What Is the Hook Inside a Backpack For


With the growing interest in camping, hiking, and backpacking, there’s a growing amount of information on backpacks in the online space. This is OK since they are the necessary part of every backpacker’s equipment.

We assume you have been bombarded with different opinions about backpacks. Like, what makes a great backpack and what needs to be improved. You have probably figured out what we call all the different parts of a backpack and what are they used for. On the other hand, you may need additional details on some of them and what you can do with them. Like hooks. What is the Hook Inside a Backpack For?

There is a considerable gap in online resources relating to the purpose of hooks inside a backpack. Nevertheless, backpackers, campers, and trekkers use them to hang keys or anything they need to access easily. It means they are not incorporated in your backpack for no reason.

If you want to get informed about hooks inside your backpack, read this guide. We present what we believe is their main use, along with the anatomy of a backpack. This article will help you understand the incredible versatility of the camper’s “bare necessities.”

Table of Contents

Backpacks Explained

We can all agree that camping is a truly personal experience. For every camper and outdoor adventurer, it means bringing to it their own preferences, aspirations, goals, and needs. It also means different sets of items depending on one’s own strengths and weaknesses.

You may want to bring along your book, while your companion opts for a board game or camera. However, your equipment is pretty much the same and includes typical camper’s gear. More importantly, it all fits – more or less – in your backpack. While the content of your backpack is a topic for another article, this time we’re covering the anatomy of a backpack.

Knowing the anatomy of the backpack is important. It helps you pick a backpack in line with your needs. Many backpackers, campers, and outdoor adventurers alike buy backpacks without considering their key parameters. It’s only during/after a camping trip they realize what types of improvement their backpack actually needs.

In this article, we’re putting down the key parts of a backpack along with their uses. So, if you’re thinking about finally buying a backpack or replacing the old one, look out for these parts.

Key Parts of a Backpack

  • The compartments
  • Straps
  • Add-ons
  • The hardware

The Compartments

You can typically see a few types of backpack openings, including the common zipped opening, clamshell openings, lids, splayed openings, drawstrings, and roll-tops.

  • Zipped openings. Newer models have zippers that open down the middle of the front face. This makes it easier to open up the bottom and access contents in that part of the backpack.
  • Clamshell backpacks. These backpacks have three sides that can be up-zipped, which leaves one side to act as a hinge. Its panel can lay flat, which is why it is also referred to as suit-case style openings. They’re common for travel bags and larger-capacity backpacks.
  • Lids. Basically, it’s a cap over drawstring openings, can be buckled down, and keep water out.
  • Splayed openings. Although they may not open all the way, these openings are quite similar to clamshell/ openings. Typical for techy backpacks, they allow you to open a hard-shelled backpack. There are also backpacks with a splayed opening you can convert to the clamshell.
  • Drawstring tops. You can tighten these openings via a string that you can clamp to hold the drawstring top closed. These are common on large trekking backpacks where you can open them real wide and fit large items like sleeping bags or tents.
  • Roll-tops. You can roll them down and hold them down using buckles or hooks on both sides. It allows you to expand the volume of the backpack upwards and effectively keep water out. For this reason, most camping dry sacks are roll-tops. Less convenient to open and close as zippers.


Most people access the contents of their backpacks through the top of the bag. This makes it easy to load the backpack if you stand the backpack upright or lay it down on its front or back. However, you’ll need to get through everything to reach anything at the bottom.

Most trekking backpacks contain access points at the bottom. This allows you to reach items at the bottom of a fully packed bag without getting through everything on the top. Very popular with campers and trekkers because of the specific methods of backing based on weight.

Some special-use backpacks come with side access zippers. These make it possible to swing the backpack to your front and quickly access the main compartment. There is also back panel access, typically designed for special uses like camera bags.


  • Tech/laptop sleeves. These are standard for all EDC bags. You need to look if they’re suspended from the bottom or if there’s a padding on the bottom.
  • Kangaroo pockets. Elastic pouches that you can see on the front face of hiking backpacks. There are usually no zippers or other hardware to secure them, but they are convenient to stow small or flat items or even jackets.
  • Hydration sleeves. You can use these to hold water bladders or pouches. Often accompanied by a port you can thread the bladder’s tube through and a clip on the shoulder strap to fasten it.


  • Stabilizers/load-lifters relieve your shoulders from the weight of the backpack.
  • Sternum straps allow you to partially break up the weight of the backpack on your shoulders. They also prevent the shoulder straps from sliding off your arms and allowing them to move freely when moving around.

You are probably familiar with the waist/hip belt, which can also help relieve your back from the weight of the backpack. It should be padded and sit directly on the top of or just above your hip bones. Small waist belts without padding stabilize the bag and keep it from swinging around without dispersing the weight.


  • Airflow channels. You know the importance of ventilating your bag regularly. And dealing with your sweaty clothes.
  • Compression straps. This is a handy feature that allows you to reduce the size of your bag when it’s not fully packed. Additionally, you can use them to attach/hold gear.
  • Daisy chains. Webbing loops are sewn in a linear series and used for attaching small items when you’re hiking.
  • Gear loops. These loops on the front face allow you to strap in gear like shovels, axes, trekking poles, or picks.
  • Haul straps. Your back backpack probably has a handle at the top between the shoulder straps. They are called haul straps (or grab handles) and come in different forms from nylon webbing to fully-padded grips. Multiple grab handles can be found on larger backpacks.
  • Luggage strap. A wide strap on the back of your bag you can use to attach it to the handle of rolling luggage.
  • Lumbar padding. Designed for the lower back to help with the weight of the pack sitting or rubbing against your body.
  • MOLLE system/PALS. You can use them to attach gear to an array of nylon webbing.
  • Pass-through. Also called hydration port and eyelet, it represents a mall hole in a backpack you can use to pass a wire, tube, or cable through the fabric of the backpack.
  • Pig snout (lash point). Do you ever wonder what’s the purpose of the square/diamond-shaped patches with two-slits in them? These lash points allow you to hook up a carabiner or tie items to the outside of your bag.
  • Rainfly. You may need a rain fly if your backpack is not water-resistant. For your convenience, some backpacks include them.
  • Water bottle holder. Very functional and popular feature. Unfortunately, most newer EDC bags don’t have it.


  • Adjusters. Used to adjust the strap length. They usually come with a tab that you can pull outward to make it easier to adjust the straps.
  • Buckles. Plastic (or metal) hardware pieces that fasten together.
  • Frame. Serves to provide structural support to your bag. They are usually internal and can be either a stiff tube or a sheet frame. External frames sit away from your torso, increase the air ventilation against your back, but are heavier.
  • Magnets. Magnets are incorporated into buckles and lid flaps and create their own magnetic field.
  • Zippers. Zippers come in different sizes (gauge size – from #3 – #10) and everyone knows what they are and what they do. They are not airtight – at least not on backpacks. However, there are airtight zippers developed by NASA and used on spacesuits

Backpacking in the mountains

So, What’s up With the Hook?

Most backpackers, use hooks to hook keys or anything they need to access easily. Accordingly, it is convenient to avoid putting the keys, earphones, a pocket knife, or memory sticks in small pockets of your backpack. Moreover, it makes it easier to find them in urgency.

They are usually not easy to use, which is why using a small carabiner with a key chain can make your life a lot easier.

If on the outside of your backpack, you can use hooks to attach a water bottle and/or other accessories. In some backpacks, there’s a bladder between the back pad and the interior of the pack. It is suspended by the hook which resembles a key clip. This leaves less chance for it to soak the contents of your bag.

Hooks (G-hooks). There are various hooks around backpacks with a variety of uses. These include compression straps, attachments like nets, or closing mechanisms. The issue with G-hooks is that their operation depends on how tightly they fit into the loops.

Many (experienced) backpackers get confused by the presence of the small clip/hook in their backpack. Most of them see it as a key clip. Whatever they’re originally intended for, you can come with your own idea and make better use of them.

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