5 Tips For Buying the Right Backpack

Top 5 Tips For Buying the Right Backpacking Pack

In Backpacking, Gear Reviews, Hiking, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   6 Comments

By Michael Lanza

If you’re super fit and strong, young, hike with a pack of any weight 50 or 100 days a year, and have never known any sort of injury or ache in your body, then don’t bother reading this article. But for everyone else, knowing how to find the right backpack for your activities and your body will make a world of difference in your enjoyment when carrying that pack for hours a day on a trail or up and down a mountain. The following tips reflect what I’ve learned about finding the right pack from hundreds of days testing all manner of daypacks, backpacks, climbing packs, and ski packs for more than two decades.

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6 Responses to Top 5 Tips For Buying the Right Backpacking Pack

  1. Andrew E. Dasilva   |  December 14, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Hey Michael, a great article from you. And you are much experienced. I am a new hiker. And I also like the article “Less Weight = More Fun”. Thanks.

    • MichaelALanza   |  December 15, 2017 at 10:04 am

      Thanks, Andrew, I’m glad you find these two stories helpful.

  2. Kenji   |  November 21, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Nice article Michael! I agree with you with keeping the weight under 30 pounds so that you can enjoy the adventure conveniently.

    • MichaelALanza   |  November 21, 2017 at 8:13 pm

      Spot on, Kenji. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Michael   |  July 1, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    I was an Outward Bound instructor in my 20s but it’s literally been 30 years since I have gone on a long backpacking trip. My question is what would be the average amount of weight someone would carry for say a weeklong trip through the hundred mile wilderness in Maine or a 2 to 3 week trip to do the John Muir trail? I have no idea what the average weight for gear, food, water and clothing is if say there are two adults on the trip and the weight is evenly distributed between them.

    • MichaelALanza   |  July 1, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      Hi Michael, that’s a perfectly legitimate question. Short answer: With modern gear and packing only what you really need, you can get base pack weight (without food and water) down to 15 pounds (or even less) without compromising comfort or safety, and certainly keep it under 20 pounds even with a spacious, sturdy two-person tent, warm bag, and cushy air mattress. Then factor in about two pounds per day for food, and roughly two pounds per liter of water, and your pack weight with a week’s worth of food, in a place with fairly frequent water sources, shouldn’t have to exceed around 35 pounds. Careful food and water planning and really light gear can keep it under 30 pounds.

      Check out my story “Ultralight Backpacking’s Simple Equation: Less Weight = More Fun” (https://thebigoutside.com/the-simple-equation-of-ultralight-backpacking-less-weight-more-fun/).

      Good luck.

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