What are the main differences between a Hiking Backpack and
a Travel Backpack?
Backpacks that facilitate ease of travel by incorporating the
best features of a hike pack, a soft suitcase and more. These features
include a fully functional harness system with a storable harness
cover that protects the harness in transit, a removable daypack,
and a shoulder sling. It would also include suitcase style carry
handles generally located at the top and on the side of the backpack.
Travel packs have a zipped front or panel loading access for ease
of use, and would normally have internal compression straps which
designers sometimes couple with an internal organiser. Travel packs
generally have two compartments an upper and lower compartment with
either a zip or draw cord division, and including the removable
daypack are usually 60 to 90 litres in capacity. We recommend that
these backpacks are custom fitted to provide optimum comfort and
have a fully featured and adjustable harness system.
Travel packs are designed with the traveller in mind with features
that are necessary to accommodate comfortable frequent travelling
and are not designed to replace the bushwalking or hike pack for
- Travel packs are generally designed with many more features
than bushwalking or hike packs, including, a harness cover,
side and top carry handles, shoulder sling, and a removable
daypack. This adds considerable weight, in some cases adding
as much as 30% more weight to the average backpack.
- Travel packs are generally designed with a greater depth,
putting more weight further from the body. This in turn increases
the leverage on the back and spine, and are not designed for
- Travel packs are generally wider than hike packs and not
contoured to the body shape, which could allow for catching
on scrub or rock in certain terrain. This added width would
also interfere with freedom of arm movement which is necessary
for maintaining balance, particularly in rough terrain.
What are the main features of a White Mountain™ Travel
- Panel Loading (Front Opening).
- Dual Compartments, zip or draw cord division.
- Six External Compression Straps.
- A Removable Daypack.
- Webbing reinforced Suitcase Carry Handles on the side and
top of the pack.
- A padded Shoulder Sling, removable and concealable.
- A concealable zipped Harness Cover for the backpack harness.
- Dual Interlocking Zip Sliders on all main compartments to
- Removable Internal Organiser with an Internal Compression
- External Attachment Facilities to secure gear on the outside
of the backpack.
- A full hiking harness, unlike some backpacks with a simplified
harness system that offers no proper load support.
- A hydration facility incorporated into both the backpack
and the removable daypack.
Features attributed to Travel and Hybrid Backpacks
All Travel packs open from the front of the upper compartment
and gear is stored in the same manner as a suitcase. The only consideration
in packing your travel pack is when you are carting a number of
heavier articles, then you should consider the information on our
page backpack loading to determine the best method of placing your
gear and how to best use the backpack lower compartment.
Most travel packs on the market today have an upper and lower
compartment, with either a dual zip or draw cord division. The dual
zip or draw cord division when closed allows for separate packing,
or can be opened completely to use the pack as one single compartment.
The advantage of a dual zip division is the ability to open the
pack on the one side to store a longer item, yet still maintain
the dual compartments. The draw cord facility on the other hand
opens from the middle and although possible to use this feature
to store a longer item in the centre, it is a little more awkward.
External Compression Straps
All Travel Packs on the market today have external compression
straps, two (2) to three (3) compression straps either side of the
backpack and two sleeping bag compression straps on the lower compartment.
The sleeping bag compression straps protect the access zipper, and
should be long enough to accommodate the external attachment of
a ground mat, sleeping bag, or roll bag if required.
The removable daypack on most travel packs is zipped or clipped
on the front of the upper compartment opening lid. With some travel
packs a portion of the daypack is compressed when attached, with
the zip placed in or near the centre of the daypack. This makes
it near impossible to zip into position when the daypack is fully
loaded without damaging the zip. White Mountain™ provide a
solution to this problem and suggest that the two attachment clips
on top of the daypack are secured to the D-Rings on top of the travel
pack. After attaching the daypack in this manner the lower compression
straps can be used in the usual way, holding the daypack securely
in place. This attachment method will prevent damage to the daypack
by eliminating excessive stress on the daypack attachment zip.
Suitcase Carry Handles
Travel packs have a suitcase carry handle on at least one side
and on top of the pack. The top handle is very handy when trapped
in those long queues at the airport, bus or train station or taxi
rank. White Mountain™ strengthen all carry handles with webbing
reinforcement and extra stitching to prevent breakages even under
the heaviest loads.
Travel packs include a removable shoulder sling, particularly
necessary when the pack is heavy, the distance to travel is short
and it is not convenient to use the backpack harness. The shoulder
sling is removable or can be concealed in the base of the pack when
Most travel packs and all White Mountain™ travel packs
have a cover that is zipped in place concealing the backpack harness,
preventing damage to the backpack harness in transit.
Dual Interlocking Zip Sliders
All White Mountain™ Travel, Hybrid, and removable Travel
Daypacks have dual zip sliders which can be padlocked together to
prevent unauthorized entry. The two main compartments on all of
the White Mountain™ latest designs have interlocking or overlapping
zip sliders designed for secure padlocking. The Antarctica also
has a top loading division at the base of the storm collar which
is dual zipped to prevent entry to the upper compartment.
Removable Internal Organiser
Panel loading travel packs have an internal organiser under the
front cover of the upper compartment to allow access to personal
items without emptying the entire backpack. It is very convenient
to be able to store personal items in the removable organiser then
be able to remove the organiser from the backpack to place in your
daypack. This is particularly useful when storing your main backpack
while in transit.
Internal Compression Straps
White Mountain™ travel packs have a true internal
compression system with the removable organiser attached.
External Attachment Facilities
Travel packs provide external attachment points for extra straps
that allow you to secure any choice of items to the outside of the
White Mountain™ design their travel packs with a full Hiking
harness to maximize comfort. Simplified harness systems supplied
by some competitors are fine for carrying a backpack through an
airport, bus station, or to the train, but will not be sufficient
for prolonged backpacking.
Daypack Hydration System
All White Mountain™ latest design travel packs have a fixed
organiser in the removable daypack, and a facility to store a hydration
reservoir with an elastic covered exit hole for the drinking hose.
All White Mountain™ latest design removable daypacks have
a fixed organiser in the opening Lid, a font pocket, and dual external