Q: What backpack should I get to hold all my stuff?
— Shyaam, Ashburn, Virginia
A: Will you be going on short day hikes or weeklong treks into the wilderness? The farther away from civilization you are, the more gear and clothes you’ll want to take.
Backpack capacity is measured in liters. Many daypacks hold 15-30 liters, perfect for fitting all your essentials. For weekend trips, look at packs with 40-60 liters. Longer treks might call for even larger packs.
The Gregory Focal 48 ($220, gregorypacks.com) has 44 liters of space. This includes six zippered pockets. Stuff those pockets with smaller items you access often, like a flashlight or a map. The Focal also has sleeves to hold water bottles and hydration bladders. Strap bulkier items, like a sleeping pad or tent, to the outside of the pack.
Women’s versions of the same backpack fit differently. The Focal’s counterpart, the Gregory Facet 45 ($220, gregorypacks.com), holds 42 liters of gear, but the torso length and hipbelt are shorter. As with any pack, try it on before buying.
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