How Ventilated Backpacks Work?


During hiking or backpacking on a hot, summer or warm spring day, you’d probably want as much help as you could get for cooling down, or the trip could become unbearable and ruined, or even dangerous if you suffer overheating. During this period, most of the hikers use lightweight backpacks. But there is an alternative, so-called ventilated backpacks.

This article will try to answer one of the main questions about the type of help suspended mesh back panel backpack provides during summer, how it can help you maintain your body heat and cool you off, and also we’ll go through some pros and cons related to ventilated backpack, so you know what you’re looking for when you go to buy one.

The Main Characteristic Of Ventilated Backpack

If your backpack’s backside looks like some kind of net, then you already own the suspended mesh back panel backpack, or a ventilated backpack. This is also the main difference between ventilated backpacks and the other types of backpacks you could get for your camping trip.

In theory, this kind of system should help your body fight the heat easier and cool off faster. Many backpackers claim that this system really works and that you can clearly feel the difference when you wear a ventilated backpack compared to one that doesn’t have a mesh back but is it true? Does it really help?

How Does The Ventilated Backpack Work?

The simplest answer to this question is this – it keeps your back and the backside of your backpack separated by suspending the mesh above a concave cavity. This allows the air to flow between your back and the material, so the moisture could evaporate more easily and your sweat could dry faster. It also means you’ll have to hydrate less because you won’t lose as much body water as you would in other conditions.  Your body will have more free space to lose heat, so the final result will be less sweaty and more pleasant back during your walk.

Main Ventilated Backpack Pros

Now when we know how a ventilated backpack works, it is time to check some of the main pro arguments, so you know what to expect.

If you plan to go on a hiking trip, this can be your best purchase, because it will significantly lower sweating volume and your back will breathe more, so you won’t have to change your shirts all the time, and you won’t feel so awkward wearing that shirt after some time. The constant flow of the air will cool your body more, so the chance of overheating and suffering heat stroke will be lower. The more space your back has to cool off, the easier it will be to stay cool and comfortable during your hike.

Main Ventilated Backpack Cons


Although the fact that it will help you stay cooler during the hot summer hikes is something that you should seriously take into consideration, there are some downsides you should know before you decide to buy one.

The first not so positive thing about the suspended mesh back panel backpack is its tendency to pull the weight away from your back. Remember how the main characteristic of a ventilated backpack is the space between the backpack and your back? It may not seem so problematic at first, but once you put all your gear into your backpack, it may start to feel like you’re pulling it, not carrying it on your back, making it harder to carry and this way forcing you to spend more energy. It can also create the feeling like the package is slipping away or something is off-balance, so it may become uncomfortable to carry it after some time.

The second con comes with the manufacturers’ decision to make packing space long, thin, and often even curved packing area. This may limit the space inside, and it can also make them difficult to pack. Taking gear out of it isn’t easy, neither, because of the limited space.

The third most important con is meshed breathability. Most often ventilated backpack has mesh made out of nylon or some similar material. And many of these widespread and cheap materials are not really breathable, so the only ventilation will come from the holes and space between your backpack and your back, while the material won’t be cooler than the rest of your backpack. On the other end of the stick, during the cold weather, the wind that gets to your back could cause a freezing feeling.

And last, but not least, although not a regular occurrence, the mesh may cause a skin rash, due to friction between your body and the mesh material.

Globo Surf Overview

The main purpose of a ventilated backpack is to provide you a comfortable option for hot, summer days, so you don’t regret going on a backpacking trip or a hike with your friends because of your backpack. Many of the backpack types are made so they lay down directly onto your back, this way limiting the breathing space and preventing the sweat to evaporate. The final result comes in the shape of a wet and uncomfortable shirt and the need to constantly change it. With the ventilated backpack, this won’t be one of your worries.

While the suspended mesh back panel backpack provides the space your back needs to breathe, so it does feel like a relief, ventilated backpacks also come with some weaknesses, and it is completely up to you whether you’d ignore the cons or not. If you can deal with possible extra weight, don’t have a problem with a bit more complicated and difficult packing, and if you don’t mind the possible necessity of constantly adjusting and readjusting your backpack, this may be the best option for you.

To sum things up, in the end, it is all up to you, your desire, and your preference. If the ventilated backpack sounds good in theory and you’d like to test it out by yourself, feel free to give it a go. We all react differently to different things, and who knows, maybe this type of backpack will be your best discovery for many years to come!

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Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!