10rate.com gives Top Ten Backpacks for 2012

Mountain Hardwear BMG 105 Backpack - 6400cu in Black, M10rate.com recently came out with its “top 10 backpacks” for 2012. Of course we found the article interesting! They have certainly given a comprehensive breakdown of what to look for in terms of features and how a pack should fit. At one time my wife and I worked for a major backpack manufacturer and I can attest to the fact that while there is a “general” way in which all packs should fit, there are some variations out there dependent on the brand. It’s always best, if possible, to have a representative of the company you’re looking to buy from fit the pack to you. That way you know you’re getting the best possible advice – and fit. There are many events throughout the nation where you can meet reps or employees from the various backpack manufactures. We’d suggest seeking one of those events out if you’re in the market for a new pack. Backpacks can be quite expensive, especially multi-day backpacks. It’s a good move to take your time and really research what pack will best suit your body.

I do wonder what the “testing” requirements were for this list. Using a pack on one outing, you’ll certainly notice any glaring problems. However, it’s usually on trip three or four where you really start feeling the wear points and begin to take notice of access points, the way the pockets are organized, etc.

The parameters they used when grading the packs were:

1. Comfort and Wearability
2. Volume Capacity
3. Weight Efficiency
4. Compartmental Features
5. Hydration Capabilities
6. External Straps and Stability Features
7. Frame Support
8. Cost/Value

That’s a pretty comprehensive list of factors in determining the best bang for the buck. I’d assume they feel comfort and wearability are really the primary factors and cost/value the least important (just looking at how they ordered the factors). If true, I’d have to move Frame Support and Cost/Value up to positions four and five respectively. I think both those factors will likely influence a potential buyer almost as much as Volume, Weight Efficiency, etc.

Here’s the list of the backpacks they feel are the best for 2012:

  • Mountain Hardwear BMG
  • Gregory Baltoro 75
  • High Peak Everest
  • Osprey Aether 85
  • Lowe Alpine TFX Appalachian
  • GoLite Terrono 90
  • Gregory Denali Pro
  • The North Face Terra 65
  • Acr’Teryx Arrakis 65
  • Deuter Airconnect 65+10

They have a nice breakdown of what to look for in terms of fit and features when shopping for a backpack. They also go into considerable detail on the pro’s and con’s of each pack. This is a pretty detailed review of some of the best multi-day packs out there, please take some time to pour over it.