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How to choose the best travel backpack

Credit Card Fraud For Dummies. Green Eyes. Friendly Skies. Ultimately, your chosen luggage will be the place where you keep all of your belongings. Your entire life! And you have to be comfortable with it. Why choose to travel with a backpack?

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Have you ever thought about how can a great quality backpack make your travel dreams easier? Traveling with a suitcase with wheels can be Imagine yourself going into the airport with that expensive piece of luggage, almost an extension of your arm. But have you thought about how comfortable it would be to have a suitcase with wheels on the streets of Rome? How about on the dirt roads of Myanmar?

And this is not even to mention how much you will suffer when your suitcase's wheels brake, and you will need to carry all of its weight on your arms. Think about a good, quality backpack. Something comfortable. Something with enough pockets, not too small, not too big.

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Consider how things will become easier because of it. A backpack can fit in many more places than a suitcase can. You can even take it with you on the plane, as a carry-on, and not have to wait half an hour at those annoying carousal belts at the airport. Imagine how much money you will save. And your luggage will never get lost! Using a backpack will give you one of the most important things when traveling.


You will feel more agile as you won't need to drag around your luggage with wheels. You can choose to travel to Sapa, in the mountains of Vietnam, and not worry about how to carry your things. If you travel with a backpack, you can always drink that morning takeaway coffee you love. How would you do it otherwise, if you have have one hand carrying your suitcase and one hand using Google maps? Okay, let's say my words so far have convinced you and now you want to take a backpack with you.

So it's time for a new question. Or, how do you pick the best travel backpack? In order to answer this question, you have to think carefully about what kind of trip you are going to do. For example, for the last year I have been traveling with a 38 liter Kathmandu carry-on backpack I bought in New Zealand. I love it so much. But, for the last year, I've lived always in summer climates yes, I chase the sun. You should too, best thing ever.

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Since I am always in cities with good weather, I don't have to carry heavy stuff. Only a few jackets, a few jeans or trousers and one big warm jacket I always take with me on the plane. There were a few more reasons why I picked this backpack. One of them was that me and my girlfriend were traveling on a budget. We had planned a big trip around Asia and Europe, with stops along the way to volunteer in different countries with Worldpackers. This meant we needed to save all the money we could. Having a carry-on backpack saves huge amounts of money in luggage fees. Not only can we take any low cost flight we want, but we don't have to worry about adding an extra piece of luggage and paying a silly amount of money.

Furthermore, apart from money, we are winning time. And that's THE most important thing about only traveling with a carry-on backpack. We can go to the airport only one hour before our plane leaves; no need to go to the counter two or three hours before. We check in online, go through security check and that's it, straight to our gate.

We don't have to wait for our luggage at the carousal belt, after landing. We go straight from the plane to the bus or metro. I personally will always be in favor of having a carry-on backpack that fits comfortably in the overhead compartment , but, of course, my way of traveling is not the only one. You have to be honest with yourself and choose your backpack carefully according to your trip's purpose.

For instance, if you are planning a trip to Andorra in the winter season, you may have to think about buying a bigger backpack, maybe 58 or 65 liters.

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Maybe even If you are going to travel for one year through Southeast Asia as a photographer, then you will need a big backpack where you can put your clothes, as well as a carry-on where you can put your camera equipment. Of course, you do not always know your itinerary. You may plan only the first two months of you trip, and then see what happens.

In those cases, just take the basics. If you need something else, you can buy it on the road. But always leave a few liters free in your backpack , just in case. How to choose the absolute best travel backpack: a step-by-step guide. There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the right backpack for you. Don't buy something only for the brand and don't buy a backpack in a hurry. Take your time. Each of these factors is important and not considering all of them can affect your journey in a negative way.

As I said before, I will always recommend to travel with a backpack of, at the most, 38 liters. But, as I said before too, every trip is different and your backpack has to fit the purpose of your trip. If you are traveling to Europe in June, for two moths, why taking a 70 liter backpack? Try to have more discipline and fit all your belongings in a 40 liter backpack.

You will save money and time. And your back won't hurt that much. If you are taking a gap year and planning to go to Nepal to hike around the Himalayas, then ski in the French Alps and also stop through Australia for a nap on the beach, then you may consider having a bigger backpack, between 58 and 70 liters. You will need to carry a variety of clothes and accessory items that probably won't fit in a smaller backpack.

There is no one single truth when it comes to the right size of the ideal travel backpack. Every size has it pros and cons. Just be honest with yourself and think ahead about the full picture of your travel plans and goals. Knowing how many straps your backpack has and where are they located is a key factor. Hips straps are a MUST in any backpack you consider choosing. Putting all the weight on your back is a fatal mistake and will damage your body in ways you cannot imagine. The weight of your backpack should be distributed equally onto your body.

Having a hip-strap helps facilitate the upper part of your body to carry your backpack in a more "clever" and functional way. Having a backpack that is supportive for your body will positively impact your journey in so many ways. Shirts, jeans and flip flops are not the only things you will take with you. What about your passport? Or your wallet? Or your laptop? You won't want to stash these things between your clothes or all in a single giant pocket.

It's not practical.

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  • You need a backpack with enough pockets to carry all the things you need, and make them easily accessible to you. Enough pockets, not thousands of them. Having too many pockets with no use is not good either.

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    Imagine you are going through passport control and you have to look through all of your clothes to find the passport you hid somewhere. Or imagine that you have to pay for a coffee and you can't find your wallet, as its tucked somewhere between your shirts. Travel backpacks with practical, functional pockets are the way to go.

    For example, having a pocket in your backpack's hip-strap is really convenient for storing your cellphone or passport. Having a secret pocket is really important when it comes hiding your money or important papers. Having a "cushioned" pocket where you can put your laptop is a must if you don't want to damage it. Even if your airline company lets you take 30 kg in your backpack, don't put too much weight in it. Your body will be the one carrying all of that weight!

    And while you may deal with it well for the first day, or the first week, there will undoubtedly be a point where your body will say "ENOUGH! There seems to be an unspoken rule that says, "if there is free space in your backpack, fill it. It doesn't matter if you travel with free space in your backpack. The free space is a good thing! You may need to fill it later.

    The kilos you are not putting into your backpack will make your life easier someday in the future, when you need to buy some special gear for a location, or lose a bus and have to walk five km to reach your hostel. What material do you want your travel backpack to be made of?

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    This is an important factor to consider as well. Polyester, leather, canvas, nylon. Which material is best-suited to the purpose of your trip? Will you be in really hot countries? Will you travel to Asia during the rainy season?