Choosing the right backpack is one of the most important pretrip decisions you’ll make. You want to find the right size and the right fit for you. After all, you’re going to be walking around with it for awhile in all sorts of situations so you’ll want to be comfortable with it.
Here’s some things to look for when you’re shopping for a backpack…
When it comes to the size of your backpack, bigger isn’t necessarily better. The size of your bag comes down to how much stuff you’re going to be taking with you. Many first time backpackers tend to pack way too much stuff and end up buying an unnecessarily big backpack.
Backpacks come in sizes ranging from 35L to over 100L. The trick is to find a bag that is the right size for you. If it’s too small then it’ll be challenging to fit everything you need into it and if it’s too large then it’s going to be bulky, heavy and cumbersome.
If you pack properly, you should easily be able to fit everything you need for your trip into a bag in the 50-70L size range.
When it comes to how a backpack is loaded, there are two types: top loading and front loading.
While top loading backpacks might be lighter and fit better, you’ll quickly come to realize that front loading backpacks are much easier to travel with.
Front loading backpacks have more pockets and pouches to separate things into. As well, they unzip and open up like a suitcase so it’s simple to get something out of it. With a top loading backpack you have to frustratingly take everything out of it if what you need is at the very bottom of the pack.
The price of your backpack will depend on alot of different variables like its’ size and the different features it has. In general, though, a medium sized backpack will cost around $200. It’s a steep price to pay but a good backpack will last you many years and many trips so it’s worth it.
After a thorough search of different backpacks, our choice is the Osprey Farpoint 70.
It’s sells for about $200 and is lightweight, front loading and has enough pockets to keep you organized. It also has a detachable daypack which is invaluable.