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A good rule of thumb when choosing between hiking backpacks and day hiking packs is to think about what you're planning on carrying. If you're going to carry more than ten pounds of weight, invest in a hiking backpack with a frame. If not, choose a day hiking pack. Day hiking packs are fine for short hikes, or even carrying on a ski tour, but you should look for a pack with a padded hipbelt, and at least one or two pockets on the outside. Is the pack flat, or does the back curve in the same way your own back curves? Even though you won't be carrying as much weight, day hiking packs should feel comfortable to carry, and they shouldn't pull you off balance when you hike. Hiking backpacks are a better choice for just about everything but short day hikes, so think about that when you decide what backpack is the right choice for your needs.