How to Choose the BEST Travel BACKPACK | Pros & Cons Minimalist Backpack Review

What is a backpacker without a backpack? Like a tortoise carrying all its worldly possessions upon its back. Of all your travel gear, your backpack is the most essential. If it’s too big, you can’t carry it on. If it’s too small, you can’t carry enough. I’m Alex. I’m Marko. You are watching Vagabrothers, your go-to guide for travel tips, inspiration, and travel vlogs here on YouTube. This video is part of our series on how to travel the world and in it, we’re going to show you how to pick the perfect bag for your trip. If you find this video helpful, make sure you give it a thumbs-up, add your own travel tips into the comment section, and if you’re new to the channel, subscribe, and turn on notifications so you don’t miss out on the rest of this series. Without further ado, this is how you choose the perfect backpack. We’ve been full-time travel film makers for the last 5 years, so by now we’re used to carrying our entire lives in our backpacks, plus our camera gear. We’re going to show you 4 bags of different sizes and styles to help you find the right one for you. No matter which bag you choose, you’re going to want to keep the following things in mind: First and foremost, keep things small, simple, and minimalist. 40 to 50 litres is the ideal size for a travel bag. Smaller is better because your backpack fits in carry-on, which will save you money because you won’t have to check bags, time because you don’t have to wait at baggage claim, and stress because when you carry fewer things, you lose fewer things. Packing and unpacking becomes a simple routine. Just as important as choosing the right size of backpack is choosing the right type of backpack. Don’t choose a technical back country camping backpack. What you want is a travel backpack, which is front loading, meaning that it opens like a suitcase, but also has shoulder straps for support. All the backpacks that we are recommending today are travel backpacks. A few more things to keep in mind…… Make sure it’s water proof. You can always buy a rain shell, but it’s better to have waterproof fabric. Make sure it has a laptop holder; it also works for magazines, journals, and Ipads. Make sure that you do not to pack your bag 100 percent full. You’re going to want to leave at least a quarter of your bag for souvenirs and stuff you pick up along the way Some other good features to look for: waist straps to save your back, compression straps, lockable zippers, and a combination lock, stash pockets, a camera holder, and super important…. a removable daypack. We’re going to go over these 4 backpacks. We’re going to start with the smaller one and go up in size. This is the REI Vagabond..40 liters of space 2 1/2 pounds and $120. What I like the most about this bag is that it’s very, very sleek. It’s got a super low profile. There’re no straps or anything that can get stuck if you’re walking down a train. You’re not going to get snagged on anything. It does have some compression straps on the inside, but otherwise it’s a pretty open space. You do also have this zipper pouch on the outside, which is where you can put your socks or underwear. You can tuck in the shoulder straps and zip it up so that if you’re checking the bag, it’s not going to get snagged on other things. For $120 bucks, it’s going to leave a lot of money for whatever else you have to prepare for: visas, vaccinations, and so on. There are a lot of “pros” to this backpack, but for me personally, I see a lot of “cons” in it. First and foremost, it’s very flimsy. The downside of being sleek is that in order to achieve that there is just not a lot of padding. For example, there is a laptop sleeve. I would be a little bit sketched – out to travel with a laptop in this because it seems that there’s just a very thin plastic backing. There’s no back support, and there’s very, very minimal cushions. This bag to me is just a little bit too…. flimsy. I personally see this backpack as more of a long weekend get away or a two week trip to somewhere where you don’t need a lot of clothes….. like a tropical vacation or a nudist resort. Exactly. Next up is the Kelty Redwing 44. Just to clarify, there is a 44 liter and a 50 liter version, plus… a 40 liter designed specifically for females. One of the things that I really enjoyed about this bag right when I threw it on, it’s super comfortable. It has very, very nice waist support. It also has a big cushion right at the base of your lumbar. If you’re traveling long term with a backpack, one of the things that you notice right away is that without this waist support, your lower back is really going to start hurting. It’s also made out of a breathable material, so if you’re in S.E. Asia, you’re not going to be totally sweating your ass off. The bag opens ” comme ca.” It has a laptop sleeve. The laptop sleeve does have a bit more padding than its counterpart, the REI Vagabond. There’s a lot of room for expansion here. It’s pretty simply, but it’s a very comfortable bag. The downside for me is that this day bag on the outside is not removable. It’s also susceptible to thieves because you generally don’t want to have your most important things on the outside of your bag. That’s the case with this backpack. Furthermore, these straps right here are not lockable. As far as the internal organization…. there’s not a lot of compartments here, but that’s also a thing of personal preference. And a great way around something like that is by using compression cubes. This set right here from Eagle Creek. It’s got 3 different sized bags, and this is something you can use to create organization in an otherwise open system. This is a pretty good all around backpack. Solid choice. And the fact that you can get it in multiple sizes means that if you feel this is too small or too big, there’s another size available for you. I feel like the 50 liter backpack would probably be a pretty good call. Next up: we have a kind of an outlier, but this personally my favorite backpack. This is Patagonia’s MLC, which stands for Maximum Legal Carry-on. It’s 45 liters and about $179. So right in the middle of the sizes, but a little bit more expensive, but I will show you where that value comes from. What’s good about this is that it basically combines everything you’d want from a suitcase in the form of a backpack. The thing I like the most about this backpack is that the internal organization is just insane. You have really great pockets here for socks and underwear. Once I wear them, I put everything that’s dirty in this other internal sleeve. It’s really easy to keep your clothes organized as you’re traveling. It’s basically deep enough for you to roll up your jeans or put in a pair of shoes and have each item one by one next to each other, which allows you to really see all of your outfits at once. What I found amazing about doing that is that I never had to unpack my backpack. What’s also great is the external compartment here, which basically functions like a day bag. It’s almost like a briefcase. It’s basically like a briefcase, yeah. You can put your laptop here, a tablet. There’s a cell phone storage area; there’re pens; there’s a ton of compartments for your passport or whatever else you want to bring with you that you would normally put in a day bag. That’s why I say that this bag is perfect for someone doing city trips. This is optimized to be the maximum size you can take as carry-on. The straps fold in on themselves, and if you have a roller bag, you can slide this thing right down over the handles of a roller bag. I’m a big fan of Patagonia. I believe that their products are worth the extra money just from their stance on the environment and sustainability. I feel it’s less of a backpack for a backpacker and more of a bag for a business traveler. Other than that, I love the internal organization on it, to be able to divide your bag into regions. I don’t think that it has a lot of protection or support. The material is very thin, in my opinion. Other than that, it is a great bag. And it’s pretty stylish. If you’re an older traveler and you just want a little bit more organization, you’re not like 20 years old, willing to put everything in your backpack and just go, this is definitely what you’re looking for. Next up: we have the Osprey Farpoint 55 liter. The Osprey Farpoint comes in three different capacities; 40 L, 55L, and 70L Honestly, to be completely frank, this is the bag that I would choose if I were going on a 6 month trip around the world. It has storage space for everything that you need. This backpack has the best of both worlds. When you open it up, it has a ton of space on the inside, but it also has organizational space with this big neon colored transparent zipper-guy, which I would use for dirty clothes. It’s a little bit less breathable, but it does have some nice shoulder straps. It also has waist straps. The padding is not as good as the Kelty. If you’re going to have to check your bag for any reason, you can zip all the shoulder straps and waist straps into itself. The coolest part about the Osprey Farpoint is that it has a removable day bag that’s 15 Liters. Check this out. Once that is removed, it’s got its own little shoulder straps, water bottle holder, a place for spare change, keys, maybe a camera or a phone. Then on the inside here, it has a laptop sleeve; it has a couple more little internal storage compartments. Overall, the Osprey Farpoint is a great bag, and out of all of the bags, if I had to choose one, I would choose this Osprey Farpoint in 55 liters. I agree that this is the best overall backpack, especially for someone doing some longterm travel. If I were going around the world for a full year, getting on and off buses, trains, and airplanes, I would definitely choose this. For me, it’s the detachable backpack. I’ve always found that having a side bag or a day bag is essential. I really hate being that dude walking through the airport with a front and a back backpack. If you do decide to carry your backpack on the front, you have little straps here so it takes some of the pressure off you. When you are traveling, when you’re in airports, train stations, bus stations, etc,,, that is when you are most likely to get pick pocketed; you can put all your essentials, your expensive equipment, hang it from the front bag on your front and keep an eye on it….. not to mention that the zippers are lockable. Like I said, my favorite is the Osprey Farpoint 55 L What about you, Bro? For the type of traveling I do now…… if we were not traveling for this channel, if I were just going for fun, I’d probably bring the Patagonia MLC just because it’s super convenient, and it’s just the right amount stuff for me. If I were going on a trip around the world, I think I’d choose the Osprey Farpoint, but I might get it in the 40 liter, rather than the 55 L. Whichever backpack you get, you should probably not buy it online; you should go to the store, try it on, talk to a representative, and see which one fits you best. It’s all about what makes you feel comfortable and what fits the needs that you have, as a traveler. All right ladies and gentlemen, that is our video about how to pick the perfect backpack. Hopefully, you guys and girls have enjoyed it. Please share your comments, your tips, your perspectives in the comment section. If you enjoyed the video, give it a thumbs-up, share it with your friends, if you haven’t already, and remember to turn on notifications so you don’t miss any of our videos from this series. If you haven’t seen the rest of the videos in this series, make sure you check them out. There’s plenty more coming….everything from how to pack this backpack, to how to get the cheapest flights. So stay tuned for those. In the meantime, stay curious, keep exploring, and we’ll see you guys on the road. Peace.

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