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...
SaleBestseller No. 2
Hynes Eagle 40L Flight Approved Carry on Backpack (Gray)
117 Reviews
Hynes Eagle 40L Flight Approved Carry on Backpack (Gray)
  • Water Repellent Polyester; Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.4 x 9.8 inches/51 x 34 x 25 cm; Capacity:...
  • Multiple exterior compression buckle straps for adjusting the height based on your need
  • A true hands-free carry on with suppressible shoulder straps, easily to convert from duffel into a...
  • 1 front zip pocket with multiple interior slip pockets, second compartment fits up to most 15.6 inch...
  • New version with new logo, side bottle pocket for extra storage and adjustable sternum strap for...
SaleBestseller No. 3
Venture Pal Ultralight Lightweight Packable Foldable Travel Camping Hiking Outdoor Sports Backpack Daypack (Fuschia)
1755 Reviews
Venture Pal Ultralight Lightweight Packable Foldable Travel Camping Hiking Outdoor Sports Backpack Daypack (Fuschia)
  • 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...
SaleBestseller No. 4
Backpack Daypack,Travel Backpack, Mengar 35L Foldable Water Resistant Packable Backpack Hiking Daypack - Ultralight and Handy & Lifetime Warranty (Purple)
239 Reviews
Backpack Daypack,Travel Backpack, Mengar 35L Foldable Water Resistant Packable Backpack Hiking Daypack - Ultralight and Handy & Lifetime Warranty (Purple)
  • Backpack Daypack,Travel Backpack,Handy and lightweight-Stuff the bag into its own pocket for...
  • Perfect for day trips-Also perfect for vacation, travel, day hikes, school, camping and shopping....
  • Unparalleled Quality-The backpack is made from highly rip and water resistant nylon fabric, provide...
  • Water Resistant Honeycomb RipStop Nylon fabric is durable,The lightweight materials used in this bag...
  • Lifetime Warranty- Mengar travel backpack is a great gift for everyone.
Bestseller No. 5
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. 6
Osprey Porter Travel Backpack Bag, Hoodoo Red, 46-Liter
418 Reviews
Osprey Porter Travel Backpack Bag, Hoodoo Red, 46-Liter
  • A zippered top accessory pocket is ideal for easy access to liquids and other frequently needed...
  • Large, panel load lockable zippered access to the main compartment provides easy and secure entry to...
  • Foam padded sidewalls with StraightJacket compression stabilizes, protects and compresses loads
  • A stow away padded shoulder harness with adjustable sternum strap and rescue whistle buckle allows...
  • Four reinforced cord loops on the Porter's front panel allow for the attachment of an Osprey Daylite...
SaleBestseller No. 7
Outlander Packable Handy Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack-light Blue-L
6201 Reviews
Outlander Packable Handy Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack-light Blue-L
  • COMPACT. Folds into zippered inner pocket to fit anywhere. Unfolds from pocket to backpack. Must...
  • MULTI COMPARTMENTS. Features a classic shape with several pockets for storage and organization. This...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT(0.5 Pounds) and ROOMY(33 Liters). A true space saver. Stuff the bag into its own pocket...
  • DURABLE. The backpack is made from highly rip and water resistant nylon fabric, provide strengthen...
  • Ultra-light. Ultra-durable. Ultra-awesome. The backpack is perfect for day-to-day use or occasional...
SaleBestseller No. 8
G4Free Large 40L Lightweight Water Resistant Travel Backpack/foldable & Packable Hiking Daypack(Orange/Red)
468 Reviews
G4Free Large 40L Lightweight Water Resistant Travel Backpack/foldable & Packable Hiking Daypack(Orange/Red)
  • High CAPACITY: Larger than other packable backpack! 40L! Large enough to carry what you need in the...
  • HANDY AND LIGHTWEIGHT: It fits into an ultra-compact pouch. Easy to folds up into small pocket. So...
  • DURABLE: The backpack is made from High Quality Water and Tear Resistant Nylon fabric, provide...
  • Size:Unfold size: 22.8 x 13.4 x 7.8 inches (H x W x D), Folds into: 9.4x 7.8 x 3.9 inches (H x W x...
  • VERSATILE: Ultra-light, Ultra-durable, Ultra-awesome daypack.Perfect for hiking,occasional...
Bestseller No. 9
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...
Bestseller No. 10
LARGE35L! Outlander Packable Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack (New Purple)
2360 Reviews
LARGE35L! Outlander Packable Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack (New Purple)
  • DURABLE. This Outlander Backpack is made from highly rip and water resistant nylon fabric that...
  • COMPACT. Folds into zippered front pocket that can fit anywhere. Unfolds from pocket to backpack....
  • LIGHTWEIGHT(0.7 Pounds) and ROOMY(35 Litres). A true space saver. Stuff the bag into its own pocket...
  • MULTI COMPARTMENTS. Features a classic shape with several pockets for storage and organization. This...
  • NEW VERSION: Includes aluminum CARABINER, WHISTLE buckle, and REFLECTOR. The carabiner can be used...