Date Published: 2021-08-04
A Backpack You Can Count On
By Adelia Ladson
Why Do I Need To Worry About This?Whether you’re going camping, carrying work or school gear, traveling on vacation or bugging-out after SHTF, you need a backpack that you can count on to keep all of your essentials together. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an everyday carry pack or an emergency carry pack, it has to stand-up to the job without tearing and provide the organized space that you need for your gear.
What To Look For In A BackpackWhen you’re looking for a backpack to fit your needs, there are a few things that you need to consider. Putting careful thought into shopping for your backpack will guarantee that you purchase a high-quality bag that will last for the long-haul (pun totally intended). When you’re looking take a look at what the pack is made of, the number of pockets for your needs, the overall size of the pack and what comfort features it has for carry.
What’s Its Construction?Based on what you are using the backpack for, you need to look at the materials that it’s constructed out of. If It’s an everyday work or school backpack, you may not need as heavy-duty construction as for camping for bugging-out. Generally, a good solid backpack is made out of some weight of canvas. The shoulder straps and top handle should be nylon webbing, which is going to be tear-resistant. You’ll find the material will be listed as 600D (Denier) Oxford or 900D Oxford, which is a more heavy-duty canvas. Also, look at the zippers. Are they plastic or metal? You never want plastic zippers on a backpack, regardless of what it’s being used for! There are some cheap backpacks that will use plastic zippers, so always make sure.
How Many Compartments And Pockets?Most importantly, a backpack should keep your gear organized and easily accessible. Once again, based on what you’re using it for, consider the things that you will carry in the pack. Do you need a padded compartment for a laptop? Do you need multiple pockets for smaller items and a large compartment for clothes and larger gear? You can find backpacks out there that have a pocket for just about everything to a backpack that only has one large compartment and an inside zippered compartment. If you’re looking for multiple pockets, a tactical-style pack is what you’re looking for.
Overall Size of BackpackYou can find large camping backpacks to carry-on size backpacks out on the market. When you’re backpacking, the most important consideration is the size and weight because, afterall, you’re the one who will be carrying it. The rule of thumb is that a person should be able to carry about 25% of their weight comfortably while hiking. So, if you’re looking at a pack with a structured frame, that weight has to be taken into consideration. Nothing beats a good, carry-on backpack for air travel. The average carry-on size allowed for most airlines is 22”x 15-18”x 9-10”.
What Comfort Features Does It Have?Since, as I said above, you’re the one who has to ultimately carry the backpack, the comfort features it has are important. You want shoulder straps that are padded and easily adjustable. Also, you can find shoulder straps that have a chest strap, with a quick-release buckle, that connects them together, providing more support for your shoulders and back. For camping and hiking, a waist strap with a quick-release buckle keeps the backpack secure and balanced on your back. It’s important to have quick-release buckles so that the backpack is easy to remove quickly, if necessary. Some packs also come with breathable, padded back panels for comfortability, especially in the heat.
Our RecommendationsI’ve put together a list of some really great, versatile backpacks that can be used either for camping and hiking or travel and everyday. Each one is built to last, guaranteeing you years and years of use.
M48 OPS Tactical Solar Panel BackpackThe M48 OPS Tactical Solar Panel Backpack is at the top of my list for all tours and daytrips including outdoor adventures and city-walking tours. Of course, the obvious selling point is the removable solar panel that lets you charge your electronic devices by plugging directly into the sun. When you’re out under the sun, simply plug your device into the USB port in the panel, drop it into the convenient zippered pouch and it will continuously charge while you’re out and about. The backpack is constructed of 600D Oxford canvas and has a large main compartment with a big mesh pocket to keep items secure, as well as, a zippered pocket. The back of the pack has adjustable, cushioned mesh shoulder straps with a chest strap and a cushioned mesh back panel. The front of the pack has a top and bottom zippered pouch with MOLLE webbing, and the pack also has a waist strap. Believe me, this backpack is versatile enough to organize and carry what you need, wherever you go!
M48 Camping Backpack With Rain CoverFor camping, the M48 Camping Backpack With Rain Cover is the one that I prefer. The reason being is that it come with a nylon fabric rain cover to assure all your gear stays dry. The backpack has an extra-large, nylon material lined main compartment with a drawstring top and a smaller inside compartment, also with a drawstring top, as another layer of water-resistance. It also has a zippered bottom, allowing access to the main compartment and a zippered pouch on each side, plus, a small, zippered pouch on the front. The top flap of the pack has two zippered pouches, for small items like your wallet or phone. The back panel is padded, along with the adjustable shoulder straps and a waist strap for a comfortable and balanced fit when you’re hiking. The backpack has a strong metal, internal frame and is made of 900D Oxford canvas with tough ABS slide buckles and quick-release buckles and tear-resistant, nylon compression straps. The M48 Camping Backpack will easily house all your field and tactical gear or camping and outdoors adventure gear.
Overbound PackIf you’re looking for a great everyday school or work backpack, this is definitely it! The optimized space saving compartments, pockets and overall layout of the Overbound Pack give you quick access to the things you need. On each side of the pack, there’s a water bottle sized pouch with elastic retention and the main compartment has a padded, laptop sleeve. The rear, back panel compartment is easily accessible from the left or right side for quick storage and use items. On the outside, the pack features MOLLE and hook-and-loop panels for attaching name patches. The ergonomic and padded shoulder straps and breathable back panel reduces body fatigue during extended wear and the backpack has a durable, black 600D nylon construction with reinforced, heavy-gauge stitching. The Overbound Pack is just an all-around great bag that will keep everything perfectly organized and accessible to get you through your day.
Outback Series Traveler Duffle BackpackThe Outback Traveler Duffle Backpack would be my hands-down, go-to airline carry-on bag. This is part of a collection of bags that was designed with the seasoned traveler in mind, offering a travel tough construction with a travel professional appearance. The duffle bag has a green canvas construction with a classic weathered look but when you open it up, the inside has a luxe soft, lining that is easy on your clothes and valuables. The duffle backpack has a spacious main compartment with two small interior pockets and a zippered pocket. There’s a large, zippered pocket on each side of the bag and the entire bottom of the bag unzips revealing a shallow compartment. The best thing about this duffle bag is that is converts quickly to a backpack with adjustable, padded shoulder straps that hideaway in their own zippered compartment. By the way, make sure to take a look at the rest of the Outback Traveler Series to ensure your set is complete.
M48 OPS Gear BackpackThe M48 OPS Gear Backpack is the survival and bug-out pack that you’ve been looking for. The military-style backpack will easily house all of your survival or tactical gear with an extra-large main compartment and a large secondary compartment, both with multiple inside pockets for the organization of small items. It also features two detachable side pouches and a large, detachable front utility pouch, which itself has multiple zippered pockets and MOLLE webbing. The tactical backpack has D-rings and MOLLE webbing on all sides. The back panel, shoulder straps and waist strap are padded for a comfortable fit. The pack has a heavy-duty nylon construction in a camouflage pattern and also features an emergency drag handle on top. With its multiple straps, buckles, zippers, pockets and attachment points, the M48 OPS Gear Backpack allows you to carry tons of gear efficiently.