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How to choose the best hiking backpack?

Whether you're going for a few hours, a day hike, fast hiking, or several days with your equipment on your back, we have the right backpack for you!
Find out what criteria you should take into account when choosing your backpack.

To choose the best equipment for you, we have identified some criteria to consider. They should be taken into account when you decide how you want to use it or the need if you have already identified it.

3 criteria for choosing the best bag: Capacity, Weight, Comfort

There are three main criteria to take into account when choosing your backpack:

Capacity

The storage capacity of the backpack is expressed in litres. The larger the backpack, the more stuff 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 are planning a multi-day trip, you will need a large backpack, whereas for a simple day trip, a small or medium-sized backpack will be enough.

WEIGHT

The weight of the backpack is also important, especially if you plan to carry it over long distances. A lightweight backpack lets you reduce the total weight of your load and makes it easier to move around. However, it’s important not to sacrifice the strength and durability of the backpack in favour of lightness.

COMFORT 

Comfort is a key consideration when choosing a backpack, especially if you plan to wear it for long periods. 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.

There may be other criteria to consider depending on your needs and preferences, such as water resistance, pockets or hydration system compatibility. Take the time to think about your needs before choosing your backpack to make the best possible choice.

How to choose your hiking backpack?

Your own use and needs

Whatever your choice, make sure you choose a backpack that has sufficient storage space and that fits your own organisation. Some people like to use the pockets on the stomach belt, others don't, etc. Then make sure that the bag has all the adjustment features to provide optimum comfort. For long walks, look for bags with back reinforcements, a stomach strap, a chest strap, load control shoulder straps and also a back that is adjustable in length to really fit you. Finally, go for a lightweight bag when empty to save your back as much as possible.

Important: take the time to try out your bag in store and if possible load it with equipment to appreciate the carrying capacity and comfort. You can also borrow different bags from your friends to test them out in the field when full.

1/ Choose your capacity according to your: USE and PRACTICE

Choosing the right size of backpack is essential for your comfort and well-being when travelling or hiking. A backpack that is too small won’t let you carry all the things you need, while one that is too big will force you to carry an unnecessarily heavy weight. It’s therefore important to think carefully about your needs and how you will use it before choosing the size of your backpack. Depending on the length of your trip or hike and the number of items you plan to take with you, you can choose a small, medium or large capacity backpack. Make a list of all the things you plan to take with you before you choose your backpack, this will help you to assess exactly how much space you need.

Backpack for frequent use

a) For frequent use and hiking

A backpack with a volume of 10 to 40 litres can be a good option for everyday use, depending on your needs and lifestyle. This type of backpack is usually small enough to be carried every day, but still offers enough storage space to carry your essential items.

Here are some examples of use for a backpack with a volume of 10 to 40 litres.

Everyday - 3 to 19 litres

These hiking backpacks are for occasional use in the lowlands, forests, coastlines and also more urban for your daily life, for commuting to work or school. You can carry your laptop, book, lunch and toiletries in a backpack like this.

Its advantage will be its versatility, as it can be used on a daily basis for all your trips.

How to choose your hiking backpack?
Everyday - 3 to 19 litres

HIKING BACKPACK 16 L - NH ESCAPE 500

How to choose your hiking backpack?

HIKING BACKPACK 16 L - NH ESCAPE 150 SQUARE

Everyday - 3 to 19 litres

HIKING BACKPACK 10 L - NH ESCAPE 150 SQUARE

Hike - 20 to 39 litres

A backpack with a volume of 20 to 39 litres is perfect for this type of outing. Accessorised for hiking, you can easily slip in your water bottle or a small water bladder with a change of clothes. This format lets you carry the bare essentials with a minimum of weight while having easy access to your belongings.

Its advantages will be its comfort and its practicality to accompany your daily trips and walks.

Choose your bag for a hike
Choose your bag for a hike

HIKING BACKPACK 30 L - NH ARPENAZ 500

Choose your bag for a hike

HIKING BACKPACK 30 L - NH ARPENAZ 100<br>

Choose your bag for a hike

HIKING BACKPACK 32 L - NH ESCAPE 500 ROLLTOP

Choosing your backpack for the mountains

b) For mountain and travel use

A backpack adapted for mountain activities will be more comfortable to carry and will make your trips easier as they will be longer and more physical than a flat hike. The size of the backpack will vary greatly to suit your needs.

Here are some examples of possible uses for small and large volume backpacks for your adventures.

Fast Hiking: - 20 L

For fast hikers, an ultra-light, body-hugging bag is a must. The aim is to cover as much distance as possible in as little time as possible, so all your equipment should be as light as possible. Don't exceed 30 L in volume, otherwise you will slow down and be doing classic hiking instead of fast hiking.

Its advantages are its light weight and carrying comfort.

Choosing your fast hiking bag
Choosing your fast hiking bag

ULTRA LIGHT BACKPACK FH500

Choosing your fast hiking bag

ULTRA LIGHT BACKPACK FH900

Choosing your fast hiking bag

WOMEN’S ULTRA LIGHT BACKPACK FH 500

Travel - Backpack for travelling

Is it your dream to go backpacking and discover new cultures? Have you even considered taking a year's sabbatical to prolong the adventure? Is becoming a backpacker your ideal life? Whether you're going on a three-week trip or a round-the-world trip, we have the right bag for you. The Forclaz Travel range has been designed to follow backpacking adventurers around the world. Because your bag is going to be your home for a few days or a few weeks, the design team focused on robustness and safety. Its U-shaped zip provides a large opening and is as practical as a suitcase.

As you'll be using your bag in transit, remember to take a smaller, compact bag which you can use when you set off to explore. And of course, as this is a backpack with a volume of over 50 litres, remember to test it loaded before you leave!

Choosing your travelling backpack
Choosing your travelling backpack

TREKKING AND TRAVEL BACKPACK 60 L - TRAVEL 100

Choosing your travelling backpack

Women's Travel Backpack 70 L - TRAVEL 500

Choosing your travelling backpack

MEN’S TRAVEL BACKPACK 70 L - TRAVEL 500

Mountains - Which bag for day hiking? With and without bivouac

For a day hike, you should have enough room to carry water and food. To cover up, you will need a windbreaker or light waterproof jacket in case of rain and a fleece to cope with a sudden change in temperature. We recommend using a hiking bag with a volume of 20 to 40 litres. They are a good compromise between durability and lightweight while being sleek in design. If you're hiking with kids, go for the larger size to keep them as light as possible. If you're adding an overnight bivouac to your trek, you can increase the capacity to 60 L to add all the extra equipment you'll need.

Choosing your bag for a day hike
Choosing your bag for a day hike

MOUNTAIN HIKING BACKPACK 30L - MH500

Choosing your bag for a day hike

MOUNTAIN HIKING BACKPACK 40L - MH500

Choosing your bag for a day hike

MOUNTAIN HIKING BACKPACK 40L - MH100

Mountains - several days of self-sufficiency

Do you love losing yourself in the mountains for a few days? If you are completely self-sufficient, you will carry your tent, water, food and everything you need to sleep well. So look for a bag with a volume of 50 litres or more. For large bags, look for bags that respect your body shape and have back reinforcements, a stomach strap, a chest strap, load control shoulder straps, padded shoulder straps, good ventilation and an adjustable back to really fit you. Comfort is essential if you're going hiking several hours a day for a few days. Our single watchword: try on your loaded bag in the shop and then try on your pack with all your equipment inside. This will prevent you from realising after several hours of trekking that the load in your bag was not well distributed.

How to choose your trekking backpack?
How to choose your trekking backpack?

MEN’S TREKKING BACKPACK 50+10 L - MT900 SYMBIUM

How to choose your trekking backpack?

Men's Trekking Backpack 50+10 L MT900 UL

How to choose your trekking backpack?

TRAVEL BACKPACK 50 L - TRAVEL 100

These hiking backpacks are the most versatile. You can use them to carry your day-to-day belongings, but they can also be used for weekend hikers with an optimised, lightweight packing list. Depending on the model, underneath the backpacks you will find trigger guards. They attach the straps and items outside the bag such as a groundsheet. Bags can also be designed with specific details such as for carrying hiking or mountaineering equipment.

2/ Choose the best bag according to your: NEED

We have selected a number of backpacks to suit your various needs. We have chosen the following criteria: practical and multifunctional bag / lightweight bag with large volume / ultra-light bag / durable bag.

Backpack - Practical and multifunctional

You need a practical bag that can be used on a daily basis and on your trips. We have the right bags for you, whether you're on the move for a day or longer.

Choosing a practical and multi-use bag

 NH ESCAPE 500 ROLLTOP

13 pockets to organise you
23 L
Perfect for everyday
large opening

Choosing a practical and multi-use bag

DUFFEL 500 EXTEND

Travel bag
Variable capacity system
(40 to 60 L)
Strong bag
cabin baggage compatible

Choosing a practical and multi-use bag

TRAVEL BACKPACK <br>TRAVEL 500

Comfort with the Easyfit system
Suitcase opening
Removable pouch
Large capacity

Lightweight and spacious: Which bag for a 3-day trek?

Do you need a lightweight bag with plenty of room to carry all your hiking gear? we have the right bags for you.

Lightweight and spacious: Which bag for a 3-day trek?

WOMEN’S TREKKING BACKPACK<br>MT900 UL

Volume: 45+10 L
Weight: 1.3 kg

Lightweight and spacious: Which bag for a 3-day trek?

MEN’S TREKKING BACKPACK - MT900 UL

Volume: 50+10 L
Weight: 1.3 kg

An ultra light backpack

Do you need an ultra light bag? We offer you two ultra light bags with small and large capacity.

How to choose your hiking backpack?

ULTRA LIGHT BACKPACK <br>FH500

Volume: 17 L
Weight: 400 grams

How to choose your hiking backpack?

TREKKING BACKPACK<br>MT900 UL

Volume: 50+10 L
Weight: 1.3kg

Durable backpack

Do you need a durable backpack to take on your travels? We have the right bags for you. The more durable a bag is, the heavier it will be. If you need reliability and durability, these bags are perfect:

Choosing a durable backpack

HIKING BACKPACK <br>NH ESCAPE 500

Volume: 23 L
Durable components and assembly
resistant to abrasion
10-year warranty

Choosing a durable backpack

TREKKING BACKPACK<br>MT900 SYMBIUM

Volume: 50+10 L
600 denier durable polyester fabric

Reinforced polyamide bag base
10-year warranty

Do you still have questions? 

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Margaux

Copywriter hiking tips

My Top 3 walks: Anterne lake, the West Coast Trail and the Vercors (but I can't choose)!
I love: Going on adventures on forgotten footpaths, old shepherd or postal trails.
I don't like: people who throw their litter in the forest.

Check out our selection of tips

What to take in your backpack when going hiking with your pre-teen - title

WHAT TO TAKE IN YOUR BACKPACK WHEN GOING HIKING WITH YOUR PRE-TEEN?

Packing a backpack can quickly turn into a headache, but if you overlook this stage, you risk paying the price for it the next day. Before that, the choice of your child's rucksack is crucial. This choice will also affect the amount your child can carry. The ultimate goal: to have the lightest bag possible without forgetting anything!