Backpack Sizing – What You Need to Know

Backpack SizingHow to Size a Backpack – Backpack Sizing

Do you know where to begin when it comes to backpack sizing? An important step to getting the most fun from your outdoor adventures is selecting the right backpack. In order to choose the right backpack, you should consider three things:

  • Length of trip (overnight, a week, longer?).
  • Weight of gear to be carried.
  • Your torso size (hips to shoulders).

When it comes to backpack sizing, most modern backpacks rate the amount of space available for carrying “stuff” in liters these days. The more liters a pack will hold the more “stuff” it will hold. The amount of capacity your pack needs to have often depends on how long you will be out, as well as what specific items you will be taking. Some people are happy to head out for an overnight trip, taking nothing but the essentials. Other folks, on the same overnight trip, might want to take everything they can plus the kitchen sink! Choose a backpack that meets your personal capacity needs.

As a general rule with respect to backpack sizing, the following can be used to estimate needed capacity:

  • 1-2 day trip: 20-50 liters
  • 2-5 day trip: 60-80 liters
  • 5 or more days: 80+ liters

Backpack SizingTorso Size:

It cannot be stated enough that getting the right size for your torso is crucial if you want the best service from your pack. The amount of weight you will be carrying (much or little) will mean nothing if the pack does not fit you properly. Any load will become a burden after a short time. Make sure your pack:

  • Is the right size for your TORSO, not your overall body height
  • Has a snug, but comfortable, fit around your hips

Torso Measurements:

Measure from the level of your spine (at the top of your shoulders/collar bones) down to the top of your hips (the highest part of the hip bone). This should be recorded in inches. Manufacturers usually size backpacks as follows:

  • Size: Extra Small—Torso 15.5 inches
  • Size: Small-Torso 16 to 17½ inches
  • Size: Medium or Regular—Torso 18 to 19½ inches
  • Size: Large or Tall—Torso 20+ inches

Waist Size:

Many modern backpacks offer buyers interchangeable hip-belts. Understand that about 80 percent of the pack’s weight is supported by the hips, so getting the right hip-belt is important. Measure your hips around the high (top) part of your hips and waist.

Backpack SizingSome Important Notes about Backpack Sizing:

If you plan on being out during cold months or at higher altitudes, consider buying a larger pack as you will almost certainly have to carry additional supplies and gear.

Keep in mind that packing “light” is a skill and requires experience. Many people will buy a small pack thinking they can pack light when, in reality, they find they cannot do this. It is better to have more pack and not need it than to find yourself without enough pack.

Check the pack you are interested in buying for pockets and hydration systems (if you want easy access to fluids). Many packs have a hydration pack built into them. Click here to see our selection of hydration compatible backpacks. It is best to check these pack assets now as not all packs come with pockets or hydration systems. Check now to avoid disappointment later.

Winter Socks


Winter Socks

When hard, bitter winter sets in, even the most seemingly insignificant items become crucial. Such is the case with winter socks. It has been said that once your feet get cold it is all but impossible to warm the rest of your body, no matter what you do. People already experienced with outdoor life will know how to buy the best winter socks; those who may be new to winter adventures may not. This article is written for them.

Types of Socks to Use with Your Boots

Winter Socks

The type of sock that you wear outdoors in cold weather is every bit as important as the kind of boot or shoe you wear. In fact, if you wear the wrong type of sock in extreme weather, it will not matter much what kind of boots you are wearing. Your feet will get cold (possibly wet) and therein lays the dangers of frostbite or other cold weather injuries.

Don’t Wear Cotton Socks in the Winter

Most of us have many pairs of cotton socks. These may be fine for everyday wear around the house and such, but they are horrible for cold weather protection. The reason that cotton socks are a poor option for winter is because the material offers virtually no insulation protection at all, and they are known to hold moisture. Keep in mind that as soon as a cotton sock gets wet, all of its insulating value is gone; not that it has much to begin with. Moreover, once wet, from perspiration or external water, it keeps your foot wet. The result is cold and wet feet.

Quality Winter Socks

Anyone planning to spend time outdoors during cold weather needs to invest in at least two pairs of quality winter socks. You wear one pair, and if they get wet, you put on the other pair while the first pair dries out. Armed forces across the globe have long used this technique to protect their troops, and it works.

So, what type of sock is best for winter wear?

Many people swear by the wool sock, and so do I. Wool offers exceptional insulating quality, and it dries super fast. Even your body heat can be used to dry them out. Other types of good winter socks include those made of shearling or fleece. All of these socks maintain their insulating abilities even when wet. These types of winter socks are thicker which allows them to absorb more moisture than any cotton sock.

You can find a wide variety of high-quality winter socks either online or at most sporting good’s stores. They may cost a few bucks more than cotton socks, but the investment is worth it. It only takes a short amount of time before frostbite sets in on those who are not prepared for it. If you live in a snow-prone area, throw a pair in your vehicle just in case you get stranded and have to hike for help.

Click here to check out our selection of winter socks.

Open Carry Laws and Drop Leg Holsters

Rothco Deluxe Adjustable Drop Leg HolsterDid you know that many states allow for open carry of a hand gun?  In fact there are only seven states that outright prohibit open carry of a side arm.  The laws in the United States regarding open carry of handguns vary by state. The following is the full list of open carry states and the conditions attached.

Often, customers ask us why would a civilian even need to open carry using a drop leg holster?  We explore several practical situations on our product page for the Rothco Deluxe Adjustable Drop Leg Holster.  This is a very versatile adjustable holster that is made of heavyweight 600 denier polyester. Click here for more information.

States that permit open carry without requiring the citizen to apply for any permit or license:

  • Alaska
  • Montana
  • Idaho
  • Wyoming
  • Nevada
  • Arizona
  • New Mexico
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Kentucky
  • Virginia
States that permit open carry with restrictions:

  • Utah
  • North Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • Iowa
  • Tennessee
  • Mississippi
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • Rhode Island
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
States that prohibit open carry:

  • Texas
  • Oklahoma
  • Washington D.C.
  • Arkansas
  • Illinois
  • South Carolina
  • New York
  • Florida.

One of the questions that comes up is the practicality of open carry. Are there some legitimate situations that being able to open carry would be beneficial? We believe there are many situations where a drop leg holster is the best choice when open carrying.  Click here for more educational information on drop leg holsters.



Summer Style Guide

After an unusually long and very cold winter, bikini season is finally upon us! The time of the year that everyone anxiously awaits came later than normal this year, but nonetheless it’s time to hit the web in search of some new duds to don in the warmer weather. Before you hit the gym to shed those pesky winter pounds you packed on while huddled inside, its prime time to hit the web in search of some gear to wear with your newly sculpted beach body. Whether you’re in search of some new shorts, a bathing suit, or a graphic tee, Patriot Surplus has the styles you’re looking for to stand out from the crowd.

With some great deals being offered throughout the summer, be sure to check out some of the gear that Patriot Surplus has to offer:

Shorts Spring Fling: From now until Father’s day we’re running a great promotion to get you into some new pairs of shorts at a great price, and were even offering a FREE pair to anyone who purchases five or more. When shopping, there are generally several items that interest you, but you must choose only one or two to purchase in order to avoid breaking the bank. At Patriot Surplus, it doesn’t matter whether you want woodland camo, city camo, or just a pair of traditional khaki shorts, you can have them all and get a free pair while you’re at it. Go to the “military apparel” section on the website and select “military shorts” to pick out your new shorts today!

Swim Trunks: Having several pairs of stylish shorts is great, but what if you want to get a little wet to cool down during the hottest days of summer? That’s not a problem at Patriot Surplus, because we have the swim trunks that match your style. Check out the woodland camo swim trunks for a stylish option to wear while relaxing on the beach or sitting by the pool. For an affordable price, the style can’t be beat!

Graphic Tee’s: Show off your pride for this great country we live in while also showing off your sense of style. Check out one of our vintage options to show off an old school style with new school flair. If the retro look isn’t for you, we also have affordable pricing on a number of modern graphic tees for every branch of the service. No matter what your own personal style is, we have the shirt to match it here at Patriot Surplus.

With so many options to choose from, it may be hard to choose just a few items, so remember that orders over $99 always ship free. Deals like this don’t last forever, so log on and get shopping Patriots!

Voodoo Tactical: Save on this Must-Have Tactical Gear


Voodoo Tactical Gear

Voodoo Tactical Gear

Voodoo Tactical is quickly becoming our patriots’ top choice when shopping for the best, high quality tactical gear. From armor & plate carriers to assault packs and accessories, Voodoo Tactical has the gear you need that you can value and depend upon.

Voodoo Tactical is a brand of MOLLE compatible tactical gear that has been around for only a few years. Their Armor Carriers, Plate Carriers, and Chest Rigs are designed with an outstanding feel and fit. The multiple rows of webbing enable you to customize your load. If you have a long mission ahead of you, Voodoo Assault Packs are the perfection solution with its padded shoulder straps, spacious holding capacity, and hydration compatibility .

Voodoo Tactical also carries a quality line of Holsters to securely hold your handgun in place. They are adjustable to fit any body size and are available for both left and right hand users. Similarly, if you carry a rifle or shotgun, fully padded Scabbards offer maximum weapon protection.  Be sure to check out the Configurable Range & Equipment Bags that enable you to store any type of gear needed for your mission.

Voodoo Tactical continues to offer plenty of shooters gear and accessories as well, including flashlights, rifle slings, knee pads and bean bags. Don’t forget about your necessary Medical Gear, where Voodoo Tactical carries the full kits, bandages and pouches you need.

Patriot Surplus always strives to bring you the best by offering the top tactical gear and supplies on the market. We carry a large selection of Voodoo Tactical gear to suit all of your needs. Did we mention Voodoo Tactical is compatible with all major tactical brands? That’s right, patriots. Shopping for tactical gear just got a whole lot better.

Halloween 2012 Costume Ideas from Patriot Surplus

If you’ve been putting off finding a Halloween costume until now, no worries – we’ve got you covered. Patriot Surplus can be your source for Halloween costume must-haves, especially if you’re going with military standby costume ideas.

This year, we’ve been thinking about what sorts of Halloween 2012 costumes you can put together with some of our law enforcement  hunting, and tactical gear. So far, here’s what we’ve come up with:

Indiana Jones: Put Harrison Ford to shame and remind the world of why archaeology is so friggin’ awesome by going as Indiana Jones to your next Halloween party. To make this costume, you’ll need a brown leather fighter jacket, a long-sleeved khaki tactical shirt, tan pants, brown boots, a fedora, a whip, brown belt, and satchel. Let your scruff grow in a bit and you’re ready to storm the Temple of Doom. Or the snack table. Your choice.

Rosie the Riveter: You can do it! This homemade costume is a favorite among lady patriots. To create the look, you’ll need a blue denim collared button down with the sleeves rolled up past the elbow, red lipstick, victory roll hairstyle, and a red bandana.

Plastic Army Man: If you love Toy Story or miss the nostalgia of those little green guys dotting your game board or toy chest, then you’ll definitely love this Halloween costume idea. To go as a green Army figurine, start out by grabbing plenty of green body paint for your face and hands. Next, suit up in olive green BDUs, including a green army coat, green army pants, and green army belt. Green boots, too. Finally, grab a can of green spray paint and spray paint a toy machine gun or walkie talkie to carry with you. For the plastic standee bottom, cut out pieces of cardboard, spray paint them green, and attach them to the bottom of your boots. Top it off with a green G.I. helmet.

Swamp Witch: If you’ve seen the movie Legend, then you’ll get where this is coming from. The swamp witch is a cool idea if you have a ghillie suit laying around that you want to put to good use. Start out by putting on your ghillie suit and other camo gear. Then, add a witch mask to freak out your friends, or if you have the time and talent, a prosthetic nose, ears, and some nasty teeth. Colored contacts optional. Stringy hair, whether natural or a wig, will top things off. Add claws and a staff or wand and you’re ready to scare the bejeezus out of any trick or treater that darkens your doorstep.

Officer _____: There are plenty of pop culture police officers who make us laugh (like Bill Hader and Seth Rogan’s characters in Superbad) . Think of a movie or TV show with famous cop characters that either kick ass or make us bust a gut and dress up with our light blue long-sleeve police uniform shirt, blue police uniform pants, aviator sunglasses, tactical belt, and badge. Add cuffs and flashlight for playing manhunt – or giving your buddy a whack when he tries to steal the candy from the kids. The key to pulling off your character will be all about the hair and the personality. (P.S. – is Reno 911 more your style? Then switch it up with a khaki police uniform shirt and brown pants – or short shorts).

Got more great ideas? Share them with us in the comments!

Mission Kidpossible. Hersheypark and the Propper Ice Polo!

I will not tell a lie. I am not fond of amusement parks. I love rollercoasters, all the wicked cool rides and stuffing junk food into my mouth when the opportunity arises. However, I do not enjoy hords of hot sweaty people pushing and shoving their way past me to be first in line at the new roller coaster. So, yesterday when my wife informed me that we would be taking the two younger children to Hersheypark to make use of their season passes, I immediately went into mission mode. How could I best gear up for this mission and make it back alive to serve the Patriot nation’s needs?

The first thing that came to mind was how hot and muggy it has been here in central Pennsylvania lately. My mind then started wandering to all the hot sweaty bodies pushing past me, the water rides my kids would want to ride and the water misting fans that all amusement parks have these days. What apparel would best fit the mission? Two items we carry came to mind. The Propper Ice Polo shirt and the Rothco Khaki Vintage Paratrooper Cargo Shorts. Two of my go to items for both comfort and style.

Rothco Khaki Vintage Paratrooper Shorts

Vintage Paratrooper Shorts.

When your mission is to survive the battle of the coasters, two things are essential to me, comfort and functionality. These two items meet the need on both levels. First, I will address the Propper Ice Polo tactical shirt. When I first tested these out, I was a bit skeptical. I mean, come on every tactical gear manufacturer out there is pushing their polo as the best thing since sliced bread. My Propper sales rep is always rocking his, but I thought it was probably because he gets them for free! However, when I tried mine on, I was instantly hooked. Not only are they lightweight, but they feel great. The material is an advanced wicking fabric that dries much faster than cotton. According to Propper, it dries 125% faster. I’m not sure how they came up with that number, but hey, what do I know! I own several of these shirts and they have been washed many times. They have not faded or shrunk at all. The one thing I really like is how wrinkle resistant they are. My wife takes them from the drier and hangs them up in my closet. They do not require any ironong at all. I highly recommend these shirts when you are battling the park in hot muggy weather!

The vintage paratrooper cargo shorts from Rothco have been my go to shorts for years. Not only are they super comfortable, but for a gear head like me, the six storage pockets are perfect for storing all the little goodies kids require on a trip to Hersheypark. I can easily stow my wallet, keys, water bottles for the kids and even my wifes wallet. She hates carrying anything in the park so I get to be the pack mule! The button down pocket closures also keeps everything in your pockets when you are challenging gravity on Skyrush, Hersheypark’s latest and greatest death defying rollercoaster. The shorts are also super soft and durable since they are made from a cotton twill blend. The other thing that is nice is the zipper fly. A lot of BDU shorts tend to have a button fly and can be a pain when you have twenty dads lined up at the head (urinal for all you civilians out there). Not only will you feel great in these, they will last because of their durability.

So, I survived my mission and am back on base here at Patriot Surplus. The next time you are leaving the safety of the wire and heading into the trenches of the amusement park, don some Rothco shorts and an Ice Polo from Propper. Not only will you be cool, functional and dry. That punk kid rocking Chuck Taylors will think twice about butting in line because of how badass you will look! Rock on Patriots and head out to the amusement park trenches.

Propper Ice Polo

Don’t trade style for performance. Get both with our Ice Polo Shirts.