Finding the right backpack comes down to matching your activity. You might find a nice, all-purpose daypack that meets your needs in most of your adventures, but you also might need a pack with features specific to your purpose. Here is a quick rundown of some key differences:
This is the broadest category that covers backpacks used for one-day trips. Whatever you need for that day, you should be able to fit in these bags. At The House, we specialize in backpacks more for the active lifestyle. Snowboard and Ski Backpacks are best suited for these sports with added loops and straps to carry snowboard and ski gear. Most will also include goggle pockets and helmet carry clips. Similarly, the href="/skatebags.html">skate packs have nifty straps or webbing to carry skateboards. They also typically include stretch-mesh pockets for water bottles. Shop around these sports backpacks to find alternate features like laptop compartments or hydration compatibility. Bike packs and messenger bags are designed to stay comfortably on a cyclist back while they have their hands on the bars. Waterproofing is important for bike bags too, so brands like Chrome include military-grade, waterproof lining in their bags.
On the more studious side, school backpacks are tailored to be roomy enough for books and have a place for your pens, notebooks, binders, and laptops. Since you’ll be reaching into your book bag more than other backpacks, looking for that last minute assignment or notepad, consider the comfort and easy of the fabric and zippers. For college backpacks, you might also need space for your lunch and waterproofing for that rainy dash across campus. These bags also work well for commuter bags or backpacks for first and last mile transport. What you’ll notice is the difference in style. School bags come in a wide array of colors and designs to match the users. Commuter bags and college bags are a bit more professional.
The final word on daypacks: They might seem simple and straightforward, but daypacks have a wild side. Genius engineers at these awesome backpack brands spend most their time thinking up new ways to improve their packs, so show some respect and find one that matches your unique lifestyle.
Many backpacks will have hydration capabilities, but there are still some hydration packs that keep it light by having just a pocket for the hydration bladder with a few amount of mesh pockets for gel packs and other essentials, like sunscreen or bug repellent. These packs are ideal for trail running or long bike rides where you’re on the move and don’t plan to stop.
Weekend packs are backpacks used for short trips (approximately 1-3 nights) and are around 30-50 liters in size.
With camping backpacks, you’ll really need a bit more strategy. You’ll have to consider how long you plan to go and how much weight and bulk you plan to carry. But that’s what makes camping so much fun. Heading out into the great outdoors with all you need on your back and nothing more. I’ll repeat that last part, “nothing more.” These extended-trip packs are good for 5+ nights and come in 70 liters or larger.
A big thing for campers and hikers is the sleeping bag compartment. This is a zippered or buckled spot towards the bottom of the bag that you can stuff and lock your sleeping bag into for easy transfer. Remember: When camping with others, you'll likely split the load. Someone might carry tent poles and others the tarp or tent.
As with buying anything online, once you get your new backpack in the mail, try it out. Fill it up with the type of things you'd have in it. Put it on and see how it fits. You don't want to wait until the first day of school or a backcountry camping trip in the mountains to see if you like it.
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