The 50 Best Camping Essentials - Backpacks

Whether it’s a rock festival or a faraway field, Simon Usborne finds the tents, togs and tackle for your outdoor adventure
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The Independent Online

Outwell Picnic Calabash

“A lot less cumbersome than old-fashioned hampers, this picnic rucksack has comfy, padded shoulder straps and contains pretty much everything you’ll need for dining al fresco,” say Jonathan and Sophie. “It boasts a full picnic set for up to four people, with cutlery, plates, unbreakable wineglasses, corkscrew and even condiment attachments. There’s a large cooler compartment to keep all your delicious goodies fresh and an all-important insulated bottle holder for chilled refreshments.”

Where: Cotswold Outdoor (0844 557 7755;

How much: £29

OMM Mountain Mover

Clive Garrett calls this the king of lightweight backpacks: “Superlative build and material quality sets it aside from the competitors, and it has all the features demanded by the fast-moving backpacker – plus instruction books on howto get the best from your purchase. And, if the 1,150 grams prove too heavy, there is even a guide towhich bits you can chop off to lighten the load by as many as 410 grams.”

Where: OMM(01706 216612;

How much: £110

Deuter AC Lite

If you’ve got a car to stash your tent in, you won’t want a monster backpack to store enough gear for a weekend under canvas. Deuter’s daypacks are lighter than the competition’s and are designed to fit perfectly on your back. There’s a detachable rain cover and loops to store hiking poles as well as an “aircomfort” system designed to avoid nasty sweaty backs. Available in 12, 16 and 20-litre sizes.

Where: Deuter (0191-296 0212;

How much: from £35

Berghaus Verden

The Tyne & Wear-based Berghaus has led the backpack market for more than 40 years. Its latest high-performance rucksack is fully adjustable and has space for everything you’d need on a camping trip,while the biofit back system means it will sit snugly on any back. It’s lightweight and durable and there’s also room for a water pouch and drinking tube.

Where: Berghaus (

How much: £100

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