I’ve just finished packing my backpack but finding the right one was honestly one of the hardest things for my travelling prep. I don’t think I could have done it without my bestie Jessica!
After hours of researching online, speaking to other friends who’ve been travelling, or are still out there, me and Jess headed down to one of main outdoor high-street stores.
Now I’m probably not the best person to give advice on how exactly your backpack should fit and what’s the best for you because I haven’t even travelled yet… I head out in a few days.
So this is merely a post about my experience and how I chose the right backpack for me… and it just may be useful for you too!
1. Comfort & Practicality > Style
For me this would be the most important rule of all.
If you’re anything like me you’ll go into a store and pick out the thing that looks the nicest without sometimes even looking at the price, or what features it may have. But when choosing a backpack comfort and practicality is essential.
You’re going to be carrying all of your things on your back and you don’t want to end up coming home after your travels looking like Quasimodo.
So make sure it
- it fits you properly in all the right places,
- it has enough room to fit all your essentials,
- isn’t too big because you don’t want to get into the trap of overpacking jut because you have the extra space.
2. Speak To Someone
Whether it’s going into a store and getting advice from one of the staff members, or speaking to someone you know who’s been out travelling it’s always great to get advice from others. Asking if they’ve had any problems with their backpack – what the pros and cons of each?
Going into a store and speaking to a staff member was key for me. One of the guys helping me out gave advice with how to choose the right one for my height and weight, how to put a backpack on (I’ve never even worn one before), and also told me about all the various functions for each.
In store they also have weights they can put into the backpack so that it’s more realistic and you get an actual feel of how it would fit on your back.
3. Try Before You Buy
Yes online shopping is great and more often than not you can get a better price for things, but I’d say it’s important to try before you buy.
Even if it’s finding the backpack you want to purchase online and then heading down to the store to try it on, do it! Only then will you know how it fits and feels on you.
Click here to check out some backpacks on Amazon.
It may sound like a lot of hassle – seeing something online – going to the shop to try it on – then going back home to order it online, but honestly it’ll save you much more time if for instance you ordered it online and when it arrived it didn’t fit and you had to then return it and start the whole choosing process again.
Who enjoys the hassle of online returns?
4. Test it out – Take it home fill it up
Whether you decided to purchase your backpack in store or over the internet, now it’s time to get it home and test it out.
Fill it up as you would:
- pack with all storage compartments open
- heavy things at the base
- distribute weight evenly on both sides
- pack things in tightly, leaving few gaps
Then try it on. Perhaps take a walk around your bedroom or garden with it on.
How does it feel? Is it comfortable? Does it have enough space for your things?
5. Is It Right For You?
So you’ve got your backpack.
You’ve tested out how it fits, you’ve worked out what all the straps are for, where all the pockets are and if there’s enough space for your things. If you’re happy with everything KEEP IT. But if not, don’t be afraid to take it back.
YOU’RE going to be the one carrying this backpack so you need to make sure it’s perfect for YOU.
If it’s in the same condition you purchased it and the receipt is in date I’m sure any store would be happy to help you choose something more suitable.
Like I said earlier I’m no backpack expert, this is simply a post sharing my experience in a hope it may point you in the right direction, if like me you’re a newbie traveller.
Were you like me and didn’t know where to begin with choosing the right bag for you? Or perhaps you’ve been backpacking for years and you’re a total expert – I’d love to hear your thoughts – so leave us a comment below 🙂