After 13 hours of research evaluating 130 products, we picked Osprey Farpoint 40 as our top choice.
Isn't travel wonderful? There are so many benefits of traveling: better social and communication skills, enhanced creativity, broadened horizons, boosted confidence, an education on the reality of life around you, and so many more. Plus, you get to visit some of the absolutely breathtaking places around the world.
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If you're planning to see the world, don't bother with heavy luggage. Stick with light carry-on luggage or, even better, the best travel backpack like the ones below. You'll be able to fit all your important travel gear, but you'll never need to lug a heavy suitcase or wait at the baggage claim again.
The good news is:
Want to find the best travel backpack? So did we, so we spent hours pouring over the various travel backpacks to find the ones that suit our needs best. After combing through hundreds of products, reading thousands of reviews, and taking a few backpacking trips of our own, we've compiled a list of the top backpacks that you'll want to take wherever you go.
This bag fits computers up to 17”, though the inner sleeve is recommended for protection. The lay-flat design is perfect for airport security. It also holds a decent amount of clothing, with lots of pockets for documents and travel papers.
Be a little careful with the zipper. A few users have reported issues after some time.
Construction: Traveling with a briefcase-styled carry-on screams power. But, when you're passing through airport security almost constantly you will want something truly comfortable and convenient. The material (polyester) is durable, and the Swiss-built backpack is guaranteed to last for years to come.
The TSA checkpoint-friendly backpack is designed to open quickly at airport security. Your clothes or electronics within will be fully visible, making it easier for the TSA to scan the backpack's contents easily. It's the perfect choice to take the hassle out of your travel inconveniences!
Features: The backpack features a water bottle pocket, an audio interface, and an Airflow Back system to reduce sweating as you haul the pack. The shoulder straps have enough padding to keep the pack comfortable, and you'll find it's great for walking, hiking, or cycling.
Price: At $60, this backpack is definitely the one you'll want if you go on business trips regularly. It takes all the hassle out of those TSA checkpoints!
This affordable backpack is ultra-lightweight, ultra-durable, and ultra-awesome. It's made for daily use or overseas travel.
The side pockets are wide and loose so they aren't good for storing water bottles.
Construction: This daypack can handle up to 33 liters, weighs half a pound, and is built to last. With multiple compartments and pockets for an umbrella, water bottle, and valuables, it's an awesome choice for those going on short outings. It's made from highly rip and water resistant nylon fabric. And, if anything should happen to your backpack, Outlander promises a lifetime warranty and will send you a new one.
Although the pack may look small, it actually holds much more than you would think. It's a true space saver, and its compact size makes it perfect for travel as well. It folds into a zippered inner pocket so that you can tuck it inside your luggage or keep it in your car.
Features: The Outlander bag is about as simple as it gets. There are three compartments and a few smaller pockets. However, it doesn't come with any fancy features. It's availble in nine awesome colors including green, blue, orange, red, pink, and purple.
Price: You really can't beat the price of this backpack. At less than $20 for either size, it's the cheapest on our list.
Water-resistant, USB charging port, easy-lock zipper, fits up to 17-inch notebook, stylish, comfortable, durable, lots of pockets, eco-friendly fabric, lightweight, and theft-resistant.
Quality control suffers and incompatible with Apple products.
Construction: This is the backpack to take EVERYWHERE: to the office, on business trips, and on holiday abroad. It's sleek and stylish, made of eco-friendly nylon that is very durable and looks very elegant. The dedicated laptop pocket comes with cushioning to protect his computer, and it can fit up to a 17-inch notebook.
The beauty of this backpack is that the zipper is designed to be theft-resistant, and it comes with a lock that will help you keep your valuables safe as you travels.
Features: Not only are there three main pockets, but the backpack offers 9 smaller inner pockets and 2 sealed side pockets. Best of all, there's a USB charger cable that allows you to charge your (Android-only) devices from the backpack. Talk about handy for travel!
Price: $28 is a pretty great price to pay for this nifty backpack. It's practical, comfortable, and durable—everything you need in a secure travel pack.
Super rugged, stylish, made from genuine saddle leather, cotton lining, great storage space, water bottle holder included, leather darkens with use, and sized for carry-on luggage.
Pricey and not the largest capacity travel bag on our list.
Construction: For those who want to travel like real men, this leather backpack is absolutely worth the high price! It's made from genuine saddle leather that has been hand-stitched together, and the materials are beautifully rugged. Leather looks more beautiful with age, and this backpack will just get manlier as you use it.
It's not the largest pack on our list, so don't expect to fit a lot of items in at once. However, you'll love the built-in sleeves to protect your laptop (up to 17" screen) and other electronics. The soft cotton lining on the interior will prevent scratches or damage, and will keep your clothes fresh and smelling nice as you travel.
Features: The backpack comes with five front pockets for organizing your electronics, passport, and other documents, plus a water bottle holder. The straps may not have padding, but they will sit comfortably on your shoulders. They're beautifully easy to adjust and will keep the pack in the right position on your back to reduce strain.
The zippers are very durable, and they'll survive a lot of regular use. The old school-style buckles give this backpack a truly classic look you can't help but love.
Price: There's no doubt about it: this is a pricey backpack! However, given that it's made with 100% genuine leather, it's worth every penny—the perfect mix of stylish and rugged.
35-liter size, great for day trips, padded shoulder straps, durable materials, weighs just 0.7 pounds, compact, folds up into its own pocket, lifetime warranty, chest strap included, and designed using water-resistant fabric.
Zippers get caught in the fabric/break quickly.
The pack is designed to fold into its own zippered pocket, making it compact enough to fit in any carry-on suitcase. The breathable mesh shoulder straps offer enough padding for the bag to be comfortable when full. With its 35-liter size, you'll find you have more than sufficient space to pack for a day trip or even a weekend getaway.
This backpack is made out of durable, water-resistant material. Though it weighs less than your average backpack (just 0.7 pounds), it's built to last while traveling, hiking, or camping. You'll find the material can keep your clothes dry in light rain showers, and the fabric will last for years of regular use.
In addition to the two beautifully padded shoulder straps, the backpack comes with a chest strap that will help take the weight off your shoulders. It's comfortable enough to use for a hike or cycling trip, though it can sag a bit when full.
The main compartment, two side pockets, and two zippered front pockets give you all the space you need to store clothing, toiletries, electronics, and documents easily. The whistle buckle makes it easy to securely lock the pack.
This is one of the cheapest backpacks on our list, but it doesn't sacrifice quality for low cost. It's a great little lightweight pack to take when you want to travel light for a day trip or a week away.
Sized just right for carry-on luggage, lots of pockets, good quality, feels solid, great organizational options, limited lifetime warranty, expansion zipper, and great for carrying laptops and other electronics.
Not the most comfortable for carrying and heavy even when empty.
Get one thing straight: this is a heavy backpack! It weighs 4 pounds empty, and it just gets heavier as you pack it. It also doesn't have good weight distribution, and it's one of the least comfortable options on our list.
That being said, it's the best backpack to take as a carry-on. Its dimensions (22" by 14" by 9") is the maximum legal size for carry-on in the United States. Simply put, it's as large as it gets while still legally being allowed to carry it onto the plane.
You get a lot of storage space from this backpack, and you'll find it's very handy for carrying not just clothes, but also electronics, gadgets, and any knickknacks or souvenirs you pick up on your travel. The expansion zipper gives you 10% more storage space!
Many reviews have mentioned how this bag holds up very well to all the travel punishment.
The backpack has a few internal dividers and compartments to make it easy to organize your stuff, with one extra pocket on the outside top of the pack. It's definitely an organizer's best friend, and it will make it easy for you to carry everything you want/need in one bag.
eBags come with a special "Laptop Sling" designed to securely cradle laptops and keep them safe while traveling.
This is a pricey backpack, but built to last! It feels solid and durable to the touch, and you'll never have to worry about forgetting it anywhere. As long as you don't plan to do a lot of hiking or walking, this is your best choice for carry-on luggage.
Fits a week's worth of clothing, great product at an amazing price, suspension system included, comfortable to wear, well-padded shoulder straps, full-sized hip belt, adjustment straps allow for better weight distribution, front-loading design, and features handles for easy carrying.
Lime green interior on some models is an eyesore and no side pockets in the main compartment is a bit inconvenient.
Construction: This backpack is built for frequent flyers! With its 40-liter capacity, it can hold up to one week's worth of clothing, plus all the travel gadgets you want to carry. Thanks to its built-in suspension, it will be easy to carry on a walk, hike, or trek without feeling the weight in your back.
The interior of the main compartment doesn't have any pockets for smaller items, but it's perfect for fitting a lot of clothes or your laptop and travel gear. The exterior comes with lots of zippered pockets and nooks and crannies for your various items.
The unisex design is great for men and women, and the bag comes in two versatile sizes—sized according to torso length (taller and shorter users). It's sized just right to fit in any overhead storage bin or even under your airplane or bus seat.
Features: This backpack is a traveler's best friend, thanks to the padded chest, shoulder, and hip straps. The straps and the six adjustors make it easy to shift the weight according to the backpack's contents. You'll never have to worry about lower back pain again with this bad boy.
The hip belt and harness system can be detached and stowed for a slimmer, more versatile style of pack. The ID windows make it easy for you to show your IDs without having to dig into your wallet or purse. The carry handles allow you to carry the backpack like a duffel bag, and you'll love how the zippers can be easily locked to increase the security of your backpack.
Price: There's no denying it: this is a pricey backpack, but worth every penny if you're a frequent traveler. It's durable, super comfortable, offers great storage, and yet is slim enough to serve as a carry-on. Definitely the backpack you need!