Best backpacking backpack: 5 essential criteria

Summer has arrived and, by the way, many of you are planning to explore Quebec this summer. For years, people have hiked everywhere with a backpack containing all the necessary equipment for their trip, whether long or short. But how do you choose your backpack?

  1. The format : It is wrong to believe that the longer the trip, the more you need to have a large backpack. In fact, it is quite the reverse. When traveling for a long time, it may happen that we have to carry our pack on our backs all day. A bag that is too heavy quickly becomes bulky. Even when it can be dropped off somewhere (this is usually a possibility in youth hostels), an oversized bag remains heavy and disturbing during transport and city changes. It should not be overlooked either that it is possible to save a lot of money by not leaving your bag in the hold. Having your baggage with you, in the cabin, is also more practical and prevents you from losing your bag in transfers, in addition to saving you the time of waiting for suitcases. Generally, cabin baggage can accept a size of bag of about 40 liters (maximum). The length of the frame may vary the maximum format accepted.
  2. The perfect format: It's hard to say which is the perfect format for each person. However, it is certain that a bag of 30 to 40 liters may be ideal for multiple trips, since it fits in the cabin. In addition, not having a huge bag (60-70-80 liters) prevents us from carrying a lot of unnecessary items in our suitcase. It is then a question of choosing clothes that are more practical and compact. Avoid bringing cotton for example, since cotton clothes take up 90% of the moisture given off by the body and retain it. It is better to favor a lightweight fleece, which does not take moisture and gives us an impressive layer of warmth despite its lightness. If you are going with a tent, sleeping bag, mess tins, and other camping gear, you will definitely need a little more space. However, avoid overloading yourself, choose the essentials and invest in light equipment. Sure, it's more expensive to buy, but you won't regret it and you will keep them for a very long time!

3.The fit: Choosing a perfectly fitting bag is essential to enjoying the trip, especially if you are going to be hiking or taking long walks while carrying your bag. It's quite easy to adjust your backpack. First, the pelvic bones are very strong and strong, they are the ones who have to carry 80% of the weight of the filled bag. It is therefore important that the hips are well covered by the belt, and that it does not go up on the stomach or down on the buttocks. Adjusting the hip belt is the FIRST that needs to be done. Then, the straps must come to conform to the shape of the upper back. They should rest on the shoulder blades, then keep a round shape following the shape of the shoulders, down to the trapezoids. The upper back carries 20% of the bag's weight. Once the hip belt and shoulder straps are properly adjusted, all that remains is to attach the strap just above the chest, without over-tightening it. People often tend to over-tighten this fit, which displaces the straps and makes them uncomfortable.
How do you know if a bag is too small?
 The hip belt rises constantly above the pelvic bones.
How do you know if a bag is too big? The straps do not conform to the shape of the upper back and only sit on the trapezoids, which can get really uncomfortable quickly.

4.Load return straps: On each side of your bag, just above the shoulders, are load return straps. Sometimes very practical to prevent the weight of the bag from being too far from the back (especially when climbing), you have to be careful not to pull them too much either. In fact, when they are too tight, the straps raise the shoulder straps and therefore no longer rest on the shoulder blades (as if the bag were too big). We just want to adjust them so that they are constantly in tension.
A woman's bag ... what is it? The difference between a women's bag and a unisex bag is mainly based on two factors: the length of the back and the shape of the straps. Often times, women have a slightly smaller back than men, which is why there are formats designed for them. Also, the straps conform more to the shape of the breast on a bag for women. It’s not about big or small breasts. Regardless of the size, women generally have a little different build and this size of suspenders prevents them from constantly slipping under the armpits, which becomes irritating, and crushing the chest. One factor to consider.

5.The brand: When shopping in outdoor stores, you will often come across the same backpack brands. However, there are many other brands that are just as great, have lifetime warranties as well, and are often less expensive. For example, we have always held (!) The brand Vaude. The German company offers bags that are always more ingenious, ecological, as fair as possible and above all, very durable. They are generally 30% lighter than similar sized bags from competitive brands. We manage to obtain them in surplus from manufacturers, which allows us to offer you competitive prices. To discover! The same goes for companies such as Lowe alpine (which many of our colleagues love!),Jack wolfskin, Mountain Hardwear, etc.

Discover all our backpacks for light hiking and long hikes by clicking here.