Questions and answers
1. How big does my backpack have to be?
The maximum capacity of the pack you purchase and fit depends on your body size. More specifically, it depends on your torso length, which then determines the total pack capacity. We suggest purchasing the largest pack capacity available for your torso length, or the largest pack available for a given purpose. Internal frame backpacks have compression straps for use when you don’t need the extra space. Think of longest trip you would go on where you had to carry all of your supplies (this will obviously depend on what kind of equipment, as well as individual requirements).
We can provide an approximate estimate as follows:
Day Trips: under 40L
Overnight Trips: 45L to 55L (overnight, long days, climbing or skiing with a pack with little room for anything other than the very essentials)
Weekend Trips: 55L to 65L (overnight, 2 – 3 days, larger skiing or climbing pack allowing enough room for the basics, a tent, sleeping bag, stove, food and essential clothing)
Longer Trips: 65L to 80L (4 – 7 days, allowing for additional food and clothing)
Extended Longer Trips/ Expeditions: 80L and up (7 days or more)
2. After choosing the correct size, what else do I look for?
– After fitting, is the harness system comfortable?
– Does it follow the contour of your body?
– Is the backpack the correct length?
– Does the backpack feel comfortable on your back?
– Does it pinch, bind or restrict your freedom of movement?
– Can you look up without hitting the backpack with your head?
– Can you squat down/ pull your legs up without cutting off the circulation to your legs?
– Are all the organizational features you need available? (Places to put the sleeping bag and foam mat, pockets for frequently-used items, daisy chains or other lash points, on a hike pack an extended loading facility, compression straps to secure the load, a covered harness, carry handles and shoulder strap for travel packs, internal compression system for panel loading backpacks etc.)
3. Is the backpack waterproof?
The short answer is no. Helsport backpack fabrics are water-repellent but not waterproof, so use the rain cover that comes with the pack. It’s also always a good idea to pack your things in waterproof bags inside your pack.
4. How important is the pack back length – is it ok to borrow and use a pack even if it’s not the correct length?
It’s very important that your pack fits you well. Just like ill-fitting shoes, a pack that doesn’t fit can ruin the whole trip. See our homepage for more tips on fitting your pack and checking that it’s the correct size.
5. How can I wash my backpack?
Refer to our homepage and watch the videos on washing your backpack; we recommend using a cloth and some warm water. The fabrics are generally not affected if they’re a bit dirty. It is, however, important to clean out the inside of your pack – you probably don’t want to start your next trip with leftover lunch from last time!
6. How important is the weight of the backpack?
This is a hard one to answer. For most people, the less weight they have to carry, the better. If you’re going on a longer trip make sure that the pack you choose is stable enough for your load. If you’ll be carrying loads over 15kg make sure the pack and frame have the stability to handle it. As a general comment, if you’re carrying heavier loads then a lightweight pack will mean you’ll have to compromise on choice of frame, pack materials and construction. On day packs etc these compromises don’t make such a big difference and, in the end, it’s more or less up to you. We do, however, recommend that you always try the pack on instore. Load it up and walk around with it for a while, maybe up and down some stairs as well, to get an idea of how it will feel when you’re on your trip.
7. Is it better to strap things on to my pack, or should I try to pack everything in the backpack?
Things like a tent or a ground pad are often strapped on the outside of a pack, as lash points make these easy to attach. The most important thing is to distribute the load evenly on both sides. It’s normally easier to do this when you pack everything inside the pack, and you also get a more stable load without a lot of things jangling around as you walk. It’s also easier to keep things dry if you pack everything in your backpack and cover it with the rain cover. See more tips on loading your pack on our homepage.
8. What is better – a top-loading pack or a front-loading one?
The best thing is a combination of both. Top-loaders are easy to expand by raising or packing things under the lid, and front-loaders provide easy access to your gear. A combination pack gives you the best of both worlds. If you want to go travelling, we recommend choosing a pack that has a front-loading option, so that you don’t have to unpack everything when you want access to your gear.
9. Is it important to be able to use a hydration system with my pack?
Yes, we think so. All Helsport packs give you the option of using a hydration system. During the warmer months a hydration system works well and makes it easy to drink whilst on the move, helping you stay in better shape during the day.
10. If something needs to be repaired on my backpack can I send it to Helsport?
Yes, of course! Our highly skilled service and repair department can take care of anything. Repairs to our packs are rare; it’s more likely that you’ll wear out your pack after years of extensive use and will want to start looking for a new one. However, if you do need something fixed, just take your pack to your local outdoor store and they’ll send it to us so that we can look at it. We’ll always make sure that any repairs are made at the lowest possible cost for the customer.