What to look for in a Backpack

There are so many backpacks on the market these days. With so much choice it can be difficult to choose the right one just for you. Our guide to the various types of different backpacks and what they can be used for should help you out.

Volkano Smart Series Anti-Theft Laptop BackpackThe Casual Traveler

The most important considerations for your journey should be your comfort and safety. Any of your belongings are important when traveling; you don’t want to worry about any tampering or pick-pockets. Specially designed backpacks feature anti-theft technology, which is an important consideration for the casual traveler.

Anti-theft technology includes the following features:

  • A reinforced protective outer casing.  This protects against any knife damage, making it harder for anyone to slash your backpack open

  • Multiple anti-theft compartments. For storing those smaller important items, such as your identity documents, wallet, flash drives or even jewelry. Since they are not easily visible, pick-pockets will have a harder time reaching them.

  • Hidden Zippers.  By concealing the zippers at the rear, they cannot easily be opened from the front facing part of the backpack as you are wearing it.

Inside view of the Volkano Smart Series Anti-Theft BackpackIf you are taking pictures from your smartphone, and the battery is starting to fade, look for a backpack that comes with an integrated USB port. An external USB port on the backpack and an internal USB cable lets you store a power bank on the inside of your bag to connect to your device on the outside. This is useful as it means you don’t need to have any compartments open for those cables to run from the inside to the outside.

Another feature to consider is dedicated pockets for storing items such as your laptop and a tablet in completely separate compartments. Anything that makes your valuables less accessible equals more peace of mind.

When you’re on that special journey, you want to enjoy your surroundings and those epic moments, and not have to worry about checking or feeling if your backpack is still secured. Our Smart Series anti-theft backpack has all of these features integrated and is both comfortable and durable. Since these backpacks are more expensive than their counterparts, quality means longevity.

The Business Traveler

Volkano Winner Series Trolley BackpackHopping between airports all of the time? You definitely have to consider luggage equipped with wheels. However, larger suitcases can’t easily be stowed away in a storage compartment in the plane, whereas a backpack can be the sensible choice. Thankfully, there are backpacks that have the best of both worlds, such as our Winner Series. It features wheels and a telescopic handle, both designed to get you zipping around in no time at all. It also comes with a protective covering to keep those wheels covered when they aren’t in use.

If you check in your backpack instead, another consideration is an integrated TSA lock. A TSA lock allows baggage inspectors to unlock and re-lock your backpack without any damage. If you don’t have a TSA lock and your backpack is screened out for checking, they will damage your own locks or even the backpack itself to open and inspect it.

Camping / Hiking

Volkano Delstroom Series BackpackThe requirements for a camping/hiking backpack are much different from those of a regular backpack. Depending on the length of your journey, you will require something larger. Camping backpack sizes are often measured in liters, which gives you an idea of how much can be stored inside. The size you need also depends on the length of your journey. Here is a guideline of the different sizes we would recommend:

  • For 1-5 nights, consider 40-60L
  • For 2-7 nights, consider 50-75L
  • For 7+ nights, consider 60-85L

For just a day trip or those shorter hikes, consider something smaller, but just as functional, such as our Delstroom Series.

Another important consideration is a comfortable fit. A lot of these backpacks will have extra thick and padded shoulder straps, as well as a hip belt to help you carry your load more securely. Larger bags are also available in a duffel variant with a carrying handle, such as our Notties Series.


Volkano Kaleidoscope Series BackpackPersonal style is thought to be reserved for the fashion conscious, although it does affect everyone as we are all unique. If you wear your backpack throughout the day, why not ensure that it’s presenting you well in both functionality and style? Let that unique print, design, or color stand out from the crowd and make a statement about your individuality!

Think about where you will be traveling with your new backpack. That important business meeting definitely wouldn’t suit our Kaleidoscope Series. You would prefer a streamlined, understated, yet modern style, such as our Executive Series in those situations. It all depends on your surroundings, and your decision might just come down to what you think looks right for you.

Waterproof vs. Water Resistant

The weather is always unpredictable, and you can easily find yourself getting caught out in the rain. Choosing the right backpack material can give you the confidence that your belongings are not going to get completely soaked. Nobody wants that!

  • Nylon and Polyester are water resistant materials. These will serve you just fine in a light drizzle, as they can resist the penetration of water to some degree, but not entirely.
  • Canvas and Vinyl are better materials if you need to be totally waterproof, as they are impervious to water.

Overall Considerations

Here are a few more things to keep in mind while buying any backpack

  • Dedicated Pockets: If you have a laptop or a tablet, you would want to make sure that your backpack comes with a compartment that will hold and secure your device. Look for compartments that can be zipped closed for extra protection.

  • Comfort: Especially during periods of extended wear, you want to make sure that you have adjustable straps with padding.

  • Carrying Handle: For those times where you just don’t want to carry a load on your back, a carrying handle gives you another way to get those belongings from A to B.

  • Interior Safety: You want the inside to have sufficient padding to protect all of your valuable belongings and electronics, without any fear of them being knocked around or damaged.

  • Water Bottle: If you carry around a water bottle, look for a backpack that has a side sleeve to fit your drink of choice for easy access, and as a just-in-case measure to avoid any potential leakage inside your backpack.

  • Easy Access: Additional netted or zippered side pockets can give you access to your most frequently needed items.

We trust that this article has given you more insight into the different types of backpacks available, and what considerations should be on your mind when making your choice. Now go out there and enjoy your journey!