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Travel backpacks Reviews and Buyer's Guide (Feb 2019)

Backpacks for travelling need to be able to handle some punishment, but not all backpacks are of the same high quality!

It pays to spend some time comparing the different brands and models, so you can make sure you choose a quality travel backpack.

The 80 Best Travel Backpacks

RankTravel BackpackRating
1Ethnotek RajaEthnotek Raja
Available on Amazon
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4.8022 reviews
2Osprey AtmosOsprey Atmos
Available on Amazon
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4.732,529 reviews
3Osprey PorterOsprey Porter
Available on Amazon
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4.681,424 reviews
4The North Face BancheeThe North Face Banchee4.5928 reviews
5Osprey AuraOsprey Aura4.58871 reviews
6Osprey FarpointOsprey Farpoint4.541,512 reviews
7Sherpani TempestSherpani Tempest4.4744 reviews
8Sea to Summit Big RiverSea to Summit Big River4.47557 reviews
9Marmot Long HaulerMarmot Long Hauler4.45329 reviews
10Osprey TransporterOsprey Transporter4.43554 reviews
11The North Face LonghaulThe North Face Longhaul4.4026 reviews
12Osprey ShuttleOsprey Shuttle4.3954 reviews
13Osprey MeridianOsprey Meridian4.39103 reviews
14Osprey KyteOsprey Kyte4.37327 reviews
15Burton WheelieBurton Wheelie4.36541 reviews
16Dakine ValiseDakine Valise4.3247 reviews
17Gregory CompassGregory Compass4.3155 reviews
18Mammut LithiumMammut Lithium4.3010 reviews
19Osprey WaypointOsprey Waypoint4.2916 reviews
20OGIO ClarkOGIO Clark4.2614 reviews
21Thule SubterraThule Subterra4.25331 reviews
22Deuter TransitDeuter Transit4.2242 reviews
23Osprey OzoneOsprey Ozone4.21519 reviews
24Eagle Creek Load WarriorEagle Creek Load Warrior4.21437 reviews
25eBags Mother LodeeBags Mother Lode4.2158,527 reviews
26Sherpani AmeliaSherpani Amelia4.1975 reviews
27The North Face ApexThe North Face Apex4.18621 reviews
28Brookstone DashBrookstone Dash4.1593 reviews
29Tumi VoyageurTumi Voyageur4.15766 reviews
30Osprey FairviewOsprey Fairview4.14116 reviews
31Timbuk2 JetTimbuk2 Jet4.14584 reviews
32The North Face Base CampThe North Face Base Camp4.136,245 reviews
33Mystery Ranch Urban AssaultMystery Ranch Urban Assault4.1213 reviews
34Oakley LinkOakley Link4.1128 reviews
35Lowepro TrekkerLowepro Trekker4.11277 reviews
36Osprey WayfarerOsprey Wayfarer4.1019 reviews
37Eagle Creek Load HaulerEagle Creek Load Hauler4.09119 reviews
38Eagle Creek No Matter WhatEagle Creek No Matter What4.082,139 reviews
39Yodo ConvertibleYodo Convertible4.08825 reviews
40eBags ProfessionaleBags Professional4.0718,379 reviews
41Eagle Creek Gear HaulerEagle Creek Gear Hauler4.0541 reviews
42Sherpani IndieSherpani Indie4.0419 reviews
43Fjallraven RucksackFjallraven Rucksack4.03669 reviews
44Pacsafe VenturesafePacsafe Venturesafe4.03721 reviews
45Deuter QuantumDeuter Quantum4.0025 reviews
46The North Face OverheadThe North Face Overhead3.9820 reviews
47Eagle Creek MorphusEagle Creek Morphus3.9831 reviews
48Venture Pal LightweightVenture Pal Lightweight3.984,925 reviews
49Victorinox LexiconVictorinox Lexicon3.97110 reviews
50Hynes EagleHynes Eagle3.954,381 reviews
51Pacsafe VibePacsafe Vibe3.93338 reviews
52Timbuk2 UptownTimbuk2 Uptown3.92193 reviews
53Eagle Creek ORVEagle Creek ORV3.92144 reviews
54Oakley BladeOakley Blade3.9253 reviews
55Herschel HeritageHerschel Heritage3.911,525 reviews
56Deuter HelionDeuter Helion3.8418 reviews
57Timbuk2 AviatorTimbuk2 Aviator3.83283 reviews
58Gregory BorderGregory Border3.8127 reviews
59Pacsafe DuffelsafePacsafe Duffelsafe3.7950 reviews
60Osprey TrilliumOsprey Trillium3.7845 reviews
61Fjallraven GreenlandFjallraven Greenland3.78390 reviews
62Cotopaxi NazcaCotopaxi Nazca3.7521 reviews
63Briggs & Riley SympaticoBriggs & Riley Sympatico3.73249 reviews
64Briggs & Riley ExchangeBriggs & Riley Exchange3.7016 reviews
65OXA UltralightOXA Ultralight3.70541 reviews
66Eagle Creek TarmacEagle Creek Tarmac3.67385 reviews
67Eagle Creek Gear WarriorEagle Creek Gear Warrior3.64449 reviews
68Eagle Creek Lync SystemEagle Creek Lync System3.62188 reviews
69Cotopaxi IncaCotopaxi Inca3.5525 reviews
70Sherpani FaithSherpani Faith3.4556 reviews
71Briggs & Riley ExcursionBriggs & Riley Excursion3.3426 reviews
72Fox Outdoor Rio GrandeFox Outdoor Rio Grande3.34238 reviews
73Eagle Creek ExpanseEagle Creek Expanse3.30165 reviews
74High Sierra AT8High Sierra AT83.2761 reviews
75Arcteryx BladeArcteryx Blade3.2490 reviews
76Kelty AscenderKelty Ascender3.2119 reviews
77Biaggi ZipSakBiaggi ZipSak3.10844 reviews
78Vango FreedomVango Freedom3.0013 reviews
79Eagle Creek DeviateEagle Creek Deviate2.9340 reviews
80Sea to Summit Clear StopperSea to Summit Clear Stopper2.8012 reviews
How we rate the bags

We have checked 116,694 Travel backpack reviews, so we can show you the weighted average rating of all the bags.

Using the average ratings, you can check what all the reviewers think instead of just viewing the subjective opinion of one specific reviewer.

It's much simplier to find the best bags that way.

Buyers Guide to Travel Backpacks

There are few types of bags that are handier than the trusty backpack. These comfortable and durable pieces of luggage are perfect for most occasions and will never let you down. This is why, if you are someone who travels quite often, having a good travel backpack can make all the difference.

On the surface, it may seem like you have figured out the art of choosing the perfect backpack. However, there may be more factors than you are aware of when it comes to identifying which travel model is actually suitable for you. Considering that you are making an investment, this is something that you will need to get right the first time around. Well, have no fear because we have laid out all of the things that you need to look out for here:

Tips and Tricks for Finding the Perfect Travel Backpack

It doesn’t matter what type of travel that you do, a backpack is undoubtedly the ideal solution. It is easy to carry, has more than enough space, and can be organized quickly. If you are looking for a piece of luggage to make your life easier, then a travel backpack is it.

Of course, while these might be a versatile form of bag, it isn’t always easy to pick out a travel backpack that works well for you. This is often because there is so much variety and options involved. If this leaves you scratching your head about how to pick the right one, we’re here to help.

The Types of Travel Backpacks

  • Daypack: while this type of backpack isn’t strictly meant for traveling, it can easily function as such for short trips. The benefit of this design is that it is comfortable to wear and can even function as a carry on bag. The only real limitation that you may face is size.

  • Rolling Backpack: simply put, these are travel backpacks with wheels. While they can be a bit bulky, their main advantage is that they are easy to transport. This allows you to carry a greater number of items if it is being sent as checked luggage.

  • Laptop Backpack: laptop backpacks for travel can come in two forms. The first is the traditional one that can be worn on your shoulders. The other is a more compact and business-looking design that has wheels. Both can be taken as carry on luggage.

  • Backpacking Backpack: this type of travel backpack is for those who are planning on doing a lot of outdoor exploring. These backpacks are large, rugged, and can be carried with you everywhere.

  • Hybrid Backpack: these days, manufacturers are getting more creative with backpacks. This is why you will be able to find certain fusion-like designs. This includes the duffel/backpacks and even the backpack suitcase.

Deciding on the Size

After figuring out what type is right for you, the next step is to choose the size. Or, to be more accurate, the volume of the backpack. The size that you decide on is determined by the quantity and dimensions of the items that you are carrying as well as the length of your trip.

If you are just headed out for a day or two or are just looking for a laptop backpack, then a small travel backpack will serve you best. These, typically, are able to hold between 10 and 20 liters. These are mostly for just carrying a few clothes, digital devices, and perhaps documents.

With a medium travel backpack, you will be able to head out on a weekend trip or even one that lasts several days, depending on what you are taking. You will find that these backpacks are able to carry about 25 to 50 liters of items.

If a bag can carry more 75 liters, it is typically considered a large travel backpack. These can carry what you need for up to a week. Of course, if you are headed out on an expedition-type trip, there are bags that can reach up to 130 liters. These are ideal for carrying equipment and supplies as well.

Your Comfort

If you are going to be backpacking or camping, you may want to get the largest possible backpack. However, it is a good idea to stick with a backpack that has dimensions that are compatible with your torso. Ideally, a backpack should be able to sit between the base of your neck and your hips. This will ensure that your movement is not impeded and that most of the weight is carried by your hips.

While these measurements can be a bit tricky to manage with larger backpacks, it is best to avoid overly large bags. Even expedition-size backpacks should be much higher than your head or well below your waist. You will find it quite difficult to move around if the bag is very long.

The Weight Factor

Since these are travel backpacks that we are discussing, it is important to keep the weight of the bags in mind as well. Tough or large backpacks tend to weigh more than others. Since you have to adhere to certain airline weight restrictions, you should weigh the bags when they are empty. This will give you a more accurate idea of how much you can carry in your backpack.

What Material Should You Look For?

While it may seem like all backpacks are made from the same material, this isn’t actually correct. It is important to always take a close look at the fabric to ensure that it is suitable for your purpose. For instance, if you want to ensure that your luggage is as light as possible, you will find backpacks made from polyester are most useful as they don’t weigh much. However, it is important to look for ones that have high deniers.

If you are more concerned with strength, then you will find backpacks made from nylon to be a better fit for you. In more extreme instances, bags made from ballistic nylon or ripstop nylon may be more appropriate. These materials are extremely resistant to abrasion and wear and tear. Of course, they do tend to cost more so they are usually only required for people heading to rugged terrain.

If you want to afford your belongings some additional protection, you may want to consider materials that have been coated with water resistant or waterproof layers. These coatings will prevent the water from being absorbed by the material, at least for a little while.

For those that aren’t overly concerned with strength but do want a backpack that is stylish, a canvas travel bag may be just the thing. These bags look good, are lightweight, and have numerous pockets, making them ideal travel partners. Of course, they may not have as long a lifespan as more rugged backpacks.

The Carrying System

One of the main reasons that people gravitate towards backpacks is because of the suspension system – the way that you can carry the bag. This is precisely why it is so important for you to always examine this system before going ahead and purchasing a backpack.

With smaller backpacks, all you really have to think about is the shoulder straps. They should be a bit wide and have enough of padding. This will allow you to carry your bag for longer without it digging into your skin.

If you will be carrying a greater weight, though, you may want a backpack that has a padded hip belt, since this is where you will be carrying most of the weight. To make it easier to stabilize your center of gravity, look for a sternum belt that will hold the backpack in place while you are walking.

If you are either going on a trek or will be backpacking, you will require a backpack that allows for proper air circulation around your back. This will prevent your back from heating up and sweat from accumulating. For this feature, look for backpacks that have padded, mesh-covered mounds on the back. This leaves space for cool air to move around.

Female Oriented Backpacks

One thing you will come across when you go looking for backpacks are ones that are meant specifically for women. Since many of these have pretty patterns or are brightly colored, it is easy to wonder if they are actually different from the ones designed for men.

Interestingly enough, backpacks are one of the few commodities where it can pay off to buy women-specific backpacks. This is because they have been designed to fit shorter torsos, narrower shoulders, and wider hips typically associated with women. This all means that you will find it a great deal more comfortable to carry these backpacks if you are a woman.

Nonetheless, if you tend to be as tall as the average man or have a similar build, you will be just fine with most typical backpacks.

Additional Features

So, what else should you look out for with travel backpacks?

Well, since you will be moving from place to place, presumably with some rather important documents or items, you should be concerned about security. This means looking out for backpacks with lockable zippers. This will help to prevent anyone from going through your things. Of course, you should still keep an eye out for your bag since all anyone has to do is simply walk off with it.

Another thing that you may want to look out for is compression straps. These actually have a few advantages. Now, obviously, their main function is to prevent the items in your bag from moving around too much. This can be handy if your bag is not at full capacity and you are carrying breakable items with you. The other benefit, however, is that it can help your bag to look smaller. This is useful if you are trying to take your bag onboard an aircraft with you. The more compact the bag appears, the more likely it is for it to be passed through.

Now you know what it takes to find a travel backpack that you can take practically anywhere with you. With these tips, you can choose your ultimate traveling companion.

6 More Travel Backpacks

Classic travel backpacks and models that haven't yet got enough reviews to be ranked.

RankTravel BackpackRating
Gregory MuirGregory Muir
Gregory BooneGregory Boone
Gregory PearyGregory Peary
Lowe Alpine ATLowe Alpine AT
Deuter TravellerDeuter Traveller
Salewa AscentSalewa Ascent

Last updated on February 09, 2019