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Backpack Buying Tip #4 – Size

Hip size – The majority of a backpack’s weight should be supported by your hips. Adjustable backpack hipbelts accommodate a wide range of hip

To measure your torso length – stand with your hand on your hip bones, index finger pointing straight and thumbs in back. The length of your torso is measured from the bony bump at the base of your neck to the middle of your back where your thumbs meet.

Extra small & small backpacks fit torsos up to 18″.

Medium & regular backpacks fit 18″ – 20″ torsos.

Large backpacks fit torsos 20″ and above.

If your backpack is too big or too small in proportion to your torso – the weight won’t be balanced properly. This imbalance results in back pain or you toppling over.

Backpack Buying Tip #5 – Your Activity Needs

The choice between daypacks, rucksacks, travel bags and minimalist backpacks can leave any shopper confused.

Apart from getting the size right, the design and build of the bag should suit your purposes.

Are you confident the backpack will fit all the utilities you need to carry?

Will you be walking and moving around from one place to another or will you be sitting in a classroom for most of the day?

What type of weather are you most likely to encounter while wearing the backpack?

You need something that is suitable for your activities.

If you are planning to use the backpack mainly for short hikes or college – a canvas backpack is ideal. If your main mode of transport is a bicycle, a water-proof nylon backpack is necessary.

A versatile backpack is suitable for any kind of class load – whether you’re packing a camera with lenses, 700-page textbooks, 15 inch laptop, a change of gym clothes or all of these and some more.

Backpack Buying Tip #6 – Material

Match your needs with a backpack made from the right materials to ensure that it stays intact for years.

The commonly used backpack materials are…

Cotton Canvas – Canvas is a heavy-weight, rough weave cotton material. Modern canvas is made from natural and synthetic materials – reducing weight and increasing waterproof capabilities and strength. Its main advantage is that it is an inexpensive material. Canvas packs are popular with college students and hikers.

Pack-Cloth Nylon backpacks are shiny and slick to the touch. The main advantages of pack cloth nylon are it’s ready acceptance of waterproof coating, abrasion resistance, and excellent puncture resistance.

Cordura – an “air treated” nylon fabric originally designed by DuPont. The chief advantages of Cordura fabric are its abrasion resistance and light weight. Used in higher end backpacks which are perfect for backpacking adventures.

Rip-stop Nylon – The “rip-stopping” design of rip-stop nylon can provide extra protection to help ensure that your pack won’t disintegrate in front of your eyes the first ten miles into an adventurous hike. The main advantages of rip-stop nylon are it’s excellent waterproofing and lightness in weight.

Polyester has a higher resistance to ultra-violet (UV) degradation than nylon but it is not the most rugged material for a backpack. However, it is strong and tough enough for little kids. Backpacks made of polyester are affordable, hold color well (meaning they can be very vibrant in color).

Leather backpacks are a stylish, although expensive alternative to the standard backpack. Full grain, vegetable-tanned leather is generally used for backpacks. This material develops a unique patina over time and gives the bags an organic quality. Leather backpacks are perfect for use in the workplace as they are usually the most formal style of backpack.

To be Continued...