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Popular brands in this section... Weekend Rucksacks - Footnotes
The needs of mountaineers have changed in recent years and the design of alpine packs has adapted, producing lighter packs for faster ascents. Lightweight and durable, weekend rucksacks are designed to get you up the climb as quickly as possible. Many of those featured here can be altered to suit individuals e.g. by stripping off excess features and weight to create a minimal pack. External carrying features such as ice axe hoops, daisy chains and ski attachment systems allow extra equipment to be carried as required without upsetting the backpack's low profile design.
Rucksack Features - An Introduction
- Hip & Waist Belts - Padded Hipbelts are designed to transfer weight from your shoulders to your hips. It is important that they fit correctly, with the top of the hipbelt level with, or only just above the top of the hipbones so that the weight is carried on the hips.
- Chest & Shoulder Strap - Chest or sternum straps link the shoulder straps and help locate them correctly over the shoulders.
- Weight - The weight of the pack itself is important - the lighter the load, the less tiring it is to carry.
- Fabric - Various types of nylon and polyester cloths are used in the majority of rucksacks. Textured nylon has a rougher, more abrasion resistant finish than plain weave nylons. No matter what the fabric, please remember that no rucksack is totally waterproof and gear should be stored in waterproof liners or bags.
- Compartments - In smaller packs, the main compartment is loaded from the top and a drawcord secures the sack but larger rucksacks often open at the front to provide better access thus allowing items to be added or retrieved without unpacking.
- Lid Pockets - Lid pockets are useful for carrying small items that need to be accessible. They generally feature a zip entry on the back or less commonly on the front or side.
- Body Pockets - Side pockets are ideal for quick access to items such as drink bottles or food. Mesh pockets are found at the base or front of some sacks and are ideal for storing wet items.
- Walking Pole / Ice Axe Loops - For carrying walking poles or ice axes on the back of the sack. A single set is adequate for hillwalkers and backpackers but climbers and mountaineers need loops for two tools.
- Crampon Straps - These straps are usually mounted on the lid, or in the centre of the rear of the rucksack. Crampons are best carried in a crampon bag so that the sharp points don't damage your sack or even your companions!
- Shovel / Compression Panel - Rigid panels on the front that can be tightened across the load to stabilise it and to store snow shovels snowboards etc.
- Wand Pockets - These open-top pockets situated at the base of the side of the sack are useful for tent or trekking poles.
- Side Compression / Accessory Straps - Compresses the sides of the sack reducing the volume and holding the load close to the wearer's back for stability and carrying efficiency.