Sometimes you need to lug your gear for extended periods, and when that happens, a backpack is essential. Here are some tips for choosing a backpack that will keep you comfortable on the trail:

Decide how long you plan on carrying your backpack.

The next step is to decide how many days you plan on carrying your backpack. This may seem like an obvious question, but it can be tough to make this choice. The main reason for this is that backpacks are designed for different lengths of time. For example, if you’re planning a short trip (a weekend or two), the best option would be a smaller and lighter backpack with fewer pockets and straps. If you’re planning a longer trip (a week or more), then you’ll need something bigger and heavier with more pockets and straps.

There’s one important thing to keep in mind when purchasing a backpack: never buy anything that’s too small! It might seem like a good idea at first glance because it’s so light and easy to carry around — but trust us on this one—you’ll regret not getting something bigger once your trip starts going downhill (and by downhill we mean really cold weather).

Test the weight on your back.

To test the weight, you need to have the pack on your back. The good news is that you can get most packs off and on in seconds using a large clip or buckle that attaches to a strap. To be sure it’s heavy enough, hang your full pack from a doorknob and lift with both hands while wearing your shoes and clothes. If it doesn’t feel heavy, try some of these other tests:

  • Walk around with the pack on for ten minutes without taking it off
  • Walk up stairs with the pack on for approximately 20 steps (your home should have plenty of stairs)
  • Walk down stairs with the pack on for approximately 30 steps (again, this should be easy at home)

Make sure the shoulder straps aren’t too thin and are padded.

The shoulder straps are one of the most important features to consider. They not only distribute the weight across your back, but they also determine how comfortable your backpack will be.

  • Padded: The shoulder straps should be padded to prevent rubbing and chafing against the skin.
  • Adjustable: Make sure that you can adjust the length of your shoulder straps so it fits you properly and comfortably, especially if you’re carrying a heavy load inside.
  • Wide enough: The shoulder straps need to be wide enough so that they can distribute weight evenly across both shoulders instead of just one side or just being centered in front without reaching around behind your back at all (which could cause strain on other parts of your body). It should also extend far enough down toward where it connects with an internal frame for added support and comfort during use.
  • Long enough: Lastly, make sure that both ends reach up past where they connect with an internal frame – this will ensure better balance between having functional features while still feeling light as a feather!

Make sure the hip belt is adjustable and padded.

The hip belt is a crucial piece of the backpack equation. The hip belt should be wide enough to distribute weight evenly across your hips, and it should be padded for extra comfort. If possible, look for a backpack with an adjustable hip belt. An adjustable hip belt allows you to customize the fit based on how much gear you are carrying in your pack at any given time. Additionally, it’s important that a backpack’s hip belt be removable; if not, then you’ll have to choose between having it or taking it off when hiking in warm weather (which defeats the purpose of having one).

Be sure the pack has a variety of pockets to store all your necessities.

When it comes to choosing a backpack, it’s important that you take a look at the number and variety of pockets. Pockets are an essential part of any pack, and there are many different types available. Some common types include:

  • Water bottle pocket – This is for holding your water bottle and keeping it close at hand so you don’t have to dig around your bag looking for it when you’re thirsty.
  • Hydration reservoir pocket – Designed specifically with hydration reservoirs in mind, this pocket allows you to easily refill your reservoir without having to remove the pack first.
  • Rain cover pocket – This is where you’ll store the rain cover when you don’t need it; otherwise, just put the cover on top of everything else or use another empty pocket instead!
  • Phone/wallet/keys/etcetera pouch – This type of pouch has multiple pockets for storing smaller items that may be hard to find in larger pouches (or at all). It can also help protect these items from getting lost inside larger pouches due their position directly above them within smaller ones being closer together than below them within larger ones which makes them easier grab onto!

Ensure that the suspension system and side compression straps will keep your load stable and compact.

The suspension system of a backpack is critical to its comfort, as well as your back’s health. Look for a pack with an adjustable frame, padded straps and hip belt, and ideally one that also includes load lifters and a sternum strap for additional support. Side compression straps will help keep your load stable and compact by anchoring it to the side of your torso rather than loose in front or back.

Pack weight: While choosing gear that’s appropriate for the activity level required in your chosen bag use will ensure you don’t overburden yourself, there is nothing wrong with exceeding this recommendation if it still allows you to carry everything comfortably without feeling like you’ll topple over at any moment! Just remember to stay within reason so as not to end up regretting carrying too much stuff around unnecessarily!

Get a backpack that will help you be comfortable while carrying it for a long time.

  • Get a backpack that will help you be comfortable while carrying it for a long time.

Let’s be honest, packing up your stuff and heading out on an adventure is exciting. But not everyone can just walk up to their local REI and pick out a backpack (in fact, I’d argue very few people could do this). So if you’re not sure what kind of pack to get and what features are important, here’s the low-down on choosing a backpack:

  • Make sure it has ergonomics built in. This means that the weight of your items should be distributed evenly across your back so as to avoid added strain on one part of your body at any point during your trip. Ergonomic packs also often have padded straps that can adjust based on how much weight they’re carrying — but more importantly (and more obviously) — they make carrying heavy loads less painful!
  • Make sure it fits well too! The last thing you want is having something too big or too small for your frame because then every step will feel like torture. If possible try them out with some weight inside before purchasing; this way you’ll know if there are any issues with fit or comfort before buying something expensive from Amazon or eBay only to discover later that neither worked out quite right…


If you’re planning on heading out into the wilderness, a good backpack is an absolute necessity. It will provide you with all of your food, cooking supplies, clothing and shelter while you explore. As long as you take the time to get one that fits you properly and has enough space for everything that’s important to bring along, there are many different ones out there that can do just this!