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Sorrel shops for the perfect backpack.
Sorrel shops for the perfect backpack.

Backpacks

Thursday, October 4, 2001
Choosing the right backpack can be a difficult task. There are so many on the market, you need to know just what you are buying.

Choosing the right backpack can be a difficult task. There are so many on the market, you need to know just what you are buying.

Amanda Stuart is in the market for a new backpack, and she wrote to us saying she is totally confused by the brochures and little features that so many of them seem to have these days. To help her out, we went to the experts.

We already knew there are hundreds of different packs on the market, but essentially there are only three types.

There are the traditional bushwalking packs, which are tall, narrow and top loading. They usually have an optional compartment for a sleeping bag.

For most travellers, such as those going to Europe and the United Kingdom, travel packs are more rectangular, with zip access right the way around and a removable back pocket that becomes a day pack. You can also hide the harness away.

For those intending to be more active or who plan to combine bushwalking in their travels, there is a hybrid pack combining the best features of both.

When choosing a pack with a harness system, it is most important you get one that suits the size and shape of your back. It should be properly fitted in the shop; the days of the old external frame harness are well and truly gone.

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