How to Choose a Suitable Mountain Backpack

Following in the line of technical articles, this time I will make an advance on how to choose the appropriate backpack, since it is a very extensive subject and you need several articles.

When anyone wants to buy their first mountain pack, with little or no knowledge (do not happen to buy a backpack online, without knowing it or have tried it before), it is possible to leave the store, with a backpack of 50 liters of Supersonic mountain, with plenty of capacity, many pockets, but nothing like what we need. The capacity of the backpacks is measured in liters.

Nowadays, the backpacks have evolved a lot, both in design, aesthetics, materials of manufacture as in systems to transport the load, that have undergone a great change, to facilitate us the comfort and the transport of loads of reasonable way.

We must always choose a backpack, which is comfortable and comfortable, because we will share many hours with her behind us and ideally would not even notice it.

The most important thing to choose a good backpack (it does not have to be expensive) are its frame , the size of the back and itsbelt, the other elements that make up the backpack, are also important, but do not influence as much.

The frame supports and transmits the load to the belt, so it must have an acceptable stiffness.
There are many materials and designs (plastic, duralumin, carbon fiber, etc.) but the important thing is that it has a good rigidity, which in theory also ventilate
the back more independently of its material, since they have a design that allows ( In theory …) to circulate the air and ventilate the back better (I always end up with wet back). I sometimes use a backpack of 55 liters of a prestigious brand, with frame and grid and I can assure you that I end up with a wet back, so I advise a conventional backpack for heavy loads (without frame), because in the end, as I assure you, your back will keep you wet.

The size is an important issue, not all brands have carvings or manufacture backpacks in one size, for it have systems adjustable back, which adapt to the length of our torso and thatis essential for proper fit.

C omo in clothing, we must choose our size. How to know it?, Where we can choose, our correct size is the distance between the base of the neck and where the hip bone ends. Here is a small table:

The belt and its lumbar support , are the main art of the backpack. Its good design depends on the correct transmission of the load to the waist and turn to the legs, thus relieving the spine.

The weight of the backpack, falls on our shoulders, is transmitted by our torso and spine, passes to our hips and from there to the feet, so our vertebrae and neck muscles are free of this load, if we use the belt properly Of the backpack, the load moves directly to the hips avoiding overloading our suffering shoulders and spine.

To get the most out of the belt, it should hug the sides of the waist and not let the weight slide down. However, l as women , having the most pronounced hips, they facilitate the transfer of cargo, but should seek a backpack suited to the morphology and allow them to wear the belt in a higher position than men (major issue) , Which further shorten the length of the back of the backpack.

There are brands with specific backpacks for women. You are shorter in size with the hip belt and straps that do not clog your breasts.

Some useful tricks to test the belt:

> Take the backpack by the belt, lift it empty and if the body of the backpack is kept straight is a good symptom of loading well.

> Another system is to ask someone, who once tightened the belt, grip the back of the belt or the bottom of the backpack tightly and make maximum force down simulating load, if the belt holds is perfect.
> The last test when we are almost sure of the purchase is to load the backpack and check that only with the belt tight, the backpack supports the weight, the straps have to be loose, we must be able to pass the hand between them and the shoulder , is Say 100% load on the belt.
Personally I adjust the backpack so that, first I loosen the straps and I put the backpack tightening the belt and making sure that the backpack does not slide down. Then tighten the straps by checking that it has a clearance of 1 or 2 fingers and I can pass freely between the shoulders and the strap (this eliminates the load of the shoulders that is the correct thing) this makes it necessary to close the elastic Of the chest because the backpack when being loose moves a little to the sides when walking, this is personal advice (but it goes of pussy).

We must also ask, ¿ for sport we want? , It is clear that it is not the same to do a great walk, to travel to distant countries, to run by the mountain or to execute a crossing by trails of a few hours.

As an example of suitable backpacks, we have:

These are backpacks for mountain races, Trail and its variants …

Low weight, adapted morphologically to the body, very adjustable, low volume, between 5 and 15 liters, minimalist to carry what is essential in a mountain race, in addition almost all have a hydration bag and / or side drums (ie A Camelbag but with small pockets for other “things”).

These backpacks are hiking or attacking, suitable for day trips or short runs…

They allow us more volume than the trail and easy to put bulky things, because they are wider. With their side pockets and front, they are very comfortable to be able to put in them, various objects (canteen, sun cream / lipstick, camera Of photos, etc…)

These are an example of expedition backpacks and mountaineering…

Of more capacity than the previous ones, they usually have a tall, narrow body and more behind the back, which gives us freedom of movement to perform climbing, climbing, etc. Transmitting the load more vertically. The problem with this type of body (high) originates with the volume of the backpack, since to be able to put more material this should grow in height arriving at a time when the backpack can bother with the head.

Backpacks mountaineering, usually they wear c intas compression, whose function is to compress the load to prevent and move in turn closer to the back (our center of gravity) that means more comfort and stability in the march also avoid pockets Lateral so as not to disturb the passage through difficult places.

The adjustment tapes have the function of improving the transmission of the load to the belt, if well designed. They deserve special attention, the bands of the men join with the upper part of the back, that before starting the march, must form a 45º angle with the backpack placed in flat terrain. Walking and depending on the terrain that we find, we must approach or remove the load from the back with these tapes to balance the weight of the backpack with our body. In rucksacks with stiff backs are of little use.

You have to be realistic in relation to the weight that we must carry, the more weight we take, the more we will get tired, it is a drawer, therefore we must carry what is strictly necessary for the activity. Personally, he “made a list” with the items he put in his backpack, wrote down the climatology of the day, liters of water and everything in the backpack, noting even the jacket (he made a list that with time and experience Been reducing and in the end is done mentally).

Sex is important, it changes a lot if the buyer is male or female, the design of the backpack changes to fit the body, we all know is totally different, (back and hips mainly) we will thank the body in comfort and health .

A good advice is to classify the interior by’sections’: food on one side, clothing on the other, etc. Putting things in transparent plastic bags is very practical: in addition to its insulating function, you can see the contents at a glance, without opening them. I even use a plastic sheet, as an ‘extra’ separator which also serves as an insulator Posaderas at the lunch/lunch stop.

You have to distribute the load well so that it is not unbalanced, it is our legs that will withstand the effort. Place the last thing you need during the ride. Glued to the back that weighs more, and in the top mushroom you need more by hand and smaller things.

<-For example, this backpack is cool, but only for other utilities that leave the mountain, such as travel, gym, etc…

I DO NOT recommend it at all on the mountain, as the load balances as we walk, overloading our shoulders, neck, etc….

And it is that the weight should be in the waist, not in the shoulders, as it happens with this type of backpacks.

Possible negative effects when choosing an inadequate backpack: Backpack overload with consequent effect on knees, ligaments and joints involved (ankles, kneecaps) and back.

I hope you have it now a little clearer…

Gallery

Mountain Hardwear Multi-Pitch 16 Pack

Mountain Hardwear Multi-Pitch 16 Pack

Source: www.bergfreunde.eu

Mountain Hardwear South Col 70 OutDry

Mountain Hardwear South Col 70 OutDry

Source: www.alpinetrek.co.uk

Eagle Creek Expanse Hauler

Eagle Creek Expanse Hauler

Source: www.bergfreunde.eu

The North Face Terra 65

The North Face Terra 65

Source: www.alpinetrek.co.uk

Osprey – Escapist 18

Osprey - Escapist 18

Source: www.alpinetrek.co.uk

Black Diamond Stone Duffel 42

Black Diamond Stone Duffel 42

Source: www.bergfreunde.eu

Lowe Alpine Kulu 65-75

Lowe Alpine Kulu 65-75

Source: www.alpinetrek.co.uk

Osprey Syncro 20

Osprey Syncro 20

Source: www.alpinetrek.co.uk

Ortovox Ascent 22 Avabag Kit

Ortovox Ascent 22 Avabag Kit

Source: www.bergfreunde.eu

Ortovox Cross Rider 18

Ortovox Cross Rider 18

Source: www.alpinetrek.co.uk

Osprey Farpoint 70

Osprey Farpoint 70

Source: www.alpinetrek.co.uk

F-Stop Gear Tilopa 50L

F-Stop Gear Tilopa 50L

Source: www.alpinetrek.co.uk

Gregory Praxus 65

Gregory Praxus 65

Source: www.alpinetrek.co.uk

Ortovox Peak Light 32

Ortovox Peak Light 32

Source: www.bergfreunde.eu

Fjällräven Rucksack No. 21 Medium

Fjällräven Rucksack No. 21 Medium

Source: www.bergfreunde.eu

Mammut Neon Gear 45

Mammut Neon Gear 45

Source: www.bergfreunde.eu

Ortovox Ortovox Peak 32 S

Ortovox Ortovox Peak 32 S

Source: www.alpinetrek.co.uk

Vango Alpine 25

Vango Alpine 25

Source: www.alpinetrek.co.uk

Patagonia Descensionist Pack 40L

Patagonia Descensionist Pack 40L

Source: www.alpinetrek.co.uk

Eagle Creek Expanse Hauler

Eagle Creek Expanse Hauler

Source: www.alpinetrek.co.uk