The Best Backpacks of 2015
From feather light daypacks like Columbia - Trail Pursuit 30L or High Sierra -
Lightning 35 to multiday MVPs, such as Osprey - Atmos AG / Aura AG and The
North Face - Cobra 60, the best new backpacks of 2015 are sure to endure
thousands of backcountry miles, and stand up to every challenge outdoor
enthusiast may throw at them.
All new packs feature smart pockets to stay organized and keep your valuable stuff like tablet, laptop or smartphone protected from the elements. Because of the current boom in gadgets designers tend to create packs that preserve their streamlined, simplified look and come with external pockets for electronics and technical tools. For example, the Kelty Capture 25 has the detachable iPhone/ camera sleeve. Other packs feature inside pockets that are perfect for storing sharp or delicate items like crampons and cameras (for instance: the Salomon S-Lab X Alp 20 and The North Face Cobra). There is a waterproof front pouch for an iPad in the Thule Guidepost 65 sports and a seam sealed, waterproof hipbelt pocket in Gregory's Baltoro. These compartments will let the hiker keep his electronics close at hand on the trail but stay protected from rain, mud or dust.
Another new trend of the new packs is a custom fit. These days most companies specializing in making packs have hipbelt, torso-length, and yoke-width adjustability incorporated directly into the products for a decent fit. Plus, companies are looking for lighter, less obtrusive ways to make their merchandise customized. Some of them have already incorporated a ratcheting technique from the bike carriers that ensures easy torso adjustment when the pack is on the back.
When purchasing a new pack consider following the tips below that will help you make a sound shopping decision.
Be realistic. Avoid purchasing a pack which is bigger than you need "just in case". The practice proves that hikers tend to fill it with unnecessary stuff that just adds weight to the load.
Check side pockets. When buying a pack, fetch your favorite water bottle to check if it fits and can easily be reached without help. Then bend over and see whether it stays put.
Measure your torso length. Keep in mind that pack sizing depends on your spine length but not your height so you need to know your torso length to choose the right pack for you.
Pack smart. For maximum balance and load transfer, put heavy items like food, water and fuel close
Readjust on the trail. Pack the load at home but adjust it as you hike using hipbelt, shoulder, and load lifter straps. This way you will be able to determine your comfort zone when weight becomes settled and the terrain changes.