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Best Travel Backpack | In-Depth Buyer’s Guide and Bag Reviews (2019)

Best Travel Backpack | In-Depth Buyer's Guide and Bag Reviews (2019)

Corporations are lastly beginning to design journey backpacks particularly for city journey! Prior to now, individuals touring to Europe have been pressured to make use of regular climbing backpacks that have been designed for all-day hikes within the wilderness. Nevertheless, climbing backpacks aren’t designed for city-hopping by way of practice, aircraft, and bus.

However now there are a number of journey backpacks available on the market and we’ve examined about nicely over a dozen of the preferred to assist discover one of the best journey backpack on your journey type.

How To Decide A Travel Backpack

travel light | carry-on backpacksTravel mild & simply navigate Europe!

Travel backpacks zip open like a traditional suitcase — none of that prime loading nonsense. This manner you possibly can simply entry no matter you want with out a lot problem. Moreover, most journey backpacks don’t have additional straps and the suspension system (i.e. the shoulder straps and hip belt) might be saved away behind a zippered panel so it’s protected for transport in buses, planes, and so on.

Travel backpacks are nonetheless comparatively new, in order that they’re not as superior as conventional climbing backpacks. Subsequently, there are nonetheless a couple of drawbacks:

  • The suspension system: The shoulder straps on journey backpacks are usually not all the time as superior as on a standard mountaineering backpack – though it does rely upon the backpack. Travel backpacks are designed to be worn for perhaps an hour at a time. This must be loads of time for many city-hopping journeys the place you’ll be utilizing public transportation. Nevertheless, it is best to assume twice about shopping for a journey backpack in the event you plan on doing any long-distance mountaineering in your journey.
  • Hip belt: Lots of journey backpacks skimp on the hip belt — some don’t even have one. The issue right here is that a lot of the weight of your backpack ought to truly fall in your hips — not your shoulders. Just a few journey backpacks embrace a totally practical hip belt. This shouldn’t pose an excessive amount of of a problem because you gained’t be sporting the bag for an prolonged period of time however it’s one thing to think about.
  • Zippers are the weak spot: The zipper will all the time be the weakest level in any bag — there isn’t any getting round that. Usually, most main producers use heavy-duty zippers so that you don’t have to fret an excessive amount of about breaking one however cheaper luggage might use weaker zippers.
    • One other concern is that conventional zippers aren’t waterproof. Nicer luggage now include waterproof zippers, but when yours doesn’t have one, you could contemplate buying a rain cowl on your bag.
  • Boxiness: Travel backpacks are a bit of boxier than the typical mountaineering backpack as a result of they’re designed to be extra like a suitcase. This can be a minor grievance, however in the event you’re used to utilizing a mountaineering pack, you may discover the distinction.

The Best Travel Backpacks: Fast Look

In a rush? Right here’s the listing of our favourite journey backpacks. Hold studying under to see our in-depth critiques of every backpack.

  • Osprey Farpoint Travel Backpack: Tremendous snug with wonderful shoulder straps. Lot’s of sensible options and obtainable in a 55L and a 40L model. [Jump To Review]
  • Osprey Fairview Travel Backpack: The feminine model of the Osprey Farpoint. Wonderful general journey backpack and additionally out there in a 55L and a 40L model. [Jump To Review]
  • Osprey Porter 46: Excessive-quality backpack that hauls lots of gear for a strong worth. [Jump To Review]
  • Tortuga Outbreaker: Heavy-duty maximum-sized carry-on backpack with a fantastic suspension system. [Jump To Review] 
  • Tortuga Setout & Setout Divide: Streamlined and lighter-weight model of the Tortuga Outbreaker. The Divide model is a smaller model of the Setout. [Jump To Review]
  • AER Travel Pack Trendy wanting journey backpack that’s nice for touring mild. [Jump To Review]
  • Kelty Redwing: Tremendous snug backpack that blends options of a journey backpack and a mountaineering backpack. Strong worth as nicely. [Jump To Review]
  • Minaal Glossy and streamlined journey backpack. Tailor-made to ultralight and enterprise/trendy vacationers. [Jump To Review]
  • Patagonia Blackhole MLC: The Blackhole is a duffle bag that may convert to a journey backpack. It may maintain a ton of stuff. [Jump To Review]

The Best Travel Backpacks: In-Depth Guide

best travel backpacksHenry doesn’t actually care about backpacks
Sometimes you just gotta shove your bag in there to make it fit. Typically you simply gotta shove your bag in there to make it match.
Fast Word About Airline Carry-On Sizes 

Every airline has their very own guidelines about carry-on measurement limits so take a look at their most size x width x depth measurements. It will get somewhat complicated as a result of a backpack is perhaps beneath on the width and depth however barely over on the size.

In contrast to suitcases, most journey backpacks aren’t tremendous inflexible, so the edges will compress if you could pressure your bag into a type of measurement templates that airways use.

That stated, the airways are often far more strict concerning the weight of the bag. As a basic rule, a 45L bag is concerning the max measurement for carry-on baggage, so we don’t advocate going over that measurement.

Okay! Let’s Get On To Our Favourite Travel Luggage!

Osprey Farpoint & Fairview Travel Backpacks

Osprey Farpoint - Travel BackpackSusan with the Osprey Farpoint 55 Travel Backpack

Two of our favourite journey backpacks are the Osprey Farpoint and the Osprey Fairview — they’re each primarily the identical backpack however the Fairview is a female-specific model that’s barely tweaked to raised match females. That stated, Susan (5’three″) has used the Farpoint a number of occasions and discovered it very snug.

Click on right here to learn our in-depth evaluate of the Osprey Farpoint.

The Farpoint and Fairview are two of probably the most fully-featured journey backpacks available on the market as a result of they incorporate many options that you simply’d discover in a standard climbing pack. Moreover, they’re priced competitively, so the luggage are reasonably priced. Each luggage can be found in three totally different sizes — 40L, 55L, and 70L.

40L vs 55L

The 40L and the 55L are comparable backpacks however they’re not precisely the identical. The 55L is definitely a 42L backpack with a removable 13L daypack. The 40L is a 40L backpack with no daypack. As you possibly can see, the primary compartments of every backpack are comparable in quantity however the 55L is a number of inches taller. Moreover, the 40L does have some further group that’s not discovered on the 55L.

What We Like About The Osprey Farpoint & Fairview

  • Actual Suspension System: The Farpoint truly has a suspension system that you simply’d discover in a climbing backpack, so this bag is a superb choice for those who worth consolation.
  • Snug Padded Hip Belt: The hip belt on the Farpoint is a professional hip belt that’s absolutely padded and adjustable.
  • Totally different Sizes: Every mannequin (40L, 55L, and 70L) is available in a Small/Medium or a Medium/Giant measurement. That is nice as a result of somebody who’s 5’three″ will need a totally different backpack than somebody who’s 6’1″. Most journey backpacks don’t supply this function. The Fairview is available in an X-Small/Small.
  • Carry-on Measurement: The 40L is definitely carry-on sized. The 55L is a tad too tall for some finances airways however we’ve used ours a number of occasions with out a problem. The 70L might be too massive to be a carry-on however you could be capable of sneak it by.
    • NOTE: Make sure to verify the airline’s guidelines as they’re all the time altering. 
  • Carry Handles: The Farpoint has two carry handles — one on the aspect and one on the highest. It in all probability doesn’t look like an enormous deal now, however these are available tremendous useful whenever you’re shifting your bag round.
  • Pretty Light-weight: The 40L mannequin weighs slightly below 3lbs, and the 55L weighs about 1lb extra. These aren’t the lightest weight backpacks, however they’re removed from the heaviest.
  • Zip Away Shoulder Straps and Hip Belt: All of the shoulder straps and hip belts fold and could be zipped away for protected transportation.
Farpoint Pricing

Fairview Pricing

Osprey Porter Travel Backpack

Osprey Porter Travel BackpackOsprey Porter | Travel Backpack

The Osprey Porter is among the hottest journey backpacks. We like to think about it because the Osprey Farpoint’s little brother — though it will probably truly carry extra stuff.

It has a reasonably no-frills shoulder harness system so it’s higher fitted to primary level A to level B journey city journey. That stated, it’s nonetheless a cushty and well-made backpack. It was additionally redesigned in 2018 so it’s higher than ever.

The Porter is available in three sizes — 30L, 46L, and 65L. The Porter is streamlined, so there aren’t a bunch of additional straps hanging off the bag. The shoulder straps are fairly primary (however nonetheless snug) and the hip belt is minimal. The straps and hip belt do zip away if you’ll want to examine your bag or simply need to carry it like a suitcase by way of its handles. The Porter can also be pretty light-weight at three.4lbs (46L model).

When you’re touring mild then we advise the 30L model however we expect most individuals ought to get the 46L model.

The porter can also be one of many less-expensive luggage on our record so it’s a very good worth.


Learn our Osprey Porter 46L evaluate for extra details about this backpack.

Tortuga Travel Backpacks

Tortuga Outbreaker Travel BackpackThe 45L Tortuga Outbreaker Travel Backpack

Tortuga is an unbiased backpack firm that was began by a number of associates who turned annoyed with their backpacks once they traveled via Europe. That’s how the Tortuga was born. Tortuga is now one of the well-liked journey backpack manufacturers because of their three journey backpack fashions — Outbreaker, Setout, and Setout Divide. Every is a wonderful choice and we’ll cowl them under.

Tortuga Outbreaker

The Outbreaker is a fully-featured panel-loading backpack that is available in two sizes — 35L and 45L. The bag’s materials is sturdy and the hip belt is has a ton of padding. The suspension system is strong and the shoulder straps have plenty of padding. The bag is just a little cumbersome/heavy however it’s truthfully not that dangerous because it’s designed to hold a variety of stuff. The bag is a beast (in a great way).

The straps and hip belt don’t stow away however the 35L is sufficiently small to hold on any airline. The 45L might be carried on as properly nevertheless it could be “officially” too giant for some airways (we’ve by no means had a problem touring with our 45L Outbreaker).

The Outbreaker prices $269 (35L) or $299 (45L) and is obtainable by way of the Tortuga Web site.

You’ll be able to learn our in-depth Tortuga Outbreaker Evaluate right here. 

Tortuga Setout

Tortuga Setout Travel BackpackThe Setout Backpack can maintain a ton of stuff

The Setout is designed to be a extra streamlined and budget-friendly journey backpack. It’s 45L so you possibly can match a ton of stuff inside nevertheless it’s a lot much less “beefy” than the Outbreaker. The shoulder straps are much less strong and snug than the Outbreaker however it must be advantageous for short-distance metropolis journey. We do like the general look of the bag and it’s definitely extra trendy than the Outbreaker.

The Setout prices $199 (45L) and is obtainable by way of the Tortuga Web site.

You possibly can learn our in-depth Tortuga Setout Assessment right here. 

Tortuga Setout Divide

The Setout Divide is actually a smaller model of the unique 45L Setout. The Divide is a 26L journey backpack that may be expanded to 34L. So this can be a good various for people who find themselves into ultralight journey.

The Setout Divide prices $179 and is obtainable by way of the Tortuga Web site.

AER Travel Pack

AER Travel BackpackThe 33L Aer Travel Backpack

The AER is one other small unbiased backpack firm that has hit the scene a couple of years in the past. We’re actually digging their Travel Pack. This pack is designed particularly for city journey — it’s fairly glossy (it’s a tad boxy however not too dangerous), sturdy, has a ton of helpful pockets, and matches properly. It’s 33L so it’s particularly designed to be carry-on compliant on all airways — however 33L additionally means you’ll need to be a reasonably minimalist packer.

There isn’t a ton of padding on the shoulder straps nevertheless it’s fairly normal when in comparison with different minimalist journey luggage.

The AER Travel Pack additionally appears very nice (in our opinion) so that you don’t have to fret about wanting such as you’re headed to the wilderness. It weighs a three.7LBS so it’s pretty light-weight.

The Aer Travel Pack prices $230 immediately from the Aer Web site

NOTE: Aer simply changed their Travel Pack with the Travel Pack 2. We’re at present reviewing it however it’s primarily an improved model of their unique Travel Pack.

Need extra info on this bag? Learn our in-depth evaluate of the AER Travel Pack. 

Kelty Redwing Travel Backpack

Kelty Redwing - Travel BackpackKelty Redwing Travel Backpack

The Kelty Redwing is among the best-selling journey backpacks for a cause — it’s tremendous snug, it has many superior options, and it’s reasonably priced.

The Redwing has a fantastic suspension system with well-padded shoulder straps and good hip-belts. Moreover, it has a vented again to assist chase away a sweaty again. The Redwing can also be panel-loading and has a couple of exterior pockets.

The Redwing is available in a 44L and 50L model. It additionally is available in a female-specific 40L model. The Redwing weighs 2 lbs 10 ouncesso it’s very light-weight.

The one actual draw back to the Redwing is the seems to be — it appears like an outdoorsy mountaineering backpack (as a result of it primarily is a climbing backpack that opens like a suitcase). So if you will get over that, then you’ve your self a strong journey backpack.

The Redwing is formally listed for about $115-$145, Nevertheless, you’ll be able to often discover the Redwing nearer to $115 — which makes them a superb worth.

Verify Amazon for the newest costs

Minaal Carry-on Travel Backpack

ultralight travel minaal

The Minaal created fairly a splash with its tremendous profitable Kickstarter marketing campaign, so individuals are clearly taken with modern and trendy carry-on backpacks. It has a variety of the options you’d anticipate to see on a journey backpack — it’s streamlined, the straps might be stashed away, it has a rain cowl, and it has strong carry handles on the aspect and prime.

It’s fairly trendy and it gained’t draw a variety of consideration to itself, which is a one thing lots of people love.

The bag weighs just a bit over 3lbs and is listed at 35L — so it’s on the small aspect. That is greatest for vacationers who know the right way to pack tremendous mild so skip this bag when you’re not a minimalist. The Minaal has a primary hip belt, however it doesn’t have any padding, so it isn’t designed to help the load of the bag.

The Minaal seems like a very nice bag, however priced at $300, it is likely one of the costliest journey backpacks available on the market. It’s out there at

Patagonia Blackhole MLC (Most Authorized Carry-on) 

Patagonia MLC Travel BackpackPatagonia Blackhole Most Authorized Carry-On (MLC) Bag

Okay, the Patagonia Blackhole MLC isn’t technically a journey backpack… it’s a journey duffle bag. Sure, it has primary backpack straps however we want to hold this bad-boy as a shoulder bag.

The Patagonia Blackhole MLC (most authorized carry-on) bag has gained a little bit of a cult following. It’s principally a soft-sided suitcase with a shoulder strap and it’s an excellent selection for vacationers who don’t need a backpack.

The 45L Blackhole MLC is a modern and minimalist journey backpack with no dangly exterior straps. It has city styling so that you’ll appear to be an excellent trendy city dweller.

The Blackhole MLC is on the market at REI for $199.

Packing Cubes and Equipment


If you wish to take your group to the subsequent degree, you need to decide up a couple of packing cubes. Packing cubes help you simply compartmentalize your garments into totally different cubes so you’ll be able to maintain the whole lot simply accessible. These useful journey equipment make one-bag journey 10x simpler. Belief us.

There are a number of manufacturers and sizes obtainable, and I’ve all the time discovered the most effective worth on Amazon.

Take a look at our information to the perfect packing cubes to see our favourite manufacturers.

Mountaineering Backpacks Vs Travel Backpacks

Earlier than my first journey to Europe approach again in 2006, I exploit a top-loading hiking-style backpack — Osprey Atmos 50. Nevertheless, after a number of weeks of touring with the bag, I turned well-aware the shortcomings of a mountaineering backpack.

If you’re climbing, a top-loading bag is ideal since you haul all of your gear to a campsite and then unload it as you arrange camp. However whenever you’re touring, you don’t need to unload your whole bag each time you modify places. You need to open your bag, get no matter you want, and then be in your means.

Getting to your stuff is a bit difficult with a top-loading backpack!Attending to your stuff is a bit troublesome with a top-loading backpack!
  • The primary drawback with mountaineering backpacks is getting access to your garments and different stuff. Climbing backpacks usually solely open from the highest, so making an attempt to get to something contained in the bag requires you to unpack your complete bag. It’s a large ache.
  • Climbing backpacks are coated in all types of straps. These straps modify the match of the shoulder harness and hip belts, compress the bag’s load and maintain a sleeping bag/sleeping pad.
    • These straps can get caught on issues for those who’re not cautious. The most important concern is for those who verify your bag on the airport as a result of the straps can simply get caught on the bags conveyor belt. For those who’re fortunate, it’ll solely trigger minor injury, however there’s the potential of the strap being ripped utterly off the bag — which isn’t good.
  • Many mountaineering backpacks are lengthy and slender, which is sweet for retaining the stuff within the bag centered in your again, however it makes it troublesome to pack. This can be a function you need when climbing for miles at a time, however it’s a little bit of a nuisance for city journey.
  • Lastly, top-loading backpacks are closed with a drawstring to allow them to’t be locked.

Full Packing Lists

ultralight packing listLet’s get packing!

You’ll want to take a look at our Europe packing record — we even have a selected Travel Packing Record for Ladies and a Travel Packing Record for Males.

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