When you’re carrying food and gear for several days, you need a large-capacity multi-day pack.
Between 50 and 90-litres, multiday packs will have a single or double compartment. The lid is often extendable, creating up to 10-litres additional storage. Pockets on the front, lid, side and hipbelt provide ample gear storage.
Harness and shoulder straps
Adjustable to suit your back length, harnesses keep the load stable, directed to your hips and allow freedom of movement. A suspended mesh or ventilated foam backpanel promotes airflow while supporting the back muscles. Shoulder straps should curve over the the shoulders, contouring around the neck and under armpits. Adjustable sternum straps sit across the centre of, or just above, the chest.
Fitted correctly, the hipbelt will sit just above the hips so that 80 per cent of the pack’s weight is supported by the hip bones. The belt pivots to move with the body, ensuring a natural gait and aiding stability over uneven ground.
Straps, gear loops, stash pockets and daisy chains allow tents, walking poles, ice tools and other essential equipment to be carried outside the pack for easy access.
Nylon fabrics tend to be lighter and protect against the elements. Canvas packs are heavier, but tougher and longer-lasting. High denier fabrics are used in high-wear areas like the pack’s base, with lighter fabrics used on areas that receive less abrasion.
Many packs come in female-specific options. These have smaller harnesses and shorter hipbelts. Shoulder straps will be narrower and contoured differently to a standard pack
Now you know what to look for, it’s time to choose a pack…
|Fjällräven Kajka 75 $665.95
Flexible birch wood frame, back length and shoulder width adjustments, front and top opening, double compartment, padded hipbelt, zippered lid, side and hipbelt pockets, detachable lid for use as waist or shoulder bag, rain cover. Fabric Vinylon F, 600D polyester Capacity 70-litre Weight 3300g. www.fjallraven.co.nz
|Macpac Cascade 75 $599.99
Liberator FreeLoad harness, base compartment divider, under lid pocket, zippered front pocket, optional bungee overload system, dual ice axe attachments, hydration compatible, stretch mesh bottle pockets. Fabric Eco Aztec Canvas, 500D nylon base Capacity 75l (size 2) Weight 2800g. www.macpac.co.nz
|Lowe Alpine Cerro Torre 65:85 $549.95
Award winning Axiom 7 back system, top and separate sleeping bag entry, rain cover, stretch side pockets, hipbelt pockets, walking pole and tool attachment points. Fabric Trishield Grid, 420D nylon Capacity 65+20-, 75+25-litre Weight 2620g, 2770(m), 2600g (w, 60+20). www.outfitters.net.nz
|Lowe Alpine Manaslu $499.95
Axiom 5 back system, front, top and lower access, rain cover, front stash pocket, daisy chain lash points, hydration compatible, hiking pole and tool attachment points. Fabric 210 Micro Rip, HydroShield Capacity 55+10, 65+10-litre Weight 2430g(m), 2230g (w, 55+10). www.outfitters.net.nz
|Osprey Aether AG 70 $429.99
Ventilated Anti-Gravity harness, customisable fit, suspended mesh back panel, removable lid converts to day bag, hiking pole and tool attachments, organiser pockets, external hydration sleeve. Fabric 210D nylon dobby, 500D nylon base Capacity 67-, 70-, 73-, 76-litre Weight 2341g-2413g. www.ospreypacks.com
|Lowe Alpine Diran $399.95
Axiom back system, top, front and separate sleeping bag entry, rain cover, bellows side pockets, walking pole and tool attachment points. Fabric 300D Nailhead, 300 denier dobby polyester Capacity 55+10-, 65+10-litre Weight 2240g(m), 2180g (w, 55+10). www.outfitters.net.nz
|Exped Thunder $299.90
T-Rex suspension system, aluminium frame stay, top, front and side loading, dual-density foam hipbelt with stretch pockets, single compartment, floating lid with dual compartments, front and two side stretch pockets, compression straps, two ice tool loops, hydration compatible. Fabric 210D Dyneema ripstop nylon, PU coated Capacity 50l Weight 1530g (m/w). www.bivouac.co.nz
|The North Face Terra 65 $380
OPTIFIT harness, vertical ventilation channel, anatomic padded shoulder harness, anatomic mesh-lined hipbelt, zippered side entry to main compartment, zippered sleeping bag compartment, 7+ pockets. Fabric 600D polyester, 420D mini-ripstop nylon, 1200D polyester Capacity 64-, 66-litre Weight 1980g, 2075g. www.thenorthface.co.nz
|EPE Carina $159
ATH harness, alloy support frame, padded back panel, top and bottom main compartment access, pull-over hood with pockets, compression straps, walking pole attachment points, adjustable shoulder straps and hipbelt, rain cover, five year warranty. Fabric Polytech 600 Plus Ripstop with reinforced base Capacity 65-litre Weight 2100g. www.kiwicamping.co.nz