• Weight is an important issue if you are hiking, as you will be wearing this thing all day long. How the weight is distributed will determine if the backpack is your best friend or the bane of your existence.

  • Because your hips will be able to bear a lot more weight than your shoulders, a hipbelt on your bag will come in handy. The hipbelt should neither be too soft nor too firm and should cup over your hipbones. Of course, with time, they have gotten more sophisticated and are now available with several different types of foam-in-one to accommodate any situation.

  • Shoulder straps should also not be too soft as they will begin to dig into your skin after a few hours.

  • An internal frame (which runs along the curve of your back, thus transferring the weight without sacrificing flexibility) will also help make you a happy camper.

  • As for construction, this element can also save your sanity. Many packs offer a separate compartment for your sleeping bag as well as a pouch to stow away wet items such as your tent or raincoat (so that your favorite sweatshirt or teddy bear doesn't get ruined).

  • Too many outside pockets will affect the weight distribution and should be avoided.

  • Extra loops and straps can be used for bulky items or tools.

  • Also convenient is smaller bag that can be zipped off the main pack when you have set up camp and don't want to lug that huge monstrosity around.

SoYouWanna know more? Check out our full-length article SYW Go Camping?