Goats On The Road By
Posted 29 Mar, 2012 | 7 Comments
Posted in: Packing, Travel Blogs

Before deciding what to put in your backpack, you will need to decide what type of backpack you want to lug around the world with you.  For us, it’s a “luggage entry backpack” or nothing.

NOTE – Have a look at our updated post from 2016: How To Choose The Best Backpack For Travel

A luggage entry backpack

We see many travellers with “top-loading backpacks” desperately searching for that one crucial item, pulling out everything in their backpacks to get to the bottom where they stored all their “rarely used items”.  A luggage entry backpack allows you to fully unzip your bag giving you access to everything inside at one quick glance.

easy access with a luggage entry style backpack


luggage entry backpack, much easier to see all of your belongings

Another bonus is that these backpacks usually have a zip-off day bag (rucksack).  These little bags are indispensable.  You’ll definitely want to have a small bag for every day use.

a Deuter luggage entry style backpack with zip-off day bag

While travelling on buses, trains, planes etc. it’s essential to keep all your valuables/breakables on person at all times. The best bet is to keep the day bag separate on travel days and keep your laptops, souvenirs, passports and wallets inside. Wear the big backpack on your back and the important day bag on your chest. Keep your valuables close to your heart, that way your  delicate belongings aren’t being carelessly tossed around at the airport, or aggressively crammed into the bus compartments or worse yet, lost or stolen! Good name brands of backpacks include Deuter and Osprey.

If you’re Canadian, then you can opt for the much cheaper, and equally durable, house brands at places like Mountain Equipment Coop and Atmosphere. The MEC brands are extremely reliable and come at a fraction of the cost. Dariece carries a 60L MEC Luggage entry backpack and Nick has a 70L Deuter. Both of which have lasted over 2 years of travelling with no problems. Your bag will be your best friend (if you’re solo) so choose wisely.

Dariece’s 60L Mountain Equipment Co-op luggage entry backpack with zip-off day bag


Nick’s 70L Deuter luggage entry backpack, with zip-off day bag









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Budget Backpacking- Choosing A Backpack

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7 thoughts on “Budget Backpacking: Choosing A Backpack

  1. hi there! I absolutely love your website. I am planning a trip to thailand and I’m going crazy trying to pick the best pack. I see you have the deuter traveler 70. does it bother you on long trips not having a padded hip belt to displace the weight of the pack? I was looking at top down loaders….but clamshell seems so much more practical.

    I have also heard about people taking 30’s to thailand and just going super ultra-light. what are your thoughts on this…having spent time in thailand?

    thanks so much in advance for any help! HAPPY TRAVELS! Maybe we will meet one day on the road!

    : )


    1. Hey Braydon!
      Thanks for the comment.

      We are actually in the process of revamping our backpacking style, our backpacks and what we pack!

      We’re becoming ultralight travelers now. We’ve downsized to an Osprey Farpoint 55 for Nick and an Osprey Kestral 32 for me. Nick’s previous Deuter bag did have padded hip straps, and both of our bags now do as well. We still highly recommend the clam shell style bag, for sure. Top loaders are a pain!

      If you’re just traveling to Thailand, you would have no problem traveling with a 32L bag! All you need are some shorts, t-shirts, sandals, medical supplies and sunglasses 🙂 well, maybe a bit more, but you get the point!

      I hope this helps, have a great trip. Thailand is awesome. Let us know if you have anymore questions.


      1. Thanks so much! I really appreciate the info. I’ll definitely let you know what I go with and if I have any questions!


  2. i will be relocating to the Philipinnes next year
    I’ve been three times but haven’t a clue where I will reside
    I plan on an 8 week ( minimum) backpacking romp about
    I Dive ( a lot) and want to bring my own gear
    I will follow your advice re backpacks and packing list etc

    Any advice on how to carry all my five gear as well?

    I used to travel quite a bit under the advice of my Uncle SAMs Misguided Children’s backpacking club so carrying weight isn’t so much of an issue


  3. Hi there,

    First off thank you for the wonderful information above! It’s such a help! So I’m going to India and SE Asia for a year but volunteering in India and Nepal for 6 months so only travelling really for 6 months. I’ve bought a really good 60L front loading backpack and I’m a little concerned it’s too big. I’m restricted here in Ireland for a decent variety of backpack sizes to choose from I’ve seen the Osprey Farpoint but I’m not a fan of squishing everything in one pack. I’d like to buy a few small souvenirs on my travels.

    Did you manage with the bigger backpack well? Any advice would be greatly appreciate! Thank you!

    1. Hi Lydia,

      We now travel with 55L bags each. 60 L is a good size as well if you want to buy some things. Just make sure you get the right size (s, m, l) because that will make a difference as to how the pack sits on your back.

      Happy travels.

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