Erica Flores

How to buy the perfect backpack.

Backpacks have become ubiquitous for everyday use. And it’s no wonder – if you carry laptops, tablets, phones, water bottles, and all the other things you need with you when traveling to the local office, coffee shop, or park, a backpack is the best way to go. .

However, choosing the best backpack for your needs can be a bit perplexing. There are so many different brands out there and so many different factors to consider such as looks, utility, comfort, and price. What and how much are you going to take? Do you need extra protection from rain or an accidental fall? Do you want a separate place for each of your devices, or do you hate digging through dozens of separate pockets for your EarPods?

Choosing the best backpack for your needs can be a bit disconcerting

Instead of telling you which is the best backpack to buy, we will show you the important things to look for and take note of when you are going to choose your next pack. All of these guidelines and suggestions apply, no matter what your capacity and budget needs or style preferences are.

The best way to buy a backpack is, of course, in person. Like a pair of shoes, you never really know if a backpack is right for you unless you try it on. However, if you don’t have time to shop or if you prefer to shop online, the three things to keep in mind are comfort, material, and design.

(In this article, we mainly describe the backpacks that are best suited for work, school, tourism, or urban wandering.)

Find a backpack that can hold all of your things.Photo: Nemeio


Comfort should be number one on your list. Even if you don’t normally carry a heavy load, there may come a time when you really need to carry that pack and don’t want your back to yell at you at the end of the day. (Check out The Verge’s What’s in your bag? to see the variety of things that some people carry with them.)

Make sure the package distributes the weight of your things evenly. Most sites that offer backpack recommendations suggest that they should be worn on top of the backpack with the bottom of the backpack at or above the waist level. If you think you are going to carry a lot of weight on a regular basis, a chest, waist or hip belt can make a big difference in relieving stress on your back.

STM Trestle backpack

A belt that attaches to your chest or waist can relieve stress on your back.Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge

It is a good idea to find a package that is appropriate for your build. For example, in a good quality women’s pack, the straps will be designed for narrower shoulders and the hip belt will be designed to fit wider hips.

Your comfort with a backpack can also vary depending on the size of the backpack and its height. If you are shopping online and are not sure what the appropriate size will be, look for the photos of the package carrying a model. You can usually estimate how tall you are compared to the model, and that should give you an idea of ​​how the pack will fit.

You can also go to a store and try on some backpacks to find out what size you are most comfortable with. Backpack capacity is traditionally measured in liters. Slim bags that you can only fit on your laptop and some books are between 10L and 16L, the most versatile are between 20L and 25L, and professional camera gear and weekend bags range up to 30L and above.

Your comfort with a backpack may vary depending on the size of the backpack and your height.

If you have a lot to carry and plan to do it in hot weather, a mesh cover that sits between you and the pack can decrease the amount of sweating you do.

Finally, if you have severe physical problems, or if you are carrying loads that could affect your strength, don’t be embarrassed to consider a pack on wheels. But keep in mind that if you plan to carry that pack too, the wheels will add considerable weight.