There are many kinds of backpacks available on the market, but for backpacking, only a true backpacking backpack will do. Backpacks for backpacking are typically a little bigger, to accommodate all that extra gear that you need to survive in the outdoors. Ideally, a backpacking backpack will also be a little lighter, because after all, you will be carrying that backpack for quite some time.
Backpacking BackpackWhat to look for when looking at backpacking backpacks.
- Lightweight - Ideally, a backpacking backpack should be a lightweight backpack. Remember that you have to carry everything in your backpack, and you have to carry the backpack too. There is no sense in carrying a heavy backpack when a lighter backpack will do the same job. Your back and legs will thank you at the end of the day.
- Capacity - Backpacking tends to require a little more gear than something like hiking, for example. For that reason, a good backpacking backpack will tend to be a little larger than something like a hiking backpack. Exactly how big, however, will depend a lot on how long you plan to go backpacking for.
Best Backpacking BackpackAll the best backpacking backpacks.
- Granite Gear Blaze A.C. 60 Pack -The Blaze won the 2011 Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice award, making it one of the premier backpacks currently on the market. It has 60 liters of storage capacity, and has all the standard features, like an internal frame and a padded hip belt. It's a top loading backpack, but does not have a sleeping bag compartment at the bottom like you will find on many backpacking backpacks. But it also only weighs 2 pounds 14 ounces, or 1.3 kilograms, which definitely qualifies it as a lightweight backpack. There's also a women's version of the Blaze.
- ULA Equipment Circuit Backpack - ULA Equipment is a company that many backpackers have probably never heard of, but they are extremely popular with lightweight backpackers. The Circuit, which has a 68 liter capacity, weighs a very slight 36 ounces, or 1.02 kilograms, making it both bigger and significantly lighter than the already very light Blaze above. Features like large exterior pockets for easy access to water bottles and hip belt pockets for things you don't have to take your bag off to access help further set the Circuit apart from the crowd. If you want lightweight, this is it.
- Osprey Argon 85 Backpack - If you need something big, the Argon is a great choice. At 85 liters, it has enough room to carry gear for just about any kind of backpacking trip. All that capacity comes at a price, however, which is weight. The Argon weighs in at 6 pounds 7 ounces, or 2.92 kilograms, which is quite a bit more than either of the other two backpacks. A few features like a removable lid and day pack, sleeping bag compartment and multiple access points to the main compartment help to offset the larger weight. If you want high capacity but are reluctant to strap 6 pounds to your back, check out ULA Equipment's full range of backpacks for a few that are bigger than the Circuit.