So you’re in the market for a new hiking backpack? Do you want to buy the cheapest you can find? Do you have particular requirements in mind, like something with handy little easily accessible pockets, with plenty of room for all your essential gear and which sits comfortably on your back, but don’t want to pay the earth? If you’re an experienced hiker, you may know exactly what you want – you need to replace your existing worn out backpack with an identical but newer model. Perhaps that last pack didn’t quite do it for you but now you know all the things you do need. Maybe you’re after a particular brand? Maybe you’re just not sure exactly what you want as there’s such a bewildering array of equipment out there, and so many ‘sale’ and ‘bargain’ signs around. Whatever your specifications you want to get a great deal. There are many ways you can save parting with all your hard earned cash. Here are our top 10 ways you can get the hiking backpack you need without breaking the bank.
10. Do the Legwork Yourself
If you’ve got the time, then why not spend some energy down at the mall to compare all the deals around. There are always sales, special offers, clearance items and other savings to be found. Be prepared for plenty of hiking practice and be sure to take notes as you’re comparing prices and brands as it may get a little confusing after a while. It may pay off to do some research online first to see what sort of pack meets your needs and see what low prices can be found on the internet for comparison, so that you can set off with some packs and prices in mind to make sure those ‘sale’ and ‘bargain’ signs really mean what they say. All your hard work should pay off, and hopefully the best bargain won’t turn out to be in the first store you visited!
9. Make your own. Are you serious?
If you’re quite handy with a sewing machine, why not give it a try? You’re sure to be able to save money big time by doing it yourself, the cost of the basic materials isn’t going to be that much. Have you ever bought what you thought was the perfect backpack, and it seemed like a great bargain at the time, then when you get it out on trail, it doesn’t quite work for you? Well only you know what does work. Lots of outside pockets or not, divided interior or not, easily accessible drink bottle pocket, waist belt pocket, chest strap or not, how about a hydration pack, and room for a camera or pair of binoculars? There are so many combinations – that’s one reason there are so many packs out there, but you’re the one who knows what works best for you. So design it yourself, taking a cue from other backpacks out there, and make it yourself. You’re bound to be able to make something for a real bargain price. You may get some admiring looks along the trail and who knows what that might lead to – you might just have found your vocation.
8. Second hand stores
Okay it’s not everyone’s first thought for where to go for great deals on hiking gear, but don’t just dismiss it even if you’ve never been near a second hand store in your life – you could miss out on a real bargain. Sure you don’t want to buy a pack that’s been up every mountain in the state and seen better days, but not all second hand gear is like that. Believe it or not, some people buy the best gear with every intention of getting out in the great outdoors, but simply never make it for one reason or another. Either that or they do a bit and decide it’s not for them, or maybe a boyfriend/girlfriend drags them along and they want to look the part so buy some great gear then the hiking trip proves to be the undoing of the relationship and it never gets used again. There can be a whole heap of reasons why good gear ends up in these stores, and no matter what the price, it’s bound to be a great deal. Whatever the reason, you really can find a bargain, but you need to be a frequent visitor to these stores, as great value good quality hiking backpacks don’t stay on the shelf for long.
Okay that may seem obvious, and there always seems to be gear marked up as being on sale. In fact it’s probably one of the most over-used words in the English language. To know how genuine those supposedly knock-down prices really are, you need to do your research and find out what the normal retail prices are, if such a thing as a normal price exists. At least you might get to find out what the normal ‘sale’ price is. No-one likes the idea of paying over the odds for something they could have bought for a cheaper sale price elsewhere. Even though there always appears to be stuff on sale, let’s face it you’re probably not going to find the best bargain at the start of the season. End of season sales are usually the best time to find the real cheap deals, as retailers try to reduce their old stocks to make way for their new season range. That’s particularly good for you if you’re not a fair weather only hiker. As we’ve already said though, be sure to do your homework and make sure that what’s marked up as an absolute steal is indeed a genuine saving.
6. End of line deals
Manufacturers are constantly updating their ranges, adding new details here and there, tweaking this and that, changing colors, adding technical fabrics, and just generally looking for more ways to part you from your money. The upside of this is that they, and/or the retailer need to get rid of the older stock to inject some cash into the business and free up space on the racks. Stuff that isn’t selling is just dead money to them, so they need to shift it at almost any price. So if you’re prepared to put up with last season’s model hiking backpack at a fraction of the price of the latest model, then there is a genuine bargain to be found. You’ll often find them marked up as end of line bargains, last season’s stock, or just put out on the sale rack.
5. Clearance Racks
These are great places to find really cheap deals. Similar to the above, retailers need to move stock. Old stuff that’s not selling is just taking up valuable space in the store and tying up cash for the business. If it’s not selling for any reason, then they’re going to discount it to try to get rid of it. This doesn’t mean it isn’t any good however. As we’ve said already hiking packs can be a very personal thing, you know what works for you, but maybe it doesn’t work for 90% of hikers, and that’s why they’re not buying them. It could just be that the color hasn’t been popular, or another manufacturer had a very similar pack which just sold better. Brand names for instance play a big part in the hiking gear market and a particular backpack may sell particularly well because of that brand name, whereas a virtually identical one made by a lesser known company doesn’t, even though it may be cheaper. There could be plenty of reasons why a particular backpack is on the clearance rack, but that doesn’t mean it’s no good, and does mean it will be a good price. It just might be the bargain you’re looking for.
4. Go to China
Now you have to be kidding right? Well yes I guess we are, but if you happened to be going for a visit anyway, then you could have a look for your bargain backpack whilst you’re there. However if you’re not planning a trip, then you could try on-line to see if you can buy mail order from overseas. Let’s face it; most gear is made in China or somewhere else in Asia these days: even the major western manufacturers are getting their stuff made there because they can get a great deal on manufacturing costs. So why not try and source a great bargain yourself on the internet and cut out the middle man? Don’t forget you’ll need to factor in the cost of getting it shipped home.
3. Bankrupt stock
This can be a really good opportunity to pick up a hiking backpack at a great sale price. Retailers sometimes go bankrupt. The trustee in charge has the job of selling off the assets of the retailer to get what cash it can to pay off people owed money by the business. The trustee wants to realize as much capital as possible as quickly as possible so will often hold sales of bankrupt stock. Real bargains can be had here, because the trustee will want everything sold as unsold stock is no use to them – all they want is cash, and the quicker they can turn that stock into cash the better. This can make for some really low prices. Watch out for genuine bankrupt sales however, and make sure you know what prices to expect to pay in advance, to make sure you really are getting a true bargain.
On-line auctions are huge, and you can pick up some really cheap deals. I just put hiking packs into eBay and came up with 6672 results. Maybe that’s too much choice but you can filter your results to narrow it down. There will be brand new as well as used items on here, and for sure there will be some fantastic deals, and some really low prices, so long as you don’t mind not being able to touch and feel. New or secondhand gear will be advertised as such, and lower prices will generally be found on secondhand goods. Don’t let that put you off however – see the section on secondhand stores for good reasons to consider low priced secondhand goods. A word of warning though: don’t get carried away with bidding on auctions or you could end up paying more than you intended and not getting the best bargain after all. Know your limit and if the price seems to be getting too high, stop bidding. It’s very easy to get carried away with the thrill of the auction and lose touch with the reality of trying to bag yourself a bargain. The chances are if you miss out this time, another one will come up for sale again soon.
1. Go to GearChase.com
For your number one way to save on hiking backpacks there is only one place to go. GearChase.com has hundreds of deals on hiking backpacks. Why is GearChase.com the best place to go? Because we search most of the top retailers websites to find the best deals on hiking backpacks so you don’t have to. You can compare the prices of hiking backpacks with hundreds of retailers in one search, so you can be assured to get the best possible price on any particular item. You can search for a particular brand or particular backpack and compare prices of different retailers. GearChase.com tracks all the best deals, top deals, sales, bargains, coupons, promo codes, closeouts and clearances on hiking backpacks, so in a nutshell, you could do some or all of 10 down to number 2 above, or you could just visit GearChase.com, because we’ve pretty much done all that for you. So sit down relax and checkout the best bargains around from the comfort of your home, or on your mobile device from wherever you are.