Buying Guide on How to Choose the Best Backpack for Traveling

If you are an avid traveler, this buying guide on how to choose the best backpack for travel will prove useful. The indefinite choices available on the market as well as lack of knowledge on what one should consider when shopping for a travel backpack make it hard for many to find that suits their needs. In this post, we explore everything you should know before beginning your search.

travel backpack

What is a travel backpack?

This is a backpack that is specially designed to be carried for long periods of time or long distances. It can also be used on public transport. While it doesn’t have as much capacity as a suitcase, this bag is excellent for light trips that involve sightseeing where you need something that can accommodate a few clothes, gear and other essentials. It is available in the form of sling backpack, hiking backpack, day backpack and urban backpack.

Hiking backpacks are designed for serious backcountry campers and usually have a capacity of up to liters. Day packs are an excellent choice for casual travelers around town. They are slightly larger than fanny packs and smaller than hiking backpacks. Many are usually detachable parts of larger backpacks for travel. Travel backpacks are also generally classified as internal frame or external frame.

Benefits of using a backpack for travel

This backpacks offer a variety of benefits to travelers including:
• Ease of storage: Its design makes it to easy to store in the tightest spaces such as overhead carriages of trains, buses and planes. Some even come with compression straps that cinch the contents down so that they take up less space.
• Comfort: Since they don’t pull on one side of the body, these backpacks are incredibly comfortable to carry around. They are designed to distribute the weight evenly, eliminating the risk of discomfort and tiring fast.
• Ease of moving around: Unlike huge suitcases, one doesn’t have to worry about rolling this backpack up and down the stairs. It is also easy to maneuver in large crowds.
• Organization: Travel backpacks often come with several compartments that allow for organization. This means that you can easily access your essentials without having to unpack everything.

How to choose the best backpack for travel

Shopping for the best travel backpack can prove a pain, probably because the word “best” refers to what the market has to offer as well as something that suits your needs. Sightseeing in Paris and backpacking in Europe are two different travel experiences that require different backpacks. So how do you choose the best travel backpack? Which factors should you consider?

1. Padded back

A lumber-shaped backpack distributes the weight evenly, making it more comfortable to carry. Like contoured chairs, backpacks with a padded back allow for a more natural arch, thus eliminating back pain. In addition, they allow for better air circulation between your back and the bag.

2. Padded shoulder straps

This also helps improve comfort as it pushes weight down on the shoulders without applying too much pressure. Padded shoulder straps reduce pressure on the back. You want to ensure that you look for something with thick padding.

3. Padded hip belt

With most of the weight pushing down on your hips, a backpack with a padded hip belt makes supporting the weight easier and more comfortable. Additionally, it helps with even weight distribution leading to reduced strain. Whatever you choose, ensure that it comes with padded and adjustable straps for a comfortable fit.

4. Internal frame or external frame

Many travelers today opt for backpacks with internal frames that are built into the back and hidden from view. External frame backpacks have clunky metal rods that are separate and stick out. Don’t opt for these. Those with internal frames are more comfortable to carry and look better.

5. Compartments and organization

A good travel backpack should have sufficient storage space and allow you to organize your things in an efficient manner. This means compartments are a must as you can store your clothes, gadgets, flip-flops and shoes separately. This will save you time digging through everything to find your iPhone. A hidden compartment is essential for storing valuable items like credit cards and ID.

6. Lockable zippers

Every compartment should have two zippers so that you can lock them together. Theft is a real threat and the last you need is to lose all of your stuff at the airport. Look for TSA friendly locks, which are readily available at local stores and allow TSA officials to inspect your bag without breaking the lock.

7. Water-resistance

While you don’t have to get a 100% waterproof backpack, having something that is semi-waterproof helps protect your things from getting wet when it rains.

Main drawbacks of backpacks for travel

The main disadvantage when it comes to use of travel backpacks is that they don’t have as much capacity as suitcases. This can prove detrimental for trips that last weeks or even months.

Conclusion

Now that we have discussed important features to look for in a travel backpack, you can now start your shopping expedition. Keep in mind that what matters most is your travel needs. This YouTube video provides more tips on choosing the best travel backpack.

Travel Backpacks on Amazon

SaleBestseller No. 1
SwissGear Travel Gear ScanSmart Backpack
5000 Reviews
SwissGear Travel Gear ScanSmart Backpack
  • 18.5 x 13.5 x 9.0 inches (Height x Width x Depth)
  • Durable 1200D polyester
  • Lay-flat design helps speed through airport security
  • Laptop-only compartment designed to fit most portable computers up to 17 inches. Inner laptop sleeve...
Bestseller No. 2
AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack, Navy
53 Reviews
AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack, Navy
  • Carry-on travel backpack with internal, zippered laptop sleeve; ultra-flexible and lightweight; made...
  • Main compartment with zippered mesh space, optional midway shelf, and internal/external compression...
  • Front pocket and front-top pocket for easy access to documents and travel liquids; main upper...
  • Padded shoulder straps disconnect easily and store away in zippered back pocket; removable sternum...
  • Main compartment measures 5.5 by 13 to 14 by 21.5 inches (LxWxH); main upper packing compartment...
SaleBestseller No. 3
Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Durable Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack (Green)
1877 Reviews
Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Durable Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack (Green)
  • DURABLE. This Venture Pal Backpack is made with high quality tear and water resistant material,...
  • COMFORTABLE. Breathable mesh shoulder straps with plentiful sponge padding help relieve the stress...
  • MULTI COMPARTMENTS and KEEP THINGS ORGANIZED. This backpack features one main zipped compartment,...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT(0.7LB) and ROOMY(35Liters). A true space saver. Fold the backpack into its own pocket...
  • COMPACT. Folds into zipped inner pocket to fit anywhere, and unfolds from pocket to backpack in...
Bestseller No. 4
OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack 50L - Weekend Pack w/ Waterproof Rain Cover & Laptop Compartment - for Camping, Travel, Hiking (LightGreen/Grey)
881 Reviews
OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack 50L - Weekend Pack w/ Waterproof Rain Cover & Laptop Compartment - for Camping, Travel, Hiking (LightGreen/Grey)
  • MULTIPURPOSE 50L HIKING BACKPACK - A spacious backpack packed with pockets & features. Great for...
  • WATERPROOF RAIN COVER INCLUDED - With a capacity of 50 liter this pack has a dedicated pocket for...
  • DURABLE & COMFORTABLE TO CARRY - Made of lightweight materials with durability & comfort in mind....
  • PACKED WITH FEATURES & POCKETS - Plenty of both small & large pockets, as well as external...
  • WHAT YOU GET - 1 x OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack 50L, 1 x Waterproof Rain Cover, OutdoorMaster's 6...
SaleBestseller No. 5
Travel Laptop Backpack,Business Anti Theft Slim Durable Laptop Backpack with USB Charging Port ,Water Resistant College School Computer Bag for Women and Men Fits 15.6 Inch Laptop and Notebook - Grey
21 Reviews
Travel Laptop Backpack,Business Anti Theft Slim Durable Laptop Backpack with USB Charging Port ,Water Resistant College School Computer Bag for Women and Men Fits 15.6 Inch Laptop and Notebook - Grey
  • ★PLENTY SPACE: One separate laptop compartment can hold UNDER 17 Inch Laptop, one spacious packing...
  • ★ULTRA COMFORT: Airflow back design with thick but soft multi-panel ventilated padding, gives you...
  • ★PRACTICAL&SAFE: A luggage strap allows backpack to slide over the luggage upright handle tube for...
  • ★USB PORT DESIGN: Put your Power Bank into backpack and connect internal USB cable, then let your...
  • ★SUPERIOR MATERIAL&DURABILITY: Made of Water Resistant and Durable Polyester Fabric with metal...
Bestseller No. 6
Mancro Business Water Resistant Polyester Laptop Backpack with USB Charging Port and Lock Fits Under 17-Inch Laptop and Notebook, Grey
37 Reviews
Mancro Business Water Resistant Polyester Laptop Backpack with USB Charging Port and Lock Fits Under 17-Inch Laptop and Notebook, Grey
  • Dimensions:20 x 12.2 x 5.7 inch with dedicated Laptop compartment holds Laptops less than 17 Inch
  • 3 MAIN pockets & 9 INNER small pockets & 2 SEALED SIDE pockets,provides a separated space for your...
  • External USB with built-in charging cable
  • Includes A Theft Proof Combination Lock & Durable Metal Zippers
  • Made From Durable Eco-Friendly Nylon Fabric With Two "S" Curve Padded Shoulder Straps,Offers...
SaleBestseller No. 7
Hynes Eagle 38L Flight Approved Weekender Carry on Backpack, Black
139 Reviews
Hynes Eagle 38L Flight Approved Weekender Carry on Backpack, Black
  • New version with new logo and sternum strap for stability, convenient for worldwide travelers
  • 1 top handle, 1 side handle and suppressible adjustable padded shoulder straps for versatile...
  • Multiple sides compression buckle straps for adjusting the height based on your need and protect...
  • 38 L capacity to fit your belongings and gadgets, also could fit 3 pieces packing cubes, Dimensions:...
  • Design to fit the allowed maximum size of most IATA flights, fit in the overhead compartment as well...
SaleBestseller No. 8
ZOMAKE Ultra Lightweight Packable Backpack Water Resistant Hiking Daypack,Small Backpack Handy Foldable Camping Outdoor Backpack Little Bag (Light Blue)
383 Reviews
ZOMAKE Ultra Lightweight Packable Backpack Water Resistant Hiking Daypack,Small Backpack Handy Foldable Camping Outdoor Backpack Little Bag (Light Blue)
  • MULTIPURPOSE - Ultra-light. Ultra-durable. Ultra-awesome. The backpack is perfect for day-to-day use...
  • CAPACITY - 20L storage space, keep things organized
  • INCOMPARABLE QUALITY - Made with High Quality Water and Tear Resistant Nylon Material. Duarable...
  • CONVENIENT AND LIGHTWEIGHT - It fits into an ultra-compact pouch. Easy to folds up into small pocket...
  • AIRPORT HERO - Avoid overweight charges, simply unfold from your luggage and use it as a carry on...
SaleBestseller No. 9
Laptop Outdoor Backpack, Travel Hiking& Camping Rucksack Pack, Casual Large College School Daypack, Shoulder Book Bags Back Fits 15' Laptop & Tablets by Kaukko (NGrey 2pcs)
541 Reviews
Laptop Outdoor Backpack, Travel Hiking& Camping Rucksack Pack, Casual Large College School Daypack, Shoulder Book Bags Back Fits 15" Laptop & Tablets by Kaukko (NGrey 2pcs)
  • HIGH QUALITY & DURABLE MATERIAL. HIGH QUALITY NYLON LINING makes the backpack soft and comfortable....
  • LARGE CAPACITY & STUFF ARRANGED TIDILY. The dimension of the travel laptop backpack is 18.5"H x...
  • NEW FEATURES. Adjustable Drawstring closure at main compartment, which do secure your contents well....
  • MULTIPURPOSE USAGE & CASUAL STYLE. The retreat backpack can fit your many occasions. It also fit men...
  • NO-RISK WHEN ORDER. KAUKKO-Direct promise 6-months warranty. Return(within 30 days), Exchange(The...
SaleBestseller No. 10
Backpack - Waterproof Lightweight Backpacks for Travel Hiking - Daypack for Women Men (Grey)
131 Reviews
Backpack - Waterproof Lightweight Backpacks for Travel Hiking - Daypack for Women Men (Grey)
  • 1.WITHSTANDS EVERYDAY WEAR & TEAR : Made by tear, water resistant and anti-abrasion soft nylon,...
  • 2.CARRIES ALL THE THINGS YOU NEED: Roomy while not bulky, the main compartment provides large room...
  • 3.SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT & COMPACTABLE: This foldable backpack Weight 0.7lb, a true space saver, fold the...
  • 4.WON'T TIRE YOUR SHOULDER: Thanks to it's padded shoulder straps, this backpack will never strain...
  • 5.GET THIS COOL BACKPACK RISK FREE: Your satisfaction is our top priority, this fashion backpack is...