Picking the Right Backpack

Choosing the right backpack can be a challenge – the features, colors and sizes are endless. So, our experts put their heads together and selected the top 5 things to consider when buying a new bag. Count on this list to guide you in the right direction – whether you're spending a weekend in the woods or commuting to the office.

1. Destination

Where are you going? Is it on a hike, on a business trip, or maybe both? Knowing where you’ll travel with the bag can be helpful when it comes to determining what you may want to purchase. Something lightweight is perfect for a hike, or maybe you’d choose a sturdier bag with lots of extra protection if you’re taking it on a plane. You may also want to consider materials here – leather makes for a classic office look, but durable ripstop is perfect for a bike ride.

2. Length of Stay

How long will you be away? A few nights will obviously require more gear and technology than just a day trip. Carefully consider the duration of your average trip and choose a bag that can get you where you’re going. If you’re a chronic over-packer, you may want to consider a chest strap to help you lift the load. Not sure what size you’d need? Lay everything out you’d typically take on a trip to help you decide.

3. Technology Needs

Are you tech-obsessed? If so, you’ll want a bag that has dedicated pockets for all of your gadgets. It may be important to consider the size of your laptop, as well. Some TSA checkpoint friendly and laptop-dedicated compartments only fit certain sizes, such as 15 or 17-inch computers. Added padding or molded pockets could also be an important consideration – especially if you carry an expensive camera, smartphone or new headphones.

4. Style

Maybe fashion is more your thing. A retail brand can be eye-catching and functional. You can rely on rugged brands like High Sierra®, or bags from Kenneth Cole Reaction® for a great office look.

5. Security

Is security important to you? Think about interlocking zippers, dog clips or an RFID pocket for your passport and credit cards. If you find yourself at the airport frequently, these features might be something you really want to consider before buying.