Choosing a backpack for your travels is one of the most important decisions you’ll make before you hit the road.
However, with all the brands and packs out there, how do you choose the right one? Here are a few tips to help you make the best decision.
Yes, size does matter!
Take a few minutes to consider what you plan to bring with you. Clothing, supplies, equipment etc. This will make a difference in the type of backpack you buy. Sure, you can buy a pack and decide afterwards, but why put yourself through all that stress?!
I cannot stress enough how important it is that you buy a backpack that fits properly. Having a backpack that doesn’t fit properly will cause unnecessary pain and in some cases, injury.
- Shoulder Straps – your backpack should never, ever rest completely on your shoulders.
- Padding for your lower back should sit ON your lower back when you try your pack on. if it’s too high or too low, adjust the straps accordingly. If you’re a tall person, you may need to ask for a size tall in the pack you’re looking at.
- The Chest strap should be across the middle of your chest, not the top of your chest. If something caught the back of your pack and jerked you backwards, a strap across the top of your chest could end up choking you.
I know what you’re thinking. Why the hell should I care how easy it is to care for my backpack? It’s a backpack?! I’ll tell you why. After months of travelling with both clean & dirty clothes in your backpack, it’s bound to smell a wee bit funky after awhile.
Last year I made the mistake of buying a backpack that was too big, and as it turns out, impossible to clean. I was caught up in the storage options, the colour and the durability of the fabric. Now, I have a backpack that can only be spot cleaned.
When shopping for a backpack, look for ones that have mesh backings and removable frames. This will allow you to toss them into the wash at home and get the funk out when it becomes too offensive.
Storage and Access
I go gaga over backpacks with fabulous storage options. I love packs with a separated bottom as it’s a great place to store a sleeping bag, dirty clothes or extra shoes. I love side zipper access (as long is it’s a double zip & I can lock it) & I love the storage in the lid.
Does the backpack have double zippers? Can you lock it up for those times when your backpack will not be within your line of sight at all times? These are questions you should ask yourself when looking for a new backpack. In most cases, you’ll be fine. However, there are times when pickpockets will pounce.
Make sure you’re comfortable with the safety options of your pack.