One of the things that makes or breaks your trip is a good backpack, and those who’ve traveled often will understand why. And to choose a good travel backpack is not as easy as one may think. Unwieldy suitcases, bad backpacks etc can lead to a lot of discomfort, and worse, leave you with a sore back. Suitcases are fine if you are traveling with a family and kids to tow, but not otherwise – in my opinion.
What’s in a good travel backpack, you may ask – after all, all of them look the same. The similarity usually ends with looks – most of the backpacks are badly designed, with straps hanging from everywhere, sizing issues, etc,. are just the starting point to my troubles. Reason – travel backpacks are rare, and good ones are even more hard to find.
Let me dig in deeper – as a traveler, what are your options? Wheeled suitcases (if you are traveling with a family and kids, yes), top loading hiking backpacks and unsuitable choices like duffel bags and school backpacks, but they are rarely suitable for travel.
I did a lot of digging in, in the past few months to figure out which one to buy, and towards the end, it was a matter of personal convenience – to pick a good travel bag which is around the 40 litre mark, and something that many travel backpackers seem to recommend, or something which is slightly bigger, around the 50-65 litre range. Here are my top picks under both categories.
Travel backpacks under 50 litres
- Tortuga Travel Backpack
- Minaal Carry-On 2.0
- REI Vagabond Tour 40 Pack
- Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack
Travel backpacks above 50 litres
$199 $149) and Minaal($249) are products that were crowdsourced through Kickstarter, and although very good, they are pricey as well. In case your budget doesn’t allow for such a costly purchase, I would urge you to take a look at any of the REI, Deuter, Osprey backpacks mentioned above.
My pick is either the REI Vagabond or the Tortuga. Which one is yours?