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HOW DO YOU CHOOSE YOUR HIKING BACKPACK?

Whether you're going walking for just a few hours, practising fast hiking, or setting off for a one-day or multi-day hike with your equipment on your back, we've got the backpack for you!

Check out criteria you need to consider to ensure you choose the right backpack.

HOW DO YOU CHOOSE YOUR HIKING BACKPACK?

THERE ARE 3 KEY CRITERIA THAT WILL DETERMINE YOUR CHOICE OF BACKPACK: THE DURATION OF YOUR EXCURSION, THE AMOUNT OF UP OR DOWNHILL WALKING INVOLVED AND THE QUANTITY OF EQUIPMENT YOU NEED.

Before choosing your backpack, ask yourself the following questions: "Exactly how long do I want to hike for?", "What type of terrain am I going to encounter? Will there be lots of up and downhill sections?", "Will I have to carry equipment for other hikers (for example children)?", "Will it be a self-sufficient expedition or am I going to stop over in gîtes?
Once you've answered these questions, you'll be in a position to match your needs to the type of hiking and the different types of bags available.

Whichever model you choose, ensure that your backpack has sufficient storage for your organizational requirements. Some people like to use pockets on the hip belt while others don't. Check that the bag has all the necessary adjustment features to ensure maximum comfort. For long walks, choose a bag with a reinforced back, a hip belt, chest belt and load-lifter straps on the shoulders as well as an adjustable torso length so that it will really fit you properly. Finally, to protect your back as much as possible, opt for a lightweight (empty) bag.

Important: Take time to try out your bag in store, packing it with equipment to assess how comfortable it is to carry. You can also borrow different bags from your friends and try them out, packed with gear, in the field. You can adjust the capacity depending on your size and preferences. An adult can carry roughly 25% of his body weight on his back. Make sure you don't exceed this limit or you could damage your back.

YOU ENJOY WALKING FOR A FEW HOURS IN LOWLANDS OR ON GENTLE SLOPES

For this activity, you must have sufficient room to carry water, food, a windcheater or lightweight, waterproof jacket in case of showers and a fleece to cope with a sudden change in temperature.

A backpack with a capacity of 10 to 30 litres is perfect for this type of excursion. Your backpack, which is specially designed for hiking, can easily accommodate a water bottle or small water pouch.

List of essentials to carry in your backpack:

- 1 litre of water

- a snack, cereal type bar

- a waterproof, raincoat style, windcheater

- a fleece if you're walking in variable temperatures

nature-hiking-backpacks

YOU PREFER A DAY HIKING IN THE MOUNTAINS

We recommend using a bag with a 20 to 40 litre capacity. If you're hiking with children, choose a larger bag so you can alleviate their burden as much as possible as children shouldn't really carry more than 10-15% of their body weight. You can reach this limit quite quickly simply by adding water, snacks and a few items of clothing!

Quechua has developed AIR+ backpacks which are lighter with a well-ventilated back for lightweight, day-long hikes.

List of essentials:

2 litres of water per person

- lunch

- cereal bars

- sunglasses and sun cream

- an extra, fleece-type layer

- a waterproof layer

- a hiking map

- a camera to capture your experiences

- you can also pack hiking poles.

mountain-hiking-bags

YOU ENJOY WALKING FAST AND COVERING LARGE DISTANCES IN A DAY OR LESS

For fans of fast hiking, a lightweight, close-fitting bag is essential. In fact, as the aim is to cover the maximum distance in the minimum time, all the equipment must be as light as possible. Don't exceed 30L as this may slow you down and you'll end up going for a traditional rather than a fast hike.

List of essentials:

- 2 litres of water per person

- Dry snacks (avoid fresh fruit which will quickly add weight to your bag), cereal bars

- sunglasses and sun cream

- an extra, compact, fleece-type layer

- an ultralight, waterproof type layer

- a hiking map

- a first aid kit

- you can also take ultralight hiking poles

fast-hiking-bags

DO YOU LOVE SPENDING SEVERAL DAYS IN THE MOUNTAINS?

Do you love losing yourself in the mountains for a few days? If you're setting off on a totally self-sufficient hike, you'll be carrying your tent, water, food and everything you need for a good night's sleep. So you'll need to find a bag with a capacity of 50 litres or more. On large volume backpacks of this type, the shape of the straps and belts can be adapted to suit your gender: straps that can accommodate a woman's bust etc.

Comfort is essential is you're going to be hiking several hours a day for several days. Our single watchword: try on your loaded bag in the shop and then try on your pack with all your equipment inside. Doing so will prevent you from realizing too late - after several hours of trekking - that your load is poorly distributed.

List of essentials:

- a lightweight, trekking tent

- a mattress and sleeping bag

- a stove

- a head torch

- freeze-dried meals

- water-purifying tablets

- choose clothing made from merino wool which has the advantage of helping prevent odours.

mountain-trekking-backpacks

DO YOU ENJOY DISCOVERING NEW REGIONS OR EXPLORING COUNTRIES?

Do you dream about setting off, pack on back, to discover new cultures?Have you even considered taking a year's sabbatical to prolong the adventure? Is backpacking your ideal way of life? Whether you're setting off for 3 weeks or on a world tour, we have the bag you need.

Forclaz's Travel range has been designed to take adventurous backpackers all over the globe. Because your bag will be your home for a few days or a few weeks, our design team has focused on safety and sturdiness.

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 type of backpack has a capacity of more than 50 litres, remember to try out your packed backpack before setting off!

List of essentials:

- a padlock

- a cover to protect your bag when in transit

-small bags to divide up the contents of your backpack

- an extra lightweight/compact bag

- choose clothing made from merino wool which helps reduce odours

- a microfibre towel

- a powerbank

- your passport!

travel-backpacks
backpack-warranty

DID YOU KNOW ...?

Because your bag is your faithful hiking companion, we do everything in our power to ensure it doesn't let you down!

We test resistance to abrasion and tearing, colour fastness when exposed to UV light and washing, and waterproofing etc. Thanks to a series of rigorous lab tests, we can check the durability or our components (fabrics, foam etc.)

We also test our finished products to check the strength of the assembled parts and fastenings. The backpacks are then filled with weights and attached to a model which recreates the movements of a hiker fast walking, thousands of times.

Here's to your long-lasting backpack!

kids-backpacks

JUNIOR BACKPACKS

Did you know? A child must not carry more than 10-15% of his bodyweight (depending on his age). You can reach this limit quite quickly simply by adding water, snacks and a few items of clothing!

Junior hiking backpacks are specially designed to suit the body shape and backs of young hikers. Some backpacks are even adjustable and can be adapted as the child grows.

margaux-quechua-signature

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