The perfect Backpack is my dream, after 16 years of Perpetual World Travel and 90 countries, I dream of making and selling the ideal long-term travel bag.

    This Backpack Research page explains the parts of a backpack for the long term traveler who use Buses, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. You can learn the names of components of a "Traveler Bag" for global travel. I am Andy Graham a professional perpetual traveler who has perpetually traveled for over 16 years and visited 90 countries. Blog

    This Travelers Bag is for Buses, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and a few donkeys and camels. This is not for walking for weeks, days, or more than one kilometer, this is a Backpack for Professional Travelers.

    The biggest mistake a new Backpacker makes is to buy a Backpack that was designed for trekking or hiking, this mountain type of Backpack truly make security impossible and tells the world you are not a traveler.

    I have made 14 Prototypes of the Perfect Backpack for Travelers, and in the next year (2010-2011) hope to release my "Windmill" Backpack. It is called "Windmill" because my friend says, I am "Tilting at Windmills," this is my fight, my dream, I am "Chasing a Dream," the dream is to create the world's best Backpack for "Professional Travelers."

     The present Backpacks carried by Andy Graham June 2010, note when I arrive in a country, I take a rice bag and put my clothes in the bag, and attach to the larger backpack. The airlines have become difficult, in the past I carried two of the larger bag and put the smaller bag inside a larger bag. There are airlines now that will not allow me to check two bags, I needed to go to a smaller system. I now buy more things on the mainland of continent, then dispose before I change continents.

Important Concepts

  1. Accessories of a Traveler Bag
  2. Anatomy of a Travel Pack
  3. Articles about the Bag
  4. Big Items in Traveler Bag
  5. Confusions of People buying a Backpack
  6. Contents that Need Quick Access
  7. Chaining Backpacks Together System
  8. Chaining Backpack to Bed in Hotel Room
  9. Easy Access Pockets
  10. Fabrics used to make Packs
  11. Help in the Design of the World Best Travel Traveler Bag
  12. How Heavy Should Your Backpack Be?
  13. How many Bags to Carry?
  14. Long Term Traveler Bag
  15. Locking Bag System
  16. NOT Common, but sometimes carried
  17. One Bag Theory
  18. Problem Causing Gear or Items Inside the Bag
  19. Problems to Solve for Backpacks
  20. Repair of Backpack
  21. Shoulder Straps Waist Harness for Traveler Bag
  22. Type of items people commonly carry in a Traveler Bag?
  23. Types of Packs
  24. Types of Vendors selling Bag Parts
  25. Ultralights - This is a mountain hiking bag term, or trekking not long term travel.
  26. Weapons in Backpack
  27. What stops thieves
  28. Volume of Backpack - Calculate the Size

      Long Term Traveler Bag The Traveler Bag is the home of modern day Hobos, Vagabonds, Nomad, Perpetual, and Professional Travelers, we often call ourselves Travel Backpackers, however this name is misleading, the Pros carry a "Travel Bag," especially designed to stop theft and rough usage by the most dangerous animal on the planet.
"The Human."

     This is a "Travel Bag" this is NOT Trekking, Mountain Climbing, or Hiking.

      If you are wanting to learn to travel, you are on the right page, if you are wanting to learn how to trek, hike, or climb mountains, then you are on the wrong page, please exit now.

     I am Andy of, I have traveled for over 10 years, I do not have a home, I am a perpetual traveler. I am designing a professional traveler bag to make and sell called the Windmill Travel Bag. This is the challenge and adventure of travel, to find the path that leads us to our homes away from home without being robbed on the way there.

Help in the Design of the World Best Travel Traveler Bag

Accessories of a Traveler Bag - Windmill Traveler Bag
Traveler Bag Organizer
Computer Laptop Bag
Camera Laptop Bag
Day Bag with pull string
Fanny Pack
IPod, CD etc Bag
Money Pouch Neck
Secret Pockets Velcro
Secret Pockets Zipper
Shower Bag
Organizer Pouches Single
Organizer Pouches Multiple Pocket
Pillow for neck
Wallet or Billfold
Laundry Bag

Big Items in Traveler Bag
Rain Poncho
Mosquito Nets
Water Bottle

Please complete a survey;
Traveler Bag Questions to help Design Windmill Long-term Travel Bag

Major Parts of a Travel Pack
1. Lid or opening to the Traveler Bag
2. Left side panel
3, Right Side Panel
4. Bottom of Bag
5. Shoulder Straps.
6. Waist Harness
7. Lockable Zipper - Normally Padlock Slider or Hasp Slider

Also  may want to ad Piggy Back Bags or Marsupial Bags

Shoulder Straps Waist Harness for Traveler Bag
Less than 30 percent of Travelers use the Waist Strap
20 Percent of Travelers have Two Wheel Carts
Too many adjustments and the shoulder straps are continuously out of adjustment
Being Fitted for a Harness is only good if you can do it on your own
Travelers seldom have Waist Strap cinched up tight enough to function to keep weight on hip bones.
Fat people need two-wheel carts, because the waist strap does not rest on hip bones.
Slippery Materials for Shoulder Straps is bad, this causes the straps to slide off.
Do not wear slippery nylon clothing, it makes the shoulder or waist straps slip.
The buckle of the waist strap must not be removable.
The waist strap is best when put in with Velcro, to be able to be removed.
Deltoid Muscles will help keep Shoulder Straps on the shoulders.

Anatomy of a Travel Pack
Bungee Cords & Equipment Straps
Chest Strap / Sternum Strap
Harness Systems
Hip Belt
Hydration System
Inner and Outer Pockets Configuration
Internal or External Frames
Internal Staves
Lower Load Stabilizer Straps
Shoulder Harness
Spindrift Collar
Splash Cover
Sternum Strap
Upper Load Stabilizer Straps

Fabrics used to make Packs
Cotton Canvas
Kodra or Cordura
Polyester Pack Cloth
Rip-Stop Nylon

Types of Packs Carried by Backpackers and Flashpackers
Day Packs
Expedition Backpacks
Expedition Hike Packs
Front Loading
Fanny Packs
Hip Packs
Hybrid or Combination Loading
Lumbar Packs
Messenger Bag
Mid size Packs
Panel Loading
Ruck Sack
Shoulder Bag
Top Loading
Travel Packs
Waist Pack
Weekend Hike Packs

Problems to Solve for Backpacks
How to attach a Two-Wheel Cart
How to retrieve keys if locked inside the bag
Access to Guidebook or Camera Quickly

Confusions of People buying a Backpack
1. The harness is most important, this is wrong, the most important is security.
2. The less pockets the better to be secure.
3. Hiding shoulder in straps is essential, or they clips will be broken in plane, train, or bus.
4. The more adjustments you can make, the more likely your bag will always be badly adjusted.
5. Wheels are bad, wheels are good, a person must buy a cart to travel in Europe or the USA, the taxis are too expensive.
6. Walking, a traveler knows a taxi in the underdeveloped countries cost 1 dollars, and this is the safest way to travel to the room, this negates the value of super harnesses.
7. Traveling light is for people who do not know how to find taxis, and hotels, the plane determines the weight.
8. People can and should carry a computer..

Type of items people commonly carry in a Traveler Bag?
Passport, Money, Plane Tickets
Secret Pockets, Money Belt, or Neck Pouch
Shower Bag
Office Supplies, Paper, Pens etc
Guidebooks, Books
Rain Gear
Water Bottles

NOT Common, but sometimes carried.
Mosquito Net - (NOTE, this should be carried, however is not common.)
Ground Cover Mattress
Blankets, Hammocks, Sleeping Bags

Problem Causing Gear or Items Inside the Bag
Propane Tanks
Toothpaste that Lid Easy Opens
Shampoo that Easy Opens

What stops thieves
- A bag that does not look valuable, a good travel bag should look cheap, not beautiful.
- A bag that does have the shape, that looks like it carries valuable goods. For example, a high price camera bag obviously has a camera inside. A high price luggage normally has expensive items inside. Hiding in plain sight, this is the goal.
- Layers, the more layers of material between a thief and the objects of value, the less ability for a thief to get to these objects.
- Locking the bag up to other object, this bag will have a chain system whereby you can lock it up to a pole or other hard to move objects
- Less to watch, there is only one lock on the main compartment. Thieves want an opportunity, they want you to forget to zip shut one of your compartments so they can reach in and snatch items.
- Convenience of safety, as a reverse logic example. People do not use the Pac safe because it is inconvenient. A good bag needs to be very convenient to be secured and safe.

Types of Vendors selling Bag Parts

Contents that Need Quick Access
Batteries to Camera
Smartphone for Maps
Cell Phone

How Heavy Should Your Backpack Be?

  1. No more than 20 Kilos, this is the checked baggage weight on planes, and 15 Kilos for low cost carriers
  2. You should be able to lift you backpack above you hear and carry on the top of your head, if you cannot do that, you are too weak for the amount of gear, you need to get a two-wheel cart and get good at Taxis.
  3. What is comfortable for one-half mile of walking, after that you are walking too far and need to learn to travel, this is not for hiking, you are traveling.
  4. Load you bag with gear, walk one mile, then decide if you are ok.

Volume Size of Backpack?
   The average backpack is approximately 40 liters, and a daypack is from 15-25 Liters, but this means nothing to most people. What is important is all your gear and equipments fits into the Backpack. Put everything in a box, measure the inches, then determine the number of cubic inches.

  1. Liters
  2. Learn the number of square inches in rectangle?
  3. Convert Cubic Inches to Liters

How many Bags to Carry?
    Two and never more, if you have a purse, camera bag, computer bag etc, it must be stowed inside the big bag, three bags it too difficult to watch and you will lose or have one stolen. People with three bags accept help, this allow the one bag to go with the person who helps by accident or design.

Weapons in Backpack

  1. You can often slide a machete down behind the straps near the staves.
  2. Staves can be made into small machetes.
  3. A sock full of coins or stones
  4. You can turn around in circles if attacked and knock people down with he weight of the backpack.
  5. Use you backpack as a block against dogs, hold the pack to block.
  6. A pen makes a good replacement for a knife.

Easy Access Pockets
    This is not for hiking, the more pockets on the outside, the more you will be robbed. Theft is about temptation, people who carry backpacks that have many pockets are easy target. The less pockets the better.

Repair of Backpack
Shoe Shops
Sail Repair Shops
Tailor Shop

Borg these Terms - "Resistance is Futile"

Backpacks Reviews
Camera Laptop
Day Packs
Swiss Army's

Eagle Creek
Internal Frame



Backpack Weight Reducing
Reduce Backpack Weight
Packing Light
Multiple Purposes Gear
Necessary Gear Versus Functional
Buy The Smallest Gear
Buy The Lightest
Lightweight Backpacker
Parachute Cord--Clothesline
Packing Habits
Stuff Sacks
Removal Of Manufacturer's Labels
Shorten Nylon Webbing Straps
Sewing Straps In Permanent Adjustment
Water Filter

Help in the Design of the World Best Travel Traveler Bag

Articles about the Bag being designed by Andy Graham of
World's Best Traveler Bag Survey owned by New York Times

Please complete a survey:
Traveler Bag Questions to help Design Windmill Long-term Travel Bag


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Oh dear, I will have to re-evaluate my back pack and carry-ons!

Hey Andy .... how about selling a prototype to a first-time backpacker who has always traveled with traditional luggage? I'd love to help you evaluate, and I need to buy a bag, and yours sounds perfect!!! Leaving for SE Asia for a month at the beginning of May. :)


This illustration helped me realize why it's called a "Hobo" bag. I didn't know it until I came across this article.

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