When you need to carry things with you while you run, the best choice is a running backpack. No matter what you’re carrying, there is a backpack for you. There is one for every budget. There are several things to consider when you’re shopping for backpacks besides your budget. You don’t want to only spend a little and get a product that doesn’t suit your needs since that means you’d have to simply go out and buy a second item. Choose wisely and you’ll only have to buy one backpack!
First, you should consider how much you’re willing to spend. A quick look online will show you backpack after backpack, usually ranging from about 40.00 up to 200.00 or more. Many backpacks, though, are feature-rich without breaking the bank, so don’t worry about sacrificing functionality for price. There are several important features to consider when selecting a backpack, such as:
- Size and weight of the pack
- Size and number of the internal compartments
- Whether or not the internal compartments are insulated
- Hydration pockets
Second, determine how the pack you select fits the above criteria. How much do you want to carry with you on your run? A lot of runners want the pack to be as small as possible and still carry all the things they need. Some runners, though, want to take along what they need, regardless of weight. Do you want an ultra-slim pack or a more normal sized pack? The size of the pack also contributes to the size and number of internal compartments. If you know you want to take along an MP3 player, a book for your rest stop, a change of clothes, your cell phone, and fluids, then choose a pack that fits all of those items. Conversely, if all you need are fluids and your wallet, a tiny pack would suffice.
Another thing to consider is whether or not the internal compartments are insulated from one another. For example, if you’re being green and running to work rain or shine, you don’t want your jump drive or important papers to get wet, especially if you change clothes and carry wet shorts and shoes in the pack, too. For extra long runs, you also don’t want any food you take along with you to spoil in the heat. With insulated pockets, it is simple to use a cold pack to keep your tuna salad sandwich fresh.
Do you want to carry water bottles or sip from an internal hydration pocket? Some backpacks have room for almost a gallon of fluids, but even these won’t break your bank if you’re careful about your research. Maintaining hydration is paramount when running, so this is an extremely important part of your selection process.
Comfort is also important. Discomfort causes injury, usually by making you adjust yourself to be comfortable. Do not buy a backpack for features if it feels like a lead weight against your back and makes you seem to topple backwards! Make sure it feels good as well as fulfills your needs and wants. Remember, not everyone will need the ultra-chic model that costs more than 200.00, after all.