How to choose a good summer hiking bag?

Summer is the perfect season to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you are an occasional hiker or an enthusiast of long hikes, a good hiking bag is an essential companion. However, the choice can be difficult due to the multitude of models available on the market. So how do you choose the hiking bag that best suits your needs? This article presents the criteria to take into account to make the best possible choice, in accordance with your needs and preferences.

Selecting the size of your hiking bag: Finding the right balance

When purchasing a hiking bag, it is essential to choose the appropriate size. If you opt for a bag that is too large, you risk filling it unnecessarily and increasing the weight to wear. Conversely, a bag that is too small forces you to make drastic choices. The volume of your bag must therefore be adapted to your needs.

Depending on the duration and type of hike, recommended volumes vary:

  • For a light hike of a few hours, a 10 to 30 liter bag will be enough to carry water, a jacket and snacks.
  • For a day hike in the mountains, choose a bag of 20 to 40 liters. It will hold water, a picnic, clothes, a camera and sunscreen.
  • For a quick hike or trail, a bag of 20 liters maximum will be enough not to slow you down while having water, snacks, a light jacket and a first aid kit.
  • For a multi-day hike, a bag of at least 50 liters will be necessary if you plan to carry a tent, sleeping bag, meals, stove, mattress and warm clothes.

Comfort above all when choosing a hiking bag

The comfort of a hiking bag can make all the difference. To protect your back, make sure that the total weight of your bag does not exceed 25% of your body weight. So choose a model that is as light as possible.

It is also important to choose a bag adapted to your body type. Some models are specifically designed for men or women, taking into account the shape of the bust and hips.

The presence of straps can also improve your comfort:

  • THE abdominal straps ensure good balance and weight distribution.
  • THE chest straps hold the straps in place.
  • THE shoulder straps prevent the weight of the bag from pulling you backwards.

The practical aspect of the hiking bag: a criterion of choice

A hiking bag can be more or less practical depending on its layout and the equipment you need to carry. Some models offer several interior compartments to separate the different elements. Others have exterior mesh pockets to keep certain items within easy reach.

To carry heavy equipment like snowshoes, crampons or an ice axe, check that the bag has external ties and straps.

The waterproofness of a hiking bag: an essential criterion

Whatever the season, your hiking bag will be exposed to humidity. So choose a bag made from water-repellent material so you don’t find the contents of your bag wet. Also make sure your hiking bag has a built-in rain cover or purchase one separately.

Opt for a sturdy hiking bag

For a durable hiking bag, check the warranty offered by the brand. Some brands offer very attractive lifetime warranties, with the possibility of repairing your hiking bag and replacing parts if necessary.

References in hiking bags

To choose a good hiking bag, turn to reference brands in the field of outdoor, hiking and trekking. Brands like Osprey, Millet, Deuter, Gregory, Lowe Alpine or Ferrino offer bags perfectly designed for hiking. However, their technical products may not fit all budgets. For beginners or those who don’t want an overly technical bag, Decathlon brands offer hiking bags with good value for money.

There is no best hiking bag, it all depends on your needs and personal feelings. So don’t hesitate to try several models before making your choice. Happy hiking!

Specific characteristics of the hiking bag to take into account

In the quest for the ideal bag for a summer hike, it’s the details that count. There are specific aspects that can greatly improve your hiking experience.

The hydration system is one of the priorities when selecting your bag. Some backpack hiking shoes incorporate a water tank, also called water bag. This sophisticated system allows you to drink without having to stop or take a bottle out of your bag. Check if the model you are considering has this possibility or, failing that, if it has a compartment to insert a water bladder.

Then examine the closing system. Hiking backpacks may have zippers or roll-top closures. Zippers provide quick access to your belongings, but they can get stuck or break. Bags with a roll-top closure are generally more durable and offer better protection from the elements, although they are less convenient to open and close.

THE compression straps are another aspect to take into account. They reduce the volume of the bag when it is not completely filled, which improves stability and comfort. They can also be used to attach equipment to the outside of the bag.

Finally, if you plan to transport a sleeping bag, make sure the hiking bag you choose has a dedicated compartment or external straps to secure it. Some hiking bags are also compatible with specific sleeping bags, like those made of duck down, which are lighter and more compressible.

Tips for buying a hiking bag: men vs women and different types of bags

Hiking bags are not universal products. Indeed, there are specific hiking bags for men and women. THE hiking bags for men are generally wider at the shoulders and narrower at the hips, while hiking bags for women are narrower at the shoulders and wider at the hips. It is therefore essential to choose a bag adapted to your body shape for a optimal comfort.

In addition, hiking bags come in different types, depending on the type of hiking planned:

  • THE day backpacks (up to 35 liters) are perfect for hikes of a day or less. They are generally lighter and less expensive.
  • THE trekking bags (50 liters and more) are designed for multi-day hikes. They have more volume for camping gear and other supplies.
  • THE hiking bags (between 35 and 50 liters) are a compromise between the first two types. They are ideal for two-day hikes or for day hikes requiring more equipment.

Choosing a hiking bag is a crucial step in preparing for your summer adventure. Whether it’s a day hike or a multi-day trip, the bag you carry will be your most valuable companion. The selection criteria are numerous: size, comfort, practicality, waterproofing, robustness, specific characteristics and gender specificity. These are all factors that will determine whether your bag will help you meet the challenges of hiking or cause you to trip.

The best hiking bags are those that adapt perfectly to your needs and your body shape. They are comfortable, practical, and allow you to carry your equipment safely, without hindering your freedom of movement. Whether you opt for an Osprey, Millet, Deuter hiking bag or a more economical model from Decathlon, the important thing is to choose a bag that meets your expectations and transforms your hike into an unforgettable experience.

So, ready to find the ideal summer hiking bag? Good luck in your quest and above all, have a good hike!