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Backpacks and Packing

How Important is a Waterproof Backpack?

Exped Torrent Backpack in Use - Photo Courtesy of Exped

Most overnight and multi-day backpacks are not completely waterproof (even cuben fiber backpacks), and the widespread use of polyester and nylon instead of pack cloth in modern backpacks means that you don’t have to worry about the material of the pack becoming water logged and heavier because it has gotten soaked by rain. Still …

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What is a Floating Lid?

A floating lid is a detachable pocket on the top of a backpack that can be used to carry more gear when the pack’s main compartment is full. They’re commonly found on winter or climbing backpacks and are very handy when you need to carry extra gear. Floating Lids on …

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The History of Ventilated Backpack Frames

A Deuter AirComfort Ventilated Backpack Frame

When internal frame backpacks were first developed in 1967 by Greg Lowe (who later founded Lowe Alpine and LowePro), they were designed to be more formfitting than external frame packs, bringing the load closer to the wearer’s hips, and making it easier to scramble or go off trail. However, it …

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Reframing Internal Frame Backpacks

Granite Gear Crown VC (available next year)

I review a lot of backpacks on Section Hiker because I am genuinely interested in understanding what makes some backpacks good and others great. Since I’m into lightweight backpacking, I spend most of my time reviewing ultralight and lightweight packs that weigh between 1 pounds and 3 pounds and are …

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What is an External Frame Backpack?

What is an External Frame Backpack? The suspension system on an external frame pack is a rigid aluminum frame. This is good for carrying very heavy loads because it’s rigid and ensures excellent load transfer to the hip belt if fitted properly. Externals frames are also have a lots of …

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How to Test a Backpack

Osprey Kestrel Backpack

I've been testing and reviewing a lot of backpacks this winter, mainly from Osprey. Although I personally use 3 season backpacks that weigh half or even a third of what these mainstream backpacks weigh, I decided that I needed to understand how they're designed and why people buy them if …

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Why are Stuff Sacks Round?

I am completely serious about this. Why are stuff sacks round instead of block shaped? For example, most of the backpacks I own have one large compartment that is rectangular in shape. Given this, wouldn’t it be more efficient to pack them using stuff sacks that were rectangular in shape …

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Hydration Bladder Pockets in Backpacks

  Hydration pockets are good for day hikers because they hold your Camelback or platypus hydration bladder in place. If you’re a day hiker, you don’t have a lot of gear in the pack to keep your bladder from shifting around. However if you’re doing a serious hike and you …

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