In general, a higher denier will be more durable (depending on the fabric & weave) but also heavier. While the denier can tell you the weight and thickness of a material, the type of material, weave, and manufacturing involved will ultimately tell you more about its strength and durability. Here are some materials you’ll come across when selecting your pack, along with the pros and cons of each one. The Tortuga Setout is a maximum legal carry-on that’s “just right” for the average traveler.

backpack reviews

We don’t ask for money, but if you’d like to find out how you can help the site in more organic ways, click the button below. There is plenty of space to store you traditional hiker gear and even a helmet, in case you want to add a bit of climbing in to your adventure. If you want to learn more about this bag, be sure to read our review of the Dueter Air Contact. The internet is flooded with outdoor brands, all of which claim to make the ‘best’ hiking packs.

Do you truly need a separate book pocket or an underwear compartment? By default it holds about 22L, which is roughly the size of an everyday or school backpack. But with several clever extensions, you can expand the volume up to 40L. If you like this kind of versatility, you will definitely love the Shell. The Allpa is the kind of pack that you can comfortably take on a backpacking trip, city-hopping through Europe, or any adventure big or small.

If you have a bubbly personality, you may be more suited to a multi-colored bag. There are plenty of colors and styles to choose from, so you’re sure to find something that matches your charm. For example, if you visit the library often and need to charge your devices, you’ll want a bag with a USB charger and built-in charging cable. Poor water bottle holder, no battery pack with charging station, questionable quality. Some customers complained about the fact that the water bottle holders on the side of the backpack aren’t big enough to hold larger reusable bottles. “Poor water bottle holder, no battery pack with charging station, questionable quality.”

We prefer foam that errs towards firm support rather than being soft and compressible. Excessively soft padding might feel great when first trying on a pack, but it doesn’t offer the long-term support needed for hauling heavier loads. Packs like the Gregory Baltoro/Devaand Osprey Aether/Ariel are great examples of effective use of this type of high quality, firm padding. For my last trip, I looked for a travel pack and packable daypack to meet the 7-kg carry-on allowance of regional carriers within Australia, New Zealand and SE Asia. After reading hundreds of reviews, I chose the Osprey Farpoint 40 and Osprey’s Ultralight Stuff Pack.

Arguably, their best design is the Crown2, which balances impressive cushioning, thoughtful features, and a weight of just… Osprey’s proven lineup of backpacking packs runs the gamut from simple entry-level haulers and ultralight builds to premium, feature-rich models. The Aura AG—and its men’s counterpart, the Atmos AG—falls right in the middle, deftly balancing weight… Our team at Pack Hacker developed the “best travel backpack” guide in partnership with our friends at Carryology.

The value placed on this metric depends on the user and the volume of the pack. However, as pack volume increases, access takes on greater importance. Most of the packs have zippers on the front or back of the lid, which means that it’s not as easy to get inside of them.

For carry-on only travel, I’d recommend the Osprey Farpoint 40. If you need more space and don’t mind checking your backpack below the airplane, I’d recommend the Gregory Zulu 55 or 65 Liter. Gregory Zulu 55 Backpack – While not the best hiking backpack out there, it’s lightweight and includes front-zipper access to gear. And more importantly, can lie flat in my suitcase if I don’t need to check both. It’s a true adventure backpack for traveling in the backcountry.