The Best Traveling Backpack for Every Adventure

Backpacks have been a staple of the backpacker lifestyle long before it was cool. A traveling backpack allows you to carry all your things in a large, organized way while keeping your hands free. When hitting the road, there are numerous styles and sizes to choose from, but how do you know which one will be the best for you?

Whether you’re a backpacker, a traveler, or a digital nomad, a good traveling backpack can be a valuable asset on your next adventure. In this article, I’ll help you find your perfect bag with some useful tips. Let’s get started!

How to Select the Best Traveling Backpack?

Different types of men can handle different size backpacks, so size needs to be one of your primary concerns. But it’s not all about size, here are the first things you should consider.

Budget

Price is an important factor to consider when choosing a traveling backpack. Set a budget before shopping to narrow down your options for this important piece of travel gear. It’s also important to consider your needs, the required features, and the duration and frequency of use. 

By keeping your budget in mind and carefully researching your options, you can find a high-quality travel backpack that fits your needs without spending extra money.

Size

A traveling backpack is specifically designed for individuals who are frequently on the go. These backpacks are typically larger than traditional backpacks and have various features that make them ideal for travel. ​​Ultimately, choosing the right size travel backpack will ensure that it is comfortable to wear and able to hold all your belongings and travel memories.

A backpack that is too large for your body may cause strain on your shoulders and back and make it difficult to carry for long periods. If you’re doing a lot of hiking or backpacking, you’ll also want to consider the size of your pack in relation to your body size and strength.

Material

Material is an essential factor to consider when choosing a travel backpack, as it can affect the durability and functionality of the pack. Different materials have different properties, such as weight, strength, water resistance, and breathability. Choosing the right material for your backpack will ensure that it is durable, functional, and suitable for the type of trip you’re planning.

Zippers

When choosing a traveling backpack, it’s also important to consider its type of zipper, as this can affect the security and accessibility of your belongings. It’s also important to test the zippers and ensure they open and close smoothly and are easy to use. There are several zippers to choose from, including coil zippers, tooth zippers, waterproof zippers, and locking zippers.

Weather Resistance

A backpack made of weather-resistant materials such as nylon or polyester or a waterproof coating can help protect your belongings as you travel. Additionally, having a backpack with a rain cover can provide an extra layer of protection in case of sudden rain.

A weather-resistant travel backpack can ensure that your belongings are protected and that your pack is durable and long-lasting, even in adverse weather conditions. This can provide peace of mind and make your trip more enjoyable, regardless of the weather.

Straps

Backpack straps are responsible for supporting the weight of the bag, and its contents, so durable materials are a must to withstand regular use. 

Therefore, it is important to consider the straps’ quality, comfort, and appearance when choosing a bag. A bag with sleek, well-designed straps will look more polished and professional than one with shoddy straps.

Back panel

A back panel in a traveling bag is an important feature for several reasons. 

Most traveling backpacks have a padded back panel to cushion the weight. Some feature a hard steel frame inside to support the backrest and help with the ventilation system of the backpack. Overall, a back panel offers added support, comfort, stability, ventilation, and protection for the bag and its contents.

Packing cups

Packing cups are essential features for any traveling bag, as they offer organization, space-saving, ease of use, and protection for the bag’s interior and contents. Using packing cups can make packing and unpacking more efficient, as items can be quickly taken out or put back in their designated spaces.

Why Backpacks vs. Suitcases

Portable

Backpacks are more portable than suitcases, perfect for digital nomads. They can be worn on the back, allowing for hands-free movement and greater mobility in crowded or tight spaces, such as public transportation or busy streets. Backpacks also have the option to be worn in the front; this way, they can be more secure, especially in crowded places, avoiding theft. 

Lightweight

Backpacks offer greater weight savings and ease of use than suitcases, making them a more lightweight option for travel. They are worn on the back, which distributes the weight evenly across the body, reducing strain on the shoulders and arms. This makes travel backpacks much easier to carry, especially for extended periods. Suitcases, on the other hand, must be wheeled or carried.

Versatile

Backpacks offer greater versatility and durability than suitcases, as they have multiple compartments and pockets that allow easy organization and access to your belongings. On the other hand, suitcases typically have fewer organizational options and are geared toward packing for travel.

Is a 50L Backpack Big Enough for Traveling?

A 50L backpack can be a suitable size for traveling, depending on the length of your trip and the number of items you plan to bring with you.

A 50L backpack is considered a medium-sized backpack, typically holding enough clothes and personal items for a week-long trip or a weekend getaway. However, a larger backpack may be more appropriate if you’re planning a longer trip or need to bring more items, such as electronics or outdoor gear.

Ultimately, the size of the backpack that’s appropriate depends on your unique needs and preferences. Consider the length of your trip, the types of activities you’ll be doing, and the amount and type of gear you’ll need to bring with you.

What Size of Backpacks Are Allowed on a Plane?

Sizes of backpacks allowed on a plane vary per airline and the type of flight. 

Typically, most airlines allow passengers to bring a carry-on bag, such as a backpack, that fits within the carry-on baggage size restrictions. These restrictions typically state that the bag must not exceed a certain linear dimension, such as 45 inches or 115 centimeters. Your bag should fit in the overhead bin or under your front seat.

It’s always best to check with your specific airline for their carry-on baggage size restrictions and any additional restrictions for your flight. Some airlines have a weight limit for carry-on baggage as well.

Best Travel Backpacks for 2023

  1. Aer Aerfit 3
  2. Knack 
  3. Able Carry 30L 
  4. Aer Travel Pack 2
  5. Minaal Carry-on 2.0 
  6. Aer Duffel Pack 3
  7. Gregory Rhune F22

Best Small Traveling Backpack

Aer Fit Pack 3

Souce: Aer

Specs

  • 1680D Cordura® nylon exterior
  • YKK® zippers
  • Duraflex® plastic hardware
  • Front-load compartment
  • Padded mesh back panel
  • Luggage handle
  • Sternum strap
  • Padded laptop pocket (fits up to 16″ laptop)
  • Ventilated shoe compartment (can fit up to 13 shoes)
  • Exterior water bottle pockets

Price: $179

Dimensions

  • Length: 20.5″ (52 cm)
  • Width: 11.75″ (30 cm)
  • Depth: 8″ (20 cm)

With the Duffel Pack 3, it’s no longer necessary to carry your gear separately from your gear for work. This hybrid duffel bag is designed for your gym and office, featuring two separate compartments for all your workout gear and two zip pockets for all your work essentials. With this bag, you’ll be able to move from the gym to your office without looking out of place.

Pros

Aer Fit Pack 3 is the perfect travel companion for your outdoor adventures. It’s lightweight, compact, and well-balanced, making it ideal for traveling everywhere.

Cons

While the Aer Fit Pack 3 is a quality bag with no glaring design flaws, there are more spacious bags for gym use.

Gregory Rhune F22

Specs

  • Front zippered compartment with interior mesh pockets
  • Interior mesh zippered pocket with pen slots
  • Swing-around-access stash pocket with key clip and includes a side exterior
  • Side stretch-mesh bottle pocket
  • Front reflective attachment loops
  • Made from recycled content, netting 57% reduction in the carbon footprint 
  • AirCushion foamless back panel 
  • Digi harness pocket 
  • Padded, contoured shoulder harness
  • Accessed externally, padded laptop sleeve with tablet/folio sleeve
  • Padded top grab handle
  • Custom ComfortGrip molded zipper pulls

Price: $139.95

Dimensions

  • Weight: 1.94 lbs. / 880 kg
  • Volume: 22 L / 1343 cu in.
  • Packed Dimensions: 19″ x 13″ x 7.5″ / 48.3 x 33 x 19 cm
  • Torso: 16″ – 21″ / 40.64 – 53.34 cm
  • Max Carry Weight: 20 lbs. / 9.1 kg

Description

The Gregory Rhune 22 Pack is perfect for active travelers and everyday commuters. 

The pack is designed with active travelers in mind. It’s durable enough to withstand daily use and lightweight for packing as you travel. ​​ The Gregory Rhune F22 Pack is the perfect pack for anyone who works up a sweat. 

Its fabrics are made from recycled polyester materials that result in a 57% reduction in your carbon footprint. It should be noted that this pack is one of the few packs included on this list that is made from recycled materials – so it’s a big deal!

Pros

The Gregory Rhune F22 pack is designed for active users in everyday circumstances. Even better, it’s made from recycled materials. It has a streamlined design that weighs just over one pound and can hold everything you need for a day of adventure– no matter how long or short.

Cons

The Gregory Rhune F22 pack has many great features and is well-made, but it also has some drawbacks. This small, lightweight pack offers basic storage options and is mostly only suitable for daypacks and backpacking. This travel backpack is not recommended for longer trips or climbing mountains.

Travel Backpack for Women

Knack Medium Expandable Pack (Series 2)

Specs

  • Easy-access, computer pocket for 15″ laptops
  • Black metal Knack logo hardware
  • Custom-developed, durable, water-resistant body fabric
  • Molded, comfort-cool foam back panel
  • Spacious main compartment 
  • Hidden, zip-away side water bottle pocket
  • Zip tuck-away back storage pocket 
  • Side handle for easy carry
  • YKK™ water-resistant zipper with custom-designed pullers

Price: $265

Dimensions

  • Pack Dimensions (LxWxD):
  • Unexpanded: 19″ x 12″ x 4.5″
  • Expanded: 19″ x 12″ x 9″

Volume:

  • Unexpanded: 24 Liters
  • Expanded: 35 Liters
  • Weight: 3 pounds

Laptop Pocket Dimensions (LxWxD):

  • Pocket Opening: 15.5″
  • Dimensions: 15.75″ x 11″ x 2″ (fits 15″ laptop)

Description

The Knack Medium Expandable Pack Series 2 is made from good materials and has a pleasing design. 

The material feels sturdy but light enough. It can be worn either over the shoulder or across the back. The shoulder straps have a padded section for comfort, though it could be softer than the other bags I’ve used recently. The main compartment has two side pockets with mesh sections for ventilation—a nice touch for keeping your hands cool when carrying hot items like laptops or tablets.

Pros

A relatively affordable, lightweight backpack that is great for everyday carry. It can be expanded to 35L, making it a great option to bring extra gear on trips.

Cons

A decent daily carry bag that can be expanded to 35L. This does impact carry comfort, though. This bag has a lot of pockets and is easy to organize with its compartments. There might be better bags for someone who wants a simple bag they can pack up quickly or hit the road with.

Travel Backpack for Men

Able Carry Max Backpack

Source: Able

Price: $278

Dimensions:

  • Height: 52cm (20.5in)
  • Width: 32cm (12.5in)
  • Depth: 20cm (8in)

Volume:

  • Total Capacity: 30L
  • Main Compartment: 25L
  • Weight: 3.8 pounds

Laptop Pocket Dimensions:

  • Dimensions: Up to 17″ devices or up to:
  • H41 x W28 x D4cm
  • 16.1” x 11” x 1.5”

Description

The Able Carry Max Backpack combines a strong cast of materials with flexible attachment points & pockets, though we wish quick access were streamlined.

A spacious main compartment is enough to fit your laptop along with a few books and other items you’d like to take along on an outing—no need for an overnight bag! And there are two smaller pockets along either side of the main compartment, perfect for pens or other small essentials.

Pros

It’s the perfect bag for anyone who wants to travel light and carry their essentials. 

It’s made from a durable nylon exterior that withstands anything you throw at it, and the interior is lined with a soft fleece material that makes it easy to carry your laptop or tablet. All attachment points are located near the top of the bag, where they will only get in your way when you’re just trying to get out of a restaurant or store quickly.

Cons

Its textured pattern might appeal to some, and it has a tricky rear pocket that only supports a few compartments.

Best Fashionable Travel Backpack

Aer Travel Pack 2

Source: Aer

Specs

  • Laptop pocket (fits up to 15.6″ laptop)
  • YKK® zippers
  • Duraflex® plastic hardware
  • Expandable pocket for water bottles
  • Padded back panel for enhanced comfort and breathability
  • Internal frame sheet provides structure and support
  • Back panel pass-through for luggage handles
  • 1680D Cordura® ballistic nylon exterior
  • Lay-flat main compartment
  • Roomy shoe compartment (fits up to men’s size 13 shoes)
  • Side compression straps 
  • Padded top and side handles 
  • Lockable zippers for additional security  

Price: $230

Dimensions

  • Length: 21.5″ (55 cm)
  • Width: 13.5″ (34 cm)
  • Depth: 8.5″ (22 cm)
  • Volume: 33.0 L

Weight: 3.7 lbs

Description

Travel Pack 2 is a travel backpack designed to stay organized. The pack comes with a built-in laptop sleeve, so you can easily store your computer and other electronics in one place, and it also has a separate compartment for your clothes–so everything stays organized.

You can fit everything you need for an entire trip in the main compartment. From toiletries, clothes, books, and even an extra pair of shoes! The front pocket has plenty of space for your wallet or keys, so there’s no need to worry about leaving anything behind at check-in.

Pros

The first feature of this pack is its padded laptop compartment, which distributes weight evenly across the bag’s back panel. The second feature is its waterproof lining for protection against water damage–whether it’s rain or snow, this pack will keep everything inside dry!

Cons

One of the most common cons of Travel Pack 2 is that it only has a little space for your clothes. 

If you’re traveling by plane, this isn’t as much of an issue because you can throw your clothes in a carry-on bag and bring them with you on the plane. But if you’re planning on taking a car or train from one place to another, it’s important to pack light so that you don’t have to carry extra weight when you arrive at your destination.

Best Backpack for Outdoors

Minaal Carry-on 2.0

Source: Minaal

Specs

  • Quality 600D nylon fabric with 1000D nylon
  • Quick-access bottle holder with adjustable bungee cord
  • Lockable YKK zippers 
  • Seam-sealed Rain cover 
  • Lie-flat clamshell scoop to help increase capacity 
  • 4-point harness adjustment system for added comfort
  • Fitted with durable Woojin & Duraflex buckles
  • Includes patented DeviceNest™ shock-proof device sleeve 
  • Compliant with US and UK airline carry-on limits
  •  

Price: $299

Dimensions

  • Weight: 1.41kg / 3.12lb
  • LxWxH: 55 x 35 x 20 cm / 21.6 x 13.7 x 7.87 in
  • Capacity: 35L

Description

The Minaal Carry-on 2.0 is a bag for those who get things done while on the go. It’s designed to keep you streamlined and agile – wherever you roam. The minimalist aesthetic and shock-proof laptop compartment will help you keep moving quickly.

Pros

The Minaal Carry-on 2.0 has a seam-sealed rain cover to keep your gear dry, tuck away the shoulder straps, and convert your backpack to a briefcase. The Carry-on 2.0 supports productive movers and makers – built to last a lifetime!

Cons

Although it has many features and is ideal for everyday travel, the Minaal Carry-on 2.0 can be quite expensive, especially for those looking to save money. So if you’ll hardly use the bag, it’s a better fit to look for a less expensive traveling backpack.

Best Carry-on Backpack for International Travel

Aer Duffel Pack 3

Source: Aer

Specs

  • 1680D Cordura® ballistic nylon exterior
  • YKK® zippers
  • Suspended and padded laptop pocket (fits up to 16″ laptop)
  • Water bottle pockets located on the exterior
  • Padded back panel for comfort and breathability
  • Luggage handle pass-through 
  • Duraflex® plastic hardware
  • Interior liner treated with antimicrobial coating 
  • Front-load main compartment 
  • Shoe compartment (fits up to 13 shoes)
  • Sternum strap for comfort and stability

Price: $179

Dimensions

  • Length: 20.5″ (52 cm)
  • Width: 11.75″ (30 cm)
  • Depth: 8″ (20 cm)

Description

With the Duffel Pack 3, it’s no longer necessary to carry your gear separately from your gear for work. This hybrid duffel bag is designed for your gym and office, featuring two separate compartments for all your workout gear and two zip pockets for all your work essentials.

Pros

This is a great bag that provides a lot of versatility. It can be a gym bag, work bag, travel bag, and even a tennis bag. This bag does the job perfectly!

Cons

Some cons of the Duffel Pack 3 is that it did not retain the wide front pocket from its previous version. Its new style takes some time to get used to as well.

If you pack smart, there will be nothing to worry about. Your trip will be a success if you have a well-balanced travel backpack to take with you, especially if you plan on traveling to countries with varying weather conditions. Whether a digital nomad or frequent traveler, we hope this article helps you choose the best travel backpacks based on your needs.

This article originally appeared on Savoteur.