Backpacks for
Around the World Travel

You won't always get much useful advice when shopping around for backpacks.

Unless, of course, you're lucky enough to live near a well-stocked, reputable store that specialises in outdoor adventure gear and employs experienced shop assistants who really know their stuff.

So, what do you do? Become your own expert!

Read up on how to choose your pack before you even start looking for one. The pages in this section have everything you need to know . . .

Which Type of Backpack?

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Basically, you have a choice of two main types and a combo:

Deciding which one to buy really boils down to your individual needs, your personal preferences and your own comfort. I see both on the road everywhere I travel.

You'll find more in-depth info on their individual pages.

Which Type of Frame?

You also have a choice of two types of frames — internal and external. But there really isn't much to debate here. You'll want an internal frame.

Internal frames are long, flat, lightweight aluminium or plastic stays inserted right into the back panel of your pack. Sometimes they're removable so you can take them out and easily adjust them to fit the contours of your back.

External frames sit farther away from your back so they ventilate better and you sweat less. But they're really just too rigid and awkward for around the world travel.

These rucksacks are used more for camping and outdoor expeditions where you have to carry very heavy loads or attach a lot of bulky gear to the outside of your pack.

On a shoestring note, external frame packs are generally cheaper than those with internal frames. But they're far less popular than they used to be so they're not actually all that easy to find anymore.

backpacks riza turkey Backpacks . . . who needs them? – Riza, Turkey Nir Nussbaum on Flickr

Backpacks for Women

Some big brand companies make versions or even entire ranges of packs specifically designed for women.

No, these don't come with built-in shoe storage (I'd have one by now!) but they are constructed with shorter back frames, hip belts that can be adjusted to different angles and narrower shoulder straps to fit the female body more comfortably.

But whether you're male or female, if you've tried on a few packs and the shoulder straps are always slipping or the hip belt feels uncomfortable, it might be worth considering one of these more specialised models.

My Choice?

Well, I've been travelling with the same old 65-litre internal frame travel pack for over 10 years now.

It's nothing fancy and I could definitely do with upgrading it to something a lot smaller and lighter, but it's been my faithful friend on so many amazing adventures that I just can't bring myself to replace it!

But that's my personal choice. If you think the weight of your gear could become a concern during your around the world trip, a top-loader might be your better option.

I mean, let's face it. Even a few weeks is a long time to be carrying 20 kg
(44 lb) or so on your back every day!

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More About Backpacks

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Front-Loading Travel Packs
Find out why front-loading travel packs are such a popular choice with backpackers worldwide. Read up on what you should look for if you want to get one too.

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Top-Loading and Hybrid Packs
Discover why top-loaders are worth checking out for a real around the world adventure. Learn what to look for if you're thinking of getting one.

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Choosing a Pack
Make sure the pack you choose is perfect for you and your around the world travels before forking over your hard-earned cash!

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Measure for a Perfect Fit
Knowing how to fit a pack properly is the key to choosing the best one for you and your around the world trip. Get the whole rundown here.

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Size Guide
Size is about more than just how big a pack to get. Use this guide to choose a pack that fits not just your gear but you, too.

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7 Key Features Checklist
Learn all the key points to check on a backpack — from fabrics and padding to zippers and seams — and be sure to get a bag that comes back in one piece!

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Tightening and Adjusting Straps
Customise the straps on your pack. Learn how to adjust every strap — from shoulder straps to waist belt — and fine-tune the fit of your pack to perfection.

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Shopping Tips for Shoestring Budgets
Searching for cheap backpacks? Hunting for bargains on travel gear? Here's proof you don't need to skimp on quality to find a steal of a deal.

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Top Brands at Rock Bottom Prices
Bid or buy, sell or swap. Where to snap up huge discounts from the world's best outdoor adventure brands and bag big bargains on top quality travel gear.

And in the works . . .

Women's Backpacks

Day Packs and Other Bags

Care and Repair


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Any thoughts? Leave a comment!