Suitcase or backpack — what is better to choose for travel



Question: “Suitcase or backpack?”actually means:” Package tourism or independent?”At airports, you can see how surprised passengers with suitcases look at backpackers. And travelers with backpacks can’t hide their arrogant attitude to people who roll suitcases behind them. We find out which of them is right and which Luggage is better to take with you on vacation.

We compared the best representatives in their classes-suitcases with a solid body and modern backpacks with good ventilation and a reinforced “back” design. We do not consider suitcases with a soft body in comparison: although they are free from some of the disadvantages of their strong counterparts, they are also deprived of important advantages. We also do not consider compromise options, such as backpacks on wheels, since they combine the disadvantages of both systems rather than their advantages.

Advantages and disadvantages

What are good suitcases:
The solid and durable case allows you to safely transport fragile items, such as bottles of liquids or fragile Souvenirs.

  •  In a suitcase, things do not crumple as much as in a backpack.
  • A suitcase is usually larger than a backpack, it will fit more things.
  •  Even a child or a person with a bad back can carry a suitcase.
  •  Your family probably already has a suitcase: not you, but your parents or close relatives. A backpack, most likely, will have to be bought.
  •  Finally, the most obvious plus — suitcases have wheels, they can be carried.

Why are suitcases inconvenient:

  • If at least one wheel breaks, you are left alone with a huge heavy box that can barely be lifted.
  •  A dirty street or uneven surface, such as paving stones or boardwalk on the pier, will force you to carry a suitcase in your hands.
  • The steps!
  • An empty suitcase is much heavier than a backpack.

Therefore, it will fit less things. Yes, we said above that the volume of things will fit more. But do not forget about the weight restrictions: the ticket price includes transportation of 20-23 kg of Luggage, including the weight of the suitcase itself. And sometimes 10 kg!

A standard durable suitcase with dimensions of 46×70×25 cm and a volume of 54 liters weighs 3.5 kg. a Typical backpack with a volume of 45 + 10 liters with dimensions of 74×28×24 cm weighs 1.5 kg.

What are good backpacks:

  • A backpack is much more compact than a suitcase. It is easier to squeeze it into narrow spaces, and if you want, you can easily pick it up.
  •  Even a large incomplete backpack can be compressed with compression ties so that it fits into the dimensions for hand Luggage (standard 55×40×25 cm).
  •  The backpack is equally suitable for a weekend trip or a three-week hike.
  • The road surface does not affect you in any way — with a backpack, you can walk on the sand and on the paving stones.
  • There are external pockets and compartments, the necessary things can be folded separately and have quick access to them.
  •  The backpack takes up little space in the closet.
  • The backpack is lighter. Therefore, at a rate of 23 kg, it will fit more things than a suitcase.

Why backpacks are inconvenient:

  • You can not carry, and it is convenient to wear only on the back.
  • Can get stuck in Luggage belts and conveyors that are more designed for solid objects without sticking out straps.
  • Wet back!
  • Not suitable for people with a bad back. It is almost impossible to arrange things in any order. Sooner or later, the right thing will be at the bottom, and to get it, you will have to lay out all the contents.
  • The backpack is more likely to break or get wet during transportation.

If you multiply the dimensions of the suitcase 46×70×25, you will get much more than 54 liters. Why is that? The baggage descriptions indicate external dimensions, not internal dimensions. To measure the actual volume, manufacturers use the following method: a suitcase or backpack, including all pockets and compartments, is filled with plastic balls, which are then poured into a standard measuring cylinder, where the volume in liters becomes clear.


In all tourist places, scammers hang around. In a man with a suitcase, they will see a potential victim for a kilometer. If two twins walk next to each other — one with a suitcase, the other with a backpack — you can be sure that they will stick to the first one.

Another point is more economic security: a man with a suitcase is a victim of a taxi driver. The sanity of taxi prices at train stations and airports is clear to everyone. With a backpack, you can walk 5-10 minutes from the train station or a small airport and catch a taxi at a normal price. And from a major airport, you can almost always take a bus to the city center and take a taxi there or go further by public transport. With a suitcase, you are unlikely to want to ride the buses and it is unlikely that you will go further than 100 m from the station. By the way, this also applies to finding accommodation on the spot, if you did not book the hotel in advance.

Finally, the third point: baggage theft at airports. From this point of view, the suitcase loses to the backpack, and here’s why:

  •  Backpacks do not attract the attention of potential thieves.
  • To search the backpack, you will need to pull everything out of it, and then carefully fold it back. While the suitcase is enough to open and lift one or two layers of clothing.
  •  A suitcase with any, even with a code, zip lock can be opened with a ballpoint pen. And close it without leaving a trace . It is almost impossible to pack and close a backpack the same way you did, because you will immediately realize that someone was rummaging in it.


The dependence is direct: the more independence you have in traveling — the more inconvenient the suitcase is.

The suitcase is perfect for an organized package tour, where you are met everywhere and rolled from entrance to entrance. Also, a large suitcase will be convenient when traveling on vacation with children — it will definitely fit the whole family’s belongings, while it can be difficult to pack both children and adults in two parent backpacks.

But if you are going to organize at least part of the trip yourself — definitely choose a backpack. It will save you a lot of money and give you more independence in choosing housing and transport. Tired shoulders and slightly rumpled things are not too high a price to pay.

And about comfortable travel pillows, read here:

Read more about backpacks here:

How to a clean suitcase

Best suitcase

Carrying-backpack for dogs

Tips for choosing a carry-on backpack for cats

Backpack for carrying children

Women’s bag “transformer Backpack”

Mom backpack

Backpacks in hand Luggage.

Best hunting backpack

Fancy backpacks

Satchel bags for school

Backpack adjustment

How to pack a backpack

How to choose the right backpack

How to wash backpack

School backpack

Kids backpack

Backpacks for men

Women’s backpacks

Best backpacks for hiking

Types of Backpacks


Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top