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Backpack Selection

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?

  1. Top loading with a dual draw cord storm collar.
  2. Dual compartments with a zip or draw cord division.
  3. An extendable top lid.
  4. Multiple external compression straps.
  5. External attachment facilities

Top Loading

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.

Dual Compartments

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.

Extendable Lid

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.

Compression Straps

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.

619 Plenty Road,
Preston VIC 3072
Melbourne Australia
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