Woman walking at airport with two travel packs

How to Choose a Travel Pack

Blending the comfort of a hiking backpack with the travel-friendly features of traditional luggage, travel packs provide everything today’s globetrotters and adventurers need for relaxed, easy, and organized travel, no matter if it’s a weekend away or a year on the road. Travel packs are available to accommodate the needs of weekend warriors, eternal explorers, and everyone in between. Let us show you how to choose a travel pack.

This giveaway is now closed, we’re contacting the winners via email and will be announcing them soon! Check out our Facebook or Instagram for updates.

Volume

Similar to selecting a daypack or a backpacking pack, the capacity – or how much the pack will hold – is an important characteristic to consider when you’re learning how to choose a travel pack.

Think about what type of packer you are. Are you the type of person who brings a special outfit for every outing? Or are you the type of traveler who only packs a few key items and makes them work for all situations? Keep in mind:  the smaller and lighter you keep your pack, the more mobile you are. Also, people who buy big packs tend to fill them – even if they don’t need to.

A general rule of thumb is that packs 35 liters and under are suitable for overnights and quick weekend getaways. Travel packs between 35 and 55 liters are ideal for long weekends and, in most situations, work well as carry-ons (typically, most travel backpacks around 43-45 liters and under will qualify as a carry-on). Travel bags 55 liters and above are best-suited to long trips and heavy packers.

View from commercial aircraft window, looking over rocky coastline

Carry-on Compatible

The ability of a traveling backpack to qualify as airline carry-on luggage is an important consideration for travelers looking to lighten their load and simplify their trips. As mentioned earlier, 45 liters is commonly the largest bag that will meet carry-on size requirements. In general, most airlines allow travelers to use bags smaller than 22 x 14 x 9 inches, or less than 45 inches cumulatively (the number arrived at by adding the dimensions together). However, there is no definitive standard for carry-on luggage and every airline has its own restrictions on size and weight; if you fly one airline in particular and want to use your travel pack as a carry-on, make sure it meets your airline’s standards.

Convertible

While the shoulder harness and hip belt found on traveling backpacks make them perfect for walking through cities, catching buses, and hustling through busy airport terminals, they can also get caught in baggage carousels and conveyors. Additionally, shoulder straps and hip belts can hamper a pack’s ability to be used as more traditional luggage. Convertible travel packs allow shoulder straps and hip belts to stow out of the way by tucking the straps into the pack’s backpanel – keeping them out of harm’s way when checked and making the duffel’s numerous handles easier to use when carried conventionally.

Detachable Daypack

Travel packs with a detachable daypack offer maximum versatility. These adaptable bags provide a large piece of luggage for transporting necessities to a destination and setting up a basecamp while the smaller, detachable pack is perfect for day trips. Detachable packs can also be great while flying, as you can stash the big bag overhead and use the smaller bag to keep creature comforts like snacks, magazines, and a laptop or tablet handy while in the air.

Wheeled Travel Bags

Heavy loads and long travel days make wheeled travel bags an appealing option for many travelers. A wheeled pack is best suited for smooth surfaces which allow for easy rolling; however, many wheeled packs can be carried as a duffel when the going gets rough. Offering the ultimate in flexibility are wheeled packs that convert into backpacks which can be comfortably carried on a traveler’s back when the terrain is no longer ideal for rolling.

Adjustable Torso

Just like a backpacking pack, a travel pack with an adjustable torso will fit better and be more comfortable if you carrying it for long periods of time. This is especially true if you’re taller or shorter than average.

WOMEN’S-SPECIFIC FIT

Because of the anatomical differences between women and men, travel bag manufacturers have developed travel packs specifically tailored to women. In general, women’s-specific travel packs have shorter torsos and slightly smaller capacities than men’s packs. It’s also common for women’s travel backpacks to have shorter, narrower, and differently shaped shoulder straps and hip belts.

OTHER USEFUL FEATURES

Laptop or tablet sleeve – For those who travel with multiple devices, a pack with a laptop or tablet sleeve is a nice touch. Exterior access to the laptop sleeve makes getting to your computer easy to grab, either for watching a movie or presenting it to airport security. Laptop and tablet sleeves located near the backpanel keep packs in balance and offer additional security to valuable electronics.

Lockable zippers –Whether traveling internationally (you’ve heard about Rome’s notorious pickpockets, right?) or simply concerned about security, lockable zippers provide your valuables added protection. Packs with two zippers that can be locked together help avoid unwanted access to your bag. Lockable zippers on each compartment are preferable, but just having a single secure place to put your most valuable items can make the difference between a dream trip and a nightmare.  

Included raincover – Raincovers are waterproof covers that fit over a travel backpack and prevent the pack and its contents from getting soaked when the weather takes a turn. Raincovers can be purchased for almost any pack, and some packs come with them from the manufacturer.

The Takeaway

Travel packs come in a wide variety of sizes and with an extremely diverse set of features to accommodate all types of travelers—including you. If you want to learn more about how to choose a travel pack, check out our travel product videos where an expert walks through the features and benefits of specific packs.

Contest Rules

  1. Employees of Enwild, Inc. and their immediate family members are ineligible to participate.
  2. You must be a legal US resident, residing in the United States, 18 years or older to win.
  3. Promotion runs from 10/22/19 8:30 a.m. EDT through 11/4/19 11:59 p.m. EDT.
  4. NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY.
  5. This promotion is void where prohibited.
  6. Your odds of winning depend upon the number of entries received.
  7. How to Enter: Promotion must be entered by completing the entry form provided on this page. The entry must fulfill all promotion requirements, as specified, to be eligible to win a prize.
  8. Winner will be chosen at random by Enwild.
  9. Winners will be notified via the email submitted to enroll in the promotion on or after 11/4/19 and must confirm shipping address before prize is shipped. If shipping address is not confirmed, winner is assumed after one month to have forfeited prize.
  10. Prize(s): One (1) winner will receive one (1) Farpoint 40 Carry-On Travel Pack and one (1) Osprey Rolling Transporter 40 Wheeled Duffel; and One (1) winner will receive one (1) Osprey Fairview 40 Carry-On Travel Pack and one (1) Osprey Rolling Transporter 40 Wheeled Duffel.
  11. Winner will have 30 days from the date of announcement to claim their prize. Value will be calculated at full retail price of item.
  12. Prizes are not transferable or redeemable for cash or other consideration.
  13. Enwild, Inc. is not responsible for false or fictitious entrants, nor will Enwild, Inc. validate the authenticity of winner(s).
  14. Entries that are not complete or do not adhere to the rules or specifications may be disqualified at the sole discretion of Enwild.
  15. You may enter only once, except where additional entries are granted through social sharing, and you must fill in the information requested.
  16. Enwild reserves the right to disqualify any person tampering with the operation or conduct of the promotion, including, without limitation, the entry process or the operation of the web site or otherwise violating these rules.
  17. Enwild, Inc. is not responsible for any problems with your entry, including technical failures related to computer, telephone, cable, and unavailable network or server connections, or other failures related to hardware, software or virus, or incomplete, late or misdirected entries.
  18. In case of a dispute as to the identity of an entrant using the Internet, the authorized account holder of the email address used to enter the promotion at the time of entry will be considered the entrant.
  19. By entering the promotion, you agree to these terms and conditions.
  20. Enwild, Inc. shall not be responsible for any loss or damage in the event this giveaway must be canceled or discontinued in accordance with any law, ruling, order, regulation, requirement or for any other unavoidable reason beyond its control.
  21. Enwild, Inc. may link to the winner’s Facebook profile for purposes of announcing the winner’s name, though giveaway is not in any way associated with Facebook.
  22. By entering this giveaway, you agree to receive email communication from Enwild, Inc. You may opt of receiving these emails at any time by clicking unsubscribe at the bottom of the email.

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