When you’re traveling, the last thing you want to worry about is keeping your belongings safe and secure. A travel backpack offers a convenient and affordable solution for travelers who want to stay organized on their trip and focus on enjoying the experience.
It’s much easier to carry a backpack with you than other options, such as a carry-on or roller suitcase. Backpacks are compact, lightweight, and full of pockets for travel essentials. What’s more, you can often store them easily in the overhead space or under your seat when you’re traveling by train, plane, bus, or car.
Here, we’re going to go over our top nine picks for the best travel backpack to help you enjoy your adventures to the fullest.
Best Weatherproof Backpack: NOMATIC Water-Resistant RFID Backpack
This NOMATIC backpack is designed to hold up against wind and weather, even in the worst conditions. It’s made of strong, waterproof materials and boasts reflective detail that makes you more visible in low light and poor weather.
The backpack offers a slim fit to make it easier to carry with you and store wherever you go. It holds up to 20L, but if you want to pack more, an expansion zipper along the bottom allows you to fit up to 24L of goods.
There are 20 differently-sized pockets to allow you to stay organized no matter what you bring on your travels. The backpack includes specialty storage solutions such as a quick-access fleece pocket, a magnetic water bottle compartment, a protective shell for sunglasses, and a hidden pocket for valuables. The pack also boasts an RFID security pocket to keep your cards safe during travel.
If you want to switch between a backpack and a briefcase, you can do so using the NOMATIC’s unique strap design. An adjustable panel allows you to hide the straps as needed for a more compact, professional look.
- Waterproof and weatherproof
- 20 specially designed pockets for easy organization
- RFID security
- Versatile design works as both a backpack and a briefcase
- Heavier than similarly sized backpacks
- Zippers are prone to breaking
Shop this item here: Nomatic Backpack
We also recommend these other two notables: Earth Pak Waterproof Backpack: 35L & G4Free 35L Hiking Backpack
Best Lightweight Travel Backpack: Peak Gear Foldable Backpack
This backpack weighs just under nine ounces, making it ideal for the traveler looking to take a load off their back. It’s made with 210D ripstop nylon, which is durable, lightweight, and water-resistant. A double zipper opening offers additional security without making the bag harder to open.
When not in use, this backpack is collapsible. You can fold it down to a thin sheet for easy storage as you travel. The bag is compact enough to fit underneath your seat or in an overhead locker in a plane or train when in use.
Inside, the Peak Gear Foldable Backpack is split by a convenient divider. There’s also an internal pocket and a side-mesh pouch to help you get organized. Everything is within easy reach so that you don’t have to take the pack off to get to necessities like water bottles.
If you lose your bag, this backpack comes with a free, lifelong, built-in lost-and-found service through ReturnMe. You’ll receive a tag with a unique code to attach to your bag. If someone finds your bag, they can contact the service to return it in exchange for a small reward.
- Weighs under 9 ounces
- Durable, high-quality nylon interior
- It can be folded flat for easy storage
- It comes with a free lifetime lost-and-found service
- Straps may be too short for some users
- The lining is prone to wearing and peeling
Check out current pricing here: Peak Gear Lightweight Backpack
Two other notables: Mountain Hardware Scrambler Day Pack & Aerios Daypack Raven
Best Backpack for Staying Organized While Traveling: BANGE Travel Overnight Backpack
This extra-large backpack can hold up to 40L, making it a good choice for the avid traveler. If you’re planning a long trip, you can organize everything you need in the spacious interior or one of several outer pockets, including a side-pouch for water bottles. All compartments are waterproof with a secure twin-zipper design.
The middle pocket is designed to comfortably hold electronics such as a computer or tablet, while the main pocket can store bulkier items. The BANGE travel backpack also comes with three mesh modules that fit neatly inside to simplify organization. The largest is designed to hold clothes, while the medium-sized container is made for toiletries. The smallest module is ideal for valuables and smaller items such as headphones.
Multiple straps make this backpack a versatile choice if you don’t want to wear it in the traditional style. You can use two hand straps to carry the bag like a tote or a shoulder strap to use it more like a laptop bag.
- Large design holds up to 40L
- Waterproof, twin-zipper design
- Multiple pockets and three separate modules keep you organized
- Versatile straps can convert to a backpack, a tote, or a laptop bag
- Bulky, heavyweight design
- Straps are prone to breaking under stress
For current pricing, click here: BANGE Travel Overnight Backpack
We also like these two: PANS Backpack for Men Large Military Backpack Tactical & Keneth Cole Reaction Backpack
Best Backpack for Adventure Travel: Osprey Porter 46 Travel Backpack
As any adventure traveler knows, you need a travel pack that can hold up against any obstacle you face. The Osprey Porter is made of durable, high-quality nylon with StraightJacket compression straps and thick, padded sidewalls to protect everything inside as you hike, climb, kayak, and more.
This backpack has plenty of different pockets, allowing you to keep your gear organized and within easy reach. A small, zippered pocket offers the perfect place for toiletries, while a front paneled pocket gives you a place to store your documents. There’s also a padded, lockable pocket designed to hold your electronics.
This pack is designed to be worn on your back, but grab handles allow you to carry it like a briefcase if it gets too heavy. You can also attach a separate shoulder strap using the built-in D-rings for a satchel or laptop bag.
- Made of durable, padded nylon to protect interior contents
- Plenty of inner and outer pockets for organization
- Specialized, protected pocket for electronics
- Multiple ways to carry with grab handles or a shoulder strap
- Not comfortable for all users
- Straps don’t offer as much support as others
Check out current pricing here: Osprey Porter 46 Backpack
A few alternative yet notable choices are: Gregory Optic 48 Backpack & High Sierra 40 Hiking Backpack
Best Backpack for the Business Traveler: TUMI Alpha 3 Brief Pack
This backpack offers a sleek, professional design that wouldn’t look out of place in an office setting. It’s made of robust FXT ballistic nylon, which can hold up through years of international travel. A strong, dual-coil zipper ensures that the bag stays sealed and its contents safe.
The straps are fully adjustable, making this pack fit just about any body shape. Padding along the straps adds comfort during extended wear. If you want to carry the TUMI Alpha 3, it boasts a luxurious leather-wrapped handle at the top.
Inside the bag, a dedicated 15” laptop compartment keeps your files safe before any meeting. There’s also a tablet pocket and an open pocket for paper files, as well as specialized pen loops and a key leash. If you ever lose your bag, you can recover it along with important items inside through the TUMI tracer program.
- Made of durable nylon with a dual-coil zipper design
- Adjustable, padded straps for comfort
- Dedicated compartments for electronics, files, and office equipment
- Covered by the TUMI tracer program
- Heavy for its compact size
- Pricier than other options
Current pricing available here: Tumi Alpha 3 Backpack
A few other noteable choices are: Travelpro Platinum Elite Business Backpack & BOPAI Travel Backpack for Business
Best Backpack for Features: Eagle Creek Global Companion Travel Backpack
This backpack is loaded with additional features that make it a good choice for any traveler, from adventurers to businessmen. It’s made of 450D geo-ripstop fabric to hold up against regular use and abuse.
The pack boasts lockable zippers with ergonomic, easy-grip zipper pulls to make it easy to access your gear. There are also plenty of interior sleeves and exterior pockets to help you stay organized.
You can wear the Eagle Creek Companion as a traditional backpack, or you can carry it using top, bottom, and side haul-handles. The straps and back panel are all padded for additional comfort, while a hip belt gives you additional support when carrying heavy loads.
If more than one person uses this pack, you can adjust the torso length to suit different body shapes. It’s made for a unisex, adult fit so that both men and women can wear the backpack comfortably.
- Made of wear-resistant ripstop nylon
- Plenty of sleeves and pockets for clothing, electronics, gear, and more
- Padded straps and back panel for added comfort
- Adjustable torso length for multiple users
- Seams may break with stress
- Too bulky to act as airline carry-on
Shop this item here: Eagle Creek Global Companion Backpack
Two other noteables are: Travelpro 2 Executive Backpack & Omnpak Antitheft TSA Backpack
Best Wheeled Backpack: Osprey Meridian 60 L/22" Wheeled Luggage
This wheeled duffel is ideal for business travel, making it easy to carry heavy loads through city streets. Unlike other wheeled bags, though, the Osprey Meridian includes a detachable backpack. When you’re out in the wilderness, you can use the pack instead for easier travel.
The roller case is made of nylon, with an aluminum dual-tube extended handle for easy wheeling. The suspension system is adjustable to fit users of different heights. There are four zippered pockets in the main compartment, as well as easy-access top and rear panel pockets.
The backpack itself is small, lightweight, and breathable. It features a mesh back panel to keep you cool as you move. Shoulder straps include cushioning for additional comfort. Inside, padded laptop and tablet sleeves help you stay organized.
- Includes both a roller duffel and a backpack
- Lightweight and versatile
- Cushioned straps and mesh back panel for comfort
- Pockets for easy organization in both the duffel and backpack
- Not a lot of storage space in the backpack
- No hip belt for support
For the latest prices, click here: Osprey Meridian Wheeled Backpack
We also like these two notables: Targus Compact Rolling Backpack & the MATEIN Rolling Waterproof Backpack
Best Anti-Theft Backpack: Pacsafe Metrosafe LS450 25 Liter Anti Theft Laptop Backpack
When you travel, it can put your personal data at risk. As many as one in five travelers are hit by cybercrime while abroad, which can result in anything from financial loss to full-blown identity theft. Backpacks like the Pacsafe Metrosafe are designed to keep cards, electronics, and more safe from people looking to harvest sensitive data.
This backpack has an RFID-blocking pocket for credit cards and ID, as well as lockable zippers. The exterior is made of cut-proof nylon to prevent anybody from slicing into your bag without you noticing.
Inside, padded compartments keep your belongings organized and protected. There are numerous sleeves and zippered pockets designed to hold electronics, water bottles, and other travel essentials.
While this pack is large enough to hold what you need, it’s also lightweight enough to carry comfortably. The straps are padded so that they don’t dig into your shoulders, and they’re adjustable between 26.8″ and 36.2″.
- Made of durable, cut-proof nylon
- RFID blocking pocket
- Padded compartments for delicate belongings
- Adjustable, padded shoulder straps
- Straps may not fit a petite frame
- Stitching comes apart easily
For pricing, click here: Pascale Metrosafe Backpack
A few other recommended options: Travelpro’s BOLD computer safety Backpack & BOPAI 15 inch Super Slim Laptop Backpack Men Anti Theft Backpack
Most Durable Overall Backpack: Tortuga Outbreaker 35L
The Tortuga Outbreaker is built to last, made of four-layer waterproof sailcloth. This material is strong yet lightweight and is resistant to tears, scuffs, and abrasions. It’s also UV-resistant so that it won’t weaken from sun exposure.
This bag packs like a suitcase, with a rectangular design that opens from the top. However, once packed, it wears like a backpack. The bag is height-adjustable to suit different frames, and the foam padding wicks sweat to keep you cool in hot weather. There’s also a removable hip belt for additional support.
Inside, you can fit enough supplies to last you at least a week. This bag offers a 35L capacity with storage compartments for your laptop, tablet, and more. There are also easy-access zipper pockets along the outside for documents, toiletries, and more.
- Made of four-layer sailcloth
- Waterproof and UV-resistant
- Plenty of packing space
- Slightly awkward, heavy design
- Nowhere to stow straps
Check out current pricing here: Tortuga Outbreaker 35L
Other worthwhile notables include: Patagonia Refugio Backpack 28L & North Face Recon Backpack
Simplify Your Trip with a Travel Backpack
Travel backpacks offer a compact, lightweight alternative to bulkier options such as bags and suitcases. You can take them with you just about anywhere, from the city streets to off-the-map hiking trails. We hope our recommendations here have provided a number of different options available to suit any lifestyle and budget.
Using a travel backpack on your next adventure can help the entire trip to go more smoothly. With the right pack, you keep your most important gear within arm’s reach at all times. Just make sure that you look for something that’s comfortable, well-organized, and built to last.
Just going for a day hike? Check out our article on the best daypack backpacks.