How to choose a proper mountaineering backpack

When someone wants to buy their mountain backpack, with little or no knowledge on the subject (can not think about buying a backpack on the Internet without knowing it or have it tested before), it is possible to end up leaving the shop with a super-duper 50 liter pack, capacious, with many pockets, but nothing like what they really need. Backpack capacity is measured in liters or cubic inches.

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Currently backpacks have evolved a lot, both in design, aesthetics, materials and systems for transporting load, which have undergone a major shift, to provide comfort and ease of transport as much as possible.

We should always choose a backpack that makes us comfortable, since we are going to spend many hours with it on our back, and the ideal would be not to notice it.

A very important factor in choosing a good backpack (doesn’t have to be expensive) are its frame, the size of the back and its belt; the other elements that make up the backpack, are also important, but don’t have a big influence.

The frame supports and transmits the load to the belt, therefore it must have an acceptable rigidity.

There are many materials and designs (plastics, Duralumin, carbon fiber, etc.) but the important thing is to have a good rigidity, and to allow the air to flow around the back, regardless of their material, since they have a design that allows (in theory…) air to circulate and ventilate the back better.

I sometimes use a 55 l backpack of a prestigious brand, with frame and grid and I can assure that I still get wet, so I would also advise for a conventional backpack for heavy loads (no frame), since in the end, as I say, your back will keep being wet.

The ability to adjust is an important issue, since not all brands have sizes, and most manufacture backpacks in one size, that have adjustable strapping systems which can adapt to the length of your torso; that is essential for a correct fit.

The belt and lumbar support are the main part of the backpack. In a good design it will properly the load to the waist and at the same time to the thighs, thus relieving the backbone.

The weight of the backpack rests on our shoulders, is transmitted by our torso and spine, passes to our hips and then to the feet, therefore our vertebrae and neck muscles are free of this burden. If we use correctly the belt of the backpack, the load is brought directly to the hips not overworking our shoulders and spine.

To get the most out of the belt, this should hug the sides of the waist well and not let the weight slide down. However, women having more pronounced hips, the transfer of the weight is less facilitated, so they must find a backpack adapted to their morphology and that allows them to carry the belt in a position higher than men, which in effect shortens the length of the back of the pack.

There are backpacks with women-specific markings. These have a higher belt adapted and shoulder straps that do not hinder the breasts.

Brilliant New Compact from Canon: the Powershot G1X Mark II

Powershot G1X Mark IIThe already old (and rather bulky I might add) Canon G1X now has a successor. There have been two years of waiting but the G1X Mark II is finally here.

The Canon G1X Mark II, at long last, is configured as a compact with large sensor and sets many ambitions by the company, in that it wants to establish this camera as a second body for photographers who want to go above and beyond. We are going to examine it thoroughly.

Canon G1X Mark II, renewed commitment to a great sensor

The raison d’etre of compact cameras at this level is without a doubt their large sensor. The new Canon G1X Mark II has a sensor of the same size as in the previous model, which should not be seen as something negative or even as a minus.

Its 18.7 × 14 mm size (type 1.5) now captures even less resolution (13.1 effective megapixels in the 4:3 format), but can make the most of it with a versatile lens at 24-120mm focal length and f2-3.9 aperture, which is bright, a little longer than the previous model and with a wider angle.

At the connectivity level, this new camera offers Wifi and NFC, and the video mode allows to record in FullHD resolution and 1080/30p maximum quality, and can use the optical zoom during video mode. The processor that makes all this possible is the Digic 6, which allows to take up to 5 photos per second and can handle sensitivities ranging from 100 to 12,800 ISO. It is not lacking optical image stabilization, either.


New design for better and more complete manipulation

Where the Canon G1X Mark II presents more innovations is in the area of design, but not in an artificial manner. This camera is now smaller, which is a step up in this range, and is built on a stainless steel chassis with aluminum body, which is a gain in robustness as well as in lightness. The G1X M2 weighs 558 grams and its redesigned handle is easier to grab.
G1X Canon

The innovations extend to the display, which is now tiltable on the vertical, and additionally employs touch technology. It completely replaces the electronic viewfinder, but there is the possibility of using a removable one in the hotshoe.

The screen is 3 inches in size, with a resolution of 1 million pixels, and works in the sRGB spectrum to display pictures with increased fidelity.

Also new to the Canon PowerShot is its double control ring, with assignable functions to zoom, aperture and shutter speed, in addition to the continuous ring which allows us to fine tune the manual focus.

Canon G1X Mark II, price and availability

This ambitious compact, the best of Canon according to the manufacturer, arrived to market in the month of May. It currently costs around $799, but check out the latest deals (for the USA) as well as hands-on reviews from owners, here.


Some good reviews that we found of the new G1X II are:

The DPReview one:

Max Nash’s G1X Mark II review: