Large backpacks for travel

In this post I want to talk about how to choose a backpack for travel. It is very difficult to overestimate the importance of this constant traveling companion; on a trip you will wear it constantly. Therefore, it is important to take the choice of a backpack seriously and do not save on the purchase.

Here I’ll tell you which backpacks we always take with us on independent journeys around the world and share tips and tricks on how to choose a good option.

In northern Thailand, we go in a pickup

In 2012, I bought myself a tourist backpack (I still have a large expeditionary capacity of 100 liters), and since then he has always traveled with me, delighting with durability and strength. Ana bought another, a little smaller, and not such positive impressions from him. Let’s do everything in order.

How to choose a backpack for travel?

The volume of a backpack is measured in liters. All the necessary things will not fit into the small, but too big will be a burden on the journey: either you will carry the air (and all the other things will hang out), or you will want to take something extra.

I chose a middle ground: Salewa 60 liters. Yes, for Southeast Asia it is a bit too much (if you go alone), but we almost always travel together, plus we take a lot of equipment (we work remotely), so I carry things for two, and Anya is a separate small backpack with equipment. And, for example, I flew to Iran alone and took a 45-liter backpack — quite enough.

In addition, with such a convenient walk in short trips, you can put a sleeping bag, a tent, wrap the rug sideways. 45 liters will not be enough for these purposes, but just right for traveling through warm countries and low-cost flights to loukoster.

Understand why you need a backpack, and based on this, select the desired volume. In short, for serious trips and expeditions: 70-100 l, for long journeys: 50-60 l, for small trips to warm countries: 30-45 l. You can take an additional small city backpack of 10-15 liters to walk with him, taking only snack, phone, documents, money.

Qualitative copy will be made of thick waterproof fabric. Most often, backpacks are sewn from three fabric options: polyester, nylon or cordura. That’s just the last has a special strength, water resistance and was developed by the American company DuPont. Unfortunately, it is also heavier than its competitors, there’s nothing you can do.

My backpack was sewn from cordura and it was not even sold anywhere, although I did not visit any of the luggage compartments and what things I did not carry in myself. Anya’s backpack is lighter, but the fabric is not strong, and in the second year of use she began to diverge at the seams (oh, those women’s cosmetic bags :-))

A good backpack should be frame. Plastic or light metal alloy plates (better) are used as a frame. This is done for the correct distribution of weight on the back. Yes, they weigh more frameless and can not be twisted, but the back will tell you “thank you.”

Large backpacks for travel

Waist belt

A prerequisite: a hip belt, because the main weight puts pressure on the hips and it would be good to take off part of the load. The belt should be adjusted, not be very hard (otherwise it will be rubbed), but also not very soft (then there is no sense from it).

When buying, pay attention to the accessories: zippers, fasteners and


On advanced models, there is a special mesh that fits to the back, leaving a small gap between it and the backpack – so the back sweats less and is well ventilated. Especially important for hot countries in Asia, Africa, South America.

Wide straps

The ideal width of the straps is 6-8 cm, they should not be very hard or very soft. Upholstery should be made of thick fabric. Too narrow straps will dig into the shoulders, causing great inconvenience.

Large backpacks for travel

Side, secret pockets, several compartments

To choose a good backpack means to save yourself a lot of time and nerves in the future. Several compartments allow you to distribute things: in one laptop and charging, in other clothes, in small compartments – all sorts of keys and trivia. You will know where everything is and can quickly get it if necessary. Ideally, if there is a secret pocket in the backpack to put documents and money there. Well, if there are side pockets: they are comfortable to carry water.

Waterproof cover

Now all self-respecting firms equip their products with a waterproof case that lies in a special pocket and is fastened to a button or a fastener. I pulled on my backpack and walk on, despite the rain, and things (and most importantly documents) remain dry.

Which backpack to choose? Firms and brands

The first three on the list are German brands, and the Germans are known for their quality.

  • Deuter
  • Jack wolfskin
  • Vaude
  • Ospreu – American company
  • North Face – another American brand, better known for our jackets
  • Lowe Alpine – company founded by fellow climbers from the USA
  • Tatonka – good quality, although it is sewn in Vietnam
  • Salewa is another German brand.

From cheap models, see Outventure and Nova Tour, the quality is lower, but the price tag is more humane.

If you want to buy a backpack for traveling cheaply, then it is ideal to ask your friends or on the forums about firms engaged in making tourist equipment in your city. For example, in Omsk we have this Riegel – they do it conscientiously (not advertising). I have a big expeditionary and a small city backpack from them, I don’t take it off for 4 years, if at all!

The cost of a quality backpack

Like all quality items, a good backpack simply cannot be cheap. Get ready to pay for it from 3,000 to 10,000 rubles, although there is no upper limit. Heavily heaped and expensive, too, do not take, little sense from them.

Like all told about how to choose the right backpack for travel. I hope the article was useful and helped determine the choice of your faithful companion on trips.

Do you have experience using specific brand backpacks? Share in the comments!

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