Traveling with a backpack is easy! But choosing the best backpack for travel is a bit more complicated.
That’s why we asked 15 top travel bloggers which travel backpack they have, why they love it, and why it could be the perfect backpack for you.
The list of good travel backpacks in the market is big, and picking the right model and right features is quite hard. So before doing any purchases, read our travel backpack review, I’m sure you gonna find one that is the perfect match for your travel style.
Why do you need a good backpack for traveling?
The reasons to buy a travel backpack are endless! They are easy to carry around, with different sizes, shapes, and styles.
The large travel backpacks work perfectly as checked-in luggage, for minimalist travelers, the carry-on backpacks are the best solution to travel light. And if you are worried that you might not be able to carry the backpack on your shoulders all the time, you can buy a travel backpack with wheels and roll it around when necessary.
Bottom line, a good backpack can give you the freedom to walk around, have your hands free to snap photos, to do the check-in in airports, and even go to places where a suitcase would be hard to carry. So now let’s go to our travel backpack review!
FYI, for the hikers out there, we have a dedicated list for you with the best backpacks for hiking.
Travel Backpack Review:
Best Backpack for Travel by Top Travel Bloggers
To make your life easy, our list of best travel backpacks is divided by size. There are three groups of best backpacks for travel: the carry-on backpacks, the large backpacks [also called checked-in backpacks], and the convertible ones [travel backpacks with wheels].
To be on the safe side and to not have any problem when boarding on your next trip, we used as reference the measures of Ryanair carry-on luggage, known for being one of the most strict airlines in Europe. For them, a carry-on travel backpack must be 55cm x 40cm x 20cm and weigh 10 kg.
Best Backpack For Travelling Carry-on
For those who want to travel light here is a list of the best carry-on backpack for travel, from adventure models to urban and stylish travel bags.
Our choice: Standard Luggage
Since February we changed our way of packing and traveling. We ditched our large backpacks and started traveling only with a carry-on size bag. We both have Standard Luggage and love them. It’s spacious, easy to carry around, has an urban style, and fits everything we need for our nomadic life.
We wrote a blog post about our bag transition and why we choose the Standard Luggage as our favorite travel backpack. If you are not sure of how much stuff you can pack in a carry-on backpack watch our packing video and learn how we choose our clothes and pack wisely. Also, you can find practical tips on how to pack shoes for travel here.
Laura Lynch from Savored Journeys: Mountain Hardwear Enterprise 33
“ It took me a while to find the perfect backpack that wasn’t designed and meant for backpacking, but instead fit my needs as an urban traveler who prefers to pack light. The Mountain Hardwear Enterprise 33 is perfect for a trip of 7-10 days, with a well-appropriated 33 liters of space. It has a sturdy, but soft, breathable back panel that makes carrying it effortless, even when it’s packed full. And even when we think it’s totally full, there’s always room to stuff in one more thing. It has one large and one medium interior pocket for the bulky items, and plenty of outer zipper pockets to store a tablet, Kindle, headphones and other odds-and-ends that we want to keep handy. I’ve tried many backpacks, but I stopped looking once I found this one. ”
Want a carry-on travel backpack with an urban style? Check all the details of this backpack, the price, and how you can buy a Mountain Hardwear Enterprise 33.
Alisson Green from Eternal Arrival: Tortuga 44 liters
“ I am an avowed carry-on traveler, and the Tortuga is an ideal backpack for those purposes. It’s 44 liters and it’s able to fit quite a bit, thanks to its special rectangular shape that makes it perfect for packing cubes. It also has a laptop sleeve, pockets on the hip belts and on the sides of the bag, and plenty of interior organizers. The only downside is it’s not super comfortable for long distances, like hiking or trekking, but it’s fine for airports and walking to and from the bus or train station. ”
Here you find more info about the Tortuga 44 liters carry-on backpack. Interested in packing cubes? Check out this selection of packing cubes!
Sharon Gourlay from Where’s Sharon: Kelty Women’s Redwing 40-Liter
“ To say I love my Kelty Women’s Redwing 40-Liter Backpack is an understatement – it’s the best! It’s perfect for travelers who want to travel carry-on only while taking as much as they can as it holds a crazy amount. I fit everything I need for travel, my laptop, all our family toiletries, and even a big bag of nappies! It’s made especially for women so it’s super comfortable. I also love that it has a U shape zip so access is easy and it has a pocket for my laptop. ”
If Kelty Women’s Redwing 40-Liter Backpack looks like the best travel backpack for you, check here the price and how you can buy it.
Gianni & Ivana from Nomad is Beautiful: North Face Surge II
“ The North Face Surge II is ideal for those who travel light since it’s a carry-on sized bag. It‘s spacious, with lots of side and frontal pockets and a laptop sleeve at the back. The material is very resistant, too. The only downsides are that the shoulder straps are not well-padded and that the bag is top-loading, so you need to dig in deeply if you look for something at the bottom. Perfect for an RTW trip, but also a two-week vacation! ”
Check all the details of the North Face Surge II travel backpack, its price, and how you can buy this carry-on backpack for travel.
Veronika from Veronika’s Adventure: Backpack Columbia 20L
“ This is a great backpack for traveling – not too big, not too small. I usually use it as cabin luggage, and also for tours as a day backpack. I love that it has a separate soft compartment for the laptop, as I only travel with an ultrabook and I don’t want it to get hurt. When it rains, I can simply use the rain cover. This backpack gets handy on hiking tours, it is light and features two outside pockets for small water bottles. What an easy access! This backpack is also great for people who have their main luggage already and want to have a backpack just for the day. ”
For Columbia travel backpack fans, check here the different models, sizes and prices.
The Best Large Backpacks For Travel
If minimalist travel isn’t your thing, the next seven travel backpack reviews are for you! Great recommendations to buy a travel backpack that is good, comfortable to carry around, and can be used as checked-in luggage.
Gemma Armit from Two Scots Abroad: Vango Freedom 80 liter Backpack
“ I laugh when I look back at 2011 when I attempted to save money while purchasing a backpack. Let’s just say $40 gets you a disintegrated rucksack after three weeks of holidaying! Since Craig and I were taking 18 months out to travel, I researched hard intensely which backpack to buy and was willing to invest to ensure we returned with our belongings intact. I opted for the Vango Freedom 80-litre backpack for two reasons. Firstly, I liked how the rucksack zipped open like a suitcase – no rummaging about trying to find things at the bottom of the bag. Secondly, the 80-liter Vango comes with a small 20-liter day bag which zips on/off the larger backpack. This is handy for multi-day treks, days out in the city, and trips to the beach! ”
Find out what Gemma carries on her large travel backpack. Check her travel packing list for females, it’s awesome, especially if you go on a long-term trip. And here you can buy your Vango Freedom 80 liter Backpack.
Josh from Peanuts or Pretzels: Mountainsmith Lariat 65L
“ I currently use the Mountainsmith Lariat 65L backpack for our nomadic travels around the world. I love this bag. One of the biggest things I look for in a backpack is back support. I have had a bad back for years, and so it is important that I have a backpack that doesn’t strain my back while we travel. Another aspect of this pack that I love is the strong waist straps that help support the weight of the pack, currently at about 20 kg. Also, it helps to have sturdy straps that secure well so they don’t get damaged when we are checking my backpack at the airport. Lastly, there is a detachable 10 liters bag on the outside of this pack that can be removed for day trips; although it would be great if it were a little bit bigger. ”
Looking for the best backpack for travel that is strong and super comfy? Check Mountainsmith Lariat 65L details, price, and how you can have it too.
Natasha & Cameron from The World Pursuit: Osprey Farpoint 55L
“ The Osprey Farpoint 55L is possibly the greatest travel backpack of them all. It’s a panel-loading backpack made for travelers. It’s designed so it can be picked up like a normal suitcase or you can throw it on your back and go. The straps also zip up so they don’t get caught when checking the bag or throwing it in an overhead bin. One of its coolest features is the detachable day bag for exploring a city by day, no need for two packs. It’s become our go-to travel pack and add to the fact it’s an Osprey that comes with one of the best guarantees for outdoor equipment. ”
If Natasha and Cameron convinced you that Osprey Farpoint 55L is the best travel backpack don’t waste time, order it now and happy travels!
Claudia Tavani from My Adventures Across the World: Osprey Ariel 65
“ My old backpack abandoned me completely when I was traveling around Cambodia, so I had to get a new one. I opted for an Osprey Ariel 65, in red, which has proved fantastic so far. It fits my body perfectly, I can distribute the weight evenly, it has several pockets where I can fit my shoes and other accessories, and it has easy access to the main compartment – so that I don’t need to take everything out in order to reach what I need. ”
Erika from Erika’s Travels: Deuter ACT Lite 60+10
“ The Deuter ACT Lite 60+10 is a comfortable, adjustable and lightweight backpack that is perfect for camping and hiking enthusiasts. This women’s-specific pack has adjustable suspension, comfortable shoulder padding and a breathable air contact system along its spine. Although somewhat limited in its number of outside pockets, the pack’s multiple compartments are perfect for separating clean clothing from camping gear and shoes. The backpack’s expandable top makes it incredibly versatile in terms of size. I love the fact that the Deuter ACT Lite has enough room to carry gear for a multi-week trip. ”
The Osprey Ariel 65 and Deuter ACT Lite 60+10 are top travel backpacks for women or should say, perfect for wanderlust girls. Good for organizing your clothes and makeup, but strong enough for backpacking trips and outdoor adventure. Click on the name of the backpacks to find out all the details of the bags, why there are specific for women, and the advantages of traveling with them. If you are looking for a backpack or other cool gifts to give to an adventurous woman, check out this list of gifts for hikers.
Lauren from The Traveller’s Guide By #ljojlo: Caribee Mallorca 70L
“ The Caribee Mallorca 70L is our choice of backpack when traveling the globe. As a travel blogging couple, Jarrad and I love the fact we have matching bags (he has the 80L though)! Well, not really but we do have the same backpack because we think it is awesome for us. The backpack comes with the option of two separate compartments, which I love because I can keep my shoes separate. No one likes dirty shoes in amongst their clothes. It also has a day back attached to the front, which I love just for extra space whereas Jarrad actually uses it as a daypack, amazing huh? For any traveler backpacking around the globe, I couldn’t recommend this bag enough.”
In doubt between the Caribee Mallorca 70L or 80L? Check the size differences and choose the best travel backpack for you!
Carolin Pilligrath from Breathing Travels: Deuter ACT Trail Pro 40
“I’ve been on the road with the Deuter ACT Trail Pro 40 which is perfect for multiple day trips especially if you want to go a bit more adventurous, do longer hikes or equipment intense trips as it sits super comfortably on the shoulders and back. It has a two-way zipper so you can always reach the bottom of the bag with no worries. And yes, there are heaps of little zipper pockets to keep smaller items safe too. I have been traveling with this backpack full-time for well over a year now and only substitute it with another little trolley with wheels and often take it out with me on day trips and smaller overnight excursions. By itself, it may be a bit small when traveling to colder places or longer-term.”
Best Travel Backpack With Wheels or Convertible Backpacks
The convertible travel backpacks are a hybrid system that has the best of both worlds: shoulder straps from a travel backpack and wheels from a suitcase. The frame and the wheels add extra weight to the backpack, but you won’t mind as you can be rolled it around if you get tired. Here are two of the best-wheeled backpacks for travel:
Edwina from Travelling German: Osprey Sojourn 60
“ I’m deeply in love with my Osprey Sojourn. It’s a convertible backpack, with an adjustable and padded harness, but it also has wheels and a retractable handle. I like to stay in upscale hotels, where I’d be a bit embarrassed to rock up with a neon-coloured backpack, so the black version of this rolling bag is perfect for me. If I end up on a remote island though, I know I can always get the harness out of hiding and carry the bag on my back. ”
Inma Gregorio from A World to Travel: Osprey Meridian 60L Convertible Backpack
“ After three years and a half using this model, I can say this one is the sturdiest and sweetest pack I have come across in my life. Composed of a 45L wheeled backpack with a retractable handle plus a 15L removable daypack that doubles as my camera bag sometimes, the thing I love the most about it is that it allows me to travel without checking in. What ultimately saves me time, money and worries every time I catch a flight and lets me embrace a minimalist lifestyle. If you, like me, have back problems but do not want to compromise your freedom if the opportunity arises, look no further. This is your bag. ”
You can buy your convertible travel backpack here! Choose the backpack that suits your travel style without giving up the wheels.
Have you chosen the best backpack for travel? Hope our travel backpack review helped you to find the style, size, and brand that suits your travel plans. Backpacks are awesome for a weekend holiday or a trip around the world, you only need to buy the right one. A good travel backpack is an investment, so choose the best one and have fun exploring the world.
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47 thoughts on “Best Backpack for Travel: Tips to Buy The Perfect Travel Bag”
This is such a good, comprehensive list of backpacks and well-timed, too, as I’m in the market for a new one. Sadly, with three children, my days of packing lights are over (not that I was very good at travelling with hand luggage only to start with!) but I’ll definitely investigate these larger backpack options more. Thanks!
I bet it’s hard to pack and travel light with kids, a large and strong backpack is a must. Have a look on the convertible ones, they seem to be very sturdy and spacious.
Very techincial blog this and great tips on finding the right backpack. I got my one sorted (for now) but in a few years time, the hassle of finding a new one will commence.
That’s so true, I remember when we started looking for our backpack and spent endless days searching online, going to the shops and dreaming about the bags… Hope this list can help travelers to choose wisely their future backpacks.
All the best,
I don’t backpack any more so my bag is collecting dust in the garage but I definitely need to investigate carry on options. This is a great place to start
There are so many options of carry-on backpacks, and I can tell you that some of them are on this list. It all depends on your style of traveling. I personally love the urban style ones.
I’m looking for one of those backpacks with wheels so this is a really useful feature for me. I’m thinking the last two Osprey bags are probably my best bet
The convertible backpacks are great indeed. Rob and I have been thinking to invest in more photography gear so we might need an bigger backpack and if we decided to by a new one, we probable gonna invest on one with wheels!
my favorite backpack of them all is Josh from Peanuts or Pretzels: Mountainsmith Lariat 65L, It looks well organizable and can pack a lot in. This is quite a nice list of backpacks, and there are so many different ones to choose from depending on the kind of traveling you may be doing!
Josh’s backpack is great, as he said comfy and strong, everything you need from a travel backpack!
All the best,
I’m not a backpacker per say, but I do travel light. I have a standard Tumi backpack and a non wheeled duffel bag. Allows me to keep my electronics secure on my back, and clothing/toiletries in a bag to sling over the shoulder or carry. The duffel is small enough to carry on, but sturdy enough to check. I like that combo.
That’s a great thing about te new backpacks and travel bags, there are options for all type of traveller, with a comfy fit and sturdy enough for all adventures.
Tks for stopping by!
Wow ! This list is such a big help and bang on. Of course, the same brands are not available in India, but the types of backpacks are there and now I will be able to make a better decision before choosing my backpack.
We have the same issues with our readers from Brasil, they can’t get these backpacks there either, but they feel inspired and sure about what model to choose now.
Thanks for stopping by!
I never traveled with a backbag or use any but just borrowed one from my sister for my last trip. I though it would be handier if I am in the mountains and I forgot to use it quite often and took my noral bad. They are pretty though and I should get one myself.
Has been almost 3 years I’m travelling with a backpack and never looked back. Acctually I’m learn to pack less over the years. Give it a try, travel with a backpack is a good way to become more minimalist!
This is a great selection of backpacks. I personally use an Osprey Aura 65 which I like a lot. Lot’s of room and pockets to stash stuff. Great selection of bags though, perfect selection for future purchases. Thanks for sharing.
One more vote for Osprey!! 🙂
Thanks for sharing your thought!
Very nice post with different points of view! In my experiencie Osprey Atmos 65 AG is simply the best for male backpackers. For women I think the Osprey Aura 65 AG is one of the best choices, very adaptable to the female body.
Nice content on your blog, cheers!
Thanks for your recommendations Nelson, Osprey seems to be the favorite brand among travel bloggers!
There’s definitely some great travel bag on the market! I love my Kathmandu backpack because it has a separate slip for my laptop and tablet and it also has a million pockets which is great for me! Great article 🙂
The separate pockets for laptops/tablets are definitely a must have!
Great list! If only I could count the number of hours we’ve spent looking at backpacks over the years! We travel full time with carry-on only so it’s important to get as much as possible into a small space! As are many, I’m a big fan of Osprey and have been travelling with a Farpoint 40 for the past few years. It’s a great option for a carry-on, and one which deserves to be on your list!
Thanks for stopping by! One more vote for Osprey Farpoint 😉
Great list and you have explained the tips very comprehensively. Thanks for sharing! I would like to recommend you please add the name of some online stores which are offering discounts and free shipping on the eve of new year and valentines for the ease of customers.
The usual ones like Amazon always have good deals ;)
I am a frequent flyer and I go travelling on my business trips quite often. Sometimes I take my daughter with me and she, just like me, has a plenty of accessories which need to be packed in a small size.
Any good recommendation on pink backpack with fashionable design?
Thank you for your information and please keep it up.
Check out the backpacks we listed on the post, some of them have different colours, maybe you can find a pink one. From the top of my head I can’t remember any specific brand that sells pink backpacks.
All the best,
What is the name backpack on the last photo Natalie?
that’s the Standart Backpack, the same Rob is using on the 1st photo of the post.
Good collection of backpacks.
Hi, i will be travelling through Europe for a month for the first time. And is Osprey Aura 65 able to bring up to the cabin especially with Ryanair? I’m trying to avoid paying extra for check-in baggage. Any advise?
I don’t tink so…
Ryanair cabin luggage allowance is 55cm x 40cm x 20cm and weighs up to 10kg. The Osprey Aura 65 has the following dimensions 79H X 38W X 39D CM
Great tips and review here. Look Likes all backpack are good. and have enough capacity and nice looking.
Keep Up it dear.
Thanks for share with us.
Glad you liked Steven!
Great round-up! I just went through the backpack shopping process and ended up ordering FIVE different travel packs to try at home, as my local stores didn’t have many choices with a front panel opening. I picked the Thule Versant 60L women’s, which I didn’t expect! I’ve got the full details over on my blog if you’re interested.
That’s the best thing, you must try them on to make sure it is comfortable!
Excellent information, friend, thank you for sharing
You are welcome!
Awesome tips! I’ve learned so much from your post, Robson!
Happy to help 😉
Thanks for listing travel backpacks and reviews these detailed way. I prefer to take Osprey backpack for its sturdy and spacious quality. I think Osprey 50 liter is perfect 6-7 days trip for its store power. As, there is no question about quality of this backpack, so its price is bit more than any others travel backpacks
Osprey is surely a trustworthy brand 😉
Thanks for the useful information..
You are welcome!
Nice Post, so Benefits..