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 . . .
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.
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.
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.
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!
Day Packs and Other Bags
Care and Repair