When I started hiking many years ago in Tassie I had no idea what was the best backpack to buy and nor did I ask for any expert advice in the shops. i just tried a couple on and if they were comfortable I bought the one I most liked.
My first backpack was a dark green color and fairly large with a drawstring to close the main body of the pack. I felt very proud as I placed this backpack on as I now felt like a real hiker. It only had a thin hip belt and no straps across the front, but it had lots of big pockets to store things in. This backpack was my pride and joy for many years.
I also bought a smaller backpack for shorter day hikes - this was made of a material similar to canvas.the outside pockets were different as they were made of a mesh and instead of a drawstring it had a zip for the main body
I didn't have any waterproof cover so always had to have an emergency poncho to put over me and my bag
In those days I did't use hiking poles as the knees were a bit younger and packs didn't have anywhere to store them when not in use.
Once I moved to Queensland to start hiking much more seriously with a hiking group i could see I needed to look the part so off to Mountain Design to see what is available. They explained to me that the Deuter Futura was specially made for women as the shoulder straps are more narrow and shaped for women. Also the hip belt is a good fit for womens hips.
After being fitted with a 30 litre backpack I certainly could feel the difference with so many straps that could be adjusted if needed, loops for my hiking poles, lidded top that can be adjusted to the main compartment, chest strap, strong hip belt, good side pockets with zips, inbuilt rain cover, mesh back ventilation. The only thing I find is the access to water bottles in he side pockets is difficult so I overcame that by buying a 3 litre widepac Source hydration system which I love and there is a special place to store this in the backpack. Knowing how to fit and adjust your backpack certainly makes for a more comfortable trek.
This backpack has seen a lot of the world hiking overseas in Africa, South America, Italy, Switzerland, France, Jordan and many more places.
I found that I needed a smaller one for day hikes so bought another Deuter 22 litre. it is comfortable but lacks some of the features of the larger ones eg it has a much thinner hip strap and I find it moves a bit and the main compartment is zipped but it also has many straps for adjustments and built in rain cover.
A quick hike up some of the local mountains needed a small backpack to carry water and a snack so the Mountain Design Pump 3L fitted the bill an it comes with a free Source 3L Filtration system
The 3 Capes hike in Tassie was coming up and I realised that once again I would need to upgrade as I needed to carry my food, sleeping gear, clothing for a 3 night / 4 day hike. I bought another Deuter - this time 34 litre and could fit all I needed in it. All my previous backpacks were a green colour and this time I splashed out and bought a red one. This pack had nearly all the features of my 30 litre and with the lidded top it was very useful to be able to put my gortex jacket under it and pull the straps down tight.
I have recently done some overnight / multi day hiking carrying all my gear and now find I will need to upgrade my backpack to between a 45-50 litre backpack. Will check out the Deuter and Osprey packs.
Any recommendations for a good pack would be appreciated.