Choose your backpack: criteria to take into account

Choose your backpack: criteria to take into account

You’ll find in this guide everything there is to know about hiking and trekking backpacks to carry your belongings with ease.

When you go hiking or trekking, it can last from several hours to several days, depending on the routes you choose. Whether you are going alone, with family or friends, everyone should have a carefully chosen backpack.

How to choose your backpack ?

To be able to go hiking or trekking in optimal conditions, it’s essential to be well equipped. In this article, you have all the important information depending on the activities and the criteria to be taken into account.

We also offer you another comparative article of our products to help you further.

1/ The different types of activity

Having analysed the different types of activity, you’ll be able to get an initial idea of the bag you will need. To choose the right bag, you will also have to look at the features that we will cover later in the article.

Choosing your fast hiking bag

Fast hiking bag

Fast hiking is hiking at a fast pace. It’s an alternative to trekking or hiking, which are slower activities.

The bags will be ultra light, small and worn as fitted to the body as possible.

Choosing your walking backpack

Backpack for walks and short hikes

These backpacks have a capacity from 20 to 39 litres. They are perfect for your daily walks and short hikes. They are accessorised for hiking with different options like a chest strap or a waist belt.

Choosing your hiking backpack

Backpacks for hiking and long distance hikes

These hiking backpacks have a capacity from 20 to 60 litres. Perfectly adapted for your trips in the mountains, you’ll be able to take all your hiking equipment while preserving maximum carrying comfort. You can easily carry your snacks, a water bottle or water bladder, and extra clothes.

Choosing your trekking backpack

Backpacks for multi-day hikes

It’s important to choose a backpack that is comfortable and well-balanced, as you will be carrying it over long distances and over rough terrain. Make sure the backpack has well-padded shoulder straps and hip belts to distribute the weight evenly and avoid pressure points. Also check that the back of the backpack is well padded and ventilated, so you can breathe better and stay cool while wearing the bag.

Which bag for a 5-day trek?

For a 5-day trek, you’ll need a medium to large backpack, between 40 and 80 litres. A backpack of this size lets you carry all the things you need for your trek, such as a tent, a sleeping bag, food, a change of clothes, etc.

It’s also important to choose a backpack that is water resistant, especially if you plan to trek in areas where there may be bad weather. Choose a backpack with a rain cover or one made of waterproof material to protect your belongings in bad weather.

Finally, if you plan to carry your backpack for long hours, it can be handy to have a built-in hydration system (a pocket for a water bottle or a hose system). This will help you drink easily without having to take your water bottle out of your backpack.

2/ Factors to take into account

The choice of a mountain backpack is crucial for your comfort and well-being when hiking in the mountains. It’s important to consider several criteria to make sure you make the right choice. First of all, there are the basic criteria: capacity, weight and comfort. After applying these 3 criteria according to your needs, it will be interesting to analyse the compartmentalisation, technical features, size and options that the bags offer. Bag use is different for everyone, so take your time to find the one that suits you best.

A) Basic criteria

Capacity

The storage capacity of a backpack is measured in litres. The larger the capacity, the more you can take with you. It’s important to choose a backpack that has the right capacity for your needs and the duration of your trip or hike. If you’re going on a trip for several days, you will need a large capacity backpack, while a small or medium capacity backpack will be enough for a day trip.

Weight - How heavy should my backpack be?

The weight of your backpack is an important consideration, especially if you plan to carry it over long distances. A lighter backpack lets you reduce the total weight of your load and makes it easier for you to move around. However, don't neglect the strength and durability of the backpack in favour of lightness. It’s important to find a balance between these different criteria to make sure you have a backpack that meets your needs.

Comfort

Carrying comfort is a key consideration when choosing a backpack, especially if you plan to wear it for long periods. To ensure optimal comfort it's important to check the backpack has well-padded shoulder straps and hip belts to distribute the weight evenly and avoid pressure points. What's more, the back of the backpack should be well padded and ventilated for good air circulation and to prevent perspiration. These features let you breathe better and stay cooler while wearing the backpack, which will greatly contribute to your carrying comfort.

B) Compartments and pockets

When it comes to choosing the right backpack, every detail has to be taken into account. One of the most important factors in your decision is the composition of your bag. Should you opt for numerous pockets or a minimalist model? Different people have different preferences. Despite these two schools of thought, here we present the different types of pockets and compartments you can choose for your backpack.

The pockets let you organise your belongings in an optimal way, so that everything is within reach, without you having to search for a long time when you need a particular item.

Choose your backpack: THE pockets

Top pocket

Placed at the very top of your backpack, in the section covering its opening, the top pocket is recommended for storing light items which you would need to access frequently and easily at any time. Typically, this will hold your wallet, sunglasses or possibly rain protection.

Choose your backpack: THE pockets

Side pockets

 Present on the majority of hiking and trekking backpacks, side pockets are generally used for water bottles. Traditionally isothermal, the capacity of these pockets won't suffer from the outside temperatures. Such a configuration is favoured for its accessibility. Indeed, the side pockets will give you easy access to your bottle, so that you can hydrate yourself at any time without having to remove the backpack. Note that you will also find some of the most intuitive models, offering a side pocket oriented at 45°, let you reach your bottle more easily.

Choose your backpack: THE pockets

Front pocket

The front pocket can take many forms, although it’s most often made of net. It’s not very spacious and usually holds clothing accessories such as gloves or a hat.

Choose your backpack: THE pockets

Belt pocket

These are available on certain bag models and are recommended for objects that are not too bulky and that you want to be able to grab easily. We’re generally talking about smartphones, headphones or even handkerchiefs.

C) Technical features of backpacks

Your backpack should meet your expectations in every respect. We now present you with the technical features that the latter must have for an activity in optimal conditions. We have identified two main properties that should not be overlooked in your choice.

Waterproofing

Hiking through the seasons can expose you to the changes in weather, such as rain. To keep your belongings dry throughout your hike or trek, it’s essential that your backpack is waterproof. To do this, you should choose a water-repellent and watertight fabric. For optimal efficiency, you can add a rain cover to your equipment, provided you choose the right capacity.

BREATHABILITY

Hiking and trekking are physical activities that can be relatively intense. In both summer and winter, these activities can make it easier to sweat during effort, especially on the back. Your backpack, covering the whole of your back, could encourage this unpleasant feeling of dampness. To counter this phenomenon, it’s essential to choose a breathable model that will dry quickly. For optimal efficiency, you can opt for a mesh system, which greatly limits contact between the bag and the back.

Choosing your backpack size

D) Backpack size

When choosing the size of a hiking backpack, it’s important to take into account your body shape. The backpack size should be adapted to your back. It’s measured from the base of your neck to your hips and the grip of the stomach strap should be comfortable on your hips.

Go for a backpack adapted to your body shape

As mentioned previously, there are different shapes and sizes of backpacks. If these criteria depend mainly on the use you will make of it, they should also take into account the body shape of the person wearing it. Indeed, from one model to another, the positioning of the shoulder straps is likely to vary, which can sometimes lead to a certain discomfort depending on the body shape. Ideally, it may be advisable to try on the model in question to make sure you don’t feel any discomfort during your trip.

As you can see, the choice of your backpack will also depend on the person who will be carrying it. A man, a woman or a kid won’t choose the same models. In terms of size and physical condition, these criteria should not be overlooked.

Choose the backpack adapted to your body shape

Women’s trekking bag

45+10 L

Choose the backpack adapted to your body shape

Women’s trekking bag

45+10 L

Choose the backpack adapted to your body shape

Men’s trekking bag

50+10 L

Choose the backpack adapted to your body shape

Men’s trekking bag

50+10 L

E) Options

Specially designed to accompany you on your hiking and trekking trips, the backpacks feature various options, which vary from one model to another. There are several main features that you can choose from depending on your preferences and the type of hiking you do.

Important options for your backpack

Type of attachment

Carrying your hiking equipment can sometimes be complicated. Not only does it require a certain level of physical fitness, but it may not stay in place during your activity. Therefore, when choosing your equipment, you should pay attention to the type of attachment provided. For optimum comfort, especially on long routes, we recommend thick, wide shoulder straps that won't cause you pain. For a better fit, you can also opt for a belt and a chest strap. These will give you the best possible stability during your hikes.

Important options for your backpack

Storage type

As mentioned previously, your hiking backpack may contain various pockets (front, side, etc.) to organise your belongings as well as possible. What's more, you may also find internal compartments which will help you to store your different equipment.

When it comes to storage, it’s also important to consider how you can store the bag and your hiking equipment. Some models may be more collapsible than others so you can store the bag easily when not in use.

Choosing a kids’ backpack

3/ Kids’ backpacks

Kids’ hiking backpacks are adapted to the body shape and back of young hikers. Some backpacks are even adjustable and can be adapted as the child grows.

4/ 10-year warranty

Because your hiking backpack is your most faithful companion, we do everything we can to make sure it stays with you! Abrasion resistance tests, tear tests, UV colour fastness tests, washing tests, waterproofing tests... Thanks to a demanding series of laboratory tests, we can validate the durability of our components (fabrics, foams, etc.). We also test our finished products to check the resistance of the joins. The backpacks are then filled with weights and attached to a model which recreates the movements of a hiker fast walking, thousands of times.

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