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How to pick a backpack?

Winter, summer, in the mountain or in the streets, you can find the backpack that’s right for you on Glisshop. Technical backpacks are specifically designed for skiing or hiking or touring . They carry the most advanced techs to keep them light and waterproof. The main manufacturers keep bringing new innovative products on the market offering better lightweight and more functionalities. Icepick holder, ski or board carry systems, camelback, anti-avalanche system… Technical backpacks are work of art bringing technology to and design together. Street backpacks, urban, and school packs are more simple, they are made to be functional and easy to use in your everyday life. They are generally compact to help you move through the crowded streets or in the tube without having it getting in the way.

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Buyer’s guide for a backpack

A good backpack it’s not just two straps attached to a bag, it’s much more than that. Modern backpacks, may they be for an urban or a mountain use, are all going through R&D labs to deliver better performance and meet your highest expectations. The main goal of designers and engineers is to make products that are lighter and more functional. If at first sight they just look like any backpack, check out what’s inside, you will realise that it’s much more than this. Let’s have a look at what’s available on the market.

What is a ski backpack?

Whatever the brand, a good backpack needs to meet certain conditions in order to be useful. First, it needs to be light. Lightweight is your best friend during a day in the mountain. A light backpack is more comfortable to carry and it will create less fatigue and less muscular pain. But a backpack also needs to be strong and durable. Conditions can get rough in the mountain and the last thing you want is to see your shoulder strap tear apart when you’re on the peak. The brands we select, from Dakine to Burton or Arva, are all trusted manufacturers and make durable and reliable gear. Finally, a good backpack must be functional and clearly manufacturers have improved a lot on that point lately. From smart carry systems allowing to attach your skis or board easily to ice pick or shovel holders, you can attach pretty much anything on a backpack. Some are also compliant with mountaineering equipment like carabiners, ropes and most are compatible with hydration systems or water pockets. There are also the new avalanche bags like the ABS ones designed to host an airbag system. Then you have to pick the volume of your bag depending on your needs. If you are a hardcore tourer, if you can spend days in the mountains sleeping in a refuge, then you want a big bag (30 to 35L) able to carry a lot like clothing, food, skins, etc. If you are more of an occasional skier doing day-long trips from time to time, opt for a smaller bag (less than 20L) to keep the weight as low as possible.

If you don’t know where to start amongst all our brands, have a little look at the big names of the skiing world, you can’t be disappointed with specialists such as Deuter, KV+, Mammut, Ortovox, Dynafit, Evoc, BCA or even Black Diamond. If you feel like it, you can add an little eco-friendly touch with brands such as Picture and Patagonia who make a point of only using organic, recycled & bio-sourced materials in the hope of creating a better tomorrow. If you just want the strongest package out there, check the Thule and finally, if you want to carry your board everywhere, the Nitro rucksacks will do nicely!

Which backpack for an urban use?

If technical backpacks are good in the mountain, they’ll feel bulky and oversized in the streets! You don’t need as many features down in the city but a big pocket to store your stuff and possibly smaller pockets for your keys and valuables. We have a selection of street backpacks all suitable for this type of activity. If that’s what you want, you should check what Herschel, Osprey, Oakley or Element have in store for you!

Check out our selection of backpacks and complete your equipment!