An adventure is not going bungee jumping once a year nor is it going on a month-long vacation to a country you’ve never been to before. An adventure is when you travel hopping around various places with an unknown destination in mind, it’s that solo trip you always wanted to go for ‘soul-searching’, it is trekking up a summit unaware of what occurs next. Such journeys might last for a day or even a year.

You travel minimal and smart, all your necessities stay with you all the time. You don’t want to be trekking in Peru with loads of luggage when a backpack is all you need. Your backpack is a mini apartment that you carry around. Just check all your needs, find one meeting them and eureka!

Choosing the right backpack can be overwhelming. With the multitude of sizes, collections, and technicalities you will get intimidated and frustrated and might end up buying the wrong pack. Here are some leads to help you choose your fit.

Types Of Travel Backpacks And Their Use:

Daypacks are backpacks built for short trips, be it hiking, skiing, climbing, or trail running, activities that require little gear and get done in a day or less.

Hence the name ‘daypacks’. A day pack has a 40L capacity that makes them suited for short trips. Their small weight capacity, size and technical features set them apart from ‘backpacks’.

All daypacks are backpacks, but not all backpacks are daypacks. What’s amazing is that you get daypacks available catered to your needs. For example, if you are a hiker, you can buy a daypack suited for hiking.

This means it will have additional technical qualities like shoulder pads, frame sheets, hydration packs, etc. A biking or running daypack is smaller and lighter than hiking daypacks.

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These are ‘multi-day’ backpacks designed for a longer or advanced hike. They come in various fabrics, sizes and features, all designed to optimise your hike. Multi-day backpacks come in three options.

1.Internal frame backpacks:  These body-hugging backpacks have a volume of 80-90liters with large ones going up to 120 litres. Internal frames are aluminium frames inside the bag.

These frames ensure a balance of weight and provide organizational benefits. The design distributes your weight, making your climb easier.

The frame moves load from your shoulders to your hips, which is essential to avoid unwanted strain. The only drawback is the poor ventilation in these backpacks and also that they fall on the pricier side.

2.External frame backpacks: The external frame backpacks will allow you to carry heavy and unusual sized gear. The frame allows you to strap extra items like sleeping bags and tents outside the pack.

The design makes space for ventilation between your back and the bag. The smallest models have an average volume of 30liters, while the largest ones are around 80 litres. The downside of them is their compromised stability, making walking difficult and unsafe and their weight.

3.Frameless backpacks: These backpacks either have no or a removable frame. Because of their hollow interior, they can be stored anywhere with efficiency. They are lightweight and serve as a great choice for lighter loads. However, as the load becomes heavier, it gets more and more uncomfortable to lift. 

 Check the best available options on Amazon!

Backpacking or travel backpacks come in top-loading and front-loading designs.  Travelling around different places with suitcase and duffle bags is just as tiring as it sounds. Therefore, there are special ‘backpacking’ backpacks available.

They make these packs for travellers who carry their items with them. The packs come with efficient ventilation, harnesses and thick padding. They are made with less sturdy material than hiking backpacks.

Backpacking packs come in overnight and multi-day sizes and add-ons. Pick one suited to your journey and you’re good to go. 

 Check the best available options on Amazon!

Things To Keep In Mind While Buying A Travel Backpack:


You might buy a larger backpack just for some ‘extra space’. But ask yourself these questions- What do I need this backpack for? And is it possible to get away with a much smaller size?. If it is a long hiking trip, go for expedition backpacks, these have a volume of 75-125 litres. 

For shorter journeys, go for multi-day packs, or even a daypack if possible. Make a note to try on your backpack. Measure your torso and find a perfect-fitting pack.

Special fits are available tailored to women. Remember not to go overboard with the size since you will carry your backpack everywhere constantly.


Larger the size the heavier the backpack. Your typical daypack rests around 1-2 pounds without extra attachments. Large hiking backpacks go up to 5-6 pounds, and the weight increases with frame types.

Add-ons like hydration packs, extra straps and removable daypacks all add extra weight, so choose carefully. A loaded backpacking pack should not weigh over 20% of your body weight, and a loaded hiking pack should not weigh over 10% of your body weight. 


Other than the pre-equipped features of your backpack, look for add-ons to give your pack a personal touch. These additional items help you change your backpack to meet your needs. Some added items are- Hydration packs, they are bladders with a hose connected to the water reservoir.

Shoulder pads, clips, straps, pockets, holsters and cords. Remember, these add-ons increase the weight of your pack, don’t go overboard, shop mindfully.

 Check the best available options on Amazon!

Important Terms Related To Backpacks:

Litres- The capacity of a bag is always measured in litres. 1litre = 61 cubic inches.

Suspension system-The suspension or ‘anti-gravity’ system is an excellent innovation designed to cut down the load on your shoulders by transferring it to your hips which is where it should be.

Gear loops/daisy chains- These are present outside the backpack and are used to clip extra gear.

Compression straps-They help cinch the load together making sure the items don’t dangle around

Ventilation- Your backpack will always be firmly fitted to your body, leading to sweat. A well-designed pack includes a ventilation system that provides breathability. 

Hydration compatibility- This means a built-in compartment for your hydration packs.

Your backpack is your travel companion, your best friend while travelling. So keep these things and mind and choose your find wisely. Let us know in the comments you think is the perfect backpack!

 Check the best available options on Amazon!

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By Abhishek Saraswat

Abhishek, popularly known to the world as Himalayan Gypsy is an award-winning travel & street photographer based in India. He is an adventure freak and a digital nomad who likes to document India, its culture, heritage & architecture through his pictures and writes about his experiences on his blog. A banker by profession and a traveler by heart, he has been exploring India since his childhood during family vacations and school picnics which gradually turned into solo trips and guided tours. Today his work is known to the world through his numerous pictures published, featured, and exhibited in various popular magazines like DiscoverIndia, Natgeo Traveller India, Asian Photography Magazine, Chiiz Magazine, Nikon India, Wildlife India, etc.