Rucksacks for backpacking and hiking are here at Gear-Zone at great prices. We have all the major brands in stock, including Berghaus, Lowe Alpine, Karrimor, Mammut and The North Face, to name but a few.
Our daysacks are available from 15 litres to 35 litres, and amongst our best-sellers is the Berghaus Freeflow with its airflow back system. At the other end of the spectrum, we have Lowe Alpine's mighty TFX Appalachian 65:80 with its adjustable back system for serious backpacking.
From hydration packs to daysacks, Alpine packs to college bags, Gear-Zone has your needs covered. And don't forget The North Face Base Camp Expedition Duffel Bags, used by explorers all over the world, or their Messenger Bags for general day-to-day use.
Rucksacks – A brief guide
It doesn’t matter whether you’re walking, cycling, mountaineering, travelling or simply off to college or the gym; at some stage you’re going to need to take more gear than your hands can carry. Unless you really like carrier bags, then you’re going to need a pack. Here’s a brief guide to our rucksack categories, and some of the features of each.
Generally between 5 and 35 litres, the daysack is the work-horse of the rucksack world. Designed to carry a small amount of gear, day sacks are ideal for general purpose use, days on the hill, travel and cycling.
Mostly the weight will be carried on the shoulder straps, although large daysacks will often have some stiffening and hip-belts, which allows for larger loads - a weekend’s gear for example - to be carried in comfort.
Daysacks will usually have either a large zip entry or a classic drawcorded top, some internal organisation and a hydration bladder or water bottle pockets. Side pockets are a popular feature on larger daypacks.
A hydration pack is basically a small daysack which comes with a hydration bladder. They’re usually designed for running or cycling, so they tend to be streamlined in shape, use lightweight fabrics and have external bungee or attachment points for helmets, lights and so on.
Because they tend to be only 10-20 litres – ideal for a waterproof, lunch or energy bars, bike kit and emergency gear - they generally have simple webbing hip belts to help with stability, and mesh or airflow ventilation to aid evaporation on sweaty backs.
Camelbak is the most famous example of a hydration pack and they’ve been so successful that Camelbak is now quite often used as a generic term for any hydration pack…much like Hoovers or Gore-Tex for anything waterproof.
Of course you can fit a hydration bladder to most day sacks, or remove the bladder from a hydration pack.
Climbing packs or alpine packs are basically large daysacks or smaller backpacks and are usually available between 35-50 litres in capacity. Climbing packs are designed to be super-tough and carry a day’s gear rack and rope; which can get very heavy, especially storming up the side of an alpine ascent!
To make them durable for mountain use they usually use really tough fabrics, with a stiffened backsystem and a smaller hip-belt. To keep weight down and make everything simple enough for whiteout conditions, climbing packs usually have a stripped down features list – or allow you to strip the bits you don’t want flapping around – and side pockets are often the first thing to go.
Ideal for days in the mountains, or those seeking a really tough bag without all the fluff!
The load-carrying experts, backpacks are great for trekking and travel and usually come in between 55 and 90 litres. Decent backpacks need to be able to take a fair amount of weight and support it over all sorts of terrain and distance. To do this you need a decent back system which fits you.
Most current backpacks usually have a frame which is designed to take the weight of your gear down to your hip-belt, which should then bear the brunt of your load. It does this because then the weight is spread across the hips and strong leg muscles, rather than the back and shoulders which can cause strain. Some rucksacks now even have frames and hip-belts which pivot with your body and give you more flexibility.
The vast majority of backpacks also have an easily adjustable harness to allow you to get a decent fit and therefore, optimum load carrying. Some are sized for your back length though; make sure you get these in the correct size! For more help on adjusting back systems please read our rucksack fitting guide (coming soon).
Sitting somewhere between a rucksack, holdall and suitcase, the travelpack has proved to be a very popular design, and the relative ease of world travel has made them a boon to those who suffer from wanderlust.
Effectively a travelpack is a rucksack harness with a holdall attached to it and normally comes in between 50 and 90 litres. A travelpack is made to give you easy access to your gear via a large zipped entry - ideal for hostel hopping - whilst still allowing you to get off the beaten track more than a suitcase will allow.
Chief amongst a travelpack’s key features are a hide-away harness and a lack of external frills and dangly bits - to help avoid anything getting torn off via airline travel or on cramped transport systems the world over. There’ll be organisational pockets, and top and side carrying handles as well as and over-the-shoulder strap. A removable daysack is also a popular feature for hand-luggage and a day's adventuring round the city.
Probably the simplest of our range, holdalls are basic luggage style cargo bags. Available in a range of sizes from 40 to 120+ litres, there’s a holdall for you whether you need it for a weekend at the relatives or trooping all your kit to Everest base camp. Maybe the most recognisable holdall is The North Face Base Camp Duffel, a common site at airports, hostels and camps around the globe. Famous for its bomber construction, it’s a bag designed to take some extreme punishment and keep your gear together. The Berghaus Mule series is also worth a look for those who want a great blend of durability and value.
Most holdalls are simple affairs, with a large main zip, some internal pockets for organisation, and a plethora of handles so you can drag it around any way you choose.
Simply put, a baby carrier is a way to help troop your little one around, wherever you are! Consisting of a cockpit for the child (nicely padded) stapled to an efficient load-carrying back system (kids weight a surprising amount), a baby carrier will allow you to get out and about on terrain that a push chair just wont cover…ideal for adventurous parents and children alike.
Most baby carriers will have one 20-25 litre compartment for nappies, waterproofs and so on and adjustable baby and back systems for safety. A raincover is an ideal accessory for days when you get caught out, although not all baby carriers have a raincover/sunshade as standard so remember to check!
Baby carriers are a fantastic idea for outdoor parents, but remember, they’re not highchairs and baby should never be left unattended! Also you should wait until your child can happily support their own head before you use one.
Many rucksacks and daysacks now come with a rain cover, however if yours doesn’t, or you need a new one then we’ve a wide selection in our rucksack cover section.
Other ideal rucksack accessories are drybags and stuff sacks, which allow you to effectively organise your rucksack, and in the case of dry sacks, ensure that it’s waterproof - it's well worth having a few of these. I use some for spare clothes, used clothes, food, toilet roll and documents, sleeping bag and just about anything else!