While there are several names by which a backpack is commonly known, the basic fundamental remains the same. It is a sack made of cloth built to be carried with the help of two straps on ones back. Commonly used both by students and hikers, both large and small backpacks distribute the heavier part of their loads onto the padded hip belts rather than on the shoulders which are just used to stabilize the load. This is because hips can take a relatively much higher load than the shoulders and the center of gravity of the backpack also coincides with that of the body of the person carrying it. This increases the agility of the body and also its balance.
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Types of backpacks
There are many different types of backpacks available today like the:
- Vintage backpacks: These old-school backpacks can be made of leather or canvas but the style, fashion and looks of the same is generally retro. They hold a lot of appeal especially for people who like its classic looks and hence vintage backpacks are popular even today for use either to make a fashion statement or to genuinely carry important things inside it.
- Hiking or trekking backpacks: As the name suggests, these backpacks are used to carry all sorts of essential paraphernalia when going out on a hiking trip. These backpacks thus have a number of loops, pockets and even lash-on points. Some high-end backpacks might also come with a hip belt, a frame etc. When used for climbing, these backpacks need to come equipped with enough space to hold a harness, a rope, a helmet, shoes and racks and should also be comfortable and body hugging.
- Canvas backpack: Canvas is a very popular raw material for making backpacks since they are strong, durable and relatively maintenance free. Commonly used by students for carrying their books and copies, canvas backpacks are spacious, heavy-duty, inexpensive and come in a number of styles, colours and shapes.
- Cycling backpack: These are the easiest backpacks to carry when commuting by cycles or bikes. They load stays stable and comfortably juggles the load to accommodate it during cycling or when one is off-bike. It is relatively small and lightweight so as to help the cyclist or biker aerodynamically to enhance his speed and not hamper it.
- Snow sports backpack: Snow sports include snowboarding, skiing etc., wherein the backpacks have to be made in a way that they undergo minimal movement. They also have to fit in snugly along the contours of the body without limiting the movements of the skier or snowboarder. They are specially built so as to accommodate lash-on points from which to hang equipment and airbags too so as to increase chances of survivability when trapped by surrounding snow.
There are other different types of backpacks also available like laptop backpack or the travel backpack, hydration backpacks which are specialty backpacks having hydration reservoirs etc. This differentiation depends not only on the make and style of the backpack but also on its use. Hence when in need of one, careful consideration should be given to its function before zeroing on one.