How to choose the right backpack
Backpacks cover a wide range of activities, from alpine climbing and speed hiking packs to packs for multi-day trekking adventures. You need a pack that offers a comfortable activity-specific fit and adjustable carry. In addition, mountain packs have to be able to take plenty of punishment and feature lightweight premium pack fabrics engineered for maximum strength, tear resistance and durability. Modern textile developments now make it possible to produce recycled and sustainable pack fabrics.
What capacity backpack should I get?
Pack size all depends on the length of your trip and how much you want to carry.
- Day hiking
Somewhere between 10 and 25 litres should be fine.
- Weekend tours
30-50 litres should be enough. Think carefully about what you need to take though. Packing light is the way to go.
- Multi-day or extended trips
50- to 70-litre packs are a better choice. The area you are heading to and the weather forecast also play a role here. Consider your waterproof and insulation layers and equipment. How much spare clothing will you need?
What should I look for when buying a backpack?
Obviously, you need to take into account the activity that you plan to use your pack for. Do you need a more technical pack for ski touring? Do you need attachment options for a rope or ice tools? Keeping your gear organised is key. You want a backpack with the right user-friendly features to keep things slick and effective. Mesh side pockets, separate compartments, roll-top openings, front access, compression straps, attachment points for your trekking poles or helmet…These are all small features that can make a big difference.
Is there a difference between men's and women's backpacks?
Women’s backpacks have women-specific designs engineered to fit the female torso. In practice, this means that they have tailored anatomic back panels and carrying systems.
How is a backpack supposed to fit?
Backpack fit is the most important criteria when choosing a new pack. It’s important to select the correct back length for the length of your torso. If you can, before making a purchase, try a pack on with a suitable load in it first. On some trekking packs, it’s possible to customise the carrying system for an individualised fit. Mountain activities involve steep ascents. You sweat as your body works to lower its temperature. When carrying a pack, this can leave you feeling, sweaty, uncomfortable and at risk of overcooling. SALEWA® has developed a new generation of backpacks with Dry Back carrying systems that offer stability and ventilation to ensure that your back remains dry.