Choosing the Right Backpack

The most crucial part of travelling is having the right equipment – but most importantly a decent backpack.

We initially checked a few backpacks online but realised that there’s no way of finding out if these backpacks are suitable for our frames – I’m only 5’3 whereas Kyle is 6’1. Plus, we didn’t want the hassle of ordering a backpack, waiting for delivery then finding out it wasn’t the right fit and then having the faff of sending it back!

Top loading or front loading backpacks?

With a top loading backpack all the contents have to be packed ‘vertically’. However this can prove to be a major disadvantage – if you want something at the bottom of you bag you’ll need unpack your pack to get what you need, then repack! I don’t know about you but that’s just too long-winded for me!

A front loading backpack is where you can unzip the panel in the same way like a suitcase. It is much easier to pack your contents and take a particular item out without minimal effort.

Verdict? Front loading wins!

Which size is best?

We did some research into this and to be honest reviews were mixed. Some travelers swear by their 35L backpacks, whereas others were happy with their choice of a 65L backpack. Confused by size dimensions and brands we thought it’d be best to try the backpacks at the store.

I cannot recommend how useful is was to go to the store and trial out the backpacks. All the stores we went into put in a 10kg of weight inside to allow to us to get a real feel. We then walked around, going up and down stairs, sitting down and getting up. I first tried out the 65L backpacks but realised straight away that the bag was too big for me – so big even that I couldn’t even look up without hitting my head on the frame!

Eliminating the larger capacity we tried on the 55 litre backpacks instead. There was one particular brand – Osprey which had the best backpack in this size and was available in S/M and M/L size. Again we trialled the backpacks with the weight to test out. We were both surprised on how well the backpacks fitted. The interior of the packs had 2 large mesh zipped pockets and compression straps. There is also a back system zip which protects the straps and buckles – ideal for flights. The backpacks also have a detachable 15 litre daypack that can be clipped on your front for easy access to personal items – this was a bonus for me.

The search was over, we had found our travel backpacks!

How much did it cost?

We both felt that the Osprey Farpoint 55L backpack met the requirements we needed for our travels. The total price for 2 backpacks was £180.00

We were really pleased with the backpacks and felt the cost justified the quality of the product.

Now for the fun part..deciding what goes inside!