It is never easy to choose the right backpack when planning for trips. Yet we must. It is important that we always carry the right backpack for each trip. Too big, and you will strain yourself with the weight you have to carry around your back. Too small and you will have to leave something behind.
It goes further. Sometimes you end up choosing the wrong material for the wrong weather. This will make you regret your choices. For example, if you pick a bag with the wrong material then your stuff may get soaked when it rains.
It may be your first time buying a new backpack. Then you should know there is a science behind picking the right bag for your travels. Research is a time-consuming process. You can spend hours online before you settle for the perfect backpack for your travels.
When picking a bag, you should lay down all the qualities you are looking for. You should also identify the best brands and the places you can get them at amazing prices.
Qualities of a good backpack
A good bag is one that lasts the longest and still stays in good condition regardless of the abuse it will endure. A good backpack should check the following boxes.
- Lockable zipper (TSA approved)
You should care about the safety of the things you carry. You may not worry about someone breaking into your bag and stealing your clothes, but you should. It sounds paranoid but what if someone puts something inside your bag?
Getting a good lock is important. You can have any lock on your custom backpacks. Officers from transportation security administration, (TSA) have the rights to break your lock should an emergency call for it. Hence, a standard TSA lock is ideal.
TSA approved locks have a special release valve. The valves will allow access into the backpack without breaking the lock.
2. Many compartments
This helps with organization. It will save you the trouble of having to dig inside your bag each time to fish things out. Compartments help you break down your belongings into small sections. For example, you can separate your clothes from your flip flops and shoes. You can put clothes in the main compartment. You can put shoes on a separate compartment and an umbrella or the water bottle on the sides of your bag. Having many compartments also ensures that the items you carry do not mix together. You can carry your damp gym clothes with other clean stuff in the same backpack.
3. Support/internal frame
Internal frames are support rods hidden from view. They are built way inside the backpacks. They differ from external frames in many ways. They are comfortable and you can adjust them. Internal frames are less bulky compared to external frames. They have a modern backpack design that is good for hiking.
Internal frames will hold your stuff close to your body. This is an advantage when you are on rugged terrains or scrambling off-the-trail.
4. Padded shoulder straps
They are essential when carrying a heavy load. They bring comfort to your shoulders when the weight of the load pushes down against them. The pads will take away the pressure from your lower back. Thick padding, one made of a single material is ideal. This makes the pad less likely to thin out or to split.
5. A padded back/contoured
A good backpack has a contoured, padded back. The principle applied is like the contours used in chairs. They allow a natural arch to reduce back pain and discomfort. Carrying your bag for a long period may build up a sweat and cause slight irritations. The contours create a space between your backpack and your back. This allows air to move and keep you cool.
6. Padded hip-belt
The weight you carry will push down your hips. A padded hip-belt will support and help distribute the weight on your back. This causes less strain on your back and shoulders. The hip-belt is adjustable and you should fasten it to ensure firm support.
Does size matter?
Is there a perfect backpack size? There is no one-sized backpack that is better for all and sundry. What is important is that the backpack is proportional to the body.