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Purpose-built travel backpacks are available for nearly every sort of travel activity. Some are optimized for business or professional international travel. Others are designed for certain sorts of outdoor activity, such as hiking or canoeing. Still others are intended for use by men and women traveling the globe as backpacking tourists.
Backpacks that are optimized for use by more professional travelers typically include some specialized features common to most travel luggage. This sort of travel backpack may have wheels and an extendible handle for ease of transport on smooth airport floors. Such wheeled backpacks are generally designed to fit in the standard allotted space for carry-on luggage, so that travelers in a hurry can pack carefully and not need to check any baggage, saving time and money in the process. In some cases, this type of travel backpack may include a chest strap and internal frame, as well, for better weight distribution.
Other travel backpacks are designed for specific types of leisure travel. The external frame backpack is not widely-used but is still available and offers a hiker the ability to mount gear directly to a frame in whatever configuration he desires. This, in turn, makes it easier to access specific items of gear. These packs usually include waist and chest straps to allow a load to be balanced and carried safely.
Many hikers opt instead for internal frame travel backpacks. This type of travel backpack features several zippered compartments in which gear can be stored. Packs in this style usually include side pockets for water bottles as well and feature straps similar to those used by external frame packs, which allow a load to be correctly positioned for comfort and ease of movement.
Specialized packs are available for people traveling by boat or canoe, as well. This type of pack is designed to provide waterproof storage for goods during canoeing and also to enable the portaging of supplies. These packs are not ideally suited to long hikes, as they are usually designed to hold a larger volume of gear, as canoe campers can carry more equipment than backpackers.
An additional category of travel backpack is meant for use by urban backpackers. These packs, which are fairly similar to hiking packs, are designed to hold a good deal of gear and to be comfortable when worn and walked with for extended periods. This type of travel backpack also tends to include features such as expansion zippers to open up extra space, if needed, and small day packs, which can be detached to carry a few key items while the larger pack is left in a hotel or hostel.