How To Choose A Travel Backpack

Having traveled a bit through the US, Canada, Europe and now Australia, I’ve had the occasion to use various backpacks for travel.  I’ve tried several over the last 10 years but my favorite backpack is the one I now carry - the Manfrotto MA-BP-R Advanced Rear Backpack.

The Manfrotto advanced rear backpack has a lot of features that I have found very appealing.  I think you’ll agree too.  The most important feature that this backpack has is the anti-theft features.  Initially, I bought this pack for its anti-theft features.  Not only is the equipment access on the side against your back but there are also locks for two of the other three compartments.  The equipment access compartment doesn’t lock because the majority of the time the access is against your body and also a lock in this area would be quite uncomfortable.  Other backpacks I’ve tried for travel did not have locking compartments and while traveling I was often self-conscious that my equipment might get stolen.  While using this backpack, I don’t have that fear.

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Another great feature is the compartment for a travel tripod.  It’s the perfect size for my Manfrotto BeFree travel tripod.  I’ve owned the travel tripod longer than this backpack and was pleased that the tripod stowage was integrated into the pack.  Other backpacks strap the tripod onto the back of the pack along with a kickstand to support the tripod.  With this pack, the tripod is 95% contained as part of the pack.

Another fear while traveling is inclement weather.  No worries here.  There’s a rain cover included with the pack that keeps the rain off of your gear.  While traveling in Australia, I used the rain cover to great effect. 

While carrying a lot of gear like I do, the pack can get heavy at times.  This backpack, unlike others, does not cut into your shoulders even while I had 22 pounds (10 kilos) of gear stuffed into it.  I remember trekking across Italy with a different pack that cut into my shoulders.  It was really uncomfortable but this pack makes the carry a breeze.

This pack is also just right as an airline carry-on.  It’s not too big and not too small.  It’s just right to carry all my travel gear: 2 DSLR chopped sensor bodies, a Black Rapid camera strap and 3 lenses in the equipment compartment.  In the top compartment, I placed a full size flash, batteries, an action camera, a battery charger, charging cables, an ExpoDisk  and four filters).  In the laptop pack, I included a laptop, an iPad, and a couple of Moto mods.  In the side compartment, I placed my Manfrotto Pixie tripod, a notepad, a pen, and a memory card holder.  On the opposite side compartment, I put my travel tripod.  Yes, it all fit!

With this setup, I’m ready for my next adventure!