It’s great that you’re going to travel, and if you want your belongings with you all the time then you’ll need a travel backpack instead of the usual luggage bags.
Travel backpacks may enable you to go on short hikes and camping trips, and you can decide to go to another city or country on a whim without too much preparation. So the question is, how do you choose the right backpack for you? Here are some guidelines you need to consider:
Choosing the Right Travel Backpack
Travel Backpack Reviews
Before you buy any type of backpack, check out the travel backpack reviews from verified customers. This is especially crucial when you’re buying it online and you can’t personally check it out yourself. Of course, you’re going to read the specs of the backpack you’re going to get.
You’ll need to look for features such as made from waterproof material, so that your belongings don’t get wet when there’s a drizzle.
You also should get an internal-frame backpack, meaning that the frame and the support rods are already built in and hidden, instead of having separate rods that stick out.
Internal-frame backpacks are slimmer so you can move around more easily, and usually the rods are made from tough plastic or carbon fiber that’s lighter and more durable.
You may also want to get lockable zippers so that you can have some piece of mind regarding the security of your belongings or of your bag itself.
While there’s not much of a risk that people on the road will pickpocket your dirty clothes, there’s always a chance that some baggage handler at the airport may take a liking for some of your things. A bigger risk is if you’re in a country where there’s a chance a police official can plant some drugs in your bag so that you’re going to have to pay up big time to avoid prison.
You also need to see that there are enough compartments for your things. A separate compartment for your shoes is always a good idea, and if you’re bringing your laptop with you then that also needs a compartment of its own.
You’ll also need to check that there’s padding on the shoulder straps so there’s less pressure on your shoulders and on the adjustable hip belt so that it’s more comfortable for you to support the weight. Most of the weight you’ll carry will be supported by your hips.
One of the things you need to check out is the brand, of course. This isn’t about brand snobbery, but about going for the brands with the best reputation for producing durable backpacks that don’t break down soon after you buy them.
This is where the travel backpack reviews come in. You can check out the long-term reviews and see that the straps are durable, the buckles aren’t flimsy, and the metal zippers are not prone to locking up.
Some backpacks also have ventilation systems that keep the load off your lower back so your clothes don’t sweat through. However, you may have to sacrifice some durability in the material in exchange, because backpacks with ventilation may be more likely to get torn.
Then finally there’s the size of the backpack. Some manufacturers have sizes such as small, medium, and large, but what’s large for one manufacturer may be considered medium by another.
So first you need to measure your torso length (not your height) from the prominent bone at the base of your neck to the top of your hip bone. Then you can check the backpack specs that correspond to your measurements.
The overall size of your backpack may also correspond to the length of your trip. The longer your trip is, the more things you’ll likely bring with you. Smaller is always better if you have a choice, so for a weekend trip a light backpack with a 35 to 50 liter capacity will be fine.
For 3 to 5 day trips you may want a capacity ranging from 50 to 80 liters, and for extended periods you’ll need a minimum of 70 liters.
Choosing the Right Travel Backpack for Women
There are some special considerations to factor in when buying a travel backpack for women, aside from the usual considerations. One crucial factor is of course style. It has to look good, and appearance is not something that most women will consider inconsequential.
Men are also concerned about how “cool” a backpack is of course (most men don’t choose canary yellow backpacks, for example) but the standards of what’s cool may be different for women.
Now one of the most important considerations is size, because women are on average smaller than men. It’s for that reason why most women choose backpacks in a size “medium” while most men go for the “large size” instead.
Many manufacturers simply make a smaller size of backpack and call it a women’s version, but your best bet is to choose a backpack tailored specifically for women. They have to be designed specifically for the frame of a woman, which is different from a man’s frame in more than just size.
The torso dimensions are on average shorter and also narrower. But the hip belts and the shoulder straps should be contoured with the woman’s form in mind.
But the size must also be enough not just for the woman’s belongings, but also enough for her future belongings. In other words, it must anticipate the likelihood of shopping adventures, and these purchases must be accommodated.
Of course, if a woman wants to avoid the temptation of shopping then a smaller backpack may be the best option. It’s much easier to decide not to shop when there’s not much space begging to be filled with various new items.
Compartments are crucial too. A separate compartment for the shoes is important, and also a special compartment for umbrellas.
Many guys are too cool to bring umbrellas, but most women have more sense than that. And also, a special compartment for makeup would be nice.
Now let’s consider the straps. It must be adjustable, and not just padded for your comfort. When the straps are adjustable, the bag won’t sag down low like you’re some kind of teenager. Instead, you can tighten the shoulder straps so the bag can ride higher on your back.
This prevents the backpack from pulling on your shoulders and causing you lots of discomfort and pain. A padded hip belt is also essential. Again, a lot of guys don’t go for this because they want the coolness factor of easily removing the backpack whenever they want.
And again, women usually have more sense than that. The hip belt is crucial in making sure that the weight is properly distributed. The weight of the backpack is loaded more on your hips, as it was properly meant to do.
When the hips are carrying the load, you have your most stable and strongest part carrying the biggest burden. This will greatly reduce the pain you’ll experience on your neck, shoulders, and back.
Some people may also want an additional carry strap so that they can carry the backpack like a shoulder bag. You may also want a strap that connects across your chest between the 2 shoulder straps.
This also helps in a more even distribution of the weight, and the strap doesn’t have to be padded because it’s not resting on you. You may also want to consider a front-loading backpack, especially when you think you may have to dig through your bag often to get what you need.
A front-loading backpack can open as if it is a suitcase, so you can easily get the things that have fallen to the bottom of the backpack. The great thing about a backpack specifically designed for women is that they are also great for older children.
Boys and girls can use them comfortably, although boys may not feel all that comfortable when it comes in lurid pink.
Choosing the Right Travel Backpack with Wheels
There are many reasons why some people are adamantly opposed to the use of backpacks when going on a trip. Perhaps the main reason is that they can be very heavy, and they don’t do much for your posture. Travel Backpacks with Wheels
- People especially curse them when they’re in a line in an airport. They either have to carry the backpack on their back, and this can take hours. Or they can lay the backpack unceremoniously on the floor and kick it every time the line moves.
- Hoisting the backpack from the back is also quite uncomfortable for many, especially for women. It’s feels and looks awkward, and there’s really no graceful way to pull it off.
- The backpack straps are also a hassle when you’re worried about airport conveyor belts. There’s always a chance that the backpack would get ruined, and that will include the contents as well.
- Finally, having a backpack on your back can seem a bit unprofessional. For those who want to look a bit more dignified, there has to be a better way.
And that better way is to get a travel backpack with wheels. The wheels make all the difference in the world, and your back and shoulders will thank you for if they can speak. Or perhaps they can—the lack of pain is their way of saying “thank you”.
With the right kind of wheel, you can just lug your “backpack” everywhere: airports, malls, and on the streets. You may even be able to roll the backpack on nice footpaths in the park.
And if the terrain isn’t conducive to your wheels, you can then just put on the straps and wear the backpack like a regular backpack.
If you’re buying one, make sure you first make your decision with the factors important to any travel backpack. That means you need durability and waterproofing, enough compartments, and padding for the shoulder straps and hip belt.
Now for the additional considerations. First you’ll want to get the best wheels available. They should be sturdy enough even for non-paved roads, and they should be securely attached. What you don’t want is to have to chase your runaway wheels, and dragging this backpack when the wheels are gone is going to be a drag.
Then you also need to see that the additional parts such as the handles and the wheels are not putting some weird pressure on you when you carry it like a typical backpack. So the wheels shouldn’t be pressing on your back or hips, for example.
The handle should be adjustable as well. The material of the handles and wheels should also be light as well as strong. There are times when you need to carry this bag, and you’ll want it to be as light as it can be.
So if you’re trips don’t really involve a lot of hiking in the mountains, you really need to consider having this type of backpack instead.
Choosing the Right Travel Backpack Carry on
By now, you should know that there’s a big difference between a travel backpack and a backpack for trekking. This is especially true for carry on travel backpacks, which are compact enough for you to carry on board a plane. The advantages of such a bag can be very gratifying:
- The bag stays with you all the time, so you won’t have to worry that it will end up being pawed through by unscrupulous baggage handlers. There are some airports in corrupt countries where this is actually a common occurrence.
- You’re also not worried about going to Europe while your backpack goes to Brazil. Stories of lost luggage are commonplace, but you don’t want to add anything to that discussion.
- Of course, there’s also the potential of having your luggage destroyed. You may be worried about the conveyor belts, but baggage handlers may be tossing your bags around. If you’ve got your good shoes inside, it may not be all that good afterwards.
- These bags are also very small, and that means your back and shoulders won’t feel too much strain during your vacation.
You just need to make sure that it will fit in the overhead compartment. Most US airports require a bag that’s no bigger than 22″ x 14″ x 9. Some require that the overall dimensions should not add up to more than 45 inches. International airports may have different size and weight requirements too, so you better check that out.
Have fun on your vacation, and hopefully you get the right travel backpack for your trip!
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