There are countless sizes, models and brands of backpacks in the stores, and choosing one is not always a simple task. Some come equipped with special functions (for example ski attachments and rope pockets) and are intended for a specific use. Others are more all-purpose and can be used for a number of different outdoor activities.
When choosing a backpack, its intended use and the things you will need to pack are the most important factors. Ask yourself what you intend to use the backpack for: day trips, long treks, inter-railing, climbing, everyday activities, etc. You also might want to use the backpack for different activities. If this is the case, it might be a good idea, for example, to choose a backpack with compression straps, so you can adjust the size and pull the sides taut if the pack is not full.
How much you want - and physically are able - to carry varies depends on how tall you are, your body type, the equipment you will need, etc. Several rules of thumb to follow:
• 20-40 litre backpacks are good for day trips and everyday use
• 40-60 litre backpacks are good for travelling or trekking between cabins
• 60 litre backpacks and up are better for longer adventures that require a tent, food and other equipment
In the winter you will probably need a backpack at the larger end of the scale, since safety equipment, warm garments, etc., often take up more space.
Every body is unique and when you are testing a backpack in a store, it is important to make sure it sits perfectly against your back. Preferably, add some weight to the backpack, so you can get a better idea of how it will feel in practice. Our larger backpacks for trekking, travelling, etc., are equipped with an adjustable support system that can be adapted to the length of your back, and several models also come in men’s and women’s versions to take into consideration differences in anatomy. On the page about important details we explain in more detail how the support system makes it easier for your body to carry the weight of the backpack.
Today, backpacks without a frame, often called softpack backpacks, are most common. They are suitable for most activities and are often lighter and more flexible than traditional backpacks that have an external frame. They sit snugly against your back, which can be advantageous, for example when skiing. For trekking in difficult terrain with very large packs, however, frame backpacks are still the most stable option. They also provide a certain degree of ventilation at the back, and it is possible to add large pack bags to the frame, both above and below the backpack itself.
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