This is a question almost every traveller asks themselves?
There are a few different factors to consider:
- The length of time you’re going to be away. If it’s a couple days or a week, you’re not going to need a giant suitcase.
- What you plan on packing. My choice was to pack light- You will be carrying your own luggage and you want to be able to carry it comfortably. Others may opt to pack more so they have more choice in clothing or shoes.
- How often you will be travelling from one place to another. If you’re staying in one or two places a suitcase may suit you better, if you’re travelling to a new place every three to four days it may be easier to be able to pick up your backpack and go.
- What are the different method of transports going to be? If it’s by car hire then you have lots of room but something like a night bus, you are limited to your own small pod for a personal bag, other luggage can be stored under the bus until you get to your destination.
- How concerned you are about theft. I wasn’t too concerned about it because I didn’t take too many valuable items with me. If you take your Macbook, expensive headphones, and GoPro, you’re going to want to keep them. Backpacks are easy to get into, if someone wants to get into your bag they aren’t going to fuss over a lock, it’s more likely they will slash it with a knife. The safest option is a hard shell suitcase because they aren’t easy to get into.
The short of it is that backpacks are most popular with travellers due to them being so adaptable. You can chuck them on your back and not worry about it. Whereas with a suitcase it’s not ideal if it turns out your hostel is down a 1km walk down a stone road from the train station.
I used an Osprey FarPoint 70L backpack. There are a few reasons which lead it to be ultimately the best backpack for what I wanted.
It has a zip suitcase style opening which means that I can open my backpack and see everything rather than having to get everything out to find something. A comfortable and supportive back. A zip on and off day bag on the front. There are a few hiding places for the few small valuables I did take. The shoulder straps zip away for flights so there’s no risk of them getting broken while being chucked about. This is a men’s backpack but suited me as I am tall (5ft 8).