Backpacker Radio #222 | How to Choose a Backpack for Thru-Hiking with Owen Eigenbrot
In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are giving you an in depth run through on how to choose a backpack for thru-hiking. We are joined today by The Trek’s Managing Editor, serial thru-hiker, and certified gear nerd, Owen Eigenbrot. We walk you through all the features, terminology, material types, sizing tips, and more to give you a foundational knowledge on making an educated decision when purchasing a pack for the purpose of a long-distance backpacking trek. We then share some of our top tips and offer a few specific product recommendations at the end of the panel. Whether you’re just getting started in the world of backpacking, you’re looking to level up your gear for future trips, or you’re just curious to expand your knowledge in the world of backpacks, this podcast has got something for you.
We wrap the show with a shoutout to the class of 2023 AT thru-hikers, a new segment – poop news of the week, a miserably embarrassing stupid thing of the week, and a triple crown of our preferred caffeine sources.
Download this episode.
Gossamer Gear: Use code “TAKELESSTREKMORE” for 15% off at gossamergear.com.
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LMNT: Get a free sample pack with any order at drinklmnt.com/trek.
Panel with Owen Eigenbrot
Time stamps & Questions
00:03:38 – Reminder 1: Get an exclusive monthly episode by supporting us on Patreon!
00:05:20 – Reminder 2: We have new merch!
00:06:28 – Reminder 3: Submit your Pooping in the Woods story!
00:08:47 – Introducing Owen
00:09:51 – Give us an overview of your backpacking experience
00:14:31 – Can you introduce the Eastern Continental Trail?
00:17:19 – Introducing the structure of today’s show
00:19:05 – Sizing a pack properly and how to measure your torso
00:25:00 – Adjustable versus fixed-size packs
00:26:55 – Sizing cottage gear packs versus larger manufacturers
00:28:52 – Volume/capacity
00:33:17 – Internal frame vs. external frame vs. frameless
00:37:23 – Men’s vs. women’s vs. unisex
00:40:12 – Traditional vs. ultralight
00:43:28 – Suspension
00:50:24 – Pockets
00:56:00 – Hip belt
01:00:23 – Extension collars
01:01:55 – Closure styles: roll-top vs. cinch cord vs. others
01:06:15 – Straps and buckles
01:10:45 – Price range
01:12:24 – Waterproofness
01:14:25 – Material options
01:24:35 – Bear canister compatibility
01:27:35 – Zach’s Pack Tip #1: Of the big 3, the weight of the backpack is the least important
01:28:47 – Chaunce’s Pack Tip #1: Consider the weight your pack is designed to carry
01:30:48 – Owen’s Pack Tip #1: Use a pack liner
01:34:09 – Zach’s Pack Tip #2: Zach’s overall pack recommendation
01:36:22 – Chaunce’s Pack Tip #2: Chaunce’s overall pack recommendation
Trek Propaganda: Congratulations to these 2023 Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers: Part 4 by Kendra Slagter
Stupid Thing of the Week
Triple Crown of caffeine sources
5 Star Review
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