Unsure as to which rucksack is right for you? Well you are not the only one! To help you make the right choice here are some quick tips to help you make the right purchase.
The first thing you need to think about when choosing a rucksack is what exactly you are going to be using it for. For day long hikes we would recommend a backpack with between 30 to 40 liters of storage. If you are planning on hiking for two or more days you will want something a little bigger, a backpack with around 55 liters of space. Remember, if you get a rucksack that is too big you might just end up willing it with non-essential accessories… leave those at home!
There are also rucksacks that will allow you to expand the size of the backpack when you need to, so you can make it match with numerous activities. For example, some 40-liter bags have 10 liters extra space when you need it or you can find some 70L + 10L rucksacks. Many backpacks also come with extra straps and storage for other equipment. So if you plan on taking a tent, skis, ice axe, crampons and mattress with you on your next adventure make sure that the rucksack is equipped with all the right straps and clips of this purpose. A compartment for a water pouch is also a great plus these days, as well as a pocket on the belt loop.
In order to feel comfortable while walking, so you can concentrate on the views, you need a rucksack that will not only fit the shape of your back but also provide you with plenty of ventilation.
In order to achieve this, the frame of the rucksack has to be taken into account. If you plan on taking less than 10 kg worth of equipment with you then we would recommend a rucksack with an inner frame. Planning an expedition with more than 10 kg worth of clothing and gear, then it is better to find a backpack that has an outer reinforcement. Make sure you read carefully about the back technology each brand and bag is offering. There are some rucksacks that feature pack panel foam, which helps providing comfort but are not great in terms of ventilation. Other rucksacks have stretch netting providing both comfort and greater ventilation.
Finally you need to look at the back length, a key point when choosing your rucksack. Your height and weight are not really sufficient when determining which sort of bag suits you best. You have to find the rucksack that will really adapt to your body, that sits nicely around your hips, torso length and shoulders. To get the right one, we recommend you to measure yourself (or ask a friend) and then check it against the size chart for each brand.
To measure you torso, calculate the size of your back between your 7th vertebrae. This is the vertebrae that (normally) sticks out the most on your neck when you look down. And the iliac crest… need help with this one? It’s the bone that protrudes out from the top of your hip. Keep your back straight and measure away.
To determine your belt size, measure around your hips. You want the belt to sit snugly. So take into account the types of clothing you will wear in the winter for example.
Hopefully, armed with all this information, you will be able to choose the right size and shape of rucksack for your activity.
We wish you a good time with your perfect sized backpack!