Do you do any day hiking? You’ll need a good daypack.
What sets a top quality daypack apart from bargain models that you can get from any department store? Basically it’s comfort, convenience and performance. Let’s look at these three characteristics more in depth.
Padding: Different models offer increased comfort by padding different parts of the pack. Shoulder straps, scapula pads, back panels are the main parts.
Load Management: Some models, to keep the center of gravity more forward, are structured to maintain daypack loads closer to your back.
Ventilation: Some back panels are ventilated for enhanced cool comfort.
Feminine Contouring: There are daypacks designed to specifically fit female contours and dimensions.
Waistbelt Pockets: These convenient pockets keep small items such as lip dew, gel packs and small pocket knives within easy reach.
External Loops: These loops are for attaching such things as ice axes or trekking poles.
Hydration System Accommodation: A port to hold a hydration hose and a sleeve to hold a hydration reservoir are common accessories on a high-quality daypack.
Tougher and Lighter Fabrics: The high-quality materials, like 630-denier nylon, used in the more sophisticated daypacks will help lighten your load and at the same time increase durability.
Super Zippers: Doing a better job of keeping out the elements, these high-tech zippers save weight by eliminating storm flaps. This improvement comes from innovations such as gluing or welding the zippers to the fabric. This creates a much better moisture barrier than stitching in the zippers. These modern zippers are also stronger than the previous types.
So, it may be time to upgrade your daypack.
by Richard Davidian, Ph.D.
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