woman wearing backpack

Carry Your Life on Your Back: Choosing a Cheap Backpack

Knowledge Base

If you’re one of life’s adventurers, a good backpack changes everything. From high-tech waterproofing, to better comfort, classy design and engorged carry capacity, a great backpack let’s you take on the day with all your important tools for the day safely stowed and easy to transport.

This article will take you through the essentials of what you look for when getting a cheap, reliable backpack for your day-to-day or not so day-to-day living.

Carry Capacity

The carrying capacity of a cheap backpack has its important role, above everything else. Users have to choose which size backpack is best for what they need. Students might be looking for a backpack to carry notebooks, books and possibly a laptop.

Professionals might need to carry documents. Active people might be looking for a breathable backpack to take on outdoor adventures. Shoppers might consider foldable backpacks to carry in the pocket to the supermarket, etc. 

Most cheap backpacks are not smaller than 20L. Some 30L options can be found as well. However, the difference between these two can mean that a laptop may fit in one and not fit in the other. The size of the backpack is what dictates if a laptop fits inside. The carrying capacity of the backpack also means users should not put heavy loads inside, as it is one of the quickest ways to tear the materials of the bag or straps sooner. 


The materials of a backpack are all synthetic when shopping at a budget. Yet these materials have their benefit, such as repelling water or being quick to dry. With most backpacks, it’s important to understand why there’s a need for materials which are durable. A backpack will be placed on the floor at school or at the mall. It can be placed on the ground when hiking or when traveling. In time, dirt builds up and all backpacks need some type of washing up in order to look good and smell good. 

Poor quality materials are seen only after 2-3 washes. As noted by many users, it is after washing the backpack that the first signs of wear start to appear. They might not be the signs most expect. But certain areas such as zippers are not really meant to deal with hot water and long washing programs such as those of a modern washing machine. This is why manual washing is still best, even for some of the expensive backpacks you can buy.

Colors and Designs

The colorful options and various designs of the moment are easy to match personalities and outfits. The day of solid colors are now long gone and various color combinations and patterns are available. As a general rule, it depends on the type of use the backpack is expected to have when choosing a color. Even if matching it with any outfit sounds fun, there are other aspects to consider. For example, those using a backpack to free their hands while riding a bike to school or to work should only consider bright and vivid colors for on-the-road safety reasons. 

Pockets for Accessories

The number of pockets and spaces for accessories is limited to cheap backpacks. In most cases, there are up to 3 pockets to use for gadgets, water bottles or other accessories. It is also less likely that these pockets are zipped, compared to more expensive backpack alternatives. 

As a general rule, it is advisable to use separators, such as those inside the backpack to carry different goods safely. Laptops should have their own compartment while water bottles should mainly be stored upright in lateral pockets if possible. 


Is a 20L Backpack All I Need?

A 20L backpack equates to a carrying capacity of 20kg. By most standards, a 20L backpack is considered small. A 40L backpack is large when it comes to daily carrying capacity while 30L is a happy medium.

What Materials Are Best?

Various nylon materials are seen in this class. They are not as bad as they can last for years. But the way a backpack is used impacts its durability more with a cheap backpack than with an expensive backpack.

Can a Cheap Backpack Be Adjusted to My Height?

All cheap backpacks come with adjustable shoulder straps. Others might even have other adjustable straps to keep the objects inside as organized as possible.

Should I Choose a Bright Color or a Dark Color Backpack?

Apart from matching backpacks with outfits, certain colors can match certain needs. Light colors are great for commuters, going to school or shopping. Darker colors are more elegant but they can also be used for hiking trips, where getting the backpack dirty is not uncommon.

Can I Wash My Backpack?

Most backpacks can be washed with a sponge and detergent. Some may even be washed in the washing machine. However, most cheap backpacks only need to be washed in cold and warm water as hot water can damage certain nylon materials in the long term.

What’s a Business Backpack?

A business backpack refers to the user who is most likely a professional. It may look more elegant but the backpack also borrows a few characteristics from a briefcase.

Are All Backpacks Good for the Outdoors?

Most backpacks can be used outdoors. However, many of the cheap alternatives have limited usability. For example, going trekking with a backpack with no moist protection on the bottom is a sure method of getting the backpack wet. 

Final Words

Foldable designs are increasing in popularity. They can be used to save space while traveling or even to limit the maximum weight being carried around.

Even these cheap backpacks are further categorized according to how they are actually used. Some of them are only made for school or university. Others are made for the young professional. But many cheap backpacks are also made for the outdoors. From hiking to canoeing or fishing, these backpacks can serve multiple purposes. However, all of these outdoor activities are mainly one-day activities, based on the low carrying capacity of cheap backpacks.

Further differentiation can be made between one-strap and two-strap backpacks. One-shoulder strap backpacks are smaller, but they can be used for various reasons, such as having a lower general weight. At the same time, the classic backpack with 2 shoulder straps is much easier to carry for heavier loads, as the weight is evenly distributed. 

Before choosing a single backpack, it can also be a good idea to make multiple purchases for various reasons. Since these backpacks are cheap, they can be used for various purposes, some carrying books and laptops and others being available for all quick outdoor adventures.