The Best Travel Backpacks | In-Depth Buyer’s Guide & Backpack Reviews

I’m here to help you find the best backpack for your travel style, and I understand that you want stylish and urban-friendly backpacks that are functional and comfortable. It’s great to see that there are more travel backpack options available on the market now, thanks to manufacturers who are finally listening to travelers like us.

What Knowledge Do I Have About Travel Backpacks?

Just a few of the travel backpacks I’ve tested (yes… I’m a backpack nerd).

In this article, I have created a list of the best travel backpacks for multiple travel styles. Since 2008, I have personally tested over 25 of the most popular backpacks for travel and have traveled to Europe dozens of times with my trusty backpack strapped to my back.

I have tried to cover every aspect and feature that you’ll want to consider when finding what suits you best: choosing a backpack for travel. I’ve also tried my best to suggest my favorite backpacks at every price point, knowing that not everyone wants to shell out $200+.

Contents:

  • Why I Journey With A Rucksack.
  • The Top Travel Backpacks For 2023 Osprey Farpoint: The Best Overall Travel Backpack.
  • Aer Travel Pack 3.: Top Streamlined Minimalist Travel Backpack.
  • Cotopaxi Allpa 42L: The Ultimate “Blend of Design and Style” Travel Backpack.
  • Osprey Porter: Top Affordable Backpack for Carrying Gear While Traveling.
  • Tortuga Travel Backpack: The Ultimate Travel Backpack with All the Features You Need.
  • Kelty Redwing: The Top Affordable Travel Backpack.
  • Osprey Atmos: The Ultimate Backpack for Hiking.
  • EBags Mother Lode: The Top Affordable Travel Backpack.
  • Patagonia Black Hole: The Top Duffle-Style Travel Bag.
  • The Top Travel Backpacks: A Brief Overview.
  • Tips for Selecting the Perfect Travel Backpack.
  • Accessories for Travel Backpacks.
  • Let’s take a look at the range of backpacks available in the market, with price points ranging from $100 to $300. This is my list of the best travel backpacks. Alright!

    Osprey Farpoint & Fairview: The Ultimate Versatile Travel Backpack

    Farpoint 40 (Left) and Farpoint 55 (Right)
    The updated version of the Farpoint

    The Farpoint/Fairview Osprey was redesigned in 2022 to be a little shorter, with a few other tweaks as well. The backpanel foam was upgraded to a ridged, mesh-covered material, and the laptop compartment was moved to a better position. It is now compliant as a carry-on. Please note this.

    I have taken multiple trips to Europe and my current favorite way to travel is backpacking all around. The Farpoint Osprey, specifically the female version called Fairview Osprey, is my preferred backpack for these trips.

    The Farpoint Osprey is great because it actually has a high-quality hiking-style shoulder harness that is comfortable, and the straps can be zipped away so there’s no need to worry about the bag getting damaged. Additionally, it’s fairly lightweight and easy to pack since it has a suitcase-style opening.

    The primary backpack has identical dimensions for both bags, meaning that the Farpoint 40L does not come with a removable 15L daypack. However, the Farpoint 55L and Farpoint 40L are essentially identical in terms of their design and functionality.

    Specifications of the Osprey Farpoint / Fairview 40 Travel Backpack

  • Dimensions: 22H X 14W X 9D Inches.
  • Weight: 3.486 pounds.
  • Cost: $185 Look for Farpoint 40 prices on Osprey.Com // REI // Amazon.
  • Compare the prices of Fairview 40 on Osprey.Com, REI, and Amazon.
  • Specifications of the Osprey Farpoint / Fairview 55 Travel Backpack

  • Dimensions: 22H X 14W X 9D Inches.
  • Weight: 4.234 pounds.
  • Price: $220 Check Farpoint 55 Prices On Osprey.Com // REI // Amazon.
  • Compare the prices of Fairview 55 on Osprey.Com, REI, and Amazon.
  • Aer Travel Pack 3.: The Best Minimalist & Utilitarian Travel Backpack

    In Italy with my Aer Travel Pack 3.

    The Aer Travel Pack 3., which was revamped in 2022, is a noteworthy enhancement, indicating that numerous excellent enhancements have been made from the previous version, the Aer Travel Pack 2.

    The 3 Pack Travel Aer, coming in at 35L, is a great-looking backpack that combines urban and utilitarian styling with a minimalist and heavy-duty design. It is also smartly designed with plenty of organization and pockets.

    The 3 Pack Travel Aer was designed to be both functional and stylish, making it better suited for minimalist travelers who need more space. It can hold a good amount of stuff while still being heavy-duty, and its size of 35L means it is capable of accommodating a sufficient amount.

    It is also a great backpack for travelers who use it in conjunction with a suitcase, as it will easily meet the specifications of any airline carry-on size. The bag will probably even fit under the seat.

    Aer utilizes heavy-duty fabrics and high-quality materials for all their bags. The straps have a good amount of padding and are curved in a way that makes them more comfortable.

    I’m still a big fan of it, and I’ve also used the Aer Travel Pack on a few shorter weekend trips. I recently used it on a two-week trip to Italy and a week-long trip to LA.

    Aer Travel Pack 3. Specs

  • Dimensions: 21.5″ (54.5 cm) in length, 13″ (33 cm) in width, and 9″ (21.5 cm) in depth.
  • Weight: 4.12 pounds.
  • Cost: $250 through AER SF.
  • Cotopaxi Allpa 42L Travel Backpack: The Top Choice for a Travel Backpack that Combines Design and Style

    The Cotopaxi Allpa 42L is a rare type of travel backpack that has a great style and is compliant with carry-on size requirements. This bag is the right size for traveling to Berlin and Prague, which is why I personally chose to use it. I have seen it listed multiple times across the internet as one of the best “multiple-use” travel backpacks.

    I discovered the bag to be cozy, well-built, and extremely long-lasting. It features cleverly designed multiple pockets for effortless organization. If you’re traveling for more than 3-5 days, I would recommend sticking with the 42L version. However, they also offer this bag in a 35L variant.

    I desire that all backpacks had this feature: the primary section has color-coded zippers that assist you in quickly locating them, and the zippers are tamper-resistant. Additionally, Cotopaxi includes a lot of smart features, such as sturdy zippers and pockets for stashing smaller items.

    Specifications of the Cotopaxi Allpa 42L:

  • 42 liters (2563 cubic inches).
  • 22 x 14 x 11″ (56 x 36 x 27cm) in dimensions.
  • 4 pounds 2 ounces (1871 grams).
  • Polyester coated with TPU on a 1000D level.
  • Lightweight but long-lasting 840D ballistic nylon paneling.
  • Cost: $220 through Cotopaxi.
  • Osprey Porter: The Top Travel Backpack for Carrying Gear

    The Osprey Porter underwent a redesign in 2021, resulting in numerous significant enhancements to the bag.

    The Osprey Porter series is another super solid travel backpack that lets you haul a lot of stuff at an affordable price, and it’s no surprise that it’s popular.

    The Porter series is ideal for urban travel and city hopping due to its impressive capacity to hold a substantial amount of items. Its unique “turtle shell” design enables you to make the most out of your packing space. While the Porter offers a comfortable experience for city travel, it may not be as cozy as its larger sibling, the Farpoint/Fairview, based on my testing.

    The majority of individuals likely consider the 65L edition excessively spacious (unless there is a genuine necessity to transport a substantial amount of belongings). The 30L edition is truly suitable solely for individuals who prefer to travel with minimal possessions. The 46L edition is the size I suggest for the majority of travelers as it conforms (or nearly conforms) to the dimensions allowed for carry-on luggage.

    Specifications of the Osprey Porter 30 Travel Backpack

  • Dimensions: 19.5″ X 13″ X 10″.
  • Weight: 2.8 pounds.
  • Price: $165 Compare Prices On Amazon // REI // Osprey.
  • Specifications of the Osprey Porter 46 Travel Backpack

  • Dimensions: 22″ X 14″ X 11″.
  • Weight: 3.4 pounds.
  • Cost: $185 View Prices On Amazon // REI // Osprey.
  • Specifications of the Osprey Porter 65 Travel Backpack

  • Dimensions: 25 inches by 14 inches by 12 inches.
  • Weight: 3.9 pounds.
  • Price: $200 Check Prices On Amazon // REI // Osprey.
  • Tortuga Travel Backpack 40L.: The Best Full-Featured Travel Backpack

    The Tortuga Travel Backpack is a smartly designed backpack that can withstand anything you throw at it. It is built like a tank and comes in both 40L and 30L sizes. The Tortuga Travel Backpack is the most full-featured backpack for travel.

    The Tortuga Travel Backpack has a very comfortable hip belt and shoulder harness, making it perfect for hiking. It is made from a durable and water-resistant sailcloth fabric, specifically designed for racing boats. Additionally, it is extremely tough. The bag is also carry-on-sized, fitting perfectly in the overhead bin. Furthermore, it offers a plethora of organization options.

    I think that Tortuga’s Backpack Travel was built with the idea to make a travel backpack that includes everything a traveler would want in a backpack. Some might say that there is no denying that this is a super solid backpack, but they might also say that it includes too much.

    Tortuga Travel Backpack 40L. Specs

  • Dimensions: 21.7 x 13.8 x 7.9 inches.
  • Weight: 4.5 pounds.
  • Cost: $349 through Tortuga Backpacks.
  • Tortuga Travel Backpack 30L. Specs

  • Dimensions: 20.5 x 12.2 x 7.5 inches.
  • Weight: 4.0 pounds.
  • Cost: $325 through Tortuga Backpacks.
  • Kelty Redwing Tactile: The Top Affordable Backpack Option

    As marketed is it because probably it tends to be overlooked as a backpack for hiking.

    You can acquire a sturdy travel backpack at a reasonable cost, provided you can overlook that aspect. During your travels, you may inadvertently collide with objects due to its lack of sleekness. Essentially, it functions as a hiking backpack that unfolds like a suitcase, resulting in it resembling an unattractive, rugged hiking backpack. The primary drawback of the Redwing is its appearance.

    Kelty Redwing 44 backpack.Specs

  • Dimensions: 25″ x 15″ x 12″.
  • Weight: 2 pounds 10 ounces.
  • Price: $125 Check Redwing 44 Prices at Kelty.Com.
  • Specifications of the Kelty Redwing 32

  • Dimensions: 22″ x 14″ x 11″.
  • Weight: 2 pounds.
  • Cost: $100 Verify Redwing 32 Prices On Kelty.Com.
  • Specifications of the Women’s Kelty Redwing 40 Backpack

  • Dimensions: 23″ x 14″ x 12″.
  • Weight: 2 pounds 10 ounces.
  • Price: $125 View Redwing 40 Prices on Kelty.Com.
  • Osprey Atmos: Top Backpack for Hiking

    If capacity and comfort are the most important factors to you, then I suggest looking at the female-specific Aura Osprey backpack or the Atmos Osprey backpack. It’s designed to be worn for a long time, so it’s a joy to wear, but packing and unpacking can be a pain. The top-loading feature of this hiking backpack makes it easy to access your belongings.

    This bag is considered to be “technically” too large, and it’s also a top-loader. Since it’s a hiking-style backpack, you’ll have to deal with it.

    These bags are extremely comfortable and lightweight. The belt, hip harness, and shoulder straps make them perfect for travel. When I first backpacked through Europe in 2006, the 50L Atmos was the ultimate backpack.

    If you want to spend more money and have a nicer backpack for hiking, you might want to check out the Aether Osprey. It is more expensive, but also more luxurious.

    Specifications of the Osprey Atmos/Aura 50

  • The dimensions for the large size are 34.65″ x 14.96″ x 15.35″, for the medium size are 32.68″ x 14.96″ x 15.35″, for the small size are 30.71″ x 14.96″ x 15.35″, and for the extra small size are 28.35″ x 14.17″ x 14.17″.
  • Weight: 4.21 pounds.
  • Price: $240 Check Atmos 50 Prices On Amazon // REI.
  • Compare prices of Aura 50 on Amazon // REI.
  • EBags Mother Lode Travel Backpack: Top Affordable Travel Backpack

    The Mother Lode Travel Backpack by eBags is a purpose-built backpack for city travel. It has a basic shoulder harness, but it is very comfortable to use. Additionally, it is much cheaper than most other backpacks in its size range, making it an excellent option for a carry-on bag.

    Specifications of the eBags Mother Lode Travel Backpack

  • Dimensions: 22 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches.
  • Weight: 3 pounds, 15 ounces.
  • Price: $100 (however it is frequently discounted) Check Prices On Amazon.
  • Specifications of the eBags Mother Lode Jr Travel Backpack

  • Dimensions: 19.5 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches.
  • Weight: 3 pounds, 5 ounces.
  • Cost: $90 View Prices On Amazon.
  • Patagonia Black Hole: The Top Duffle-Style Bag

    Although we prefer to carry this bad-boy as a shoulder bag, it technically isn’t a travel backpack as it only has basic shoulder straps. The Blackhole Patagonia is actually a duffle bag.

    For travelers who prefer not to carry a backpack, the Patagonia Blackhole bag is an excellent option. This bag is essentially a flexible suitcase equipped with a shoulder strap, and it has become quite popular among a dedicated group of enthusiasts.

    The MLC Blackhole 45L is a sleek and minimalist travel backpack with a super-stylish urban look, so you’ll feel like a fashionable urban dweller when you have it in your possession. It can hold a ton of gear and doesn’t have any exterior straps dangling.

    Patagonia Blackhole MLC Specifications

  • Dimensions: 22.75 inches x 18 inches x 6.75 inches.
  • Weight: 3 pounds 5.1 ounces.
  • Cost: $199 Browse Prices On REI.
  • What Makes Travel Backpacks So Awesome?

    Traveling in a very zen-like way, you will only experience the freedom that a backpack gives you, not with a suitcase. You won’t truly understand it until you do it.

    While traveling, it may be challenging to appreciate the significance of lightening your load, but it truly makes you a smarter traveler. That’s because a backpack forces you to carefully consider what you can actually fit in it, taking into account the physical limitations you may have.

    Traveling light allows you to easily navigate busy train stations, cobblestone streets, endless staircases, and everything else that gets thrown at you.

    If you travel with a carry-on backpack, you won’t have to worry about losing your luggage or paying expensive fees for checked bags.

    The Comprehensive Guide for Buying Travel Backpacks

    There are dozens of backpacks designed for travel on the market, as you can see in the photo above. Some of them are amazing, while others are downright terrible. Since every traveler has different requirements and needs, there isn’t really a single backpack that is perfect for everyone, but there are some that are really great.

    We will guide you in trying out different features in this travel style guide, so you can choose the ones that are most important to you and understand why.

    Sizes of Travel Backpacks

    Osprey Porter 46, Tortuga Setout, Aer Travel Pack, Osprey Farpoint 40, & Tortuga Travel Backpack (whew)

    Backpacks are commonly used to measure volume in liters (e.G. 30L, 45L, 50L, etc.). It’s important to note that Brand A’s 35L may vary from Brand B’s 35L, as companies have different methods of measuring volume. Evaluating the size based solely on liters is not sufficient, as bags are available in various shapes and configurations.

    You’ll want to check airline requirements and actual dimensions since variations exist, but as a general rule, the maximum size for a travel carry-on backpack is around 43-45 liters. European budget airlines are more concerned about overall dimensions rather than weight, they said.

    So which travel backpack size is optimal? It relies on your requirements. However, here are my opinions on backpack dimensions:

  • Anyone embarking on a journey lasting more than a day or two would deem backpacks with a capacity of less than 30 liters too petite. Just to provide a point of reference, this Jansport Backpack follows the standard size of 25 liters.
  • In my opinion, these bags are still too compact for the majority of travelers. There are a few travel backpacks available in the 30L-35L range that are ideal for minimalistic travelers.
  • Tortuga Travel Backpack 30L.
  • The Osprey Farpoint 40L is an example of backpacks. If you only have limited space, you’ll still need to be very selective about what you pack. Backpacks in the range of 35L-40L are a great starting point for lightweight travelers.
  • Osprey Fairview 40L (the female edition of the Farpoint).
  • Aer Travel Pack 3.
  • The Tortuga Travel Backpack 40L. is a suitable choice for most travelers due to its additional capacity. However, I suggest opting for a larger size, such as 45L, as it is the maximum limit for a carry-on bag. As previously stated, 45L is the largest size that can still be considered as a carry-on.
  • Osprey Farpoint 55 (40L + 15L Removable Daypack).
  • The Osprey Fairview 55 (40L + 15L Removable Daypack).
  • Tortuga Travel Backpack 40L.
  • Kelty Redwing 44 backpack.
  • If you are not concerned with sticking to carry-on requirements, you might want to consider backpacks in the range of 45L-55L. Some bags on the market are difficult to lug around, but I suggest avoiding those. For example, the Osprey Porter 46 is a great backpack.
  • Osprey Atoms 50 backpack.
  • Osprey Aura 50 (a version designed for women, similar to the Atmos).
  • Kelty Redwing 50 backpack.
  • Unlike packing for a 7-week journey, the quantity you pack for a 7-day excursion is not significant since you can do laundry on lengthier trips. It’s important to note that your trip duration does not necessarily determine the size of your backpack.

    Contrasting Travel Backpacks and Hiking Backpacks

    Hiking Style Backpack (Left) Hybrid Hiking/Travel Backpack (Center) Travel Backpack (Right)

    Hiking-style backpacks are preferred by many people, but I recommend travel bags. When it comes to hiking and travel, the two main styles you should consider are backpacks.

    Every category of backpack possesses its advantages and disadvantages, along with the primary distinctions between the two designs, which I will discuss in this particular section.

    Travel Backpacks: Comparing Clamshell/Suitcase Opening and Top Opening Styles

    Front Opening vs Top Loading

    What does this mean? Hiking backpacks and travel backpacks usually have a drawstring closure, while suitcase-like backpacks have a single opening at the top, which is usually closed with a zipper. The most obvious difference between the two styles is how the bag is opened.

    Basically, travel backpacks are easier to pack/unpack because you can simply unzip them like a suitcase and access anything you need without having to pull everything out, which can be a hassle with top-loading hiking backpacks.

    Suspension System for Travel Backpack (Shoulder Harness, etc.)

    Osprey Atmos (Hiking Backpack) vs Tortuga Setout (Travel Backpack)

    The main advantage of hiking backpacks, specifically designed for long periods of use, is that they are generally more comfortable than travel backpacks. This is especially beneficial for hiking in mountains.

    In fact, some people actually prefer comfort over practicality when it comes to travel preferences. However, the design of the bag is not practical for traveling, but it is actually designed to sit closer to your body and has advanced hip belt and shoulder harness, which is more suitable for hiking bags in general.

    Hiking backpacks are typically more comfortable than travel bags, although certain travel bags feature a sophisticated shoulder harness and hip belts. Nevertheless,

    Size and Design of a Travel Backpack

    This allows you to easily utilize all the space in your backpack, as it is the most shape efficient. Travel backpacks tend to be shaped like suitcases, so they’re basically boxier.

    There is a compromise. Therefore, it keeps the load snug against your back, which is actually more comfortable due to this form. However, similar to the more rectangular travel backpack, it is more challenging to make use of the room in your bag when it comes to elongated and slender hiking backpacks.

    Weight of Travel Backpack

    Hiking backpacks are generally much lighter than travel backpacks as they typically consist of a single “tube”, without any additional embellishments.

    Concluding Remarks: Travel Backpacks Versus Hiking Backpacks

    Despite a few drawbacks, I favor travel-style backpacks because they are more convenient for urban travel.

    I see plenty of people using hiking backpacks, and it’s really a personal preference, but I’ve noticed that most people tend to prefer brightly colored hiking-style bags since they tend to be a little more stylish.

    Suspension System of a Travel Backpack (also known as its Comfort Level)

    The system allows you to carry more weight comfortably, as the system harness is more advanced. However, it is also defined by how much stuff you can pack. It’s okay, the comfort of your bag is largely defined by its suspension system, i.E. The hipbelt and shoulder straps.

    The backpack on the right is a bit more traditional in style, while the bag on the left shows a hiking-style harness and backpack. The above image displays the two most common shoulder straps.

    Advanced Harness (Left) vs More Basic Shoulder Straps (Right)

    The bag is designed to conform to your shoulders, pulling it away from your back and keeping it positioned lower on the shoulder straps. You can see that the shoulder straps curve around and up, as the bag is pulled towards your shoulder.

    The bag has a tendency to put more strain on your shoulders, so the shoulder straps of traditional backpacks don’t conform well to your shoulders, pulling away from your back.

    When you’re carrying a heavy load, especially hiking-style harnesses, they’re usually not as comfortable as traditional backpacks, but that doesn’t mean they’re not comfortable.

    If you tend to pack heavily, I believe that using a backpack with a hip belt can enhance comfort. While it ultimately depends on personal preference, many travelers choose not to include a hip belt on smaller bags in order to maintain a streamlined look, as the hip belt can add bulk. However, certain travel backpacks do come equipped with a hip belt, which assists in distributing the weight of your bag from your shoulders to your hips.

    Cushioning contributes a substantial amount of weight/volume to the bag, but it also enhances the comfort of the bag, making it a delicate balance. Certain bags may have minimal cushioning, while others may have a significant amount, so it is also important to consider the level of cushioning present on the shoulder straps.

    The redesigned AER Travel Pack 3 now features a more durable hip belt and shoulder harness, making it a great option for budget travelers. Another travel backpack that combines the best of both worlds is the Tortuga Travel Backpack. It incorporates a sturdy hip belt and shoulder harness, similar to hiking-style backpacks like the Osprey Fairview and Farpoint. For women, the Osprey Farpoint is recommended, as it offers a harness specifically designed for hiking-style backpacks.

    Travel Backpacks Designed for Each Gender

    Fairview 40 (Women’s) & Farpoint 40 (Unisex) – Same overall bag with small gender-specific tweaks.

    If you are either shorter or taller than the average height, there exist a few backpacks available in small, medium, and large sizes, which is quite convenient. Nevertheless, the majority of travel backpacks are suitable for both genders and are typically available in a single size, which is usually satisfactory for the majority of individuals.

    If you really want your bag to be as comfortable as possible, you might want to look into backpacks that come in multiple size options.

    Check out my guide for the best backpacks for women who travel. Don’t worry too much if your perfect bag doesn’t have a “female” version, as there are plenty of women who have no issues with unisex backpacks. Additionally, there are a few companies that offer backpacks with female-specific designs, which usually means the shoulder straps are shaped to better fit the female anatomy.

    The Kelty Redwing 40, Osprey Fairview 40, and Osprey Fairview 55 are all backpacks that have been specially crafted for women, and they come highly recommended for travel that is tailored to the needs of women.

    Layout, Arrangement, and Pocket Configuration of a Travel Backpack

    Main Compartment on the Osprey Farpoint 40 & Laptop Compartment of Farpoint 55

    Organized stuff smaller your all keep to pockets smaller of handful a then and compartment large one of consist backpacks travel Most.

    Bag producers encounter a difficult undertaking of discovering a balance between order and mass, implying that additional compartments lead to heightened size.

    Handy External Pockets on the Osprey Farpoint 40 and Tortuga

    Since certain backpacks can become excessively organized, I lean towards minimalist bags that only feature a handful of carefully designed compartments.

    I have found one or two exterior pockets, especially on the top, that come in really handy when you are traveling, for storing your phone and sunglasses, among other small things.

    Laptop Storage Area

    When passing through airport security, it is unnecessary to unpack the bag in order to take out the laptop, meaning you can retrieve the laptop from outside the bag. If you are carrying a laptop or tablet, make sure to focus on the laptop section. The utmost priority is the ability to retrieve the laptop.

    Placing backpacks in the compartment at the front of the bag, against your back, helps to keep the weight against your back and protects your laptop, which is probably not safe as it might add extra strain to your load and distance you from your back. Also, considering the location of the laptop compartment is something most bags also consider.

    Weight and Size of Travel Backpack

    Different shapes and sizes (Tortuga Outbreaker, Osprey Farpoint, & Osprey Porter)

    Most travel backpacks range from a lightweight 2.5 lbs to a heavier 7+ lbs, obviously bigger and physically heavier, with more padding and pockets.

    The super lightweight bags are physically smaller, but they also decrease the quantity of cushioning and compartments. They may also employ less sturdy material.

    One important thing to remember is that most budget airlines are usually more concerned with the physical size and weight of your carry-on bags (and not with the size of the bags). For example, I scored a super cheap flight from Copenhagen to NYC, but if people have an extra carry-on bag that weighs over 22 lbs (10kg), they are charged huge fees by the airlines for that.

    Keep in mind that you might want to try to pack less weight if you’re attempting to stay under any weight limit, especially if you have a heavy backpack.

    Structure and Internal Frame of a Travel Backpack

    This helps to distribute the weight of the entire load evenly across your back and keeps the backpack tight against your back. The best travel backpacks also have a bit of structure and rigidity.

    The bag has the ability to provide structure in two different ways: either by using a lightweight internal frame (such as internal poles) or by incorporating a large plastic sheet into the back of the bag.

    I wanted to inform you, but this is not something you truly need to worry about. The plastic sheet technique also functions quite effectively in most situations, but the lightweight internal structure offers greater firmness/steadiness when dealing with heavier burdens.

    Foldable Shoulder Straps & Waist Belt

    Stoawble Straps on the Osprey Farpoint (Good) vs Non-Stowable Hiking Backpack Straps (No Good)

    Although not a deal-breaker, I appreciate it when travel backpacks possess collapsible shoulder straps that can be concealed.

    In luggage carousel conveyor belts, there is no need to be concerned about the shoulder straps getting torn off as this enables us to securely inspect the bag beforehand.

    Osprey Farpoint (and winter coat) ready for the overhead bin

    I enjoy effortlessly placing the bag in either the overhead compartment or beneath the seat and navigating the narrow aisles by tucking away the straps prior to boarding the plane. Additionally, it is a preference of mine.

    Some suggested backpacks with retractable straps comprise the Osprey Farpoint, Osprey Fairview, Osprey Porter, Tortuga Travel Backpack, and eBags Motherlode Weekender.

    Travel Backpack Materials/Textiles

    Every travel backpack is typically made out of some kind of synthetic material, usually nylon, which makes it lightweight and durable.

    When you examine backpacks, you will observe that manufacturers will present a wide range of fabric names that sound impressive. For instance:

  • Osprey Farpoint: 210D Nylon Mini Hex Diamond Ripstop Fabric.
  • Osprey Porter: 420HD Nylon Packcloth Material.
  • GoRuck RE1: 1000D CORDURA® fabric.
  • Tortuga: X-Pac Waterproof Sailcloth.
  • AER Travel Pack 3: 1680D Cordura® Ballistic Nylon.
  • The thickness, weight, and durability of the fabric provide you with an indication of its quality. All of these aspects sound quite impressive, although they may be partially influenced by marketing. What is the significance of all this information?

    The number conveys the weight/thickness of the fabric and tells you what kind of fabric it is, such as Nylon, Ballistic CORDURA, Ripstop, etc. However, a high number doesn’t automatically mean it’s “better” because durability also plays an important role in the fabric’s weave.

    Honestly, I wouldn’t hang too much on the fabric details mentioned in this article since your trip is going to be durable and there is no mention of any specific bag.

    Durable Zippers

    weather-sealed zippers

    I prefer bags that use YKK zippers, as it is not a dealbreaker for me. YKK is considered the gold standard in zipper manufacturing, offering the highest quality zippers for bags. The most common point of failure for zippers is probably the zipper itself, as it can fail due to various factors.

    It’s a pleasant additional advantage, but this is not a make-or-break characteristic. Rain safeguards your belongings and weather-resistant zippers provide bags with an additional appealing attribute.

    Handles on the Top and Sides of Travel Backpacks

    The bag has sturdy handles on the side and top, which is another nice feature I like, without being a deal-breaker. These handles are super helpful when you’re carrying your bag on a narrow train or plane aisle, or when you’re moving without putting it on.

    Ability to Withstand Different Weather Conditions

    I’m not particularly concerned about having a weather-resistant backpack, especially in Europe where heavy downpours are unlikely to catch you off guard.

    If you are truly concerned about protecting your backpack from the rain, you should consider purchasing a cheap rain cover that is usually sold separately but often comes with bags. Taking such precautions can help keep the elements out and ensure that your backpack remains nice even when it’s raining.

    Note: No bag is completely “waterproof” — but some are more resistant to water than others.

    Style and Appearance of Backpacks

    Minimalist (Minaal 2.0), Utilitarian (Aer Travel Pack 3.), & Outdoorsy (Osprey Farpoint 55)

    Travel rucksacks are accessible in different designs — certain are fashionable and suitable for city settings, whereas others are specially crafted for outdoor pursuits (and not particularly visually appealing).

    “Travelers who appreciate urban styling may not prefer those bags, but I’m usually not too concerned about how my bag looks.”

    The function and design of balance are a nice combination, but there are few backpacks that strike a nice balance between style and comfort. It is often said that cooler-looking backpacks tend to be less comfortable for hiking.

    Prices of Travel Backpacks

    Unfortunately, there are some backpacks that are downright expensive and others that are not cheap, but they are well-made for travel. You can expect to spend a minimum of $140 around for a new backpack, but some bags can cost $350 or more.

    If you’re on a tight budget, it is recommended to consider checking out REI Garage or purchasing used (Craigslist, eBay, or borrowing your friend’s old bag) models from the previous year’s stock that are on closeout deals.

    Find the Perfect Backpack to Suit Your Travel Preferences

    Various bags are crafted for varying purposes since understanding your preferred way of traveling is crucial when purchasing a travel rucksack.

    For example:.

  • If you intend to utilize both a backpack and a suitcase, then your backpack can be of a smaller size.
  • If you’re engaged in corporate travel, then you may desire a bag that is more streamlined and slightly more fashionable.
  • If you are only visiting one or two cities, then you may not require a spacious backpack.
  • Are you a minimalist traveler who prefers simplicity? Seek out a sleek and functional backpack.
  • Will you have easy access to a washer and dryer? It is worth considering using a smaller backpack and packing less, as you can wash your belongings halfway through.
  • Are you traveling during the winter season? A slightly larger suitcase will allow you to transport those bulky belongings.
  • Anyway, are you a fashion enthusiast with a lot of clothes, as opposed to using public transportation and planning to go ahead by using Uber/taxis because you don’t want to wear a bigger backpack for a long period of time?
  • Are you considering a hiking-style backpack with an advanced shoulder harness? Are you planning to visit somewhere that requires you to wear your backpack for long periods of time?
  • Do you suffer from back pain? Then you may consider getting a luggage bag.
  • Overview of the Top-rated Travel Backpacks

    My Osprey Farpoint 40L

    Here’s a brief summary of my preferred travel backpacks:

  • The feminine edition of the Osprey Farpoint, known as the Osprey Fairview Travel Backpack, can be purchased through Osprey or Amazon. Revamped in 2022, this Farpoint model is a remarkably cozy travel backpack that boasts superb shoulder straps. Packed with numerous intelligent characteristics, it is accessible in both 55L and 40L variations. Undoubtedly, this is the ultimate choice for a travel backpack. It can be purchased through Osprey or Amazon.
  • Osprey Porter 46: Top-notch backpack that carries a substantial amount of equipment for a highly reasonable cost. Accessible through Osprey or Amazon.
  • Tortuga Travel Backpack 40L.: Heavy-duty maximum-sized carry-on backpack with a great suspension system and it will hold up to whatever you throw at it. Available via TortugaBackpacks.com.
  • The AER Travel Pack 3.0 is a fashionable city travel backpack that is ideal for individuals who desire to travel with minimal baggage. Take a look at it on Aer SF.
  • The Kelty Redwing is a highly comfortable backpack that seamlessly combines the characteristics of a travel backpack and a hiking backpack. It can be purchased from either Amazon or REI at a reasonable price.
  • The Blackhole Duffle Bag by Patagonia is a great choice for people who don’t want a traditional backpack and can hold a ton of stuff. It can also convert to a travel backpack.
  • Advice for Organizing Your Travel Backpack

    Get organized with packing cubes.

    These things will make backpacking much easier for us, trust me. I highly suggest using packing cubes to easily compartmentalize your clothes into different cubes, so you can keep everything accessible. It doesn’t matter what kind of backpack you choose.

    If you’re too lazy to pack your favorite cubes, click on Eagle Creek. I think you should check it out, I’ve already written a guide to packing with cubes.

    For your information: Many brands produce packing cubes that are specially designed for their bags, but they can be quite costly.

    Europe Travel Essentials Checklist

    To assist you, I compiled multiple packing guides. It is now the moment to commence packing as you have discovered the ideal travel backpack.