How to choose the best travel rucksack

May 31, 2017

Rucksacks have become an essential piece of kit in the Dove household over recent years. Of course we travelled a lot before POD came along but these days most of our adventures are outdoors based. We’ve always loved exploring, especially off the beaten track, and we continue to do so even with our six year old daughter in tow. There’s nothing better than blowing away the cobwebs, discovering new places and giving your child the best experiences is there?

In the past we’ve made do on our trips with bog standard rucksacks. However we’ve found they’re not fit for purpose, especially when it comes to road trips overseas. Rucksacks need to be strong to carry water and food supplies, a change of clothes for POD plus a few of her ‘friends’ but we don’t want to be carrying too much weight. Our rucksack need to be waterproof so there’s no friction if we get stuck in a downpour. Most importantly we need a rucksack that’s comfortable, as it’s often worn for hours at a time, with everything in it easy to access. Of course everyone’s needs are different so we’ve outlined below our top tips for choosing a travel rucksack. We’ve also been testing out the Trespass Deimos unisex DLX rucksack as we wanted to see how well it performed before we head overseas.Tips for choosing the best travel rucksack 

All travellers need a decent rucksack but it’s important to consider what it will be used for. For us it’s all about having one that’s lightweight but strong enough to hold what we need for a day trip as well as being comfortable. We’re a family of three so our rucksack has to cater for all of us (although I have a separate rucksack for my camera gear). The Trespass Deimos unisex DLX rucksack is 28 litres so the perfect size. For treks that are over a few days or longer, you’ll need a larger size. I took an 85 litre with me while travelling in Australia which had lots of room but I didn’t consider how heavy it would be once I’d filled it. I *might* have overpacked although it was tricky packing for a year (which ended up being two). I would have been much better off with a 60 litre and reduced the vast number of things I took!

As well as how you’ll use the rucksack, you also need to take into account how long it will be worn for and in what conditions. We tend to need a rucksack that caters for downpours as well as 35 degree temperatures. More often than not it will be worn on an off on any given day although the contents will of course vary. If you’re on a long trek, the rucksack has to be comfortable on your back. You don’t want to be carrying it over one shoulder that’s for sure and yes I talk from experience!

While the size and how long you’ll use the backpack for is essential, how many pockets a backpack has is also important. Typically rucksacks we’ve had in the past have few pockets which isn’t always enough when you need to separate wet and dry clothing. We might have two bottles of water on the sides of a pack so using those is not an option in hotter countries.

The Trespass Deimos 28L DLX rucksack

Trespass has a range of backpacks to choose from although we selected the Deimos 28L DLX as being a good fit for our family needs. With more road trips overseas planned, we opted to test this rucksack with a dry run in Pembrokeshire. I was really impressed with the Trespass Deimos DLX when it arrived as it is great quality, lightweight and has lots of pockets. There’s even a pocket at the bottom of the main section which is great for wet (or sandy!) clothes. Or indeed valuables. It can be accessed from the outside too so there’s no rootling around in the main compartment. There’s generous outside pocket above that which is a great size for documents, a small camera, mobile phone and wallet for example. Inside the rucksack, the large main section is split into two making it so easy to find anything. There’s a mesh pocket on each side of the rucksack too which are large enough for a water bottle and a soft pair of shoes. We had to purchase POD some ‘interesting’ footwear after she ran into the sea wearing her trainers!

Of course comfort is key and the Deimos has allowed for that with adjustable shoulder straps that are padded and chest and waist clips too. There’s even an airflow system at the back, designed to keep us cool and dry. Of course it wasn’t long before that was tested as Wales was pretty wet when we arrived! We were in Tenby with friends though so we were surrounded by lots of colourful buildings and there was a great beach to explore which we knew the kids would love.

Having had an initial look around this pretty town and grabbed some food, we were back on the beach. Our Deimos DLX had remained dry as the rain water just ran off it. The kids made sandcastles, complete with a moat, and dug dams. They saw jellyfish (dead thankfully), crabs and when the sun began to appear they had an ice-cream. POD had two as she managed to drop hers in the sand (it was inevitable!). We had the best day and our rucksack was certainly tested what with the weather and being taken on and off all day. As well as being filled with wet and sandy clothes.

Disclaimer: We received a Trespass Deimos 28 litre DLX rucksack (RRP £89.99, currently £41.99) for the purpose of this review. Opinions are as always our own. 

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