Getting a hiking backpack is no easy chore. There are dozens of manufacturers that each have multiple models of backpacks. So how do you choose which one to go with? Reading reviews will obviously help, but going to a store where the salesmen don’t get paid by commission is essential. The salesmen are experts and will give you an unbiased opinion of which backpack is the most durable. They will be able to tell you about the materials used, the company in general, and so much more about each specific pack.
If you want to look online, here are some top backpacks for hiking. Or if you’re a woman, here’s the page for you: http://www.hiking-for-her.com/best-daypacks-for-women.html
This is the area that you get the most say in. The first thing you want to look at is weight—how much it weighs by itself and how much weight it can carry. Bigger backpacks are made for stronger, larger people. Smaller backpacks are made for smaller people. If a backpack you like seems to be too large or small when you put it on, it isn’t for you.
You also need to feel how comfortable the pack is. Is it so utilitarian that you have bits of metal or plastic poking you? Does it have too much extra padding and stuffing? Try on the backpacks as you go shopping, and see if it is comfortable empty, because if it isn’t, it certainly won’t be comfortable full.
The waist strap is another area that is especially important when it comes to comfort and support. This handy tool transfers most of the weight of the backpack from your shoulders to your hips, where it is much easier for your body to carry it. Make sure that the backpack you choose has some sort of padding on the hip belt, or you will be in for some rough hiking.