What you should consider when looking for the best travel backpack for your needs. You are about to purchase a new travel backpack, congratulations. But, you are unsure about which one to buy, and if it will make you happy in the long term by catering to all your needs? The needs you know about right now and the needs you might have in the future? Perfect, that you are here! I have concluded a few questions for you in order to decide on the best travel backpack regarding your wishes and hopes for this new piece of travel gear. In an upcoming article I will share my thoughts on why a travel backpack is better than a suitcase for travellers.
6 Steps on how you can decide on the best travel backpack for you and your needs
Backpacks shown in this article, all without connection to the brands and self-bought: Featured Image Travel Backpack – Aevor Travel Pack, Red Travel Backpack – Fjallraven Re-Kanken, red hiking backpack – Osprey Archeon 25, grey Day Pack – Reisenthel allrounder R
First, you need to manifest the purpose of your next backpack. Do you want to primarily use it as a travel day pack, a day pack that can hold your belongings even for a one-night stay, should it be big enough for a long weekend getaway, do you want to travel with it for a week, or even for months at a time? Before getting into detail and comparing different kinds of travel backpacks, you need to make sure you know what you are looking for. You can easily use a backpack you have previously used for a 2 month trip for a week long trip, but not the other way round.. Therefore, where and for what will you use this backpack the most?
After you have thought about the purpose of the backpack, it’s about looking for sizes. 10 to 15 litres is ideal for single day trip bags, 20 to 30 L for up to two/three nights (long weekend getaway), 40 L are a preferred minimum for a week long trip and 50/60 L should be the minimum for any trip longer than two weeks. Depending on where and how you are travelling, 40 L might be fine, too, if you have lots of options to wash your clothes, but not if you need clothes for various temperatures or additional equipment like a sleeping bag.
Those numbers are just approximate numbers, to give you a first clue what kind of bags to look for. For example, I have recently completed a 7 day trip to Italy with a 16 L backpack only, and a waist bag / fanny pack. I did not need any second pair of shoes and mainly packed shirts and two shorts, so a Fjallraven Kanken was actually more than sufficient. It all depends on your needs…
In the case of bags, the more expensive the better is often a lath to go, yet the most expensive bag might be not as ideal as a way cheaper version by another company. Regarding cost, you shouldn’t “buy the name”, but look for an ideal option combining durability and perfectness regarding your desired usage. Just don’t settle for a bag 50 bucks cheaper but with 8 L less volume. At some point, you will regret this decision. And buying a complete new bag will cost more than those 50 bucks you have initially “saved”. Invest in a good bag once, and you’re good forever.
This is also an important factor, for some cases. Usually, you should buy one bag and keep it forever. Therefore, the quality and durability should be high and long. However, life changes and so do the circumstances. Maybe you want to buy a super fashionable bag in a flashy colour, would you still want to sport a flashy neon green bag once you are over the age of 30 and work a corporate job, just because you liked it once you came freshly out of school? Doubtful. Therefore, durability and therefore the bag’s sustainable aspect is an important factor, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes you just don’t need a bag that will last you 30 years. For example you don’t need a diaper backpack for longer than 4 years per kid, probably. Also, if you buy a big-ass travel backpack for month-long treks, you want it to be durable as much, as all your personal belongings are inside and you won’t want to be forced to buy a new one mid-travels as it broke down.
It just depends on what you want, and how long you want the bag to last. But usually, the longer and more durable, the better of course!
Before choosing a brand you have never heard of, or never seen on other people, it’s best to rely on experience reports of others. Depending on where you want to shop, it’s recommended to look up reviews of the brand, or the specific travel backpack you are into, online on various websites. It’s no secret amazon reviews can be “bought”, so make sure to do a little extra research. Maybe you will stumble over a blogger or youtuber who previously did a review of the bag or brand in general. This will definitely help you on deciding if the brand is worthwhile, or just cheaply manufactured trash.
A YouTuber whose Videos I enjoy is Chase Reeves, he regularly reviews bags for travel or work and all the life in between. For example he did a review on the Tropicfeel travel backpack that you might have seen on social media ads: TropicFeel Shell Travel Backpack Review or a roundup video on 9 Amazing Backpacks: Daily Carry, Minimal Travel.
Sustainability of the brand
When purchasing a bag, or any clothing or accessories, the image of a brand is essential. In this term, I’m not speaking of buying a special status by purchasing a bag by Louis Vuitton or shoes by Prada. It’s about what the brand stands for. Is it known for slavery and production in sweatshops, or does the brand support proper working conditions for its workers and uses sustainable, yet durable, materials? Usually brands advertise with their “green image”, but don’t be fooled of too much greenwashing!
I hope this Post helped you decide on how to choose your next best travel backpack for long-term use. Let me know in the comments below what bags you ended up getting!