A Guide to Choosing the Right Backpack for an Outdoor Adventure

Picking the right gear for your grand outdoor adventure can be a nerve-racking experience. You want to get it right the first time. Most people agree that there’s no more important piece of kit than your backpack. It’s always going to be on you, and you need it to be reliable. There’s nothing worse than finding out on the trip that your backpack doesn’t quite cut it.

Does your hand hover over the “click buy” button every few minutes, pondering over whether you need that waterproofing?

Is that ultra-light one going to be the thing that makes the difference in whether you make it to the top of your climb? For all of those worries, you’re in the right place. Here is our guide on making sure you get the right backpack for your needs.

Singin’ in the Rain

Waterproofing is one of the most enticing features thatpeopleadvertising backpacks try to sell as essential.Isit really a must then for any backpacker? Well, it depends.

At OzSurplus, we believe that you should only pay the extra for that hydrophobic coating if you really need to. Shop for the area you’re going to be travelling in; if you’re in the dryer parts of South Australia, waterproofing is definitely overkill. But if there are impending rain showers waiting for you, a doubled over garbagebag won’t cut it.

Another thing to consider is your long-term use case; if you’re going to be using this backpack for more trips, and expect to experience an array of weather conditions, then it is better to shell out more for that protection.For the harshest encounters with nature, you’d definitely be well advised investing in top of the line ormilitary grade equipment.

I’ll Make a Man Out of You

One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking that the weight of the backpack they choose won’t matter to them on their trip.

As tempting as it is to say that you got this, it’s important to factor in that depending on the duration of your trip and your physical health, an ultra-light backpack can be the deciding factor in whether you make it to the top or you quit halfway. Just make sure that it’s also rated to hold enough weight and won’t tear under pressure. Grabbing uncle John’s backpack from 40 years ago will probably be a lot heavier than today’s models.

Watered Down


Water might be a weighty addition at around 1 kilo a litre but without it on your hike you won’t get far at all. You will drink a coupleof litres a day easily in normal conditions. If its midsummeryou will need more. If there is water available for you on the hike—think rivers and streams—then you may still need to consider water purification tablets. Getting a stomach bug is a sure way to end your hike early. Most new packs have a space available for a water bladder or you can go the more traditional route of water bottles

Water. Is. Life

One Size Fits All

The adventurer’s dream is just one backpack, and you. Going across different countries, with no hang-ups about storage of excess luggage etc. It really is a very relaxing feeling.

The volume of your backpack and the nature of your trip are the two factors that will decide if you can ditch the extra baggage. If you’re going to have a central station and go hiking from there, you can probably get away with a small 40L bag, and stow your luggage at the station.

If you really want to live on the wild side, we’d suggest investing in a durable but light 65–75L bag that could house every belonging you’ll ever need if you want it to.

The Trusty Utility Belt

Like Batman’s utility belt, which has a different gadget for every use case, each backpack comes with its own idiosyncrasies that you’ll either need or never . If there’s a lot of climbing ahead, we recommend getting a specialised bag with more harnesses that fasten onto your body. If you’re a photographer, some specialised bags come with removable camera inserts which will keep both your lenses and camera protected and organised. It really does all come down to knowing the terrain, and the activities that you’ll be doing there.


OzSurplus is one of the leading providers of  top quality backpacks in Australia today. For all your adventuring needs, visit our site today to get the adventure started.