Being lifelong travelers, all of us love our lightweight, multipurpose gear that will withstand the rigors in the road. Gear ought to be dependable, multifunctional, durable and perform beyond expectations. Nothing may be truer when it comes to purchasing a good hiking backpack, especially considering it will be your home away from home. Traveling, especially long-term, will literally test the bounds of your bag along with your body, and as such this decision should not be made impulsively. Buying your backpack should not be rushed decision and factors such as trip length, capacity, material, functionally and comfort should always be considered. When i got serious about purchasing a good pack, I had been at REI for a good 3 hours -I think they did start to suspect I was trying to get a job.
If my three hours was any indication, buying a good backpack just isn’t an easy task. With numerous backpack manufacturers and styles, it can understandably be overwhelming. Anything you do, don’t go cheap. You’ll be doing yourself a disservice and buy a new one anyways. A great backpack is an investment. You needn’t spend $500 on a backpack, but keep clear of cheap, no-frills, traditional $70 brands, as you’ll regret the design flaws and shortage of extras. Spend a tad bit more for a good backpack from a trusted brand, and this will be your companion for a lot of trips to come. The Osprey pack I eventually settled on has traveled when camping from the U.S towards the Middle East for 10 awesome a few years I know it has yet another good 10 years to go.
Travel Backpack or Hiking Backpack
Before you begin shopping for the right pack, you need to know the difference between travel backpacks and hiking backpacks. A travel backpack is a backpack-suitcase hybrid with a zippered side panel such as a suitcase. Hiking backpacks would be the more commonly seen cylindrical top loading packs with straps, clips and a top lid. A lot of people have an opinion that hiking backpacks are just suited for the backcountry and it has no place for the backpacker, I disagree. The things that work for you ultimately depends upon personal preference and elegance of travel. Travel backpacks are great for easy, organized access to gear and transporting from hostel to hostel. In addition they function well for short walks as well as as a daypack.
However, if you possibly have camping or long treks in your travel plans, you may want to consider a hiking backpack. Hiking backpacks are designed for comfort, proper weight distribution, and toughness. Unlike a travel backpack, hiking backpacks could have enhancements like full-sized hip belts, upper back suspension systems as well as plenty of load bearing straps to mitigate discomfort. Granted the superior down packing just isn’t as convenient to access your gear, that’s part in parcel to proper weight distribution. A great compromise would be to get a hiking backpack with side load access.
I am generalizing a bit as they do have travel backpacks which are in the upper capacity range with additional advanced suspension systems, however, if you’re going to get a 70L travel backpack, you might as well go with a hiking backpack. Count on me, you’ll be glad you probably did for that unexpected 20 mile trek to the next town.