Planning to buy a new pack for the backcountry? There are three main areas where you’ll need to make choices:
Backpack capacity: The size pack you’ll need is tied to the length of your trip and how much weight and bulk you want to carry.
Backpack features: These are the refinements that affect how the pack works for you.
Backpack fit: Torso length, not your height, matters most.
Weekend (1-3 nights; 30-50 liters)
Multiday (3-5 nights; 50-80 liters)
Extended-trip (5+ nights; 70 liters or larger)
- Winter treks lasting more than 1 night. Larger packs can more comfortably accommodate extra clothing, a warmer sleeping bag and a 4-season tent (which typically includes extra poles).
- Adults taking young children backpacking. Mom and Dad wind up carrying a lot of kids’ gear to make the experience enjoyable for their young ones.