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How to Choose The Best Hiking Backpack for You!
Are you looking for a suitable hiking backpack for your next adventure on foot? Do you need your hiking backpack for a shorter hike, or a scenic hut hike in the mountains? Or even for a trekking tour lasting several weeks? We show you which different hiking backpack models are available!
We also tell you what to look for when choosing your hiking backpack and which hiking backpacks we can recommend. At the end, we'll also give you tips on how to wear your hiking backpack properly!
With these tips you will find the right hiking backpack for you!
Here's what you should look for when choosing your hiking backpack
Hiking backpacks are available in abundance! So that you know what is important when choosing the right hiking backpack, we have our best tips for you!
Hiking backpack tip 1: Try on your hiking backpack fully packed
First of all, the most important thing is that your hiking backpack really fits you. It doesn't matter how practical and beautiful a backpack might be. If it's not comfortable for you to wear, it's not for you. Everyone has a different body. Accordingly, one backpack may fit your friend perfectly, but it may not fit you.
Therefore, here is our most important tip: try on your hiking backpack once fully packed. This is the only way to find out if it really fits you. That it does not squeeze or chafe uncomfortably even when fully loaded. Your hiking backpack should give you enough freedom of movement and not restrict you while hiking.
Hiking backpack tip 2: Look for water-repellent materials and high-quality workmanship
Your hiking backpack is primarily intended for your adventures on foot out in nature. Therefore, it should withstand even the worst weather conditions. So make sure that the surface of your hiking backpack is water-repellent and robust. Many manufacturers also offer extra rain covers for their hiking backpacks.
In addition, your hiking backpack should be made of breathable and lightweight materials. After all, hiking is not much fun with unnecessary weight on your back. It is also important to have a high-quality finish, and that especially on zippers and seams.
Hiking backpack tip 3: Look for good padding and a back as free as possible
To make your hiking backpack more comfortable to carry, it should be well padded on the shoulder straps and back. For multi-day hikes, it's best if the hip belt is also padded.
It is also a great advantage if your hiking backpack is designed to keep your back as free as possible. This way, you sweat less on your back and have more fun while hiking!
Hiking backpack tip 4: Look for extra compartments and devices
In addition to a large main compartment, your hiking backpack should also offer at least one other small compartment. Here you can pack important documents, your bowl or cash. Also practical are compartments on the outside of your backpack. They are the perfect place to keep your water bottle handy!
If you're heading out on a longer hiking adventure, your hiking backpack should also offer a top and bottom compartment. In addition, there should be fastening options on the outside for your hiking poles or, for example, for your rain jacket.
The different backpack models for hiking
Hiking backpacks can basically be divided into three different categories. You can use these as a guide when buying your hiking backpack.
Overview of the different hiking backpack models:
- Hiking or daypack: these backpack models are designed especially for day hikes and have a volume between 15-30 liters.
- Touring backpack: With a volume between 30-50 liters, this hiking backpack offers enough space for multi-day tours or hut hikes.
- Trekking Backpack: With a volume of 50-70 liters, this hiking backpack is primarily intended for trekking adventures. So adventures where you are several days to several weeks with the tent on the road.
Hiking backpack extra tip: hiking backpacks specifically for women!
Most manufacturers nowadays offer backpack models specifically for women. These are adapted to the female anatomy and can therefore be carried much more comfortably as a woman. So as an adventurer, it's best to always look for such women's models.
By the way: In addition to the classic hiking backpack, you can also find models in outdoor stores that are particularly suitable for climbing and via ferrata. But also some that are intended for trail running. These are much smaller and lighter in comparison. They offer, for example, extra devices for your climbing equipment or have an integrated hydration system.
What makes a good hiking backpack
If you're just heading out on a shorter hike or a day trip, a simple hiking backpack will suffice. These backpack models have a volume of 15 to 30 liters. They usually offer a large main compartment and also a small compartment inside or in the lid of the backpack.
Compared to the other two backpack models, these hiking backpacks are less padded. In addition, they often offer only a simple hip belt. The main focus here is on a low weight and as much freedom of movement as possible.
What makes a good touring backpack
A touring backpack must offer much more space compared to a simple daypack. In addition, of course, it must be able to carry more weight. Such hiking backpacks offer a volume of 30-50 liters, whereas we would recommend you a backpack with about 40 liters.
Due to the higher load, these hiking backpacks are also better padded. In addition, they also offer a padded hip belt. To improve carrying comfort and stability, an additional frame is usually built into the backpack.
Furthermore, touring backpacks offer more compartments. In addition to a large main compartment, these hiking backpacks also have a lid compartment as well as other compartments on the sides, front or bottom. After all, you need to take a lot more with you for a multi-day hike.
The main focus of these hiking backpacks is a compromise between low weight and plenty of space.
How to pack your hiking backpack properly
When packing your hiking backpack, the following applies: Pack only as much as necessary and as little as possible. Go for lightweight and preferably also multifunctional equipment and clothing. This will save you additional weight. Heavy items should be placed at the bottom and as close to your back as possible. While you can place light items further up and in the front of the backpack.
Items such as your water bottle, fleece* or even your rain jacket* should always be within easy reach. For example, at the top of your backpack or in the side pockets. Small pack bags also ensure more order in your hiking backpack. Even if they mean additional weight, they are worth every gram!
How to wear your hiking backpack correctly
Before you start running with your fully packed hiking backpack, you should adjust it to your body. If possible, first adjust the back length. Then place the hip belt and fasten it tightly. Then tighten the shoulder straps and the chest strap. Finally, use the upper and lower adjustment straps to stabilize your hiking backpack.
In general, the tighter you tighten all straps and straps, the closer the backpack is to your body and the more stability it has. On the other hand, you'll enjoy more freedom of movement and better ventilation if you buckle the straps a little looser.
Hiking backpack step 1: Set the correct back length
If you can adjust the back length of your hiking backpack, you should do so. To do this, you must first determine your own back length. Grab a tape measure and ask a friend to measure it. To do this, stand up straight and bend your head slightly forward so that you can feel the seventh cervical vertebra. From there, measure down along the spine to the two upper ends of the hip bones. Using this back length, you can now adjust the back section of your hiking backpack to fit your back perfectly!
Hiking Backpack Step 2: Adjust the straps to fit your body
To adjust the straps to your body, you first need to loosen all the straps. Including the shoulder straps, and the hip and chest straps, as well as the two position adjustment straps. Now put on your backpack and adjust the hip belt first. The hip belt should support most of the weight (about 75%) of your hiking backpack. It helps to take the weight off your shoulders and therefore your back.
To do this, follow these steps: Place the hip belt centrally over your hip bones and then pull it tight. Of course, it should not hurt or be uncomfortable. However, the belt must be snug against your hips so that they can bear the weight of your backpack at all. Also, make sure that the hip belt is neither too high nor too low. This can hinder your breathing or cause chafing.
The shoulder straps
Now you need to tighten your shoulder straps, they carry the rest of the weight of your hiking backpack. The straps should rest right on top of your shoulder. The shoulder strap base should be right between your shoulder blades. If it's not, by the way, that's an indication that you've adjusted your back length incorrectly. It could also be that the backpack is simply too big or too small for you.
Now buckle your chest strap and tighten it. It ensures that your shoulder straps do not slip and thus relieves your shoulders. It also stabilizes the entire backpack. You should make sure that it does not squeeze your chest or hinder your breathing. With most backpack models, you can also adjust the height of the chest strap, which is especially practical for women!
Hiking backpack step 3: Ensure more stability
In the last step, you should adjust the two position adjustment straps. These are usually found only on larger touring or trekking backpacks. They change the load angle and provide more stability. With the upper position adjustment strap you pull the backpack slightly upwards and towards you. This slightly raises the shoulder straps. With the lower position adjustment strap you pull the backpack even closer to your body.
Extra tip: When walking, you should alternately loosen and tighten your straps - this way you will walk much more relaxed in the long run!
Your hiking backpack is your most faithful companion on your hiking adventures!
On every hike you always have some luggage with you, be it just your water bottle, a few snacks, a fleece and your rain jacket. So that your back does not suffer under the load, you can still move sufficiently and sweat as little as possible, you should invest in a good hiking backpack.
Here we distinguish between hiking backpacks for day hikes, touring backpacks for (hut) tours lasting several days and trekking backpacks for hiking adventures of up to several weeks. When choosing your hiking backpack, the most important thing is that it fits you perfectly. Also, that it offers good padding on the back as well as on the straps. Also, look for sturdy and lightweight materials, a well thought-out compartment layout and a high-quality finish.