The way you should look at your bag is the same way a turtle wears a shell
It’s going to be your new home, so choose wisely.
Comfort is the most important element when choosing a backpack.
Buying a cheap or fake branded backpack is really going to make you suffer in the long run.
It’s going to be uncomfortable, backbreaking and it will fall apart half way through your trip.
Whatever you do, don’t cut corners on the bag!
A bag is for life, not just for one trip.
Tips when buying:
• 30-40 liters capacity
• Carry 10kg comfortably
• Maximum dimensions of 55cmx40cmx20cm.
This guideline is frequently found in the information given to you by airlines for check-in luggage.
How to choose the best bag?
My advice is to go along to your local outdoor center that sells outdoor equipment.
Here are some examples of stores I recommend around the globe:
(Just a note; I have both visited and purchased items from all of the above stores, so am happy to vouch for them.)
So why have I told you to go to these stores?
Not only will you receive expert advice, you can try on the bags for yourself which you can’t do online.
When you go to these stores, you will be welcomed by a member of staff who has done a fair bit of travelling themselves and will possibly offer their expert opinion on the product you’re looking at.
Once you try on the product then you can best find out if the product fits your body-frame.
Everyone has a different frame so not all bags will suit everyone.
Another point is the above stores will have measuring sticks to measure the top of your back to the bottom.
This will help you find the type of frame that you are, and what size of bag will be most suitable.
They also tend to have Bean bag weights that they can put in your bag, so you can feel what it’s going to be like when it’s fully loaded.
Things I like to look out for with a good bag:
• Waterproof pullover that’s built in. This helps to keep your bag dry when it rains and allows you to cut out an umbrella.
• Compression straps to pull out unneeded air from your bag and makes it more compact.
• Good waist support strap that can be tucked away when not in use.
• Good chest clip to give you upper body support. Built in whistle is a bonus.
• Padded laptop compartment for extra security.
• Lots of storage pockets for cables and passports and pens ECT, helps with organization.
• Front easy grab pocket for things like chewing gum and sunglasses
• Outside water bottle holder.
With all the above knowledge, you will be able to walk into an outdoor store and look at the bag that fits the most requirements, but most importantly, fits you the best.
Tips for the Outdoor store
It’s a good idea to set aside a whole day of research to shop for your new backpack, either online or on the high street.
Then you can seek out the best product at the best price to suit you.
Now you can do one of three things:
1) If you’re happy with the price and the service from the store, buy the product.
Don’t forget to ask if they do any type of discount such as membership/student card discount, this might save you some much needed extra cash and you only have to ask.
2) If a birthday or Christmas is coming up, you can always ask if it could be gifted to you.
This is something you’re going to have for a lifetime and use every day and so it would make a perfect gift.
4) If you have time, wait for the sales to come around and try your luck.
It’s best to shop around as saving any type of money helps towards the funding of your trip and helping you towards choosing the perfect gear that suits you.
In the end, if you are happy with the service of the store, go with them, simple.
My bag of choice?
The North Face – Surge backpack
I have been using this bag for the past 4 years, touch wood its never let me down, perfect size for hand luggage, great strap support and very durable.
I wish you the best of luck with finding your next backpack and I hope you found the information useful.