Getting ready for a backpacking adventure is one that should not be taken lightly. A good trip is one without incident and this requires intense research, preparation, and planning.
A good step to move to after having decided on your destination is the purchase of the backpack that will be with you throughout your trip. This, however, is bound to be a confusing affair with the sheer number of brands on the market touting their products as the best. It is to clear these doubts that we at Travset together with our trusted backpackers have created this post.
Does the size of the backpack matter?
Yes, the size of the backpacker is definitely important as you wouldn’t want to be carrying too little or have extra space that won’t end up being used.
The backpack has to fit the backpacker’s physical structure as carrying a heavy backpack for miles isn’t healthy or viable over a stretch of time. It also needs to have padding on the areas where the weight is likely to be felt the heaviest such as the hips and shoulders.
Should I pick a 100L bag?
Not unless you’re going on an expedition. Most backpacks in the range of 50-60 L is more than enough for most backpackers.
What are the features I should be looking for?
Different bags have different features based on what you’re willing to pay. A good backpack, however, needs to have a few essentials.
Waterproof or semi-waterproof – you wouldn’t want to get caught in the rain and come home to discover all your clothes and valuables have taken in water.
Double zippers – these allow you to lock your bag and protect your valuables in the unlikely event of theft
Internal frame – an internal frame has the bag built around it, making it sturdier and easier to carry
Compartments – there is nothing worse than having to dig everything up to find one item. Compartments would remove such worries.
Front-loading – certain backpacks can only be accessed from the top, making items at the bottom very hard to reach. A front-loading backpack allows you to open it from the side.
Having taken the above into consideration, the best way to know the right backpack is to simply try it on. Many shops that offer backpacks for sale also have weight blocks you can place inside the backpack to get a feel for what being on the road with it would be.
How much should I pay for it?
It’s easy to get lost with the huge variety of backpacks that are available for sale, so we suggest looking around on the internet for reviews prior to purchase. We do not, however, recommend skimping as a backpack has to last and it’s wise to pay once for a quality product than several times in the coming years. Do not however be extravagant as well! A good quality backpack should only set you back by $100-$200.
Should I buy anything supplemental to the backpack?
Some backpacks come with warranties that last for extended periods over time whilst some only cover a year. It’s always a good idea to get clarity on the warranty and what is being covered prior to making the purchase.
Make sure you invest in a couple of good padlocks for zippers to keep any thieving hands from your possessions as well.