40 votes
Accepted

As a tall female should I be looking at male or female backpacks?

I've hiked a lot with a lot of female trekkers. And I've never seen women trekkers having any problem with any unisex/male backpacks. Most of the manufacturers keep the chest straps adjustable so that ...
  • 7,785
32 votes

Any reason to carry a mug outside of the backpack?

A mug outside the backpack is far easier to reach. In some areas, you will pass streams very often. During my first ever backpacking trip, with a group of Swedish people hiking Kaisepakte – ...
  • 26.2k
31 votes
Accepted

How much should your backpack weigh?

The ideal weight is zero. The less weight you carry the more you will enjoy your outing. That being said, one should try to minimize their weight within reason. There exist different schools (...
  • 8,021
29 votes

How much should your backpack weigh?

The general rule of thumb is to carry no more than a third of your body weight. That should be your max, so the answer is to carry less than that. Make your bag as light as you can. Aside from that ...
  • 53.2k
26 votes

Is it unsafe to ride the chair lift with a backpack?

Yes there are increased risks associated with riding a lift while wearing a pack Hangups The first major risk, mentioned by Paparazzi, is hangups. These occur anytime the pack becomes entangled in ...
  • 1,327
25 votes
Accepted

Men using a women's trekking backpack

The short answer is, "it depends". Packs sold to women may have only superficial changes compared to the men's version (i.e. the color is different), but there are usually a few common differences: ...
  • 8,368
24 votes

As a tall female should I be looking at male or female backpacks?

To me the first and foremost concern would be comfort and carrying capacity. Everything else is only considered after those 2. I recently went shopping for backpacks with my girlfriend and we noticed ...
  • 341
23 votes
Accepted

Why are backpacks mostly not made of waterproof material?

There are quite a few backpacks made of waterproof materials, especially among cottage manufacturers. ZPacks, Hyperlight Mountain Gear, Zimmerbuilt, Gossamer Gear, and many others manufacture packs ...
  • 646
23 votes
Accepted

Why are backpacks sized in liters?

Because the characteristic of a backpack in question is volume or how much content it can hold, not mass. An extreme example: If I fill lead into a 20l pack, I get ~225kg, if I fill styropor into a ...
  • 21.6k
22 votes
Accepted

What is the best way to figure out the size/volume of an old pack?

Put a garbage bag in the pack, with the open top of the garbage bag sticking out of the pack. Pour water into the garbage bag one liter at a time, keep track of how many liters of water you use. ...
22 votes

How can I measure pack volume?

Put a large trash bag (bin liner) into your bag. (Double bag it if you feel the need.) Fill the trash bag with water, either using a measured container to fill it until you reach the top of your bag, ...
  • 1,297
21 votes
Accepted

Is it unsafe to ride the chair lift with a backpack?

With a dash of common sense, and a modicum of skill I'd say packs are safe on a chairlift. One winter I skied over 100 days at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. I wore a pack the vast majority of those ...
  • 9,628
21 votes

How can I fix joint between shoulder strap and chest strap?

One solution, if you don't need the strap to be adjustable along the piping (vertically), is to remove the plastic clip and sew the chest strap to the shoulder strap, in the right place for you. Any ...
  • 2,622
20 votes

What do you call a small backpack? (so I can search for it)

You can find smaller backpacks called daypacks but regarding the actual activity they are mostly around 25-35 litre. Smaller packs are often used for biking, trailrunning and as climbing backpack. The ...
  • 12.1k
20 votes
Accepted

Why are backpack waist straps so long?

Some reasons for the long waist straps are: The most backpacks have only one size for everyone, so the backpack must fit a short/ tall/ tiny/ big person. It also depends what your wear for clothes ...
  • 2,652
18 votes
Accepted

What are the easiest methods to carry a backpack when cycling?

The easiest way to carry a backpack is on your back. If you're looking for a bag for cycling, then you either need to invest in some pannier bags, or some bikepacks: I have a 20L Revelate seat bag on ...
  • 53.2k
18 votes

How to determine the needed volume size when purchasing a backpack?

What you need is quite individual and the best way to tell what works for you is from your own experience. Some ultralight backpackers use backpacks that I would personally consider impossibly light ...
  • 26.2k
17 votes

What do you call the criss-crossed elastic strap on this Northface backpack?

According to the features list for The North Face Men's Borealis Pack, that is called a: Front elastic bungee for external storage
  • 8,620
17 votes

How much should your backpack weigh?

First, what are your priorities? At one end of the scale you have fastpackers who aim to cover as much ground as possible and damn the discomfort. At the other end, you have people who want to hike a ...
  • 11.7k
17 votes

Any reason to carry a mug outside of the backpack?

Personally I don't do that, because having something clanging against my pack (or my back) all day is guaranteed to drive me insane. Eating equipment goes inside my pack, along with stoves. If I ...
  • 2,209
16 votes

What is the purpose of the shoulder strap upper adjustment?

Stabilizer/Load-lifter/Load-adjuster... Straps Those are stabilizer straps, also known as load lifter or load adjuster straps. You typically have another set of stabilizer straps on your waist belt ...
  • 53.2k
16 votes

What do you call the criss-crossed elastic strap on this Northface backpack?

That's simply elastic cord threaded through tie out loops on your bag. It's used to lash everything that can't fit inside your bag (extra layers/jacket), things that you don't want inside your bag (...
  • 53.2k
16 votes
Accepted

What could I keep in rucksack hip pocket?

I use my hip pockets mostly for holding snacks or other items that I want regular and immediate access to. When I go out on a hike I pack both hip pockets full of granola bars and other goodies, ...
  • 53.2k
15 votes
Accepted

Repair broken plastic buckle in the middle of hiking or alternative way to fix it

Do you have 2 split rings (keyrings) with you? If so, here's how to make a buckle like that (or rather its D-ring predecessor): Attach both split rings to the upper strap, where the old buckle is/was....
  • 23.6k
14 votes

How can I keep my backpack from resting directly against my back?

I found a solution! I have a Frost River Arrowhead Trail (roll top) canvas backpack that was posing the same sweaty problem when taking it on hikes. You can find several makers of beaded (wooden) ...
  • 141
14 votes
Accepted

Any reason to carry a mug outside of the backpack?

If your mug is wet, why would you put it inside? If you like a hot drink while packing up, you might have a wet (or even dirty) mug after you've packed anything on which you might dry it. If you do ...
  • 23.6k
13 votes

How do you lower a backpack over a cliff without damaging it?

I'm gonna offer a super-cheap and quick workaround for the problem: Bring along an IKEA bag (assuming there are IKEAs where you live). They are basically very large shopping bags made out of very ...
  • 12.3k
13 votes

How to stow backpack and boots whilst in a hammock?

It depends largely on the hammock size and personal preference. My friend's hammock has mesh gear pockets on the underside for storage, but he doesn't mind sleeping with the boots on or inside the ...
  • 575
13 votes

What is the best way to figure out the size/volume of an old pack?

There's zero industry standardization for calculating the volume of a bag, and there are numerous factors that affect the total volume - like how many pockets/compartments are in the bag and, and the ...
  • 53.2k
13 votes

How can I fix joint between shoulder strap and chest strap?

Those clips do come off, and in many designs you'd be able to thread them back on from the end. It is possible to clip them back on though. The way I've found works is to gently prise open one end ...
  • 23.6k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible