So, you’ve decided to make like a turtle and carry a multi-day hiking backpack?
This article will give you tips on how to choose the perfect multi-day hiking backpack for your needs. Just remember that when searching for the right backpack not just for multi-day hikes but for every need, you always need to go for comfort, security, durability, and practicality. Also, make sure that the backpack you buy is for a long term investment so you won’t need to buy one for several years at least.
Multi-day backpacking trips usually take around 3 – 5 nights, as opposed to a short weekend hike, so when selecting a multi-day backpack, this can also be used for weekend hikes. Multi-day trips also means that you need to carry more food and a little bit more survival gear, depending on the kind of hiking or climate you’ll face. You’ll want a backpack that can carry a volume of between 50 to 70 liters. You might want to check your gear to go ultra-light or compressible to hike with less weight.
Practical Advice When Buying A Quality Backpack: What To Look for, What to Avoid
The best, quality hiking backpacks that last the longest have all of the following characteristics:
No backpack is totally waterproof, no matter what they advertise. But you can make sure your pack is made from semi-waterproof material so at least the contents don’t get wet in a drizzle, or have a tarp for severe downpours. The material should be thick enough so that even if you get caught in a sudden rainstorm, you won’t find wet clothes when you open the pack. Mountain Hardwear Direttissima OutDry is a strong contender in this category.
Look for a multi-day backpack that has two zippers for each compartment so they can be locked together. This is practical in case you need to travel by air or bus to prevent baggage handlers from stealing or scammers putting stuff in your bag to frame you. If you’re a photographer who needs a multi-day backpack, you might want to invest in TSA-approved locks or in Pacsafe.
A good pack must have multiple compartments to break up belongings into smaller sections for easier access and finding stuff. For example, clothes can be placed in the main compartment, umbrella and flip-flops at the top, and shoes in a separate side compartment.
This means that the support rods and mainframe are built into the backpack and hidden from view. An internal frame means the rods won’t get caught on anything and the pack will be slimmer, making movement easier. Internal framed multi-day backpacks are also light as the frame is made of carbon fiber or tough plastic, making them ideal for the back.
Backpack weight tends to push down on the hips, so a padded belt helps support the weight. Likewise, padded shoulder straps can make carrying the load more comfortable since a backpack always pushes down on the shoulders. The hip belt also helps support the weight to make carrying more comfortable, while shoulder pads put less pressure on the shoulders and helps take pressure off the lower back.