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Backpack Glossary

What are compression straps? Why do you need hydration packs? Discover the answers to these questions and more in this glossary of common backpack terms. Are we missing a term? Contact us.


Definition of Backpacking PacksBackpack Handbag: A slightly larger handbag designed to be worn on the back like a backpack. Backpack Handbags can have one or two shoulder straps and can be carried by both or by just one like a sling bag.

 

Backpacking Packs: Backpacks meant to carry heavy loads when backpacking or hiking over uneven terrain. Backpacking packs under 3,000 cubic inches are perfect for short day hikes. Between 3,000 and 5,000 cubic inches is suitable for 2-3 day trips. Packs over 5,000 cubic inches will hold an immense amount of gear and are perfect for longer expeditions.

 

Camera Backpacks: Backpacks with specialized compartments designed to hold and protect cameras and camera accessories.

 

College Backpacks: Backpacks designed with college students in mind. Many college backpacks include features like built-in laptop sleeves, MP3 player pockets, large compartments for books, and internal organizers.

 

Compression Straps: Straps, especially on a backpack, used to compress and stabilize a bag’s contents.

 

Convertible Backpacks: Backpacks that can convert into other bag styles including wheeled bags or duffel bags. Convertible backpacks usually have stowable backpack straps, handles, and/or wheels.

 

Definition of DaypacksDaypacks: Small or mid-sized backpacks designed for day use such as short hikes, school, or running errands around town.

 

Denier: A term referring to the size of the filament or yarm used in fabric. A higher denier means a thicker fabric.

 

Diaper Backpacks: Diaper bags worn on the back as backpacks.

 

Gym Sacks: Lightweight, drawstring bags designed for trips to the gym or sports practice. Gym sacks can be slung over one shoulder or worn as a backpack using the drawstring loops.

 

Hydration Packs: Bags especially backpacks that include reservoirs that hold water to keep you hydrated during various activities including walking, hiking, and biking. Water is drunk from a tube that runs from the reservoir. For winter sports, look for winter hydration packs that provide insulation to keep your water from freezing.

 

Laptop Backpacks: Backpacks with padded compartments designed to hold and protect a laptop computer.

 

Definition of Messenger BagsMesh Backpacks: Backpack made with a mesh material so you can see the bag’s contents.

 

Messenger Bags: Larger bags worn over one shoulder with the strap winding around the chest and lower back (like a cross-body bag). Once used by bicycle couriers, messenger bags have become a part of urban style.

 

Nappa Leather: Soft, full grain leather made from unsplit animal skin – often sheep or lamb.

 

Patent Leather: A glossy finished leather.

 

Self-Repairing Zippers: Zippers that still function even when a few teeth are missing.

 

SlingSling Bags: Backpacks with one strap that are designed to be carried on one shoulder.

 

Skateboard Backpacks: Backpacks with straps or sleeves for carrying a skateboard.

 

Ski Backpacks: Backpacks with ski and snowboard features including board straps, ski carriers, goggle pockets, winter hydration sleeves, and more.

 

Suede: Leather treated to produce a velvet-like finish.

 

Suspension Backpacks: Backpacks with support features to suspend the load and move it off the shoulders and onto the lower area of the back. These support features include waist belts, adjustable shoulder straps, and stiff internal frames.

 

Top Grain Leather: The top layer of leather (leather is split into multiple layers before it is used).

 

Vertical Messenger Bags: Usually refers to messenger bags that are taller than they are wide.

 

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