Our range of hiking packs is built to handle all kinds of trekking adventures, even those in extreme conditions where reliance on your gear is paramount and the only way forward is to carry everything with you. So it goes without saying that the two fundamental requirements of technical hiking packs are strength and comfort. These elements drive the selection of the alloys, fabrics and foams found in our packs so you end up carrying one of the toughest, most reliable packs in the world.
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How do I choose a hiking pack?
A high quality hiking pack is an essential piece of equipment for your trekking adventures. The options out there are as endless as the choice of trail routes so picking the right hiking pack for your needs can be difficult. Regardless of your chosen trek, the best hiking pack will consider the following features:
Storage Space - The size of your hiking pack will be determined by the location, duration and difficulty of your trek, as this governs how much equipment you take. Look for roomy main compartments that are easily-accessible, and accessories pockets (both internal and external) for separating and organising specific items. Compression straps help to minimise bulk and the best hiking pack will likely have these on the sides, base and even the hood.
Harness - A high quality harness provides long-lasting comfort and ease of mobility. The value of this increases the longer and more difficult your trek is. It should be adjustable so you can personalise your fit, and include padding and mesh ventilation in the shoulder straps, back panel and hip belt. Load adjusters and a chest strap assist with weight distribution and stability.
Weather Protection - You'll be exposed to the elements on a hike so weather protection is essential. A coating or laminate on the inside of the outer fabric and base material will provide waterproof protection, and a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish on the outer will help light rain bead off the surface. Some styles have a rain cover to further ensure your gear stays safe and dry.
Durability - Like your clothing, your hiking pack will be subject to some rough wear and tear on the tracks. The best hiking backpacks are constructed from heavy-duty ripstop fabrics so they don't easily rip or tear when you inevitably catch a snag. Reinforced stitching and durable zips and buckles will also give your pack longevity of use.
Weight - You need a sturdy hiking backpack but you also want it to be lightweight. There's no point saving weight on all your gear if you then end up carrying the same amount because your pack itself is heavy. A quality hiking pack will strike a balance between durability and strength, and being lightweight.
Design - Useful functional design elements on a hiking pack include internal sleeves for hydration pouches, daisy chain systems to hang items such as water bottles and sleeping mats, and hiking pole attachment loops.
What sizes of hiking packs are available at Mountain Designs?
Each style in our range of hiking backpacks is measured by the size of its load capacity. This listed volume is measured in litres and gives you an indication of how much packing space you have to work with when loading up your gear before a day on the trails. For reference, our hiking packs range from 45L to 75L. When choosing the right hiking pack, start with styles that will hold all of your clothing and equipment, then narrow your choice down based on other factors such as weather protection, durability, carrying comfort and functional design elements that make trail life easier.
Are there waterproof hiking packs available?
Our hiking packs have been designed to handle tough outdoor conditions, including wet weather. Often on the trails, you need to push through an unexpected downpour so having a waterproof hiking backpack is an advantage. With that in mind, we've built rain protection into all of our hiking packs so you can keep on the move even when bad weather rolls in. Most of this protection comes through a combination of an inner lamination or coating, and a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish on the outside. The coating or laminate, applied to the inside of the outer fabric and base material, prevents water from soaking through to your gear. Outside, the DWR finish causes water on the surface to bead up and roll off, so the outer fabric doesn't become saturated. Some of our styles also come with a waterproof rain cover that can be pulled over the pack like a raincoat.
Which hiking packs are highly durable?
Whether you're off on a day hike or trekking for days, you will inevitably come in contact with rocks, scrub, sticks and other rough environmental elements. Your hiking backpack should be durable enough to withstand these knocks and scuffs without ripping or tearing easily. We utilise heavy-duty outer fabric and base materials in the construction of our hiking packs to ensure it has the strength and resilience needed to last adventure after adventure.
What hiking packs are compressible?
A day on the trails puts incredible workload through your entire body. The key to staying the distance is to be efficient with movement. For a hiking pack, this means ergonomic designs that allow the pack to essentially become one with your body. Compression straps allow you to minimise bulk and streamline your pack, so you can move more freely and without restriction. This is more energy efficient, but is also safer as you manoeuvre over and around obstacles strewn across your chosen path.