Women Backpack: yay or nay?
They do exist and are said to be fitted based on women’s body but I don’t think they’re a necessity. Most of the time, they won’t come in a size suitable for a plus-size traveler. therefore, I won’t elaborate on the subject. A male or unisex bag that is well-chosen and fitted is what you must look for first.
Of course, you will need to accessorize your pack. (Hey, it’s not because I like to travel on a budget that I’m less of a chick, hahaha…)
Backpack Tote: Tote-ally a must!
Mountain Equipment Co-op’s Skyway Airline Tote will keep the material from ripping and the straps from being torn off in the airports carousels and, in general, will keep your travel best friend away from dust and grease. It’s made of tough black nylon and can easily be washed (washed mine post-Mexico and post-India and it stills looks as new) and also dries quickly. This 20-30 $ accessory will extend your bag’s life and it’s much cheaper to change a ruined tote at that price than to have to buy a brand new backpack!
The Tote’s zippers are padlock-friendly and this duffel bag will allow you to lock up your luggage as easily as you would lock a suitcase, which is generally not an option when you travel with a backpack due to the nature of the bag.
Backpack Cover: Come rain or come shine…
A good rain cover will protect your bag from the rain and light snow. You will be able to find some for less than 20 $ that will shield a 60-80 liters backpack from the elements. By picking a brightly colored cover, you also ensure yourself of being more visible to people, in the case of fog or at night.
Biners: You keep me hanging on…
A bunch of biners (3-5 CAN $ a piece) can also will help keep small and light items handy (water bottle, change of shoes, hat, etc.); just snap these items to one of the many loops on the outside of your bag with a D-biner (simpler and cheaper than other models) and, should you need it, you won’t have to open your bag to get what you want. Note: it is useless to buy climbing-approved biners unless you actually plan on climbing as they are more expensive (easily twice the price). They can be found in dollar stores or in sports/outdoor stores.