You Don’t Choose a Backpack, A Backpack Chooses You


Finding the correct backpack for traveling is very difficult and one of the most important decisions you will make before setting off, as your whole life will be in the bag, therefore, it’s essential you find the right one. If the traveling bag is too big, you’ll have too much extra weight. Too small, and you’ll never fit everything in. A backpack is different than a suitcase because with a suitcase, you use it at the beginning and end of trip. The backpack will be used in an entirely different way throughout your trip.

Think of it this way, what will be with you every day for your trip around the world? What will you use as a cushion for those long journeys? What will protect your clothes when it rains? The backpack is really your best friend! There are a number of things to consider that you might not even know about! Here are some tips on choosing a travel backpack:


Analyze the size of the backpack. Size matters. As you will be moving a lot, it’s important that you can carry comfortably. A backpack of 60 litres is advised. With 60 litres, you should have enough room to fit everything you need. Don’t go bigger bag. It’s not just that it will weight more but the bag might be too big for lockers or difficult to cope with on public transport.  Jack Layden of Basecamp Adventure Store, says, “We always encourage travelers to go as light as possible for the conditions they expect. Less is more. It’s not mandatory to fill a pack to capacity!”


Hip Belts

Around 70% of the weight of the sack will sit on your hips. When trying to find your next hostel you might end up walking longer than you planned, so having a comfortable pack is key. An adjustable hip belt helps to secure the bag around the hip area for added support and load transfer.


Backpack-2Pick a bag that has multiple compartments. The simple reason is that you need to be able to access things such as water, pens or notebooks quickly so that you’re not rooting through your bag. Other compartments are also great for separating your clean and dirty clothes.

Security Features

Stay safe when traveling and make sure the backpack has padded pockets for laptops. Consider lockable zips too as it’s always smart to lock your bag when going to the airport. Make sure each compartment has two zips to padlock together.

Water Resistant

There is a good chance that you might get stuck in the rain at some stage. With that in mind, make sure to purchase a water resistant backpack so that your clothes don’t get wet and smelly.

Packing Features

It’s important to remember that you may be in a rush at times to catch the last train/bus. Ask yourself, how easy is it to pull something out from the bottom of your bag.

Day Pack

Don’t forget to have a day pack bag that can be attached to the main pack. When going on your day trips, you don’t want to be carrying your big traveling backpack around with you, especially if you are out walking for most of the day!

Front Loading Vs Top-Loading

A Front-loader backpack is recommended for travelling. With a front loader you open the front of the bag, giving you access to the whole of the bag. However, with a top-loading backpack they generally open from the top, meaning that you will have to unpack a lot of items first before getting the clothing you need. It’s really like a lucky dip at times and can be very frustrating if you’re regularly hoping from hostel to hostel. A top-loading backpack would be more recommend for hiking/camping as when you reach your campsite or set up the tent you can unload everything there until you leave.


One of the most important parts of a comfortable pack is finding one that fits. Go into your local outdoor adventure stop and try on a variety of different backpacks. Things such as hip belts, like we mentioned above, will help you carry a heavy backpack. When you’re in the shop, don’t be afraid to ask the experts for help, as they are the people who sell and use them regularly! They can measure your torso to find the backpack you need. Remember, “You Don’t Choose a Backpack, A Backpack Chooses You.”

About the Author:

James FoleyJames is an SEO & Content Executive at Base2Digital, a Digital Marketing Agency in Dublin. He loves what he does and writing content that is engaging for readers. He writes on a wide range of topics such as Travel, Motoring, and Health & Fitness. He tries to get away as much as possible with New York being his next adventure soon! One of his favourite cities is Copenhagen as there is a great atmosphere there and he loves the Danish!  

1 Comment

  1. Choosing the right bag to use for travelling as a tourist would not only depend on you, but will also depend on the place where you are going.

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