There are so many backpacks you can choose from, picking one can feel like a walk in the jungle: very confusing and it takes a lot of time before you might have the right backpack for you! I have had many backpacks, I basically buy a new one every 1 or 2 trips because I would figure out I don’t like certain features. I will give you some tips on what to look for when shopping for your new backpack and give you the pros and cons of different options!
1. Frontloader vs Toploader
Personally I like frontloader backpacks. It gives you easy access to your stuff, very useful if you’re -for example- at the airport and you need to show a product that’s in your bag. Even if it’s stuffed in the lowest compartment, you don’t have remove every item from the bag.
The second reason why I love frontloader backpacks: it’s easier to pack your bag more efficiently! I have had both toploader backpacks and frontloader backpacks. Currently I use the Kelty Redwing 40 (frontloader), this is a good bag if you want to travel with just hand luggage!
2. Backpack vs Duffelbag
Some duffel bags come in backpack style and exists of one compartment. I have the Black Diamond 42, it’s a nice bag with lots of space but I found out I like bags with different storage spaces because I can divide all my stuff in these compartments and I don’t have to empty my whole bag when I go through airport security. With duffel bags you’ll be able to pack your bag even more efficiently than with a regular backpack and because of the different compartments you’ll have a loss of space with normal backpacks which might be a reason for you to take a duffel bag.
3. With or without a back support system
A back support system is something that most quality backpacks have and makes it easier to carry the bag while traveling. One downside of having this back support is (again) loss of space in the bag; because of the frame the inside (of the bag) is not straight!
4. How many liters?
Many times I see backpackers carrying around the biggest backpacks out there but one thing I would suggest is: don’t buy a backpack larger than 45L! With efficient packing you can pack a lot of stuff and many times you don’t even use most of it! If you want to travel with just hand luggage don’t buy a bag larger than 40-42L, these backpacks usually (depending on the measurements of course) fit in the overhead compartments on planes!
Read also: Best Backpacks of 2018 – Top 4 Picks