WELL IT’S OFFICIAL, you can’t backpack around Europe without a backpack! Right? Anyway, after about a thousand youtube videos (VagaBrothers Channel) on backpack selection, looking for deals, and nailing down what I actually wanted/needed in a backpack, I found IT! I chose the Deuter Transit 65 after I decided that I wanted whatever backpack I chose to be the only luggage I would carry for all of Madrid and Europe (5 months!!). Choosing a bag for your backpacking trip will be a little easier if you consider these things first.
1. How Much Can You Physically Carry?
2. What Weather Are You Backpacking In?
3. What Will You Carry During The Day/When Your Big Bag Is At The Hostel?
Another point to consider is what will you carry when you’re in a city but not travelling. A purse, a backpack, just a bag? You don’t want to lug your 65L bag everywhere so you’re gonna need what backpackers call a DAY BAG. My day bag is connected to my large backpack but it’s a smaller backpack that zips off for day use. That way I won’t have to carry the bag on my front when my backpack is on my back during travel. Will yours fold into your larger backpack, does it connect to your larger backpack, or will you carry two bags every time you travel? Important consideration to make.
4. What Features Could Make Your Trip Easier?
Do you want zippers that line up and make it easier to lock? Do you want it to be water proof or have a separate rain cover? Do you want a water bottle pocket? Do you need a waist strap? Do you want it to be able to cover easily and turn into essentially a duffel bag? Ask yourself what you want in your backpack, it will carry all your material possessions , so you are allowed to be a little picky!
5. Is It Easy To Secure?
One of the most important things about a backpack is that your possessions will be safe. Look for zippers that can lock, bags and straps that cannot be cut, and materials that are waterproof. If you are nervous about leaving your backpack at hostels or on flights, I suggest purchasing TSA approved pad locks for your zippers and a uncuttable wire for locking your bag to poles or your bed in the hostel at night. Make sure your stuff is safe.