I know the backpacking trend is hot, but are backpacks really better than a rolling suitcase? Let’s look at the facts:
- Unless your backpack unzips like a duffel bag (like this Gregory pack), you have to pull everything out of your bag to reach anything that is in the bottom.
- Backpacks are not always smaller than a carry-on suitcase.
- If you’re walking through a city, it is no easier to huff and puff up inclined streets with 20-40 pounds on your back than it is to pull a suitcase behind you.
- Backpacks don’t sit up well, so you’re always trying to find something to prop them up against or taking up space in the seat next to you in airports or train stations.
- It is kinda nice that they have all kinds of pockets to stick your assorted items in, but don’t you just feel like everything in your bag is constantly being squished?
- I’m a small girl, but I feel like it is 200x harder to lift an awkward backpack into an overhead compartment than a rectangular suitcase. (Even then, I usually cause too much of a scene trying to get it up there until a strong man comes to my rescue. Said man usually remembers to get it down for me after the flight too. So kind.)
- Most people spend around $100-200 on a new backpack that they will use once for their month-long trip around Europe and then will never touch it again. Just use the suitcase your mom already has in the basement and buy a few rounds for your new friends at the hostel bar instead.
- The convenience of being able to use both of your hands simply isn’t worth the muscle aches that will plague you throughout your entire journey.
Now that you’ve seen the data, save yourself some physical pain and money and just use what you have. It’s always fun to buy new gear for a trip, but that money can definitely be better used elsewhere (like for extra Guinness in Dublin, chocolate is Brussels, or goon in Sydney).