The Best Travel Backpacks for Travelers

Everyone has a sense of adventure and wants to get out there and see the world, and everyone is going to need a quality backpack. After all, when you’re out there exploring the wide-open world, your home is on your back – having the right gear is, therefore, essential.

Having traveled throughout the world, I know a thing or two about what makes a good travel backpack. It’s definitely a decision not to be taken lightly, and it can be challenging to find the right backpack that suits your specific needs.

So, I’ve made a list of the best backpacks for travelers for every occasion and every budget. But before we dive into the details, let’s take a look at the set of criteria that needs to be considered when choosing a travel backpack.

What we considered

Every traveler has their own requirements when it comes to choosing the ideal backpack. The following are the essential attributes that we looked at when it came to judging the best backpacks for travelers.

Size & weight

A compact backpack is worth its weight in gold. You want to be able to accommodate all of your luggage without taking up mountains of space. Also, lightweight backpacks come in very handy in terms of keeping below the luggage allowance limit. The less your backpack weighs, the more you can take with you on your travels.

Material

A backpack made from durable materials is important, whatever kind of traveling you’ll be doing. For those planning to head out into the great outdoors, it’s even more important to invest in a rugged, robust backpack that stands the test of time and can withstand the elements.

Design

For some, the style will be a big selling point. Having something that’s chic and looks like the part might be right at the top of the list, ahead of functionality even. Other travelers might prefer a more low-key style. Either way, there’s no doubt that the look of a travel backpack is important. 

Having well-designed, padded back panels and waist and shoulder strap, with extra features like carrying handles, can make all the difference. 

Functionality

The best backpacks for travelers have great functionality that makes them a joy to use. Everything from pocket placement to accessibility, compression straps, and lockable zippers makes a difference when it comes to choosing your ideal travel backpack.

Price

Some travelers will be looking for something simple and practical at a low price point. Others will want something high-end and expertly made that will last a long time. Whatever your budget, there are plenty of great value-for-money travel backpacks out there. 

Best travel backpacks for men

Whether it’s for a weekend getaway, a business trip, or a big adventure in the great outdoors, there are some great options for men’s travel backpacks. Here are our favorites:

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Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack

Made from ultra-waterproof fabric and made to last a very long time, this is an amazing travel backpack for those looking for something robust, durable, and loaded with great features. Simply put, you won’t find too many better backpacks for travelers on the market.

Osprey Porter 46 Travel Backpack

A versatile we getaway bag; that’s perfect for the modern traveler. Stowable shoulder straps and hipbelt mean it’s easy to convert from a backpack carry to a duffel-style bag. The simple classic design is matched only by its functionality – you won’t find many more comfortable travel backpacks out there.

Best travel backpacks for women: functional and fashionable

When it comes to that sacred blend of functional and fashionable, there are some great travel backpacks for women out there. Let’s take a look at our favorites:

Fjällräven Kånken Water-resistant Backpack

With its minimalist, Scandinavian chic design, there’s no wonder this backpack is such a popular backpack choice for women. Water-resistant materials, simple and functional design, a whole host of great features back it one of the very best on the market, at an affordable price too.

Longchamp Le Pliage Backpack

Backpacks for women don’t come much more stylish than this one. If you want something small, lightweight, and elegant, then this might be the best option for you. 

Best carry on backpacks for travel

One of the most practical ways to travel, carry-on backpacks are excellent for those travelers who need something compact yet large enough to carry plenty of luggage. In the age of budget airline travel, finding the right carry on backpack is very important: 

Peak Design 45L Travel Backpack

Expensive yet worth every penny, this is a fantastically well-made carry-on compliant backpack that ticks every box. Compact, functional, weather-resistant, and classically stylish, it’s a great option for just about every kind of traveler.

eBags Pro Slim Weekender

More on the compact side, this travel bag has a beautiful simplicity to its design. It mixes old-school charm with modern ingenuity, perfect for everyone from digital nomads to freewheeling adventurers.

Best small backpack for travel: good options for any trip

For those traveling light, savvy, intelligent design and lightweight materials are a must. Here are our favorite compact, lightweight travel backpacks on the market: 

Timbuk2 Uptown Backpack

A versatile backpack that is equally at home on the daily commute as it is on an adventurous weekend away. Great materials, excellent design and ultra-comfortable make it one of the best small backpacks out there at the moment. 

Zomake Ultra Lightweight Backpack

Water-resistant, decent capacity, and very lightweight, this is a great choice for travelers on a budget.

Best laptop backpacks for travel: Ideal for digital nomads

Digital nomads have specific needs when it comes to travel backpacks. Comfort, functionality, and compactness are key. Here are some of the best:

Monsdle Travel Laptop Backpack 

Elegant style meets modern practicality. Dedicated laptop storage and plenty of well-placed pockets for those extra devices and chargers. It’s also very compact and even converts to a tote.

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