long-lasting backpack!

kids-backpacks

JUNIOR BACKPACKS

Did you know? A child must not carry more than 10-15% of his bodyweight (depending on his age). 
Be careful, as this limit can be reached quite quickly with the addition of water, snacks and a few items of clothing!

Junior hiking backpacks are specially designed to suit the body shape and backs of young hikers. Some backpacks are even adjustable and can be adapted as the child grows.

We hope you found this guide comprehensive and useful in choosing a backpack.

All the best, and make great memories with your backpack!

How to Choose Best Backpack for Hiking?

written by: odelia chan

hiking digital sports leader, decathlon singapore

Your backpack will be your best buddy on adventures on foot, so treat it with care!

articles you might like