How to Select Best Backpacks for Outdoors & Travel?

May 4, 2019 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Shopping,Tips


Backpack is definitely one of the important parts of gear you will ever need to start hiking. You will be wearing it for hours. So, it is important to choose the right backpack for your outdoors and travel.

Sure, best backpacks don’t come cheap, but it is an awesome investment for your hiking gear list to last for years.

Trip Length:

First question you should ask yourself – what volume capacity to go for? The longer you want to spend on hiking tours, the bigger backpack you need.

Backpacks are sized by their volume capacity and it can be measured in liters. In general, you may want to go for 35 to 50 liters if you are going for weekend trips (1 to 3 nights).

Similarly, go for 50 to 80 liters for several days (3 to 5 nights) and over 70 liters for long trips (more than 6 nights). You might need more space for extra clothes if you are planning the tour in winter, as well as a warm sleeping bag.


Along with volume capacity, you will also have to choose the right torso length for your backpack (i.e. small, medium, etc.) Torso length matters more than height for choosing backpacks.

To measure this, you need a friend who can grab a flexible tape. Tilt your head ahead and let him feel on the base of neck for small bump.

If you want to know, it is your C7 vertebra and the top of torso length. You can find the bottom of torso length at the top of hip bones.

All you need to put your hands on your hips comfortably where your thumbs point on the back. The torso length determines the distance between such points.

Here’s how manufacturers measure the size of backpack –

  • Very Small – around 15 ½”
  • Small – up to 16” to 17 ½”
  • Regular/Medium – 18” to 19 ½”
  • Tall/Large – up to 20”

Youth and Women Friendly:

Many manufacturers offer backpacks designed for women. Though it is true that women can use unisex backpacks, some women can also find these bags fit well and are very comfortable.

Female friendly backpacks are designed with shorter torso, curved waist belts, and narrower shoulder widths.

You can also get a youth-friendly pack if you are buying it for your kids. These come with smaller capacities and they have adjustable suspension to accommodate their growth.

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Solid Classic Sport Backpack