Backpacks vs suitcases

A few weeks ago, I went on my first trip using a large backpack instead of a suitcase. When I travel, I generally use a small suitcase for trips that last for more than a few days. If it’s only a weekend trip, I pack everything I need in my Fjallraven Kanken backpack.

This time, I went to Ireland. And I knew I would be travelling between four different places within 6 days. I decided to buy a backpack to fit all my stuff in, thinking that would be easier to carry with me than a suitcase. And I absolutely loved using it. It was much easier to walk through cities with.

However, that doesn’t mean I’m going to get rid of my suitcase and just use a backpack from now on. These are all the pros and cons of backpacks vs suitcases.

Pros and cons of backpacks


  • It’s easier to carry with you if you’re moving from place to place
  • Backpacks tend to be a lot lighter than suitcases
  • It’s harder to lose your luggage or for people to steal it if it’s strapped to your back
  • A backpack is more mobile than a suitcase, but can fit nearly as much as stuff as a suitcase when planned out well
  • If you’re always late (unlike me), it’s easier to run with a backpack


  • You have to constantly carry the bag and it can be quite heavy
  • It’s harder to organise all of your stuff
  • Even if you get a backpack that zips open entirely, it’s harder to organize everything in a backpack than in a suitcase

Pros and cons of suitcases


  • You can easily organise all of your stuff and it’s easier to find once you’re at your destination
  • The weight is better distributed and you don’t actually have to carry it since you can just wheel it behind you
  • Most suitcases come with a build-in lock which keeps your stuff safe. Of course, you can get a lock for your backpack (if it has a zipper) but those are very easy to lose
  • Most suitcases, especially hard shell ones, are waterproof
  • Suitcases are infinitely easier to repack than a top-loading backpack


  • Wheeling a suitcase behind you in busy cities is extremely annoying and you’ll bump into a lot of people.
  • If you’re going somewhere where the roads aren’t even, a suitcase with wheels is very impractical
  • The same goes for taking the stairs. If you have to walk up a lot of stairs, you’ll regret taking that suitcase.


Suitcases and backpacks both have more advantages than disadvantages. Your choice will mostly depend on what type of traveller you are, where you intend to go and for what purpose.

If you’re going on a business trip, you will need a suitcase to keep your suits from being completely crumbled up. But if you’re planning to stay at different hostels throughout your trip, a backpack will be easier to fit into the personal lockers than a big suitcase.

What do you prefer to use when you’re travelling? A backpack or a suitcase?



  1. Rose Ann Sales
    3 May 2019 / 10:46 am

    I prefer backpacks when it comes to traveling. The weight is much lighter when you carry things with your back or even front ways. I’m really not into sling bag or suitcase, it forces my shoulders too much.

  2. Geraline Batarra
    3 May 2019 / 8:48 am

    I always prefer backpack as much as possible. I find it more easy to carry when my things are really heavy.

  3. 2 May 2019 / 5:52 pm

    I usually travel with a carry on trolley bag and have used a small backpack instead of a crossover sling handbag. I used a larger sized backpack only once when I carried my camera gear on a trip and found it too heavy and bulky especially on public transport.

  4. 2 May 2019 / 5:04 am

    For business trips I prefer suitcases while for leisure trips I carry backpacks for the ease of carrying it.

  5. owengigg
    2 May 2019 / 4:55 am

    I like the comparison. I’m definitely the backpack man, preferring to travel light whereas my wife is more of a suitcase person, preferring to take as much stuff as possible!

  6. 1 May 2019 / 8:00 pm

    Hm, I guess it really depends on where you are going, the things you are planning to do and the length of time you’ll be there. I’ve only ever needed a suitcase.

  7. 30 April 2019 / 11:58 pm

    I would consider both of them depending on where I’m visiting. For example: if I’m going on a jungle trip, camp or hiking tour, the backpack would come in handy but if I’m doing a hotel vacay, then a suitcase for me.

  8. 30 April 2019 / 10:41 pm

    Holiii !!
    It is a difficult choice. Because everything has its pros and cons … But I would choose a backpack. A very good backpack, that has a lot of pockets
    Good day!!

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