You’ve been planning for a while now on you’re a backpacking holiday to Kenya; one of the most important items in your list of items is choosing the best travel backpacks for Kenya.  It need not be tedious activity as long as you keep some key pointers into consideration.  The pointers should assist you to plan easy and enjoy your well deserved holiday to Kenya.

Pointers-Choosing the best travel backpacks 

Activities: Consider the type of activities that you intend to undertake while in Kenya.  If you intend to use your backpack as your hiking pack, as well as you day pack, then you need to consider purchasing a backpack that has several compartments to enable you to keep the most used gears at reach.

Duration of stay:  How long are you going to be in Kenya?  This will determine how much you need to pack.  For long durations stays that may include a lot of travel across the country that may include lots of walking, the most ideal backpack should be one that will be comfortable to you back as you enjoy your Kenya holiday.

Your accommodation:  Where you will be staying will determine the type of backpack to carry.  Those staying at a hotel, homestays, campaign and hostels, each one will need different types of backpacks.  Find out from your host, on whether they allow one to leave their luggage for safekeeping during the day and if it will cost you extra for storage.  Most hotels, hostels and home-stays in Kenya, will allow residents to leave their luggage for safekeeping as long as they are staying at the premises at no extra cost.

Mode of Travel and Durability:  Ensure your backpack is of good quality.  One that will withstand all kind of treatment from pushing to shoving to being dragged.  For those that intend to use public transport while in Kenya, then be prepared to have your backpack packed at the top of buses and minivans carriers.  Durability is therefore of paramount importance.  The train is a little moderate as you are allowed to stay with your luggage in your compartment.  There are cheap flights that fly within the country and are relatively comfortable.  Find out the amount of weight allowance that is allowed by the airline company.  Public transport does not limit the amount of load one need to carry although in some cases one may experience scrupulous bus or minivan touts that may want to exploit travellers by charging a small fee.

Weather condition: The weather condition will equally determine the type of backpack that you will need to carry.  Ensure that your backpack allows for good airflow.  You do not want to have a foul smell coming from your backpack due to dampened items.  For those travelling to Kenya during the cold season, it is advisable to have a waterproof backpack.  You do not want to have all your clothes and other items all wet should you experience heavy rain while on your adventure.  It is worth noting that during the wet season does have a lot of backpack travellers.  The hot and warm season is most ideal as one can explore more.  Consider the dust; hence ensure your backpack can withstand dusty conditions, and that it can be easily cleaned.

Where to locally purchase: Most cities and towns across Kenya have open stores i.e. supermarkets that have got a variety of backpacks.  Most are of cheap material and may not be very durable or ideal for heavy-duty backpacking, however, there are specialist shops that cater to the avid backpacker.  Nairobi has a variety of these shops.

The cheaper backpacks that are readily available are ideal for day backpacks.  There are also locally made kiondo backpacks.  These are handwoven and are made from sisal combined with leather straps.  The kiondo backpack is an ideal souvenir and is also suitable for day trips and also as a front backpack. The kiondo backpacks are available from curio shops across the country and also at open-air markets like the Maasai market located at various locations in Nairobi.

Style N’ design of the best travel backpacks 

Although the style and design of the type of backpack a traveller may purchase will highly depend on the individuals taste, we highlight a few pointers that one may consider while purchasing that backpack.

The Straps

Comfortable straps are a must.  You do not want to purchase a backpack that feels uncomfortable to the shoulders especially.  The shoulder straps need to well-padded and should not feel like they are dragging the carrier backwards due to the weight.  The straps also need to be firm enough to withstand heavyweight.  Find out if the backpack has got hip straps and or hips belts.  These are very ideal as they ensure that there is no much movement of your luggage and also lessen the weight that would otherwise be hanging.

The compartments and pockets

How are the compartments in the backpack?  These include pockets that are ideal for your water and other most used backpack gears at the easy reach.  Inside the backpack, it should be divided into compartments.  This will assist one while packing and ensure that one can look for items needs without having to empty everything in the backpack.

The Size of the best travel backpacks for Kenya

There are a huge array of backpacks in the market. However, depending on the duration of stay, it is important to purchase of chooses a backpack that will be ideal in size.  The sizes that have known to be most popular are the 3,000 cubic inches.  However, if you do not intend to carry a lot of stuff one may carry an adjustable backpack that can be folded and zipped at the bottom of the side to reduce the size and then increase the space are one goes on accumulating stuff from the safari.  My advice is to carry a large and small-sized bag that can be used as the day backpack while the larger one carries most of your amenities.

Check your security best travel backpacks for Kenya

Although Kenya is a safe country, your security highly depends on you.  Ensure that your backpack is well secured and the pockets do not expose your content hence attracting thieves of pick-picketers. Keep your valuable items in your day bag.  It is also advisable to purchase thick material backpacks that will not easily be scratched and tore and expose your valuables.  Also, lock in your items using a padlock; some backpacks come with safety locks that only need a combination.  Finally, make sure that all your valuables are insured.  You do not want to experience theft and left stranded.  Your insurer should be in a position to compensate you should you experience any kind of loss be it a theft case, loss of luggage by the airline of the bus company.

Kenyatalii’s verdict:  Where you intend to visits in Kenya, ensure that your backpack meets all your intended needs.  Choosing the best travel backpacks in Kenya can be one of the toughest decisions that one needs to make especially for new backpackers.


  1. Hi Kenyatalii,

    You have outdone yourself this time.
    This is probably the best, ost concise step-by-step guide I have ever seen on how to choose your perfect backpack.

    Me myself I have the light one and also a way too big one. And it always has a place for my beard care products. Especially on long travels it´s necessary to look after yourself.

    greetings from a bearded traveler

    • Hello bearded Traveler,

      Thank you for the compliments. Always a pleasure to share tips, stories and guides on how to best travel and experience Kenya on a budget.


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