8 reasons to ditch a big backpack

Igor Shaversky

Igor Shaversky

The word “backpacker” has some romantic feeling to it. You imagine brave travellers with huge rucksacks courageously conquering the world. No wonder we were so excited buying our new 60-litre backpacks. They were pretty, capacious, with loads of small pockets, straps and other yet unknown to us but still utterly useful things. It took us a few days to realize they were not as convenient as expected – and we were even slightly relieved when two weeks later they got stolen in Greece. Below - our view on why backpack size matters and main reasons to stick to the smaller knapsack.



  1. Big backpack makes you inflexible. You can’t just dump it at the back seat of the car or check in as hand luggage. You have to carry it around while sightseeing. Its size and capacity turn into your constant pain.
  2. Big backpack is too heavy. Think of a small 8-year old you have to carry on your back most of the journey. Trust me – it’s no fun.Choosing the right backpack size
  3. More space = more useless stuff. To be honest, the higher the capacity of your backpack – the more useless things you will stuff in it.
  4. More space leaves more room for temptations. If you have extra space you’ll utterly want to buy new stuff when really what you should be doing is throwing it away.
  5. You can’t find anything. It is already difficult to find something in a normal bag. Now imagine a huge stuffed rucksack.
  6. It creates an illusion of savings. Yes, you will be able to pack a few extra sweaters, some food and a bunch of useful devices. But after all – that is something you can easily buy abroad. The enjoyment of travelling light-handed is worth some extra expenditures.choose the right backpack size
  7. You look like a tourist. And locals will treat you like one. That does mean being more careful with taxi drivers and alike who will always try to use your lack of knowledge of the local environment to their advantage.
  8. It demotivates. While travelling interesting things happen all the time. Imagine if you have to skip a tempting offer just because of the inappropriate backpack size. We don’t say big backpacks are evil – after all they are incredibly useful. But unless you are planning to conquer high altitudes or camp in the forest – better leave it at home.


If you liked this article, you might also enjoy:

Documents NOT to forget for your round the world trip

7 worst itinerary planning mistakes


  • xxx4

    ignored, i carry 90 liter duffle strapped to my back, with a weight belt because we all get old.

    Don’t know where you are from but never treated as a tourist in Hong Kong.

    Of course those sorts treat non-Whites as in San Francisco.