Types of backpacks, their characteristics and basic rules of choice

A backpack is a kind of bag equipped with two straps, allowing you to carry the weight on your back while leaving your hands free. It makes it possible to carry heavy loads over long distances.

The idea of carrying loads, not in hands, and, for instance, on shoulders, having carefully distributed weight on your back, is not so new. But lately, backpacks have become very popular. This device, indispensable in many life situations, is also good for health. A backpack is a reliable partner and a true friend; therefore, choosing it is a responsible matter.

However, not all backpacks are the same. Depending on their functionality and purpose, they are divided into groups. In this article we will talk about the types of backpacks and what criteria to follow when choosing them. But let's talk a little about how a backpack appeared.


vintage backpack

To school or university, for a short walk or a long trip – we are always accompanied by a backpack, the best friend of tourists and not losing its relevance accessory for fashionistas.

On the fashionable catwalk, a backpack was "lit up" more than thirty years ago – in 1985, designer Miuccia Prada used it as an alternative to a woman's handbag.

But the convenience of carrying this shoulder bag was still appreciated by primitive people. The oldest known backpack was found in the Alps and was a leather covered wooden frame. Such a device helped to ease the long journey with a difficult burden.

The turbulent 20th century made a backpack an integral part of the military uniform and radically changed it – instead of leather and wood, backpacks were made of sails and steel, and later nylon and aluminum.

Over time, a backpack became lighter and more comfortable. And in 1904 it was launched into mass production. Thanks to the Norwegian Ole Bergans, who patented a backpack, industrial backpacks made of strong fabric and a light metal frame became available not only for the military, but also for climbers and athletes.

At the time of the First World War, the first American industrial backpacks arrived in Europe.

In the middle of the 20th century, a backpack with a belt and an aluminum frame was born in the garage of the spouses of Kelty. It was this unpatented backpack, but approved by the mountaineering community, that was used by Jim Wittaker's team during the conquest of Everest in 1963.

Nowadays, a backpack is a part of a unique image, a faithful assistant both during extreme rest and in everyday life, an important touch in a bright individual style.

Types of backpacks.

types of backpacks

There are a lot of types of backpacks nowadays. All backpacks can be divided into a several groups depending on different reasons, such as: the presence/absence of a carcass, the main purpose of a product and of course classification by gender and age.

So, there are such backpacks by the presence/absence of a carcass:

Soft backpacks are the models without a carcass, often not for a load of more than 20-40 kg. They are not capable of carrying heavy loads for long distances. But they are lightweight. And, of course, it is their obvious advantage.

Carcass backpacks – are equipped with a tough carcass that promotes uniform load distribution and better protection of the things inside your bag.

Classification by purpose suggests such basic variants of product: tactical, travel, sports and urban backpacks.

All these types of backpacks have their own peculiarities, which you should pay attention to when buying. The main difference is the size. But the important thing is the system of straps and fixing, as well as the presence of extra sections and pockets.

As for the gender and age differentiation, backpacks are, as it was mentioned above, men's, women's, children's and universal.

In order to choose the proper backpack, you should decide for what purpose you want to use it first – it will determine the best type of purchase, its size, optimal number of pockets, etc.

Key selection rules.

backpacks store

If you're looking for a backpack for a three-day camping trip in the woods, it makes sense to make a list of everything you're going to take on the trip and calculate the necessary size. If it is an urban backpack, you should also have a pretty good idea of what you're going to wear. Aesthetics ("design features") also play an important role, of course, but if you choose to do so only on the basis of your appearance, you risk being faced with a lot of inconveniences.

The choice of children's backpack deserves special attention.

Does it happen that when you go to kindergarten or school in the morning, or just for a walk, your child takes a favorite toy that he never wants to part with? And if that happens, then on the way she manages to be on the ground three times, or worse – in a puddle. Whatever the reason – buying a backpack is a serious issue that you need to approach responsibly. It is important to make the right choice: what kind of children's backpack to buy, so as not to harm the child? This is due to the fact that the wrong backpack can be uncomfortable to wear and adversely affect the formation of posture.

Therefore, when choosing a backpack it is necessary to take into account several features that must have a backpack for kindergarten:

  • the weight should be low;
  • the size should correspond to the height of the child;
  • the material must be of high quality and free of toxic substances;
  • the straps should be adjustable, wide and soft;
  • the backrest should not be too stiff, because the backrest may be uncomfortable for the baby;
  • high quality tailoring and fittings will ensure a long life for a backpack;
  • the waterproof fabric will protect the contents from rain and snow;
  • a large clasp will allow the child to open a backpack quickly and independently;
  • the reflectors – ensuring the safety of the child in the dark.

And the color and drawing of the future friend the child should choose, certainly, himself!


cat backpack

How to use backpacks? It is strange to ask such a question. But... There are always a couple of instructions and rules. And you have to follow them!

Following the rules of a backpack usage allows prolonging service life and to make it comfortable:

  • Use the product for its intended purpose: for long-term hiking and mountain climbing choose a tourist or sports model, for university studies – urban backpacks, etc.
  • Protect your device from mechanical damage.
  • Do not exceed the load – otherwise, do not avoid stretching the product, deforming it, tearing off parts and diverging seams. The maximum weight of the luggage is always indicated on the package or label. Just be careful!
  • Avoid exposure to aggressive chemicals.
  • Protect the item from fire, heaters, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight (backpacks should not be ironed).
  • Store the product in a clean, dry state, prepacked in a plastic bag.


best backpacks

The best backpack has the following characteristics.

  • Comfortable straps – sufficient width, length adjustment, soft lining on the inside and ventilation, the correct shape (sickle-shaped or S-shaped).
  • Anatomical backrest – the optimal shape (imitation of human spine curves), the correct length, ventilation, stiffness.
  • Pockets. Preferably compartments that do not protrude too far out of the way.
  • Weight – the least weight is desirable for similar sizes and capacities.
  • Bottom. There are dense gaskets, the part itself is made of durable material. The bottom of the oval form is preferable to the bottom.
  • The bottom entrance – overall models without this detail are rather inconvenient.
  • Fittings – locks and valves must be easy to open and close and can withstand active use.
  • Possibility of adjustment on growth and anatomic features of the person. It is not superfluous and the presence of special ties that allow you to vary the volume of the bag.
  • In urban models, the lock-lock on the compartments for a laptop or tablet is preferable – it reduces the risk of theft of the gadget.
  • Raincover.
  • Absence of uncomfortable details. The best models do not create difficulties in operation.
  • Comfortable handle – sometimes with a backpack you have to ride in public transport, and at this point and will need a strong wide handle.
  • Durability – a good backpack retains a presentable appearance and functionality for at least 5 years of active use.

There is no universal backpack. In each case, the best model will be the corresponding volume, functionality, design, construction and shape.

Pros and Cons.

It is obvious that your backpack (of any type), as any other purchase, has its pros and cons.

Well, we can suggest you the most important of them.

Let’s start with the benefits!

Uniform distribution of the load is clearly at the top of this list. Well, uniform distribution of load on the musculoskeletal system: the bag or suitcase loads only one side, and backpacks contribute to an even distribution of the weight of the luggage on the back and shoulders.

The waist strap further optimizes the load: part of the weight is taken up by the hips.

Functionality is also very important. The backpacks feature capacity – a compact bag that can hold a lot of things. The volume and convenience of the product increase the pockets, loops for equipment, fasteners for skis and snowboards and other structural elements.

Possibility to pick up the variant approaching weight, growth and requirements of the person. If necessary, the structural elements of the product are regulated by the peculiarities of the owner's addition.

Most backpacks have a soft fabric casing that can be slightly stretched when filled with large quantities of things, and thus provides the opportunity to increase the volume.

The extra volume is also given by the spacious outer pockets. Part of the luggage is attached to the product using the provided buckles and straps.

Weight. Another advantage of backpacks is that they are convenient and comfortable to fly. More often than not, medium-sized shoulder bags (25-30 liters) do not need to be checked in. Most companies allow you to keep luggage weighing up to 8 kg. Backpacks with the same capacity are lighter than travel bags.

As for the cons, there are enough of them.

It is impossible to place things in a strict order. It is difficult to organize several compartments in a backpack. The maximum is the internal pockets and partition, dividing the body into two parts (top and bottom) with separate entrances.

To get the right thing, you have to rake up the contents of the bag, while the suitcase is enough to lift a few layers of clothing.

Backpacks cannot be used by people with spinal problems.

Even ventilation does not save your back from sweating.

In winter, a jacket with a backpack is not very comfortable to move around in, and it is hot in summer.

Backpacks do not fall into the field of vision of the host, which allows the cheaters to pull out the wallet or phone. This problem can be solved easily: keep valuables in your pocket or compartment on your waist belt.

So, as we have already mentioned before, there is no universal backpack. But it is necessary to consider all advantages and disadvantages, choosing and further using the model which has pleasant to you.

You need to choose a backpack depending on your needs, on the occupation and style you are adhered to. Backpacks are very convenient and effective because with their help you can free your hands and move the load on your shoulders and back. As you were able to see, backpacks are available to almost every "taste and budget": there is a choice in terms of both the appearance of a backpack and its functionality, suitable for outdoor activities, as well as for urban everyday life and various sports activities.

The main thing is not to get confused in all this variety and to approach to a choice of purchase wisely, to further use a shoulder bag with the maximum comfort. So, everything strongly depends on your desire and decision.