The 11 Best Travel Backpacks: Buyers Guide & Reviews

Traveling is one of the most soul-fulfilling activities in the world. It makes us reflect on life and think deeply about why we’re on this earth. We also get a taste of different perspectives from around the globe from people who have different attitudes, religions, cultural values, morals and ways of living.

Going on a trip can be a lot of fun, but you also want to be able to take as much stuff with you as you can. Whether you’re going on a bus ride, a flight, or a train, it’s important to have a reliable backpack. You want to be able to use a backpack that can hold enough stuff for your trip, while still being easy enough to tote around. Thankfully, there are many great options on the market for you to consider.

Today we’re going to be taking a look at the top five best travel backpacks. All of these backpacks are going to be worthwhile, but they’re actually pretty different from one another. Many of them are going to have unique features or little aspects that make them stand out from the pack. This is why it’s beneficial to dig into the details so that you can choose the ideal option for yourself.

5.11 Kits RUSH72 Tactical Backpack 55L, Hat, Patches, and Decals Set - Army/Military and Tactical Gear Pack - Black Join us as we look at all of the best travel backpack options. You’ll definitely be able to find a good backpack for your upcoming trip. Whether you’re going away for a long time or if you’re simply taking a weekend vacation, it’s going to pay to have a reliable backpack. You’ll be able to find a good one below, so read on to go over your options.

best travel backpacks

11 of the Best Travel Backpacks

Travel backpacks come in all shapes and sizes and are constructed for many uses. However, they all have one thing in common; they assist with travel. That means the best travel backpacks are small enough to fit under an airplane seat, cargo hold of a bus, trunk of a taxicab, or inside a train compartment. But, these small travel backpacks will also provide enough space on the inside to pack all your personal items.

The best travel backpacks are versatile to the max; suitable to take anywhere. You can use them during a backpacking trek or even a formal event.

Let’s just cut right to the chase and tell you all about the Travel Freedom best travel backpacks you should consider buying.

1. AmazonBasics Slim Carry On Travel Backpack

If you’re looking for a slim backpack that can fit the necessities that you need for your upcoming trip, then this option is going to be perfect. The AmazonBasics Slim Backpack being shown here is actually a very good fit for most people. This is a fairly stylish backpack that isn’t incredibly fancy but is going to work well for fitting quite a bit of stuff. There are two sizes available to choose from, depending on if you’re going on an overnight trip or a weekend excursion.

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The backpack is made out of 100% polyester and it’s available in several different colors. You can pick from black, blue, denim, green, grey, purple, and salmon. All of them look really nice and this feels like a high-quality backpack. It’s priced very reasonably for all that you’re being offered, putting it somewhere in the middle of the pack in terms of pricing.

Of course, many people need to travel with their laptop computers. This backpack has a dedicated laptop sleeve that loads in from the top. It’s easy to access your laptop when you need to take it out for the TSA. The laptop sleeve is lined with fleece and should keep your laptop pretty safe overall.

AmazonBasics Slim Carry On Travel Backpack, Black - Overnight You’ll also like that this backpack has a front storage pocket. This allows you to keep all of your smaller items that you’re taking with you organized. This backpack is pretty good for giving you pockets and spots to place items. You should be able to access everything easily while keeping your stuff nice and tidy.

There are also low-profile top and side grab handles for you to use. This is an easy backpack to travel with and it feels light enough when you’re wearing it. This is definitely one of the more convenient backpacks on the market. It’s a practical backpack that will appeal to many people, making it more than worthy of a spot on this list.


  • Several color options
  • Fits quite a bit of stuff for a slim backpack
  • Very easy to carry and feels lightweight
  • Good laptop sleeve
  • Good for keeping items organized


  • It could be a bit larger

2. MATEIN Travel Laptop Backpack

This backpack from MATEIN is not nearly as slim as the AmazonBasics offering above. Even so, this is going to be preferable for some people who are trying to fit a lot of stuff. This backpack is still pretty slim, but it can pack a lot of stuff. It’s designed to be a great laptop backpack for people who need to travel regularly.

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You should be able to buy this backpack in two different sizes. There is a version that is meant for 15.6-inch laptops and one that is meant for 17-inch laptops. Both are similar to each other and will only really differ in the size department. The backpack has a nice separate laptop compartment that will keep your laptop as safe as possible during your journey.

This gives you many different pockets to store things as well. You’ll be able to make use of the front compartment that has several pockets for your convenience. You should be able to keep your belongings organized properly in this backpack, while still having access to everything that you need. It even has a key fob hook that many people will find to be a handy addition.

Travel Laptop Backpack,Business Anti Theft Slim Durable Laptops Backpack with USB Charging Port,Water Resistant College School Computer Bag for Women & Men Fits 15.6 Inch Laptop and Notebook - Grey It comes with a convenient luggage strap that makes it possible to attach the backpack to your luggage or rolling suitcase. Getting this one should be easy and you’ll have a simple time carrying this around the airport. It feels very natural when you’re wearing this like a normal backpack too.

This is a functional backpack that is very practical, and it even comes with a USB charging port for your convenience. It also comes with an anti-theft pocket that is hidden from plain sight. This is a great place to store particularly valuable items just in case someone tries to reach in your bag when you aren’t looking. The design of this backpack is really nice and it’s well worth purchasing if you’re in need of a solid travel backpack.


  • Pretty spacious
  • Very easy to carry around
  • Comes with a USB charging port
  • Has an anti-theft hidden pocket


  • The backpack may not be as durable as some would like

3. Inateck 40L Travel Backpack

This backpack has a very large capacity and is going to be one of the preferable options for people who want to take more things. It’s capable of holding a lot of stuff while still being the right size to take on a plane. You’ll be able to fit this bag into overhead compartments and might be able to fit it underneath the seat of an airplane, depending on how much you packed in the bag. This is made to fit a 17-inch laptop as well, so you’ll be able to take your laptop on your trip without having to worry.

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The overall structure of this backpack is really nice. It has been made with two main pockets, a laptop compartment, and a compartment that is meant for a tablet computer. This is good news for people who travel with both a tablet computer and a laptop. The tablet computer section will fit a tablet that is up to 13-inches comfortably.

You’ll also be able to make use of two change pockets and a toiletry bag. You have plenty of room to house your belongings when you have this backpack. You can pack a lot of stuff, while still keeping things pretty lightweight. This is made to be easy to carry around and is quite simple to affix to your rolling luggage as well.

Inateck 40L Travel Backpack, Flight Approved Carry-On Luggage Backpack, Anti-Theft Laptop Rucksack Large Daypack Weekender Bag for 17'' Laptop - Black The durability of this backpack needs to be commended as well. It is capable of resisting scuffs, scratches, and splashes. It has been made out of splash-resistant materials for your convenience. The backpack also comes with a free rain cover so that you can cover it up on particularly rainy days.

The final feature that is worth mentioning is the anti-theft design. If you’re a traveler who is worried about someone stealing from you, then this backpack might be perfect for you. It has a dual zipper design that allows two heads to be locked in the middle to protect your stuff. This is a simple way to protect your belongings and many people are going to love the feature.


  • Anti-theft zipper design
  • Very durable
  • Many pockets
  • Can fit both a laptop and a tablet computer
  • Easy to carry and very lightweight


  • The design looks a bit generic

4. Yousu Carry-on Backpack Rucksack

The design of this backpack is a little bit different than the other ones that have been on this list so far. This is actually a multi-function duffle backpack that can be used in three different ways. There is the traditional backpack mode, tote bag mode, and then a shoulder bag mode. If you like being able to switch things up, then this bag should be quite appealing.

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The large capacity of this bag is going to be one of the primary reasons that people choose to purchase it. It comes with a whopping seven pockets that you can make use of. There is one main zipper compartment, one front zipper pocket, two side pockets, an extra zipper pocket, a notebook compartment, and two small open pockets on the inside. Needless to say, that’s a whole lot of pockets.

You’ll be able to fit many things in this bag and it’s designed to fit a notebook or tablet computer that is up to 8.1-inches. You’ll also have spots for water bottles and an umbrella on the side. This makes it very useful and you’re going to be able to fit all of the travel essentials that you want. It’s a great bag for anyone who wants to take a significant amount of stuff on a trip.

duffle backpack, Yousu Mens Large Canvas Travel Backpacks Casual Vintage Carry on Rucksack Daypack 3-In-1 Black Many people will also appreciate the fact that this backpack is made out of eco-friendly canvas material. This is a durable bag that will stand up to regular use as well. You can use this bag all the time on your travels and it shouldn’t encounter any problems. Even the zippers on the bag are made to be as durable as possible.

Wearing this like a backpack will feel really easy, too. It has padded shoulder straps that will also stay cool. It should be easy to carry and won’t hurt your back or anything. This is a good bag to consider when you want to carry around a lot of stuff on your travels.


  • Very large capacity
  • Made from durable and eco-friendly canvas material
  • Can fit your tablet computer and keep it safe
  • Easy to wear/carry and comfortable


  • Might be too large for some airlines as a carry-on

5. Volher Laptop Backpack

Anyone who is looking for a solid travel backpack that is designed to carry a laptop will like this one. This is a laptop backpack that can fit a laptop that is up to 15.6-inches. It has an ample amount of storage space and offers you many pockets to make use of. You should have plenty of room to fit your various chargers and other necessities.

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The comfort of this backpack needs to be talked about, too. This feels really good when you’re wearing it and it has a good airflow back design. The soft multi-panel ventilated padding is going to give you ample back support when you’re walking around carrying this. The shoulder straps are both breathable and adjustable, so you’ll have a good overall experience.

You can strap this backpack onto your luggage or rolling suitcase, too. You just need to make use of the included luggage strap and you’ll be able to roll it around with ease. This has been made to be very convenient and it has many features that make it worth your while. You’ll love the anti-theft pocket that is included and it’s even large enough to fit your wallet if you’d like to tuck it away in there.

Laptop Backpack,Business Travel Anti Theft Slim Durable Laptops Backpack with USB Charging Port,Water Resistant College School Computer Bag for Women & Men Fits 15.6 Inch Laptop and Notebook - Black You’ll also be able to use the built-in USB charger to charge your devices while you’re hanging out at the airport. This is convenient, but it will require you to use some type of battery. There’s a headphone jack, too, which will come in handy. It makes listening to music while you’re walking around possible.

The backpack has been made to last as well. It’s durable and it’s even water resistant. This backpack shouldn’t have any problems standing up to regular use. Everything from the metal zippers to the material that the bag is made out of is rugged. This is a worthwhile investment for anyone who needs a travel backpack.


  • Fits a lot of stuff
  • Made to be rugged
  • Built-in USB charging port and headphone jack
  • Very comfortable and well ventilated


  • Laptop sleeve could be larger

6. XDesign Travel Laptop Backpack

The XDesign Travel Backpack is a unique sack with a subtle design, constructed with strong materials crafted to enhance its traveling capabilities. It seems that this backpack is best for a person planning to attend a business meeting or going to a college class. The base color is a nice, sleek, neutral gray.

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The backpack is large enough to fit a 16-inch laptop, which is perfect for taking to class or doing digital nomad work internationally. There is a tightly stitched inner pocket to store your phone and writing utensils. We all love our phones and you will not be without one because the backpack comes with a USB charging port. That’s right, more power in the pouch. Furthermore, if you need to listen to your tunes while in the wild, there is a headphone jack to play the sweet sounds of nature while IN NATURE.

XDesign Travel Laptop Backpack with USB Charging Port +Anti-Theft Lock [Water Resistant] Slim Durable College School Computer Bookbag for Women, Men, Outdoor Camping&Fits Up to 16-inch Notebook -Grey Unfortunately, with every great society, there will be thieves. Because of this, the backpack comes with an anti-theft security clasp to deter pickpockets.

Here are some catchy features that you will find useful:

  1. Top handle
  2. Hanging clasps
  3. Reinforced stitching
  4. Adjustable straps

Speaking of materials, the backpack is scratch proof due to the tough construction. If you plan to trek through the wilderness, the water-resistant mechanism will activate to repel the moisture. Do you know about the health risks that carrying a heavy backpack could have on your shoulders? Slouching is not our friend. However, this backpack avoids doing that thanks to the ergonomic design that help keeps your body aligned. Also, the foam padding provides extra cushioning for more comfort.

You can easily lock on another bag with the luggage strap – a great feature to have when rushing to and running around the airport. One major benefit is that this backpack is small enough to go under your plane seat to avoid extra baggage fees that budget airlines charge. Can you say Spirit?


  • Good for business meetings, formal events, and classroom settings
  • Large and versatile; could take outdoors
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Uncomplicated


  • Not suitable for trekking long distances
  • Durability problems
  • Comes only in one color

7. Reebow Gear Military Tactical Backpack

Do you want to feel like a real soldier on the battlefield while traveling the world? Sometimes riding on these chicken buses and 3rd-class trains feel just like that. However, on a serious note, some of us have served in the military. Therefore, we know that you are only as good as your equipment and the knowledge and protection coming from your fellow comrades.

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This strong, hardcore tactical backpack has the desert sandy brown color, perfect for camouflaging yourself when in the wild. Since this backpack is great for the military men and women of the world, people who travel for leisure should cop one too because of the durable construction. Imagine the respect you would get from random people thinking you are in the military while wearing one of these. Of course, we are not in the business of representing stolen valor, but people sometimes jump to conclusions and in this case, it could be positive. You will also enjoy the benefit of using heavy-duty compartments for organized packing and protection from the elements.

REEBOW GEAR Tactical Sling Bag Pack Military Rover Shoulder Sling Backpack Molle Assault Range Bag Everyday Carry Diaper Bag Day Pack Small Sometimes when you are wearing a backpack the straps will gradually fall off, especially when you are physically active. However, this carrying unit comes with a waistband that keeps the backpack hugged tightly to your body and properly sit on the shoulders. The mesh-padded cushion provides suitable comfort for long periods of trekking. This is one of the best travel backpacks for adventurers who love some serious backpacking, trekking, hiking, camping, and hunting. You can load items from the side or front, depending on your preference.

You will also get the luxury of lugging around a high-density fabric that is water-resistant. Great for protecting basic weather-sensitive items such as flashlights, first-aid kits, and laptops.

It comes in two colors:

  • Black
  • Tan


  • Military grade
  • Comes with a US flag patch for patriotic buyers
  • You can wear it for a long period without pain
  • Comfortable on the shoulders


  • Not stylish
  • Zipper breaks easily

8. The 5.11 Rush72 Military Tactical Backpack

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Another military backpack – but this one is a bit more versatile than the others. First, it comes in seven colors that include:

  • Black
  • Dark Earth
  • Double Tap
  • Multicam
  • OD
  • Sandstone
  • Storm

Wow, those are some hardcore color names!

5.11 RUSH72 Tactical Backpack for Military, Bug Out Bag, Molle Pack, Large, Style 58602, Double Tap This backpack will keep you ready for anything ahead; spiders, snakes, bears, cougars. Just kidding. Seriously, this Molle (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) pack is best for people who love to trek, hike, climb, backpack, or hunt. The material is a high-strength 1000D nylon for heavy-duty performance. Moreover, the main compartment is very large and calculated to be about 55 liters. A dual zipper adds extra protection for easy access to main compartments that organize all the items. OCDers would love this Molle!

A comfortable soft shoulder strap will clinch the waist and provide an easier way to carry the bag in route. There is a rear hydration compartment to store that H2O when it gets hot outside. Speaking of compartments, this travel bag fits well in overhead bins and under the seats of variously sized airplanes. No more $45 baggage fees from Frontier Airlines! Whew!


  • Heavy-duty
  • Multiple compartments for proper organization
  • Water hydration compartment
  • Comes in various colors


  • Not stylish
  • Zipper breaks easily
  • Not made in the USA – product of Vietnam
  • Costly

9. Yorepek Extra Large Travel Backpack

If you need a high-capacity bag that can carry a large load, then Yorepek does the trick. You will never be without your favorite tunes due to the headphone port that provides hands-free listening. Oh, do you hear that raw beat? The material is an elastic durable polyester with water-resistant capabilities. That means no sweat puddles will develop on your back when you are trekking through a tropical jungle. Thailand, here we come! The honeycomb breathable material will provide proper airflow between your back and the bag.

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The TSA-friendly features will come alive when you need to go through the security checkout counter in a hurry. Just pop open your bag with one zip, so you can remove your 17-inch laptop without any hassle. Go through the scanner, pack up your things quickly, and be on your way. Yes, the bag can carry a 17-inch laptop! That means your gaming computer will be coming with you!

YOREPEK Travel Laptop Backpack, Extra Large College School Backpack for Men and Women with USB Charging Port,TSA Friendly Water Resistant Big Business Computer Backpacks Bag Fit 17 Inch Laptops,Black This bag is made for both men and women, and there are external back and side pockets for easy storage. That means you can reach back to grab your notepads, writing utensils, water bottles, and flashlights easily. The ergonomics will keep your body aligned naturally. Has sturdy handles and high-quality dual-zippers. Great for vacationers, backpackers, and digital nomads.

There are seven basic colors to pick for this backpack:

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Grey
  • Purple
  • Burgundy
  • Dark Grey
  • Black


  • TSA friendly
  • Many available compartments
  • USB port and headphone jack
  • Plenty of space
  • Versatile
  • Low price


  • Zipper might fail
  • Heavy

10. HIKPRO 20 L Lightweight Packable Backpack

If you need something a bit lighter than the others, then you have reached the right section. Not only can you move faster through the airport while packing down a nice amount of items, but this bag is small enough to fold. There is will be no shoulder stress because of the small size with breathable mesh shoulder straps for firm locks and better ergonomics.

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Although this bag is lightweight and seems flimsy, it is made of durable nylon and double fabric reinforced on the bottom, the bag has bartack stitching in four different places for extra strength. Therefore, you can take it on any adventure and the material would not tear so easily. Moreover, there is water resistance for a day-jungle hike. Men and women would love the designs because of the unique style that looks good on each. Although the bag is lightweight, it is roomy enough to fit a laptop along with water bottles and flashlights in the side pockets.

HIKPRO 20L - The Most Durable Lightweight Packable Backpack, Water Resistant Travel Hiking Daypack for Men & Women There are 9 colors to choose from:

  • Army Green
  • Black
  • Deep Blue
  • Navy
  • Orange
  • Purple
  • Red
  • Light Blue
  • Pink


  • Lightweight
  • Many bright colors
  • Portable
  • Five-year warranty
  • The manufacturer has 20+ years of experience


  • Might rip easily
  • Noisy
  • Weak waterproofing

11. AmazonBasics DSLR and Laptop Backpack

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We know what you are thinking; “A DSLR and laptop bag?” Yes. Hear us out. You can roll up your clothes tightly to fit inside those organized cushioned slots. You can also still store camera equipment if you choose. The interior padding comes in two colors; orange and gray. That means you can easily see your items when they are inside the bag. We cannot forget this bag’s ability to AmazonBasics DSLR and Laptop Backpack - Orange interior store a laptop up to 17 inches. There are adjustable waist straps and chest straps for better ergonomics. This seems to be one of the best travel backpacks for photographers.


  • Made by Amazon
  • Ships off in a frustration-free package
  • You order directly from the manufacturer
  • Colorful padded interior
  • Solid construction


  • Designed for cameras
  • Not much information available about this backpack
  • Comes in limited colors

12. Outlander Ultra Lightweight Travel Backpack

Oh yes, this is the last one on the list and the highest rated on Amazon. This very capable backpack is ultra lightweight and could be carried around everywhere. It is also durable enough to hold those heavy items. Anti-Abrasion soft nylon, anti-rip material makes it scratch-proof. Water resistance is another feature that protects against those torrential downpours. The unit is foldable and very portable. You can also store your sensitive mobile devices in the zippered inner security side pocket. Use the metal zippers to close the heavy-duty bag.

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Each travel bag order comes with a free multifunctional Carabiner for attaching keychains, camera equipment, and camping gear. When it gets closer to departure time, you can pick the bag up with the reinforced top-grade handle and continue to the airport. There are enhanced bar-tacks for extra strength and breathable mesh shoulder straps with a lot of padding in between for comfort.

Outlander Packable Handy Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack, Red This backpack comes in 11 colors:

  • Black
  • Dark Blue
  • Dark Teal
  • Green
  • Grey
  • Light Blue
  • Orange
  • Pink
  • Purple
  • Red
  • Dark Red

It has five waterproof options:

  • Black Waterproof
  • Dark Blue Waterproof
  • Green Waterproof
  • Grey Waterproof
  • Orange Waterproof

There are three sizes for you to choose from:

  • 20 L
  • 25 L
  • 33 L


  • Lightweight
  • Stylish
  • Roomy


  • Flimsy feel

Decision Time: Which is the Best Travel Backpack for You?

Now that you’ve read all of the information, you can make your own decision on what is worth purchasing. We recommend trying out the [earnist_link ref=”amazonbasics-slim-carry-on-travel-backpack” id=”13172″]AmazonBasics[/earnist_link] model, as it offers a good overall experience. All of the other bags are worth your time, too, but it’s up to you to decide which features appeal to you the most. Take your time to decide and you’ll definitely be ready for your next trip.

You shouldn’t stress yourself out over what to bring on your trip because you don’t have the right travel backpack to fit all your possessions. All the bags listed above have the right features for specific types of travel. In addition, you may want to consider a drawstring day bag while you’re on location. If so, check out our review of the Nike Vapor Drawstring bag. We carry one everywhere!

You just have to make the choice. As you can see, there are many travel backpacks to choose from. So, have fun while traveling and always have what you need. You’ve got what you need to make an informed purchase on your new travel bag. Happy Travels!

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