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Backpack Selection

Backpack Introduction

Choosing and Purchasing a Backpack

Choosing the right backpack may at first seem confusing, especially when reviewing the vast selection of backpacks available on the market locally and internationally. This might be your first impression, especially if you are unsure of what type of backpack you should be considering. The purpose of this website is to help you understand which backpack type, size, capacity and features are best suited to your purpose. With internal frame backpacks, you need to consider your Torso Length and what harness system best suits your needs. Too often I have encountered people who aren't getting the most out of their backpack because of incorrect choice, improper fit, improper use, wrong size (capacity and length of backpack), incorrect adjustments, or most importantly a poorly designed harness system.

There may not be one backpack that will do everything you want, a backpack best suited for a day trip would not suffice on an extended hike. Having an understanding of the primary use of the backpack will narrow down the number of backpacks to consider. The first considerations should be a choice of a Daypack, Travel Pack, Hybrid Pack, or Hike Pack. Then you will need to choose a suitable backpack for Day, Overnight, Long, or Extended Trips. An experienced seller of backpacks should be able to assist in these first considerations.

Backpacks have evolved a great deal over the years and have improved considerably on the earlier external frame backpacks. On the earlier external frame backpacks you would be searching for padding to place on the shoulder straps, to ease the pressure, prevent rubbing and ease pain on the shoulders. The hip belt, if you were lucky enough to have one, would do little in preventing lower pack movement, or reducing the weight on the shoulders and would often result in subsequent chaffing of the flesh on the lower back and damage to the soft tissue above the hipbone. Today design is about comfortably wearing the backpack, not simply bearing the backpack.

There is an old adage of "you get what you pay for", however this is not always true especially with backpacks. Backpacks that are more expensive are generally of better workmanship, better technology, of better design and constructed of higher quality materials. This does not mean that expensive backpacks are the best backpacks, nor your only choice, as paying high prices for known brand names, exclusive in store brands, or locally manufactured products is not your only option.

Beware of Gear Surveys

We have seen:
  1. Polyester and Nylon material of identical weight with the same durability rating.
  2. The same identical backpacks in two brand names rated very differently.
  3. Backpacks from the same factory of identical construction and materials given extraordinarily different ratings.
  4. Backpacks of identical construction and materials given different water resistance ratings.
  5. Backpacks taken for field testing and the harness rated without the frames professionally contoured and the backpack correctly adjusted and fitted.
  6. Volumes stated as per the suppliers specifications without being verified.
  7. Weights stated as per the suppliers specifications without being verified.
  8. Fabrics listed as Canvas and then Synthetic, without specifying the difference between these Canvas and Synthetic materials, and there is a huge difference.
  9. Backpacks rated without being seen by the person rating the backpacks.
  10. Often no explanation of the testing procedures to procure the difference between the ratings of each product.
  11. Backpacks from the same supplier with two different levels of harness systems rated the same.
  12. Backpacks that sell for unreasonably high prices rated as good value.

So how do you assess a good backpack?

Talk to people you know and trust on their recommendation for a good backpack, visit online outdoor forums, and only select a reputable brand of backpack. Be certain that the recommended backpacks are FITTED CORRECTLY and properly customised. Even the best backpack will not feel comfortable nor perform well if not customised to the individual. When considering a backpack purchase, make sure that the backpack is from a company that has a reputation for functionality and quality, that it is supported by a substantial guarantee on material and manufacturing faults, that there is a customer service department and a high level of support. If not, BUY ANOTHER BRAND. If the company does not provide you with explicit instructions on fitting your backpack, or cannot professionally customise your choice of backpack including removing and customising the internal staves, then consider Shopping Elsewhere.

White Mountain Backpacks™ in Australia

A clear understanding of the modern backpack and the information within this website will place you at an advantage when making your own personal selection. The White Mountain™ Website has been provided to assist you in making the right selection whatever the brand of backpack you purchase, and if you need assistance please contact us for more information.

Please review the information in this website and consider a White Mountain™ backpack for you next purchase. White Mountain™ only manufacture and sell backpacks, and this has been our business for more than 30 years. White Mountain™ prides itself at providing high quality, high functioning, and custom fitted backpacks at the World's Best Prices.

619 Plenty Road,
Preston VIC 3072
Melbourne Australia
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