Questions to Ask When Choosing a Backpack
Whether you are carrying textbooks, all your camping gear or your laptop and charged, having a sturdy backpack is essential. You want to make sure your backpack doesn’t drag you down and instead helps you with your load, whatever it may be.
There are four questions you should consider before going out and buying a backpack.
What Kind of Backpack Should I Get?
There are literally backpacks for anyone and any purpose. You could get a hiking one for those outdoor trips to help alleviate carrying all your equipment. You might be considering a versatile rolling backpack or a lightweight and portable laptop bag. You could also be thinking about a stylish canvas bag.
Ask yourself how often you will use the bag and for what purpose. For example, you should probably avoid a high-end designer backpack if you want to go hiking for a week.
How Much am I Carrying and for How Long?
This question is mostly for those intense campers or people who carry heavy loads in their backpacks. By asking this question, you can determine what kind of strap and load-bearing system to use. For example, people who go on long hikes should consider a bag that is lightweight, durable and big enough to carry all your materials safely. You don’t want your backpack to split in the middle of your hike.
Is it Comfortable?
This may sound obvious, but make sure your backpack is comfortable. Otherwise, what is the point in wearing it? If you can, try on the bag before you buy it. Even better, put about 15 pounds worth of stuff in the backpack to see how the weight is distributed. Do a few laps on the store and see what you like or don’t like about the bag.
Note that many backpacks can usually be adjusted to make sure it does fit your body. Also consider the weather. If your backpack isn’t waterproof and you get caught in a rainstorm, the bag will quickly become weighted down, nevermind potentially ruining everything inside.
What Features do I Want on the Backpack?
This is where you can really pick and choose what you want. Nowadays, backpacks seem to have tons of features and customizable options. You can consider the stitching; the material, such as ripstop nylon; how many zippers; the number of pockets (both inside and outside!); the padding location; and the types of adjustable straps on the chest, shoulders or other body parts.
Other add-ons include water bottle or cell phone holders, a hole to charge your phone or even a hydration reservoir for liquids. Pretty much if you can dream it, there is a backpack somewhere with that feature.