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How to choose your hiking backpack?

Being alive means exploring at least Earth. Whatever the means, we’re supposed to migrate, just cover the miles… I consider myself hiking whenever I move away from my hometown. But to do so, different sizes of hiking bag never disappear from the storage spaces of my home, whether small or large.

This little reading will be unforgettable. We will first see the types of hiking backpacks and what to put in a bag.

Then, based on the repetitive mistakes I made in my previous experiences – finally, my repeated mistakes – Bright Ride will show you the basic criteria in order to choose the hiking backpack that will suit you best. .

I just hope you learn from your mistakes as soon as your Bright Ride.


Types of bags

The backpack is an essential item for any traveler. But by wearing it, you will be very undecided as to the choice of the right bag, because indeed, there are all sizes: from the smallest to the largest. So which one to choose?

There are all formats:

  • The smallest of 8L (L = liter) for shopping;
  • The small 15L for cycling trips;
  • The 25L for the mountains in summer;
  • The 40L for mountain hikes when it’s cold;
  • The 60L for winter hikes with camping;
  • The 88L for shipments of several weeks or months;
  • The 120L for the tallest man in the world. Finally, the biggest stupid in the world. The 120L, I only use it when I am traveling in a 4×4 truck and sometimes when I am staying at the same hotel the entire trip.

How to choose your hiking backpack?

  • The first thing to ask yourself before buying a bag is what to put in it.
  • The second is to ask yourself about the length of your stay. Are you going for a day in the mountains or a month in a pack?
  • The third is the quality of the bag, the accessibility of its pockets and compartments, then the nature of its straps and belt.

What to put in a bag?

So make a list of what you feel you need, then spread it out on a bed or rug. Now remove half. I’m sure you made the mistake everyone else makes. The mistake I keep making even after all these years of traveling. You leave with too much material!

The first bag I bought was for a summit of around 1000 altitudes in northern Morocco. I bought an 88 Liter bag. I absolutely wanted to leave with plenty of water and plenty of food to survive a few days in case I got stuck at the top. It was just crazy! A few years later, I made the same trip again with a small 40 liter bag.

Only pack the bare essentials in your bag!

There is a very big difference between testing an empty bag on the spot for 2 minutes in a beautiful air-conditioned store diffusing the scent of lavender and Aznavour bohemian and carrying it outside in difficult terrain for a day on the road. several kilometers.

An empty bag worn under difficult circumstances is cumbersome. What about a full bag?

  • Result: Put only the useful. Linen, electronics, medical kit …

For laundry, I would say 2 or 3 t-shirts are sufficient. Don’t put more than 3. I admit a t-shirt is light, but 10 is so heavy. Above all, never forget that it is by accumulating all these little things that a bag ends up being too heavy.

If you go hiking in the winter, the idea isn’t to bring the biggest coat, it’s the amount of insulation that makes the difference, not the thickness.

Homeless people use the newspaper to keep warm. They just put in several layers, even several newspaper pages.

So bring only one coat and it is underneath that you can put other layers in the form of jackets: a jacket that insulates the rain, another that insulates the wind …


Accessibility, straps and belt of the bag

A bag is normally made up of a large area where you can store all the big stuff that you only use when you are stopping somewhere. Then a few quickly accessible areas like pockets. It is in this area that we store things like the phone, camera, wallet, card … well, all the things that we use regularly.

Ideally, there should be a large compartment at the bottom bottom to store the heavier stuff and water supplies.

Remember that 70% to 80% of the weight should be on the hips because if you put the items in the top of the bag, the shoulders will bear the weight.

Accessing the inside of the bag is often very long. You will have to detach a clip, a top pocket, a net …

In addition, a well-made bag can contain a zip or two for a storage compartment at the top and another at the bottom that is easy to open. Lay the bag on the ground to access the contents.

In addition, any good bag must have three straps:

  1. The first to the torso called a chest strap to prevent the shoulder straps from slipping away;
  2. The second adjusts the lumbar belt (sharing belt);
  3. Larger bags have stabilization straps or load reminders. They allow an adjustment on the shoulder straps to manage the distance of the bag and the back.
Straps of a hiking bag

These last two straps are the most important you have to adjust them several times to adjust the space weight. The idea is that the pelvis can support 70 to 80% of the total weight of the bag. This is why the belt of the bags is one of the most important items to look at. Spend time adjusting the bag belt and distance to change out of place. A little more on the back, less on the hips and vice versa. Do this often to rest your large muscles. The belt doesn’t have to be small, simple, and thin. On the other hand, it must be wide, well cushioned and well adjustable.

On the other hand, the zippered pockets on the waistband are a plus but they should be easy to open. They don’t have to be small anyway. A smartphone or a wallet must be able to fit inside. These are very useful pockets because your hands are always right next to them.

Finally, see if the canvas system in contact with the back allows him to breathe. Either way, when the bag is reasonably full the breathing system is somewhat efficient.


What mistakes to avoid?

In this part, I will be familiar with you because I want to be, through my advice, as close as possible to you to save you from unnecessary suffering.

  • Never buy a bag without trying it on.
  • Remember that there is no uncomfortable bag for the first few minutes. Vice versa, there is no such thing as a super comfortable bag. Any bag becomes unpleasant to wear after a while. That moment will approach sooner the heavier the bag. So you have to filter your luggage.
  • Only pack the bare minimum necessary in your bag. The bare minimum necessary is half of what you think is necessary.
  • Don’t take the biggest bag and you tell yourself that at worst you won’t fill it. In order for a bag to be comfortable, it must be relatively full, as they are meant to be full.
  • Don’t look for the best bag. In my opinion, they are practically not very beautiful after all.
  • Buy a bag with more accessibility. In other words, it must have pockets and be well distributed. In my opinion, most bags lack pockets and compartments.
  • If the bag is only for running. Just make sure it has very quick access pockets on the front and that it fits snugly on the back while you run.
  • If you plan to take a trip and stay outside for a long time, provide a rain cover for the bag. It happened to me in the Philippines, well it was in August 2019. I was so stupid to plan for camping during the rainy season.
Boracay Island - August 2019
Boracay Island – Western Visayas – Philippines – August 2019
Boracay Island - August 2019
Boracay Island – Western Visayas – Philippines – August 2019


I hope after reading this article Bright Ride has helped you enough that you can find the right bag. A good bag should help you avoid back pain. It should be comfortable with good fit. It should be easily accessible, with a large, well-padded lumbar belt with large pockets. It should contain everything you will need. Above all, do not leave with too much material …




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