To feel comfortable on your body, a backpack must have a variety of different features. Knowing what to look for can help you pick a backpack that feels right and meets your needs.
Photo via deuter
1. Watch For Well-Shaped Straps With Strap Padding
The best backpacks will hug the shape of your body, fitting neatly against the curve of your back. Straps that curve a bit with your body will help keep your backpack fitting snug. When picking out a backpack, look for straps that curve with your shoulders, rather than hanging off of your back.
Strap padding is also important for comfort. Pads prevent heavy loads from digging into the shoulders, enabling backpack users to wear their bags for longer.
Photo via Carryology
2. Look For Adjustable Features
Never buy a backpack that isn’t adjustable. Adjustable shoulder straps, waist straps and sternum straps can all ensure that your backpack will fit your body. Don’t forget that your backpack will need some extra slack during the winter months when you’re wearing thicker clothes. Before making your purchase, make sure there’s enough room in the straps to fit at all times of year.
3. Inspect For The Right Pocket Size
A good backpack will have at least one large open pocket and one small pocket in front, for accessing small things easily. Many backpacks will also include a range of other small pockets where you can store your small things like pens, CD’s, thumb drives and change. These pockets are important for comfort because they prevent your loose miscellaneous items from poking you in the back.
Knowing what you normally carry with you and what size pockets you’ll need in order to fit those items will help ensure that your small pockets meet your needs. Before shopping for a bag, make a mental note of the loose items that you normally carry on hand. Buy a backpack that has pockets to fit all of those items.
4. Note the Location of Quick Access Pockets
Quick access pockets enable you to reach items in your bag without removing the backpack. When trying on a bag for the first time, note the location of the quick access pockets. Try to reach inside the pockets without taking off the bag. Prioritize bags that allow you to access these pockets easily, without straining to reach.