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Backpacking Backpacks: Discount External Frame & Internal Frame Packs

Backpacking backpacks are special types of backpacks that are designed to hold significant amounts of gear while hiking or backpacking. They use an internal or external frame that allows individuals to carry heavy gear by transferring the weight of the pack onto the hips rather than the shoulders. Backpacking backpacks are available in a variety of sizes and capacities for backpacking trips of different lengths and types. At Eagle Camping, our selection of discount backpacking packs includes backpacks from leading outdoor manufacturers such as Alps Mountaineering, Chinook, Stansport, and SwissGear.

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Choosing the Best Backpacking Backpack

When you are buying a backpacking backpack, there are several important factors to consider in order to insure that you select the best backpack for your needs. Choosing the right backpacking backpack will improve comfort and balance during your trips and allow you to carry all of your necessary gear without leaving anything behind. The following guidelines and considerations will help you when choosing your new backpacking backpack.

Guidelines for Buying Backpacks

Some basics to keep in mind when choosing the best backpacking backpack include:

  • Internal vs. External Frame: While backpacking backpacks were originally designed as external frame backpacks, internal frame backpacks are becoming increasingly popular among backpackers. Body-hugging internal frame backpacking backpacks are able to keep loads stable and allow walkers to maintain balance on unpredictable terrain with their low, narrow profiles. External backpacks have a rigid outer frame that offers support for the pack. These typically have a wider profile than internal frame backpacks, which can transfer weight of heavy loads to the hips but typically result in reduced stability. Some people prefer external frame backpacks in hot weather because they keep the pack away from your back allowing for better ventilation.
  • Capacity: The capacity of backpacking backpacks is measured in either liters or cubic inches. The capacity that you will need will depend on the length of the trip, the amount of gear that you are carrying, and the expected weather during a trip. It is important that you buy a backpack that is only just large enough for your needs, as most people tend to pack to fill up the space they have, which can result in heavier loads.
  • Weight: Newer backpacking backpacks, like all backpacking gear, are becoming more lightweight with modern innovations and developments. This allows you to reduce the overall weight of your gear or carry more gear. If you are buying a new backpacking pack to use with older gear, it is important to realize that your gear may be slightly larger or heavier than newer equipment and you will likely have to buy a backpack that is larger than recommended for your particular excursion.

Backpacks & Fit

While it is important to compare design, capacity, and weight when selecting a backpack, another crucial aspect when choosing a backpacking backpack is the fit of the pack. How a backpack fits can have a significant impact on your ability to carry gear and your comfort when backpacking.

To determine what size backpacking backpack is right for you, you will need to measure not your overall height, but your torso length. Many backpacks are available in small, medium, and large sizes, while others have adjustable lengths. A proper fitting backpack will have a size appropriate for your torso length and a comfortable, but snug grip on your hips.

Many backpacks can be customized for a better fit by adjusting the:

  • Adjustable Suspensions: On some backpacking backpacks, the shoulder harness can be repositioned to provide a better fit. This is ideal for those between sizes.
  • Load-Lifter Straps: These straps are stitched into the top of the shoulder straps and connect the top of the backpack to the frame. They should be tightened to prevent the upper portion of a pack from pulling away from your body and causing the pack to sag on your lumbar region.
  • Stabilizer Straps: These straps are found on the side of the hip belt and connect the belt to the lower region of the backpacking backpack in order to keep it close to your body.
  • Sternum Strap: This chest-high strap will allow you to connect your shoulder straps and boost stability.

Accessing Your Gear

A final consideration when buying a backpacking backpack is to consider how easy it will be to access your gear within a backpack. Some packs have special features and configurations to make accessing gear easier. This can include side zippers, front zippers, or front panels that allow access to different areas within the main pack. Sleeping bag compartments are also found at the bottom of some bags for storing sleeping bags. Additional pockets can be found on some sleeping bags to store small or frequently used items. These extra gear pockets often include elasticized side pockets, hipbelt pockets, shovel pockets, front pockets.