Below is the table of contents to my guides and comparison tables.
Ultimately you want a backpack that fits you comfortably..
The bottom line is this: don’t get hung up on gender specificity or having that specific pack for your specific journey. Spend some time in a good shop trying on a bunch of packs. Base your decision on what feels best, what you need and not what the hang tag says.
Below are links that will show you the most popular for a SPECIFIC type of backpack you are looking for.
Those matrix’s contain total, nearly 100 of the best backpacks for you to compare.
Click the links below to suit your backpacking needs:
–> Full Camping Backpack Guide
Included in the matrix’s are 8 columns: different information for different matrix’s but this is the general idea…
– Backpack pictures
– Backpack brand and name/model – (click to view more details or to purchase)
– Liter Capacity Cubic Inches – Size
– Torso Length
– Price – These are approximate prices on Amazon.com. These change frequently based on availability, special promotions, and more. But generally speaking: $ = under $40, $$ = $40 to $100, $$$ = $100 to $200, $$$$ = $200+
– Rating – The average user rating on Amazon.com. This can be very helpful in deciding if people are satisfied with their purchase.
Below are a group that I would call my favorites!
#1. Dakine Heli Pro
There’s a good chance you’re an adventurous individual who enjoys exploring new places off the beaten path.
You probably spend days at a time camping and enjoy hikes in nature where it’s just you, your close friends, backpack with necessities and all those wonders of nature.
Either way the only constant here is you and the things you decide to carry with you.
The Dakine Heli Pro backpack is one of the best examples of a quality backpack. Believe it or not, something as simple as a backpack can make a trip more enjoyable.
You really shouldn’t rely on a low quality backpack unless you’re using it for school or menial tasks.
DaKine is a very serious backpack manufacturer and the Heli Pro is one of their most noticeable/distinguished pieces. Even if you don’t see yourself using it, this could really make a special gift for someone you care for.
When it comes to the technical side of things, you’d be glad to know that the waist belt actually provides more comfort even when you’ve been carrying it for hours and there are a number of pockets for practical items such as a water bottle, sunglasses, passport, phone etc.
They’ve even gone as far as making a separate pocket for the sunglasses/goggles and a compartment for your laptop. The waist belt will ensure you feel comfortable even when it’s loaded and you’ve been carrying it for hours.
What it boils down to is that if you take these experiences seriously, you’d be more than willing to invest in a high quality backpack because it’s going to save you a lot of pain that usually comes from using low quality equipment in unpredictable situations.
It’s one of the best choices you can make even if you’re not that much of an adventurous person but still need a good reliable backpack for travel. It provides a lot of space for sensitive equipment and clothing you’d want to have within reach and hauling your snowboard on it is one of the easiest things ever.
This is one of the most rugged and high quality backpacks on the market and its hands down worth that initial investment.
#2. Dakine Mission Backpack
DaKine is one of the best manufacturers of protective gear and backpacks with their focus mainly stretching towards outdoor sporting activities. They make some of the best backpacks for hiking, skiing as well as surfing equipment, providing just about everything you’d be in need of.
What you’re most likely interested in are some of their backpacks and the Mission Backpacks are among the best you can get for snowboarding. If all that you’re looking for is a quality backpack that is packed with practical features, look no further! There are designs for both genders and a number of different colors.
Who Is This Backpack Really For?
This should be your backpack of choice if you spend a lot of time in the snow, if you’re an adventurous person or if you like to explore new places that other people wouldn’t dare. If your only intention is to use it for snowboarding, there are more than enough features for you packed in this backpack.
Is There Enough Storage?
The “Mission” is a 25L backpack and barely weights more than a kilo. What’s interesting about this backpack is that once you get a hold of it and start loading it with necessities it never does quite feel like you’re overloading it and this is especially true if you go off on one of those longer trips where you’d normally pack a bunch of necessities. There are even pockets for those small practical items you’d want to have within reach so you don’t have to take the backpack down while you’re in movement.
How Does It Look?
It mainly depends on the color of choice but you can normally expect them to use the Windells logo. It looks fairly neutral meaning you can wear it with different clothing.
What About The Comfort Levels?
This is mainly going to depend on the time of year and how long you’re planning to make the trip. For example, if you’re catching a train to another city and you just want to carry your laptop/tablet and some clothes, this is a perfect backpack for that. There is more than enough room to fit a number of practical items and your essentials. For example, you can put your GoPro, water bottle, meal, sunglasses, an extra hoodie and laptop without worrying at all.
Any Distinguishable Features?
The first thing you’ll notice is that it has a board carry for those who enjoy hiking and there’s also the pocket you can put your sunglasses in if you’re hiking in the summertime. That pocket is actually practical for some of your camera parts although it’s on the back of it hence you might want to reconsider putting things there that you would want to reach immedietly.
The weight belt can easily be adjusted and there’s a padded sleeve that is ideal if you’re carrying your laptop to a remote location and need to get some work done. You’ll find the water bottle holder useful if you’re doing a challenging hike during the summer and the waist belt feels so secure that you can start running and still feel comfortable wearing it.
How Long Can You Expect It To Last?
Literally years even if you’re hardcore in your pursuits and don’t pay it much mind as far as maintaining it. There should barely be any visible tear and it’s most likely going to remain in mint condition for the first few years.
The Bottom Line
This is one of the best backpacks you can invest in for both the summer time when you want to explore an island for instance and need a reliable backpack as you’re hiking through and enjoying the scenery as well as the wintertime when you’re going snowboarding. It’d be wise not to over-pack it (as it is with just about every other backpack), but you still have more than enough room for all those necessities and you’ll find it extremely practical.
The minute you get a feel for it you’ll know that this is your main most reliable backpack and it’s one of those backpacks that last over the long term. You should give it a try in different environments and even if you leave it under the sun for weeks at a time you’ll hardly notice discoloring. Even if you’re doing something as simple as using it to carry your laptop to a nearby coffee shop for some relaxation and work, you couldn’t go wrong with the Mission by DaKine.
#3. The North Face Jester
Without a doubt or any second guessing, you’re going to need a good backpack… especially if you’re commuting to school on an everyday basis.
This is exactly why it’s important that you choose to invest in a backpack that is specifically designed to provide versatility and has different compartments to accommodate those items.
For instance, an ideal backpack is one that provides enough room for your books but also leaves some for your laptop or media device.
The North Face Jester is a perfect example of a quality backpack because its comfortable, even in situations where you’re studying in those science courses and you’re dealing with books that can weigh up to eight pounds each.
Messenger bags look fashionable but are far from ideal when stuffed with a number of heavy books.
Why Get A North Face Backpack?
They are a very high quality backpack but doesn’t cost a lot and investing in this backpack might be one of the best decisions you’ve made this year.
We did actually try it out under different conditions just to see how well it withstands weather and if the average user starts feeling pain after a while. We basically took it outdoors and loaded it with survival equipment and devices. There seemed to be lots of room inside at first and it does feel comfortable even after several hours of carrying it around.
Mostly this brand is well known in the New England area where the jackets and backpacks are a must during the winter and school seasons.
Whats It Like?
The first thing you’ll notice once you get your hands on this backpack is that it’s organized nicely and provides a lot of space for your items.
There are a number of dividers inside the backpack and the large compartment is ideal for the large books whilst the smaller compartment can easily accommodate your laptop or sensitive items that you’d like to have within reach.
You might be wondering whether there are any downsides to this backpack and the only thing worth mentioning is that there’s no small pocket to the side of it.
If you enjoy the physical benefits you get from going out and hiking while soaking in and appreciating that beauty all around you, you’ll really appreciate the comfort levels this backpack provides you.
Even if you’re dealing with extremely unpredictable weather and it starts raining, you can count on your items remaining dry the way you packed them.
What it boils down to…
… is that this is a very fine example of what makes The North Face such an amazing company. This is one of the best backpacks with literally no downsides and its ideal for school and outdoors activities.
#4. Pelican 1550
The Pelican 1550 is one of the best examples of what you can expect from a quality Pelican product. This is that ultimate/total protection deal you’ve been looking for and the one thing that provides security for your equipment, especially if you’re not in a controlled environment.
It’s made out of co-polymer which provides for long term strength and basically ensures that you can use the same case for years without worrying about the quality dropping in any way.
It has a perfect seal and thanks to the foam which is adjustable and quick to set up, you’ll never have to worry about your equipment being affected by external nuances such as vibrations, falls or even violent impact.
The rarity of this case is that it’s NATO approved and made according to military standards.
As soon as it arrives at your doorstep and you first get a feel for it, you’ll notice just how solid it is and you might be surprised that it’s actually bigger than you might think.
There are very few cases out there which can match the feel of how well constructed this one is.
Whats On The Inside?
Now, when it comes to the inside – the folks over at Pelican have figured out a way to pack in a number of different foams and places for your items in a very tight way and it’s also adjustable to the point where you can remove the foam in entirety.
It’s actually large enough to provide space for a professional camera without having to remove the foam.
The Pelican products which we reviewed are some of our favorite picks and the 1550, in particular, feels very versatile because of the pick n’ pluck foam which is customizable and the sheer size of it.
Here are some of the most noticeable characteristics/features:
– It’s entirely resistant to water, crushing and dust/dirt.
– The latches are not hard to open although they do feel sturdy. This is ideal if you need your secured items within reach fast.
– It’s very strong but doesn’t weight much to the point where it would make carrying uncomfortable.
– It has an automatic pressure equalization valve.
– The handle on it is comfortable to carry even when loaded because it’s coated in leather.
– The Pick N’ Pluck foam (standard Pelican) has 2 levels and is easily adjustable.
– If you want you can also personalize the nameplate. This case is ideal if you really want to store something away for a long period of time but don’t want it affected for when it’s time to open (letters, pictures, etc).
– Pelican claims that it’s going to last you a lifetime and this is one of the best examples of their work you can get.
Though the Peel N’ Pluck foam concept might seem hard to get around with at first, it’s actually not hard at all and shouldn’t take you more than an hour to set everything in place.
The inside of it is surprisingly soft and extremely contrary to the rugged outer part. Chances are you’ve spent some time working to get your equipment (especially if you’re a professional) and the last thing you’d want is for something to happen to it by accident.
This shouldn’t worry you because it’s so easy to avoid! You can even mess around with it and give it a crash test yourself to see just how much protection your equipment is getting with this case.
Do we think that it’s worth the investment?
Absolutely! This is one of those standout Pelican cases that we firmly recommend. It feels very heavy duty but at the same time it’s still a case that you wouldn’t feel uncomfortable carrying on your travels and taking it to remote locations where you just need to get some work done.
#5. Pelican 1200
You’re on the lookout for the best case to protect your camera and you’ve stumbled across the Pelican 1200.
The general reputation of Pelican products is that you couldn’t go wrong with any of them and in this article we’re going to look into what makes the 1200 model distinguishable and worthy of your consideration.
First off, this is probably among the few and absolute best GoPro cases that you can get because it doesn’t weight a lot and provides that standard Pelican resistance/security you’d expect.
It’s actually so small that you can put it inside your backpack and it’s so light that you’ll hardly notice it.
Thanks to the Pick n Pluck foam (similar to other Pelican cases) you can easily change the storage and customize it to your specific needs.
What we noticed initially was that the latches and way of opening this case isn’t exactly the easiest and lightest experience you can expect but this certainly isn’t a downside because that’s the way it should be with protective cases. If it’s too easy to open up then it should worry you!
For our starting test we gave it a try using a single camera as well as a number of different accessories and in comparison to other Pelican cases we’ve tried out, this one seemed to be a bit lighter.
In a standard setting, most people will be looking to carry their camera as well as replacement batteries, a number of lenses (which can be expensive), memory cards, stabilizers, etc. Even though you won’t be able to fit everything inside the case at once, you’ll still have more than enough room to make sure that the most important and sensitive devices of your arsenal stay protected at all times.
This case basically provides you the luxury of having peace of mind when you’re out.
Even though you might be able to get your camera replaced if it’s broken, why risk it when you know that something as simple as this case could’ve prevented that from happening in the first place?
Better to be safe than sorry, especially if you’re serious about your production.
The benefits to getting a protective case of this kind are fairly obvious but you’d be surprised at just how many important things you can pack in a lightweight Pelican 1200. If you’re only working with the GoPro and not carrying around a heavy DSLR, this can pretty much contain your camera as well as a number of other helpful accessories. Even if this isn’t for you, you can still get it as a gift for someone you know who could benefit from it.
#6. Pelican 1150
Is this is the storage unit you’ve been looking for?
Let’s say that you’re trying to shoot something adventurous in the wilderness and you go off the beaten path where you’re unfamiliar with the environment and the weather conditions.
The one thing you’ll know for sure when you have the Pelican 1150 is that your camera will be kept secure. Some people prefer to opt for cheaper alternatives such as a backpack but they’re far from convenient and secure, and this is especially true if you’re dealing with expensive/overly sensitive equipment.
The general characteristic behind their protective cases (same reason most people love them) is that they’re both shock and water proof. You can literally bury a case of this thing for months at a time.
The 1150 model in particular is one of those workhorse models which is a perfect example of why this company has gained in popularity.
There’s nothing worse than making your way to an exclusive secluded location which takes hours or even days of preparations just to find out your equipment is broken when you get there.
Here are the exact specs you might be interested in:
– It’s made by Pelican.
– The exact dimensions are as follows: 9.8×7.9×4.7 inches.
– It only weights around a kilo.
You might not realize this but a large number of popular adventure YouTube videos online are shot on simple cameras such as the GoPro and people are using the Pelican to protect their camera.
These backpacks and cases are just among the few I love… Really take the time to research and test for yourself all the various types of “over the shoulder stuff holders” if what you find on this site has not helped you drill down what you are looking for.