Are you making meticulous plans for a proper ‘travel’? You know the type; it spans several countries or even continents, its mantra is ‘no shoes and no news’,  it involves swapping stories and beers with people from all walks of life…oh yes, we love that type of trip too.

If you know what we’re talking about, then you’ll also know that a sturdy backpack that walks through thick and thin with you will be your greatest companion on your adventure. But how to choose the best one? This certainly isn’t a decision to be taken lightly.

With so many options to choose from, and with the weight of the world (well, your world) set to be on your shoulders, it’s important to make this purchase count. Here’s how; our IDEAL guide to choosing the best travel backpack.

SIZE MATTERS

You might have seen those travellers lumbering under bags bigger than themselves. Should they topple, they’d likely be stuck, horizontal and stationary, like a turtle. Size matters, sure, but you don’t want to be carrying your whole life around with you. Kinda impacts on that whole carefree, spontaneous vibe, don’t you think? 

Huge bags are bound to put a strain on your back and could lead to injury, as well as contributing to a nervous weievery timerytime you board a flight.

Instead, show a little restraint with your bag’s size. By following some of the standard measurements out there, you’ll find the right size for you. 

Generally speaking, backpacks come in a range from 25L to 65L. If you’re planning a more compact trip, then ideally choose a 25L backpack; the perfect size for adapters, headphones, jackets, and a good run of outfits. Backpacks between around 35L and 45L are better suited to longer holidays, and a 65L is ideal for a proper, fully fledged adventure. Of course, you’ll want to try the bag out for size before purchase…

FEEL THE BURDEN

When testing a bag out for comfort on the shop floor, an unfair impression is likely; it’ll be empty and the full capabilities of the straps won’t be shown. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with this bag, through thick, thin and all things in between, so you need to make sure it’s properly comfy and secure on your back. It’s a fair investment too, and as such should be tried out in person, in a shop. In general, pick backpacks with thick shoulder straps and waist belts, according to ergonomists.

Ask the assistants to fill it up with whatever debris or surplus items they can find so you can assess the full weight of it before buying. To make it as comfortable and secure as possible, always remember to wear it on both shoulders (none of that single slung, looking effortless stuff please) and have it hoisted high up the back; straps should be adjustable on anything half decent. Also, if your bag comes with a chest or waist strap – or even better, both – then that’ll ease the burden on your shoulders considerably.

LOOK FOR A BACKPACK WITH AN ADJUSTABLE BACK SYSTEM

Now, let’s hone in on the details. Bags with adjustable straps tend to make your movements easy without leading to discomfort or cramp on your shoulders. Ideal for graceful movements through crowds, we think, and great for withstanding the pressure of a journey accumulating both ever more memories and physical stuff.

Adjustable backpacks are available in a range of different styles and materials, usually deploying either a velcro strap belt or a comfortable grab tab belt which you can pullover whenever you want. The latter fits the contours of the body well, and the mechanism is designed in such a way that you cannot feel the pressure of bags. The dimensional straps help in balancing the overall weight of the backpacks and also maintaining your spine’s posture. 

Check out the range of strap adjustable backpacks on offer at Backpacks Global for a good idea of the range on offer.

PICK UP THE RIGHT BACKPACK TYPE

As we all know, with every travelling type and as quick as the terrain changes, so does the needs of your backpack. Can you imagine carrying a backpack with wheels on a hike? Hell no! Or, using a tote as your only bag on a three month excursion across Southeast Asia? It just feels wrong. Picking the most specific backpack to suit your needs, then, is a smart move:

  • Female-specific backpack:

For female travellers, there are specially designed backpacks which are designed to lessen the burden on the chest area. These bags are available in more shaped and contoured straps with fully adjustable straps on the front side as well as along the waist.

For shorter travellers, backpacks with a short back system are also available, which help avoid the person feeling overloaded. 

  • Backpacks with wheels:

Backpacks which also come with a towing handle are well suited to those who might suffer from mobility issues or are prone to exhaustion. Such a design allows the bag to glide behind you as you walk. Such flexibility can go a long way when you’re on the move regularly.

  • Rucksack:

Rucksacks are particularly useful for hikers who need to have a comfortable and sturdy bag to endure some rugged terrain and a little rough and tumble. Since these bags come with multiple zip pockets, velcro strap pockets, and some top-loaded mini pockets to hold on to the necessary gear, they’re ideal for adventures into the wilderness.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Though your destination and travelling partners are, of course, the key components of your trip, and the ones most likely to make or break your adventure, it would be foolish to be caught out on something like your backpack. Choose it wisely, and it’ll be a proverbial load off your mind.