When I was in high school, my older brother and sister could not keep quiet about backpacking to Europe. They had come up with this plan of traveling to different countries in Europe on a budget with their friends. The practice is commonly referred to as backpacking through Europe and every time I heard about their plans, I envied them.

I knew they were going to have a great time and me; I would be left at home, bored and up to my neck with chores. As I grew up, I went to college and after graduating; I started making plans to backpack through Europe.

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My girlfriend and I came up with a list of countries we would love to visit – UK, Scotland, Ireland, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Romania, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and many more. We had both saved over the years and we had a sizeable amount that would enable us to spend two months or more in Europe.

The hard part was finding the best luggage for backpacking. After the trouble I went through and which almost resulted in us missing our vacation, I had to write this buying guide to help other people in the same situation I was in.

What is a backpack?

This refers to a bag that is the preferred travel choice for travelers who want to travel light and move from one location to another. The bag is designed with two shoulder straps and some models have a waist strap too.

The bag comes with different internal and external compartments. This help to improve travel organization and allow the user to organize themselves better. To find the best luggage for backpacking, you need to know how much packing you will have to carry.

If you want to pack light like the contestants of The Amazing Race show, then the backpack is for you. If you like to carry almost half your wardrobe, then a backpack is not for you. Unless you want to carry several backpacks which will definitely defeat its purpose.

What to consider

As a buyer, there are factors you need to consider before purchasing the best luggage for backpacking. They include:

Laptop/gadget compartment

Today, many people cannot live without their gadgets close to them. They need to check the occasional facebook post, twitter tweet or Instagram photo. When looking for the best luggage for backpacking, you need to look for one that provides enough space for your laptop and smart gadgets.

Hideaway straps

When checking at the airport, it is wise to ensure that the process is a breeze for you. To achieve this, you need to pack light. Secondly and the most important of all, you need to look for a bag that can hide away the straps. This is quite helpful as it will prevent snagging and minimize the trouble of stowing it away on the overhead bin.

Locking zippers

Backpackers know how difficult it is to keep a bag safe. When shopping for the best luggage for backpacking, you need to find one with locking zippers. Locking zippers are designed to be easy and a huge help. Even though there are techniques people use to unlock them, the time it takes on to do so is quite long. This means that one can be caught in the act.

Flat packing

The one thing that has made carry-ons to be popular is the option of flat packing. This means packing when the bag is lying flat on a table or bed. This allows one to organize their stuff in different compartments and positions. A great backpack should provide for this option.

Frame type

This is very important as it acts as a support mechanism to your back and bag. You can select a bag with an internal, external or no frame. The choice depends on what is comfortable for you when testing.

Best luggage for backpacking you need to know about

Osprey Exos 48

The backpack is designed with a cushy lightweight material that makes it convenient especially with the many extras it comes with. The bag has the ability to carry heavier loads with a volume of 48 liters. The maximum weight recommended is 40 pounds.

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It is fitted with a stout aluminum frame which is coupled with a tension mesh back panel. This helps to improve on the back ventilation especially when the backpack is crammed full. It comes with a removable top lid, Flap jacket cover and shoulder strap pouches.

It is a great companion when backpacking either in the woods or with friends in a foreign country.

HMG 2400 WindRider

This is a burly, light and highly weather resistant backpack that has a solid feel. It comes in a simple design which helps to keep the weight at minimum. The frame of the backpack is a combination of removable aluminum stays and foam padding.

While the frame looks simple, it is sturdier and effective thanks to the use of aluminum which is known to be light but tough. The backpack is made with cuben fiber keeping it light. It has a volume of 40 liters with a maximum weight recommendation of 40 pounds.

ULA Circuit

This is designed to be comfortable, dependable, lightweight and stylish. You can carry larger loads thanks to its 68 liter volume. The maximum recommended weight is 35 pounds. The Ultralight Adventure Equipment (ULA) Circuit has a three part system.

It includes a carbon fiber hoop, an aluminum stay and a dense internal foam pad. This not only ensures that your travel stuff is well protected by it is easier to carry too.

Final Thoughts

I know how difficult it is to get the right backpack that is perfect with the best features. I have been there too and that’s why I wrote this buying guide. Although it may not be comprehensive as new stuff comes into the market every day, the factors to consider when buying will not change very often.

Some of them include weight, frame type, volume, design, material used, fit and durability. The backpacks reviewed above have great designs and come with extra features that make them more appealing. These are just but a few. Stores out there are stocked with great brands that offer high quality backpacks. I hope this buying guide helps you find what you have been looking for. Good luck!

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