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12 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Travel Backpack

Man Wearing a Backpack Outside

12 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Travel Backpack

Are you tired of staying cooped up in your home? Are you looking to travel again soon?

Staying at home to work may seem like a great change of pace. You won’t have to get up early to commute to work or school. Yet, many people are getting exhausted from work-from-home conditions.

It can feel like travelling for at least a day can cure the opposite of being homesick. If you have plans about going out to travel, make the most out of it. Get the best travel backpack and travel items for the road.

Keep reading for a guide on the major factors you need to consider when you pick a travel backpack.

1. Purpose of the Trip

One of the main things you want to consider is the type of travel. Are you going out on trips within an urban area? Will you go hiking or head out into the wild for your trip?

The trip you’re taking will influence your choice of travel backpack. For example, let’s suppose that you’re travelling for business reasons. If so, you want a backpack that can fit the trunk of a vehicle or have straps that reduce wrinkles on clothes.

If you’re planning a camping trip, you want a backpack that can survive the environment and climate. You also want one that can carry all the food and things you’ll need for your camping trip. You’d want one with enough space for your needs, especially if it’ll take more than a few days.

Some backpacks are apt for different kinds of trips. Some have more specialized features. If you see yourself going on trips with different purposes later, pick one that will suit them all.

2. Durability and Materials Used

Are you travelling to a tropical location where the weather is only sunny or rainy? Pick a backpack that uses the right type of material for your travel destination. This factor is important if you’ll be storing gadgets and other important items in your pack.

You don’t want to have your backpack falling apart during a mountain hike or an urban exploration. You also want a backpack that will last years of wear, tear, and storage. This is an essential consideration if you don’t see yourself going out to take travel trips often.

There are two main types of materials manufacturers use to create travel backpacks. The first is Cuben fibre, which is lighter but more expensive. The other one is ripstop nylon, which is heaver yet cheaper.

No matter which one you choose, you can’t go wrong. Cuben fibre and ripstop nylon are both quite durable travel backpack materials. How you choose will depend more on your preference and budget.

3. Size of the Backpack

Next, let’s talk about the size of your travel backpack. How large does your backpack need to be to carry all the things you’ll need for your trip? Some people say that a 40- to 50-liter backpack is the ideal size. It’s large enough to carry your items, but not too large to keep you held up when you look for things.

You don’t need to adhere to that backpack size. Your ideal backpack size may be smaller or bigger than 40 or 50 litres. Remember that you don’t want to buy a backpack that’s too big and becomes too heavy when filled.

One awesome tip to finding the best backpack size is to gather your gear first. How much stuff will you bring for the trip? Once you know how much space you need, start looking for a backpack that can fit all your gear.

As a note, always get backpacks that follow the standard size for airlines. If you often use the same airline to travel, then make it a point to learn what their standards are. In most cases, your backpack will be your carry-on luggage. Thus, it must follow their standards for carry-on luggage.

4. Travel Backpack Security and Safety

Next, let’s discuss the security of your travel backpack and how safe its contents will be. If you’re travelling, you want a backpack that will ensure no valuables get lost. You also want to make sure your backpack is theft-free or theft-resistant.

The useful safety features of carry-on backpacks include using slash-proof material. This way, you can feel safe about travelling through spots that present the risk of bag-slashers. You also feel assured that your bag will be okay when it catches on sharp things.

Another safety feature you want to look for is the rings on the zippers. These rings let you secure your backpack looping locks through them. Some travel backpacks already come with small PIN locks.

Other backpacks come with an extendable wire lock. Much like securing your bike, you can use the wire lock to latch your bag onto a pole or luggage rack. It’s a useful tool to prevent thieves from whisking your entire travel backpack away.

5. Weight of the Backpack

A survey found that 44% of Americans still plan to make the most out of the year and travel despite the health crisis. Most have interests in road trips, family events, and long weekends. Each of them wants to ease the weight that the coronavirus put on their shoulders.

If you’re carrying the same weight, don’t let your travel backpack add to that weight. You want to find a backpack that is lightweight yet durable. Many designs for bags for travel don’t use heavy inside frames or material anymore.

This way, you don’t have to worry about it adding too much to the weight limit for carry-on backpacks in airports. Finding a lightweight backpack reduces the weight you put on your shoulders and back, too. It helps reduce the fatigue of the users, too.

6. Luggage Types and Load

What items are you going to carry and what is the most suitable type of luggage for it? Some items best suit a specific luggage type. For example, fragile items need to get carried in hard-sided luggage.

Let’s say you’re travelling with something as fragile as wine bottles, wine glasses, or mugs. Sometimes wrapping them in layers of clothes and other soft material isn’t enough. You may need to look for backpacks with inside pockets where you can secure the glass and soft material.

If you’re carrying heavy items, you may want to consider luggage that can convert into a backpack. This way, you can use the wheels when you’re indoors or in areas with a straight surface. It can help reduce the stress you put on your spine.

Speaking of weight, you may want to consider what kinds of items and gear you’ll put in your backpack as well. Do you plan on carrying heavy items in it? Do you have a habit of overloading your backpacks?

7. Comfort and Fit

Do you see yourself hiking up mountains or adventure trails in the future? Do you plan on going to an urban exploration adventure? In essence, consider how much time you’ll be wearing your backpack during the trip.

If your answer is yes, then you may want to put comfort first. Many backpacks have ergonomic designs like having sternum straps and padded hip belts. These features help you distribute the weight of the pack to your hips and not only your shoulders and back.

Remember that your leg muscles are quite powerful. Let them help with the load by distributing the weight to your hips. This is especially useful in trips where you’ll be carrying your bag most of the time.

Travelling offers a lot of great benefits to your health and mental state. Getting away from your typical routine can boost your happiness and creativity. Don’t dampen these benefits by getting a backpack that’s uncomfortable to wear.

8. Style, Design, and Color

Whenever you’re packing for vacations, you want to get a backpack that’s easy to recognize. This way, you know which backpack is yours once it gets out of the airport luggage carousel. It helps saves you time in airports.

It’s also useful when you’re travelling with friends. Buy a distinguishable backpack to make it easier for your travel buddies to spot you in crowds. This way, they can see you from afar or if you get separated from them or get lost.

You may also want to look for bags designed for your gender. We’re not talking about aesthetics here but also function. For example, women can find backpacks with a sternum strap that doesn’t cut across their chests.

9. Inside Frame and Compartments

You may be the type of person who likes to compartmentalize their items during the trip. If so, you’ll want to find a travel backpack that has enough compartments or pockets for your items. Also, depending on the purpose of your trip, you may need a travel backpack with space for laptops.

Did you know that cell phones are the items people often lose in an Uber? Wallets, keys, and AirPods rank next after cell phones. Imagine how many other places you lose items in when that statistic only applies to Uber.

No matter where you go, you want to make sure that your backpack for travelling has easy-to-access pockets. This way, you can place your most-accessed valuables in those pockets. Some examples include phone, wallet, and passport or license.

10. Backpack Features

Do you want your backpack to have specific compartments or straps for your items? Do you want a backpack that has certain features for certain activities? These are all extra features that you may want to consider if you’re shopping for a travel backpack.

Such features include:

  • Tie-down straps or compression straps
  • Side handles
  • Pockets for electronics
  • Sleeping bag compartment
  • Air space ventilation

Depending on the trip, you may want to look for backpacks that have such features. The choice will also depend on your preferences. You may want to get a bag with bungee ties and drawstrings where you can store dirty clothes for a short time.

If you plan to go backpacking in the wild, you may want bags with side water bottle pockets, hip belt pockets, and rear stretch pockets. Many hikers also want load lifters, which prevent the top of the bag from leaning away from your body. You can learn more when you check out our hiking guide here.

11. Quality of the Backpack

Don’t forget to check the quality of the backpack. You’d always want one that has good quality. That’s because your backpack is one of the most important pieces of travel gear you’ll have.

Certain brands promise high-quality packs. Those include brands like North Face, Urban Jungle Living, and Karrimor. You can also find backpacks that aren’t from mainstream brands that still have good quality.

12. Price of the Travel Backpack

Finally, we come to one of the most important factors for choosing a travel backpack. Notice how most quality backpacks for travel come at a hefty price. Some have more affordable prices, but they present fewer features and lower quality.

Before you go out to buy a travel backpack, what is your travel backpack budget? If you’re looking to buy a cheap travel backpack to cut down on costs, think again. You may be setting yourself up for future frustrations and bag failures during trips.

You also don’t need to buy branded or the most expensive travel backpacks. Rather, you want to check the quality of the backpack first. Once you’ve checked it, compare it with the price and try to gauge if the two aspects are agreeable.

Buying an expensive yet quality travel backpack is smarter than going for cheap ones. You won’t have to replace them or go through the trouble of getting them fixed as often. You can also dodge the troubles of breakage during your trips.

Find the Right Travel Backpack for You

That’s it for our guide on picking the best and most suitable travel backpack for you.

Did we forget to write down anything as important as these twelve factors? You may find us highlighting them in our other posts. Check out our blog for more helpful blog posts like this one.

Do you have any questions? Do you want to know where you can find the best high-quality travel backpacks? Check out our line of travel backpacks or talk to us to gain more info about them.