Military Backpack vs. Hiking Backpack

Military Backpack vs. Hiking Backpack

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So you’re looking for a backpack for your outdoor adventures, and you are struggling to decide between a military-style and a traditional hiking backpack. Maybe you are unsure of the difference, or perhaps you just are unsure of what you need.

Either way, understanding the difference between a military backpack and a hiking backpack will help you make the right decision. So in this article, we will take a look at both options and give you a look at how they differ.

Military Backpacks

This style of the backpack will keep you comfortable during even the most rigorous situations. With all the interior rooms and compartments, this style of the backpack has long been used by the military and law enforcement but is equally as good for long-distance hiking.

With that being said, the versatility of this style of backpack easily makes them well suited for almost anything that requires you to carry a heavy load for any distance.

Another aspect of the military backpack is the inclusion of external parts. There are quite a few options that will accommodate headphones, radio antennae, or even places to store a water bladder so you can stay hydrated on your long trek.

If you need a pack that carries a lot and does so in a really organized manner, then this could be the style of bag for you. Because of the room and organization, military backpacks do tend to be heavier, but they are also more durable.

The layout and material are made to be comfortable while strapped on your back and to keep your kit safe and secure. It doesn’t make a difference whether you are going on an evening hike or a three-day trip; these packs are ideal for keeping you organized and help you to carry a heavy load from point A to point B.

Most packs are produced using polyester or nylon materials which are waterproofed. Some of them use a fabric weave that’s specifically designed to protect the bags from abrasions and tearing. This also enhances the strength and durability of the military backpack.

Military Backpack vs. Hiking Backpack

Hiking Backpack

Perhaps the best thing about hiking backpacks is that they tend to be very comfortable and extremely lightweight.

You won’t need to stress over becoming exhausted, getting back issues, or potentially being injured while carrying your gear. This is because of all the design features included to help balance and distribute the load weight.

Before you make your final decision though it is a good idea to understand a little about the design and features of the standard hiking backpack.

You will need to choose between internal and external frames. Each of these options will come in a variety of sizes. This is the system that helps distribute the weight so that it is more comfortable to carry.

Some hiking backpacks come with a hydration system, similar to arrangements for water bladders in the military backpack. However, this feature does have one drawback when used in cold weather climates, as the water may freeze.

But that is a situational concern. The thing to note is whether there is a place in the bag for a hydration system, whether that be a water bladder or a simple water bottle.

Final Thoughts

Each of the options has its pluses and minuses. For the military backpack, one of the biggest concerns is the weight.

If you are carrying a lot or suffer from back problems, it may be better suited for your needs to go with a hiking backpack, which will be better as it is a lighter weight option and more comfortable to carry. These features will allow you to climb with ease and minimize the risk of injury.

With the hiking backpack, the major issues are their organization. This option may be good for casual hikers, but if you are going on a long trek or have a need for more organization, this is not a great choice for you.

In the end, the choice is yours in regard to which one suits your needs. Just make sure when choosing the right one for you to start with the intent of the journey. You will need to know the distance and how important organization will be to the success of that trip.

If you can, head out and test the bag before you go with it. By doing that, you will guarantee comfort and reduce the risk of back injuries.

We hope that by taking a look at each style of backpack, we have helped you in your final decision.

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