Best travel backpacks – Consumer Reports

According to United Airlines, I have over 700,000 lifetime miles on their planes. Most of them were not for fun, alas, but for freelance journalist work.

If there is one advantage to all those hours (months? Years!) Of flying, it’s knowing how to pack and what to bring. Rule # 1: Merino wool, because it is comfortable, non-scratching, or retaining body odor, which is essential because the clothes you pack are unlikely to see a washing machine for a while. Rule # 2: Arrange everything beforehand. This allows you to ‘tweak’ what you pack – sacrificing wants for needs – and strategize on what to put where in your bag of choice, so it’s easier to locate that visor. , Nyquil or romance when you’re exhausted and the cabin lights are out on your red eyes.

Which brings me to rule # 3: never save a bag. Already!

This means that whatever you take with you should fit in two bags: a roll-aboard and a “personal item”, the airline jargon for the purse, briefcase, shoulder bag or backpack. who stays with you during the flight. A successful two-sack trip requires a combination of tactical common sense and the right equipment. I have managed trips as long as two weeks by wearing hiking shoes on the plane (so they eat up less space in my bags) and taking only one other pair of shoes: running shoes. , which serve a triple function for exercise, everyday use and a slightly more “formal” outfit when paired with jeans and a blazer.

As for the equipment? A good wheeled bag is important, but ultimately it’s the personal item that can make or break your trip. This bag needs to offer maximum utility and flexibility, and to that end, nothing beats a travel backpack. The genius of these bags is that they can hold a lot more stuff – and in a much more organized fashion – than a purse or briefcase. But some backpacks are better travel companions than others. That’s why I took a look at 10 of them. (See how I rated each of these travel backpacks below.)

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