Travel backpack – Comparison Guide

Best backpacks are extremely practical for both long and short trips. Thanks to different backpack models, you can choose the ideal piece of luggage for your trip.

What is a Backpacker Travel Backpack?

A Backpacker Travel Backpack is designed for longer tours and trips. It is primarily designed for transport on the back, not for carrying in the hand. There are no wheels. Its stability is provided by a strong carrying frame made of aluminium or plastic, which is integrated in the backpack.

The structure of trekking backpacks varies. It depends on size and actual use. There is a large main compartment which is accessible from above and is closed by a flap. Some models have a compartment at the bottom for the sleeping bag. Loops, smaller pockets or nets on the outside extend the packing options.

Which backpack suits me best?

The following criteria will help you find the right backpack for your trips and tours:


The heavier the backpack, the more important is the wearing comfort. The carrying frame must fit the anatomy of the body. Cushions prevent pressure points. A mesh back allows air to circulate between the body and the backpack.

Larger models have a carrying system consisting of different straps. They distribute the packing weight so that it is not unnecessarily loaded during hiking and trekking. You can optimise wearing comfort by packing correctly and distributing the weight well.


To find the right backpack size you need two points. The first is the correct back length, which is specified for many models. You determine your back length by measuring the distance between the upper edge of the shoulder blades and the upper edge of the pelvic bone.

The second decision criterion is the packing volume required for the trek or trip. For a self-catering camping tour you will usually need more luggage than for a trip with hotel accommodation.


For hiking, trekking or long pilgrimages a waterproof model is required. Decisive for this are material and workmanship. Dense synthetic fibre fabrics made of polyester or nylon repel moisture even under load. The seams must be waterproof by appropriate processing – for example welding.

Type of trip

A smaller all-round backpack is sufficient for weekend trips. Backpacks for bus, air or sea journeys must meet the appropriate dimensions and weights when packed. If you are planning a hike of several days, a larger model is recommended. For outdoor trekking you should choose a very hard-wearing model that can withstand the stresses and strains of the tour.

What makes a good travel backpack?

With a good backpack it travels better. High-quality travel backpacks are:

Wearing comfort

An anatomically shaped carrying frame and upholstery ensure a comfortable fit on the body. The straps of the carrying system do not cut in and can be easily adjusted to the desired length.


A low own weight is an important factor for a travel backpack. When travelling by air, you must observe weight limits. A heavy backpack is a disadvantage here. If you travel a lot with your backpack, a model with a high own weight is an additional burden.


It is important that the backpack is well processed and stable despite its low weight. Poor workmanship and cheap materials increase the risk of damage during the trip. In addition to the most tear-resistant outer material possible, carefully crafted seams are particularly important.

Storage options

Especially travel backpacks with a larger volume should have several compartments, pockets and other storage options. This allows you to prioritize packing and keep important items handy. If there is only one large main compartment, you will often need to unpack and repack when you need something. That’s especially cumbersome and annoying when you’re traveling long distances.


If you use your rucksack for outdoor activities, it must provide the best possible protection against moisture. For particularly sensitive items such as cameras or mobile phones, a specially protected storage facility should be provided. A largely waterproof travel backpack is also important if you use it as checked baggage. Because you cannot control the weather conditions it is exposed to during transport.

How big should my backpack be?

Backpacks are available in very different sizes. Which backpack size is most suitable for you depends on the type and duration of your planned trip. As a general rule, your backpack should not be larger than necessary.

For a short excursion, a classic daypack backpack with a capacity of around 20 litres is sufficient. Backpacks of up to 50 litres are suitable for a journey of several days if packed correctly. If, in addition to changing clothes, you also have to plan on equipment and food, a larger backpack model is recommended.

The maximum should be 50 to 70 litres. Remember that full-packed large backpacks are correspondingly heavy and become a burden on the way.

Are there travel backpacks for men and women?

Some backpack models are explicitly marked as women’s backpacks. The difference to other backpack models lies in the dimensions. Since women are on average smaller than men, they usually need backpacks with smaller dimensions.

There are no significant differences in design. The marking as a ladies backpack is, however, a relief for all prospective buyers who are looking for a smaller backpack. Women’s backpacks are also suitable for teenagers or men with a shorter back.

What is a trekking backpack?

Trekking backpacks are optimized for long backpacking and hiking in difficult terrain. A correctly selected trekking backpack can be adjusted to ensure comfort over a long period of time. The different straps of the carrying system fix the backpack to the body in such a way that most of the weight is distributed over the shoulder girdle and hips.

Ergonomic carrying is very important for long hikes. Many trekking rucksacks have outside attachments for equipment and a drinking system.

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