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On-the-Go Traveler: Travel Backpacks

There’s no greater feeling than traveling hands-free and with only one bag. But we don’t mean just any bag…Macy’s is here to introduce you to travel backpacks! Toss it over your shoulders and hit the road (or trail)! Travel backpacks are perfect for the on-the-go traveler.

Whether you’re traveling alone by plane, on a hiking trip or trying to find your hotel in the center of town, you’ve got both hands free with a backpack—multi-tasking made easy! Backpacks allow you to easily glide from location to location with just enough important essentials for solo travel, yet never too much. Backpacks are versatile, flexible and usually lightweight.

They make great overnight bags or weekend bags for a shorter trip and are a good option to stow in an overhead bin or under your seat if you need to travel by plane. Shop Macy’s for all the best backpack brands such as Travelpro, Lipault, Tumi, Delsey, Samsonite and more!

What Backpack Features Should I Look For?

1. Volume and True Volume. An important first feature to consider is volume—the measurement of how much the bag is capable of holding. The volume of a backpack is usually measured in liters. However, what’s more important is “true volume” and how useable the space is. For example, some bizarre trapezoid-shaped backpack will definitely be harder to pack than a larger rectangular backpack.

2. Backpack Profile. Look for a backpack with a slim profile; not only will it seem less heavy because the weight is close to your back, but it is also easier to maneuver in tight spaces. You won’t be taking up too much room on public transit or (accidentally) bumping into people when you’re boarding the airplane. It’ll be a better traveling experience for not just you, but also everyone around you.

3. Max Legal Carry-On Size. This is the size that covers the largest acceptable backpack size for carrying on most airlines. However, you’ll want to check your individual airline before packing it up and arriving at the airport because size limits can vary based on the airline you’re flying with.

4. Backpack Loading Style. There are two main backpack loading styles: clamshell and top-loading. Clamshell loading backpacks function more like a suitcase; you can easily open it up flat and see everything inside, so it tends to be easier to organize all your travel gear. Top-loaders are great if you’re on a long hike or doing other outdoor-focused activities as there is no main zipper that can fail you (conquer that Mt. Everest climb without fear with a top-loader pack in tow!)

5. Weather Resistance. Many backpacks are made from water-resistant materials to protect from rain, snow and other inclement weather conditions. What’s the use in packing all your tech gear and expensive possessions in your pack if they’re just going to get wet and ruined? Focus on bags that include water-resistance. Sure, waterproof is ideal, but unless you’re leaving your backpack outside in a torrential downpour or planning to snorkel with your laptop, there’s really no need for that extra technology.

6. Quality, Durability and Functionality. Whether you’re traveling for a weekend, week, month or year+, if it’s your only travel bag for single trip, you want to make sure it functions properly, lasts long and doesn’t break. Higher quality products not only prevent loss and damage to your gear but will also last for several years (that’s a lot of trips!). Look for some of the below features when determining the quality, durability and function of your backpack.

Fabric. Backpacks are available in many different fabrics and materials. Nylon, polyester, canvas and leather are some of the more common types.

Zippers. If you’ve ever had a zipper break before, you know how important zipper quality should be. YKK zippers are some of the best around, and the best travel backpacks tend to use them.

Pockets. Multiple pockets of different sizes help to easily store items such as water bottles, phones and other travel necessities. If you’re traveling for work, look for backpacks with size-compatible laptop compartments.

Straps. In general, backpacks put less strain on your back because of the equal weight distribution of both straps. However, you’ll definitely want to look for high-quality straps that work for your body type.

Wheels. Keep it rolling with a rolling backpack. Rolling backpacks provide another carrying option and are perfect for traveling through multiple destinations.

Best Ways to Pack a Backpack?

Arranging your travel backpack is more of an art than science. With that said, Macy’s can help you achieve a perfectly packed backpack by focusing on comfort and convenience. Keep reading for a few guiding packing principles!

1. Pack the heaviest item closest to your back to maintain your center of gravity and thus your comfort.

2. Food, water or cooking essentials should be packed near or between your shoulder blades, so they won’t swing around and throw off your balance.

3. Pack items in order of how you will use them. If you’re going on a camping trip, you won’t need your sleeping bag until you make camp, so pack it on the bottom. Pack high-use items, like a jacket, near or at the top of your bag.

Travel Tip: Don’t forget about travel accessories! They will help keep your trip organized. Pack travel wallets within easy reach and utilize packing cubes—both accessories are perfect for ideal organization in your backpack.