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How We Tested Travel Backpacks

By Lyra Pierotti ⋅ Review Editor
Friday March 29, 2019

Our travel experience has taken us from the South Pole to the beaches of Chile and the cobblestone streets of Moscow, as well as many destinations in between. For this review, we tested 12 packs on all types of travel, ranging from offroad and urban adventures to more formal (and informal) business travel.

We used the smaller models on a regular basis for trips to the office, the gym, bike rides to the library, and numerous urban, suburban, and wilderness-based adventures. We took the bigger bags on longer hikes. We assessed fit and comfort for a range of body types, studied the packs' special features and learned all about their construction, and checked and double checked reported specs to our own measurements.

We packed and unpacked these packs; carried them half empty and overstuffed; tossed them in and out of multiple modes of transport; pushed their limits on hikes; and dressed them up for business trips to the urban wilds.