I recommend buying an 80 litre backpack. This is the perfect size to fit everything I need in. I think 100 litres is a little to big and will get heavy. Usually the bigger it is, the more you will try to put in it. Anything less that 80 is pretty small, but if you’re a light packer then get a smaller one. An 80 litre can be used for 2 weeks to 6 months and works perfect.
- Get one with back padding – This will make it so much more comfortable to carry around, my old one never had this, but my new one does and it makes carrying it around much easier, and gives less back pain.
- Get one with a top pocket – Most backpacks you look at will have a pocket at the top possibly two. These make life so much easier, as you can put small objects other than clothes here. Like torches, padlocks, belts, watches etc.
- Make sure it has a waist strap – When carrying your backpack for long distances, it will start to take its toll on your shoulders. Buying one with a waist strap will take the weight of your back and out it on your hips, which makes carrying it a hell of a lot easier, this is a must.
- Separate bottom/shoe section – This is a really cool feature that my new backpack has. The shoe compartment at the bottom is separate to the main clothing section. This means when you put dirty shoes or sandy flip flops into your backpack, it stops your clothes in the main section getting all mucked up.
- Fully un-zippable front section – This for me is one of the most important. Most backpacks you’ll only be able to get into it through the top, which makes getting clothes from the bottom and seeing what you have difficult. When your backpack has a fully un-zippable front pocket you can unzip the front totally without taking anything out, see what you have and take what you need. This makes life so much easier and is another MUST.
- Most come with rain covers to, but you can check when buying it, this is another good thing to have, because if you have to walk to a bus station or hostel in the rain, this can reply help by stopping your clothes getting soaked. – Particularity in areas that are notable for short tropical storms.
If you’re looking at buying a new backpack click the link below. This is a really great one from amazon, it cost me $54/£46. Which is really reasonable, has everything mentioned above, and packs really well.