Backpack Selection Guide – Part 2: The Inner Compartments

Oct 08

Detachable backpack compartments

Don’t forget what’s underneath! In your search for the perfect backpack, one of the most important aspects is not on the surface level; it’s underneath. Yes, I’m talking about the inner compartments.

Though they may not be visible on the outside, they serve as one of the most essential and incredibly crucial aspects of a backpack. Plus, in recent years, the number of inner compartments is increasing to meet the demands of hikers. The Teton Scout 3400 is one such good example.

So, in this backpack selection review, I’m going to highlight a few tips on how to pick the perfect backpack based on the inner compartments, and other additional features.

Main Compartment

The main compartment is the largest compartment in the backpack. This is where the biggest contents will go when you prepare to pack for your trip. You want to keep in mind that you only want to put items you won’t need during the day in the main compartment, due to its limited accessibility. You have to take everything out at once in a top opening main compartment in order to access the contents.

This quality makes the main compartment perfect for a sleeping bag, and other items you may not need to access immediately during your hike. Often times, backpacks have sleeping back compartments in the bottom of the sack to help create a better weight distribution. It is sometimes seen as a zippered pouch near the base of the backpack.

Additional Compartments

Detachable multi-tool compartments for backpack

Backpackers today have created enthusiastic and exciting new features to backpack compartments. Pockets used to be seen as a cumbersome feature to backpacks due to the limited mobility they can create.

However, in recent years, backpacks have been able to feature hidden and outer pockets to create an easier grab at sudden essential items, like medication or a special piece of equipment. Such design should be a welcome addition espcially if you often embark on long haul backpacking trips.

Elasticized side pockets are completely flat when empty, but have the capability to stretch around a water bottle, or other cylindrical object, like a set of tent poles. Hipbelt pockets, located around the backpack’s belt, are perfect to hide some small snacks, or bottles of aloe and lotion.

Shovel pockets were originally created as a lightweight pocket option to hold items like snow shovels. Recently, they have been adapted with buckle closures at the top to make them perfect for miscellaneous lightweight items, like maps, or a light jacket. Lastly, we find the front pockets. These can sometimes be attached to the exterior of the backpack to create more room for smaller items.

Other backpack compartments and features of the backpack may be associated with hydration, padding, and durability. When you are hunting for the perfect backpack, you want to make sure you look into all of the compartments it has available.

If you have a water bottle, or set of tent poles you definitely want to bring, consider taking them into the store to ensure that they fit into the elasticized pockets. This general rule of thumb goes for any item that may not be standard size.

In Summary

Given the increasing importance of gadgets and its role as ‘tour guide replacement’ especially among backpackers, it is important that you examine the compartment design carefully during your backpack review.

Bonus: If you are going on a travel and need good backpack recommendation, be sure to check out our pick of the best travel backpacks.

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