When heading out to do some camping, a specific kind of backpack is required. You will need to carry all of your camping gear, for one, and you will need to carry all that camping gear without ending up with a serious back problem when you get to the campsite.
Camping BackpacksHere are features to look for on camping backpacks.
- Lightweight - Everything else being equal, it is better to have a light backpack, instead of a heavy backpack. Would you rather be carrying 20 pounds or 25 pounds? Believe it or not the difference in the weight of backpacks really can be that big, depending on what models and manufacturers you are looking at.
- Internal Frame, or Not - Depending on how much weight you are carrying, it is also important to get an internal frame. Generally, if you are carrying anything above 30 pounds, you will need a backpack with an internal frame. But if you can get the weight of your backpack down below 30 pounds you can get a camping backpack that has no frame, or that has a removable frame, which further lightens your load.
Best Camping BackpacksThese are some of the best camping backpacks currently on the market.
- ULA Catalyst - If you want a big camping backpack that is also a lightweight backpack, the Catalyst is a great choice. The ULA brand may not be familiar to most campers, but it is well known and respected by lightweight backpackers. The bags are made in the USA and are reasonably priced. The Catalyst has an internal frame and a long list of features, including a 75 liter capacity. And you get all that for just 47 ounces, or 1332 grams. If you want lightweight and fully featured, this is it.
- GoLite Jam - GoLite is another lightweight backpack manufacturer. The Jam is one of their smaller backpacks, coming in at 50 liters, which is still fairly large, and enough room for a smaller camping trip. The backpack weighs a very reasonable 30 ounces, or 840 grams, so you don't have to carry a lot. The Jam does not have a frame, but with the smaller size you probably wont be able to cram too much in to it anyway, so that should not be much of a problem.
- Osprey Exos 46 - the Exos 46 is another relatively small camping backpack that is well suited to a short camping trip or to campers that like to only take a minimal amount of gear. It has a 46 liter capacity, and weighs 37 ounces, or 1050 grams. You do, however, get an internal frame to help with the load, which partially explains the extra weight.
- Granite Gear Blaze A.C. 60 - The Blaze A.C. 60 is a newer backpack from Granite Gear that won the 2011 Editor's Choice Award from Backpacker magazine. It has a 60 liter capacity, so a reasonable amount of room for your camping gear, and weighs 45 ounces, or 1300 grams. An internal frame helps, and if you want a backpack from a well known brand, this is an ideal choice, but for only 32 grams more, the 15 extra liters of storage capacity that the ULA Catalyst has is very attractive.