Whether it is empty or full, the best hiking backpack is the one that barely enters the realm of realization. This can be a big thing to ask especially if you are carrying all the supplies you will need on a multi-day wilderness trip. Modern times have made it possible to have great frame technology and hip- and sternum-belt systems that do not badly impact your adventure. Moreover, hiking backpacks are used for the best experience and organization of the gear however you want it.
Can You Use A Normal Backpack For Hiking?
While you are out hiking or at a retail place selling sports equipment, you will see different types of hiking backpacks. Moreover, these packs range anything from packs you will see at school to large backpacks made for outdoor activities to carry all kinds of gear. Hiking backpacks can be costly, but there are many options to choose from. So, coming back to the main question – can you hike with just your usual backpack?
Generally, choosing the right hiking backpack can make a huge difference in comfort. However, you can use a regular backpack on short or day hikes. Nonetheless, you would need to opt for a hiking backpack when it comes to long day hikes, backpacking trips, or weekend vacations. Simultaneously, it allows you to carry everything you will need and still distribute the weight evenly around your back.
Moreover, how will you know when you need a regular backpack and when you need a specialized hiking one? We all know hiking has gotten a lot more popular over the past decade and as a result, some people will insist you need special gear to hike. It does not come as a surprise that many of such ‘experts’ recommending expensive gear are getting paid by the companies who made the products that they are selling.
The short answer to such queries – No, you do not need a special backpack for hikes. Any regular one can work for day hikes and if you are going hiking often or need to carry a lot of equipment, there are many great hiking backpacks out there, which are worth your money. Real hiking backpacks have features that make multi-day hiking easier and safer.
Do Hiking Backpacks Make A Difference?
It can be surprising to see there are fellow hikers not fully prepared for long hikes. They may or may not be carrying a regular backpack or hiking backpack or any backpack at all. Thinking about the question – should you have a hiking backpack? Or do hiking backpacks make a difference? In short, no – you do not have to have a hiking backpack as there are times when a hiking pack might be too much on an easy stroll.
Nevertheless, as mentioned before plenty of times here, if you are diving into serious hiking, hiking backpacks will not only make your life easier but ensure you are well equipped for a day out on the trail. The main purpose of hiking backpacks is to avoid carrying all the hiking gear including essentials and luxury items in your hands. A hiking backpack is useful not only for carrying your gear but for safety and comfort.
What Do Hiking Backpacks Offer?
- Allows you to carry all the basic and specialized gear for one or more days on trails
- Increases safety by keeping your hands free for any emergencies
- Special features that are not available in regular backpacks
- Determining factor on how comfortable your expedition will be
- Distributes the weight evenly to avoid getting easily fatigued
- Comes with shoulder straps and a hip belt to shift most of the weight evenly
- Padded to reduce the impact of the mass to prevent aching and soreness
- An internal and an external frame distributing the weight of the load
- Provides the perfect balance between capacity and weight to camp out for more than a night
- Securing every item throughout the journey with no chance to get lost or fall off easily
- Lockable double-zippers on every storage compartment to prevent thefts
- Multiple outer pockets will allow you to stow away items for quick access
- Use it on multiple adventures for years without worrying about fading performance
- Robust and rugged design for waterproofing and weatherproofing
- Extremely multifunctional to use with luxury on a wide variety of terrain
- Fashionable styling – look good while carrying your bag and feel awesome doing it
Is Hiking With A Backpack Bad For Your Back?
Since you were old enough to walk and up till now, you have been carrying backpacks your entire life. They are meant to carry everything you need or would need, but far too often we end up filling them with things we do not need. Over time, the strain caused by these loads can lead to problems in the spine and it has been illustrated just how easy it can happen.
Carrying excess weight in backpacks can lead to wear and tear on the joints, ligaments, and muscles across the entire back and in the hips. Most times, these body parts work to compensate for the extra weight, but because they cannot sustain that strength for an extended period.
They start to degenerate which can lead to stiffness, loss of motion range, and pain. Moreover, these effects spread to other parts of the body as the muscles in them work harder to compensate for the strain. Children should never carry a backpack weighing more than 10 to 20 percent of their body weight, young adults should not go over 13 to 15 percent of their body weight and college-aged adults’ limit is 15 to 20 percent of their body weight.
How Do I Choose A Backpack For Hiking?
There are a variety of factors you need to look at while choosing a suitable backpack for hiking:
- The first to consider – total distance and difficulty of your hike
- The longer the hike the more any kind of discomfort you feel will compound
- Regular backpacks will work just fine on a short hike
- Anything over five miles – definitely needs a proper hiking backpack
- Would need padded shoulder straps and a pouch for a water bladder for good hiking
- The next important thing to consider – the size of the backpack you need
- Hiking backpacks will have a gear capacity rating listed in Liters
- Small Pack 10L to 20L – For any day hikes under five miles
- Medium Pack 20L to 36L – for any day hikes longer than five miles
- Large Pack 36L and Beyond – for backpacking trips longer than two days
- The first feature to consider is how many pouches are in your bag
- Front-loading pouches, side pouches, a pouch just for your water bladder
- Organizable compartments for all of your hiking gear and snacks
- Adjustable straps help transfer the weight around your waist, shoulders, and back more comfortably
- Shoulder straps’ materials, breathable mesh to allow more air to flow to your shoulders and back
- Amount of padding on the shoulder straps and on the back
- The frame size that will contour comfortably against your body
- The pack weight – more features and volume is great but must be a good value for money
Top 5 Backpacks I Recommend For Hiking
Following are some of the best hiking backpacks available to buy online on Amazon:
1) MYSTERY RANCH 2 Day Assault Backpack
MYSTERY RANCH 2 Day Assault Backpack is a smaller, everyday carry-sized version of the Standard Issue 3 Day Assault. This 27L pack is designed for urban necessities loaded with features for travel and equipped with dual water bottle pockets, front compression straps, MOLLE webbing & an adjustable harness.
- Main compartment and side zip accesses floating, padded sleeve
- Full-length plastic frame sheet, Removable web waist belt, compression straps
- Signature 3-Zip design provides ready access to the pack’s contents
- Two zippered lid pockets, VELCRO pile on top of the lid for morale patches
Where to buy Mystery Ranch 2 Day Assault Backpack? Discounts?
You can purchase Mystery Ranch 2 Day Assault Backpack on Amazon here.
2) TETON Sports Oasis 18L Hydration Pack
Teton Sports Oasis 18L Hydration Pack is the perfect size for quick hikes, and it carries enough water for a full day of adventure. This backpack contains an upgraded version of Teton’s original and extremely popular hydration pack. With two sizes, you can find the ideal pack to meet the demands of your next adventures, whether that’s a day hike, festival, or long walk.
- Made with durable materials and strong construction for lasting function
- Ambidextrous functionality – features hydration ports on both the left and right sides
- Simple, easy front-zip pockets for grab-and-go while you are out-and-about
- Suitable for backpacking, exploring, hiking, camping, trekking, traveling, and more
- Versatile, Functional, Light, Adjustable, Comfortable, Affordable
- Updated Micro-Mesh, Reflective Print, Fresh Colors, Additional Size available
Where to buy TETON Sports Oasis 18L Hydration Pack? Discounts?
You can purchase TETON Sports Oasis 18L Hydration Pack on Amazon here.
3) WATERFLY Crossbody Sling Backpack
Waterfly Crossbody Sling Backpack has multiple compartments to organize your stuff according to size. The front zipper pocket can store your small items and the two side mesh pouches hold water bottles and/or umbrellas. Waterfly Crossbody Sling Backpack’s shoulder strap is adjustable and reversible.
- Keep Everything in Order – front zipper bag and buckle bag for storing items
- Several separate small compartments inside – for small items
- The side mesh pocket is 6 inches in height, it can hold 2.4 inches (diameter) bottle
- Hidden Earphone Hole – providing easy access to your earphones
- Adjustable Reversible Shoulder Strap – Designed with 3 D-rings on the lower part
- Superior breathable material in the shoulder strap and the backside
Where to buy WATERFLY Crossbody Sling Backpack? Discounts?
You can purchase WATERFLY Crossbody Sling Backpack on Amazon here.
4) Loowoko Hiking Backpack 50L With Rain Cover
Loowoko Hiking Backpack 50L is a new 2021 model design with improved features. Unisex, water-resistant, and rip-stop nylon lining, Loowoko’s 50L hiking backpack weighs less than three pounds. It has a capacity of 45 liters plus 5 extra liters and can carry 40kg or 88lb.
- 8 Adjustable Straps to attach anything you want
- Both sides have mesh pockets to hold water bottles – ambidextrous
- Unisex, lightweight, meets size requirements for most airlines
- Large capacity for 3 or 4 days travel or trips
- Breathable mesh shoulder straps with sponge padding to relieve shoulder stress
- Rip-stop polyester material to prevent water from entering the bag
Where to buy Loowoko Hiking Backpack 50L With Rain Cover? Discounts?
You can purchase Loowoko Hiking Backpack 50L With Rain Cover on Amazon here.
5) MOUNTAINTOP Hiking Backpack 40L with Rain Cover
MOUNTAINTOP Hiking Backpack 40L is suitable for weekend vacations or three-day excursions. With rugged good looks, this backpack is suitable for all kinds of adventures – hikers, hunters, and fishermen. Moreover, these unisex backpacks are available in plenty of color options.
- Made from polyester fabric resistant to tears and water
- Multiple pockets, storage compartments, hip pockets, built-in rain cover
- Mesh padding, ventilated back system, ergonomically designed structure
- A compartment in the main pocket designed for putting Hydration Bladder
- Direct connection between the bottom and main compartments
- Only 1.05 kg, ideal for the max support and mini burden
Where to buy MOUNTAINTOP Hiking Backpack 40L with Rain Cover? Discounts?
You can purchase MOUNTAINTOP Hiking Backpack 40L with Rain Cover on Amazon here.
To conclude, a backpack is a pack that you carry on your back. In the US, a child’s schoolbag is often referred to as a backpack, however, in a broader sense, a backpack is an adequate pack for a day or weekend trip. Make sure to choose the one that suits your needs, fits you perfectly, and can be used properly during the outdoor activities you like.