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How to Select the Right Backpack

Author's Note

Having spent a few miserable hiking trips dealing with a backpack that didn't suit my needs (I bought it at Costco. Hint: don't do that) and learning what I should have been looking for in a pack while researching this article was eye opening. Here's the kicker: Though this article tells you what you need to look for when buying a backpack, there's really no substitute for going to a reputable camping or outdoor store and trying packs out, preferably with the help of a knowledgeable staff member. So, while it's smart to research and shop for a lot of things exclusively online, a backpack isn't one of them.

Related Articles


  • Camping Gear. "Selecting the Right Backpack." (July 7, 2012)
  • Hiking Trails and Gear. "Hiking Backpack Guide: Choose Your Pack Wisely." (July 7, 2012)
  • REI. "Backpacks: Finding Your Torso and Hip Size." (July 6, 2012)
  • Wood, T.D. "How to Choose a Backpack." April 2012. (July 6, 2012)