How To Pick The Best Travel Backpack For Your Next Adventure

Embarking on a crazily fun adventure and wondering what the best backpack for travel is? The truth is, picking the right and best travel backpack for your trip isn’t as easy as picking your next meal at Burger King or McDonald’s. From cute backpacks to military backpacks, there are countless of cool and multi-functional travel bags available on the market day. And, with so many options available, it will be pretty hard for you to pick the travel bag for your next trip. And, guess what? We feel your pain.

Years ago, I bought a small backpack, thinking it would be enough for my long backpacking adventure across Asia. And boy, was I naïve. With zero experience in traveling and shopping travel backpacks, I surely made the wrong choice. And, don’t me wrong. the backpacks I bought are highly durable and fashionable. But, it was just too small for a backpacking trip across a vast and diverse continent. Not to mention, it wasn’t exactly ideal for adventurous activities, like exploring jungles, deserts and mountains. On the bright side, I’ve learned a ton of valuable lessons from these not-so fortunate experiences. With the hints and tips shared by other backpackers, I, soon, learned how to pick the best backpack for travel. As a matter of fact, some find picking the best travel backpack a science or an art. And, of course, I’m more than willing to share my tips to you.

Here are some of the things you should take note, when looking for the best travel backpack:

Why travel with a backpack instead of the traditional standard roller baggage

Still undecided on whether to buy a travel backpack or a roller suitcase? Both travel backpacks and roller luggage make great options. But, there are a few upsides to using a backpack, instead of a roller suitcase, when traveling. For one, you can breeze through terminals and airports. And, as long as your travel backpack has a carry-on size, you’ll definitely never ever lose your baggage.

Here are the other reasons why you should invest in a travel backpack:

• Hands free. You are not dragging constantly something behind you, and both of your hands are literally free. No matter what type of terrain you are walking on, you will never have to deal with the unsteady and loud wheels behind you from the typical travel baggage. While roller travel bag works like a charm on smooth hotel and airport floors, they can be troublesome on sandy beaches and winding cobblestone roads. With a travel backpack, you can traverse or walk on any type of terrain. And, you can, with ease, use your hands to find your hotel via Google Maps or Waze.

• Travel backpacks are lighter and more versatile. Arrived more than a couple of hours earlier than your hostel or hotel check in? Not a problem! All you have to do is take your travel backpack with you, wherever you may go. There’s no need to stop, and drop off your baggage. It’s definitely more versatile and lighter than most suitcases and roller bags.

• They look eye-catching. Most of today’s travel backpacks look stylish and chic in an urban city while having the flexibility and features needed for a hiking trip.

• It provides flexibility. A backpack will take up less room in public transit or on the airplane. Generally, you’ll feel more agile, as compared to dragging around your roller travel bag. To make things even better, you won’t look like an out-of-place and naïve tourist with a travel backpack. On top of it all, you can instantly and easily catch that bus or train that’s about to leave without side-running awkwardly with a roller travel bag.

Things to consider when looking for the best travel backpack

What kind of trip are you taking? Are you going on a multi-day hike to Machu Picchu? Taking a weekend trip to Cancun? Before you buy a travel backpack, always consider the type of trip you’re taking. In addition, consider the activities you’re going to experience on your adventure. Once you’ve done that, you can figure out the ideal features and size of your travel backpack.

• Capacity and size. Travel backpack sizes are, for the most part, quoted and categorized in liters of volume that they can handle and hold. In general, 15 to 30 L(liters) is deemed as a daypack, while 30 to 40L is big and spacious enough for carry-on luggage or a weekend trip. Bags with a 50 to 65L capacity, meanwhile, are ideal for those who need extra gear or clothing. Additionally, there are 70 to 80L backpacks that are designed for hikers who are bound for multi-day treks.

• Carry-on airline friendly. Airline companies, nowadays, are getting a whole stricter and tighter, when it comes to the weight and size of your carry-on luggage. My advice is to try not to carry a travel backpack that’s larger than 45L. Furthermore, do a little research on the luggage restrictions of the airlines you’re going to fly with.

• Warranty. Always look for a travel backpack with a decent warranty. Not only is it an attractive extra, but it’s also a sign of long-lasting and quality gear. Heck, there are some travel backpacks that come with a 30-year or lifetime warranty. While it may cost you a little extra, it, at least, ensures that you have a high-quality and supremely durable travel backpack.

• Fit. Travel backpacks come in an array of sizes. Others are one-size-fits-all or unisex, while some are available in small, medium and large sizes. There are also backpacks for men and bags specifically designed for women. And, since everyone’s body type and needs are different. It’s best to check out dimensions of the travel backpack firsthand. If possible, test them out, so you can determine what the most comfortable travel backpack is for you.

• Pockets and compartments. Flip-flops, jeans, shirts and underwear aren’t the only things you’ll take on your trip? What about wallet, gadgets or laptop? Trust me, you don’t want to stash your stuff between your clothes or everything in one big pocket. As far as I’m concerned, it’s certainly not practical. When traveling, you need a travel backpack with enough compartments and pockets to carry everything you need. That way, you’ll make your things easily accessible. And, by the way, you don’t need a hundred pockets. Having too many compartments and pockets with no specific use isn’t good either. Imagine yourself going through the immigration area and you have to look through all of your things and clothes to find your passport that you’ve hidden somewhere. Seems like a recipe for disaster, right? So, look for a travel backpack with functional and practical pockets. For instance, having a pocket in your bag’s hip-strap is so convenient for storing your passport or mobile phone. Likewise, having a secret compartment is essential, when it comes to hiding your important travel documents and money. For laptop users, look for a travel backpack with a cushioned pocket where you can store your laptop. Alternatively, opt for a travel backpack with features specifically dedicated to carry your laptop.

• Travel backpack material. Nylon, canvas, polyester or leather? Which material do you think is best suited for your trip’s purpose? Will you be traveling on dusty and sandy roads? Are you headed to Southeast Asia during its rainy season? Will you be exploring extremely hot countries? Always consider each factor of your adventure before you make a choice, when it comes to the material of your travel backpack. Knowing the goals and purpose of your trip will, by far, determine the functionality and success of your travel backpack.

• Shoulder straps. For a comfortable trip, look for a travel backpack with padded shoulder straps. Since the weight of your backpack will be constantly digging on to your shoulders, it will be quite uncomfortable to explore a city or destination without padded shoulder straps. On the other hand, having padded straps mean less pressure on your shoulders. Moreover, it will help take the pressure off your lower back area. In any case, I highly recommend that you pack and travel light.

• Consider carefully the color of your travel backpack. Backpacks, usually, come in black. Still, you will find plenty of both beautiful and ugly travel backpack colors. Truthfully, even an overly bright rucksack will work for you if it fits perfectly your style. As you choose a bag color, do yourself a favor and focus on how it matches your personal dressing style. Travel backpacks may occupy around 20 to 50 percent of the visual space that you body fills, depending your height and size.

Common features of the best travel backpacks

Reading all the cool features of a travel backpack is great and recommended. That is if you know what they are for. With these nuggets of information, you’ll figure out how you can use and maximize these features.

• Water resistant materials. Water resistance is truly one of the most important features of a travel backpack. After all, you don’t want your stuff to get soaked on a boat trip or a sudden downpour. Have you ever tried drying your wet shoes or clothes in ultra humid or freezing cold weather conditions? Not fun! That’s why you should look for a travel backpack with water resistant materials.

• Shoulder harness. Adjustable padded shoulder straps are the key to a comfortable travel bag. Make sure that it falls on your shoulders evenly and it’s cushioned.

• Air space ventilation. Proper ventilation provides your travel backpack some room to breathe as well as prevents added sweat on your bag since it keeps directly away from your own skin. Based on our experiences, this feature is helpful when you’re carrying your backpack for a long time.

• Sleeping bag compartment (for larger travel or hiking backpacks). It’s a built-in space inside your travel backpack that fits a sleeping bag. And, even if you don’t plan to plan on bringing a sleeping bag, you can use this space to organize other items like shoes, clothing and other travel essentials.

• Sleeping pad straps (for larger travel bags). You can use these straps to carry a tent or sleeping map. Likewise, you can use it to carry odd-sized or large items, like a yoga mat.

• Hipbelt. Hipbelts are designed to distribute the weight of your travel backpack. With a hipbelt, the weight your travel backpack will fall on your hips and not just on your back. When trying it on, don’t forget to align it with your hips.

• Compression straps. Compression straps are pretty amazing, especially since they help compress your gear. And, they can be also used to hold your jacket, a wet towel or anything you want to temporarily attach to the outside of your travel bag for easy access.

• Anti-theft bag. Made of durable nylon with a polyester lining, this travel backpack is pretty strong and lightweight. What’s more, it has a stainless steel wire mesh inside its fabric, acting as an anti-theft barrier.

• Drawstrings and bungee ties. These superb features let you attach items temporarily or permanently that you can’t store inside your travel backpack. Of course, you may use to carry things that you don’t want inside your travel backpack, such as a plastic bag with wet clothes, a sleeping bag or dirty sneakers.

Are travel backpacks worth their steep prices?

I admit. Travel backpacks can be quite expensive. Whether you’re looking for a military backpack or a chic bag, you’ll soon find out that most travel bags cost hundreds of dollars. But, this is not the typical backpack you once used in school. Also, keep in mind that your travel backpack will function as a “home” to all your things for the whole duration of your trip. And, you definitely need a home that will last for a long time.

Travelers, especially hardcore backpackers, tend to abuser their gear, and a travel backpack is no exception. Your travel bag will also receive some beating from the transportation luggage handlers. Plus, it will be place on the dirtiest and roughest of surfaces. Take it from me. You don’t want a cheap travel bag that suddenly rips and even falls apart in the midst of your trip. You receive what you pay for. And in this case, you need a travel backpack that will handle the test of travel.

Luckily for you, though, you can score amazing bargains for travel backpacks on our online store. From military backpacks to duffle bags, we’ve got a plethora of bargained deals for an assortment of travel bags.

Before you explore some majestic destinations with your travel backpack, start planning your trip with Trekeffect!

Share Your Travel Experiences With Us

We want to hear from you! What are your thoughts on the article? What did you find most interesting and do you have any of your own experiences you can you share with us to make this article even better? Let us know in the comments!

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