carry on only backpacking

When I was preparing to set off on my first backpacking adventure, one question was constantly running around in my mind – ‘How do I chose the perfect backpack?’. I had no idea what kind of backpack to get, what gear I needed, even what colour I should get – you know, the important stuff. Endless google searches, blog posts, and hours spent walking around a giant store in the middle of Japan, and I finally found my travel buddy. Nobody else can chose the perfect backpack for you, but I’ve got some tips to help you out!

My Perfect Backpack

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First, let me introduce you to my trusty travel buddy – my Deuter Futura 30 SL. Catchy name, right? Joking aside, this backpack has been perfect for me! It’s a slim line pack (which I’ll get to in a minute, don’t worry), with lots of pockets, and a breathable back panel. It’s small enough to be used as hand luggage, and big enough to squeeze in everything I need! Sadly, they haven’t sponsored me to write this (but if anyone from Deuter is listening, hit me up yo!) – I really do just love it that much! But enough about my backpack, let’s help you find your perfect backpack!

 

1. Size

perfect backpack

This is possibly the most important factor you need to consider, and that’s the size of your backpack. Now, I don’t mean how much stuff it can hold. I mean, what size it needs to be to fit your body. Many companies now make Women’s fit, or slime line backpacks. But, these aren’t just for women. If you’re a guy who’s quite slender and petite, then these packs might fit you a lot better too! Similarly, if you’re a bigger female, especially with broader shoulders, these will probably be too small for you.  These women’s fit packs also have slightly higher hip pads, which tilt downwards to fit the shape of your hips! And, if you’re lucky, they come with a pretty flower attached (something that did not influence my decision at all).

 

2. Capacity

perfect backpacker

How long are you travelling for? Do you REALLY need a huge pack, or could you carry on only? The biggest factor here is how much gear you actually need. If you’re going to be camping, or visiting a colder climate, then you’ll need to find a good sized pack for all your gear to fit into. If you’re doing the typical backpacker thing (like me), and heading to Southeast Asia, you can definitely put down that giant pack you were thinking of buying, and downgrade to at least the next size down.

Trust me, so many people over pack when backpacking. You don’t need to burden yourself with a huge, heavy pack! I’ve seen so many people struggling to lug these ginormous bags onto their shoulders, and all I could think  was: “What have they got in there?!”. Trust me, I never used to be a light packer, and I managed to do all my travelling with a diddy little 30L pack – you can do the same thing too!

 

3. Pockets

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Most backpacks out there are top-loaders. This means it has one big opening at the top in which to pack all your stuff. This can sometimes make it difficult to keep things organised and wrinkle free. But, with well located zips and pockets – this becomes much easier. For example, on my Deuter backpack, there’s a pocket at the bottom, which connects to the main section. I used this separator to store either my dirty shoes, or my laundry while traveling. It also meant if I lost anything at the bottom of the bag, I could find it really easily! Side pockets can also be a life saver! Whether you use them for water, or shoes, they can be super useful!

 

4. Waterproof

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One thing you should consider is whether your pack is waterproof or not. If it’s not, does it have a rain cover? Wherever you’re planning on going to, this is an essential in my books. No-one knows what the weather is going to do from one day to the next. What if you take a boat trip? What if you drop it in a puddle? What if you go on a water ride and it gets soaked (true story). Trust me, having a waterproof backpack will be essential!

 

5. Price

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The last factor to consider is your budget. It’s worth spending a little money on a mid-range pack if you can manage it. Going for the budget option could mean lower quality (although not always). Going for the high end option probably won’t last much longer than a mid-range pack, but will cost you way more! Just be realistic. If you only have £50 to spend, then find a pack for that price. If it does break during your travels, you can always pick up another one!

Have you found your perfect backpack? Any other tips I missed out? Did this help you find your perfect backpack? Let’s Discuss!

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