Everyday usage of backpacks has become commonplace. And it’s understandable why: using a backpack is the best option if you need to transport computers, tablets, phones, water bottles, and all of the other items you need while going to the workplace, café, or nearby park.
However, picking the ideal backpack for your requirements might be a little confusing. There are so many different brands available, and there are so many different things to think about, such as appearance, utility, comfort, and cost. What will you be hauling, and how much of it?
Do you need more defence against the rain or an unintentional fall? Do you dislike having to dig through hundreds of pockets to find your EarPods, or do you want a dedicated space for each of your devices?
Instead of advising you which backpack is the best to purchase, we’ll go through the key features you should consider when choosing your new bag. No matter what your demands are in terms of capacity, price, or stylistic preferences, all of these recommendations and principles are applicable.
Of course, going in person is the ideal option when purchasing a bag. A backpack is similar to a pair of shoes in that you can never truly tell whether it will fit you until you put it on.
The three considerations you should make are comfort, material, and design if you don’t have the time to go shopping or if you prefer to purchase online.
(In this article, we mostly discuss daypacks that are ideal for travel, business, school, or city exploration.)
Your first priority should be comfort. Even if you don’t often carry a large load, there could be a moment when you really need to fill up your pack, and you won’t want your back to be complaining at the end of the day.
(View the assortment of items that some individuals take about with them by visiting The Verge’s ongoing article What’s in Your Bag?.)
Make sure the weight of your belongings is distributed equally in the pack. The majority of websites that give advice on how to wear a backpack recommend that it be worn high on the back, with the bottom of the bag at or above the waist.
A chest, waist, or hip belt may significantly reduce the strain on your back if you anticipate carrying a lot of weight on a daily basis.
Finding a pack that is suitable for your setup is a fantastic idea. For instance, a high-quality women’s pack would include straps made for smaller shoulders and a hip belt made to fit broader hips.
The size of the backpack and your personal height may both affect how comfortable you are wearing a backpack. If you’re unsure about what size will fit, look for pictures of the pack being worn by a model while purchasing online.
You can often make an educated guess as to your height in relation to the model, which should help you determine how the pack will fit.
To determine what size is most comfortable for you, you may also visit a shop and try on a few backpacks. Liters are the standard unit of measurement for backpack capacity.
The most adaptable packs are between 20 and 25 litres, professional photographic gear and weekender bags may hold up to 30 litres and more, and slimline backpacks, which can just hold your laptop and a few books, are between 10 and 16 litres.
A mesh covering that lies between you and the pack may reduce the amount of sweating you do if you have a lot to carry and want to do it in warm weather.
Last but not least, don’t be ashamed to think about a wheeled pack if you have significant physical limitations or if you’ll be carrying weights that might stress your strength. However, bear in mind that the wheels will significantly increase the weight if you want to carry that pack as well.
Back in the day, most backpacks were constructed of cotton canvas that had been waxed to improve waterproofing. Although it was heavy and only somewhat effective, the canvas would begin to rot if it was kept for an extended period of time. (If any of the available throwback alternatives intrigue you.)
Nowadays, nylon, polyester, or a combination of the two is used to make the majority of packs. These will work perfectly for the majority of individuals. Textiles like Cordura will provide extra strength if you’re seeking true tenacity and/or you like a more textured feel.
Of course, leather is the only material that can be considered elegant and is robust, attractive, and can be made water-resistant.
A leather backpack will be more heavier and cost more than other materials, so a computer backpack of reasonable size will burn a large hole in your wallet. (You may make a concession by purchasing one with leather accents.)
Never undervalue the significance of zippers; a malfunctioning zipper may render any pack useless. If you’re doing your shopping at a store, be sure to try each and every zipper to check how well it functions.
Look for zippers with rain protection whether you’re shopping in person or online (which is costlier, but worth it).
Additionally, keep in mind that it may be difficult or practically impossible to make the zipper go around a 90-degree corner of a bag. Additionally, invest in a bag with metal zippers since plastic ones won’t hold up well to everyday usage.
Magnetic locks and clasps are available on several bags. These may be quick and useful, but if they consistently miss their target, they can also be inconvenient.
Some remark that their bag has so many compartments that they can’t remember which one they placed their gadget in. Some people disagree and believe there can never be too many pockets.
It’s a highly personal decision as to how many pockets, loops, and other storage options you feel comfortable with having in your pack nowadays.
If you preferred, you might opt for simplicity, which would consist of a main compartment, a cushioned sleeve for your computer, and maybe two or three little pockets for other items. Or you might get a bag with compartments for a variety of different applications.
Even computer bags, dividers, and other modules are included in some bags. (Although modularity may be divisive among backpack fans, for smaller goods, you can get a camera bag with user-adjustable sections.)
A cushioned pocket for your computer, ideally (but not necessary) separate from your main bag, plus an interior zippered section for your wallet or other valuables, are the absolute minimum requirements.
You should definitely include a few exterior pockets for your water bottle, umbrella, and/or phone, as well as an accessible pocket for your keys, phone, or sunglasses. The potential is endless after that.
Other design elements may also be helpful. For instance, certain packs can stand on their own thanks to flat bottoms, which might be quite useful. (They may also seem blocky when worn since they don’t help you carry lighter.) There are even a few models available with built-in kickstands.
Others feature tops that can be unfurled when carrying larger goods and cinched down when carrying smaller weights. If you travel often, you need a pack with a pass-through strap at the rear so you can loop it over the handle of your wheeled luggage.
The laptop compartments of certain backpacks include side access. Although this could be useful on a daily basis, it is not recommended for use when flying. Instead of simply sliding the laptop out, you’ll need to remove the entire bag from underneath the seat in front of you.
Consider a gym bag with divided pockets at the bottom for your filthy clothes or shoes if you often bring additional clothing, shoes, or other equipment.
Do you worry about theft? In order to protect the backpack if you have to leave it someplace, some packs have additional security features including locking zippers, concealed and/or camouflaged compartments, slash-proof material, and built-in wires.
All of the pockets on certain bags, like the Riutbag, are on the side of the bag closest to your body. (It’s a nuisance to actually use, but it’s an excellent strategy to prevent pickpockets.)
Bags with RFID-safe compartments for your credit cards and other digitally sensitive things may help protect against electronic theft.
Be mindful of any size or other limitations imposed by airlines, conferences, or other locations you may visit.
Mind the small print
It seems sense to include the manufacturer’s warranty when calculating the cost of a backpack. When you purchase from a premium brand, you will often get premium attention. For the duration of the bag’s life, businesses like Briggs & Riley will fix any problems at no cost to the customer.
Last but not least, because you’ll be using your new bag often, avoid selecting one that you won’t want to be seen wearing in public.
Don’t make too many budget concessions; a quality backpack that will last you 10 years will ultimately be more cost-effective than one that is less expensive but breaks down after just two years.
And if you see a bag on the street that truly grabs your attention, make a note of the brand and look it up online. Even if that specific bag isn’t exactly appropriate for you, the brand could have one that is.