Daypack versus hiking backpack: Differences and advantages of the respective models

If you visit the mountains these days you will certainly meet quite a few hikers who are on their way with a regular daypack. Although the packing volume of a hiking backpack does not differ much from the one of a daypack, there are many differences when it comes to functionality and features. We like to explain the specific requirements and capacities of the various models and reveal the application possibilities of the respective backpack types.

What distinguishes a high-quality daypack?

A daypack is a simple and light backpack without a frame, which offers enough space for your everyday items, as well as for the luggage for a day trip. 

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It should be made of a robust material and featurehigh level of processing, in order to support you as long as possible.  Due to its conception for daily use, aesthetical and practical claims are paramount, while the carrying comfort usually plays a tangential role. Daypacks are the ideal companions for university or work, shopping or excursions. They are supposed to ease your daily routine, keep your hands free and create order. A padded laptop compartment is a must-have for modern daypacks, as well as various possibilities to assort all your stuff. As daypacks are indeed made for a sporting use, they are equipped with a ventilated back system. But they are nevertheless not very comfortable during extensive hikes where you work up a sweat. Of course would it be possible to manage such a project, but you would forego convenience.

What distinguishes a high-quality hiking backpack?

Besides durable and robust materials and first-class processing, the carrying system is of prime importance for a hiking backpack. It offers a great load control as well as optimum back ventilation. Due to a chest belt and padded hip straps it can be fixated on your back. The system should be light-weight to relieve your back and not hamper your tour unnecessarily.

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Tatonka’s hiking backpacks are always equipped with the innovative carrying system X  Vent Zero that guarantees maximum ventilation, thanks to a continuously stretchable x-shaped fiberglass construction. Depending on individual needs, you can wear the backpack either with little back contact for maximum ventilation, or force-fitting on your back, for better hold. To save unnecessary weight, we deliberately renounced a mesh-back.  

By virtue of the greater volume, larger touring and hiking backpacks, like the King Peaks 45, are provides with the X Vent Zero Plus-carrying system. This system works like the X Vent Zero, but can additionally be adjusted to different back lengths. By this means, a part of the load is deflected to the anatomically formed and well ventilated hip strap.

Besides this main contrast to daypacks, there are further differences according the features. Material loops – especially a fixation for hiking poles and a helmet attachment – to fasten equipment pieces to the backpack. Compression straps on the sides allow you to squeeze the backpack along with the content, to avoid flapping and ensure better fit. To compensate water loss a hydration system preparation is furthermore recommended. It allows you to affix your drinking bladder to the backpack’s interior and stick the drinking tube to the carrying strap, through a set up opening. Thus, you can slake your thirst without dropping the backpack. If the weather puts a spoke in your wheels, a rain cover may protect your luggage reliably - Tatonka backpacks already have one integrated. Last but not least, a signal whistle on the chest belt might be advantageous, as you can call attention to an emergency.

Daypack versus hiking backpack: Who should be your companion for the next hiking tour?

It is comprehensible that hobby hikers content themselves with daypacks, as the reliable everyday-companion provides helpful services and naturally it would be desirable to simply use the same backpack model for different activities.

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A high-quality daypack is definitely suitable for excursions and extensive walks, but when it comes to actual hiking tours, it is absolutely recommendable to chose a model that was specially made for this purpose. Do not let your backpack impede your tour. Unpleasant pressure marks, poor fitting and apparel drenched in sweat should not be part of a successful hike. Just visit a specialized retailer in your area and catch up on your possibilities. If you try on some models you will get to know the advantages of a hiking backpack.



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