While some may spend outrageous amounts of money in an attempt to find a pack that weighs a few ounces less than one that is 70 dollars cheaper, the reality is that you should buy the best pack for your budget, as long as you don’t sacrifice the quality of gear items in other categories. The “right pack” is different for every hiker; some need larger packs to carry extra stuff, while others prefer smaller packs. The time of year also dictates what type of pack to bring, since winter hiking generally requires additional equipment. Here’s how to find a pack that will suit you:
First, ask yourself these questions: What is the purpose of this pack? Is it a replacement, a pack for a different season, or one that is lighter? What volume will I need to carry the gear I anticipate on bringing? Will this pack be for solo, or group trips? The importance of questioning why you need a certain type of pack will ultimately make help you make the right decision.
Secondly, it is very important that you are not swept up by the nicest packs out there. While it is true that the cheapest of backpacks will be uncomfortable, impractical, and altogether not worth your money, the most expensive may not be worth it either, when often times weight can be saved in other areas of your gear layout.
Last, consider all types of packs, and what the features will offer you. A minimalist pack is often lighter than a pack filled with features and tons of padding. Many cottage industries have packs that are about the same price as the larger gear manufacturers, and can be of better quality. Search bargain bin sites to find the best deal; you will often be surprised what will be on sale.
When you have found some backpacks that look right for you, research each and see what others are saying about them. Don’t be swayed by all of others opinions, because often times they may be happy or unhappy with things that have little use to you. Good luck, and I hope this helped.