Travel backpacks come in all shapes and sizes. If you're in the market for one, consider your needs. Backpacking through Europe necessitates a bag with a capacity of around 55 liters. This is enough to carry a thoughtful selection of supplies and clothing you'll have laundered at various destinations. Bulky jackets are no bueno. But even if you're not a full-on backpacker and are holidaying for just a weekend, you may still want to avoid using luggage with wheels on the unaccommodating cobbled streets that wend their way across the continent. Business travelers might not want to look like tortoises, and hikers require specialist weather-proof backpacks. It's always a good idea to measure your torso height and try before you buy. Below, you'll find an assortment of expert-approved travel backpacks that check various boxes. Let the good times roll (but not your bag).
This stylish camera bag can covertly protect your gear and be transported as carry-on luggage. It's durable enough for urban and outdoor adventures with unanticipated rain. Although it doesn't come with a hip belt, you can purchase one separately. The main compartment has a U-shaped zipper, which is so handy, and the back panel allows you to carry a tripod without any hassle. Useful zippered mesh pockets conveniently reveal their contents.
This smaller pack with a clamshell design is ideal for a short trip. Side access zippers are convenient, and security loops deter thieves. The included rainfly is a nice surprise and comes in handy on those days when you experience four seasons in quick succession. Multiple handles make grabbing and going as easy as can be. With hidden pockets, built-in packing cubes, a hip belt, and comfy shoulder straps, the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L is feature-rich for one-bag travel. Plus, Cotopaxi's slogan is "Gear for Good" and sustainability is at the heart of what the company does. A lifetime warranty protects these backpacks.
Weighing 3.6 pounds, this lightweight bag has compression straps, and you can also zip away the backpack straps if the bag needs to go into a cargo hold. A sizable electronics section can hold a laptop, tablet, and more. If you're in need of a new travel backpack on a budget, then this is a great way to go.
Looking for an entry-level rock-climbing backpack? This is a simple bag for climbing gear. The backpack's main fabric is 1680-denier recycled ballistic polyester. Padded shoulder straps, compression straps, and an expandable collar add to the functionality. A rain cover is sold separately.
This is an excellent large carry-on backpack, and if you can perfect the art of packing light, it can serve as your only piece of luggage. This backpack weighs 4.5 lb, and has a hardy exterior and spacious, well-organized interior for tech gear. Photographers will appreciate this bag's accessibility and sections for techy odds and ends, and dedicated camera cubes are sold separately. The Peak Design Travel Backpack 45l is adaptable and can compress to a 30-liter daypack. Magnetic flaps on the back panel are a welcome and unique feature, and a lifetime warranty sweetens the deal. It has an amazing design for organized travel, user-friendliness, and a high-quality feel. A lifetime warranty provides peace of mind.
The Osprey Sojourn Porter 46L weighs 3.3 lbs and converts to a porter bag for those times you don't want to look like a backpacker. Straitjacket compression straps accommodate all your essentials, and you can use the bag as carry-on luggage. This is not an outdoor bag for intense hiking. Offering considerable value for money, including Osprey's "All Mighty Guarantee" which promises to fix your bag for free, this backpack is a gem.
This backpack comes in small and medium sizes to accommodate different body types. It weighs 3 lb. 8 oz, can carry up to 40 lb., and is made of sturdy 100D triple ripstop nylon. The bag also has an ice axe loop with a trekking pole attachment. Consider this lightweight and comfortable bag for your next escape to the wilderness.
This backpack is pretty much the same as the one marketed to women, but accommodates larger torsos. The advanced suspension system ensures you'll be supported for a pleasant overnight trip in nature.
If you're looking for durability and comfort, then the search is over. The Gregory Zulu 55 is a beloved bag that got a facelift a few years ago. It remains well-priced with nifty features such as a perimeter frame with a fiberglass cross-stay for added stability. The FreeFloat Suspension System and pivoting hip belt make for better ergonomics, plus the bag's foam padding feels good. A ventilated back panel offers breathability on hot days.
The Kelty Asher Backpack 55L is a good beginner outdoor bag. It works as carry-on luggage, can handle being checked in, and has a lifetime warranty. Adjustable to your torso, with a ventilated back panel and a sleeping bag compartment, this backpack often gets a thumb's up for quality. If you feel discomfort initially, it may just be a matter of breaking in the bag.
The Tripole Walker 65 Litres Rucksack is a robust and versatile backpack designed for extended hiking and backpacking trips. The rucksack is equipped with a fully waterproof rain cover, conveniently stored in a Velcro pocket at the base, which also helps to keep out dust. A unique bottom opening provides easy access to items like shoes or sleeping bags, and this section can be integrated with the main compartment for more space. The backpack includes a padded laptop compartment that can accommodate up to a 17-inch laptop.
At around 4 pounds, this backpack isn't exactly light, but the outstanding, stretchy external storage sections can house all the gear you need, and the bottom section is for stowing your sleeping bag. It's ideal if you need something to hold gear for a week.
Pros: A built-in RECCO reflector makes your gear searchable if, touch wood, a rescue is ever necessary.
The women's version of the MEC Zephyr 65L offers the same fully-equipped solution for up to a week-long outdoor adventure. But instead of deep navy, the backpack comes in maroon.
Key Features to Look Out For: The Salkan's aesthetic and overall feel is distinctly top-end. Salkan sells the Mainpack and the Daypack separately, but they fit together and are known as the Salkan Backpacker. The spacious Mainpack has padding in all the right places, the zippers are as smooth as butter, and the bags are height-adjustable. But, it's worth noting that the Salkan Mainpack is not suitable for shorter individuals, nor does it qualify as carry-on luggage. Salkan is always a great bet, and if you want the best style and functionality for long trips with lots of moving, the Mainpack is top choice.
The Global Travel Bag 40L is a versatile and durable travel companion, ideal for weeklong trips and designed for convenience and efficiency. This carry-on compliant bag is made with recycled materials and offers three-way carrying options, ensuring ease of movement through airports and travel hubs. It features expandable side water bottle pockets and an external laptop sleeve for quick access. The bag's compact size allows it to pass as a carry-on, yet it provides ample space for all your essentials.
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