Packing for a trip can be a stressful task. Whether it’s a fun, quick getaway, a long business commitment, or something in between, a versatile travel backpack is vital in minimizing travel chaos. It needs to be easy to carry, spacious enough for all the essentials, but accommodating for space limitations, and it should also provide organizational help. Finding the best travel backpacks on the market can be challenging because there are many options.
Whether you’re a one-bag traveler, a frequent business traveler who carries work and personal items, or a vacationer with lots of stuff, it’s crucial to have the best travel backpack to suit your needs. Different requirements have different levels of importance to each traveler. There isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” that is best for all travel scenarios, but there is one that will meet your specific needs.
Certain trips require specific items to ensure fun and success. Do you love to hike? It may be time to finally check off that amazing hiking trip from your bucket list! A good travel backpack is vital to these plans. The adventurous hiker needs a backpack that accommodates a variety of gear. It should be sturdy and durable, as well as spacious. It should also be light and compact enough to be carried and stowed efficiently.
Are you ready to go on that much-needed romantic getaway? A recent survey of 2,000 adults found that 42 percent of them reignited the spark in their relationship on a vacation. The right travel backpack can help make sure you don’t forget anything and ruin the trip! Bottom line…no matter what kind of trip you’re taking, the best travel backpack that suits your needs is essential!
So, what are the top five best travel backpacks? There are numerous options to choose from and experts have listed their favorites. Combing through all the selections to find the best travel backpack to suit your needs can be exhausting and challenging. But don’t worry, we’re here to help! StudyFinds visited 10 expert websites and sorted through all the research to find the top five perfect packs for you! Do you already have a favorite that’s not listed below? Please share it with us in the comments below.
The List: Best Travel Backpacks, According To Experts
This bag was named Best Overall on multiple lists. Gear Junkie says, “Perfect is a dirty word in product design, but we’re about stumped when it comes to drumming up a quibble about the Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L.”
“Some backpacks tack on too many features, leading to too heavy materials, overly cramped spaces, or just too many extraneous elements. Not so with Peak Design’s backpack, which is thoughtful and restrained. Despite having a ton of functionality, this pack remains lightweight and easy to access,” adds Indie Traveller.
Matthew Karsten, a professional backpacker and reviewer on Expert Vagabond raves, “The best-designed backpack I’ve tested so far, the Peak Design Travel Backpack has loads of space, makes it easy to access your gear, and the quality is fantastic. It’s designed with packing cubes in mind, and minimizes the number of extra pockets located around the bag.”
The versatility, style, and features make this backpack a revered favorite of the experts.
“We love that the customizable straps allow you to go from backpack mode to briefcase, thanks to the side carrying handle and that the bag comes with a removable hard shell for sunglasses. More fun details: The clamshell bag has more than 20 pockets (mesh, zippered, hidden … you name it!) a luggage sleeve, a retractable key leash, a full-perimeter zipper for easy access, and cord pass-through holes for seamless charging during your travels. Yep, Nomatic has thought of everything,” reports CNN.
Calling it their Best Overall Backpack, The Broke Backpacker states, “Whether you need a backpack for a business trip or are a digital nomad traveling the world, this will keep your laptop and valuables well secured all while looking stylish. If you are a modern traveler who spends a lot of time in urban environments, the Nomatic Travel Bag is an awesome backpack. It looks great, is feature-rich, and can pack a lot more than it looks like. Nomatic is one of the biggest players in the backpack niche – this bag is why.”
“From a dedicated underwear pocket to power cord management, this carry-on backpack has thought of everything a millennial business traveler could ever want. It converts into a duffel bag and has a dedicated laptop pocket. It also easily attaches to a rolling suitcase,” according to Karsten on Expert Vagabond.
This handy pack made multiple lists with clear reasons why! Gear Junkie’s selection for Best Carrying Travel Backpack, this pack is described as “…easily the best load carrier of any we tested and a close contender for the best travel backpack overall. Far beyond what any of the other travel packs offer, the pack even allows you to adjust the torso length — unheard of in the typical travel pack. Newly updated, these packs have been tweaked to ride the line between traditional backpacks and functional luggage, a claim we can substantiate.”
“Whereas many other travel packs stash straps away into the body of the pack, the Farpoint and Fairview move in the opposite direction with a deployable strap cover that neatly seals in the suspension for safekeeping when checked. This produces a clean profile that’s ready to be slung around,” Gear Junkie continues.
The Broke Backpacker says, “If you are looking for a nearly indestructible carry-on backpack which can carry, and compartmentalize, a lot of stuff – this backpack might be your match made in heaven.” This list dubbed the Osprey Farpoint as “the best value carry-on backpack on the market right now.”
The space and organizational features of this backpack resulted in its selection as one of the best. The Cotopaxi Allpa is Gear Junkie’s pick for Best of the Rest. “These powerhouse travel backpacks are sturdy, versatile, and built to last,” according to the review on their website.
Indie Traveller says this backpack has “amazing internal organization (no packing cubes needed)” and that it “comes with all the features you’ll need — whether it’s for a quick weekend trip or an epic adventure.” This was their top pick for a budget-friendly carry-on.
CNN claims, “A critically hailed favorite, this Cotopaxi Allpa backpack is loaded with bells and whistles that are bound to impress. First of all, the 35-liter bag can be packed like a traditional suitcase with zippered mesh compartments but strapped on like a traditional backpack.” The praise continues with, “Second, it’s got a padded laptop sleeve. And beyond that, it’s got a bunch of other great design details like four grab handles, a sternum strap, and a removable hip belt, not to mention a slew of carabiner loops.”
Its larger size, unique, suitcase-like access, and various organizational features solidify this last choice as one of the best. The Broke Backpacker states, “Its quality build, intuitive design, fantastic organization, and smaller size make it the perfect compact travel bag for anyone who wants to travel light, but travel in style. The Outbreaker’s design enables its main compartment to be opened like a suitcase – which is 10 times more convenient than a traditional backpackers backpack.”
“With mesh pockets breaking up the main compartment as well as two front pockets, two external water bottle pockets, and special laptop and tablet sleeves, the bag is highly organized despite its large size. It also has padded straps plus hip and sternum belts to help you carry the fully loaded pack with ease,” US News & World Report says about its choice for Best Large Travel Backpack.
Pack Hacker describes one unique feature: “The star of the show has to be the hip belt, though. It takes so much of the load off the back that, in some instances, you can see a gap between the shoulder straps and the shoulders—that’s how much weight it can shift, even with a fully packed load. Plus, pockets built into this hip belt give you a place to stuff everyday items like your smartphone or lip balm. They’re easy to reach and are a good enough reason to keep using the hip belt even if you don’t need the extra support.”
Now that you have the list of the top five best travel backpacks, you can save time on research and use it to plan your next trip! Have fun!
- US News & World Report
- Gear Junkie
- Clever Hiker
- Pack Hacker
- The Broke Backpacker
- Indie Traveller
- Outdoor Gear Lab
- Expert Vagabond
- Gear Patrol
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.