What to Look For in the Best Travel Backpack


Travel backpacks come in all sorts of styles. Some resemble large duffel bags while others can operate more like briefcases.

Many packs feature clam-shell openings for easy access and laptop storage, as well as weather-resistant zippers from YKK and thick padding on the base that gives structure and confidence when setting down their pack.

1. Comfort

Comfort can vary from traveler to traveler, but most travelers look for certain qualities in a backpack that provide adequate cushion and protection from pressure points. The best designs offer well-padded shoulder straps and hipbelts with ample adjustment capabilities so they fit properly; load lifters allow the weight shift closer to your spine while heavy padding in the sternum and back panel can cushion and protect sensitive areas from stress.

Ogio Global Travel Bag stands out as an economical yet sturdy choice with ample storage space for weekend or business travel, compliant with most carry-on luggage size restrictions and featuring plenty of organizational features like its padded laptop sleeve, side water bottle pockets and ample zippered storage inside and outside the bag. Another top pick from YETI, their Packaway Daypack offers durability in a sleek design combining durability and organization – such as its padded laptop sleeve, side water bottle pockets, zippered storage inside and out plus plenty of zippered storage inside and out for everyday travel needs!

2. Organization

The best travel backpacks provide thoughtful features designed to cater to frequent travelers. This may include features like dividers for packing clothing and accessories, secure zippered laptop pockets, lockable RFID-blocking pockets for passports or scannable documents, functional cord pass-through points and more.

Topo Designs may not be one of the more widely recognized backpacking manufacturers, but their Global Travel Bag 30L stands out as an outstanding pick for commuters and travelers. This versatile pack provides multiple compartments and storage solutions ranging from zippered accessory pockets on its front flap to its unique clamshell-style opening which divides volume evenly among full padded compartments and two separate sectioned pockets.

Peak Design’s Farpoint and Fairview packs are different than their counterparts because they use deployable strap covers that help create a clean silhouette when empty. Furthermore, these sturdy packs boast thick padding on the interior to promote structure as well as weather-resistant details on the outside to ward off precipitation.

3. Size

No matter if it’s for clothing or an overnight hike, your travel backpack must feel spacious but compact.

For an airline-sized carry-on bag that provides ample space while meeting all airline size requirements, try the Peak Design Travel Backpack (30L option also available). Its laptop compartment protects your sensitive technology while its shape accommodates additional pockets for toiletries, electronics and more.

The Nomatic Travel Bag is an outstanding example of form meeting function for digital nomads. With its straps easily retracting with just the push of a button, its transforms into an unobtrusive travel bag perfect for flights and hostels – featuring convenient features like its hybrid U-Zipper closure system and adjustable hip belt for extra travel convenience.

4. Style

Travel backpacks may appear similar at first glance, yet each is designed for specific uses. When choosing one for travel purposes, there are a few key features you should keep in mind. Make sure it has room for both a laptop and iPad in addition to plenty of smaller slots to hold smaller items. Furthermore, choose one with ample padding and sturdy zippers.

Travel backpacks typically feature a clamshell-style opening; however, some models with U-zip designs provide easy access deep within the bag – this feature should be particularly beneficial if traveling with electronics and passing airport security without incident.

YETI may be best known for their insulated drinkware and coolers, but their Crossroads 35L backpack packs an impressive punch when it comes to craftsmanship and functionality. Equipped with TuffSkin nylon fabric that inspires confidence as well as a PU base coating for extra abrasion-resistance, the bag’s construction makes a strong statement of premium craftsmanship and design.

5. Storage

A 55L travel backpack designed specifically to meet the needs of female frequent travelers. Equipped with power cord management features and sunglasses storage space, this carry-on pack can handle every kind of journey with ease.

Its clam-shell opening and multiple zippered compartments enable you to organize your gear by day or activity – an invaluable feature for digital nomads who travel light. In fact, this pack is also the lightest in its category.

This versatile and budget-friendly backpack is an excellent option for overnight hiking or camping trips, featuring its comfortable AntiGravity suspension system and thoughtful travel-oriented features such as divisible main compartment, hybrid U-zipper and dual side pockets – and is the only pack in this category with its own dedicated zipper pocket to store a rain cover!

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