11 Important Details To Look For In A Travel Backpack
The premise of a travel backpack is not that difficult to understand: it should open similar to a normal suitcase without all the top loading that comes with it. A travel backpack should allow you easy access for whenever you need it without any hassle. And, travel backpacks shouldn’t include a suspension system or extra straps that are typically store in a zippered panel, making it safe to use on planes, buses, and more.
Should You Invest In One: 11 Negative Aspects To Travel Backpacks
If you like this idea, you need to know one thing: it’s still a new concept, which means they’re not as widely available like conventional hiking backpacks, and there are some drawbacks to them.
1 – Water Resistant Material
Your backpack doesn’t have to be 100 percent waterproof, but you do what it to contain some waterproofing material, in case it begins to drizzle. Some backpacks have tarps that you can put over them in case of a severe rainstorm. You also don’t want the material to stay wet once it gets wet, taking a long time to dry. This can cause it to get a musty smell.
Be sure you look for a thick but lightweight material. You want a backpack that will not let the inside of the bag get wet. You want to ensure that the contents of your backpack don’t get wet in case you suddenly find yourself in a rainstorm or drizzle.
2 – Lockable Zippers
You want each compartment you have to have two zippers that allow you to lock them together. While you may not need to be concerned with people stealing your clothing, you still should want to lock the bag up while traveling. It’s true that somebody could put something in your bag or a baggage handler could steal something from it. Better safe than sorry!
3 – Several Compartments
You want to be sure that the backpack you have has more than one compartment. This will let you find all your things easier because it can be divided into smaller sections. For instance, your clothing can be put in the biggest compartment with your shows on a side compartment, your toothbrush and other essentials in a smaller compartment. This saves you a lot of time from digging to find what you need.
4 – Internal Frame
When it comes to most of today’s backpacks, there is a frame on the inside of it. This means the frame and support rods have been placed on the inside and out of view. Of course, there are some external frame backpacks where the rods stick out from the bag. Not getting a visual of these bags, then think of the old hiking movies where people went backpacking across Europe. It’s those huge, clunky metal frames. You certainly don’t want one of these bags.
Be sure to purchase an internal frame backpack so that the rods don’t get caught on something. It’ll also make the bag look better and slimmer, making it easier for you to move around. On top of that, they tend to have a lighter frame, are more durable and easy to use because they’re made of carbon fiber or tough plastic.
5 – Padded Hip Belt
The majority of the weight you carry is going to push on your hips. Be sure that you get a padded hip belt to make the weight a little more supportive. The belt will distribute the load evenly on your back so you won’t be dealing with a lot of strain or other back issues. It needs to also be adjustable so it can be tightened and give you additional support.
6 – Padded Shoulder Straps
Padded shoulder straps make it easy to carry your load comfortably. It pushes the weight of the backpack on your shoulders. The pads will ease the pressure off the lower back and reduce it on the shoulders. This padding needs to be thick and made of a one piece material that won’t thin out or split.
7 – Suspension System
Travel backpacks shoulder straps are not as innovative as the conventional hiking bags, but this does depend on the backpack. It needs to be noted that travel backpacks were created to be used for less than an hour, so long as it’s not overloaded. Therefore, this is more than enough time for you to enjoy city life using the public transportation system. If your plans involve a long distance hiking, you may want to consider something else.
8 – Padded/Contoured Back
This lumbar-shaped backpack ensures that carrying it is much more comfortable because of the even weight distribution (something you see with contoured chairs). Since it’s got a natural arch to it, there is no back pain. This kind of bag produces a small space between it and the back so that air can move through it. This will help to cool you down because, as you know, lugging it can increase your sweat level.
9 – Hip Belt
Many travel backpacks don’t come with hip belts and the ones that do tend to skimp out on them. Keep in mind that the weight of your backpack should all on the hips, not the shoulders. Since many of them don’t offer a completely functional hip belt, you don’t need to use them for a long period of time. If you’re not wearing the backpack for a long time, this isn’t much of an issue.
10 – Zippers Are Weak
When it comes to the zipper, it’s the weak point for all bags. The majority of manufacturers use tough zippers so there’s no real issue with it breaking. But, the possibility is there. Another issue of concern is that zippers are not waterproof, which means you may need a rain cover for it.
11 – Boxyness
Travel backpacks look like boxes, more so than the usual hiking backpack. And, that’s because they’re got a suitcase-like design. While it’s a minor issue, it’ll be noticeable if you’ve used a hiking backpack before.
3 Common Frequently Asked Questions About Backpacks
1 – Does It Matter What Size Backpack You Get
Believe it or not, it does matter! There are some folks who like to carry a whole bunch of things with them, which means they need a large backpack. Some people need a smaller backpack because they don’t want to carry a bunch of stuff with them or don’t feel like shopping. The middle ground for a backpack size is 60-liters. If you get anything more than 70-liters, you could fall over and if you get less than 50-liters, you won’t get room for something you may actually want.
2 – What Is Considered The Best Day Pack
There are all kinds of backpacks that include a 10 to 20-liter detachable day bag. This is great if you need something small for a day excursion. These are great because they’re ideal for hot climates or when you need something not so heavy.
3 – Should You Get A Wheeled Backpack
While wheels are a great concept because they take the load off your back, they can add more weight to it if you do carry it on your back. If you plan to take cheap flights, you’ll be wasting the weight limit you’re offered and could pay more for the flight. If you plan on going to the western side of the world – where pave and flat roads are the norm – then, by all means, get a wheeled backpack.
What Are the Six Recommended Backpacks
1 – Osprey Farpoint
When it comes to this line of backpacks, the Osprey line works great as a travel backpack. Now, some people do complaint that the compression straps on the outside of the bag actually distort it and make it impossible to get easy access to. While they do keep size low, you should never pack something in your main compartment you need immediate access to.
The Farpoint backpack is one of the more comfortable bags that include comfortable and durable shoulder straps. It’s got a 40-liter size that comes with compression capacity that allows you to stuff it full. It also comes with a laptop compartment. Be mindful though that standard loading means you’ll need to do some digging to get to the key section.
Positive Aspect – Shoulder straps are comfortable and tough
Negative Aspect – Compression straps reduces easy access
2 – Kelty Flyway
This type of backpack is geared more toward the person who’s going on short trek – not the businessman or moving from one hotel to another type of person. The Kelty Flyway comprises of durable polyester that includes a padded sleeve for your laptop, which you can easily access when going through security.
Your items can be loaded at the top or from the bulging side pockets. It comes with an aluminium frame, while light, can be bad if you don’t plan to go day hiking. It also has hip and sternum straps to increase the weight distribution and fit. Sizes of these bags can range from 43-liters to 50-liters. If you need something a little smaller, you can try out the Kelty Redwing.
Positive Aspect – Day hiking ready
Negative Aspects – Pockets can bulge and possibly snag
3 – Crumpler Low Level Aviator
Stop digging through your pack to locate those headphones that have suddenly wound up at the bottom. This backpack includes a middle storage compartment that opens similar to a notebook. It’s also got several well-placed inside pockets that will hold things in place and let you get to your items easier and quicker.
With six storage zones, it makes for packing in tight quarters easier. An Australian designed the backpack because of the need for a strong bag to carry the bear. Thus, it’s highly durable and made well. Its total size is 60-liters, and even though so much can fit into it, it can still go into the overhead bin on an airline.
Positive Aspect – Suitcase-like opening
Negative Aspect – Heavy
The majority of the travel backpacks have the outdated mentality that people just need one large compartment in their bag. However, Aeronaut breaks that mentality and provides an array of hidey-holes for the user to take advantage of. It does offer a key area that you can access through the U-shape opening, making it easier to pack and unpack. It’s got a lot of expandable space but does not offer safety and security for your laptop.
It’s got 45-liter storage capacity that includes its sides, back and middle. You can easily hide the straps when you’re not using them and you can carry like a messenger bag or duffel bag, based on what your preference is. There’s also the 30-liter option.
Positive Aspect – Lots of pockets
Negative Aspect – No pre-designed laptop compartment available
5 – Minaal Carry-On Backpack
This is a great backpack, but the cost isn’t so great. The Minaal Carry-On Backpack was created from an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, which means they are more stylish and look sleek. Look at the reviews, and it’s got a multitude of features you’d expect on a travel backpack – stashed straps, rain cover, carry handles on the sides and top, etc.
Although it’s stylish, it’s doesn’t generate a lot of attention. The bag weight more than three pounds and is listed around 35-liter, making it smaller than other travel bags. Although small, the space can be utilized quite well. It’s geared toward travellers who can smartly pack a bag. It does come with a basic hip belt but no padding, so it can’t support the bag’s weight.
The cost of the bag is $300, which makes it a highly expensive travel backpack.
6 – Deuter Transit 50
The Deuter has been a long-used outdoor gear for folks in Germany, but they’re just now available in the U.S. The Deuter Transit 50 is a mixture of a travel backpack and hiking backpack. It comes with a:
- Suspension system
- Hip belt
- Shoulder straps
All of these can be stored for later use. It does have a shoulder strap that lets you use it as a messenger bag. As it currently stands, it’s the only backpack of its kind to offer a shoulder strap. And, it’s got top and size carry handles as well.
Another worthwhile feature of this backpack is that it can fit stomachs that range from 15.5 to 22 inches. This is a big feature since it means you can find a fit for you. It weighs about four pounds and includes a detachable 15L daypack. It’s got a price tag of about $180, which doesn’t make it cheap but with the features it offers makes it a great deal.