Trying to find the perfect backpack can make you feel like you’re stuck pushing a boulder up a hill for eternity. I have struggled with this for years. My current backpack collection is slightly shameful and embarrassing due to the sheer size. Buying backpacks is arguably my greatest vice. Daypacks for urban environments, packs of varying sizes for camping, and endless camera bags litter a corner of my apartment. So, if you are trying to find a new camping backpack for your next Icelandic camping trip, I have come to help you. These are my backpack recommendations for camping in Iceland.
Multiday Hiking Packs
There are a million different options for packs to camp or hike with. They range from single-day, smaller bags, to the heavy duty big boys that you will take on trips into the great outdoors lasting longer than seven days. These recommendations are geared towards folks somewhere in the middle. Mid-size backpacks are versatile, not very cumbersome, not too small, and a good one will last you a lifetime. If you need a bigger pack, then adapt recommendations from this article and apply them to a bigger bag. However, for most of us who aren’t seeking to channel our inner Bear Grylls, mid-size camping backpacks are more than sufficient.
Choosing Right Fit For Your Bag
The most important part of any pack is how it fits you. The fit should be perfect. Here are some quick tips to make sure that your bag fits you perfectly. First things first, you are going to need some assistance making the correct measurements of your back. A tape measure and a friend who you have coerced into helping you are all you need. You want to measure your spine starting at the C7 vertebra. For those of us that aren’t chiropractors, this is the notch in your spine at the base of your neck right above where your shoulders begin. From here you want to find the length of your spine down to the bottom of your back. That measurement will determine what size pack you should buy. If the bag is too big or too small it can cause you to be uncomfortable during your camping trip, and no one wants that, right?
The second most important aspect of making sure that your new bag fits correctly is to ensure that the bag fits snug across all points of your body where the weight will be distributed. The bag should fit snug at your hips and all points of your back. In no ways should it feel loose. This will ensure that the bag is distributing the weight correctly. After that, you are all set to pick out a pack!
Iceland Camping Backpacks – Economy Price
Alright, now that the technical jargon is out of the way, let’s get down to the good stuff: picking a bag. I personally love buying bags. For me, they can are stylish, utilitarian, and they help me traverse my active lifestyle with relative ease. But, not all bags are created equal. When it comes to outdoor apparel and equipment, I usually abide by the maxim of “you get what you pay for.” This doesn’t apply to all things in life, but when it comes to a comfortable, feature-loaded bag, it sure does. If you are on a tight budget and looking to get a bag that will get you through your multi-day camping trip in Iceland, then I have one recommendation: The Wasing 55 Liter Internal Frame Backpack.
With a cost of around 50 US dollars, this is going to be the most cost-effective option that actually has a decent build. This pack has the smallest capacity of any bag on my list with just 55 liters of space to utilize inside. The exterior is made from water-resistant polyester materials. The bag only expands five extra liters in size, which is a bummer. But as I said, you get what you pay for.
This pack is the most wished-for bag on Amazon.com at this price and size. The Wasing 55L will get you through your Icelandic camping trip in style with five different color styles, and the bag is gender neutral. This pack also includes a rain cover to keep your belongings dry, which is important due to Iceland’s ever-changing weather. Also, the shoulder straps were designed to keep airflow moving through your shoulders which will help prevent you from becoming too sweaty during your treks. This is truly a great bag at a steal of a price.
Iceland Camping Backpacks – Midlevel Price
Midlevel price is where I think most people sit. It’s the Goldilocks of backpack prices: not too pricey, not too cheap … just right. You get plenty of the features found in the high-end bags but at a fraction of the cost. Bags in this price range are durable, reliable, and if treated with care, will last you a lifetime. My personal recommendation at this price range is a bag I currently own and a bag I love to death! The Osprey Atmos AG 65 bag.
This thing is a tank, a bulletproof tiger, a gift from heaven. I have personally never tried a bag that is as comfortable as this. This beast comes in male and female specific models, which is a huge plus. The straps and suspension system, or as Osprey calls it “anti-gravity,” are killer. At times, it can feel like you aren’t even wearing a bag. It is like the Cadillacs of comfortable trail bags. The hip strap of the Atmos is easily adjustable and has a discreet sliding mechanism to keep that extra hip strap length concealed when you don’t need it.
Inside you will find a bladder sleeve, plenty of pockets, compartments, and zippers as well. The top compartment is removable and is full of zippered pockets. My favorite aspect about the bag is something that is ubiquitous across all Osprey bags: the warranty. They have a lifetime warranty, where if you send the bag in they will fix whatever is broken at no cost. And, if they can’t fix it, they will give you a new one!
This bag has tons of features, a whole cult following of adventurers who swear by it, and it comes at a reasonable price. At 270 US dollars, you aren’t going to find a better deal. Osprey is a company devoted to making the some of the best bags on the market. If you have some extra cash but don’t want to break the bank, then look no further than here.
Iceland Camping Backpacks – Premium Price
If money is no object, then buying Arc’teryx gear is always the way to go. Their prices may be astronomical compared to other brands, but quality is expensive. And if you are looking for a bag that will keep your gear bone dry in the harshest environments, that is insanely comfortable to wear for long stretches, then you are going to want to look at the Arc’teryx Bora AR 63.
The Arc’teryx Bora AR 63 has both male and female models, which is essential for wearability and comfort. The difference in construction between the bags is tailored for each gender specifically. The bag comes in at a whopping 550 US dollar price tag. The price is jaw-dropping, but the features you get with this bag are second to none. It is one of the only bags on the market that is virtually waterproof, and it can take a beating. It should be said that some owners have found it isn’t big enough for longer treks into the wilderness, but it will serve you well on your short camping trip.
The Bora has a cornucopia of great features. The bag is constructed from weatherproof “AC” fabric that can handle rain or snow with ease. It also includes side pockets for water bottles or hiking poles, a hydration sleeve, loops for ice-axes, mesh that keeps your back and hips well ventilated. The list of features goes on and on.
The suspension system, the quality of materials used, the thought and care that Arc’teryx put into their design of this bag arguably justify its outrageous price. And, if you are coming to Iceland and plan on camping, I always say err on the safe side when it comes to buying gear. Spending a little extra money in the short term will make sure that you can focus on not being sopping wet, but, dry and happy.
Backpack Buying Guide For Camping In Iceland
The backpacks that I have listed here are my personal recommendations. By no means should you feel handcuffed to these choices. I do have to say I highly recommend the Osprey line of bags. If you want decent quality at a reasonable price, then they have you covered. If you are already breaking the bank on travel to Iceland, then a bag like the Wasling 55L might be more up your alley. But, if you have money to spend and want to treat yourself, I always recommend Arc’teryx. Buying Arc’teryx isn’t usually justifiable unless you plan on braving some seriously harsh elements. But again, this is Iceland. You never know what the weather is going to do.
It should also be noted that these bags are more geared towards summer and fall travel. You can use them in the winter, but there’s something to keep in mind. If you’re visiting us in the winter, be sure your bag can handle our heavy snow and rainfall. The most important thing to keep in mind is to find the best bag that works for you. It has to fit and be in your price range. It should also get you from A to B while being the most comfortable backpack. That’s perfect the bag for you. Happy Hiking!
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