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How to Choose the Right Backpack for Your Hiking Needs

backpack rucksack

When it comes to hiking, choosing the right backpack is super importan for a comfortable and enjoyable experience in the great outdoors. A backpack that’s a bit too small or too big can cause discomfort, pain, and maybe even injury. In this quick guide we’ll go over how to choose the right backpack for your hiking needs including what to consider when choosing a backpack or rucksack and how to find the perfect fit.

Considerations When Choosing a Backpack

Before selecting a backpack, there are several considerations you should make. These include:


The first consideration is how much space you need. This depends on the length of your hike and how much gear you’ll be carrying. A day hike may only require a small pack, while a multi-day trip may require a larger pack with more capacity.


A well-fitting backpack is essential for comfort and proper weight distribution. Make sure to measure your torso length and waist size to find a backpack that fits you well. It’s also important to adjust the shoulder straps, hip belt, and load-lifter straps for a perfect fit.


A heavy backpack can quickly become uncomfortable and cause fatigue, especially on long hikes. Look for lightweight materials and a minimal design to keep your backpack as light as possible.


There are many features to consider when choosing a backpack, such as pockets, straps, and ventilation systems. Think about what features are important for your specific needs and choose a backpack that meets those requirements.

Brand and Price

Backpacks vary greatly in price and quality. Choose a reputable brand with a good warranty to ensure you’re getting a backpack that will last. Keep in mind that a high price tag doesn’t always mean better quality.

Finding the Perfect Fit

Once you’ve considered the above factors, it’s time to find the perfect fit. Here’s how:

Measure Your Torso

To measure your torso length, have a friend help you or measure yourself in front of a mirror. Find the bony bump at the base of your neck and the top of your spine. This is your C7 vertebra. Measure from your C7 vertebra to the top of your hip bones. This is your torso length.

Measure Your Waist

To measure your waist, find the top of your hip bones and measure around your waist. This is your waist size.

Try on Backpacks

Visit an outdoor gear store and try on backpacks to find the right fit. Look for a pack that sits comfortably on your hips and doesn’t sag or pull on your shoulders. Make sure to adjust the straps and load-lifter straps for a perfect fit.

Additional Tips

Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind when selecting a backpack for your hiking needs:

Bring Your Gear

Bring your gear to the store to see how it fits in the backpack. Make sure it all fits comfortably and doesn’t put too much weight on your shoulders.

Consider the Terrain

Think about the terrain you’ll be hiking on when selecting a backpack. A larger pack may be necessary for more rugged terrain or inclement weather.

Don’t Overpack

Remember that you’ll be carrying the backpack for the entire hike. Don’t overpack and only bring what you need to avoid unnecessary weight.

Take Your Time

Choosing the right backpack takes time and patience. Don’t rush the process and take the time to find the perfect fit for your needs.


Choosing the right backpack is essential for a comfortable and enjoyable hiking experience. By considering factors such as capacity, fit, weight, and features, and finding the perfect fit, you can ensure that your

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