The requirements for a backpack that can withstand several days of trekking with a heavy pack, for example Fjällräven Classic, are higher than those for a backpack used for day trips. The most important feature of a trekking backpack is its fit, i.e. how snugly it fits against your back. After finding the right fit, it is then important to consider special functions that you will need.
A good support system is fundamental
The key to a successful trek or trip with a backpack is that the backpack must be comfortable to carry when fully packed. This means that a proper support system is a backpack’s most important function and distinguishes a quality backpack from cheaper alternatives. The purpose of the support system is to redistribute the weight so you are able to carry heavier loads further.
For maximum carrying comfort, you should look for a backpack with an adjustable support system. Our “Perfect Fit Adjustment System” makes it possible to adjust both the length of the back and the distance between the shoulder straps to fit your body. This system provides stability, flexibility and an even distribution of weight. Several of our large backpack models also come in men’s and women’s versions to take into consideration anatomical differences. The women’s Kajka and Abisko models, for example, have shoulder straps that sit more snugly and have been designed not to press down on the chest area.
A large backpack should also have a padded hip belt to redistribute weight away from the shoulders and transfer a greater part of the burden to the stronger muscle groups in the legs. Additional details that make it easier to carry a backpack and which you should look for during your search include:
• anatomically shaped shoulder straps
• a chest strap that connects the shoulder straps in the front and moves the centre of gravity forward
• a top strap that adjusts the backpack’s angle to the shoulder straps
• a side strap that stabilises the hip belt and pulls the backpack closer to the body
• compression straps to stabilise the backpack a
• ventilating back panel
Make sure you go to a store to test how the backpack fits, and preferably add some weight to the backpack so you can get an idea of how it will feel during a trek.
Backpacks can have different types of openings for accessing the contents. Top-loading backpacks are the most common, i.e. you pack from the top, kind of like filling a potato sack. Whatever is packed first is placed at the bottom of the bag. The problem with this type of backpack is that it is difficult to get an overview of your pack. The solution to this problem is to find a backpack with both top and front openings, and perhaps even an opening in the bottom.
A front opening allows you to open the backpack like a suitcase. It is easy to get an overview of the contents and find what you are looking for. It is also easier to pack the backpack.
The design of the top lid is important. The pockets of the top lid will hold the items you want to have easy access to throughout the day. Some backpack models, including Kajka , have a detachable top lid that can be worn across the chest or around the waist, in effect providing an extra bag for shorter excursions.
It is practical to be able to sort your packing, and in addition to pockets in the top lid, a backpack should also have front and side pockets for items you want to be able to reach often. A hidden inner pocket that is more difficult to access is also practical for storing valuables. On some models, for example Abisko and Friluft , the hip belt also has pockets, which is perfect for storing energy bars, raisins or sunscreen.