10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Whether you're heading up a mountain or setting off on a gap year, a high quality backpacker's rucksack is essential. Gap year specialists from Real Gap and Quest Overseas give some sound advice to guide you before your life-changing excursion.

Real Gap:

1. "Personalise your bag. Tie on a ribbon to one of the straps and it’ll catch your eye when you’re travelling in-country."

2. "Go into a store to buy your bag to make sure the straps adjust to your height/stature. It’s surprising how many don’t fit certain body shapes."

Quest Overseas:

"A few things to remember when buying your large backpack:"

1. "When you try it on in the shop, ask them to fill it up with some kit, you won’t know how it really feels if it’s empty. Also don’t get a backpack which is too big for your height, a 70lt pack would normally be right for someone around 5’ 10”, as a point of reference."

2. "There are usually men’s and women’s versions of trekking backpacks, with different shapes. Find the one that’s right for you."

1. Kathmandu Entrada Pack v2 – 65L +15, £170, amazon

 

Kathmandu_entrada.jpg

Top-loading bags aren’t for everyone and this is another one with a side opening so you can easily access gear on the go. The detachable day pack will work as hand luggage, you can zip up the straps on flights and our tester liked the internal pockets for valuables.

Buy now

2. Vango Contour 60+10, £65, amazon

 

Vango_Contour_6010.jpg

Recommended by the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, this is a no-nonsense, durable backpack that won’t break the bank. It has a solid, comfortable back system and plenty of pockets and compartments - a great first trekking bag.

Buy now

3. Berghaus Motive 65+15 Travel Bag, £130, amazon

 

berghausmotive.jpg

Doing the odd bit of trekking but mainly need a travel bag? Then this may be the one for you. There’s a zip-around opening so there’s easy access to all your kit and you can padlock the zips together for extra safety. It also comes with a handy detachable 15-litre day sack for those long flights or bus journeys.

Buy now

4. Vango Sherpa 65L, £155, amazon

 

Vango_Sherpa_65.jpg

If you’re planning on heading to your destination during rainy season, check your backpack comes with suitable protection. This one has a rain cover and will do you proud on long treks, plus there are loads of zips so you don’t have to root around for valuables.

Buy now

5. Lowe Alpine Alpamayo ND 55:75, £144, amazon

 

Lowe_Alpine_Alpamayo.jpg

The proportions of the back panel, hip belt and harness on this bag are optimised for women, so it’ll stay comfy while you’re lugging kit around. The 20 litre day pack is bigger than most removable bags, so plenty of room for all your gear on excursions.

Buy now

6. Karrimor Global Venture 55L +15, £80, amazon

 

Karrimor_Global_Venture.jpg

If you’re looking for something a little lighter for your adventure then this compact bag by Karrimor is ideal. There’s a removable daypack and you can zip up the back straps to keep them protected when you’re swapping the road for a flight.

Buy now

7. The North Face Base Camp Duffle 70l, £68, amazon

 

northface.jpg

If you’re not planning on doing any hiking with your big pack, a duffle bag might be more suitable. This one is pretty much bombproof, comes in a variety of sizes (although 70 litres will probably do the job) and also has a decent set of shoulder straps for carrying it short distances.

Buy now

8. Berghaus Torridon 65L, £80, amazon

 

berghaus_torridon.jpg

If you’re super-organised, look out for a backpack with lots of pockets. Getting everything from your passport to a padlock out of your bag can be a pain when there’s nowhere to store smaller items, but this top-loading bag has loads of little compartments. Also comes in a women's 60-litre model.

Buy now

9. Karrimor Munro 65L, £41, amazon

 

Karrimor_Munro.jpg

Our gap year traveller found this bag ideal for keeping gear organised; there are two compartments inside to keep clean and dirty kit separate, a bottom compartment ideal for footwear and side and front pockets ideal for the likes of a travel towel.

Buy now

10. Haglofs OXO 70lt Expedition Rucksack, £230, Cotswold Outdoor

 

zolo.jpg

This one will put a bit more of a hole in the bank balance but if you’re looking at doing a lot of multi-day treks, you may want to treat yourself with something which gives a lot more comfort. A simple design but with all the bells and whistles you could want.

Buy now

Verdict:

If you're after a simple all-weather rucksack with easy-to-access compartments and isn't heavy on the wallet, go for the Vango Sherpa 65L. At the other end of the price scale is the Haglofs OXO 70lt Expedition Rucksack, which will withstand relentless multi-day treks and provide endless comfort through the Instant Adjustable System, allowing the bag to be tailored to the wearer.

Read More
10 best first aid kits
10 best bags for commuters

10 best hiking boots

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing

Comments