A rucksack is a must-have for those who those who frequently head for backpacking, expeditions and hiking.
While a medium size backpack with 30-50 L capacity is enough for overnight trips, camping and hiking, those who go on for travelling, backpacking and expeditions will need a larger rucksack with more than 50 L capacity. And if your trip is going to be longer than a week, then a 70-80 L backpack is highly recommended.
So, how do you choose a good rucksack? What are the features to look out for? What are some of the best options of rucksacks available in India today? Let us find out.
How to Choose A Good Rucksack?
Size, material, construction and fit are some of the key factors to consider if you want to buy a durable rucksack that is practical and comfortable for your needs. Below, we discuss about each aspect in detail.
As mentioned earlier, duration of your trip is the main factor that has to be considered while deciding the size of the backpack. If you are venturing on short trips of less than 3-day duration, then it would be better to opt for a travel backpack. You can check out on the top picks here.
But if you are heading for a longer travel, backpacking or expedition, you will need rucksack with at least 50 L capacity. If the trip is longer than a week, that would become at least 70-80L capacity or more.
Nylon is considered the best material for backpacks and rucksacks that have to endure tough environmental conditions. The harsh sunlight, wet conditions, brushing against scrubs, soil and mud causes extreme wear and tear. So, if you are looking for a rucksack to last for many years to come, then buy one made of nylon. The next best choice is polyester. Also, ensure the stitching and threads are also of good quality. Shoulder straps are quite prone to getting worn due to constant abrasion. Hence, pay special attention to stitching and material used in this area.
A rucksack should never lie low on your back. This would put excess pressure on your shoulder and back making the trip a not-so-pleasant experience. The size of the backpack should be such that it is appropriate for your torso height and grips your hips snuggly. For this reason, women would be better off with shorter rucksacks while men would be better off with taller ones.
Also ensure the rucksack has well-padded shoulder, chest and hip belt so that weight is evenly distributed.
Structure of a rucksack is as important as the fit. If you are buying a rucksack with more than 70 L capacity, ensure that it has internal frames. These frames distribute the weight and provide support for your hips which in turn help you to maintain the right posture while walking.
Having to dig out all your stuffs to find a piece of clothing is not a desirable experience. Hence, the need for ample pockets and compartments for organizing your stuffs.
In addition, if you venture out on hiking often, look for external clips and hooks to attach equipment to your rucksack.
Now, let us take a look at the best rucksacks…
Best Rucksack in India
One of the best things about this backpack is that it is available in different sizes as per your requirement. Depending on your height, comfort and duration of backpacking, you can opt for 55, 65 or 75 L backpack in black or green.
Talking about the structure and fit, this Amazon Basics backpack made of durable polyester has multi-directional compression straps that ensures proper fitting irrespective of your body type.
The hip belt is well-padded and has a fastex buckle to adjust the length for correct fitting. The internal frame helps distribute the weight uniformly throughout the bag. The position of the back strap as well as its length can be adjusted to fit correctly to your torso’s length. The lumbar padding is also heavy and firm. This helps with the upper-load balance and lower back support too. So even if you are carrying heavy load for an extended time, you don’t have to worry about getting a back pain. The adjustable straps also make this backpack perfect for both men and women of different heights.
Next, let us take a look at the compartments and pockets. This rucksack has 2 bottle holders and 4 spacious side pockets where you can keep smaller things that you need easy access to. The top hood is extendable and gives you an additional 5 L storage space too. The main storage compartment has zipper access from top and bottom so that you won’t have to dig through and take out all the items when you need to find something from inside it. The backpack also has a large sleeping-bag compartment.
In order to protect your belongings, the rucksack has a water-repellant exterior coating and an integrated rain cover too.
Overall, the rucksack is perfect for all types of outdoor adventure—be it a short trip, hiking, camping or backpacking. Just that buy the right size for your need keeping in mind your height and body structure.
With 70 L capacity, this tall rucksack from Inlander is suitable best for tall men. Made of polyester, it has internal frames for weight distribution and padded back support, waist belt and shoulder strap that makes it easy to carry the backpack even when heavily loaded.
The length and position of the strap is adjustable so that you can fine-tune for proper fit and balance.
In addition to the main compartment, there are two side pockets and a compartment where you can keep shoes or soiled clothes due for washing. It also has two water bottle holders. That the main compartment doesn’t have access from the bottom and lack of rain cover are some of its drawbacks.
Overall, this backpack is a great fit for men who want to venture out on travel, backpacking or hiking for a duration ranging from 1 to 2 weeks or more.
If you are looking for a rucksack for a trip less than a week in duration, then this stylish rucksack from Skybags would be a great fit. Made of nylon, the bag is pretty water-resistant. In addition, it also has a rain cover that protects the contents in case of heavy downpour.
The rucksack has air passage channels at the back, comfortable lumbar padding, fairly wide and padded waist belt and shoulder strap. It doesn’t have an internal frame, which is not a necessity given the relatively low capacity.
In addition to the main compartment, there are two side mesh pockets and a pocket on the hood too. It also has a sleeping bag holder and the main compartment has access from the bottom too.
This 50 L nylon rucksack from Mount Track is a budget-friendly option for trips that are less than a week long.
The rucksack has a concealed pocket in the hood, two side pockets and mesh pockets too. The bottom compartment can be used to keep shoes or soiled clothes and an opening to the main compartment too. The top and bottom access to the main compartment makes it easy to keep and take stuffs from it. The bag has a laptop sleeve too suitable for laptops up to 14 inch size. However, the sleeve has no padding. So, if you want to carry your laptop in this bag, you will have to buy a padded laptop sleeve along.
It also has excellent back padding and heavily padded shoulder and waist straps. This makes it comfortable on the shoulders even when carrying heavy load. In addition to being built with water-resistant material, it also has an integrated rain cover that protects the belongings in case of heavy rain.
Overall, it is a budget-friendly option for those who frequently venture out on trips lesser than a week in duration. However, given the low price, do not expect it to last as long as a higher-end backpack.
With 60 L capacity, this 60 L rucksack made from nylon would definitely be the bag with maximum number of compartments and pockets. The rucksack has numerous side pockets including one each on the waist belt where you can keep stuffs that needs to be easily accessed. There is also a compartment towards the lower end where you can keep shoes or soiled clothes. A very useful feature of this rucksack is that the main compartment has three access—from the top, bottom and a middle zipper. This make is easy to keep and take stuffs without having to take out everything. The stitching is also pretty good quality—overall ensuring durability of the product.
Talking about the fit, comfort and structure, the backpack has removable back support rods which helps distribute the weight evenly throughout the rucksack. As the rods are removable, you can keep the bag folded after use without consuming much space.
The back padding is quite firm, so are the shoulder straps and waist belt. This helps distribute the weight and reduces burden on back even when carrying heavy load.
A drawback however is that the rucksack doesn’t have a rain cover. While it is resistant against drizzling, it may not be able to withstand a heavy rain.
Even so, the excellent structure, comfortable fit and numerous organizing pockets make it a perfect fit for travelers, both men and women who head on trips shorter than 1 week in duration.