The X-ray backpack: all the important details

Backpacks for daily or multi-day excursions, backpacks for men and women… each backpack is different from the others precisely because of that series of details that differ according to its load and also to the body of those who have to carry it.

Let’s examine our mobile home, starting from a basic consideration: the backpack must be made of robust material, abrasion-resistant and waterproof, with pockets in the right place and lanyards or nets that make sticks, ice axes and helmets easily accessible: these are just some of the prerogatives of our backpack at the top. Now to the shape and structure of our most important travel companion!

The details that make the difference

BACK PANEL – For backpacks with small volumes, not exceeding 35 litres, the suspension systems provide excellent ventilation of the rear panel: a very light carbon steel frame and a honeycomb net stretched over the entire back allow exceptional ventilation. The ventilation space between the backpack and the transport system ensures perfect comfort and keeps the back cool.

The image also shows the ergonomics of shaped and perforated wide mesh shoulder straps that allow better breathability and more comfortable elasticity. For women’s models, outdoor companies have adopted improvements in relation to the shorter back and smaller shoulders.

In fact, the back panel is narrower and less high than the men’s model, while the shoulder straps on the top are close and front are curved and less wide having to follow the shape of the breast.

BACKPOND AND SPALLACIAN ZONES – The suspension system for “light” backpacks can compromise the stability of the backpack in case of very heavy loads.

Therefore, for multi-day trekking, which must withstand decidedly more demanding loads, the main feature of the rear panel is the arrangement of support and shock-absorbing zones distributed according to the physiology of the back: among these, free zones are created where the air can circulate freely, avoiding the stagnation of sweat.

The shoulder straps, possibly padded, must give the possibility to balance the weight on the back and therefore, especially for larger backpacks, be adjustable. Also in this case, design and functional aspects are distinct characteristics in the “man” and “woman” versions. As already mentioned, the shoulder straps are thinner because they must not create pressure on the pectoral region or friction under the armpits.

STABILIZED AND REQUESTING BELTS – Speaking of shoulder straps, it is important to underline the importance of stabilizing straps, especially on large backpacks (allowing an exact positioning of the backpack), and of the load return straps that can be adjusted to relieve the pressure from the shoulders.

For the models dedicated to hikers, the various options for adjusting the straps are within the size of a woman, depending on the shoulders and length of the torso.

Waist Belt – The waist belt increases load stability and allows you to lighten the weight on the spine, especially for multi-day backpacks, so the lumbar belt is essential to partially unload the weight on the pelvis.

It should be as large, padded and easily adjustable as possible; the belt usually also has hooks and small side pockets for small accessories. In the woman version of the design of the belt takes into account the different morphology of the pelvis compared to the man.

COMPRESSION AND KEYS – The easily detachable upper and lower compression straps help to compress and stabilize the load for optimal transport, but are also useful for transporting poles, tent poles and more, thanks to the eyelets positioned in the lower part of the backpack.

The backpacks are also provided with side fibers that allow you to attach poles and snowshoes to the backpack and thus have both hands free.

The side pockets, possibly made of mesh, allowing you to store the water bottles or other objects that must be accessible quickly and easily.

FRONT PANEL – The largest backpacks, allow not only loading from above but also from a front panel, an important option so as not to have to empty half a backpack and recover the pile placed at the bottom. In addition, a separate compartment on the bottom can be useful for storing wet linen, sandals, etc.

 Further information on the subject

Our attention is focused on those who, for the first time, approach the world and outdoor equipment. I would like to point out some articles dedicated to our “mobile home” and here are some tips for purchasing

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