Whether you’re hiking through rugged terrain, exploring the cities on your bucket list, or embarking on a long-term outdoor adventure, choosing the right backpack is paramount.

The right backpack will provide you with comfort, keep your belongings safe and organised, and be designed with longevity in mind - ready for use trip after trip.

In this backpack guide, we’ll show you what to look for in a travel backpack and why you should always take one with you. We’ll also highlight five of our most popular backpacks to help you find exactly what you need.

What you should look for in a backpack for travelling

  • Think about how long and where you're going. Short trips need a small bag (for example a day pack or small backpack, or a lumbar pack), long ones need a bigger one (think: backpacking pack, or duffel bag).
  • Bags with lots of sections help you pack better.
  • Make sure your bag fits comfortably with straps you can adjust and padding on the shoulders and back.
  • Hip belts and strapettes are good extras that spread the weight and ease strain.
  • Good backpacks cost more at first but save you hassle in the long run.
  • Get a bag made of tough materials with strong zips and stitching.
  • If you might face wet weather, use stuff sacks and dry bags.
  • Bags with easy-to-reach pockets are great for solo travellers.
  • Keep yourself and your stuff safe with lockable zips and hidden pockets, especially if you're in shared places like hostels.

Why you shouldn’t travel without a backpack

  • A backpack helps you move around easily in busy places, climb stairs, use public transport and explore without carrying a heavy suitcase.
  • Backpacks are versatile and fit many travel styles, from European backpacking to city sightseeing or hiking.
  • They're great for flights as carry-on travel luggage and then for daily use. Big ones can even be your main luggage.
  • It's easier to organise stuff in a backpack with lots of compartments than in one big bag.
  • Backpacks often have useful features like a laptop sleeve, space for a water bladder and places to attach extra gear.
  • They're usually more comfortable than dragging a heavy suitcase or carrying a one-shoulder bag that can hurt your back.

Now let's look at five of our top backpacks at Valley and Peak.


If you’re looking for comfort and unbeatable performance, you’ve found it! The Gregory Baltoro 65 Backpack has rotating shoulder straps and dynamic hip and torso belts to help with weight distribution. The adjustability of this backpack means you can make it fit perfectly to your specific body shape for added comfort.

The FreeFloat A3 suspension system (with dynamic flex panels that move with the natural movements of your body) is great for hiking holidays. It’s also great to know that all suspension components are treated with Polygiene® Stays Fresh Technology (an odour control fabric treatment that inhibits the growth of odour-causing bacteria).

An AirCushioned Foamless back panel provides true breathability, which eliminates pressure points and wicks away moisture to avoid uncomfortable sweat patches. 

Featuring an integrated safety whistle and hydration clip for your safety and convenience. The ComfortGrip lumbar pad helps prevent pack slip and keeps the pack positioned high on your hips without the need to over-tighten the hip belt.

The front U-Zip gives access to the main body of the pack, making your essentials easily accessible. A feature we love at Valley and Peak is the QuickStow system on the shoulder harness for quick, secure and scratch-free access to your sunglasses.

This backpack comes with a range of pockets and compartments to easily organise your items. A SideWinder bottle holster gives you one-handed, on-the-go water bottle access to ensure you can stay hydrated. 

If you’re off on a camping expedition or staying in a hostel, the zippered bottom sleeping bag compartment with removable divider is perfect for you. If you’re exploring the beaten track, you’ll appreciate the adjustable attachment loops and upper shock locks for trekking poles or ice axes.

A custom-fitted rain cover is included - it stows in a quick-access, zippered pocket on the underside of the top lid. Ideal for those travelling during the rainy season. 


If you’re a sporty and ambitious adventurer looking for a spacious backpack ahead of your next trip, the Exped Impulse 30 might be exactly what you’re looking for.

The comfortable hip belt offers extra support and helps with weight distribution, eradicating some of the risks of back pain. A thermo-moulded back pad and padded shoulder straps ensure comfort. The large zipper opening gives you quick access to all of your essentials.

A perfect companion for alpine touring, hiking adventures and mountaineering. Inside the backpack you will find four mesh pockets and one zippered pocket as well as two pockets on the sides - this offers various organisational options. 

A hydration system can also be easily stowed in the integrated pocket. Thanks to the central port on the back, the hydration tube can be attached to both the right and left shoulder strap (depending on your preference).


The main compartment of this backpack can hold up to 40L of gear, making it ideal for travellers who don’t have a specific timeline for their travels. 

Large pockets on the side are ideal for water bottles and snacks, while the angled openings make for easy access on-the-go. 

Reflective screen printing and cord loops are ideal for low-light visibility if you’re travelling at night. The extra wide EVA foam padded shoulder straps and adjustable sternum strap are designed for your comfort, and include a whistle for your safety. 

This backpack went through more than 5,000 miles of rigorous testing on the Wind River High Route, the Colorado Trail, The Tetons and more. Rest assured, this bag is built to last.


If you’re a lightweight backpacker this is the travel bag of your dreams, allowing you to pack up to 38L without weighing you down.

Whether you’re off on a multi-day trip or an ultralight outdoor adventure, this is the bag for you. This minimalist frameless pack is manufactured from some of the most technologically-advanced waterproof materials.

The functional 4-point compression cords that cover the pack sides from top to bottom allow you to significantly reduce the backpack volume when needed.

A stretchy spandex/nylon front mesh ensures you can store a lot of gear, along with amply-sized side pockets offering further storage options.

Thick EVA foam padded shoulder straps and 3D spacer mesh keep the backpack comfortable even during prolonged wear. If you’re travelling somewhere where ice and snow are common, you’ll appreciate the ice axe attachment point.

A handy drainage hole in each side pocket stops rain pooling inside the pockets or wet gear causing a pocket puddle. Seam tape has been applied to increase water resistance and increase seam strength.

This backpack is highly water resistant, but not waterproof. A waterproof pack liner or a highly durable dry bag is recommended if you’re travelling to somewhere where rain is likely - this’ll ensure your pack contents remain dry.


This bag has been designed for travellers set to go on several months of passport-stamped adventures. It comes with a detachable daypack that can be used when exploring cities or partaking in short excursions.

You can protect essentials such as your phone and sunglasses in the SafeZone compartment - ideal if you’re navigating crowded airports or city centres. Under the SafeZone you’ll find the CashStash compartment which is a safe space to keep your money while you’re on the move.

Your belongings will be kept securely in place with internal compression straps and mesh storage pockets, helping you to remain organised at all stages of your trip. The zippered side pocket is ideal for your water bottle, helping you to stay hydrated. 

This backpack can be used as a carry-on bag when the add-on daypack is removed and carried as a personal item. The safety whistle can easily be moved between the main backpack and the day pack for an added element of safety, no matter where you are.

When it comes to finding the right backpack for your travels it’s important to take into consideration factors such as size, durability, security and accessibility. Picking the right pack will ensure you enhance your travel experience, helping you stay organised and safe.

Valley and Peak is the place for the best backpacks for outdoor adventure travel. From weekend getaways to extended backpacking trips, we have backpacks to suit all needs.

Need backpack advice? Contact our helpful team for an expert and tailored customer service.

Why not check out our other expert written blogs to become a master of the outdoors

February 26, 2024 — Jim De'Ath