How a Pack Should Fit
The straps of the backpack should create a platform or frame that holds the pack securely on your back. This is especially important for external frame packs. On an internal frame pack, this platform can be created by spreading the shoulder straps and torso lengthwise (for men) or in parallel (for women). It’s not super important where the hip belt sits, but it should be snug enough around your hips so that your pants don’t sag down too low.
The shoulder straps and hip belt should be snug over the front of your body. The torso length of the pack shouldn’t be too long or too short. If it’s too long, this will contribute to a lot of extra weight moving off your back and onto your shoulders. However, if the length is too short, then you may put extra weight onto your lower back (and this is not good for your spine). Likewise, the width of the shoulder straps shouldn’t be too narrow or wide; they should fit nicely overtop of your shoulders without pinching. The straps should be padded and not too thick or thin for comfort. Lets us find which is better Back Pack a review of Compression vs External vs Internal Back Packs.
Compression vs. External Backpacks – Which is Better?
Here’s a quick review of all the different types of backpacks out there to help illustrate the importance of fit.There are three primary categories of backpacks: external, internal and compression. External packs have adjustable shoulder straps and hip belt, while both internal and compression packs have fixed length torso, shoulder straps and hip belts. The bottom line with external packs is that it’s easy to adjust them to ensure they fit you properly, while these adjustments are harder to make in an internal or compression pack. If the compression straps are too long or too short, then you will probably have an uncomfortable time wearing a pack because the straps will rub against your body.
External packs have adjustable shoulder straps and hip belt, while both internal and compression packs have fixed length torso, shoulder straps and hip belts. The bottom line with external packs is that it’s easy to adjust them to ensure they fit you properly, while these adjustments are harder to make in an internal or compression pack. If the compression straps are too long or too short, then you will probably have an uncomfortable time wearing a pack because the straps will rub against your body.
Compression Back Packs
Compression packs have a fixed torso length. The shoulder straps and hip belt are adjustable. These packs are great for people who don’t like adjusting their pack after they buy it because they won’t have to worry about the overall size of their pack and the fit of the straps. These packs are also great for those who want to carry heavy loads into the backcountry, but who want to minimize shoulder and back pain with a super comfortable, supportive load. They are also great for those who are new to backpacking, but want to start with an ultralight pack because they don’t have to adjust the shoulder straps or hip belt.
Internal packs have adjustable shoulder straps and hip belt, while both external and compression packs have fixed length torso, shoulder straps and hip belts. The bottom line with internal packs is that it’s hard to adjust them after you buy them because the torso length is fixed (unless you get a custom pack). Internal backpacks generally fit a lot better than external or compression packs. However, internal packs can sometimes cause more pressure on the shoulders and lower back because of a narrow torso design or uncomfortable materials inside its padding.
Compression vs. Internal – Which is Better
If you’re new to backpacking, then I would suggest you try a compression pack because they are usually very comfortable. If you’re an experienced backpacker and have found a pack that fits well for your body type, then you probably want to go with an internal pack because it will fit you better and be less painful over time.
Example of Back Packs – These packs are my favorites for different activities.
This is the most standard type of backpack used by many backpackers. It’s typically made of synthetic material and uses a full-length torso length so that it can hold more gear than the other three types of packs. The shoulder straps and hip belt are adjustable. This pack is great for carrying a lot of gear, but not a lot of weight. It also has a small top opening so that you can fit more gear inside the pack like a laptop and apparel items. One of my favorite is Tripole Colonel 95 Litres Rucksack + Detachable Day Pack, Black showing below
Backcountry packs are similar to hiking packs, but they usually have less padding and carry heavier loads (up to 50lbs or so), along with bigger top openings. The shoulder straps and hip belt are adjustable. My favorite backcountry pack for general travel uses is the Revelate Designs Shape Shift 120 Ultralight Pack.
Ultralight packs are highly technical and are designed for day hikers, backcountry backpackers and travel. They are made out of very lightweight fabrics like cuben fiber, silnylon and dyneema. They usually have a small top opening so that they can carry more weight comfortably by shifting it to the front of the body. The shoulder straps and hip belt are adjustable. My favorite ultralight pack is the Granite Gear Crown2 60L Pack.
Saddlebags are saddle-like backpack that sits in a saddle, so it’s good for trail cyclists, motorcyclists and other people who like to travel fast. The shoulder straps and hip belt are adjustable. The main compartment is accessed by zipping open the top or bottom of the pack. The best saddlebag I’ve used is the Arkel Bike Travel Bag.
Style vs. Practicality
This is a very important factor to consider when buying a backpack because you want something practical and fashionable. There are many packs that fit this description, but you have to know what features to look for in your pack. You generally want a pack that has load carrying capacity, comfort and good ventilation. You also want something that you’re both going to enjoy wearing and use for years to come.
Why Backpack Size Doesn’t Matter!
While writing the article, I learned a few things about how people think about backpacks. For example, backpack size is much less important than many would think! Most people focus too much on the size of the backpack. This includes the volume of the backpack as well as the length of the torso and waist belts. There are actually many ways to categorize backpacks according to size, with or without internal frames, internal or external frames, A-frame packs, etc. The way these packs are designed, however, has very little to do with how they actually fit onto your body.
Size is not as important as it seems!
It’s not the length of your torso or the volume of your pack that matters, but rather how the shoulder straps and hip belt fit on you. The key to finding a good fitting backpack is to have both shoulder straps and hip belt fit properly and securely across the front of your body. It is fine with using the word “front” instead of “lower back” because it helps people understand which part of their bodies they should be paying attention to. This is especially important for people who haven’t used backpacks much before.
Many backpackers have no idea what a good fit actually feels like when wearing a backpack. There are many reasons for this! It could be because their packs are so old or worn out that they don’t fit as well as they once did; it could be that they don’t know how to adjust the straps, hip belt and sternum strap; it could be that their packs are still new and need to be broken in. Or, it could be that their pack simply doesn’t fit them because of the gender differences I discuss later in this post.
Now you have read how a backpack should fit, where the straps should sit, the hip belt and how the pack should feel. Examples of most of the bag described for favorites for different activities. My hope is that this information will help you understand what I mean when I say that a pack fits you well or doesn’t fit well. This will allow you to more objective when checking out different packs. Now you can easily understand how to choose a backPack.