Top 7 Must-Have Travel Backpacks for the Adventurous Soul

Are you an avid traveler constantly on the lookout for the best travel companion? Well, look no further because I’ve got you covered. Let’s dive into the world of travel backpacks, where functionality meets style, and durability meets comfort. Whether you’re embarking on a thrilling adventure across rugged terrains or jet-setting to exotic destinations, having the best travel backpack is an absolute game-changer.

Imagine a backpack that effortlessly carries all your essentials, while keeping them organized and easily accessible. From spacious compartments and hidden pockets to dedicated laptop sleeves and water bottle holders, the best travel backpacks offer a plethora of features tailored to your specific needs. They are meticulously designed with high-quality materials, ensuring they can withstand the test of time and the rigors of your travels.

7 Best Travel Backpacks

1. TUMI Alpha 3 Brief Pack – 15″ Laptop Backpack


  • Durable construction
  • Ample storage space
  • Laptop protection
  • Comfortable to carry
  • Travel-friendly features


  • Expensive
  • Limited color options
  • Lack of external pockets

The TUMI Alpha 3 Brief Pack – 15″ Laptop Backpack is a remarkable combination of style, durability, and functionality. Designed with meticulous attention to detail, this backpack is crafted with high-quality materials that ensure longevity and reliability.

Its spacious design provides ample storage space, with multiple compartments and pockets to keep your belongings organized and easily accessible.

The padded laptop compartment offers excellent protection for your 15″ laptop, while the adjustable shoulder straps and padded back panel provide optimal comfort, even during extended wear.

Additionally, its travel-friendly features, such as the pass-through sleeve for attaching to a luggage handle, make it a convenient choice for globetrotters. While it falls within a higher price range, the TUMI Alpha 3 Brief Pack is a worthwhile investment for those who value both style and functionality in a backpack.

2. Amazon Basics Carry-On Travel Backpack


  • Internal laptop sleeve
  • Lightweight and flexible
  • Durable polyester material
  • Organized compartments with compression straps
  • Easy access to front pockets
  • Expandable storage space
  • Convenient detachable shoulder straps
  • Removable sternum strap, waist belt, and shoulder strap


  • Minimal ventilation

The Amazon Basics Carry-On Travel Backpack is the perfect companion for your travel adventures. Made from durable polyester, this lightweight and flexible backpack is designed to withstand the rigors of travel while providing optimal functionality.

With its internal zippered laptop sleeve, you can securely store and protect your laptop during your journey. The main compartment features a zippered mesh space, optional midway shelf, and internal/external compression straps, allowing you to efficiently organize and secure your belongings.

Easy access to documents and travel liquids is provided by the front pocket and front-top pocket, while the main upper packing compartment offers an organizer and expandable storage space. The tuck-away ID pocket adds to the convenience of this backpack.

3. Briggs & Riley @Work Medium Cargo Backpack


  • Durable construction
  • Laptop protection
  • Comfortable to carry
  • Professional and sleek design


  • Expensive
  • Limited color options

The Briggs & Riley Work Medium Cargo Backpack is a highly functional and stylish choice for professionals on the go. With its spacious and well-organized design, this backpack offers ample storage space and multiple compartments to keep your belongings neatly arranged. Crafted with durable materials, it is built to withstand the rigors of daily use and travel.

One of its standout features is the padded laptop compartment, providing excellent protection for your device during transportation. The backpack is also designed for comfort, with padded shoulder straps and a breathable back panel that make carrying it a breeze, even during long hours.

With a professional and sleek appearance, the Work Medium Cargo Backpack is perfect for business settings. However, it is worth noting that it falls within a higher price range. Additionally, the color options may be more limited compared to other models.

4. Prior Season Osprey Porter 46L Travel Backpack


  • Carry-on compatible.
  • Versatile design.
  • Stowaway harness for backpack-style carry.
  • Sustainable build.


  • Bulky Appearance.

The Prior Season Osprey Porter 46L Travel Backpack is the perfect companion for your travel adventures. Whether you’re hopping on a plane or taking a train, this backpack is equally at home in overhead storage compartments or cramped train cars. It is the largest carry-on compatible pack in the series, providing you with ample storage space while meeting most airline carry-on size restrictions.

Designed with versatility in mind, the Porter 46L offers the simplicity of a gear-hauling duffel bag combined with everyday organization and travel convenience. With multiple pockets and compartments, including a padded laptop sleeve, you can easily organize and access your belongings. The backpack features a stowaway harness, allowing you to switch to a comfortable backpack-style carry when needed, and conveniently store the harness when checking the bag.

Related Post: How to Wash an Osprey Backpack

5. Wenger Luggage Synergy Backpack


  • Wheeled design for easy transport
  • Padded laptop and tablet pockets
  • Zippered mesh accessories pocket
  • Essentials organizer with anti-scratch lining
  • Secure lock handle and smooth-gliding wheels
  • Velcro wheel cover for added protection


  • Expansive

The Wenger Luggage Synergy Backpack takes the convenience of traditional backpacks to the next level with the addition of two rolling wheels and a telescoping trolley handle. This innovative design allows for easy transport, combining the functionality of a backpack with the effortless mobility of wheeled luggage.

Featuring a triple protect padded pocket, it provides a secure and cushioned space for a 16″ laptop, while a dedicated 12.9″ tablet pocket keeps your tablet safe and easily accessible. The backpack also includes a zippered mesh accessories pocket for organizing smaller items and an essentials organizer with an anti-scratch lining.

With a secure lock handle and smooth-gliding wheels, you can navigate through airports or city streets with ease and confidence. The product also offers the convenience of a Velcro wheel cover, ensuring added protection when the backpack is not in use.

6. Baggallini Securtex® Anti-theft Vacation Backpack


  • Lightweight and water-resistant
  • Built-in RFID-blocking technology
  • Slash-resistant material
  • Locking zippers for added security


  • Limited color options

The Baggallini Securtex® Anti-theft Vacation Backpack is a lightweight and water-resistant backpack that offers convenience and peace of mind during your travels. Made with water-resistant material, it is easy to clean and maintain. Weighing just over 1.06 pounds and measuring 10’’ wide x 13’’ tall x 3.5’’ deep, it is the perfect lightweight choice for your adventures.

One of its standout features is the built-in RFID-blocking technology, which ensures that your personal information remains safe from unauthorized scanning during your day-to-day travels or epic adventures.

Designed with safety in mind, the backpack is made from slash-resistant Securtex® anti-theft fabric. This feature safeguards your belongings and ensures that the backpack stays in pristine condition, even in busy and crowded environments.

7. SwissGear 2769 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack


  • TSA Friendly design for easy airport security
  • Enhanced laptop compartment with zippered access
  • Padded TabletSafe pocket
  • Comfortable to carry with padded straps and airflow back padding
  • Multiple pockets for organized storage


  • Heavier

The SwissGear 2769 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack is a reliable and efficient travel companion, specifically designed to expedite your airport security experience. With its TSA-friendly design, you can keep your laptop securely in the case while passing through security checkpoints, saving you time and hassle.

Featuring an enhanced laptop compartment with zippered access, this backpack accommodates up to a 16-inch laptop, providing convenient and secure storage. Additionally, it includes a padded TabletSafe pocket to keep your tablet protected during your travels.

Comfort is a priority with this backpack. It is equipped with ergonomically contoured and padded shoulder straps, adjustable compression straps, airflow back padding, and a reinforced molded top handle. These features ensure a comfortable and supportive carrying experience, even during long journeys.

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What to look for when buying backpacks?

When buying a backpack, there are several key factors to consider to ensure you choose the right one for your needs. Here are some important things to look for:

  1. Size and Capacity: Determine the size and capacity you require based on how you plan to use the backpack. Consider the volume of items you typically carry and if you need it for day trips, travel, hiking, or other specific activities.
  2. Comfort and Fit: Look for padded shoulder straps, a supportive back panel, and an adjustable sternum strap or waist belt to distribute the weight evenly and enhance comfort. Ensure the backpack fits well on your body to prevent strain and discomfort.
  3. Durability: Check the material and construction quality of the backpack. Look for sturdy and water-resistant materials that can withstand regular use and various weather conditions. Reinforced stitching and strong zippers are also important for durability.
  4. Organization and Accessibility: Consider the organization features of the backpack. Look for multiple compartments, pockets, and dividers to keep your belongings organized and easily accessible. Features like laptop sleeves, hydration bladder compatibility, and external attachment points can also be beneficial.
  5. Weight: Consider the weight of the backpack itself, especially if you plan on carrying it for extended periods or need to meet certain weight restrictions. Opt for lightweight materials without compromising durability.
  6. Style and Design: Choose a backpack that suits your personal style and preferences. Consider color options, aesthetics, and any specific design features that align with your needs or activities.
  7. Price and Value: Set a budget and look for a backpack that offers good value for the price. Consider the overall quality, features, and durability in relation to the cost.


What size backpack should I choose for travel?

The size of the backpack you choose for travel depends on various factors, including the duration and type of your travel. Here are some general guidelines:

  1. Day Trips or Weekend Getaways: For shorter trips where you only need to pack essentials, a backpack with a capacity of 20-30 liters should be sufficient.
  2. Carry-On Travel: If you prefer to travel with just a backpack as your carry-on luggage, look for one with a capacity of around 30-40 liters. This size should meet most airline carry-on size restrictions.
  3. Extended Travel or Backpacking: For longer trips or backpacking adventures, consider a backpack with a capacity of 40-60 liters. This will provide enough space to carry clothing, gear, and other essentials for extended periods.
  4. Specialty Activities: If you have specific activities in mind, such as hiking or trekking, you might need a backpack with additional capacity to accommodate specialized equipment or gear. In such cases, consider backpacks with 50+ liters of capacity.

Remember that these are general guidelines, and personal preferences may vary. It’s important to consider your packing style, the climate of your destination, and the specific items you plan to carry. Additionally, check the specific regulations and requirements of the airlines or transportation methods you’ll be using to ensure your backpack size complies with their restrictions.

Are travel backpacks waterproof?

Not all travel backpacks are waterproof, but many come with water-resistant materials or features to provide some level of protection against light rain or moisture. Water resistance means the backpack can repel water to a certain extent, keeping the contents dry for a short period of time. However, in heavy rain or prolonged exposure to water, water-resistant backpacks may eventually become saturated and allow water to seep through.

If you anticipate encountering heavy rain or engaging in water activities, you may want to consider investing in a fully waterproof backpack. These backpacks are typically made with specialized waterproof materials and feature sealed seams or zippers to provide maximum protection against water. Keep in mind that fully waterproof backpacks may come at a higher cost compared to water-resistant options.

Can I use a travel backpack as a carry-on?

Yes, many travel backpacks are designed to be used as carry-on luggage. They are typically designed to comply with the size restrictions set by airlines for carry-on bags. However, it’s important to note that carry-on size limits can vary between airlines, so it’s always a good idea to check the specific dimensions allowed by the airline(s) you plan to travel with.

When choosing a travel backpack for carry-on use, consider the maximum dimensions allowed by the airlines and ensure that the backpack falls within those limits. Keep in mind that some backpacks may have a slightly different shape or structure, so even if the dimensions are within the guidelines, it’s a good idea to visually assess if the backpack appears suitable for overhead storage.

Are travel backpacks comfortable to carry for extended periods?

The comfort level of travel backpacks can vary depending on several factors, including the design, padding, and adjustability of the straps, as well as the weight distribution and overall fit. Many travel backpacks are designed with comfort in mind, especially those intended for longer trips or outdoor activities.

To enhance comfort during extended periods of carrying, look for the following features:

  1. Padded shoulder straps: Thick and cushioned shoulder straps help distribute the weight of the backpack more evenly on your shoulders, reducing discomfort and strain.
  2. Adjustable straps: Backpacks with adjustable shoulder straps allow you to customize the fit according to your body size and preferences. This ensures a more ergonomic and comfortable carry.
  3. Hip belt or waist strap: Some travel backpacks come with a hip belt or waist strap that helps transfer the weight from your shoulders to your hips. This can greatly reduce strain on your back and shoulders, making it more comfortable to carry the backpack for extended periods.
  4. Back panel padding and ventilation: Look for backpacks with padded back panels and ventilation channels that promote airflow and minimize back sweat. This helps prevent discomfort and keeps you cool during long hours of wear.
  5. Load distribution and stabilization features: Backpacks with load lifter straps, sternum straps, and compression straps allow you to adjust the fit and stabilize the load, providing better balance and reducing strain on your body.

Can I use a travel backpack for hiking or outdoor activities?

Yes, many travel backpacks are versatile enough to be used for hiking or other outdoor activities. While they may not have all the specialized features of dedicated hiking backpacks, they can still provide a practical solution for carrying your gear during outdoor adventures.

When considering using a travel backpack for hiking or outdoor activities, here are a few factors to keep in mind:

  1. Capacity: Choose a travel backpack with sufficient capacity to carry your hiking essentials, such as clothing layers, water, snacks, and other gear. Look for backpacks with larger capacities (40 liters or more) if you plan on longer or multi-day hikes.
  2. Comfort and Support: Consider the backpack’s comfort features, such as padded shoulder straps, adjustable waist belts, and back ventilation systems. These features contribute to a more comfortable hiking experience, especially during longer treks.
  3. Durability: Ensure that the travel backpack is made from durable materials that can withstand the rigors of outdoor activities. Look for backpacks constructed from rugged fabrics that offer water resistance or have a rain cover to protect your gear during unexpected showers.
  4. Access and Organization: Look for backpacks with multiple compartments and pockets to help you organize and access your gear easily. Features like external attachment points for trekking poles, water bottle pockets, and compression straps can also be helpful for hiking-specific needs.

While a travel backpack may not have all the technical features of a dedicated hiking backpack, it can still be a versatile option for day hikes or less demanding outdoor activities. Just ensure that the backpack meets your specific needs and preferences for comfort, capacity, and durability.

Q: Are travel backpacks suitable for laptops and electronics?

Yes, travel backpacks are often designed to accommodate laptops and electronics. Many travel backpacks include dedicated compartments or sleeves specifically designed to safely store and protect laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices.

When choosing a travel backpack for your laptops and electronics, consider the following:

  1. Laptop Compartment: Look for a backpack with a padded laptop compartment that provides cushioning and protection against bumps and impacts. Ensure that the compartment is large enough to fit your laptop size.
  2. Tablet or Device Pockets: Some backpacks also have separate pockets or sleeves for tablets or other electronic devices. These pockets are usually padded to offer additional protection.
  3. Accessibility: Consider the ease of accessing your laptop or electronics within the backpack. Look for backpacks with quick-access or side-access laptop compartments for convenient security checkpoints or on-the-go access.
  4. Organization: Check if the backpack has additional organizational features, such as pockets, cable management systems, or mesh compartments, to help keep your electronics and accessories well-organized.
  5. Security Features: Travel backpacks may offer additional security features like anti-theft pockets or RFID-blocking compartments to protect your valuable electronic items from theft or unauthorized scanning.

Are there any specific care instructions for travel backpacks?

Yes, caring for your travel backpack properly can help prolong its lifespan and ensure it stays in good condition. While care instructions may vary depending on the specific backpack and materials used, here are some general guidelines:

  1. Cleaning: Regularly clean your backpack to remove dirt, stains, and odors. Use a mild detergent or backpack-specific cleaner, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Avoid machine washing unless specified by the manufacturer.
  2. Spot Cleaning: For small stains or spills, spot clean the affected area using a damp cloth or sponge. Gently scrub the stain without applying excessive force, and allow the backpack to air dry.
  3. Drying: After cleaning or exposure to moisture, always allow your backpack to dry completely before storing it. Hang it in a well-ventilated area or lay it flat on a clean surface. Avoid direct sunlight or using a dryer, as excessive heat can damage the materials.
  4. Storage: When not in use, store your backpack in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Ensure it is empty and clean to prevent the growth of mold or mildew. Avoid compressing the backpack for extended periods, as it can affect the shape and structure.
  5. Waterproofing: If your backpack is water-resistant or has a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating, periodically reapply a waterproofing treatment to maintain its water resistance. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for the specific product used.
  6. Repairs: If your backpack requires repairs, such as loose stitching or broken zippers, consider contacting the manufacturer or a professional repair service. Avoid attempting complex repairs yourself, as it may compromise the backpack’s integrity.

Always refer to the care instructions provided by the manufacturer for specific guidance on caring for your travel backpack, as different materials and constructions may have unique care requirements.

Final Verdict

Choosing the right travel backpack is essential for any adventurer looking for comfort, durability, and functionality. The best travel backpacks offer a perfect balance of these qualities, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable travel experience.

With a wide range of options available, it’s important to consider factors such as size, weight, compartments, and overall design to meet your specific needs. Whether you’re a frequent traveler or a casual explorer, investing in a high-quality backpack can greatly enhance your journeys.

By prioritizing convenience and organization, these backpacks allow you to carry your essentials with ease, keeping you prepared and ready for any adventure that awaits.

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