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The Perfect Backpack Buyer’s Guide

You have been saving for months, decided where you're going and arranged the flight. Now you are looking at which backpack might be best for you. Before you start to look around, here's some information that we hope you will find helpful.

Did you know it's not as easy as just picking up any old backpack. There are many different designs for both men and women, with frames to fit all sizes. There are daysacks (small), rucksacks (medium) and expedition packs (large). The size you choose will be determined on how lightweight you intend to travel - will you be camping or staying in hostels or hotels?

You will also need to consider 'extras' alongside your basic backpack:

It is essential that your backpack fits you correctly.¬ If it doesn't you could suffer from increased fatigue, soreness and even back damage.¬ This is especially important if you intend to do any climbing as you will need a backpack that does not roll or move too much.

A good fitting rucksack will rest comfortably and securely just above the hip bone (where most of the weight is carried). To ensure a comfortable fit you will probably need to measure the length of your back (ask a friend for help or to get professional guidance at a specialist shop).  Ideally, you should aim to have 80% of the weight distributed mostly on the hips and 20% on the shoulders, so a padded hip belt will be important too.

If you are travelling to a hot climate, bear in mind that wearing a backpack could become a sticky, sweaty affair.¬ You may wish to also look out for a rucksack that has special mesh back that creates an air space between the bag and your back, keeping it cool and free of perspiration.

You will probably need to look around and try a few on before you can make an informed choice.¬ Once you have made a decision, don't forget to look around for the best price!

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