Magazine article Geographical

Leader of the Pack: Whether You Are off on an Afternoon Ramble in the Surrey Hills or a Highlands Expedition, Steve Watkins Thinks There's a Rucksack on the Market Perfect for You. (Geographical Crucial Kit)

Magazine article Geographical

Leader of the Pack: Whether You Are off on an Afternoon Ramble in the Surrey Hills or a Highlands Expedition, Steve Watkins Thinks There's a Rucksack on the Market Perfect for You. (Geographical Crucial Kit)

Article excerpt

Standard wisdom on the size of pack to buy is as follows: for day trips, 25-35 litres is enough, depending on how much poor-weather clothing and cooking equipment you wish to carry; on overnight hikes, with a lightweight tent and sleeping bag, you should be able to get away with 40-55 litres; while for longer trips check out the 60-85 litres plus market (and remember to book into the gym for weight training too).

Day Packs

With smaller packs, such as Go-Lite's amazingly lightweight Day Ultra-Lite Pack or the 35-1itre Mountain Equipment Trek, ensure that the shoulder straps are well padded and spaced broadly enough to fit comfortably around your neck. These packs are too small to have effective hip belts, but it does make things more stable on rough ground if there is a lower strap to fix around your stomach area. Useful additions to look for are large rear mesh pockets for stashing a wind or waterproof jacket, and small internal, zipped pockets for keeping your car keys and wallet in.

Overnight Packs

When buying medium-sized packs, such as the 42-1itre Berghaus Summit Pro or The North Face MG 45, with its X-Frame suspension back system, ensure that the back has good, firm, moulded padding and that the hip belt comes all the way around your hips and does not dig in. These packs are big enough to carry quite heavy loads so the hip belt and the internal frame system need to be capable of distributing the weight effectively. In addition to storage pockets, other desirable features are side wand pockets for stowing trekking poles, and possibly an ice-axe loop. Packs of this size are ideal for the heavier demands of winter walking.

Expedition Packs

Ergonomic back systems come into their own with large packs, such as Vango's superb value Denali 60+10, which has a Bi-Crescent, dynamic hip belt and the 3D Control back system, and costs just 90 [pounds sterling]. These hip belts should mould to your hips to provide a positive and firm load carrying platform, while padded backs lessen pressure on the spine. The shoulder harness should be firmly padded but not bulky, and the pack itself should be tall and slim to keep the weight close to your body. Also useful are compartments that can be accessed independently of the main part.

Packing tips

1 Keep the heavier items in the middle and close to your back as the harness system will then be most effective at transferring the weight onto your hips. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.