I got this question from the last of my niece. She is almost 16 year old and wants to make a journey through Africa next year. Immediately targeted her simplest advice, about what they shouldn't and should bring might fit and what backpack is best for her. Choosing a backpack is not an easy process. It depends completely on what type of traveler you are and what kind of trip you want to go. The first few times I took a too big bag and have too much stuff. Now, I consider myself to be nearly a pro to mention in a good pack and travel light.
My preference still goes out to a backpack. For a weekend, I would still get a wheeled case to use, but a backpack I keep finer. No hassle with bad roads and your hands are free.
The main kind of journey; you hop from place to place? Backpack, if you go from the plane directly to your apartment and you stay there for two weeks? Wheeled case: Volunteer and travel? Backpack pair for a few months in the same city without anywhere to go? The wheeled case.
Once you've decided that you have a backpack, is it still the big question of what for. On my first trip, I took a large backpack, with too much stuff. In the meantime, I travel with a 30 liter backpack for two months through Asia. But first I had to learn where I'm fine without it, and how best I could address all.
The biggest question you should ask yourself is: ‘do I want luxury one or the one which is comfortable? You should choose almost always for comfort, and therefore this will be enough for a small backpack. Would you like something a little more luxurious (more stuff)? Then you can better choose slightly larger backpack suitable for you.
Generally, I recommend that women of my stature (1.60 and not as wide) should go with max. 60 liter backpack. Good to test is whether you have the bag on your own back can get independently and that you can wear (not falls backwards by the weight). On Calibre Apparel there are also many possibilities to compare the backpacks and choose the best for your next trip/journey as according to your needs and demands. There are many reputed brands and manufacturers available as; Port Authority, Gemline, Port Company, Adidas, Augusta, Basecamp, Champion, Liberty Bags and many more. But I myself am a huge fan of the Port Authority BG114 Specially made for women or people with a smaller stature. I strongly recommend you must go through the special collection of backpacks available in luggage and travel section CalibreApparel.Com.
These are my favourites and the backpacks that I have:
- Gemline 4030 Bag: As carry-on baggage and travel without a tent.
- Augusta 1780 Large Equipment Bag: For long backpack.
Kind of trip
In warm countries, you need a lot less to carry than to cold. For example, backpacking in Asia or Europe in the summer, I advise people of my stature with to take a bag of 30-55 liters. With only summer clothes and a couple of sweater and leggings, a bigger bag is really not needed there. Moreover, when you go to cold countries or camp (with a number of warm sweaters and long pants) with a slightly larger bag of 50-65 liters may be more convenient. You must not choose a bag larger than this, because the bag is really too cumbersome to take with you.
Last there were two girls at my couch surfing by Sweden to the camp. They had both the Port Authority travel bags and a small handbag beside it. They had spread the tent poles, the tent and cooking equipment over the bags. The sleeping bag also fit in the bag and the mat hung below it. They had spent a lot of time to prepare and really a minimum of equipment included, but everything fit in fine in it.
It is always recommended to be as light as possible to travel. The trick is to really only things to bring for one to one and a half week and nothing more. Meanwhile, you can always wash and what to buy, where you really not do without turns out to. Less to carry means a less heavy bag on your back and less searching, which for me equals more freedom of movement and finer travel.