Not a single backpack can do everything (some come pretty close though). If you want to be active with it and trek or ride a bicycle, do make sure you can secure the load with some compression straps and a sternum strap. If you want to carry a big weight with it, make sure it has a back panel that is semi-rigid and a good waist belt so you can transfer the load closer to your balance centre (your hip area). If you just want to transport some clothes and food around, pick something that looks good to you because the function is least important for light loads and basic supplies.
3 things you need to look for when buying backpacks:
Get to basics - your needs:
Make a decision of what matters the most to you. It has to look sharp at the office? Or it needs to protect your valuable gadgets on a rainy ride to the office? No bag can do it all, so choose carefully one or two most urging needs and focus on backpacks targeting those specific needs.
Get a shape that fits your needs:
The bag should generally resemble the contents you'll be carrying in it. It's common knowledge: briefcases are square like books and trekking backpacks are round like clothes. On thing you should consider is that shape affects access. Usually top access packs can be placed next to you at work or study and can be accessed without spilling everything on the floor or table. Whilst packs with front access are often best laid out on a bed and packed for travel.
A good internal - external pockets ratio:
External pockets are best for items you need while on the run. They are useful for things like sunglasses, music players, gadgets, food and books. This is not only convenient, but it can also be a barrier to what prying eyes can see when you are taking things out. Regarding internal pockets, you really want to be at your destination and have plenty of time and space. You’ll need to open the bag up and the best internal pockets are on the upper part of the bag, because they avoid crushing your belongings.
3 things you want to avoid:
Poor fabrics and craftsmanship:
Dusty or crinkly fabrics age badly and it’s usually the sign of poor quality. Threads that come out are a sign of poor craftsmanship, and are often foretelling of straps falling off and poorly stitched seams. Also pay attention to the zips. If they catch the fabric when used, it foretells of other shortcuts taken.
Straps and other sections in excess:
You won’t need that many compression straps and an all-over wire webbing. Unless you’re climbing in the Himalayas or your a member of the armed forces you will not use them. Ever. Moreover, you don’t need a lot of separate sections because then no single section will be spacious enough for a protective helmet or groceries. Get a backpack with just enough straps and just enough sections.
Almost forgot: if the section walls can move in and out a little bit, it's a big plus.
Ugly looking backpacks:
Cheap and ugly backpacks can destroy your style faster than you can say “Jack Robinson”. Complicated graphics, event embroideries or an oversized zip and handles are the most common mistakes. Also patches and badges fall in the same category. Just because you don’t see them on, it doesn’t mean everyone else isn’t staring.
If you want to test these tips right away, then browse through our collection of backpacks and see how much have you imbibed.
Hope these help you become a better buyer and eventually a happier traveller.