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Basic Choices for Internal Packs
If you’re looking for a good hiking backpack for off-trail or extreme terrain activity like backpacking and other rigorous outdoor activities, internal packs offer the type of stability, comfort and freedom of movement that you’ll need when on rough terrain. Also known as internal frame packs, internal packs feature a frame that’s integrated into the backpack and designed to fit the contours of your body. The basic difference in internal packs is the loading method.
Top Loading Internal Packs – A top loading internal pack is generally a simpler and lighter design than some others. This form of hiking backpack tends to be more water resistant since there are fewer locations for the intrusion of water. Kelty backpacks often feature the top loading configuration. Panel Loading Internal Packs – With large, zippered opening s, panel loading packs make loading and accessing cargo easy. Zippered closures give you the ability to find almost anything at a moment’s notice. There are several North Face backpacks that feature the convenience of panel loading. Internal Backpacking Packs Buying Considerations
When evaluating internal packs, there are a wide range of features you’ll be asked to consider. Simplify your selection process by focusing on a few key considerations:
Internal Pack Fit
Critical to your comfort and enjoyment, fit is arguably the most important consideration when selecting an internal frame hiking backpack. Assess your torso by measuring the distance between the base of your neck to the small of your back with a flexible tape measure. Once you’ve identified your size, you can use this guide to find a size that should be right for you:
Extra Small: Up to 15 ½ inches Small: 16 inches to 17 ½ inches Medium / Regular: 18 inches to 19 ½ inches Large / Tall: 20 + inches
Internal Pack Capacity
When searching for the best backpacking backpack for your next trip, you will need a pack that will accommodate your gear, use these general capacity guidelines:
Day Hikes – Single day hike, 1,800-2,500 cubic inches (Up to 30 liters) Overnight – Overnight or multi-day hike, 3,000-5,000 cubic inches (30-50 liters) Expedition – Week long or winter hikes, of 5000+ cubic inches (55+ liters) Storage Configuration – Keep in mind the ease of which your camping and hiking gear can be accessed while you are on a trail. Pockets – There are many different types of pockets available on internal packs including elasticized pockets (increased capacity), hip belt pockets (carry small items) shovel pockets (large, general purpose) and more. Look for pockets that are easy to reach. Side & Front Zippers – Not found on every pack, extra zippers can be used to retrieve gear that couldn’t normally be obtained without completely unloading a top loading pack.
To save time, consider a few of our helpful tips when searching for the right hiking and camping backpack:
• Add weight to internal packs when trying them on
• Easy to reach pockets come in handy for quick access to hydration and survival and first-aid gear
• Experiment with available suspension & load-lifter straps for the best fit
• For women, there are internal packs specifically designed for a woman’s shape