The 5 Best Backpacking Backpacks: For 5 Different Types of Trips

 

Do you need a backpack, but don’t know which to choose?

Don’t make the same MISTAKE I made.

I took an old backpack I already had –I thought it would be good enough. I also thought that I would return home two months later.

In both cases, I was wrong.

As a consequence, I had to carry my old backpack in my arms for two days in Laos because it broke.

It’s not easy to find a shop selling minimum-quality backpacks over there.

Also:

The new backpack broke too after just a few months. So I bought another one in Vietnam.

And guess what?

Yeah, it broke again. After three backpacks, I bought a good one. I’m a slow learner, I know.

I have chosen the best backpacks for you, taking into consideration my own experiences and those of other experienced backpackers.

All these backpacks are great backpacks. So you just need to choose your size and favorite color 🙂

Backpack Types

 

Depending on what kind of trip you are planning, you will need a specific type of backpack.

In this guide, I selected four different ones.

Travel Backpack: Osprey Farpoint 55

 

Osprey Farpoint 55 backpackThis is a backpack made with the backpacker in mind.

It has all the features you need when you are backpacking for a long period of time and through different countries.

It comes with a detachable bag – a 42 liter main pack, plus a 13 liter daypack – which I believe every backpacker needs.

Not just to divide the weight but also so you can keep your most important valuables with you the whole time.

You can clip the daypack onto the front harness of your main backpack, which I recommend.

Safety

 

In big cities around the world, you will come across pickpockets, and they normally target tourists.

Therefore, you need to be careful with your valuables.

Carrying your daypack in front of you containing your most important valuables can avoid this problem.

Also, you can lock the zips of both bags, which is great when you have to leave your backpack in the luggage storage of a bus, train or airplane.

Comfort

 

It comes in two sizes, S-M and M-L, which helps you to find the right one for you. It also has all the adjustments to make it fit on your back.

Osprey Farpoint has a hip and torso belt to fix it to your body, and you don’t feel the weight too much when you move.

Packing

 

Among the most important things for backpackers are packing and unpacking. Farpoint opens like a suitcase. You will be able to see and access all your stuff in a moment.

I love it.

Plus

 

It comes in different colors, plus different capacities: 55, 70 and 80 liters.

Daypack has a special compartment for a laptop or tablet.

There is a 40 liter version if you want only the main backpack without the daypack.

Osprey also has a female version of this backpack called the Osprey Fairview. It has some adaptations to better fit the female body. The rest is exactly the same.

This one comes in 40, 55 and 70 liter capacities.

You can watch this cool video from Osprey to see all the features.

Get It On Amazon

Pros

 

* Lightweight.

* Great suspension system.

* The backpack opens widely.

* Good back ventilation.

* Osprey gives you a lifetime guarantee.

Cons

 

* Lack of external pockets on the main backpack.

* It’s not cheap.

 

Hiking Backpack: Kelty Redwing 50

 

Kelty Redwing 50 backpackThis is a versatile backpack good for all types of backpacking and hiking.

It has a pre-curved belt that’s great for holding the weight, but it will press against your belly if you are fat.

Otherwise, it will make the structure of the backpack stronger and more stable.

It can be difficult to fit all your stuff in if you’re traveling for a long period of time.

You may need a daypack to carry more stuff, which I always recommend anyway.

It’s useful for keeping your most important valuables with you all the time.

Also, you can leave your main backpack in your room and just carry a daypack with a few things to visit a place.

Comfort

 

Great adjustable torso length. Nevertheless, the aluminum stay on the back limits the torso length from 15.5 to 21 inches (39–53 cm). If your torso is smaller or bigger, this backpack is not for you.

I missed the instructions about how to fit it to the torso – or at least I didn’t see any.

Maybe you can make a guess or watch the video, but it’s always nice if there’s a piece of paper with some instructions.

It has some other accurate body adjustments that make it easy to fit.

A single aluminum stay keeps your load stable and comfortable, and the pre-curved hip belt and the sternum strap make the perfect adjustments.

Do you want more?

You can feel how the AirFlow back system gives you great ventilation.

Packing

 

It has a top-loading system but also the option of opening the bag 70% by unclipping two compression straps, which makes this backpack great if you need to pack and unpack often.

Just remember to put the stuff you normally don’t need at the bottom. It’s the only part which is not easy to reach.

There are several compartments for anything you need to store. It’s like a portable wardrobe.

It also has a dedicated compartment, a padded sleeve, for a laptop; a water reservoir hanger; and attachments for an ice ax, hiking poles, and more.

Plus

 

There is an old model without the Perfect-Fit Suspension. Here is a link to the new Redwing 50 model. And you also can choose from different colors.

There are other two smaller models: the Kelty Redwing 44 and the Kelty Women’s Redwing 40.

You can get this Kelty Rain Cover if you need it.

This video from Kelty shows you all the features.

Get it On Amazon

Pros

 

* Good organizational features

* Adjustable torso length

* Perfect-Fit Suspension

* AirFlow back panel

* Price

Cons

 

* Pre-curved belt not suitable for fat people

* It has no hip belt pockets

Adventure Backpack: Deuter ACT 65+10

 

Deuter ACT 65+10 backpackIf you are planning on going backpacking or trekking, and carrying a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and tent …

This is your best choice.

Comfort

 

The DEUTER ACT 65+10 has many adjustments to fit on your back. Make sure you watch the video from Deuter to get the best out of it.

You will find it at the end of the review.

With this backpack, you will experience freedom of movement.

Needless to say, if you carry a lot of weight, you will feel it more or less depending on your strength.

In any case, this backpack will help you to carry your stuff as much as possible.

The back ventilation system works well. If it’s hot, it’s hot, but at least you will not feel your back burning.

Packing

 

This backpack is top and bottom loading, which makes it OK for packing and unpacking. It also has many compartments that will help you keep your stuff tidy.

The bag can extend at the top by 10 liters, making a 75 liter backpack. It can also be adapted to carry much less stuff …

… which allows you to adapt the backpack to your trip.

The top of the backpack is removable, making a small bag that you could use as a daypack. It might be useful for some, but I personally don’t find it comfortable.

Besides, I always bring a daypack with me.

The little plastic fasteners seem a bit weak – I don’t use them, so it’s just my impression. If you need them, it would be a good idea to bring some replacements, just in case.

Do you bring everything with you?

Carry anything you need:

Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, hydration system, tent, water bottles, trekking poles and laptop.

Plus

 

It has compartments for everything. Also, there are different sizes available: 40+10, 50+10 and 65+10 liters.

Here is a video from Deuter. The music is horrible, but they show you all the features.

Get it On Amazon

Pros

 

* You can carry any kind of equipment.

* Several compartments

* Extremely comfortable

* AirContact ventilation back system

* Price

Cons

 

* The little plastic fasteners may fall off.

* A bit heavy

Backpack for Girls/Women: Osprey Aura AG 65

 

Osprey Aura AG 65 backpackThe Osprey Aura is considered the best travel backpack specifically designed for Girls/Women.

It seems that the Osprey designers have considered every single detail, such as shorter torso lengths and narrower shoulder widths.

Something you may have to consider is that if you are small and you carry a lot of weight, the backpack can pull you backwards.

Comfort

 

About the “Anti-Gravity technology.” I am sorry, but this makes me laugh. Such a thing as “Anti-Gravity technology” does not yet exist.

Nevertheless:

The suspension system is probably the best you can get right now, and it’s, therefore, one of the most comfortable backpacks ever.

The mesh on the back covers all the parts that touch your body, from your back to your hips. It supports and hugs your torso. It feels really good.

Besides,

The availability of different sizes there is are simple torso and hip belt adjustments to fit just about anybody.

I suggest you follow the instructions for fitting before you use this backpack. If you do it right, you will not feel pressure at any specific point.

Everything is adjustable!

Packing

 

Another great feature is that you can downsize or upsize your backpack, which makes it extremely versatile.

Osprey Aura has a floating top lid which can be extended to accept oversized loads or totally removed for weight saving and use as a mini daypack.

There are many pockets and gadgets to organize your stuff.

Such as:

An internal reservoir sleeve, dual-stress mesh pockets, dual-zipper belt pockets, sleeping pad straps, trekking poles, and the other typical compartments.

You will also find side compression straps and internal compression straps which help you to stabilize the weight.

Plus

 

The quality of a well-known brand, including a lifetime guarantee.

You can choose from different sizes: X-Small, Small and Medium.

It’s also available in a 55 liter model.

There is a male version called the Osprey Atmos.

Osprey knows how to make good videos. They explain quite well about the features of the backpack.

Here it is!

Get it On Amazon

Pros

 

* Lightweight

* Comes in different sizes: XS (60 liters), S (62 liters) and M (65 liters)

* Great suspension and ventilation system

* Several fittings, pockets, compartments, and anchorages

* Osprey gives you a lifetime guarantee

Cons

 

* Top loading

* A bit heavy

* Not cheap

Backpack Tips

Backpack’s Weight

 

Before you choose a backpack, I would suggest you to take only what you actually need.

It’s not fun carrying a heavy pack. It’s also true that after a few weeks you are capable of carrying a weight that was unthinkable for you before.

The body gets used to it.

Volume

 

First, you need to choose what to take on your trip. From there, you can decide which size is right for you.

All these backpacks have an average size between 50 and 65 liters. Some models have different sizes to cover all your needs.

You might be tempted to take “everything” – I am guilty of this, and it’s great to have anything you may need. However, the heavier your backpack, the more tired you get.

I couldn’t enjoy hiking in the amazing Taman Negara national park of Malaysia, because I carried too much stuff.

Why?

Because I had to stop every 100 meters and keep my eyes on the ground, taking one step at a time.

I didn’t have the energy to look up and pay attention to the beautiful landscape.

Think about it.

Fit

 

A backpack is like a jacket, but heavier: it should fit and feel right. The advantage is that all the backpacks selected have back, torso and waist adjustments.

Anyway, make sure you buy a backpack that fits your torso. The adjustment is limited. You will find the measurements of each backpack. If you are not really big or small, you will be fine.

Following the instructions, you will be able to perfectly fit it on your back.

How To Measure Your Torso

 

You can ask someone to help you.

Or you can do it alone if you look at yourself in the mirror. It will be a bit more difficult, but it’s possible.

At the base of your neck is the C 7 vertebra. You will feel it; it’s a bony bump.

Then place your hands on your hip bones to make an imaginary line.

The length from the C 7 to the imaginary line is the size of your torso.

Suspension System

 

This is an important part of the backpack if you want to keep it on for a long period of time. You will not feel like you are carrying a rock.

Besides, it will partially absorb the weight and the movement.

All the backpacks recommended have a good or great suspension system.

Obviously, if you carry a lot of weight, you will resent it somehow. Be aware of your strength.

Do you have experience backpacking?

Some people without experience carry a backpack for a minute and think they will be fine. But 30 minutes later, their legs will be shaking.

It would be a good idea to take a walk with a fully loaded backpack. That will give you a real sense of how it feels.

Hip Belt

 

Theoretically, you don’t need a hip belt if you are only backpacking, because you will not be carrying your backpack for a long period of time.

But if you hike, it’s a different matter.

The hip belt will distribute the weight between your shoulders and your hips, so you will feel better and have more energy.

Plus, you will have more stability.

Therefore, I have chosen only backpacks with a hip belt to make sure you will be fine.

This is important for people – like me – who take enough stuff to survive a nuclear holocaust.

Sternum Strap

 

I personally use it only when carrying a light backpack and I need to keep it tight, such as when I’m hiking, cycling or motorbiking.

If I’m carrying a heavy backpack, I feel that the sternum strap puts too much pressure on my torso and doesn’t allow me to breathe properly.

Maybe it doesn’t happen to you. Try it, and find out if it’s a good extra for you and how tight you want it.

Price

 

A good backpack is not cheap. Nevertheless, I didn’t select expensive backpacks. We are talking about backpacking, not climbing the Mount Everest.

Neither did I choose cheap backpacks, because cheap means low quality and therefore the backpack will soon break. And, as I did, you will have to buy several backpacks.

My father says, “Over time, cheap stuff becomes expensive.”

Packing Tip

 

Make a list of everything you want to take with you – it will help you to get an overall picture  – but don’t forget any important items.

Pack Wisely

 

Think about what you will need first or more often.

Why?

Otherwise, you will have to pack and unpack all the time to get anything.

I also recommend you to bring a daypack. It will give you easy access to your daily stuff.

Prepare for the different climates you may encounter. Even if you visit tropical countries you will need a good jacket in some cases.

To maximize comfort pack your backpack with the heaviest items in the middle and close to your back.

Where To Buy Backpacks: Buying Online

 

You can normally return an unused pack within a certain period of time.

Get your backpack to try it at home and return it or exchange it if you think it’s not right for you.

Below you will find the links of each Backpack to Amazon.

Synthesized

 

Extras For a Backpack You Need

Waterproof Cover

 

It is always worthy to spend a few dollars to keep your stuff dry. Keep it inside your backpack just in case. Traveling during rainy season make it a must-have.

Packing Cube

 

I personally just use it for small stuff. Many people use it to pack absolutely everything. Up to you.

This useful item will help you to organize your stuff and to keep it compressed.

Travel Locks

 

This is convenient. Bring one to lock your backpack. It’s also a good idea to have another one to use it in a locker-room. You will need it in some hostels.

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The Best Backpacking Backpacks: For Different Types of Trips
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The Best Backpacking Backpacks: For Different Types of Trips
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Find the best backpack for your trip
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