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Classic hiking backpacks made of leather and canvas in nostalgic design

A hiking backpack is more than just a backpack - it is a symbol of the longing for adventure and thirst for freedom. It not only carries your gear but also your dreams and ambitions. Our hiking backpacks are loyal companions for life, handcrafted with an eye for detail. True soulmates for your next adventures.

What Is a Hiking Backpack?

A hiking backpack for men or women is not just a simple piece of luggage; it is the heart of every hike, an indispensable companion for the modern Traveler. Its history is closely linked to the evolution of travel.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, when travel was still a grand adventure, hiking backpacks became synonymous with exploratory journeys and expeditions. They were the tools of explorers and adventurers, venturing into unknown landscapes.

A hiking backpack is specifically designed to carry all the necessities for a hike in a comfortable and practical way. It must be both functional and rugged, and often elegant, reflecting the wearer's style. The construction is carefully thought out to distribute the weight evenly and maximize comfort over long distances.

DRAKENSBERG combines the elegance of this historical era with the functionality of a modern hiking backpack. The hiking backpack thus becomes not only a practical tool but a part of the Traveler's identity, a symbol of adventure and discovery.


What Is the Difference Between Regular Backpacks and Hiking Backpacks?

The difference between a regular backpack and a hiking backpack lies not only in construction but also in a myriad of specific aspects tailored to the demands of a hike or tour.

Volume and Capacity:

A hiking backpack is designed in terms of volume and capacity to carry everything necessary for an excursion or extended tour. This ranges from equipment and clothing to food and water. The volume of a hiking backpack can range from 15 liters for short trips to 70 liters or more for multi-day tours.

Area of Application:

Hiking backpacks are developed specifically for the area of application of hiking. They must withstand various weather conditions, be it rain, snow, or sun, and should therefore be made of sturdy materials.

Requirements of Your Excursion:

The conditions of a hiking tour are diverse, and a hiking backpack must be tailored to them. This means that it should have special compartments and pockets for hiking maps, compass, first aid kit, and other essential tools.

Ergonomics and Function:

The ergonomics of a hiking backpack is essential, as it is often worn for extended periods. It must be designed to adapt to the natural contours of the back and distribute the weight evenly to reduce fatigue and strain.


Unlike an everyday backpack, a hiking backpack is designed for durability. It must withstand the stresses and wear of regular tours and hikes without losing quality and function.


Are DRAKENSBERG's hiking backpacks waterproof?

The majority of hiking backpacks in our collection are not completely waterproof or water-resistant, as we preserve the natural and non-impregnated state for the sake of authenticity.

However, we offer special models like Adam and Dale, crafted from waxed cotton. These hiking backpacks are water repellent and can withstand even heavy rain. The wax incorporated into the upper material also gives these backpacks a special shape stability.

For the rest of our hiking backpacks, we offer the option to impregnate them for everyday use. They can at least be made water-repellent. Suitable means are colorless impregnation sprays for leather and textiles, such as IMPRÄGNOL Universal Impregnation Spray. Our cotton fabrics can also be treated with special impregnation wax, like Dr. Gee´s Impregnation Wax. We recommend testing the wax according to the instructions at a hidden spot before treating the entire backpack. Please note that the color usually becomes 1-2 shades darker due to the impregnation wax.

Hiking backpacks are only 100% waterproof when they are made entirely of plastic. However, our DRAKENSBERG hiking backpacks preserve the charm and quality of natural materials, with some models equipped with additional features to accompany You on Your adventures.


What should I consider when buying a hiking backpack?

When purchasing a hiking backpack, it's about finding a balance between aesthetics and functionality. It's more than just a utensil; it's an essential part of your travel experience. Here are some key aspects to consider for hiking backpacks:

Backpack size and volume:

The backpack size should match your planned hiking tour. A smaller volume is sufficient for a day hike, while a larger backpack is required for a week-long hike. The right size ensures that you can take everything necessary without carrying too much weight.

Backpack material and quality:

The choice of material is crucial, especially if you prefer sustainable and natural raw materials like in a DRAKENSBERG hiking backpack. High-quality materials like buffalo leather and cotton not only provide an aesthetically pleasing look but also durability and reliability on your hiking trips.

Equipment, features, comfort, and details of the hiking backpack:

A well-designed hiking backpack should adapt to your body contours and back, distributing the weight evenly. A good carrying system, adjustable straps, padded back parts, and breathable fabrics are essential for your comfort on long hikes. You should also pay attention to the equipment, ensuring that the shoulder straps are well adjustable so that the hiking backpack can be properly adjusted to your back length.

Specific needs, e.g., for day tours or multi-day tours:

Consider what you need on your excursion. Do you need special compartments for maps, a compass, or a picnic blanket? Such considerations will help you choose a backpack that meets your individual needs.

Aesthetic considerations for hiking backpacks:

A hiking backpack can also be an expression of your personal style. A backpack from DRAKENSBERG offers you the elegance and authenticity of the 18th and 19th centuries, combined with modern design and functionality.

Item price-performance ratio:

Choosing a backpack model that not only meets your desires but also offers a good price-performance ratio is important. DRAKENSBERG provides high-quality products and trekking backpacks at affordable prices through distribution without middlemen.


Are DRAKENSBERG’s hiking backpacks more rigid or soft?

The hiking backpacks from DRAKENSBERG offer an exquisite blend of form and function, meeting the demands of a true adventurer. The selection includes both rigid and softer models:

Rigid Hiking Backpacks: Our backpacks from our line with waxed canvas, like Adam and Dale, are more rigid and stiff. Through a special process in which wax was integrated into our canvas using heat and pressure, the backpack maintains its shape. This quality makes it a loyal companion, capable of withstanding the rigors of a robust hike or tour. Its form changes slightly depending on the contents, thus providing a consistent and noble appearance.

Softer Hiking Backpacks: Models like Henry and Henrietta, crafted from regular cotton-canvas, tend to be softer. They gain their shape through careful design and the degree of filling. These softer backpacks offer a supple touch and flexibility, hugging the body while maintaining a sophisticated aesthetic.


What hiking backpack size for a day hike?

For your day hike, where you wish to carry only the essentials for a day, a backpack with a volume of 15 to 25, maximum 30 liters is ideal. For a day’s journey, you should be able to carry:

  • Provisions for the day, such as snacks and a meal.

  • A first-aid kit and essential safety gear.

  • A water bottle or hydration system.

  • Extra clothing, such as an extra layer for warmth or rain protection.

  • Small equipment items like sunglasses, sunscreen, map, and compass.

This size ensures ample space without unnecessary weight or overloading. The key is balancing the volume with the weight so that you can move freely and unencumbered on day tours.

We recommend our hiking backpack Adam, made of waxed canvas, with a variable storage volume of 20 to 30 liters, for your day hikes.


What hiking backpack size for a one-week hike?

For multi-day tours or a longer hike of one week, choosing the right hiking backpack for you is crucial. A trekking backpack between 40 and 70 liters is recommended to carry:

  • Several days of food and cooking equipment.

  • Clothing for varying weather conditions, including warm and weatherproof attire.

  • A tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad if you are staying outdoors.

  • Additional equipment like a flashlight, multi-tool, insect repellent, etc.

The exact scope depends on your specific needs and the type of hike. Note that for a week's hike, organization within the backpack is as important as the volume. Consider what equipment you want to have easily accessible and what can be stowed in deeper compartments.

For adventurers who value quality and authenticity, DRAKENSBERG backpacks offer the combination of style and function required for both day hikes and longer tours. With high-quality materials and thoughtful designs, they support you on your journey, whether it's a day trip or a week of hiking in the wilderness. Our backpacks are more than just luggage; they are your faithful companion on the path to discovery.

We recommend our large hiking backpack Dale, made of waxed canvas, with a variable storage volume of 30 liters up to 60 liters.


Can I take hiking backpacks on an airplane?

Yes, you can take a hiking backpack on an airplane, both as carry-on and checked luggage. The specific regulations vary by airline and destination. Here are some considerations that can help you:

A hiking backpack as carry-on:

  1. Volume and Weight: Most airlines have specific size and weight restrictions for carry-on luggage. A small hiking backpack, typically between 15 and 25 liters, should fit most overhead compartments. Check your airline's policies to make sure your backpack falls within the permitted dimensions.

  2. Contents: Remember, there are restrictions on liquids, gels, and sharp objects in carry-on luggage. If you're using your hiking backpack as carry-on, make sure to store or remove these items accordingly.

  3. Security: A hiking backpack as carry-on enables quick access to important items like travel documents, snacks, and in-flight entertainment.

A hiking backpack as checked-in luggage:

  1. Volume and Weight: Larger trekking backpacks, often with a volume of 40 liters or more, likely need to be treated as checked luggage. The exact restrictions again depend on the airline.

  2. Packaging: If you're checking a larger hiking backpack, consider packing it properly to avoid damage. Some airlines offer special bags for backpacks, or you can use protective covers.

  3. Contents: With checked luggage, there are fewer restrictions on contents, but it's still advisable to keep valuables and important documents with you.


Are Drakensberg Backpacks Inspired by the Military, such as the Swiss Army?

Drakensberg backpacks in alpine mountain design are indeed inspired by classic military designs, including those used in the history of the Swiss Army. However, this inspiration goes even deeper, connecting the aesthetic and functional features of the military with the elegance and authenticity of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Military backpacks have always been designed for absolute functionality and robustness. DRAKENSBERG adopts these practical aspects and details and combines them with a sense of adventure and travel to create a piece of luggage that is both durable and stylish.

The timeless elegance of military designs, especially the Swiss Army, is subtly and appealingly reflected in DRAKENSBERG hiking backpacks. The appearance harkens back to a time when travel was still a genuine adventure, and every piece of luggage told a story.


How Can I Clean and Maintain My Hiking Backpack?

A hiking backpack in vintage design tells stories of all the places it has been and the adventures it has experienced. Nevertheless, you might feel the need to refresh your backpack. In such cases, you may follow these three elegant steps:

Free the Hiking Backpack from Dust and Dirt:

Use a brush or handheld vacuum to carefully free your backpack from dust and loose dirt particles. Treat it with the care it deserves, as it is a loyal companion on your hikes and tours.

Remove Stains from the Hiking Backpack:

If stubborn stains are present, you can gently dab and rub them out with a clean and damp cloth. For particularly persistent stains, you may try a gentle lye made of water and mild soap. However, it is advisable to test this method in an inconspicuous spot before treating the entire backpack.

Care for the Leather on the Hiking Backpack:

If your hiking backpack is made of leather, this material deserves special attention. You can lightly grease it now and then, for example, with a leather care product containing beeswax or carnauba wax. Be sure to avoid hitting the canvas to prevent staining.

The goal is to give your hiking backpack careful and respectful treatment without eliminating its sublime patina and the signs of its adventures. Because a DRAKENSBERG backpack is not just a piece of luggage; it's a good old friend, a companion who stands with you through thick and thin, ready to share the magical transformation of travel with you.


What Is the Best Brand for Hiking Backpacks?

The hiking backpacks by DRAKENSBERG are anything but ordinary. Our sustainability is more than just a marketing slogan; it is part of the look and essence of our products. We strive for authentic travel companions that could be made with natural materials used 200 years ago - pure cotton, full-grain, vegetable-tanned leather, and every zipper from YKK.

Currently, there is no brand for hiking backpacks that could serve as role models for us. Even the big brands continue to rely on classic chrome tanning and manipulate the surfaces of the leather. Widespread in the industry is the plastic lamination, using foam inserts to imitate higher material thickness of the leather.

"Vegan" leather often consists of common plastic, and very rarely are leather-like materials actually made 100% from plants. The term "natural leather" is also currently used excessively. For us, leather reinforced with foam is not "natural leather," but inferior leather.

Hiking backpacks should also convey a good and honest feeling in the 21st century, not making empty promises. DRAKENSBERG hiking backpacks largely avoid plastics. Our leather or canvas is not laminated with plastic, and our top fabrics contain no nylon or polyester. The leather we use is sustainably vegetable-tanned, even if not entirely without chrome. It is an original with rough edges, but an honest character – just the thing for the discerning adventurer who loves the feeling of the good old journey.

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