How to Find the Best Travel Backpacks for Men and Women

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

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.

Top 10 Best Travel Backpacks

1 – Brookstone Dash

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Brookstone Dash:

Reviewers like these things about the Brookstone Dash

  • Reviewers agree that the Brookstone Dash bag’s polished hard-shell case is a great choice for frequent flyers because of its durability.
  • Other users noted that the bag is extremely lightweight.
  • Testers found that its tough exterior protects the fragile contents of the bag against damage from being tossed around carelessly by baggage handlers.
  • Reviewers found that the pack’s interior features a zippered pocket that keeps the dress shirts or loose items apart from the rest of the stuff with strap closures to keep everything in place.
  • Other reviewers noted that it has an exterior zipper that helps the bag to expand by another three inches, which is always a lifesaver on long trips.
  • They have also mentioned that the bag has four wheels allowing the bag to swivel 360 degrees and roll with ease on most any surface.
  • Some reviewers recommended the bag for light travelers with a stylish demeanor in their step.
  • Reviewers mentioned that it looks small but has lots of room.
  • Many users were able to note that the pack has a sleek look.
  • Users thought that its handle slides up and down with ease.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A user thought that this does not fit into the carry-on units at the gate when packed full.
  • Another user felt that when the wheels begin to heat up with friction after frequent use, the back wheels too often fuse to the side of the casing system eventually rendering the wheel useless as they no longer roll.

2 – Osprey Porter 46

Osprey Porter Travel Backpack Bag, 46-Liter
  • Pockets: 8 interior slip, 3 interior zip, 4 exterior, 3 card slots

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Osprey Porter 46:

Reviewers like these things about the Osprey Porter 46

  • Most of the buyers said that it is a great travel pack.
  • Some users said that the semi-rigid side walls helped them to pack their luggage with ease.
  • They have also said that since the main compartment zips down fully it is much easier for them to pack their bag.
  • Peopele travelling for business trips said that the laptop panel of the pack is much protective.
  • Travellers also said that the extra padded straps were much comfortable for them to carry the pack fully loaded.
  • Some users said that the double zippers helped them to lock up the pack for security.
  • Another outstanding feature mentioned by a user is that the pack can be easily converted from a backpack to a sleek duffle bag.
  • A few travellers said that the pack stores ample gears and clothes for week long vacations or business trips.
  • A user also mentioned that the hide-away shoulder strp system is pretty awesome.
  • Some buyers also said that the pack is not too expensive in regards to the quality.
  • Reviewers love the fact that the backpack can be converted into a duffle bag, so there are two ways to carry it.
  • The backpack fits into overhead bins on flights and even under the seat. It can however be troublesome to fit in when overstuffed.
  • The padded straps added comfort to most travelers and they were happy with the grip.
  • The front pockets are perfect to add sunglasses, passport, or anything they liked to keep handy.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some travellers complained that the pack doesn’t have a side water bottel pocket.
  • A few buyers also complained that the straps are much narrow and are not very comfortable for carrying long hours.
  • A user said that the shoulder padding and backing is not ideal for a comfortable carry.

3 – Osprey Farpoint 40

Osprey Packs Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack, Volcanic Grey, Medium/Large
  • Large panel zip access to main compartment
  • Stowaway backpanel, harness and hipbelt with zippered rear flap for protection
  • Laptop and tablet sleeve secure in lockable compartment
  • Dual front mesh pockets
  • Heat-embossed scratch-free zippered slash pocket

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Osprey Farpoint 40:

Reviewers like these things about the Osprey Farpoint 40

  • Most testers said that it is an amazing day pack with great built material.
  • They said that the pack is easy to load and is much comfortable to wear.
  • They also mentioned that the pack has a good suspension system and is lighweight for easy carry.
  • Many reviewers said that the pack has large capacity to stuff all their requirements for long vacations.
  • A reviewer said that the adjustable stow away hip straps are quiet advantageous.
  • A traveller said that the desing of the pack is well thought with good number of internal pockets for organizing things.
  • Amost all of the buyers are happy to have a detachable day bag with the pack.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A few of the reviewers said that the pack is expensive.
  • Another buyer said that the waterproofing of the pack is not good enough for heavy rains.
  • A buyer also disliked the day pack.

4 – Tumi Voyageur Just in Case

Tumi Women's Voyageur Just in Case Travel Backpack Black
  • Features zip closure and add-a-bag sleeve

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Tumi Voyageur Just in Case:

Reviewers like these things about the Tumi Voyageur Just in Case

  • Reviewers agree that the Tumi Voyageur bag provides comfort to the user of the pack.
  • Reviewers also noted that it is durable due to its nylon construction.
  • Users thought that the bag offers ample organization due to its pockets.
  • Other reviewers pointed out that it could be carried using its leather handle.
  • Users noted that the bag is stylish and attractive.
  • Reviewers found that the pack has a removable and adjustable shoulder strap.
  • Reviewers noted that its pockets are easy to access.
  • Other reviewers said that it has just the right size.
  • Users thought that the bag has a lightweight design.
  • They have also mentioned that the bag may be used for travel, commute, or everyday use.
  • Testers have noted that it holds a good amount of items for such as a small bag.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A user noted the bag is smaller than expected.
  • Another user noted that it is an expensive bag.

5 – Gonex Ultra

Gonex Ultra Lightweight Packable Backpack Daypack Handy Foldable Camping Outdoor Travel Cycling School Backpacking(Black)
  • PERFECT COMPANION FOR TRIPS: This compact backpack is the perfect companion when you are out and about. It will be a fantastic necessity for not matter outdoor sports or leisure activities in or out of the city. Perfect for day trips, vacation, travel, day hikes, school, camping and shopping.
  • INCOMPARABLE QUALITY: Made from High Quality Water Repellent and Tear Resistant Nylon Material, durable Abrasion Resistant SBS Metal Zipper available. Reinforced more than 25 places with Bartack Process.
  • MORE STORAGE SPACE& KEEP THINGS ORGANIZED: Three zippered compartments. Main pocket is Large enough to carry what you need in the trip. Outer smaller pocket is great for quick access such as guide books and camera. Inner zippered pocket is a perfect place for valuables such as cash, credit cards and passport.
  • CONVENIENT AND LIGHTWEIGHT: It fits into an ultra-compact pouch. Easy to folds up into small pocket (Sandwich size). So you can easily pack it in your suitcase for use at their destination as an extra bag for the trip.
  • AIRPORT HERO: Avoid overweight charges, simply unfold from your luggage and use it as a carry on for your excess baggage.

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Gonex Ultra:

Reviewers like these things about the Gonex Ultra

  • Most users said that it is super lightweight.
  • Many users love that it is made of water-resistant material.
  • Several users said that the side pockets are great for water bottles.
  • Reviewers said that small inner pockets are best for keys or cell phones.
  • Many users said that the zippers are super smooth.
  • Reviewers who have used the pack said that straps are adjustable and very comfortable on shoulder.
  • They’ve also mentioned that it folds up and fits into its own inside pouch.
  • Most reviewers agreed that it showed no wear and tear after several rugged uses.
  • Users said that it’s a quite large backpack for a reasonable price.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • One user complained that the zipper had fallen apart after few uses.
  • Another user complained that it does not have a waist strap.
  • Some users complained that it has no structure and very little padding.

6 – LowePro Fastpack BP 250 AW II

Lowepro Fastpack BP 250 AW II - A Travel-Ready Backpack for DSLR and 15" Laptop and Tablet
  • Features three, primary storage zones - camera, device, and open to help keep your gear organized, protected, and ready for the fast pace of modern travel.
  • Secure the pack to a rolling trolley via compression straps,Internal Dimensions: 29 x 15.5 x 27.5 cm (11.42 x 6.10 x 10.83 in) External Dimensions: 31 x 26 x 50 cm (12.20 x 10.24 x 19.69 in) Camera Compartment: 29 x 15.5 x 27.5 cm (11.42 x 6.10 x 10.83 in) Laptop Compartment: 29 x 2 x 46 cm (11.42 x 0.79 x 18.11 in) Weight: 1.8 kg (3.96 lbs) . Tablet Compartment Dimensions 9.4 x 0.59 x 12.00 inches
  • The open zone at top of pack has multiple pockets and space for organizing smartphone, cables, pens, keys and other items
  • The padded and removable waistbelt offers extra comfort and the ability to stash during travel
  • Keep valuable gear protected from the elements with a built-in All Weather AW Cover.Tall, stretch-mesh side pocket for water bottle or tripod base (secure with side compression straps)

Here’s what the reviewers think about the LowePro Fastpack BP 250 AW II:

Reviewers like these things about the LowePro Fastpack BP 250 AW II

  • A lot of users thought the removable waist strap works great when storing the Fastpack under an airplane seat.
  • Tripod mounting strap, water resistant cover, larger upper storage area, tablet pocket inside the laptop storage area and security straps are cited as some of the most useful features of the pack.
  • Many users thought the material is solid and provides plenty of storage room.
  • One user loved how it carries all his camera gear that he can physically lug around for a number of hours.
  • Many users find the bag solidly structured and well-padded where it needs to be.
  • Some appreciate how it provides spare room for a Micro microphone, spare batteries, memory cards, cleaning kit, etc.
  • Others liked how the large opening provide easy access to the contents inside.
  • One user commented that this is the only small bag he’s found that combines real protection, flexible organization and comfortable wearing options.
  • Others noted how light it is to carry even when fully loaded.
  • Many praise it for easy access to gear while standing and walking.
  • Others love that it comes with thick and strong padding.
  • Some users thought it’s a very cool bag for a compact style and does fit a lot.
  • Many users find the presence of multiple pockets useful in providing easy access to everything.
  • Some dubbed it as the best camera and laptop backpack they’ve ever seen.
  • Others like the presence of removable hip belt and built in rain cover.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some mentioned about the stitches coming loose after a couple of use.
  • One user thought the bag doesn’t provide enough camera body support.

7 – Skip Hop Duo

Skip Hop Messenger Diaper Bag With Matching Changing Pad, Duo Signature, Black
  • The updated Duo Signature boasts a bevy of new features that moms and dads have requested: zip-top closure ensures belongings stay securely in the diaper bag, tote handles for versatility and an easy-access tech pocket.
  • New front panel design allows for more storage and stability while keeping items at the bottom of the bag easily accessible.
  • The redesigned Duo Signature still has all the classic components of the original including our patented shuttle clips that easily convert it from a shoulder bag to a stroller bag.
  • 17 total pockets including two mesh side bottles, front zip pocket, easy access pocket and machine washable cushioned changing pad.
  • Patented shuttle clips, nonslip stroller straps, BPA-free, Phthalate-free

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Skip Hop Duo:

Reviewers like these things about the Skip Hop Duo

  • Some users find it very stylish without being too girly.
  • Others love its very accessible pockets.
  • Some users love how the structure makes the bag stand up on its own.
  • Lightweight, durable, organization, functional compartment, capacity and overall design are cited as the main reasons for choosing this bag.
  • A number of reviewers like how it offers enough organization to keep things in their place.
  • Many users noted how easy it is to carry and hang on the stroller handles.
  • Some owners are happy to find that the pockets on the side have fairly strong magnets that keep them shut.
  • Others thought the stroller clips are so inconspicuous and easy to use.
  • A number of users find the bag very well put together and thought out.
  • A lot of users find it an excellent diaper bag but doesn’t scream baby.
  • Some users find the presence of a little zippered pocket on the inside handy to store valuable items.
  • A number of users thought allthe compartments are very useful.
  • Others are pleased with how the strap is easily adjustable with comfort pad for shoulder.
  • Some users like how easy it is to wipe clean.
  • Others also appreciate the presence of key fob to clip your keys onto.
  • A number of users like how it can be attached to stroller if needed.
  • Many owners find the exterior bottle pockets handy and convenient.
  • A lot of users thought the shoulder strap has large padded area that feels great and helps to stop slipping.
  • A number of users love how the handles come handy for many different carrying options.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users thought the material is very stiff.
  • Others find the changing pad a little small.

8 – Vango Freedom 80+20

No products found.

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Vango Freedom 80+20:

Reviewers like these things about the Vango Freedom 80+20

  • According to users, the Vango Freedom pack’s design appears much more stylish and contemporary compared to some of the previous models.
  • Other users pointed out that it has used a durable and abrasion resistant polyester material for the body of the bag, which should fare well when traveling.
  • Testers found out that its back system looks relatively easy to adjust to suit the height, with a ladder lock design and Velcro adjustment.
  • Reviewers noted that its air mesh padding on the shoulder area, shoulder straps, and waist belt is an excellent addition for comfort and will no doubt help reduce a sweaty back in hot climates.
  • Reviewers pointed out that it has a proper sized main compartment with compression straps for holding clothes in place.
  • Other reviewers also found that it has a special drawstring gaiter that aids in keeping the stuff compact and where it is wanted to be.
  • They noticed that its main compartment has a side opening similar to that of a suitcase and has twin zips which can be locked to make it more secure.
  • Users discovered that its zips also have handy zip pullers on them to make them easier to open and close.
  • They also noted that its high visibility orange lining is designed to make it easier to find stuff in poor light.
  • Testers found that the pack includes a zip flight cover, which covers and protects the shoulder straps during flights and has its own storage pocket at the base of the backpack.
  • Reviewers pointed out that the shoulder strap is stored in a discreet pocket at the side of the pack which could be used for stashing valuables and other bits and pieces while using the strap.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A reviewer thought that a petite woman might struggle to get a comfortable fit.
  • A tester said that it has no bungee cord attachment from the front.

9 – Tamrac Zuma 7

Tamrac 5727014 Zuma 7 Triple Access Backpack (Black)
  • Durable 600D PolyTek Exterior
  • Cordura Nylon Lining/Waterproof Coating
  • Holds DSLR with 6.5" (16.5 cm) Lens

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Tamrac Zuma 7:

Reviewers like these things about the Tamrac Zuma 7

  • Some users love the foam-padded dividers that can be adjusted for a perfect fit to camera equipment.
  • Others love the presence of a separate compartment keeps an iPad accessible and protected from photo gear.
  • Some reviewers like the mesh pocket for organizing memory cards and batteries.
  • Others like the open pocket at the back of the bag which stores notepad or map, and keeps a manual handy.
  • Many users like its adjustable, foam-padded shoulder strap and carrying handle for convenience and carrying comfort.
  • A lot of users laud its foam padded compartment that effectively holds and protects equipment.
  • Many users adore its slim profile.
  • A lot of users find the construction and design of the bag impeccable.
  • Many owners find it an excellent travel and tourist camera bag.
  • A number of users thought the fabric is of good and durable quality.
  • Many users thought the shoulder strap is comfortable and has plenty of length to it.
  • A lot of users said it feels solid, the zippers are strong and the D-rings are made of metal instead of plastic.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users are disapointed that the side mesh pocket does not fit a water bottle.
  • One user said the top handle is placed in an awkward position.

10 – Osprey Fairview 55

Osprey Packs Fairview 55 Women's Travel Backpack, Rainforest Green, Small/Medium
  • Stowaway backpanel, harness and hipbelt with zippered rear flap for protection
  • Detachable daypack provides additional storage and organization ideal for daytrips or carry-on
  • Durable fabrics in high-wear areas combine with smart design to create a lightweight and tough travel pack that will last a lifetime.
  • Large panel zip access to main compartment
  • Lockable sliders on main compartment zipper

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Osprey Fairview 55:

Reviewers like these things about the Osprey Fairview 55

  • Testers found out that the Osprey Fairview backpack is comfortable to carry.
  • Other testers recommend the use of the pack for traveling and commuting.
  • Users also noted that it is capable of distributing load efficiently.
  • Reviewers thought that the bag delivers sufficient ventilation due to its mesh back panel.
  • According to some reviewers, the backpack does not chafe when underloaded due to the mesh on the harness and hip belt.
  • Other users also noted that it has a large main compartment to store essential things and belongings.
  • According to those who used it, the backpack has a durable design.
  • Other users found that its pockets were sufficient to store and organize things securely.
  • Many users took notice on its harness and hip belt which may be zipped away when not in use to prevent the pack from snags and hangups.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A tester discovered that its shoulder straps were not that comfortable.
  • A reviewer mentioned that it lacks a specific pocket for laptops.

Selected reviews

The Savvy Backpacker reviewed the Osprey Porter 46

All in all, the Osprey Porter is a super well-rounded backpack and its easy to see why its one of the most popular travel backpacks.

Posted 5 March 2018 by James – Read full review

Her Packing List reviewed the Osprey Porter 46

Its just right when it comes to being able to carry it. Sometimes I still think it is too big because I have too much stuff with me now. But, I often pack more at the start of the trip and shed stuff as I go. I will wear the same two t-shirts for weeks, and then get rid of them, lightening the load.

Posted 29 January 2013 by Brooke Schoenman – Read full review

About MightyGoods

Here at our site MightyGoods, we have checked thousands of reviews in order to build the biggest directory of backpacks, luggage, handbags and lots of other bags.

So far we have checked more than 2,1 million reviews!

Using our bag review summaries, we aim to help you find the perfect bag without having to spend a lot of time reading an endless list of reviews.

Last update on 2018-12-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *