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How to Choose the Best Travel Backpack [Complete Guide]

Are you planning a trip? If yes. Then you’re surely looking for a travel backpack. Right? You’re exactly in the right place. This article is about how to choose the best travel backpack.

There are a lot of types of backpack available in the market such as travel backpack, tool backpack, hiking backpack etc. For different activities, you need a different type of backpack.

Truly to say, There’s not a one-size-fits-all backpack that will meet everyone’s needs. It depends on what you’re doing with this backpack, where you’re going, how long your trip is and when you’re going.

One most important thing is the size and weight of the backpack. You have to choose one which properly fits your body. If you choose the wrong backpack. Then it will be your enemy instead of a best friend during your traveling time.

We’re here to help you to choose the best travel backpack. Let’s start.

Travel Backpack Buying Guide

how to choose the best travel backpack

Important Factors to Consider:

  • Size
  • Type
  • Panel access
  • Features
  • Compartments
  • Price

What Kind of Trip Are You Taking?

Choosing your backpack is highly depends on what type of trip you are taking. It will help you to identify the best backpack for your trip.

Type of Backpack

There are many types of backpacks available in the market. The type of backpacks you should select depends on your needs. Let’s think about your needs.

Do you want a large backpack for a long trip? Daypack for short trip? Carry on a backpack? backpack with wheels? travel backpack for Europe? Packable backpack? Are you confused? Then keep reading!

Perfect Size for Travel Backpack

It’s a common question, what’s the perfect size for a backpack? The answer is: There isn’t a fixed size that will fit everyone. Travel backpacks have many different shapes and sizes. The size depends on your torso. It’s very important to measure your torso length before choosing a backpack.

Maximum backpacks are between 25-85 liters. The perfect size depends on what will you carry with this bag. 22” x 14” x 9” (length + width + height) is the standard size. It is 2,772 cubic inches in volume. In liters, we can say 45.2 liters.

25 L size of backpacks is best for daypacks which is smaller bags. It’s best when you’re carrying a few things with you like the book, jacket, water bottle etc. It can be used for short weekend trips.

Backpacks of 65 liters and up are best for hiking trips. The bag works well when you are carrying a lot of items with you for multiple days. Bags which are larger than sixty-five liter are too big for travel. Try to choose a backpack not larger than 65 liters

For traveling, Thirty-five to forty-five-liter packs are ideal. We recommend 45L for travel.


Features to Look for In A Travel Backpack

travel backpack


Straps are a very important element of the travel backpack. These are the element which will touch you. Good straps will make the backpack comfortable to use. If the size of your backpack is perfect but the straps are not good, then it will be uncomfortable and painful to use. This is what you have to look:

Padded Shoulder straps: Travel backpacks are usually heavy. The weight of your pack will be digging into your shoulders. Padded straps will take some of the strain off. They will also take the pressure off your lower back. Make sure the padding of shoulder straps is thick.

Padded hip straps: Padded hip strap is essential for spreading the weight over the body.

Support Frame: There are mainly three types of frames. They are 1. Internal frame 2. External frame 3. Frameless Backpacks. Most of the backpacks have an internal support frame of some sort. Some cheaper backpack doesn’t have this frame.

The frame helps to keep your gear secure. Frameless backpacks are suitable for those who like to travel light. If you are carrying heavy loads then go for an external-frame backpack

Compartments: The ideal backpack should have multiple compartments. Just only one compartment is surely disturbing.

On the other hand, too many compartments are not good.
In my opinion, a 3-5 compartment is better. If there is a padded laptop compartment, then it will be awesome for tech lovers.

Lockable zippers

Lockable zippers are one of the most important features on a backpack. It’s best to be able to lock your backpack when you’re in an airport or public place like the bus station, Train station etc. If there are no lockable zips in your backpack, you can use a pack cover.

Water resistant

The best backpacks are made with the water-resistant material. It’s a Must. A backpack doesn’t need to be fully waterproof but the backpack should be made out of semi-waterproof material. Look for the best quality material, they are thick but lightweight. Make sure the material won’t stay wet long.

How much does a travel backpack weigh?

Generally, Larger backpacks weigh between 2-4 kg depending on the size. It’s a very important matter not to stress about when you are choosing a backpack. Take it easy.

How much should you spend?

The price of the travel backpack highly depends on the fabric, size and brand. You can get travel backpack in between $99-$300.  Don’t be greedy to buy the cheapest one. I’m not telling that you should buy the most expensive bag in the market. But you will get more features as more you spend. You have to compare the quality of the backpacks with the price.

Who Makes The Best Travel Backpack?

There are quite a few different manufacturers of travel backpack on the market. Many of them starting to collect customers suggestions to improve their backpacks overall quality. Osprey, REI, Herschel, Deuter, MEC etc are the top manufacturers of travel backpack.

But in our opinion, Osprey is the leader in the travel backpack industry. They offer incredibly sturdy backpacks with an al-mighty guarantee that proves them as a leading brand.

We’re not saying that other brands don’t produce great bags, the backpack brand names mentioned in our guide also offers awesome backpacks. But Osprey is definitely the winner among them.

If you’re a frequent traveler, you may notice that most of traveler use bags of Osprey brand.

Final Words:

Finally, Its all about comfort. You’re buying only one backpack. Choose wisely which Backpack fits your body and needs perfectly. You can check our Tumi backpack review or Herschel backpack review.

Buy one, pack it and go out for travel. Have a great trip!

You may also like to read our article on Backpack vs Rucksack.

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