Going Backpacking? How To Choose The Right Backpack

If one is going backpacking, then consider getting the right backpack. It is always important to get one the right size.

Going backpacking for the first time? How do choose a backpack? Depending on want one is planning to do, this can be a very important decision to get right. It is also very important to pack right and there are many things that travelers regret packing.

Some of the big questions come down to where is one going, what one is planning to do, and for how long one is going for – as well as the size and fitness of the person to be carrying the backpack. Get it right and one can see why happiness can be in packing for somewhere far away.

The Idea Of A Backpack is Mobility

As a rule of thumb, the smaller the better. Generally, the mistakes first-timers make are over planning, overpacking, and too much weight. The whole idea of ​​having a backpack and not a suitcase is for mobility. So that one is free and mobile to move about. If the backpack is too heavy or uncomfortable to carry for long, then it is too big and one has overpacked.

  • Golden Rule: If It Is Difficult To Carry For A Distance, It Is Overpacked
  • Remember: Mobility, Mobility, Mobility
  • Tip: A Smaller Backpack Will Force One To Pack Economically

No one should ever have a backpack that is more than 70 liters and smaller is better. Girls shouldn’t really have more than 55 or 60 liters. And over 70 liters for a man is a mistake, 60 liters is better. It can be later if one is only planning to go from hostel to hostel and destination to destination – and so not carry it for very long.

  • Maximum Volume: 70 Liters + Day Bag For Men
  • Better Volume: 50 Liters + Day Bag

When it comes to weight, never go above 23 kgs (50 lbs) for the main backpack. The simple reason for that is that is the maximum weight of most international airlines. You don’t want to be paying silly extra fees every time one flies.

  • Maximum Weight: 23 kgs (50 lbs)
  • Target Maximum Weight: 10-15 kgs (22-33 lbs)

But even this way too much for most folks to lug around. Try to keep it down to 15 kgs (33 lbs). If one is backing for a long trip for the first time, then leave some spare room. There were likely to be some things that one actually needs that one didn’t think of before. Otherwise if one is fully packed, then for everything one buys, one has to discard something else.

Related: 20 Things To Pack Before Backpacking Through Southeast Asia

Short Term, Long Term, Hiking, or Staying In Hostels…

If one is planning to go hiking then the question is – is one planning to go camping as well? Because camping equipment takes up a lot of room. Be sure to buy quality, light, and small equipment. There are plenty of essentials that hikers (like AT-Thru hikers) swear by.


If one is going for a long period of time, then one should also pack a computer – one can even be a digital nomad this way. A laptop will almost always be used – pictures, working, applications, and more. Just take a small one.

  • Tip: Take A Notebook On Longer Trips
  • Packing For Long Term Trips: Paradoxically it May Be Less Important to Pack For Longer Trips as One Can just Buy What One Needs When One Needs

If it is a longer trip, the one should have a larger backpack as well as a small day backpack. Day backpacks are great for when one is going to spend overnight on a Tinder date, go for a hike, or just go out for a day excursion.

Related: 11 Things Needed When Packing For Vacation (According To Our Readers)

Think About One’s Mode of Transport

If one is traveling just for a few weeks – like to Europe or somewhere, then some other things to consider. How is one planning to get around within Europe? There are many cheap flights all around the continent – but these typically exclude checked luggage and checked luggage is very often more expensive than the original ticket in the first place.

  • Cheap European Flights: Wizz Air, Easy Jet, Ryanair

If that is the plan, then look at the keep carriers like Wizz Air, Easy Jet, and Ryanair and see what their cabin luggage restrictions are and plan around those.


If one is planning to be mobile and move around a lot, it really is important to keep the size and weight down. If one is going hitchhiking, then one will often need to walk for miles.

If one is planning to do lots of hiking in the mountains, it is imperative to have as little as possible while having everything one needs. Otherwise, one will be forced to offload much of the contents of the backpack in a hostel or somewhere.

One popular brand is Osprey while Kathmandu has some of the best backpacks.

Next: Packing For Any Trip Is Overwhelming, So Here’s Where To Start With The Essentials

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