If you are becoming a serious hiker, then your old school backpack simply will not cut it. You need outdoor backpacks if you are going to do outdoor adventuring. As you look into the different outdoor backpackers that are on the market, you may find that there are simply some you like better than you like others. It is really a matter of preference in many cases.
However, one of the most important things for any backpacker to consider when purchasing new gear is the fit. Each person needs to actually go into a store and have fittings of several different packages instead of just selecting a pack that they think is cool or that a friend recommended and thinks you might like. You want the shoulder straps to be plenty wide as well as curved and well-padded so they do not cut into your shoulders. You want outdoor backpacks that include compression straps as well as stabilizer straps if you are going with a heavier pack. The hip belt transfers the load from your back and shoulders down to your hips, or nearer to your center of gravity.
Most experts tell you that a hip belt should be a full circle under the lumbar pad rather than simply being made up of side straps that attach to the sides of the pack. This belt must be both broad and soft so that the padding can prevent pressure points from becoming painful. All the components of the outdoor backpacks must work together to create a snug fit that is comfortable to you. You should even ask the sales associate if he can put come sort of load in it so simulate how different it might feel when it is loaded. If you have a heavy load it slides a bit.
Outdoor backpackers have seen many technological advances that make them so much better than the old-school backpacks. They are designed of lightweight materials that are stronger than the old canvas and the frames are mostly interior frames rather than the very bulky aluminum frames that were popular years ago.
In addition, the study of the human body and how it carries weight has led to advances in the design and placement of the different parts of the pack. With the ergonomically designed shoulder straps, the properly placed sternum or chest strap, the lumbar pad and the hip belt, they are designed to be easy on your back and make it a pleasure to go hiking and backpacking. Pressure points are alleviated and hotspots are practically eliminated, as long as you are properly fitted to your pack.
Many outdoor backpacks have a hydration system with a water bladder and a drinking tube that is integrated into the pack or a place where you can add one if you want to. You will also find a variety of different pocket and compartment configurations that will aid you in organizing your gear. With spindrift collars that are basically compartments that cover the top opening of the backpack and splash covers to make them waterproof, you will see that there are many items that are available on outdoor backpacks that make them work for you. Just remember that the fit is very important, and that the volume depends on the type of backpacking you plan to do. No single backpack is best for everyone, but everyone can find one that is best for them. It may take some serious research and shopping, but is well worth the effort.