Daypack choosing guide
It is not as easy as it might sound to choose the daypack that fits just you right. There are several factors that you should consider, some are more important than others but everyone should be counted in. The problem with choosing a daypack is that there are so many packs to choose from in today’s market. In the best equipped stores you can virtually get lost in the backpack department. The trick is to know what you are looking for, and to keep it simple. You don’t want a salesman to tell you what you need; you should know that before you go into the store. In this post I will give you a few tips on things you have to consider when you find out what type of daypack you need.
- Plan for the daypack to last several years
A daypack, or any backpack for that matter, is something that you should be able to use for years and years. The pack should be able to see both you hiking boots and your clothing to the grave before it is put out of use. For the daypack to last that long, the first thing you need to make sure of is the quality of the pack. You have to get something that is durable and can stand to be used. Usually this means that you have to pay a bit more, but when considering the added lifetime it probably doesn’t cost more after all. Choose a brand that is well respected and has been thoroughly tested. The other thing that decides how long the daypack will last is how well it fits to you and your body. If you are not comfortable with the pack you buy, you will probably not use for as long as you would if you had a daypack that fits you perfectly.
- Carrying the daypack should be comfortable
How comfortable you feel when carrying the daypack is probably the most important thing to consider when choosing a daypack. The longer you plan to walk and the heavier you plan to carry; this point gets even more important. If the pack is as uncomfortable as some of the backpacks I remember from the days that I was in the army, I can just as well carry my gear without a backpack. What is important to remember is that a daypack that is fully loaded with gear is a totally different thing to carry than one that is empty. Ask in the store if it is possible to load the pack so that you can try it in a more realistic setting. If the salesman says that the daypack feels great on his back, it doesn’t mean that it fits great on your back!
- Choose an adjustable carrying system if possible
There are basically two systems to choose from: adjustable and non adjustable. Actually the non adjustable is often a bit more expensive because it is often used light weight daypacks that uses more expensive materials. One should think that the pricier pack would be the better one, but in my opinion it is crucial to have an adjustable back so that you can make the daypack fit just your back. It is even more important if you are young and still growing.
- Be aware of the details
A modern daypack has so many details that it can be hard to find them all. You should go to a store that has a knowledgeable staff. Ask them if they can show you the ins and out of the daypack you are interested in. What you should pay special attention to is if the daypacks have adjustable straps. It is crucial to have adjustable straps so that you can fit it to yourself. A floating or adjustable top is also a very nice feature that will come in handy when you are carrying really heavy. Unfortunately this is more the exception than the rule when it comes to daypacks, but you should still choose one that has an adjustable top over one that doesn’t. For my own part, I have one special preference in daypacks: I don’t buy a daypack that has netting pockets on the outside. I walk a lot in pretty dense forests, and the netting pockets constantly hangs up in trees and bushes.
- Waterproof daypack or not
If you wonder if you need a waterproof daypack, you need to know where and when you are going to use it. There are of course big advantages of having a waterproof daypack: you can ensure that you clothes are dry even if it rains, you keep your matches dry all the way till you camp and you keep your tent dry. However, they don’t breathe all that well, so on warm days it can become very moist inside the pack. Most of the daypacks today are delivered with a waterproof pull over. It works perfectly in showers. This has done that the only time I use a waterproof daypack is when I go kayaking. If I am not in any danger of falling into the water, I always use a regular, not waterproof daypack.
I hope that you got something out of reading this post, because I know that choosing a new daypack can be a real pain. The most important thing you should take from this post is that you need to find a daypack that fits you and are comfortable to carry. After all you are hopefully planning to use it for many years.