OUR EXPERT ADVICE WILL HELP YOU CHOOSE THE RIGHT PACK FOR ON- AND OFF-TRAIL ADVENTURES OF ANY DURATION

Getting out on the local trails, wandering the desert or taking in expansive views among the high peaks—few things are as freeing as a good hike out in the wild. And whether you’re gearing up for your first dayhike ever, packing for an ultralight overnight, or loading up for two weeks in the remote wilderness, a functional and comfortable pack to carry your gear is an essential. There are a range of things to consider before determining which is the best hiking pack for you.

Our general rule of thumb for choosing the right size pack.

For day hikes up to 12 hours, a 15-30 liter pack will carry the essentials and a few extra items. Single overnight trips usually require 25-50 liter bags with your sleeping bag attached to the exterior straps, which most packs of this size include. For a weekend trip (up to 2 nights) we prefer bags between 45-55 liters. If we're going for a multiday hike between 3-5 nights we'll pack between 50-80 liters. Any expedition trips of 5+ nights definitely require more gear, 75-105 liters, especially if the season requires heavier layers.

Care and Storage

Like any outdoor gear, it’s important to give your hiking backpack a little love and attention so it remains committed to your cause. Dirt, sap and salt can ruin a pack if allowed to accumulate in zippers or penetrate the fabric. We recommend gently brushing zippers and spot cleaning the interior and exterior of the backpack after each trip. Wash your entire pack according to the manufacturer instructions as needed, and make sure it is completely dry before storing it to avoid mildew. This is especially true when it comes to hydration reservoirs. For packs with this feature, it’s also important to keep the bladder clean and dry between uses.

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