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June 24 2015

Choosing a Hiking Backpack

Backpacks are generally for sale in three categories: External Frame; Internal Frame; and Daypacks. casual daypacks

External Frame - typically constructed employing a ladder-like frame of aluminum or plastic which has a separate pack bag attached usually utilizing clevis pins and split rings. The hip belt and tie are attached to the frames. Volume capacity with this backpack ranges from 3,000-4,500 cubic inches (49-73 L). The external frame backpack allows space for attaching large items (e.g. sleeping bags) out of the frame making the carrying capacity greater than the total number of the backpack. Features to find in the backpack include: good lumbar padding, a conical hip belt, recurved shoulders with good padding, plus a chest compression strap.
kids backpacks

*Weight carrying capacity
*More air space so back doesn't sweat as heavily
*Weight carried higher in backpack allowing more upright posture
*More outside pack capacity enabling versatility in packing
*Generally cheaper when compared to internal frame backpack

*Raises center of gravity making hiker top heavy much less stable
*Doesn't hug body and risks wobbling laterally
*Can cause complications with balance when skiing or snowshoeing
*Must be boxed up to prevent damage while traveling by plane

Internal Frame - uses materials such as aluminum stays, carbon fiber, plastic sheets, and foam to generate a rigid spine this agreement the hip belt and tie are attached. The backpack extends the complete height with the pack with compartmental divisions. Pack volume ranges from 3,000-7,500 cubic inches (49-122 L). Internal frame backpacks should have exactly the same comfort features as the external frame described above. Also locate a fabric layer sewn round the top opening in the pack bag allowing the superior pocket to become lifted up providing space for extra storage of gear and side compressions straps that squeeze the pack down when carrying a reduced load.

*Carries lots of weight
*Conforms to body for much better balance
*More feels good for longer periods

*Back perspiration more widespread
*More fixed carrying capacity
*Bending over more from lower center of gravity
*May be more expensive

Daypacks - no frame, runs on the foam or plastic sheet for back panel. To carry heavier weights look for the following features:

*Well-padded band
*Foam hip belt rather than only a webbing strap
*Chest compression strap
*Volume capacity around 3,000 cubic inches (49 L)

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