Monday, December 13, 2010

Purchasing a Backpack

Purchasing backpacking equipment is an important investment, so you should take the time, effort and care to make quality decisions. The choices should not be as carefree as making a trip to a big-box store and buying the cheapest gear available. In fact, the standard rule is that the lighter the equipment is, the more expensive it turns out to be. Cost and quality become the difference between an efficient, lightweight, comfortable backpacking trip and a heavy, tedious, backbreaking, painful one.


When shopping for a backpack, speak with a qualified person in a reputable outfitting store and set aside considerable time for fitting. Each person is unique, and a proper fit is vital for successful trekking. Backpacks are categorized as either internal frame or external frame design.

Internal frame

The advantages of the internal frame style of backpack include its body-hugging capability and lower centre of gravity. Both of these characteristics result in superior balance, with freer arm movement and less bounce. The internal frame pack is also less likely to get hung up on tree branches and overhangs. The disadvantages are a bit of a trade-off, however, because although the lower centre of gravity creates better balance, it will put more stress on the shoulder harnesses, and the snugger body fit will generate perspiration on the wearer’s back. An air mesh frame will help to counteract the effects of excessive...

The books provide several pages of detailed descriptions of backpacks, fitting, materials, and styles.

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