Making the right decision can have a big impact on your trip abroad, if you get the decision wrong it can make everything more dicult and be something which can distract from the enjoyment of travelling. 

If you get the decision right you can get a backpack which might last for years! To help you make a decision we have put together some useful advice about how to choose a backpack and our top recommendations for which one to buy.

A few years ago choosing a backpack was a no brainer, there wasn't much choice and most of the backpacks were very similar in design. Now you have the choice of literally hundreds of backpacks, some are purpose built for some trips and are durable so will last a long time.

Choosing the right backpack means you will get the right size, a comfortable choice, hopefully a good price and it will last for a number of years and trips. A bad backpack can be uncomfortable, poor quality, too big or too small, too heavy, not waterproof and most backpacks can cost quite a lot of money so its important you make a good decision.

There are lots of different backpacks for different lenght trips, so whether you are travelling for a few weeks, 3 / 6 / 12 months or longer view our guide on how to choose a backpack and view our recommendations on what one to buy to take travelling...



When buying a packpack try to make sure the material is water resistance, there are lots of times when you will get caught in rainy / bad weather conditions and its important that your backpack doesn't leak and get all your things wet. Some material can be thicker than others and it doesn't need to be 100% waterproof (this can usually be heavier) but you just need a level of water resistance.

Try to get a backpack which is ligthweight, remember you are going to be carrying this around for long periods and possibly up hills or stairs so you need something which isn't going to break your back. Modern backpacks have a built in frame which is hidden from sight, don't be tempted to buy an older model which is cheaper because a decade ago frames were built out of heaver material. Comfort is also a big thing to think about when buying a backpack.


Where To Buy 

There are lots of places to purchase a backpack, if you are going to buy one online we recommend reading reviews and going into a store to check it yourself to give yourself an idea if you like the look and feel of it.

Sometimes buying online which seeing the packack first can be the wrong decision to make. It's always best to go into a shop, have a chat to staff and try on a few options before making a purchase. If you are going to buy one instore try to take a phone with internet on so you can view reviews before you buy.


How Much To Spend

With a wide range of places to buy a backpack you have choice on yourside meaning its possible to get a really good deal.

Most backpacks cost between £40 - £500 depending on which option you go for, and you really need to think about how long you will be away for and how many things you are looking to take.

Remember the bigger the backpack the more expensive it usually is. If you are just going for a normal backpacking trip or holiday then we recommend a mid-range backpack, there will be no need to splash out on an expensive backpack which is built to withstand conditions in the Arctic.

A good backpack should last a number of years, and also provide you with a good return if you choose to sell it on.


What Size Backpack To Buy

For most trips we would go for a standard 60 litre backpack with a smaller 10litre daysack, this should allow lots of room to fit clothes and goods whilst also leaving space for presents and other things.

If you travel light or leave some of your things at home then you might not even need a 60litre option. If you are going for a short period a 40litre options might be better, you will only be able to fit less things in it but for a short holiday you probably won't need to take that many things anyway.

Maybe you are looking to travel abroad for a long period, or you have a lot of stuff or you are travelling with a partner, then you might want to consider going for a larger 80litre option.


Recommended Backpacks to Buy 

There are lots of different manufacturers and backpacks on sale at the moment, here our our top backpacks:

  • Berghaus are one of the leading brands for backpacks, check out the Berghaus Jalan II or Verdan backpacks
  • Karrimor make a range of backpacks and are one of the leading names in the industry, the Global Venture is a good choice
  • North Face are one of the leading manufacturers of adventure clothings and goods, check out the North Face Terra backpack range
  • Vango offer high quality designed backpacks, the Contor backpack is recommended
  • Osprey, our top backpack recommendation from this reputable company is the Osprey Farpoint
  • Eurohike offer a great range of cheap backpacks, our top tip is the Eurohike 50+ backpack
  • Crestone have a good range of backpacks, for a larger option view their 60 EU backpack
  • Deuter offer a Pace range of backpacks which are lightweight and look great