How to Choose & Use a Backpack | Infographic

I thought I’d share this very useful infographic from REI about how to choose and correctly use a backpack. I know the question comes up in discussion all the time, so hopefully you’ll find this helpful!

Huge thanks to REI and their expert advice team for providing such great content! Full version below :-)

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=15508650 Josh Rubin

    Saw this one a couple months back and took it to the scout troop I am assistant scoutmaster for. It was very useful for the young scouts who are going on their first high adventure this summer. The only problem I have with it is the volume per trip breakdown…. I have never used larger than a 65L+ pack even on “extended” trips. and most average multiday trips can be done in as little as a 45L+.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      I agree about the volume issue on this infographic, can’t imagine anyone choosing a 80L+ pack even for an extended trip! I guess I don’t subscribe to the mentality that being on the trail longer requires a lot more gear. Food for sure, but you can set up resupplies to handle that with careful planning. And clothes can always be washed and dried on the outside of your pack. What the heck is going into those huge packs anyway?

      • Joslyn Bloodworth

        Camp chairs. Well not litterally but there are people out there that the longer they are away from home the more comfort items they want. It’s no big deal to go for a few days without a full change of clothes, 4-5 pairs of socks and underwear, and real coffee, but tell them to try it for a week or more and some people just won’t do it.

      • James Conley

        Keep in mind that this infographic – along with most any tips or buying advice on a site like REI is aimed at people that have never bought or used the product so this is for people that have never backpacked before. They are people that are going to buy the entry-level backpacking tent that weighs in at 5lb 6oz plus footprint and the entry-level synthetic sleeping bag that if you’re lucky you can squish down to the size of a kickball. So they’d be much better served by getting a pack that can comfortably carry the weight and volume that they’re going to stuff in there.

        Once you decide you like a hobby enough that you’re really going to stick with it – that’s when you start learning more about it and spending significant amounts of money on it and that’s when you’ll get the tiny $250+ down bag and the $250+ tent that weights 3 pounds or less, etc. Once you do that then you can start looking at the 50L and 45L packs and less.

      • http://miljokemi.dk/ Morten

        First of all thanks for your great blog!

        The possibility of resupply of food highly depends on where you are hiking. For example in some parts of the Scandinavian mountains resupply would not be an easy task hence requiring a larger pack. I do agree that longer trips only require more food and fuel not extra equipment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=15508650 Josh Rubin

    Saw this one a couple months back and took it to the scout troop I am assistant scoutmaster for. It was very useful for the young scouts who are going on their first high adventure. The only problem I have with it is the volume per trip breakdown…. I have never used larger than a 65L+ pack even on “extended” trips. and most average multiday trips can be done in as little as a 45L+.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    I agree about the volume issue on this infographic, can’t imagine anyone choosing a 80L+ pack even for an extended trip! I guess I don’t subscribe to the mentality that being on the trail longer requires a lot more gear. Food for sure, but you can set up resupplies to handle that with careful planning. And clothes can always be washed and dried on the outside of your pack. What the heck is going into those huge packs anyway?

  • ULBorBust

    Even though the weight and volumes of these categories tend to go lower when you’re looking at going ultralight, the information is still very solid. It doesn’t matter if you’re carrying 10lbs or 50lbs if it isn’t loaded right and your pack doesn’t fit right, you’re still in for a miserable hike!!

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Exactly and well said! You have to be able to sort out the useful information from the marketing pitch. The principles and methodologies are consistent and “solid” as you put it for all weight categories. Figured there were some nice gems in it so shared it out. ^BG

  • ULBorBust

    Even though the weight and volumes of these categories tend to go lower when you’re looking at going ultralight, the information is still very solid. It doesn’t matter if you’re carrying 10lbs or 50lbs if it isn’t loaded right and your pack doesn’t fit right, you’re still in for a miserable hike!!

  • Joslyn Bloodworth

    Camp chairs. Well not litterally but there are people out there that the longer they are away from home the more comfort items they want. It’s no big deal to go for a few days without a full change of clothes, 4-5 pairs of socks and underwear, and real coffee, but tell them to try it for a week or more and some people just won’t do it.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Exactly and well said! You have to be able to sort out the useful information from the marketing pitch. The principles and methodologies are consistent and “solid” as you put it for all weight categories. Figured there were some nice gems in it so shared it out. ^BG

  • James Conley

    Keep in mind that this infographic – along with most any tips or buying advice on a site like REI is aimed at people that have never bought or used the product so this is for people that have never backpacked before. They are people that are going to buy the entry-level backpacking tent that weighs in at 5lb 6oz plus footprint and the entry-level synthetic sleeping bag that if you’re lucky you can squish down to the size of a kickball. So they’d be much better served by getting a pack that can comfortably carry the weight and volume that they’re going to stuff in there.

    Once you decide you like a hobby enough that you’re really going to stick with it – that’s when you start learning more about it and spending significant amounts of money on it and that’s when you’ll get the tiny $250+ down bag and the $250+ tent that weights 3 pounds or less, etc. Once you do that then you can start looking at the 50L and 45L packs and less.

  • http://miljokemi.dk/ Morten

    First of all thanks for your great blog!

    The possibility of resupply of food highly depends on where you are hiking. For example in some parts of the Scandinavian mountains resupply would not be an easy task hence requiring a larger pack. I do agree that longer trips only require more food and fuel not extra equipment.

  • DD Longlegs

    I always learn something new. Who knew you could stick that many cats in a pack?? I have 3 and I think I would come out the loser on that exercise!! LOL

  • DD Longlegs

    I always learn something new. Who knew you could stick that many cats in a pack?? I have 3 and I think I would come out the loser on that exercise!! LOL

  • rcepek

    Here’s another good infographic from Gregory Packs http://www.gregorypacks.com/files/pack_fit.pdf

  • rcepek

    Here’s another good infographic from Gregory Packs http://www.gregorypacks.com/files/pack_fit.pdf

  • Mike duce

    Check out this amazing backpack, for everyday hikers. High Sierra Cirque 30 Pack