How to Test a Backpack Before You Buy

When you have selected the type and the right size backpack, you should definitely take it for a test drive before you purchase.

This article will provide you with some helpful tips on how to test out your chosen backpack before you buy.

Preparation

Before testing out a backpack, you will need to know how much weight you will be carrying. This of course is dependent on the duration of your hiking trip, whether it is day hiking, overnight or three to five-day hiking.

If this is your first backpack purchase, then before you go to the outdoor store lay out all what you would need for your hiking trip at home, then place them in a light plastic bag and weigh them.

If you have a large amount of items then divide your items into smaller groups and then weigh them.

Weight Distribution

Start by loading up the backpack with the test weight items at the outdoor store. All outdoor stores should have weights and fillers specifically for load testing.

These weights may not be ideal but do your best to distribute the weight evenly. Use a load weight near to the weight you would normally carry on a hike.

After you have loaded the backpack, put it to the test by walking around the store, bending over, jogging a short distance, moving from side to side, touching your toes and walking up and down the stairs if any.

Try anything that will assist you in your decision-making. Throughout these actions, the backpack should remain stable and tight-fitting.

It should not feel loose or cause you to go off-balance (that is if it is packed well). Pay attention to the weight of the load, making sure it is being evenly distributed and that no excess weight is felt in any one place.

Good backpacks provide the flexibility to distribute the weight to your hips, lower back and shoulders by adjusting the backpacks hip or shoulder straps.

Experiment by loosening and then tightening the hip and shoulder straps to test the backpacks ability to re-distribute the backpacks weight. Each position should feel comfortable.

These test runs will give you a feel for the backpacks suitability.

Home Test

Inquire if you can try out the backpack at your home, packed with your own gear and return it if it does not meet your requirements.

If you cannot return the backpack, then be certain that it is well suited to your bodies profile before handing over your money or locate an outdoor store that does have a return policy.

  • Extra Backpack Features
  • Hydration System
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