How to Pick a Travel Backpack

Published: 18th April 2012
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If you don't choose the right backpack for travel, your trip could be ruined. Whether you're journeying around Southeast Asia or jetsetting across Europe, a high-quality pack for travel is indispensable. Everyone has his or her own individual style, but, regardless of the pack you take, make sure it has the following features.

Your travel bag's size is its most important characteristic. Your backpack must be no bigger than 22" long by 14" broad by 9" deep. This sizing of pack is allowable as carry on luggage on most important airlines. If your bag is larger, the gate agent might ask you to check it. Checking your backpack can result in breakage, stealing, or loss by the airlines.

Light packer? You can bring an even smaller travel bag. If your suitcase is ordinarily bursting at the seams, select a 45 liter pack and bring another, smaller pack as your "personal item."

Most large-capacity backpacks are built for hiking, not backpacking. These backpacks normally open from the top. Packs designed for travel pack from the front, not the top. Your stuff will be more accessible in a front-loading pack than in a top-loading one. Think of front-loading bags more like a suitcase than a backpack. You'll be able to reach all of your clothing and gear without rooting through your bag and making a mess.

Neat freaks will also appreciate front-loading bags because they're more organized than top-loading bags. You are able to pack these bags like a suitcase instead of packing everything vertically in a top-loading bag.

While backpacking, you'll need to keep your belongings safe. Travelers are frequently targeted by thieves and pickpockets. Make sure that you are not the victim of cursory thieving by choosing a secure travel backpack.

Ideally, your backpack ought to have locking zippers. Less safe bags are shut by using a drawstring, which is really straight-forward for thieves to open. If your bag has locking zippers, you can secure each opening and utilize a small, TSA-approved padlock to lock it.

This system will not make your bag completely theft-proof, but it will stop most casual larceny. You don't need your pack to be impenetrable, you just require it to be more difficult to rob than the next guy's pack. Robbers are looking for the bag that will be the fastest and easiest to rob. A locked bag will by no means be the easiest prey.

None of the aforementioned matter if your pack is too uncomfortable to wear. You'll often trudge several kilometers with a filled-to-the-brim backpack on your back.

Any good bag will have thick cushioning on the shoulder straps and back panel. High-quality padding will guard you from carrying the entire brunt of your backpack's burden. The back cushioning should have spaces that allow for air movement. These areas are called air channels. Without air channels, you would be warm and sweaty from the burden of the pack against you.

A well-designed bag for travel will also handle weight distribution. A sternum strap and padded waist belt will help relieve your encumbrance. By tightening the waist belt, you can spread your pack's weight to your hips while removing the strain off of your spine and shoulders.

How you pack can also affect the comfort of your backpack. Make sure to carry anything weighty high in the backpack and next to your back. Take particular care when securing heavier objects like books, boots, or laptops. Skip back problems and shoulder injuries by placing these items as close to yourself as possible.

When buying a travel bag, make sure to pick a bag that is carry-on-sized, front-loading, lockable, and comfortable. Picking the right backpack can be the difference between the journey of a lifetime and one you'll want to quickly forget.

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For more information on travel backpacks, please visit Tortuga Backpacks' website: http://www.tortugabackpacks.com/

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