The Best Travel Backpack Review

We picked out a range of top-of-the-line full-size, framed backpacks; compressible daypacks; and carry-on backpacks. We used these travel backpacks for everyday around-town activities, adventures in the backcountry, and week-long trips. After putting them to the test for three months, we scored and rated each. Read on to find out which ones won awards.

For more thoughts on how to pick a travel pack, scoot over to our buying advice article for even more discussion on travel packs vs. backpacking packs. See also our related review of travel duffel bags.

To pack like a pro, check out: How to Pack Luggage Like a Pro.

Read the full review below >

Review by: ⋅ Senior Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab

Top Ranked Travel Backpacks

Displaying 1 - 5 of 6 << Previous | View All | Next >>
Our Ranking #1 #2 #3 #4 #5
Product Name
Osprey Farpoint 55
Osprey Farpoint 55
Read the Review
Video video review
Kelty Redwing 50
Kelty Redwing 50
Read the Review
Video video review
Osprey Porter 46
Osprey Porter 46
Read the Review
REI Stuff Travel Daypack 22
REI Stuff Travel Daypack 22
Read the Review
Video video review
Patagonia Lightweight Travel Pack 26
Patagonia Lightweight Travel Pack 26
Read the Review
Editors' Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award    Top Pick Award   
Street Price Varies $164 - $180
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$125
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$130
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$30
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$79
Compare at 1 sellers
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Pros Structured for increased comfort, tall, slim design, detachable day packDurable materials, lots of organization, relatively lightweight, affordableLegal carry-on size, sleek, lightweight, affordablePackable, lightweight, durable fabric, affordablePackable, light, comfortable shoulder, sternum, and hip straps
Cons Frame makes it too big for a carry-onShort, wide design decreases pack awareness, fewer travel featuresShort, wide design decreases pack awareness, fewer travel featuresUncomfortable shoulder straps, no hip/sternum strapsUncomfortably floppy, expensive, not very durable
Best Uses Adventure travel, light backcountry tripsAdventure travel, light backcountry tripsDoesn't cross-over to outdoor activities, minimalist hip beltExtra day pack while traveling, light hiking, around townExtra day pack while traveling, light hiking, around town
Date Reviewed Apr 20, 2013Apr 20, 2013Apr 20, 2013Apr 20, 2013Apr 20, 2013
Weighted Scores Osprey Farpoint 55 Kelty Redwing 50 Osprey Porter 46 REI Stuff Travel Daypack 22 Patagonia Lightweight Travel Pack 26
Comfort - 20%
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Features - 25%
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Ease Of Packing - 20%
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Durability - 15%
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Product Specs Osprey Farpoint 55 Kelty Redwing 50 Osprey Porter 46 REI Stuff Travel Daypack 22 Patagonia Lightweight Travel Pack 26
Actual Weight 3 lbs, 14 oz 3 lbs, 3 oz 2 lbs, 5 oz 9.6 oz 10.7 oz
Dimensions (Packed out) Main: 25x13x9'' Day: 19x11.5x6 24x15x12'' 22x14x12'' In use: 18x10x8'' Compressed: 8x7x2'' In use: 22x12x10" Compressed: 8x6x4"
Different sizes? S/M and M/L S/M and M/L O/S O/S O/S
Volume Options 40L (no day pack), 55L, 70L (main pack: 40L, day pack: 15L) 44L, 50L, 40L women's version 46L, 65L 22L 26L
Waist Belt Type 1/2 inch padding 3/4 inch padding minimalist - webbing only none minimalist - webbing only
Sternum Strap Yes, whistle Yes Yes, whistle No Yes
Access Type Front loading, zips all the way open Front loading, doesn't zip all the way open Front loading, zips all the way open Top loading Top loading
Frame Type Lightwire alloy peripheral frame, stiff foam Single lightbeam aluminum stay, HDPE frame sheet Stiff foam none none
Legal Carry-on Size? No No Yes Yes Yes
Fabrics 210D x 330D Nylon Shadow Box, 420D HD nylon packcloth 420D Polyester Ball Shadow, 450D Polyester Oxford nylons 1680D ballistic nylon, 410HD nylon packcloth 210 D Double rip-stop nylon 210D and 40D double rip-stop nylon
Colors Red, black, blue Blue, black, red, tan, greenish-khaki Green, red, dark gray Gray, green, purple Blue, black, yellow
# of Pockets 4 zippered, 3 drop-in more than 12 3 zippered 2 drop-in, 1 zippered 2 drop-in, 2 zippered
Unique Features Detachable day pack; tall, slim design for increased pack awareness Many external pockets, single-beam frame Sleek, professional design; strait jacket compression straps Packable, full mesh pockets Packable, internal zipper pocket

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review


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  • Editors' Choice Winners
  • All Reviewed Products

When to Choose a Travel Backpack


Purchasing a travel backpack can be super exciting, not only because you get a new piece of gear, but also because it may mean that you have a sweet trip planned! Before you begin your pack hunt, start by thinking through how you hope to use your new bag. Will it be primarily for business trips? Are you planning a mega, year-long, round-the-world adventure? Do you see yourself using this bag for hiking and other outdoor activities or solely for city-to-city travel? Once you've determined how you want to use the pack, consider whether a travel backpack is the best option for you. Keep in mind that a backpacking backpack can double really well as a backpack for traveling. Even though it may not have as many travel-specific features as a travel pack, a backpacking pack will definitely hold and transport all your stuff, which is the most basic point, right?

In many cases, backpacking packs will allow you to tote around heavier loads more comfortably; however, not all backpacking packs have the special features that make travel packs appealing. You may also want to look at our duffle bag review, since many of these pieces have backpack-style shoulder straps for easy carrying. Ultimately, our reviewers discovered that the travel packs in this review have many useful, well-designed features that help make travel even simpler. Can you live without them? Absolutely. Is a travel backpack the best bag for your next trip? It could be, but remember that just because you're traveling doesn't mean that you need a travel-specific pack. It may turn out that a backpacking pack would better suit your needs. Read on as we talk about some of the awesome reasons you might want a travel backpack.

Criteria for Evaluation


Comfort


A travel backpack that fits comfortably when weighted down with all your belongings is a sure-fire way to improve happiness and decrease frustration. Anyone that's traveled knows that travel days can be some of the most tiring of the trip. Maybe you're on a shoestring budget and your travel day requires going from hostel to boat dock to bus station to airport or maybe you rented a charming Parisian apartment on the 7th floor, only to find that the stairs are your only option. In either case, make sure that your pack doesn't weigh you down by being ill-fitting or uncomfortable.

Throughout our testing process, we realized that some of the most suitable travel backpackpacks for backcountry travel like our Editors' Choice winner, the Osprey Farpoint were also the most comfortable. Generally, these were the packs with proper frames, well-padded hip belts, and load stabilizing straps. Within the framed packs, we leaned more towards the taller, slimmer Farpoint, since it moved better with our testers' bodies. In the comfort category we also paid close attention to the breathability of the shoulder straps and the air flow allowed behind the back. Our Best Buy winner, the Kelty Redwing featured a single-beam frame structure that encourages behind-the-back air flow, while our Top Pick, the REI Stuff Travel Daypack is designed with lightweight mesh shoulder straps. While it's definitely important to keep all this in mind, remember to consider first and foremost how a pack fits your body and how it feels once you've packed it up and taken it for a spin.

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These packs range significantly in fit and comfort, here is an idea of how they may fit. Amanda is 125 pounds, 5'6", and has a torso height of 17.5 inches. (L to R): Porter, Rincon, Farpoint, Redwing, Patagonia Travel Pack, REI Stuff Daypack.
Credit: OutdoorGearLab

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An idea of what these packs look like on someone bigger: Skiy is 6'3", 180 pounds, and has a 20.5-inch torso. (L to R): Porter, Rincon, Farpoint, Redwing, Patagonia Travel Pack, REI Stuff Daypack.
Credit: OutdoorGearLab

Finally, keep in mind that comfort is even more paramount if you're taking your pack on a mid-trip backcountry adventure. While we would take the Farpoint and the Redwing on shorter backpacking trips, if you're planning a longer multi-night excursion into the wild, you may want to consider a backpacking backpack and a compressible daypack like the Patagonia Lightweight Travel Pack 26. Our main tester has traveled to more than 25 countries with her trusty Mountainsmith backpacking pack, which has allowed her to bust out some mad backcountry treks mid-trip.

Functionality and Features


We quickly discovered that each of our test travel packs had different strengths and weaknesses in different travel scenarios. So, to measure function, we first considered what the pack was designed to do: Is it just a daypack? Is it a backpack that meets the legal carry-on requirements? Then we thought about its versatility: This daypack is handy, but can I compress it to fit in the luggage I already have? I know this bag is carry-on sized, but will it perform in the backcountry? From there, we took into account each pack's travel-specific features…and there were lots of really cool features. These travel packs had everything from lockable zippers to detachable daypacks and pick pocket-safe stash pouches.

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A close-up of the travel backpack's locking zippers and centralized reinforced point in the fabric. The Rincon's day pack also has lockable zippers, but requires a slimmer lock.
Credit: Amanda Fenn

Here's the quick-and-dirty: we reviewed two travel backpacks that we would also take on three-day backcountry adventures (the Editor's Choice: Osprey Farpoint and the Best Buy: the Kelty Redwing); two conveniently compressible daypacks for hiking or city exploration (Patagonia and Top Pick REI packs); and two full-size packs that meet the legal carry-on requirements that perform well in city-to-city travel (Osprey Porter and Eagle Creek Rincon 65). Both the Farpoint and Rincon earned extra functionality points for their zip-off daypacks. The daypacks also earned top marks since they both fulfill a critical travel need and offer the convenient feature of folding up into their own lids for easy transport. Ultimately, since we're outdoor gear reviewers, we took all this function into consideration and then we asked if we could take each pack comfortably into the backcountry. If the answer was no, we knocked off a point or two in functionality.

Still scratching your head on how functionality affects your travel pack choice? Our Buying Advice Guide offers some great tips on helping you identify how you plan to use your pack and then choosing a bag that will meet your specific needs.

Ease of Packing and Unpacking


It's that moment where you're standing at the bus stop on a dirt road in Costa Rica and it starts to downpour, and then you realize that your rain jacket is snugly packed away underneath all your dirty underwear at the very bottom of your pack. And then you realize you can't get your jacket out without unloading all the undies into the rapidly forming puddles beside you. We know that feeling and we dread it (I mean, muddy undies are little extreme, but you get the idea). So, short of being total genius packers, we decided to keep our eyes peeled for the easiest to pack and unpack travel packs we could find.

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Will it fit? We packed up for a five-day ski trip to Crested Butte. We're ready for cold weather, fun nights out, and plenty of shredding.
Credit: Amanda Fenn

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The Farpoint's internal compression straps keep our nicer clothes cinched down in place, while we get ready to stuff the ski pants and jacket in over top.
Credit: Amanda Fenn

All our stuff for a five-day ski trip fits. Plus, this pack is easy to...
All our stuff for a five-day ski trip fits. Plus, this pack is easy to pack thanks to its long zipper, which exposes practically the entire inside of the pack. The only thing that would make it easier was if the side walls had a little more structure.
Credit: Amanda Fenn

We found that some front-loading packs like our Editor's Choice winner, have panels that zip all the way down, exposing the entire contents of the pack, making it easy to access that rain jacket in emergencies. On the other hand, the zippers on front-loading packs like the Kelty Redwing and Eagle Creek Rincon stop at about ¾ of the way down. Additionally, we learned that bags with more structured walls, like the Osprey Porter 46 are easier to pack up. Within this category we also considered each bag's pockets and whether or not it had internal compression straps to keep contents in place, which both the Farpoint and the Rincon did. We'll also note here that both the daypacks are top loading and a bit harder to pack and unpack; however, this also means that it is harder to accidentally drop something out of them.

Durability


When you're investing in a pack, it's always good to know that it's going to last. This is especially true if you're prepping for a gap-year type of trip where you're going to be on the road for quite a while. We looked up the denier (or D) ratings for each of the bags in this review. The higher the denier rating, the more the dense the fibers, which generally translates to stronger fabric. The only exception is when comparing denier ratings on different types of fabrics, for example 420D nylon is significantly stronger than a polyester fabric with the same rating. All the packs in this review are comprised of various types of nylon, except the Kelty Redwing, which is made of 420D and 450D Polyester. The packs with the most durable fabrics were the Eagle Creek Rincon and the Osprey Porter and the least durable fabrics were, not surprisingly, on the lightweight compressible daypacks. We also considered zipper durability and found that the Eagle Creek Rincon had a much less burly zipper than the Osprey Farpoint and Kelty Redwing. Finally, we checked out the packs for any wear and tear over the course of the review.

Weight


Pack weight is an important consideration when you're attempting to meet airline requirements, or simply looking at the possibility of lugging your stuff around. The travel packs we reviewed range significantly in weight, with the non-framed daypacks being the lightest at less than 12 ounces. The heaviest packs were framed packs with higher denier-rated fabrics like the Eagle Creek Rincon. We thought that the Editor's Choice winning Osprey Farpoint balances comfort and durability without being too heavy. The Redwing also saves on weight, since it has a single-beam frame and no detachable daypack. Surprisingly, the Osprey Porter has the most durable fabric in the review, but since it doesn't have a frame, it turned out to be the lightest of the full-size packs.

Accessories


If you are looking for a convenient place to carry your digital camera or other small electronic device, check out the Osprey Digi-Stow Electronics Bag. It attaches easily to the outside of your backpack allowing you quick access to you camera whenever you need it.

Hopefully you want be stuck outside in bad weather with your travel backpack. But just in case, you might be interested in a rain cover. The Osprey Rain Cover and the Kelty Rain Cover will both fit well and keep your pack dry in unexpected rain.

If you are looking for a bigger pack to take into the backcountry then check out our reviews of The Best Backpacking Backpack and The Best Women's Backpacking Backpack.

Editors' Choice Award: Osprey Farpoint 55


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The Osprey Farpoint has bottom cinch straps that were perfect for a pillow and yoga mat. The strait jacket compression straps not only keep the detachable day pack in place, but also give us a place to strap on last minute additions, like an extra pair of shoes.
Credit: Amanda Fenn
Throughout the entirety of this review, one pack stood out above the rest: the Osprey Farpoint 55. This travel pack has numerous functional features and is quite comfortable to carry. We thought that the Farpoint's detachable daypack was extremely convenient and we liked how it strapped easily onto the back of the pack. The main pack also has buckles on its front shoulder straps that allow you to clip the daypack onto the front of the main pack and carry it kangaroo-style for added security or ease of access. On its own, we found the zip-off daypack ideal for hours of museum wandering or hours of mountainous hiking. This pack was also one of the easiest to pack and unpack with its full-length font-loading zipper. Finally, and most importantly, we loved that we could leave the daypack in the hostel locker and take off on a three-night wilderness trek. Overall, there was no question that the Osprey Farpoint would be the Editors' Choice winner for this review.

Top Pick Award for Compressible Daypack: REI Stuff Travel Daypack 22


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Although its top-loading design didn't make it super easy to pack and unpack, this 22-liter pack held everything we needed for the day.
Credit: Madison Murphy
Day packs are critical for traveling, so when we found the REI Stuff Travel Daypack 22, we were thrilled. Earning the Top Pick award for a travel daypack's unique purpose, this compressible little pack folds up into its own lid, barely taking up more space in your luggage than a tank top. At 22 liters, it was the perfect size for everything we imagined needing in a variety of different day trip scenarios. It will hold a towel, book, and sunblock for the beach; you can use it to carry a lunch, an extra jacket, water, and a first aid kit on a five-mile hike; or it will hold your wallet, guidebook, and a spare scarf for a trip to the market (plus it will have left-over space for all those souvenirs). While it doesn't have every feature we'd love to see in a daypack, the REI Stuff Travel Pack is quick drying, has two mesh pockets, and fits comfortably with reasonable loads. Priced at just $30, this pack also offers great value.

Best Buy Award: Kelty Redwing 50


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Peeking into the Redwing's mid-sized pouch, you can see its internal organization system.
Credit: Amanda Fenn
We chose the full-sized Kelty Redwing 50 as our Best Buy for this review. At just $120, it's the least expensive framed pack in the review and performs well as both a travel pack and a backpacking pack on shorter backcountry trips. This pack is ideal if you're thinking about heading out on a three-day mid-trip trek. The Redwing does not come with a detachable daypack, but it has several external pockets and gear loops for easy organization and access to important items. Ultimately, we didn't think the Redwing was quite as comfortable as the Farpoint, but at $60 less, it's a great deal, especially if you already have a daypack that you love.

Ask an Expert: Libby Sauter


Adidas Outdoor athlete Libby Sauter is no stranger to travel. During her "down" time, she travels around the world, putting up big wall first ascents in the Chilean rainforest, judging international slackline competitions, and setting the women's speed record on The Nose of El Capitan (5 hours and 39 minutes!) She travels for her "real" job too, as a pediatric cardiac intensive care nurse for the International Children's Heart Foundation. This non-profit organization performs life-saving operations for children born with congenital heart defects in developing countries. Libby travels for two to five weeks at a time to areas such as Benghazi, Libya, Ukraine, Dominican Republic and Ecuador. Here are her tips for traveling light (and fast!) in remote locations.

You've spent a lot of time flying around the world for both work and play. What is your preferred travel setup?
I generally travel with a large 70L pack and then a small 18L pack and a compressible shoulder bag.

Do you use a dedicated travel pack or a backpacking one?
I use my standard backpack for traveling. I like the versatility of having a backpack as I usually do mixed work/play trips. I can bring climbing gear and extra clothes in my backpack, and then I can use it to get to the crags.

Carry-on or checked?
I do prefer to carry-on when possible. If my backpack is not too full, it will fit in the overhead compartment. Sometimes it's nice to travel light with only the 18L pack.

How do you pack for five weeks in one backpack?
Five weeks in Benghazi is quite easy, because you don't go anywhere! So I pack six pairs of scrubs, a yoga mat, rock rings and some veggie protein – stuff to go with the rice and overcooked cucumbers and peas.

What would be your ideal size bag for a weekend trip vs a weeklong trip?
Depends on what you're doing. I quite like my 18L pack because it is great for around town shopping and day trips. I would look at something around 40L for a weeklong trip as it would still carry everything you really need but force you to take a little less.

What are the most important criteria you look for when selecting a bag?
Durability is my number one as international airports are hard on bags.

Do you lock your bag?
I don't. I make sure to keep all my valuables in my carry on.

Any advice on packing your travel bags?
Less is more. You're rarely sorry that you didn't bring something, but you'll regret lugging 80 pounds around a subway system.

Any suggestions on sizing a travel bag?
Ask your local gear shop to help you.

How do you avoid extra airline fees?
If your bag is overweight, open it and start putting extra clothes on, really slowly. Eventually the agents will get frustrated with you and just check your bag. Or, don't take all your bags to the check in counter. Have whoever is dropping you off hang out with your bags while you check in. Then take your bags through security, and if the flight attendants don't want you bringing all your stuff on the plane they will just gate check it for you, and usually won't charge you extra fees to do so.

Do you clean your travel bags?
I don't clean them. But here's a tip I just learned about. If your bag is getting really dirty and you have some time to kill at a layover or even your destination, tell the customs officials that you've been to a farm recently and they'll clean them for you.

Any crazy travel stories you want to share with us?
The last time I was flying into the Benghazi Airport from Istanbul, the Turkish airport somehow missed the memo about preplanned country-wide strikes in Libya. As we got within sight of the Libyan coast and ready to land, the pilot tried to contact Libyan ground control … only to get no response! I woke up from my nap as the plane began to turn and regain altitude. As I peered outside I realized the sun was on the wrong side of the airplane and we were still over the Mediterranean … eventually an announcement was made in English that the Benghazi airport was closed and that we were flying back to Istanbul! Try finding your luggage in an airport where, when they ask you what airport you departed from, all you can say is "We left from here! But never went anywhere." It took over 6 hours to find our bags and re-book flights! The airport opened 2 days later and we managed to fly in without problems.

Any last travel tips?
Don't stress, you'll get to where you are going eventually.

Interview by Cam McKenzie, the OutdoorGearLab carabiner and quickdraw reviewer. Cam has climbed El Capitan and worked on the Yosemite Search and Rescue Team. She lives in Las Vegas, NV.

History of The Travel Backpack


The Travel backpack is a piece of gear which is entangled in history all over the world. It's a tricky process to determine the chronology for the gear since it evolved separately in so many different cultures. As Nema Kelty, a pioneer of the modern day backpack said, "Man has been carrying stuff on his back forever. A backpack is nothing new." Today, travel bags are often used to carry necessary items of gear for missions of adventure like around the world expeditions or going on a multi-day trips in the backcountry. This does not differ much from the original use of backpacks, which were primarily used to carry gear for hunting expeditions or used to transport items from one location to the next.

The first backpacks were most likely created for the use of hunters to aid them in carrying hunting tools as well as prey. The sacks were made from animal skin, and stitched together with string created from the remaining intestines. The first documented account of such gear belonged to Ötzi the iceman. Ötzi is a well preserved mummy found in the Italian-Austrian Alps whose body dates back to around 3300 B.C.E. His pack consisted of the frame, which was a U shaped piece of hazel wood bound together with grass string, and the sack, which was made of hide and animal fur. His animal skin sac was likely used to hold his primitive tools such as his flint-bladed knife and collection of arrows.

Following this first discovery in the pack's lineage, accounts of frame-packs as well as rucksacks can be seen all over the world. In the early 1800's, rucksacks known as "Hjuringsmeis" were used in the Norwegian fjords and valleys. In Russia, a bag with a wishbone shaped scaffolding was used in the Eastern Siberian region. Korean culture had their own version which resembled a chair strapped to the back. Lastly, externally framed transportable containers made of seal skin and willow were used by Native Americans.

In 1882, Camille Poirier, a French-Canadian with a small shoe store in Duluth, MN created the Duluth-pack. It was a simple canvas bag reminiscent of a square envelope fastened to leather shoulder straps. The Basic design of the bag had already been around for well over one hundred years in the form of the British army's knapsack used in the American Revolution. However, Camille Poirier added a few improvements including a sternum strap, tumpline and an umbrella strap to hold an umbrella, or sunshade above the users head while outdoors. Lacking any sort of rigid scaffolding, these bags were suited for shorter distance commuting and specifically, for wilderness canoe trips.

The first patented framed backpack was designed by Colonel Henry C. Merriam in 1886. It resembled the typical military knapsack carried at that time. It was the first attempt of transferring the weight from the shoulders to the hips, allowing users to carry heavier loads. The bag was constructed with a light steel body supported by sticks which protruded from the bottom of the fabric and connected to the hip belt, transferring the weight of the load to the hips. The sticks were removable and multi-functional in their use, doubling as a pole for a shelter tent. The next patented design was created in 1909 by the Norwegian outdoorsman, Ole F. Bergan. This design incorporated a metal frame and waist piece that fit to the curvature of the body ,which aided in transferring weight to the hips. The form fitting shape of the backboard also prevented uncomfortable shaped sack contents from making contact with the carrier's back.

In 1922, Lloyd F. Nelson created the Trapper Nelson Backpack which was inspired by early Native American designs. Advancements in this blueprint lie in the construction of the framework which allowed ventilation for the back. Evolving separately from earlier packs such as Bergan's form-fitting design, it did not incorporate any weight transferring elements such as a hip belt, so all of the weight was carried by the shoulders. This rigid prototype later became known as the Alaskan Pack-board.
At last, we come to a creation most reminiscent to modern day backpacks. In 1952 Asher "Dick" Kelty along with his wife Nena began a small business manufacturing backpacks out of their garage. These prototypes featured a frame that ran the entire length of the pack and incorporated a hip belt. Kelty was an avid outdoorsman who spent his time exploring in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Looking for a way to comfortably carry his hiking gear, he desired to create a carrying vessel with a more efficient design than the than the bulky, heavy military style design that was available at that time.

One day, during a particularly grueling hike with his friend Clay Sherman, the two began to consider alternate ways of using their equipment to alleviate the burden of their bags. They experimented with their bulky packboards by inserting the ends of the frames into the back pockets of their jeans creating a weight transfer that allowed them to cover distance more comfortably and efficiently. After Sharing the idea with his wife, Nena began sewing designs with lighter materials such as Nylon and aluminum and incorporated shoulder straps. The evolution of this user friendly product coincided with an increase in hiking in the 1970's.

In 1963, Jim Whittaker summited Mount Everest using one of Kelty's designs. A major flaw in the construction was the fact that the waist belt was not padded. A hip belt can carry eighty to ninety of your bag's weight and so Whittaker could have climbed much faster with this added feature. In the late 1960's, Kelty incorporated this major change into his design and the padded waist belt became a staple of the modern pack. Transferring the weight to the hips lets the stronger leg muscles, not the weaker shoulder muscles, do the heavy lifting.

Internal framed bags, which dictate today's market didn't come into existence until the mid 1970's. With this type of system, the frame is inside the fabric of the pack and the internal skeleton allows the backboard to fit closely to the wearer's back, minimizing any shifting of loads. In 1967 Greg Lowe, founder of Lowe Alpine and Lowepro, created the first internal framed bag on the market. It's important to note that while internally structured bags do dominate the shelves at most outfitter stores, externally reinforced packs certainly haven't gone out of existence. In fact, Several companies continue to offer this option which is marketed towards hunters and others who carry abnormally heavy loads. External frame's can distribute the weight of an extreme load more easily than an internal design can.

Today, companies offer custom backpacks for every type of expedition. There are bags designed specifically for long term around the world trips and even compressible day-packs that go inside for shorter day missions. New advancement in materials offer more durable options as well as feather light designs for people looking for ultimate efficiency. Whether venturing out in the backcountry or to and from a destination, a travel backpack is like a home that you wear on you back, carting the contents you deem as worthy of carrying. Like buying a home, to an adventurer, investing in a good pack can be just as important a decision!

Amanda Fenn
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