Hike or Hybrid Backpacks
Unlike Travel Backpacks, Hiking Backpacks are top loading with
a storm collar to prevent water penetration, have no protective
backpack harness cover, no removable daypack, nor any of the travel
pack added features such as the shoulder sling and suitcase style
carry handles. When compared to a travel pack, there are fewer zips
and less stitching, which prevents excessive water penetration.
As a result Hiking Backpacks are lighter in weight.
Unlike the design of the travel pack, manufacturers taper these
Hiking Backpacks to provide more freedom of movement in the shoulders
and arms during rigorous activity.
Larger expedition hike packs usually have two compartments with
a zip or draw cord division and an extendable top lid to increase
total capacity. These backpacks are most often between 75 to 95
litres or more in capacity, and have a fully featured and adjustable
harness system. The harness system must be of a design to carry
heavy loads long distances with the maximum of comfort.
Smaller hike packs with a capacity of around 45 to 55 litres to
allow enough storage space for a hike of 3 to 4 days. When carrying
weight in your backpack, even for only a few days, you still require
a fully featured harness for comfortable load support.
What are the features of a Hiking Backpack?
- Top loading with a dual draw cord storm collar.
- Dual compartments with a zip or draw cord division.
- An extendable top lid.
- Multiple external compression straps.
- External attachment facilities
White Mountain™ Hiking Backpacks open from the top and
have a full dual draw cord storm collar to effectively protect your
gear from the weather. The lid on the Main Peak and Basecamp series
extends for extended loading. Hike packs are often designed for
extended loading with the minimum of depth to keep the load close
to your back. When loading your hike pack and carting a number of
heavier articles. You should consider the information we have available
on loading backpacks to determine the best method of packing your
gear, and how to best use the lower compartment of your backpack.
Hiking Backpacks on the market today generally have an upper
and lower compartment, with either a dual zip or draw cord division.
The dual zip or draw cord division allows for separate packing or
can be opened completely to utilize the pack as one compartment.
The advantage of the dual zip division is the ability to open the
pack on the one side only to store a longer item, yet still maintain
the dual compartments. The draw cord facility on the other hand
opens from the middle and although possible to utilize this feature
to store a longer item in the centre, it is a little more awkward.
Some Hiking Backpacks have an extendable top lid allowing for
an extra 10 to 20 litres of storage. While providing extra storage
in this manner is convenient we must keep in mind that storing heavy
items above the shoulders can offset the balance of the backpack.
However when considering the correct functional design and comfort,
providing extra storage volume in this way is more preferable than
increasing the backpack width or depth.
All Hiking Backpacks on the market today should have external
compression straps. These backpacks generally have two (2) or three
(3) compression straps either side of the backpack, two (2) sleeping
bag compression straps on the lower compartment, and a further two
(2) top lid compression straps. The sleeping bag compression straps
should be long enough to accommodate the external attachment of
a ground mat, sleeping bag, or roll bag if required. Some Hike or
Hybrid backpacks have up to five (5) Compression Straps on the top
lid, allowing you to extend the capacity of your backpack by as
much as 10 to 20 litres.
External Attachment Facilities
Hiking Backpacks have external ice pick support loops, webbing
daisy chains, or elastic cord, for easy attachment and access to
any choice of tools and equipment.