Travel luggage and backpack recommendations


What should you pack on a trip, and what sort of bag / pack should you take?

It depends on the type of trip you are going on, and for how long.

I use 6 types of luggage:

1. 20 liter / Day Backpack

For 1 – 2 night hikes, and as cabin luggage (when I also have checked-in luggage on a long flight)

2. 35 liter Cabin-friendly trolley-bag

For 1-4 day trips to another city in my home country

3. 65 liter / Multi-day backpack

For 3+ day hikes where you need to carry food and sleeping gear. I am sure some people can manage with 50 liters or less. The only issue I have with many backpacks is that you cannot lock it (with a security lock) – an issue if you are checking it onto a flight. Some people wrap their bags in plastic at the airport, but the facility may not be available at all airports. I use a Deuter 65+10l backpack.

4. Travel pack

This is a backpack with wheels. I prefer to use this on extended backpacking trips abroad. It’s easy to move around in airports / train stations, and can be worn on your back out in the city / towns. I use a K-Way 75+10l travel pack. I prefer the additional space as it allows me to do a little shopping when I travel.

5. Light-weight suitcase

I use this for business trips to low-risk international destinations (e.g. London, Channel Islands).

6. Hard-shell suitcase

I used this when I did a 2 month round-the-world trip. I was really scared that people would damage my suitcase or try to stash  drugs into my bag. This was a royal-pain to carry (my bag weighed more than 4.5kg) – probably will never use it again.

If you’re looking to make a purchase, here’s a shortlist of the best selling brands:


1. US Traveler New Yorker 4 Piece Luggage Set Expandable,Royal Blue,One Size

This is a top-selling, high-value collection. However I’d advise that you wrap this luggage if you’re checking it onto a flight (there is a risk that it may tear).

2. Rockland Luggage 20 Inch 28 Inch 2 Piece Expandable Spinner Set, Silver, One Size
This is a great collection. One cabin sized and one check-in bag. Durable and lightweight.

3. American Tourister Luggage Fieldbrook II 4 Piece Set, Purple/Grey, One Size

Another high value collection with 4 different sizes of bags that can suit a variety of trip styles.


Small Backpacks:

1. AmazonBasics Laptop Backpack – Fits Up To 17-Inch Laptops

An excellent backpack for the office

2. High Sierra Loop Backpack (Black/Charcoal)

This is a cool backpack to wear on the the trail (day hike) or around your neighborhood

3. Under Armour Hustle Backpack, Black/Steel/White, One Size

The perfect backpack for college.


Trolley backpacks

1. High Sierra Freewheel Wheeled Book Bag Backpack, Black,One Size

A durable backpack with wheels that you can use for +-3 day trips.

2. Samsonite Wheeled Backpack, Black/Charcoal, One Size

Nobody can argue with the quality of Samsonite. Just be cautious that people have said that it’s hard to remove your laptop while passing through airport security (as you need to open the bag fully to get it out)

3. Cabin Max Oxford 55x40x20cm Carry on Luggage – Multi-function Backpack and Trolley

A comfortable cabin-trolley backpack


Hiking trail / Urban adventure backpacks

1. Canasyati Hiking Backpack 20in Long (45L + 5L) (black)

An affordable, good quality backpack that you stows into the cabin luggage hold

2. OutdoorMaster Creeper 60L Internal Frame Backpack

Perfect for multi-day adventures

3. TETON Sports Explorer4000 Internal Frame Backpack

An excellent backpack for a range of technical adventures. Long distance over multiple days.

I hope this selection of bags helps.

Zaid is an intrepid traveler from South Africa that has traveled to all 7 continents. He loves to explore new destinations, experience new activities and go off the beaten path.

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