Best Travel Backpacks: Our Top Picks For Every Budget (2024)

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Traveling with a backpack is great because it makes packing super simple. However, most backpacks aren’t durable enough for traveling long distances.

Travel backpacks can get quite expensive too. But if you want something stylish, durable, and functional, then check out our top pics for the best travel backpacks.

I’ve been traveling since I was in my teens, so it’s safe to safe I’ve had my fair share of travel packs. I’ve tested each bag over the years to make sure it will last you years and look good while you do it. And I’m going to tell you why I love each one and show you my favorite travel backpacks.

Top 3 Best Overall Quality Travel Backpacks

Top 3 Best Overall Travel Backpacks
Samsonite Kombi Business Backpack
Why I love it: It has room enough for my laptop, smaller internal pockets for my other gadgets, and still has enough space for some clothes. It's been with me for years and it's become a staple in my travels since it's great for heavy loads too. The large openings make it easy to put things in and out too.
What I would change: I wish the side pockets were a bit bigger to hold my water bottle.
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Top 3 Best Overall Travel Backpacks
Peak Design Everyday Backpack Zip
Why I love it: I love Peak Design's sleek design, comfort, and adjustable straps, this backpack is a stylish option for carrying your belongings. This backpack is made of lightweight nylon fabric and features a zip-top closure. The Peak Design Travel Backpack's carry-on size is designed to be used as a carry-on bag when traveling. This backpack includes a laptop sleeve and two mesh pockets. Plus, it only weighs 1 pound!
What I would change: The side flap could open a bit wider
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Top 3 Best Overall Travel Backpacks
Kenneth Cole Reaction Manhattan Commuter Slim Backpack
Why I love it: This Kenneth Cole Reaction backpack is perfect for students who need a bag that fits everything they need for school. The front pocket holds a laptop computer and tablet, while the main compartment holds textbooks, notebooks, pens, and other supplies. There's also a zippered pouch inside the main compartment where you can store small items like earbuds, keys, and phone chargers. This backpack is made from cognac leather and features a padded back panel, adjustable shoulder straps, and two side pockets.
What I would change: Pricey
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Top 3 Best Mid-Priced Travel Backpacks

Top 3 Best Mid-Priced Travel Backpacks
Himawari Travel Backpack
Why I love it: Available in 44 different vibrant colors, the Himawari Travel backpack is designed to carry everything you need while traveling. It has enough room for clothes, toiletries, books, and more. This travel bag is well-loved by digital nomads as it is made of durable nylon fabric and features a padded laptop sleeve.
What I would change: The zipper sometimes comes off
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Top 3 Best Mid-Priced Travel Backpacks
Herschel Heritage Backpack
Why I love it: This backpack was designed by Herschel Supply Co. It's a classic. It features a main compartment with a zippered pocket, two mesh pockets, and a padded laptop sleeve. The exterior has a Herschel logo patch and a branded zipper pull tab.
What I would change: External compression straps could do better
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Top 3 Best Mid-Priced Travel Backpacks
KAKA Compartment Travel Backpack
Why I love it: Kaka has been making travel bags since 2006. This backpack is made of highly-durable nylon fabric and features two main compartments, one large zippered pocket, and a front zip pocket. It also includes a padded laptop sleeve and padded shoulder strap.
What I would change: Maybe not for office workers
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Top 3 Best Value Travel Backpacks

Top 3 Best Value Travel Backpacks
Volher Multi-use Travel Backpack
Why I love it: What's not to love? Volher backpack is designed to carry everything you need while traveling. It's highly elastic, has two wide main compartments, and great for organizing your stuff. There is even a separate laptop compartment.
What I would change: True to life colors, the colors on the photo didn't match what came in the mail
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Top 3 Best Value Travel Backpacks
Victoriatourist Laptop Backpack
Why I love it: This Victoriatourist backpack is 15.6 Inches, making it large enough to pack all my things. It has a slim design with plenty of padding making it very durable for my laptop to go in. The best part? It is also equipped with a USB Charging Port! The backpack strap also feels comfortable to wear.
What I would change: I'd appreciate at least one side external pocket for easy access to a water bottle or a pocket for wallet items
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Top 3 Best Value Travel Backpacks
Monsdle Travel Laptop Backpack
Why I love it: The Monsdle Travel Laptop backpack is designed specifically for travel. It has plenty of room for gadgets and other personal items. This laptop bag also comes with a removable padded sleeve for extra protection and organizational pockets. Besides the laptop sleeve, I appreciate the tablet sleeve too.
What I would change: Wider expandable water bottle pockets could do better
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Special Mentions

No guide would be complete without me mentioning some of my top picks from all my travels over the years. Writing the list below made me go through memory lane so I hope something in here makes you want to travel some more too!

Here are my special mentions and favorite travel companions for the best travel backpacks: 

Best Traditional Travel Backpack

Best Traditional Travel Backpack
Samsonite Xenon 3.0 Checkpoint Friendly Backpack
Why I love it: Samsonite Xenon 3.1 is a Nomatic travel pack designed to meet the demands of modern travelers. It has lasted me years of travel. It features a large padded compartment, two smaller compartment organizations, and a mesh zipper pocket.  It's the perfect outdoor adventure gear for travelers looking for a lot of built-in organization.
What I would change: Add a waterbottle holder
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Best Stylish Travel Backpack

Best Stylish Travel Backpack
RUVALINO Multifunction Travel Back Pack
Why I love it: The RUVALINO multifunction travel backpack has 16 pockets! It is designed to carry everything you need while traveling. YES, it has hidden pockets too! It is so versatile even moms with babies use this. It's durable and designed for convenience as the compartment for electronics are wide enough and everything has a zipper for maximum security.
What I would change: Add more pastel colors
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Best Large Travel Backpack

Best Large Travel Backpack
SHRRADOO 52L Travel Laptop Backpack
Why I love it: SHRRADOO is an excellent choice for over-packers like me. In all my years of travel, these have been durable and show no signs of wear or coming apart. This is the perfect gear for those with a unique travel style. It carries a large capacity and is water resistant. I find the comfortable carry design and the USB charging port a big plus for me too.
What I would change: Add more colors
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Best Lightweight Travel Backpack

Best Overall
Venture Pal 40L Lightweight Packable Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack

Venture Pal is an exceptional backpack that is thin and lightweight. It folds into itself so the bag is a part of the pack. It is an affordable option that has external pocket zips against your back that is waterproof too.

Volume: 40 L

Weight: 0.7 lbs


  • The large capacity makes it perfect for extended trips
  • Sponge padding on the breathable mesh shoulder straps help relieve the stress from your shoulder.
  • A zippered pocket at the back leads to the wet pocket for easy access to wet gear.
  • Comes in 11 colors
Why I love it: Venture pal is an ultralight pack space saver for quick weekend trips. Light packers will love this travel bag! Weighing only weighs 0.7 pounds it's a compact and handy backpack, you'll love this if you're the type of traveler who doesn't like heavy bags. The wet hidden compartment keeps your other things dry. Mesh water bottle pockets give you that easy access. The separate compartments make it easy to organize and it comes in 11 colors.
What I would change: Secure side pockets for wallet items could be better
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Best Compression Travel Bags

Best Compression Travel Trips
BANGE Travel Overnight Backpack
Why I love it: The packing cubes make it super easy to store more items inside yet perfectly fit in overhead compartments! It has a hand strap on the sides and top, which can serve as a carry handle. The clamps and buckles on the exterior four corners of the bag cinched the bag down, making this a choice for travelers. The rear of the pack has a hidden breathable mesh panel and elasticized waist belt, and there is an elasticated chest strap on the front of the waist belt which can hold the pack tight. I just love this outdoor gear, its definitely one of the ultimate packs for me.
What I would change: More padding on the sleeves
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Best Duffel

Best Duffel
Adidas Defender 4 Medium Duffel Bag
Why I love it: I always carry a backpack when traveling, but sometimes it gets heavy and bulky. So I was excited when Adidas introduced the Adidas Defender 4 medium duffel bag. It's lightweight, durable, and perfect for day trips in my personal experience. It features a padded laptop sleeve, two mesh side pockets, and a front simple pocket with a zippered closure. It comes in 13 different colors, is water resistant, and has a lifetime warranty.
What I would change: Add a base plate
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Best Backpacks When Travelling on Foot

Best for Foot Travel
Osprey Fairview 40 Women’s Travel Backpack

Why I love it: I love Osprey backpacks for traveling. I have used several different models over the years and have found that the Osprey Fairview 40L travel bag is perfect for long trips. It holds enough gear for 3 days of hiking and camping, has a lockable zipper for maximum security, plus plenty of space for clothes and other items. Its easy to carry and comfortable to wear. And it has a removable day pack attachment that allows you to add extra storage while still keeping the main compartment empty. Osprey has been a personal preference for some time now too.
What I would change: Not a fan of the two mesh water bottles at the front, still prefer mine to be at the sides for easier reach and access
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Best for Business Trips

Best for Business Trips
MATEIN Carry On Backpack
Why I love it: Durable, lightweight, and water resistant: Hidden Back Pocket can hold passport, cellphone, and wallet. It's become a favorite laptop compartment for me because of the anti-theft & safety features. It has a laptop pocket with a lockable metallic waterproof zipper compartment and is safe from theft. A shoe compartment at the back of a backpack is great for storing large sizes of shoes. Breathable design with soft foam padding on the back, shoulder straps and grab handle, the internal texture of fine, to keep it breathable and give you maximum back support. The elegant design/minimal design also caught my eye, it's one of the best one-bag travel for sure.
What I would change: A wider side sleeve for bigger water bottles or an umbrella
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Best for Organization

Best for Organization
WONHOX Large Travel Backpack Women
Why I love it: I'm always looking for a backpack that fits my lifestyle and personality. So when I saw WONHOX's large travel backpack, I knew it was perfect for me. I had a hard time choosing from the 23 different colors but it was worth it! This backpack has some serious organizational features. It provides a spacious packing space enough to fit all of my belongings, yet light enough to carry comfortably. Plus, it features a padded laptop compartment,(my 15-inch laptop fits yey!) making it easy to pack and unpack whenever I travel.  It also includes plenty of safe pockets for organizing items. The internal organization includes a zipper pocket inside the main compartment, two side mesh pockets, and an easy-access pocket. There's even a built-in rain cover, so I never have to worry about carrying an umbrella while I explore. And since it's made in Korea, I feel confident knowing that it's manufactured with durable materials and meets strict safety standards. I highly recommend checking out WONHOX'
What I would change: Make an expandable water bottle exterior pocket
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Consider the following when choosing the best travel backpack for you:

Your backpack isn’t just a bag; it’s your mobile home, carrying all your essentials and small items wherever you go. Choosing the perfect travel backpack requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure it suits your needs, preferences, and travel style.

Determine Your Travel Needs 

Before you start browsing through backpack options, consider your travel needs. Are you a digital nomad, a weekend traveler, or a backpacker exploring remote trails? Understanding your travel style will help you determine the size, features, and durability you require in a perfect backpack.

Assess the Backpack Size 

Choosing the perfect size is paramount. Your short trips might need a smaller backpack (around 20-30 liters), while long trips could require something more extensive (50-70 liters). However, ensure the size complies with airline regulations if you fly frequently.

Focus on Comfort 

For me, this is a non-negotiable, especially if you plan on walking long distances. Look for padded shoulder straps, a supportive back panel, and a hip belt. A sternum strap ensures a snug fit, distributing the weight evenly on your chest and preventing strain on your shoulders.

Consider the Travel Backpack’s Weight 

The backpack itself adds weight to your luggage. Opt for lightweight materials like nylon or polyester, ensuring the backpack is sturdy yet light. Every extra pound in your Duffel bag is an added burden on your shoulders and back.

Evaluate Compartments and Pockets 

Different travelers have different needs. Personally, I prefer bags that offer a laptop compartment, water bottle pockets, a dedicated shoe compartment, and ample packing space. These features are especially valuable for me during my long trips. However, you’re free to opt for smaller and simpler compartments for organization if you’re ony going on a weekend trip. Always consider your preference and assess the backpack’s pocket layout, ensuring it gives you easy access to your gadgets, clothes, water bottles, toiletries and other personal items.

Think About Security Features 

Safety is paramount. Look for backpacks with lockable zippers and RFID-blocking compartments. The right bag would have anti-theft features like hidden a small pocket and cut-resistant straps to provide an extra layer of security, especially in crowded places.

Durability and Weather Resistance 

When it comes to travel backpacks, durability is key. To ensure that your travel backpack can handle the wear and tear of your adventures, it’s crucial to invest in one made from high-quality materials that can withstand heavy loads.

By doing so, you’ll not only be extending the lifespan of your perfect bag but also guaranteeing that it will last for many memorable hiking trips to come. 

And lastly, consider water-resistant or waterproof options, safeguarding your belongings from unexpected rain showers or accidental spills. 

Test the Zippers and Handles

Zippers and handles are often overlooked until they malfunction. Do a durability test on the zippers to ensure they glide smoothly, and check the handles for sturdiness.

Quality zippers prevent frustrating situations, and robust handles make transportation easier.

Budget Considerations 

Set a budget but be willing to invest. A good travel backpack is an investment in your comfort and convenience. Compare prices, read reviews, and find a backpack that offers the best value for your money.

Brand Reputation and Reviews

Research the brands. Reputable brands often provide superior quality and excellent customer service. Read online reviews, check out what’s the best feature for each product and go through testimonials from fellow travelers to gauge the travel backpack’s performance in real-life situations.

Check for Warranty and Return Policy 

Ensure the travel backpack comes with a warranty. A warranty reflects the manufacturer’s confidence in their product. Additionally, understand the return policy of the store you purchase from, giving you peace of mind if the backpack doesn’t meet your expectations.

Personalize Your Hiking Backpack 

Consider your style and preferences. Many carry-on bag offer customization options, allowing you to choose colors, add patches, or even personalize with your name. This gives your day bags a unique feature that reflects your personality and makes it easily identifiable in crowded places.

Ask Around for Recommendations 

Ask for recommendations from fellow travelers or online communities. Real-life experiences often provide valuable insights that advertisements might miss. Engaging with seasoned travelers can offer valuable advice on choosing the best carry-on travel backpacks.

Choosing the best travel backpack is a personal journey. Now that you’ve gone through my top picks for the best travel backpacks, you have a better idea of what to look for when buying a new bag. 

Related Reading: 16 Best Child Carrier Backpacks for 2023

Make sure that your travel backpack is durable, comfortable, and has enough space inside, and the features that are important to you. Safe travels.

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