The Key To A Perfect Backpack
You’ll never really know how much to bring on your journey. The size of your backpack depends on what you are planning to do, the weather, the time and so on. If you are about to start your first backpacking trip, these are things you should consider before buying your brand-new backpack.
Online you can find a lot of guides and tips which backpack is the best or what brand to take. But every person has a different body shape and size as well as different plans. Therefore, one backpack might be perfect for someone, but for you it doesn’t fit at all. But remember, a backpack is used to be carried around. The comfort always comes first. So, there is no other way for you than to go into a store, try a bunch of backpacks and choose that one which feels like heaven on your back.
There are always the same questions coming up on Facebook and other social media about what size is the best to take. Also, here it’s quite individual how much you really need.
First it depends on where you are going. In a sunny country/area, e.g. Southeast Asia, you barely need clothes. At the beach, you can walk around in your swimming suit and the other time it’s shorts, shirts/tops and Flip-Flops. 1 or 2 long and light pants at night are enough, plus one extra sweater. As you can see, there is not much needed in 30 degrees or more.
For this a 40l-50l Backpack is more than enough. The Advantage: the backpack might go through the airport as hand luggage. Accordingly, you safe costs on cheap flights for extra luggage.
If you now plan a trip to a cold/icy country, e.g. Iceland, you obviously need more than 50l. Warm clothes need more space in your backpack. It is also harder to wash them that often, because they won’t dry fast. But don’t forget that you also have to carry this backpack many times. You should make sure to bring clothes you can put on as layers. This way you can safe a lot of space in your backpack.
Tipp: When you are traveling in different climates try to plan your trip according to those climates, so that you need to change your clothes just one time. If you do summertime first, only bring light clothes. Afterwards you can sell or throw away your stuff and substitute it with new/used clothes you buy for the trip in cold countries.
#3: Length Of Your Stay
A common mistake is to pack for the whole duration of your trip. If it is 1 week then you pack for one week. 6 weeks traveling means packing for 6 weeks. NEVER do that. Always try to pack clothes for 2 Weeks. This period describes a good guideline and you definitely will not bring too many clothes. When you are backpacking for at least a month, laundry-day will come anyways, no matter what. Since you must carry your backpack it’s better you wash your clothes more often than to pack more. Anyways, in a backpack it’s not possible to really separate worn and dirty clothes from the fresh washed ones. In the end, all your clothes will smell a little ‚old’ and ‚used’.
Tipp: Nevertheless, if you get tired of your clothes there are good opportunities on the road. First you can of course always buy new ones. But then you definitely must throw away old clothes. Another option is one of the many traveller flea markets. People leave clothes, shoes, books etc. and take stuff from others. No money, only exchange.
#4: Pockets & Openings
A backpack should have some pockets that are essential. You definitely need that one pocket outside and on top of your backpack where you can store your passport/wallet etc. in the airport. Or other things you need to grab fast during your trips. A pocket inside on top is always really useful. It’s good to put the phone, iPod or other valuables inside. You can grab it fast, you’ll always know where it is, and it’s harder for a thief to steal it. Also make sure that your backpack has a device on the outside where you can put a bottle of water. In times searching for a hostel and walk around you probably don’t want to carry a bottle in your hands. Other pockets might be a plus but mostly not very necessary.
Openings are very important for backpacks. Especially big ones should have a least 2. One on top and one from the bottom. Some backpacks also come with an opening in the middle. This is helpful, but mostly for 60l+. In the end, the more openings your backpack got, the more you also need to be able to lock, for example with a cable tie. This is especially important when you put your backpack inside the airplane or down in the bus. It’s nothing new, that in some countries tourists are used as drug smugglers.
There are well known brands for backpacks that people always keep buying and recommending. But always remember, it’s not about the brand but the comfort. Here you can read about common brands, their advantages and disadvantages. This gives of course only a short overview about the brands and not a detailed look on specific backpacks.
Especially Germans swear on this brand. It brings backpacks with a huge diversity of size, model, colour and even has special woman backpacks. The comfort mostly seems to be perfect. But the backpacks shapes are high and therefore not created in a compact way. They often make it ‘over your head’ which might give you problems if you only have small space e.g. in a bus.
Everybody who buys a new backpack most probably tried one from Osprey. The brand is very common and convinces with the lifestyle it represents, especially for younger travelers. But the carrying comfort might not be perfect for everybody. The shape of the backpacks is – compared to Deuter – more compact. But this also puts more weight on the back.
Osprey usually also has an opening in the middle. It’s a zipper in a straight line which makes it super easy to open (also for others). The backpacks also have pockets to put a bottle of water inside. But the place of those is not perfectly chosen since they are far in the back and the bottle of water might be able to push into your back.
The North Face
The North Face has a good Image which is connected to the outdoor lifestyle. And of course, the brand also offers backpacks. From the outside those backpacks are very similar to Osprey and other brands. But when it comes to the comfort this brand is just not the best.
This brand might be known especially for its huge backpacks for big trips. But this brand also offers smaller backpacks (e.g. 40l) which are perfect for backpacking trips. It’s definitely worth it to try a backpack from this brand. It’s a functional backpack that offers what is needed for any trip. The comfort is really good and it comes with all the necessary pockets and openings.