A good backpack is the most important thing a traveller needs if they’re heading out on a long-term trip around the world.
It will literally become your walk-in wardrobe, best friend, and your turtle shell (as you will be carrying it around for a good chunk of time).
For these reasons, it’s so important to find a great quality backpack that’s comfortable, stores everything you need, and is of course, durable.
To help you find the perfect backpack, I thought it would be a great idea to trial Salkans’ Backpacker.
With us always being on the road, a backpack is one of the most IMPORTANT pieces of kit we own, and we were looking for a new one!
Salkan produces sustainable travel bags for eco-conscious travellers with awesome features, and plenty of functionality.
This Salkan Backpacker review is going to take you through everything I’ve learned about this product, and whether I think it’s worth purchasing!
Salkan was created by two friends that have travelled to other 70 countries between them.
Constantly getting itchy feet and wanting to travel, Tom and Will always had a trip on the cards, but could never find a suitable backpack to take along for the journey.
After voicing their frustrations to each other, Salkan was made!
This company provides travel backpacks for those seeking an adventure but still focuses on reducing its impact on the environment.
They’ve gained a great reputation for their versatile products, eco-friendly policy, and the fact that you can try the backpack out for 100 days to see if it’s suitable!
Not only that, but Salkan is big on re-using products and offers a repair and recycle service.
This makes them stand out from other companies in the backpack market, as they don’t just focus on their sales.
The first point of call for buying any of Salkans backpacks is directly on their website.
This is where you’ll get the best deals, and you’ll have the opportunity to send your bag in for repairs too if any are needed.
Salkan offers free delivery to the UK and the United States if the order is over £50, which means no hidden shipping fees.
They also ship internationally to Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, but a delivery charge is calculated for this.
If you need to return the backpack for any reason, Salkan has a free returns policy for up to 100 days so you don’t have to worry about that either.
As you know, there are tonnes of backpacks out there all claiming to be the BEST for long-term travel or adventure travel.
So, in order to stand out - Salkan has done something different!
Here I’m going to review the Backpacker and see how it compares to other renowned backpack names like Osprey.
So, let’s take a look at its features in-depth…
Quite possibly one of the biggest benefits of the Backpacker is the 2 in 1 system.
It consists of two backpacks; the mainpack and the daypack offering plenty of flexibility.
The main 45 ltr backpack (expandable to 55 ltr), and the 20 ltr day pack can be used together when travelling, or they can be used separately if you’re heading out on a day trip.
This way you can pack your clothes and other items in the mainpack, and essentials in the daypack.
For convenience, the Backpacker comes with G hook buckles so you can attach the two together whilst travelling.
This is a great feature, as you won’t have to wear the daypack on your front.
However, the G hook buckles can be quite fiddly at times and aren’t the easiest to adjust. It may take a bit of practice to use them, but once you’ve got the hang of it they’re so handy.
Another company that often uses the 2 in 1 combination is Osprey, but users have often complained that they feel unbalanced when using both backpacks together.
However, with Salkan I didn’t have this problem!
Although you can buy the two backpacks separately, I’d highly recommend purchasing the combination.
Not only do you have extra space, but it’s much easier to organise and put a packing system in place.
So let’s take a closer look at the detachable daypack.
I am a BIG fan of The Backpacker Combo.
First up, I have used the same day bag from Osprey for the last 5 years, and that’s because I love it. Even though it’s EXTREMELY beaten up, I am loath to change it for another model. But the Salkan Daypack is now going to become that bag!
Now, there are a couple of reasons for this.
First of all, I love the overall feel and comfort of the bag, and it’s made from extremely high-quality fabrics.
This daypack also has plenty of fantastic features that make it stand out from other backpacks on the market.
It has two elasticated external pockets that easily fit a water bottle and a sunglass pocket with scratchless lining.
Not only that, but Salkan’s daypack comes with a removable sternum strap and a customisable strap so you can wear the backpack whichever way is most comfortable for you. There is a velcro system that allows you to easily remove and replace the straps in seconds.
There is also a hidden pocket within the daypack, that gives you easy access to any important documents.
When it comes to functionality, design, and appearance, this daypack is perfect for any trip.
However, it’s one of the more expensive options on the market so if you’re looking for a low-cost everyday backpack this might not be the one for you.
Another thing to consider is the size. Although perfect as a combination package, the daypack on its own is just over airline restrictions when it comes to size.
That means you won’t be able to take it on as hand luggage with really strict airlines if they decide to check the measurements (which many do).
Durability is one of the most important factors when it comes to choosing a backpack.
Whether you’re looking to hike in the Amazon rainforest, backpack through Southeast Asia, or interrail through Europe - you NEED a reliable backpack.
Both the mainpack and the daypack’s body fabric consist of 900D COTNA Polyester. This means the material is soft and extremely durable.
Not many backpacks on the market are made with this type of polyester, which is almost canvas-like in design. This is why it’s got such a unique appearance, and is one of the classier-style backpacks out there.
The 900D COTNA Polyester is also wax-coated, meaning it’s suitable for wet weather.
Now, I know what you’re thinking - is that really true?
The short answer is YES, absolutely! If you get caught in a downpour, don’t worry you’re covered.
You can literally see the droplets of water rolling off the material, so you know the contents of your bag are pretty safe.
However, like with any backpack if you know that you’re out all day in the rain, just put the rain cover on for more protection (I’ll talk more about this later!).
No bag is ever going to be 100% waterproof if you’re travelling through a downpour all day, so just keep this in mind.
If you’re looking into purchasing a backpack for travel, this is one of the main things you need to look out for!
Nobody on earth is the same height, weight, or build so it’s important to purchase a backpack that’s adjustable.
There’s nothing worse than buying a bag that’s the wrong size and lugging it around for months.
You won’t be doing your body any favours, and you’ll just be uncomfortable.
Luckily, the Backpacker is a one-size-fits-all bag with an adjustable back system.
No matter your size, you can adjust the mainpack easily by adjusting the slider at the back.
This means the weight will be spread mostly to your hips, and not on your shoulders - otherwise, you’re at risk of injuring your upper body during your travels.
To get the perfect fit, it’s best to measure your torso length and then adjust accordingly. This can be done by altering a couple of the straps, and the large piece of velcro at the back so is pretty easy.
Although, if you’ve not had a backpack before it can be a difficult concept to understand but you’ll get an explanatory card with your order.
It’s important to note that there’s no adjustable back system within the daypack, which can make it a little uncomfortable for taller users.
You can adjust the sternum and shoulder straps which can help, but generally, the daypack is more suited to shorter travellers.
Comfort is another HUGE factor to consider when purchasing a backpack for travelling.
When fully packed out, any backpack is going to be heavy. Unfortunately, it’s unavoidable if you’re carrying over 40 litres.
However, what I like about this backpack is that they’ve done a great job with the padding in both the shoulder pads and around the waist. This makes it especially comfortable if you’re wearing it for long periods of time.
So, let’s take a look at this in a bit more detail.
The shoulder straps are thick and padded, so you won’t feel pressure or rubbing whilst carrying the bag. There is also a padded hip belt to take some of the weight off so the bag feels more comfortable to carry.
Both the mainpack and daypack have padded back panels which help take the load off your back. It also stops the bag from rubbing, so you’re less likely to be left with sore skin at the end of the day.
However, these back panels aren’t as breathable as some of the other options out there.
Although this may not be a problem in the majority of places if you're heading somewhere hot be prepared to sweat.
Another great thing about the Backpacker is its internal frame.
The mainpacks internal frame allows the weight of the bag to be spread out evenly. It also means the Salkan’s backpacker holds its shape very well, so you won’t have to worry about things getting squished.
As I previously mentioned, if you’re travelling for a long period of time - your bag is going to be heavy, there’s no question about it.
This internal frame is a lifesaver as it’s super sturdy, and means you won’t feel like you're carrying the weight all in one area.
The internal frame is removable, but honestly, I’d not recommend doing so! You’ll be losing a tonne of comfort, just to save a couple of grams.
The Backpacker is super easy to pack and organise, and that’s one of the main things that stood out to me!
In terms of the larger Backpack especially, I’m a big fan. For all of my backpacking trips, I’ve used my Osprey Farpoint, which again I’ve had now for 6 years. But the only real issue I have had with that backpack has been the need to access and organise items in the very bottom of the bag.
So I was pleasantly surprised to find that Salkan has a solution for that!
The Backpacker has both top & front access, making organising your things incredibly easy.
Not only is the main compartment roomy, but this backpack also has a large side pocket on one side, and two internal pockets.
There is even a top pocket that allows quick access to essentials and important items!
On the front of the mainpack is a large zip that fully opens up the bag.
When coupled with their packing cubes, this allows you to properly and easily organise your backpack.
If you do need to access something at the very bottom of your bag, you don’t need to completely empty out your bag to access this. If you have done any backpacking before, then I’m sure you feel my pain!
So this is a huge plus and a great feature that distinguishes the Backpacker and helps make it worth its relatively higher price point.
The bag also has two expandable outside pockets which are perfect for water bottles, umbrellas, flip flops, and even tripods if you’re into photography.
Another great thing about the Backpacker is that you can customise it.
Let’s be honest, it can get pretty boring seeing everyone else with the same backpack. However, you don’t have to worry about that with this one!
On Salkan’s website, you can buy changeable straps for both the daypack and the mainpack.
These can be purchased in a variety of colours, so you can change them up whenever you fancy!
If you want to add gear to the bottom of Salkans mainpack like a tent, tripod, or sleeping bag, then you can also buy add-on gear straps. You’ll find these in plenty of colours on the website, so you can get creative.
Salkan also has iron-on patches available on its website if you want to go one step further!
Salkan prioritizes responsible travel and sustainability above all else and works continuously to leave less of an impact on the environment.
Both the mainpack and the daypack are made from GRS standard recycled yarn, so you know you’re doing your bit for the environment if you purchase through this company.
Not only that, but Salkan has several other measures in place to reduce waste and reduce its carbon footprint.
They believe in ‘buy well, buy once’ and are so confident in the product that they offer a 100-day trial. If you’re not happy or the backpack isn’t suitable, you can return or exchange it free of charge.
However, the best part about buying with Salkan?
You have a lifetime guarantee with every backpack, as they want the minimum amount of waste going to landfills.
So if something goes wrong with your backpack or it needs repairing - just get in touch!
If your backpack is beyond repair, you can send your old bag back to be recycled, and you’ll get a discount on a new one!
Although, this one isn’t technically to do with the backpacks I just had to include it! Salkan gives 1% of its sales to 1% For The Planet, in order to work on its environmental goals.
Now I’ve answered some of the most topical questions, let’s dive into more of the Backpacker’s awesome features.
Both the mainpack and daypack come with compression straps, which help to stop them bulging when full.
Not only do they help the bag keep its shape, but compression straps also help keep the mainpack secure and in turn, your belongings.
These straps latch together by using G hooks, which are the same hooks you use to attach the mainpack and daypack.
As mentioned previously, G hooks aren’t the easiest of things to master but they are super handy in terms of design.
These compression straps can be customised, so just choose your perfect colour at check out.
Now, this isn’t something you’ll often find included with a backpack.
Salkans the Backpacker comes with a laundry sling included so you can easily separate your dirty clothes from your clean ones.
This laundry sling can hold up to 20 litres which is pretty impressive and is the perfect item for a responsible traveller. This way you don’t have to keep using plastic bags to separate your clothes.
Once the bag is full and you’re looking for a laundrette, simply roll the top to make a carry handle.
You can even hook the laundry sling onto your bag too, which is very handy! However, it can get in the way if you’re looking to access the top pocket of your mainpack so it’s a personal preference where you keep it.
The Backpacker comes with a flight & rain cover, which is one of its BEST features!
It’s stored in a pocket at the bottom of the bag and is easily accessible if you get caught in a downpour.
Not only that, but the cover is perfect for if you’re flying or travelling overland on public transport. You can simply zip up the bag so your belongings are secure, and then pull over the cover for some extra protection.
The design and colour of the cover fit perfectly with the bag's design too, so it doesn't look out of place.
Let’s be honest, taking a laptop travelling is one of the BEST things you can do!
It makes so many things easier including booking accommodation, visa applications, and storing endless photos of course.
However, the age-old question - how do you store it when on the road?
Well, Salkan has even thought of this too!
Both the mainpack and daypack come with a padded laptop sleeve that fits a 15” laptop.
Each sleeve is cushioned and protected, and there is even a velcro strap that goes over the top to make it more secure.
However, the limit is 15” so if you’ve got a bigger laptop it won’t fit.
Quick answer - YES!
With so many incredible features, a versatile design, and waterproof fabric - I’d honestly recommend the backpacker to anyone!
That being said, it’s more suitable for long-term travellers, adventure travellers, and digital nomads.
If you’re planning a two-week vacation, I’d say it’s probably not needed although some of the features will come in handy.
There are so many awesome things to like about the Backpacker including the colour scheme and the fact that you can choose your own combination of backpack and straps.
During my time using this backpack, I also really appreciated how comfortable it is to wear, and the durable material used.
Being weatherproof is also a HUGE bonus!
Not only that, but the fact that there’s a safe place to store laptops, and a rain cover is a big selling point for me.
However, there are a couple of things to consider.
If you’re travelling with the combination 2 in 1 backpack, it can get pretty heavy. You’re going to need a reasonable level of fitness to carry it around, so some people simply prefer light backpacks or wheeled cases.
It’s also not the cheapest backpack on the market by a long shot (although I do believe you get great value for money).
So if you’re travelling on a tight budget and need a backpack, you might be better suited to cheaper options like Osprey instead.
Although if you buy too cheap, you’ve always got the risk of the product not lasting very long!
To sum it up, the Salkan Backpacker is a great investment and a new favourite of mine.
I think it has so much to offer for travellers, and with its 100-day trial period - what do you have to lose?
In terms of backpacks, the primary product is the Backpacker which is made up of two separate bags.
However, you can also buy the mainpack and the daypack separately if you wish!
This is a great option if you’re not travelling for a long period of time, and would prefer something a little less bulky.
You won’t find many other products available at Salkan, but they offer plenty of great items for customising your backpack.
This includes changeable straps, iron-on patches, and water bottles that fit in the daypack’s external pockets.
Salkan also offers a cube packing set that makes packing up your stuff so much easier! This includes three breathable mesh packing cubes, and each one comes with a grab handle.
So, that’s a roundup of my Salkan Backpacker review!
I hope this guide has helped you make a decision on this backpack, and you’ve got an in-depth understanding of all the benefits (and some of the cons).
If you have any further questions about the Backpacker or would like a review on another aspect, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.
You can drop a comment below, and I’ll help you out as much as I can!
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