How to Choose the Best Backpacks for Travel Abroad?

Travel backpacks, the most useful thing for all passionate travelers. I am glad companies have started designing backpacks that are suitable for travel abroad, since in the past people were forced to travel backpack through Europe, South America, Asia and other places using the traditional hiking backpack, which is not suitable for this kind of travel in no case. I’ve used different kinds of backpacks and I learned that a bad backpack can make your travel day terrible and painful.

Why are traditional hiking backpacks not ideal for travel?Osprey Atmos 50,

The traditional backpacks are great, but they are meant to use for all days hikes in the mountains, but when it comes to the urban environment, they fell short. Before my first backpacking travel in Europe, I spend hours and hours to find the best backpack. I decided to try the Osprey Atmos 50, which was a great, lightweight and comfortable backpack. However, if I decided to go over mountains for long hikes, it would be great, but for my trip to Paris, Budapest, Rome and Amsterdam, I felt like I made a bad choice. The shortcomings were the following:

  • The access to my stuff. The top loading hiking backpacks are perfect for hiking since backpackers will unload the whole bag and set up camp, but when traveling nobody needs to unpack the hard packed bag when changing location. It is a huge pain, I know you’ll agree. You simply need a bag that will give you access to everything you need, easy and fast.
  • Too many straps. For hiking, all sorts of straps are perfect since you can adjust it to fit compress the load, to hold a sleeping pad and fit the shoulder harness. Also, these straps can easily get caught on things and cause damage ( you can be lucky if you only broke a mirror). Therefore, when going on too many airports, when your bag needs to be checked, you need to be careful and look the straps not to be caught on the conveyor belt or ripped off the bag.
  • Hard to pack. Hiking backpacks are usually narrow and long, which I will say again, for hiking is great since it will keep your stuff in the center of the back, but this is difficult to pack. Therefore, when traveling, this can be a bit of nuisance.

What’s the idea behind the best travel backpacks?

The deal with choosing the best travel backpack is simple- it needs to zip open just as a normal suitcase. In that way, you can easily access all of your stuff without hassle. Most travel backpacks are not having the extra straps and hip belt or shoulder straps, so everything can be packed behind the zippered panel, which is safer when traveling with trains, buses or planes. Comparing them both, you probably think that all these stuff sound so nice, but they’re still some catches since travel backpacks are not as advanced as the traditional hiking backpacks. Here’re some drawbacks:


  • The weak spot-zippers: As on any bag, zippers are the weakest spot on the travel backpacks. Even most of the manufacturers are using heavy-duty zippers, you should be prepared if you break one. Also, keep on mind that most, zippers are not waterproof, so bring some rain cover in a case there’s a rain to protect your zipper and stuff. Of course, if you have bought a nicer bag this might not be a problem, but in any case, it is good to know.
  • The hip belt. The travel backpacks should have a hip belt, but most of them are not having. This thing is so important since when traveling, you are bringing a lot of things in your bag that weight and the whole weight should not be on your shoulders, but your hips. If your backpack doesn’t have a hip belt, then that is backpack you should not wear for a long time on your back.
  • Boxiness. Unlike the traditional hiking backpacks, the travel backpacks are bored boxy, since are designed to look and function as a suitcase. This is not a complaining, but for people that are used to use a hiking pack, the difference will be noticed for sure.

What to look for when choosing travel backpacks?

Few things need to be considered when choosing an ideal travel backpack. Type, size, straps, the material and the access that the backpacks have are the main things that need to be checked. Even some of your closed ones such as sister/brother, friends, colleagues or some other may say “this one is the best, it has this, this and this..” it doesn’t mean it will be the best for you also.

Best backpacks for travel


Do you need a large backpack? Or maybe smaller will fit your needs? It depends on your plans if you’re planning a longer trip where many locations will be included than larger backpack will be a better choice, but still, there are many options, so keep reading.


Looking, in general, all the backpacks are made with a water resistant material. However, it does not need to be completely waterproof, but you need to look out to be something acceptable. What I mean with this? I mean that if a rain caught you outdoor, your stuff won’t get wet. When choosing a suitable backpack, look for a material that will dry quickly, to be in a good quality, but also lightweight.


The way you’ll access to your things in your backpack is very important, thou, it needs to be one of the things you should keep on mind when choosing travel backpacks. Personally, I am not enjoying getting all my stuff out of the backpack when I will need something that is packed on the bottom, so the top loading backpacks are not my choice when traveling. When choosing the perfect one, keep on mind things that may frustrate you. My favorites are the travel backpacks with a U-zip, which I found as an easier and also quicker access to my stuff.

Different sizes of backpacks



The most important aspect for me to check when choosing a backpack is the size. I found that is very important to pick a bag that can be worn comfortably. It is not just the size, but is also the shape of the bag and also how it will fit on the back. During my travels, I made some mistakes regarding choosing the right backpack. From all that, I learned that is the best when you choose something that is slightly bigger from the one you think you need. Therefore, you can buy things while traveling and you’ll have a place to pack them all.

So, choose the best backpack for you and…happy travelling:)




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