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Carry-On Travel Bag Buying Guide

You might be a digital nomad, your office a coastal cabana in Colombia. Or, an avid thru-hiker whose eyes become starry at the thought of completing the Santiago de Compostela. Perhaps you dream of white sand beaches and plan to explore Southeast Asia on a shoestring budget.

Either way, you won’t get very far without the perfect travel backpack.

You may be of the opinion that booking a return flight is oh-so-passé. However, we would argue that choosing the best travel backpack deserves a little more forethought. Things like comfort, capacity, and style are of crucial importance since you’ll rarely be without your backpack on the road.

Don’t know where to start? We’ve already done the groundwork for you and compiled a carefully curated list of the best travel backpacks for every scenario. All you have to do is pick one. 

Best Overall:
Bellroy
Best Luxury:
Rimowa
Best Value:
Beis
Luxe Digital recommends best travel backpacks bellroy transit - Luxe Digital best travel backpack rimowa never still large review - Luxe Digital best travel backpacks beis the expandable - Luxe Digital
Our rating 4.8/5 4.6/5 4.7/5
Price $353 $1,525 $98
Our verdict A quality backpack that’s got your back in every way. An investment into a lifetime of sophisticated travel. A sleek and simple backpack that never runs out of room.
Craftsmanship 90% 100% 90%
Design 100% 100% 100%
Function 100% 90% 90%
Impact 100% 90% 90%
Value 90% 80% 100%
Get best deal Get best deal Get best deal

Why you can trust Luxe Digital? After living the digital nomad lifestyle for the past two years, I have a very personal relationship with travel backpacks and the enormous impact that they have on our journey. Some leave us with countless chiropractor bills, while others are the perfect hands-free travel companion. Lucky for you, at Luxe Digital, we rigorously test and review elevated essentials, and go the extra mile to unearth gateway-ready gear that go the distance and brands that we believe will go places. Our list of the best travel backpacks is our takeaway. 

See how we test products and learn more about our HAPPY philosophy (read: Honorable Craftsmanship, Aesthetic Design, Positive Impact—on People and the Planet, Purpose, and Function, and Yielding Value) for buying luxuries. 

15 best travel backpacks

  1. Bellroy Transit Plus: Overall best travel backpack
  2. Rimowa Never Still: Best luxury travel backpack
  3. Beis The Expandable: Best value travel backpack
  4. Calpak Luka: Best mini travel backpack
  5. Vincero The Commuter: Best travel backpack for commuting
  6. Dagne Dover The Dakota: Best everyday carry backpack
  7. Nomatic Travel Pack: Best overnight backpack
  8. Calpak Terra: Best travel backpack for day hikes
  9. Ridge Packable Backpack: Best packable backpack
  10. Patagonia Black Hole: Best travel backpack for weekend adventures
  11. Horizn Studios SoFo: Best travel backpack for city breaks
  12. Hyperlite Unbound: Best travel backpack for multi-day hikes
  13. Monarc The Settra: Best travel backpack for gear-intensive trips
  14. Osprey Fairview 65: Best backpack for backpacking
  15. Osprey Farpoint 70: Best travel backpack for long trips

Bellroy Transit Plus: Overall best travel backpack

best travel backpacks bellroy transit - Luxe Digital
Size and capacity 38 L
Weight 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg)
Carry-on Friendly Yes
Material Recycled Dura Nylon
Luggage sleeve No
Water-resistant Yes

Our rating:


Pros:

  • Made from water resistant, recycled materials
  • Incredibly durable and designed to outlast many adventures
  • Laptop sleeve fits a 16” device 
  • Comfortable to carry for long periods due to padded shoulder straps and breathable back panels
  • Removable sternum strap and waist belt distribute the load
  • Internal compression straps reduce bulk

Cons:

  • The only thing missing is a luggage sleeve
  • Slightly more expensive than other Bellroy backpacks

Our verdict:

If you’re only going to buy one backpack for multiple purposes, this one by Bellroy should definitely be it. Not only is it one of the most comfortable to carry, but the laptop sleeve and water-resistant materials make it equally good for long commutes and daily gym missions.


Trying to sum up this extraordinary backpack into a short, objective review seems an impossible task. So with limited words, we’ll cut to the chase. 

Made from water-resistant, recycled materials, the travel backpack is just as durable as it is sustainable. We’ve tested ours in the most rugged terrains and can confidently report that the backpack is designed to tackle unexpected rainstorms, brutal cabin hauls, and an overpacked interior alike. 

The Transit Backpack Plus is for the person who reads articles on the ‘7/10/20 Habits of Highly Organised People’ and actually takes the advice on board. It features a laptop sleeve, padded sunglasses pouch, key clip, and external passport slips. No more frantic rummaging around to produce your laptop and liquids for the check-in process.

But perhaps the most rave-worthy point is its unparalleled comfort. With cushioned adjustable straps and breathable back panels, you really can wear this lightweight travel backpack all day without resenting it by the end. In fact, we love ours so much, it doubles up as our best gym bag when we’re not jetsetting to new cities. 

Rimowa Never Still: Best luxury travel backpack

best travel backpack rimowa never still large review - Luxe Digital
Size and capacity 16 L
Weight 2.65 lbs (1.2 kg)
Carry-on Friendly Yes
Material Canvas and full grain leather
Luggage sleeve Yes
Water-resistant Yes

Our rating:


Pros:

  • Comfortable, padded back and adjustable straps for a tailored fit
  • Luggage sleeve makes it the perfect carry on when you have a check-in bag in tow
  • Made from durable canvas and premium leather to last forever
  • Internal drawstring closure prevents contents from spilling out
  • Easily accessible side pockets
  • Professional, timeless aesthetic

Cons:

  • Able to resist light rainfall, but not heavy downpours
  • Laptop sleeve is only big enough for a 13” device
  • It’s a more expensive investment

Our verdict:

We know it’s expensive, but a polished backpack that is also organized, durable and comfortable is priceless to the modern professional. That being said, we consider it more of an investment into a lifetime of sophisticated travel. 


If you travel regularly—whether for business or pleasure—it’s worth investing in a superior travel backpack to make your experience more enjoyable. 

Made from durable canvas with premium leather trims, the high-performance backpack is a masterclass in functional fashion. Rivaling even the best Gucci bags, the sophisticated exterior speaks to a polished exterior fit enough for any boardroom and elegant enough for any chic jetsetter.

But the Rimowa Never Still isn’t just a pretty face. Featuring a 13” laptop sleeve, internal drawstring and readily-available side pockets, it’s designed to make a life in motion effortless. While a cushioned back and straps promise a first-class journey in comfort and convenience. 

Personally, we love the small size for quick trips, but if you need more space, this compact travel backpack also comes in large.

Check the other soft bags from the German travel brand in our RIMOWA Never Still collection review

Beis The Expandable: Best value travel backpack

best travel backpacks beis the expandable - Luxe Digital
Size and capacity 17 L
Weight 1.67 lbs (0.76 kg)
Carry-on Friendly Yes
Material Recycled polyester
Luggage sleeve Yes
Water-resistant Yes

Our rating:


Pros:

  • Expandable compartment transforms the bag from compact to spacious
  • Made from recycled polyester, the bag is sustainable, durable and water resistant
  • Hidden water bottle side pouch and key leash
  • Exterior pockets make smaller essentials easily accessible
  • Padded shoulder straps and luggage sleeve

Cons:

  • While it’s laptop friendly, it doesn’t have a designated laptop sleeve
  • Beige color is prone to stains, we recommend black

Our verdict:

While we accept that most quality products are more expensive, we are always so excited when we find a brand that is high quality with lower price tags. This highly functional Beis backpack is exactly that.


While we’re always on the lookout for affordable luxury brands, they usually disappoint in longevity and quality. However, this isn’t the case for Beis and the brand’s highly functional backpack proves it. 

As one of our best backpacks for travel, the affordable bag performs remarkably well. From an expandable interior (to fit in your Nike runners) to a secret water bottle pouch and hidden key leashes, the design is carefully considered and every detail is well thought out. The padded straps and luggage sleeve make it effortless to carry. And made from recycled polyester, we’re impressed that the lightweight materials are just as easy on the earth as they are on your back. 

Our only complaint is that the beige version stains easily, however, that can be solved by opting for black. Other than that, we’re obsessed with this Beis expandable backpack.

Calpak Luka: Best mini travel backpack

best travel backpacks calpak luka - Luxe Digital
Size and capacity 6.9 L
Weight 1 lb (0.45 kg)
Carry-on Friendly Yes
Material Polyester
Luggage sleeve Yes
Water-resistant Yes

Our rating:


Pros:

  • Incredibly lightweight and effortless to carry with or without using the luggage sleeve
  • Compact, organized interior with convenient external pockets
  • Soft, cushioned interior protects valuables
  • Water resistant and scratch-resistant
  • Comes in a range of cute and classic colorways
  • Affordable quality

Cons:

  • Not big enough to fit a laptop

Our verdict:

Consider this organized, mini backpack a more convenient (hands-free), travel alternative to your everyday handbag. Compact and comfortable with a barely-there feel, it’s just big enough to fit the essentials but don’t try to squeeze in a laptop. 


There are carry-on travel backpacks designed to carry the full load of your journey. And then there are the compact versions designed to accompany your carry-on. If that’s all you need for your upcoming getaway, we highly recommend this small travel backpack by Calpak. 

Cute and compact, it’s a backpack for women, although we don’t see why men should carry a heavier load than necessary either. Made from durable polyester, it’s scratch-resistant and water-repellent, while the cushioned material protects your valuables from crash landings. Plus, it’s unbelievably lightweight, so you’ll barely remember it’s there. 

Perfect for sightseeing, day hikes and daily errands, this mini backpack fits into every situation. And we love that it comes in an array of vibrant and classical hues, adding a personalized edge to your unique journey.

Vincero The Commuter: Best travel backpack for commuting

best travel backpacks vincero commuter - Luxe Digital
Size and capacity 15 L
Weight 2.25 lbs (1 kg)
Carry-on Friendly Yes
Material Recycled nylon
Luggage sleeve Yes
Water-resistant Yes

Our rating:


Pros:

  • Breathable back panels eliminate sweat patches
  • Contoured shoulder pads and cushioned pack offer premium comfort
  • Laptop sleeve fits a 16” laptop
  • Recycled polyester is lightweight and water resistant
  • Stretch pockets protect valuables from being crushed
  • Luggage sleeve for business trips

Cons:

  • We would appreciate a large option for longer trips
  • Only comes in black

Our verdict:

If you commute to work daily, a superlative commuter backpack is a worthwhile investment, specifically this one by Vincero. With breathable (sweat-free) back panels and contoured back support, it’ll likely save you more on chiropractor fees long term.


Travel shouldn’t be limited to your next vacation, it’s also those in-between (less idealized) moments where you’re riding a bike or catching the train to work. That’s why we’ve included this Vincero Collective backpack as our best commuter backpack. 

Considered one of the top travel backpacks by all in the know, The Vincero Commuter has got your back when it comes to late alarms and sweaty backs. The organized interior has a designated sleeve for every essential, including your 16” laptop and water bottle. While breathable back panels aim to conceal the signs (read: sweat patches) of a hurried cycle. 

Additionally, the recycled nylon shell is incredibly lightweight, 100% waterproof and thoughtfully sustainable. And we love that the cushioned, contoured shoulder pads mold to your back, eliminating the need for an after-work visit to the chiropractor. 

We got our Vincero Commuter for traveling, but on return, it’s transformed into an everyday office staple. Although we probably could’ve guessed that from the start. It’s not called The Commuter for nothing. 

Dagne Dover The Dakota: Best everyday carry backpack

best travel backpacks dagne dover brand dakota backpack - Luxe Digital
Size and capacity 20 L
Weight 2 lbs (0.91 kg)
Carry-on Friendly Yes
Material Neoprene
Luggage sleeve Yes
Water-resistant Yes

Our rating:


Pros:

  • Spacious interior is large enough for a change of clothes and a spare pair of shoes
  • Laptop sleeve fits a 16” laptop
  • Neoprene is cushioned and water resistant to protect contents
  • It’s highly durable and machine washable
  • Various pockets and key clips

Cons:

  • You may find it too big if you have a smaller frame

Our verdict:

As the ultimate EDC backpack, the Dagne Dover Dakota really does do it all. The large interior is organized and compartmentalized, while the neoprene exterior is soft, durable and water-resistant. 


It’s no secret that we are major fans of Dagne Dover. And after trying countless bags in its collection, we had soaring expectations for The Dakota backpack, all of which it lived up to—and then somehow exceeded. 

Doubling up as an everyday gym bag or weekender, this EDC backpack is large enough for a change of clothes and even includes a shoe bag (made from recycled repreve) for your sneakers.

Considering the bag’s roomy interior, the large travel backpack is unbelievably lightweight, at only 2 lbs (under 1 kg).  However, if the 20 L bag is too big for your frame, there are small and medium options available. 

The Dagne Dover Dakota is also one of the only quality backpacks we’ve owned that is machine washable—a highly significant detail when it comes to coffee spills and uncompromised adventures. 

Nomatic Travel Pack: Best overnight backpack

best travel backpacks nomatic travel pack - Luxe Digital
Size and capacity 30 L
Weight 4.16 lbs (kg)
Carry-on Friendly Yes
Material Nylon and polyester
Luggage sleeve Yes
Water-resistant Yes

Our rating:


Pros:

  • 20 L interior expands to 30 L to fit more
  • 16” laptop sleeve and a separate tablet sleeve
  • Airtag, passport slip and luggage sleeve
  • Durable and water resistant with YKK zippers
  • Includes RFID protection with hidden pockets for extra security

Cons:

  • Sartorialists may not appreciate the functional aesthetic

Our verdict:

It may not be a fashion statement, but it’s unparalleled when it comes to functionality. The expandable interior makes room for two night’s worth of clothes, while ample organization and security features make it the ultimate airport backpack. 


So often, we think that we can use our EDC backpack as an overnight bag, simply to learn (once again) that our beauty regimes and luxury sneakers tend to take up more space than we thought. That isn’t the case with this carry-on travel backpack. 

With plenty of space for one to three days’ worth of clothes (depending on the weather), the 20-liter interior expands to 30 liters when necessary. The 16” laptop sleeve and tablet sleeve take care of all devices. RFID protection and hidden pockets protect your valuables from digital scammers and pickpockets. While water-resistant materials safeguard your gear against unexpected downpours. 

We’ve used our Nomatic Travel Pack for all overnight stays—from business trips to bachelorettes—and it’s never failed to impress. 

Calpak Terra: Best travel backpack for day hikes

best travel backpacks calpak terra - Luxe Digital
Size and capacity 26.5 L
Weight 2.7 lbs (1.2 kg)
Carry-on Friendly Yes
Material Recycled ripstop polyester
Luggage sleeve Yes
Water-resistant Yes

Our rating:


Pros:

  • Recycled ripstop is lightweight, water resistant and sustainably made
  • Adjustable, padded straps are extremely comfortable
  • Clamshell opening is easy to pack and unpack
  • Compression strap keeps your belongings in place
  • Sternum strap distributes weight evenly
  • Dual wear as backpack or duffel
  • Loads of external pockets for easy accessibility

Cons:

  • Water bottle often falls out when carried as a duffel

Our verdict:

While the backpack is pretty versatile and can just as easily act as an overnight bag or gym bag, we specifically like it for day hikes. The recycled ripstop material is incredibly robust. And the compression strap keeps everything in place during rough ascents. 


With the intrinsic stresses of a fast-paced lifestyle, sometimes the best you can do to escape from it all is venture off on a single-day hike. There’s something to be said for taking some Time Out in nature.

As one of our favorite travel packs and an overall hiking hero, the Calpak Terra is more rugged and robust than other bags in the luxury brand’s collection. 

Made from recycled ripstop, the sustainable material is just as light on the planet as it is on your shoulders. The adjustable, padded straps are light on your shoulders, while the all-important sternum belt helps to distribute weight evenly during exhausting ascents. We love that we could spend less time fixating on aches and pains, and more time soaking up the scenery around us.

The compression strap inside keeps your belongings in place over rocky terrains. And we appreciate the plethora of external pockets, making on-the-go snacks readily available. 
The Calpak Terra can also be worn as a duffel (doubling up as a daily gym bag when back to lower altitudes), although we would suggest placing your water bottle inside if you intend to carry it by the shoulder strap.

Ridge Packable Backpack: Best packable backpack for travel

best travel backpacks ridge the packable - Luxe Digital
Size and capacity 15 L
Weight About 0.6 lbs (0.27 kg)
Carry-on Friendly Yes
Material Ripstop
Luggage sleeve Yes
Water-resistant Yes

Our rating:


Pros:

  • Folds into pocket-size package
  • Doesn’t crease when unpacked
  • Incredibly lightweight 
  • Hanging clip is convenient for storage
  • Two mesh water bottle holders are easily accessible 
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • You may want something more stylish

Our verdict:

If you don’t want to wear your backpack to the airport but need one for your daily excursions, this packable backpack is an absolute win. With many features of a premium backpack, the thoughtful design compromises on nothing. 


Although The Ridge is better known for its wildly popular minimalist pocket wallets (check our Ridge wallet review and you’ll see for yourself) and gorgeous watches (check our Ridge Titanium Field Watch review), the EDC collection is similarly practical.

As much as we loved the idea of a packable backpack in the past, we were yet to find one that doesn’t crease or compromise on quality. Until we tried Ridge’s version and now we can’t stop speaking about it. 

Made from lightweight, durable ripstop, this 15-liter backpack packs into a tiny package. And once unfolded, you would never know that the tactical backpack once fitted into your coat pocket. Featuring a luggage sleeve, mesh water bottle slips and a hanging clip for storage, the thoughtful design is as organized and durable as your regular luxury backpack, but so much more versatile. 

Good for beach outings, day hikes, grocery runs and sightseeing, Ridge’s packable backpack is one of our best travel backpacks for long trips and weekenders alike.

Patagonia Black Hole: Best travel backpack for weekend adventures 

best travel backpacks patagonia black hole- Luxe Digital
Size and capacity 40 L
Weight 2 lbs (0.91 kg)
Carry-on Friendly Yes
Material Recycled polyester ripstop
Luggage sleeve No
Water-resistant Yes

Our rating:


Pros:

  • Removable ergonomic shoulder pads make this backpack comfortable to carry as a duffel or backpack
  • Durable, lightweight and highly weatherproof
  • Padded base protects valuables
  • External side pockets makes small essential readily accessible

Cons:

  • If packed to the brim, it may not meet the cabin requirements of all airlines
  • Although lightweight, the dimensions may be too big for smaller frames

Our verdict:

Like most of the world, we love Patagonia for its devotion to sustainability and quality craftsmanship. Made from recycled materials, this highly durable, water-resistant, convertible backpack is perfect for outdoor weekends like camping. 


We all know that camping trips and outdoor weekends can go one of two ways. While many factors play a role in the success of your grounding getaway, we would argue that if you pick the right gear—starting with the Patagonia Black Hole backpack duffel—you’re well on your way to a relaxing weekend. 

The luggage backpack features ergonomic shoulder pads and is extremely comfortable to carry on your back for longer hauls. But we also appreciate it’s more convenient to carry as a duffel if you’re just moving it from one tent to another. 

The recycled ripstop exterior is incredibly lightweight and ultra weatherproof, so much so that you can leave the Patagonia Black Hole outside in a rainstorm with the confidence that you’ll wake up to dry apparel (we may have tried this by accident.)

Horizn Studios SoFo: Best travel backpack for city breaks

best travel backpacks horizn studios sofo - Luxe Digital
Size and capacity 29L, expandable to 34L
Weight About 1.8 lbs (0.82 kg)
Carry-on Friendly Yes
Material Recycled cotton canvas
Luggage sleeve Yes
Water-resistant Yes

Our rating:


Pros:

  • Spacious 29 L interior expands to 34 L to make room for more
  • Mesh padding on back and shoulder straps is light and breathable
  • Easy access to main compartment via back panel opening
  • Ample internal and external pockets
  • Padded laptop sleeve fits a 16” device
  • Recycled cotton canvas is lightweight, water resistant and sustainable

Cons:

  • May be too big for your shorter daily excursions
  • Not 100% impenetrable in very heavy downpours

Our verdict:

With extra room for camera equipment, spare sneakers, a change of clothes and a 16” laptop, we can’t think of a better companion to explore new cities with. Plus, it’s sustainably made and unbelievably light for its size. 


As huge advocates of Horizn Studios’ sustainable collection, we’ve already mentioned the SoFo Weekender as one of our best women’s weekenders, and it should come as no surprise that the SoFo backpack is one of our best travel backpacks—more specifically our best backpack for city breaks. 

Featuring a large, expandable interior (from 29 to 34 liters), there’s plenty of room for camera equipment and a change of shoes (for when your most comfortable sneakers don’t quite fit the formal dress code requirement.) And we always appreciate the exterior pockets for on-the-go snacks or easily accessible selfie sticks. 

Like all bags in the brand’s SoFo collection, the Horizn Studios backpack is made from recycled materials that are incredibly lightweight, durable and water resistant. So you need not worry about your all-important laptop, tucked neatly into its own padded sleeve big enough for a 16” device. 

Hyperlite Unbound: Best travel backpack for multi-day hikes

best travel backpacks huckberry hyperlite unbound - Luxe Digital
Size and capacity 40 L
Weight 2 lbs (0.91 kg)
Carry-on Friendly No
Material Dyneema
Luggage sleeve No
Water-resistant Yes

Our rating:


Pros:

  • Massive 40L capacity is designed for many days on the trail
  • Incredibly lightweight, especially for the size
  • External pockets make it easy to access snacks and other essentials without unpacking
  • Water resistant materials keep your gear dry
  • Made from cell-closed foam, the adjustable shoulder straps are unbelievably comfortable

Cons:

  • You may want a more affordable backpack if you aren’t a regular hiker
  • Large travel backpack doesn’t meet airline carry on restrictions

Our verdict:

This lightweight backpack is definitely large enough for a weekend’s worth of gear, while the thoughtful design bears most of the weight, making the ascent considerably less difficult. If you’re an avid hiker, we have no doubts that you’ll appreciate it as much as we do. 


If we’re going to spend our vacations scaling mountains, we’re going to ensure it’s as effortless as possible. Comfort is absolutely paramount when setting off on a hike, carrying a weighty pack with all you need for daily life, plus emergencies. Plus your temporary home. And your luxuries. Wait, don’t let us put you off.

We hunted for the lightest, most comfortable 40-liter hiking backpack out there. And after trying many affluent labels, very few came close to the Dyneema Hyperlite Unbound. What instantly grabbed our attention was how comfortable the cell-closed straps were in comparison to others, while the sternum strap and waist belt helped distribute the weight of the bag evenly. 

The rolltop closure ensures waterproofing, safeguarding your gear against downpours, while external pockets also provide easy access to snacks and GoPro. All in all, the Hyperlite Unbound actually makes us want to hike more often—and that’s saying something.

Monarc The Settra: Best travel backpack for gear-intensive trips

best travel backpacks monarc the settra - Luxe Digital
Size and capacity 40 L
Weight 4.5 lbs (2 kg)
Carry-on Friendly Yes
Material Recycled ripstop
Luggage sleeve No
Water-resistant Yes

Our rating:


Pros:

  • Padded laptop sleeve fits a 17” laptop
  • Side shoe compartment protects your gear from dirty sneakers
  • Can be carried as backpack or duffel
  • Multiple compartments for various equipment components
  • Spacious interior has a 40 L capacity
  • Waist belt distributes weight
  • Molded ventilation streams eliminate back sweat
  • Fabric and zippers are fully waterproof

Cons:

  • May not fit into all airline cabin restrictions if fully loaded

Our verdict:

If you’re looking for a comfortable adventure bag to protect your gear, the Monarc Settra is an absolute champion. The various cushioned compartments make a place for every piece of equipment, while waterproof materials protect your gear against unexpected rain. 


The Monarc Settra backpack is a game-changer for gear-intensive trips, with its standout feature being its total compartmentalization. It has a secure 17” laptop sleeve lined with neoprene, as well as a side shoe compartment for those well-worn sneakers and plenty of room for different-sized lenses, tripods and all your other content creator equipment. 

Made from recycled ripstop, the luggage backpack is also weatherproof with durable, waterproof zippers—a highly significant factor when you’re transporting expensive gear. We also appreciate the waist belt to distribute weight even during longer excursions. And the molded ventilation streams don’t go unnoticed in sweltering climates.

When we’re not shooting new content in foreign mountains, the Monarc Settra doesn’t gather dust, it doubles up as a superlative gym duffel.

Osprey Fairview 65: Best backpack for backpacking

best travel backpacks osprey fairview 65 - Luxe Digital
Size and capacity 65 L
Weight 6.17 lbs (2.8 kg)
Carry-on Friendly No
Material Recycled polyester
Luggage sleeve No
Water-resistant Yes

Our rating:


Pros:

  • Can be wheeled or carried as a backpack
  • 65 L fits enough for mid-length backpacking trips
  • Padded shoulder straps and hip belt make it comfortable to carry for extended periods
  • Compression straps secure contents
  • Internal and external organization
  • Compatible with daypack attachment

Cons:

  • Doesn’t fit airline cabin requirements 
  • Not entirely waterproof

Our verdict:

We’ve yet to come across a backpack with wheels that is designed and engineered as well as this one by Osprey. It’s an absolute game changer for longer trips that involve a lot of walking with luggage. 


Off on a rite-of-passage gap year around South America, a Working Holiday in Australia or hitchhiking the West Coast of the US? You’ll need a hardy, durable backpack with plenty of space for your possessions.

The carry-on travel backpack is ideal for backpacking; offering 65L of capacity, you can rough it out in a hostel without compromising your style. However, the real hero of the bag is its dual carrying. And while the padded straps, waist belt and the breathable mesh lining, make it incredibly comfortable to carry on your back, we love that you can also wheel the backpack when the terrain allows for it. 

The Osprey Fairview also has plenty of pockets and sleeves to make your unplanned,  soul-searching excursion that much more organized. 

Osprey Farpoint 70: Best travel for long trips

best travel backpacks osprey fairview 70 - Luxe Digital
Size and capacity 70 L
Weight 3.92 lbs (1.78 kg)
Carry-on Friendly No
Material Recycled polyester
Luggage sleeve No
Water-resistant Yes

Our rating:


Pros:

  • 70 L interior is large enough for longer trips
  • Compression straps keep things in place and allow for internal organization
  • Recycled polyester is lightweight and sustainable
  • Straps and torso adjust for a tailored fit
  • Comes with removable daypack

Cons:

  • Not carry-on friendly
  • Not entirely waterproof

Our verdict:

Finding a large, lightweight backpack for longer trips is no small feat. That’s why we were so excited when we found the Farpoint 70L by Osprey. It even comes with a removable small daypack for daily outings. 


Let’s be honest, there’s really no point checking into the best hotels and resorts if your backpack is a dud. And while it may not seem all that important in light of all the travel expenses, nothing ruins a holiday like luggage-induced backache. 

As one of our best travel backpacks for international travel, the Osprey Farpoint ticks all our (very meticulous) boxes. The 70 L interior has ample room for a couple of weeks’ worth of clothing. The lightweight materials, adjustable torso, back panel and hip belt make it incredibly comfortable to carry. The compression straps keep your contents in place. The dedicated laptop sleeve takes care of your tech while you tap out. And it comes with a removable daypack for daily excursions. 

Plus, the Osprey Farpoint is surprisingly affordable, so there’s really no reason to visit your chiropractor on return. 

Buying guide to travel backpacks

Yep, all backpacks are conveniently hands-free by nature, but not all backpacks are created equal. There are many things to consider before picking the companion that is likely to be glued to your back for the entirety of your trip. 

Duration of stay

The duration of your travels will largely impact the backpack size you go for. If it’s just an overnight trip, a smaller (15-20L) version will likely suffice. If it’s a weekender, you’ll likely want to opt for something larger (30-50L). And if it’s an extended trip, you’ll want a backpack that is large enough to hold your capsule collection (50-70L) but is still light enough on your shoulders. 

Of course, your travel backpack doesn’t have to be the only bag you’re taking. You may simply want a compact, everyday carry to accompany your daily excursions. 

Backpack Type Capacity Use
Mini/Small Backpack Less than 10L Days out, errands
Daypack 10-30L Commuting, day walks, exploring the city, day hikes, overnight trips, International travel (as a personal item)
Medium Backpack 30 – 50L Camping trips, weekend trips (city breaks), ultra-light thru-hikes, international travel (as carry-on)
Large Backpack 50L + Expeditions, multiday hikes, backpacking, extended trips

Type of travel

How you intend to travel with your backpack should also influence what features you look for. If it’s intended as a carry-on, it should meet airline cabin restrictions and a luggage sleeve is often handy. If it’s intended as a check-in, a backpack duffel is a popular choice and wheels are a win. If you intend to catch a lot of trains, look for a backpack with grab handles. And if you intend to do lots of walking, it’s imperative that you prioritize lightweight materials and comfortable shoulder straps. 

Reason for travel

Why you’re traveling also plays a role in the type of backpack you choose. If you’re traveling for business, a professional aesthetic and laptop sleeve are recommended. And you may want to consider special features such as RFID protection and TSA-approved locks. If you’re traveling for leisure, think about your destination. If you intend to use your backpack for day hikes, make sure it’s lightweight and water-resistant with plenty of pockets. And if you intend to use your backpack for gear-intensive trips, find one with spacious, cushioned compartments. 

Things we specifically looked for:

While we appreciate the many differences and features in our favorite backpacks, there are a few key benefits that distinguish the best from the rest: 

Packing capacity: Our best backpacks have enough space to perform their specific functions. If it’s a weekender backpack, it has room for two night’s worth of clothes. And if it’s an everyday carry, it has room for the daily essentials. 

Dimensions: We tried to prioritize travel backpacks that fit into the ever-shrinking cabin requirements of most airlines. 

Materials: We looked for materials that are lightweight, durable, sustainable, and water-resistant. 

Carrying comfort: All our best backpacks are extremely comfortable to carry thanks to aspects like: lightweight materials, grab handles, luggage sleeves and breathable back panels. As well as padded, adjustable back; sternum; and waist belts.

Organizational features: We love travel backpacks that are effortlessly organized with well-placed pockets, padded laptop sleeves, shoe compartments and space for our trusted packing cubes. 

Main compartment access: We paid careful attention to how easy it was to access the main compartment, be it from the top, back, front or side.

Extra features: RFID protection and TSA-approved locks are always a bonus. 

Frequently asked questions about the best travel backpacks

Which travel backpack is best?

There are plenty of choices out there, but overall, we’ve rated the Transit Backpack Plus by Bellroy as the most user-friendly and versatile travel backpack, whatever your trip may entail. The Rimowa Flap is also one of our best backpacks for flying. And we love the Beis Expandable for an affordable airport backpack.

What size backpack is best for long travel?

The best size backpack for travel depends on the length and nature of your trip. Supply-heavy travels like long, multi-day hikes or camping trips will demand a larger capacity (40-50L should be sufficient). And for shorter trips, try to buy a backpack that aligns with airline carry-on restrictions (22 x 14 x 9 inches) to avoid hassle and extra fees.

What brand makes the best backpack?

The best backpack brand depends on individual preferences and needs. If you’re looking for the ultimate, versatile backpack, we recommend Bellroy. If you’re looking for a high-end, premium backpack that is sophisticated and office-ready, Rimowa is our go-to. And if you’re looking for something a little more affordable but still high quality, Beis is one of the best. Check our list of the best travel backpacks for more inspiration.

What to look for when buying a backpack?

Make sure you have a good idea of what your travels will consist of before buying a travel backpack. Work out if you’re going to need to camp, bring food supplies, carry mostly clothing and toiletries, or require extra padding for cameras or laptops. Then, check out our list for the ultimate guide to selecting the best travel backpack for your needs.


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