Choosing the correct backpack for your travels is essential. You don’t want to be miserable because of the wrong fit. Today, there are so many options, it’s difficult to decide which backpack is really the best. There are a few things you’ll want to look for though.

Checklist:

Water-resistant/rainproof

Your backpack should at least be water-resistant.

Correct size

Your backpack should rest the majority of the weight on your hips. Depending on your body’s frame, you might have a larger or smaller backpack than someone else. The best way to determine correct size is to try a backpack on.

Thick hip and shoulder padding

Your hips and shoulders will be sore if the padding isn’t thick enough.

Contoured fit

A backpack shaped like your body will be more comfortable than any other type of backpack.

Zippers you can lock

I always feel safer when my backpack is locked. You can buy small locks that fit through 2 zippers, making it impossible to open without the key or combination. It’s great for when you’re in crowded tourist areas or have to be away from your backpack for any reason.

Top Brands

You’ll want to try on any backpack you’re thinking about getting but there are a few brands that are tried and true and provide good places to start the search for the backpack for you.

Osprey

All the bells and whistles

REI

Solid all-around gear

Kelty

Best value

Minaal

Sleek and stylish

Light travel

Want to look stylish and be comfortable at the same time? There are packs made for that now too. These won’t have all the bells and whistles and they won’t be as durable or comfortable, but they’re great if you’re exploring urban centers or road-tripping.

Patagonia Transport MLC (Maximum Legal Carry-On)

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This sleek bag is simple and well-made. It has a messenger bag strap and 2 durable grab-handles as well as the ability to convert into a backpack. Pack light and blend in with this durable bag.

L.L. Bean Continental Rucksack

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This backpack mixes style and fashion, making a useful backpack that also looks good.

Tumi Tahoe Butler Backpack

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Modern and lightweight, this backpack has a removable sternum strap so can keep it sleek or opt for more comfort.

Incase EO Travel Backpack

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Water-resistant and comfortable, this backpack does it all and looks good doing it.

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