Travel Tips to Choose the Best Backpack

Today I am giving you travel tips for choosing the best backpack. I will test eBags, Samsonite, Marmot and other top backpacks. I will test the backpack features and their capacity will be tested as well with tips that I have learned for each one.

three-backpacks-test-ebags-samsonite
Testing these 3 backpacks and more

If you commute in an airplane for work, if you pack a laptop, or if you travel for leisure, this video will help you know which backpack is best for you based on my tips for your packing needs.

questions-when-choose-backpack

Travel with a backpack is an essential packing item for me.  I pack in my backpack as though it were an extension of my suitcase. Ask yourself 4 questions when searching for the best backpack for travel. Do you need pockets in a backpack-how many?  Is your backpack for traveling to work? What would you pack in your backpack?  What problem is your backpack solving for you? Not all backpacks are the same. Many of my YouTube viewers have asked which backpack I recommend for 2019.  My backpack is sold out, but I will put the link to it so you can see other types. The backpack is for your travel needs based on my experience as a pilot wife of 17 years; the more I travel the more I can help you. Thank you for visiting my Travel Tips by Laurie YouTube Channel (or blog). I hope you find information in this video to help you make an educated choice for your backpack. Stick around to the end to hear my passport tip for traveling. If you need help choosing a carryon suitcase, I also have a video for that!

My hubby loves his new Samsonite backpack.  Extra storage pockets everywhere!samsonite-pocketsamsonite-backpack

samsonite-backpack
This backpack still abides by the under-the-seat dimensions.

A personal item sized backpack for travel is what I will show you today.  These all fit under the airplane seat in front of you. Most of the main line airplanes (the big ones) have dimension requirements for your personal item being 18 (or 17) x 14 x 8 inches (45 x 35 x 20 cm).  Remember from my Traveling with Medicine video that cpap machines do not count as a carryon item.  Neither do strollers or a cane, etc. That is great news. I’ll link the 3 major airlines’ personal item dimension requirements in the description box below.  Find out the size plane you will be flying on; you may be on one of the 50 seat airplanes that have a little smaller under the seat area.

For my backpack needs during travel, capacity is the most important factor.  I can fit a roll of Kirkland paper towels inside these two backpacks.  For me, I always roll a hoodie or jacket in the bottom of my backpack.  If you widen the base of that back pocket, you have at least 6 inches almost all the way up in a rectangle shape – which is like a slim suitcase size.  My backpack is basically the size of a school backpack but smoother material.  Think of what big items you would pack down there in the base of your backpack that do not need to be packed in your suitcase. Some backpacks have a padded pocket for laptops. Know that they take up extra space and you need padding.

backpack-to-israel
4 pockets but about the same size as mine

My mom has this same backpack, but she took this bag to Israel, and it is 14 inches wide with a bottle of water in it.

bag-fits-paper-towel-roll
She took this backpack to Israel

I have found that I pack things in the larger pocket of this black and white backpack.  While I am on the airplane, I use what is inside the front pocket.  Think of what you need easy access to and put those in the front.  When I sit in the seat I grab my hoodie, phone, phone prop, headphones and charger. Then I put the backpack under there and lay the hoodie or stuff the jacket on top. Where do you pack your headphones?  I use a tub to keep them separated.  I have the old kind of plug and one set that has the flat plug for my phone (discussed more in this Europe video). If your suitcase has a lithium battery, you can store it here while on flight because they are not allowed in your checked suitcase.  I know Away luggage now has removable batteries.headphones-plug-different-kinds

Think about packing things that can stand.  I pack pens and a journal; will you stand up a book or iPad? Will you pack an umbrella on the side or will you pack an empty cross body bag?  A subscriber had a travel hack to pack makeup brushes in your crossbody and empty them out once you get to your destination.

My navy one I bought at Francesca’s almost 2 years ago, and I need to donate it.  The lip around the zippers bothers me, and it’s really small.  Yes, I can fit a hoodie in here, but that’s about it.  Put the backpack on.  Is it easy or are you going to put your back out trying to find that second strap.  Is it easy to loosen your straps?

There are all types of travelers; those who like pockets and those who need pockets.  I like there to be several and I like that pockets have different sizes.  I store pens loosely in this pocket with my March travel treat: a fingernail file carrier.  But a travel hack is to just use a toothbrush holder. I organize inside my bag with pouches.  For my leisure travel I do not need a lot of pockets and zippers.

As a personal item, I won this backpack from ebags. Its dimensions are 13 x 18.  I would carry this if I was going to a YouTube conference carrying my camera and laptop.

ebags-front-pocket-organizationIn the work backpack, look at these mesh pockets.  Cords can be stored there to serve as a see-through pouch.  My husband loves these types of pockets for electronics, pens, business cards, etc. Let me know if you like your inside pockets to have zippers.  I am a pouch packer in my backpack.  I travel with 4-5 pouches.  I see how having zipped pockets inside pockets could serve as a pouch.  Some pockets are small for mints or floss sticks, and you may like more roomy pockets or the kind of pocket that is just a flap.

backpack-fits-over-handles-of-suitcase
We love this feature when we want to be hands-free!

In this ebag backpack the bottle of water mesh pocket can be zipped and hidden.  The straps on all of my backpacks are adjustable, but on this one, you can cross the straps while walking through the airport or at a work meeting.  Then you’re able to carry with this handle at the top.  I LOVE how this backpack has a slit that can go over your suitcase handles leaving you hands free.  You could carry your crossbody that has your wallet etc.

I cannot say enough about this laptop backpack’s storage.  Total protection for your computer, maybe a 2nd blouse, cardboard protection for like a camera lens or cords.

airline-personal-item-backpack-size-restrictions

Airlines state that you get a carryon item (which for me is a suitcase) and a personal item.  A personal item or backpack should fit under the airplane seat when you travel.   Luggage has size restrictions on some airlines and in some countries.

tip-travel-with-children-passport
Travel with children tip for passports

If you are traveling abroad with children, an adult carries the passports, right?  Instead of having to flip through to find the picture, you can put a sticker on the back flap of each passport with each child’s initials on the sticker.  Faster!

Let’s be friends on Insta!  Come say hey.

Occasionally I use affiliate links, but all opinions are my honest ones.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s