Hiking Backpacks – Classic Editor


Hikers may take with them equipment ranging from a stout knife to ultralight backpacking (10–25 pounds), to the heaviest, most durable gear a hiker can carry. Checklists help to minimize the chance of forgetting something important.

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Types of Backpacks

  • A single-shoulder pack (500–800 cu.in., 8-14L) uses one shoulder strap, such as a haversack, messenger bag, or sling bag.
  • A waist pack can range in size from a belt pouch to a haversack (1-14L); in the larger sizes, shoulder straps may be provided. Waist packs may be carried over a shoulder.


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  • Day packs (1,000–2,000 cu.in., 17-34L) are small to mid-sized backpacks that have two shoulder straps, smaller ones may not include a waist belt.
  • A harness system may include a small backpack, a waist pack, a vest, and several belt pouches.
  • Larger hiking backpacks (6,000 cu.in, 100+L), sometimes called cargo backpacks, that have substantial, well-padded shoulder straps and a waist belt; some of these are designed to carry a couple of hundred pounds.

Backpack Comparison

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