Best Backpacks for Travelling

Last Updated | 14th February 2023

Choosing the right backpack for your next big adventure is a crucial undertaking. It’s probably the single most important piece of kit while on the road. After all, this will house all the other items you’ll be taking on your travels. In essence, it becomes your mobile home away from home, containing everything you hold dear. So picking a good one, and one that is suitable for the trip you’ll be undertaking is highly important. In this post, we walk you through some of the key things you need to consider when selecting a backpack. As well as providing our own recommendations based on the years of travel experience we have acquired. And while every trip and individual is unique and entitled to personal preferences, we believe the principles below are pretty universal.

Things to consider


Weight is a key factor for comfort and although the majority of the weight will come from what you decide to pack. The heavier the actual backpack itself, the more weight you have to carry around full stop. Additionally, the weight of the bag also eats into your precious luggage allowance. Therefore the lighter the bag itself, the better.


Contrary to popular belief, bigger isn’t always better. The size and capacity of your bag are vital things to consider and are generally determined by the length of your trip. You’ll also need to consider if you want to be able to travel with hand luggage only or are willing to check luggage in. For those wishing to be able to pack a little more and are happy with a checked luggage option we recommend a backpack with a capacity of 60-70L. Any less and you might as well have gone for a carry-on option, any more you risk taking too much. For shorter trips, light packers or people wanting to get away with a carry-on, we recommend a bag with a capacity of up to 40L.


You’ll be lugging this thing around a lot on your travels. Sometimes having to wear it for considerable amounts of time. You therefore want a backpack that is comfortable and fits your body well. The back panel, waist and shoulder straps, padding, and carry handles all hugely affect the comfort level. So ensure the bag has these key features. Additionally, better bags will allow for a high level of adjustability in these features allowing you to better customise the load-carrying system of the backpack to each individual.


Clamshell designs, i.e. bags that zip open like a suitcase, giving you full access to your main compartment, are typically a lot more useable. Compare this to a top loader, whereby you’ll have to pull everything out to reach something at the bottom of your bag. Some backpacks also just feel better to use thanks to a practical design and clever placement of key features. Such as good use of pockets, compartment separators or zip-away main straps, so be sure to keep an eye out for these too.

It’s also worth noting what the purpose of your trip is and therefore the purpose of your backpack. For example, are you just needing it to carry your clothes and other such items during a trip? Or are you planning to go hiking and trekking, carry lots of camping gear, or alternatively use it to transport photography equipment? For many, it will simply be carrying your clothes and other key items around during your tip. However, if you’re after something with more specialisation, this needs to be considered too.


You want your backpack to last. It’s going to cover some miles and go through a lot of manhandling and impacts. Therefore something that’s sturdy and built to last is vital. The materials of a backpack determine its durability as well as its degree of weather resistance. So be sure to buy something that is made with high-quality durable materials. This often comes at slightly higher prices, but believe us spending a little bit more for a quality backpack is well worth it! Some manufacturers even give lifetime guarantees to their products, which means you’ll only have to fork out once.

Top Tips

Firstly don’t travel with a suitcase / something that only has wheels. While these are great for family holidays, or holidays where you’ll be staying in one place not moving around. For trips of a more adventurous nature, they’re a really bad idea. They just aren’t versatile and suitable for a trip of this nature and travelling with one, will quickly piss you off. Opt for clamshell designs as opposed to top-loader backpacks and customise your bag with tags and colours that easily distinguish your bag from others. Along with your main bag, you’ll want a suitable day bag that you can use when out exploring. Many backpacks come with day bags included, some even attached in clever ways to your main bag. Additionally, buy a waterproof / protective rain cover for your bag, they aren’t expensive and offer added protection for when you inevitably get caught in the rain.


Larger size – checked luggage

Smaller size – carry on

Day bags

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