Learn how to choose a backpacking backpack for specific types of trips based on design, materials, and use cases.
Large outdoor retailers typically offer more than 100 models of backpacks for backpacking from several dozen brands. Add to this: an additional 200 models from more than 50 smaller brands that distribute online in the US market alone.
Sorting out all of these choices is an exercise in frustration due to inconsistent specs and lack of understanding of the broader market by those who are trying to sell you packs.
In Backpacks for Backpacking: Design, Materials, and Use Cases, we focus on the salient design features and materials of interest to ultralight backpackers.
In addition, we identify categories of backpacks by specific use cases, including ultralight backpacking, thru-hiking, long-distance hiking, fastpacking, packrafting, mountain and desert scrambling, and load-hauling.
Keynote: Backpacks for Backpacking: Design, Materials, and Use Cases (Member Q&A) (~30 minutes)
- Overview of the US backpack market
- Ultralight vs. conventional backpacks
- Backpack design considerations – suspension, materials, and configuration
- Use cases – ultralight backpacking, thru-hiking, long-distance hiking, fastpacking, packrafting, mountain and desert scrambling, load-hauling
Q&A (~ 30 minutes)
- Functionality of rear/side pass-through pockets on Nashville Packs Cutaway?
- ECOPACK EPX200 vs. ECOPACK EPL200 vs. X-Pac VX21? Comparison of materials, DWR, tear strength, weight, waterproofing, and abrasion resistance?
- McHale Packs – who needs one vs. who doesn’t? What makes them unique? Fit, customizability, load-carrying comfort/suspension performance, modularity?
- Bombproof pack fabrics: Cordura vs. DCHW (Dyneema) vs. ECOPAK Ultra 800?
- Is it true: ‘buy your backpack last’?
- New Gossamer Gear Ultra backpacks?
- Water bottle holders on chest straps/shoulder straps/hip belts?
- Recommendations if you’re new to backpacking and are overwhelmed by backpack choice fatigue?
- Recommendations for backpacks that are ventilated for hot, humid, or tropical climates?
- Recommendations for an all-around pack that is modular, light, can carry moderate weight, and is $200 or less?
- Frame vs. frameless for off-trail hiking?
- Ideas for adding compression systems to a large pack if I don’t have sewing skills?
- Options for packing items that don’t do well in extreme cold (water filters, batteries, etc.)?
About the Event & Access Info
- Event Description: Backpacks for Backpacking: Design, Materials, and Use Cases (Member Q&A)
- Livestream Date and Time: Friday, April 29, 2022, 7 PM US Mountain Time
Backpacking Light Member Q&A Sessions are Hour-Long Members-Only Live Events – they are recorded and the recorded session will be made available below after the live event has ended.
To access the live or recorded (video) version of this event, a printable slide deck for note-taking, and the related resources/downloads, you must be logged in with an active Basic, Premium, or Unlimited Membership.
Members-Only: Watch the Recorded Video & Access Additional Resources
- Download the Slide Deck (PDF)