Here's everything you need to know about backpacks and duffels and how to choose between them.
What You Should Know about Backpacks
Depending on the model, you can "somewhat" or "not at all" secure your backpack. Main compartment zips must be lockable and outside pockets if possible.
You don't want somebody to take it from your bag, but you also don't want stuff to get in there unknowingly. Locked zippers are only a deterrent because robbers can unlock most backpacks with a knife or pen. Additionally, you can use a flexible metal cage for extra safety, but they're pricey, heavy, and hard to move.
A backpack is a versatile way to travel. As long as you're in decent shape and haven't overpacked, you should have no issue with stairs or rugged terrain.
A rolling suitcase is more manageable if you travel on smooth roads with valets. For other travels, a backpack is more convenient. The straps and harness of a good travel backpack will be protected from damage by a cover or a case that zips away.
Backpacks come in many sizes but can only hold so much. This does help you focus on the most important things, which is excellent. Due to how they're manufactured and how few holes they have, backpacks are more challenging to pack and unpack than duffels.
A good backpack can withstand most travel hazards like dirt, dust, and irresponsible bag-handlers. Its contents should stay dry even in the heaviest rain if you choose a robust and water-resistant bag.
If the backpack isn't waterproof, you can get a rain cover—these cover everything but the strap, keeping the rain out while allowing comfortable carrying. Backpacks also "squish" like duffels. This makes it easier to fit in railway, bus, locker, and mattress compartments.
Most backpacks can only break at the zipper. Look for durable nylon or canvas and strong zippers. Having versatile luggage is convenient. Taking the same baggage on a multi-day trip and in the taxi home is also convenient.
What You Should Know about Duffels
Duffels aren’t always secure. When choosing duffel bags, ensure the zips lock. If you can't find one, use a padlock or cable tie. Watch out for pockets on the outside as well.
A duffel bag can carry many goods over short distances without getting wet—no better place for sports or diving. But they aren't the best way to get around in general. After a few minutes, most duffels are uncomfortable to carry with handles or straps. Adding 40 pounds of gear makes it worse.
Companies now make "travel duffels" They resemble duffel bags but have wheels and a handle. Even though this makes the bag easier to move, it's still heavier and less practical than a backpack on most trips.
There aren't many rules about duffel bag size and shape. They might be as tiny as a carry-on or as big as 200 litres (12,000 cubic inches). But how much space you need depends on your gear.
Most duffel bags are spherical, but a rectangle bag can hold more. Soft-sided duffel bags lose shape when less than two-thirds full, making them difficult to handle.
A durable duffel bag has a solid zipper and no dangling straps or pieces. Look for fabrics that won't get wet and well-stitched handles and straps that can carry the bag's weight.
Backpacks are more flexible, comfortable, and easy to carry than duffels, especially if you'll be taking your luggage for a long distance. But there are some types of travel where you need the extra space of a duffel. The better choice all depends on what you plan to bring and where you plan to go.
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