The Best Travel Backpacks

Not sure when to use these? Wanderium automatically recommends relevant gear and services based on your trip's conditions.

Normal everyday backpacks do an admirable job when traveling. If you travel often though, it’s worth considering a travel backpack which is meant to simplify life on the road by consolidating your carry on and backpack into a single 35L to 45L bag that still falls within an airline's carry on requirements. They also usually have features to make packing easier, like a clamshell style opening. It's a 🔥 category: there are a ton of great options today, with many released only within the past year or two.

What we look for
  • Quality materials and components to withstand abuse and so you enjoy using it more
  • Smart organization features so you can pack efficiently and quickly find items when on the go
  • Padded straps and vents so it's comfortable to wear for long periods
  • Some level of weatherproofing to make the bag more versatile
  • Good looks which is subjective but we err on the minimal side so it matches with more outfits and doesn’t scream tourist to minimize attention from thieves
  • A good warranty to protect your investment because sturdy backpacks aren't cheap

Disagree? Know of another great option?

Osprey Porter 46

Great overall bag: spacious, durable, light, and functional

You see this Osprey bag often all around the world and for good reason: it's a really good all around bag and not to mention Osprey's top notch reputation and customer service. It comes with a big panel loading main compartment with compression for easy packing and a lockable front panel with padded device compartments. The technical and outdoorsy look, however, isn't for everyone.

  • Conveniently attaches with certain Osprey daypacks, like the Daylite, for easier daily outings
  • If you want an even more seamless daypack combo and don't mind something bigger, see the Farpoint 55 with its made for zip off daypack
  • Lifetime Warranty ("All Mighty Guarantee")
  • 46L, 3.31 lbs
  • Video review
Osprey Porter 46

Minaal Carry-on 2.0

A sleek, minimalist bag made to the highest standards

Despite not knowing anything about making backpacks, two kiwis decided to scratch their own itch and create the Minaal Carry-on: one of the most well thought out travel backpacks ever. It's admittedly expensive but the quality and craftsmanship are absurdly good, like comfortable magnetic load bearing shoulder straps that are stowable for a minimalist briefcase look. Its sleek design works everywhere including the office and its clamshell design opens fully for easy packing. If you want the best travel backpack, this bag is definitely up there.

Minaal Carry-on 2.0

Tortuga Setout

A high quality bag optimized for city travel

Tortuga is one of the best brands focused on city travel and their flagship Setout backpack continues that tradition with quality components across the board: lockable YKK zippers, DWR coated 900D polyester, duraflex buckles, and more. It has a clamshell design for easy packing and a padded, lie flat laptop compartment.

  • Warranty: "If something is wrong and is our fault, we will make it right."
  • 35L, 3.4 lbs
  • Also comes in a bigger 45L size, different colors, and women's specific version
Tortuga Setout

Pacsafe Venturesafe EXP45

Best security focused option

Paranoid or traveling to a sketchy region? Pacsafe is known for producing high quality, security focused travel products. The Venturesafe EXP45 epitomizes that anti-theft ethos in a sleek bag that doesn't compromise on space or features. You can secure all zippers into a single point, lock the bag to a fixture with an integrated cable, and know your bag is safe from slashing with its steel mesh embedded fabric. For easy packing it has a clamshell design compartment, dedicated device pockets, and stowable straps.

Pacsafe Venturesafe EXP45

AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack

Best budget option

Can't justify the higher prices for brands like Tortuga or Minaal? Reliable ol' AmazonBasics has a version of a travel backpack that gets the job done for most people. It has a clamshell opening for easy packing, is big enough at around 45L, and its straps are adjustable for comfort.

The main downsides are a mediocre polyester fabric that might not hold up as long term, a slightly heavy 4.1 lbs, and a short 1 year warranty.

AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack

Wanderium is traveler supported and may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Don't leave your expensive trip up to chance.
Prepare with Wanderium.