If you’re looking for the best travel backpacks for 2020? Then it can be challenging to find one that ticks all the boxes! A good travel backpack has to be comfortable, easy to organize, and durable as well.
I have been gifted and tried many bags over my years of traveling and without the greatest back, I need a great bag that has great back support when you carry it for a long time.
One of the most essential items to have when planning an adventure is to have a quality tough backpack. The backpack will carry all your possessions.
In this article, I will be sharing my advice on what is the best travel backpacks, whether your trip is for a week or a few months or a year. These bags will suit any type of traveler.
Best Travel Backpacks For 2020
KEY FEATURES TO LOOK FOR
If you are always traveling or planning a long trip, then I highly recommend getting a lightweight and versatile backpack.
There a few featured beside the bag being lightweight to keep an eye on:
Waist strap- Having a waist strap is very useful, as it distributes the load around your whole body instead of just your shoulders. It is essential for avoiding sore shoulders and bad backs (which I always get when wearing bags for a long time.
Front-Loading- Most of the backpacks are top-loading with a drawstring to close it at the top. These bags are not the best as it means you always have to dig in the bag to find things or even tip eventing out all over the floor or bed. You need to get a bag with a clamshell design, you just zip them open face down, with everything within instant reach like a suitcase.
Rain resistant- One of the most important things to look for is a very good rain-resistant backpack. You don’t want the water to leak into your bag and get all your belongings wet. look at whether it’s weather-sealed or includes a rain cover
Other Things to look for: Getting a backpack with lockable zippers that lets you attach a padlock or wire lock to prevent opportunistic theft. As well as this, one with compression straps, this will help you pack more and organize the backpack better.
WHAT SIZE BACKPACK FOR TRAVELING
Travel backpacks came in a vast variety of sizes and expressed in liters (the volume) I always travel as light as possible. Helps keep my backs from getting injured and for avoiding those baggage fees!
Airlines are always getting tougher on weight limits so you want to make sure the size of your backpack can hold everything you need safely and securely and under the weight limit
Here are some of the common sizes of travel bags:
15-30 L these bags are too small unless you are considering a small weekend trip, or you’re super minimalist. This size is mainly as a day bag or commuter bag.
35-45 L theses size of bags are great for short trips equally for trips a few weeks or months if you know how to pack very lightly. This size is accepted as the carry-on luggage.
50-65 L this is a good size if you’re not a light packer and need extra space, but will weigh a bit extra. Or if you’re going on a long trip and going to be going to different climates.
70-120 L these are heavy bags and only good if you’re going to be carrying lots of things and heavy things. They are mainly good for trekking and camping expeditions. The support frames often already weigh several kilos.
What Kind Of Traveler Are You?
When you are choosing a travel backpack, it is vital to think about how you are going to use it. So consider the type of traveler you are.
If you’re a light packer, then you can get a 40L carry-on backpack. If you’re the traveler that brings lots of camera gear, camping equipment or always changing your outfit so you need room for lots of clothes, you’ll want a larger backpack like 50-65 L.
This is you if you’re that traveler that hates queuing up and just wants to get to the airplane as quickly as possible, and not have to wait checking bags and is going to places for only a few days. And mainly visit cities.
Gap Year Travelers
They are mainly students taking a year off before university or after. They mainly are traveling through Southeast Asia or South America. They are inexperienced travelers and for some, it is their first trip alone, so they OFTEN pack too much and need to check a bag in at the airport.
They spend a lot of time in the mountains, deserts, jungles or water sports. They will pack their camping equipment, so they can survive outside.
The travel backpack you choose will depend on what type of traveler you are and what you are going to be doing on your trip.
BEST CARRY-ON TRAVEL BACKPACKS
If you only travel with carry-on backpacks, you can save a fortune on luggage fees and time at the airport queuing up. Below are some of the best carry-on backpacks to take traveling
1. Tortuga Setout
Tortuga provides high-quality backpacks that many travel bloggers rave about. The Tortuga Setout is a high-quality and reasonably priced backpack. The Setout weighs only about 2kg or 4.6lbs, making it lighter than many other packs. There are several Setout editions. The 35L and 45L versions have a large carry-on size. This is first in the list of best travel backpacks for 2020
This bag can be used for a short trip or longer trips that its versatile design allows. It comes with a hip belt and two zipped pockets for quick access. The padded hip belt transfers 80% of your bag’s weight from your shoulders to your hips for a more comfortable carry
It comes with a padded sleeve that can fit a 15″ laptop and 9.7″ tablet. Lockable zippers protect your stuff without slowing you down at airport security.
The main con is that it is not easily available in the UK. Toruga says they will be selling to the rest of the world very soon. They sell only in the USA.
2. Nomatic Travel Bag 40
This bag was made for the digital nomad who works while they travel. It comes with many design features such as a dedicated underwear pocket to power cord management, It can also convert into a duffel bag and laptop pocket.
The bag is made of water-resistant material and has a detachable hip-belt. It also comes with a Laundry bag and RFID safe pocket. The bag can take up to 40 liters. It has built-in a great incredible organization system that enables you to pack more in less space
3. Kelty Redwing 44
This is a very light backpack and is designed as a day hiking daypack or overnight travel bag. It is great for anyone who just wants to travel with one bag, as you can fit lost inside the travel bag. It weighs 2.6 LBS (1.2 KG). They have two sizes: the 44 Litres and 50 liters.
It comes with pockets for your laptop and hydration sleeves for your bottles. It might not quite meet some airline carry-on size restrictions. If you’re that person that needs an organized bag then this one’s for you as it comes with plenty of internal pockets to keep things organized.
4. Farguo NAVY & RED COTTON TRAVEL BAG
Farguo is a French brand that prides themselves in high-quality sustainable products. a large-capacity weekend bag, very practical for short trips. Its large volume lets you store your belongings and it’s inside and outside pockets let you slip in smaller personal items.
Their whole process of making things is ethical and when you buy one of their products they will plant a tree. The bag is about 40% suede.
The bag is water repellent. The 44 litre size has a great Leather strap that is strong so it won’t rip easily with lots of weight in the bag.
5. Cabin Zero Bag
The bag is 44L and is a limited edition FLAGS in the Navy. This bag is only shipped to countries in Europe. It’s dimensions are 55 x 40 x20 cm. This backpack should be allowed on most planes as hand luggage.
The Cabin Zero bag comes with a bunch of wonderful features such as the Built-in Global Luggage Tracker. It is powered by Okoban. This allows you to add the bag to their database. In case your bag gets lost and they are a global tracker company. Which safeguards the information? Lockable Zippers on the main compartment (lock not included).
As well as this, it comes with a 10-year warranty (upgradable to 25 years free of charge if you ‘like’ them on Facebook). It has thick padded shoulder straps. The bag only weighs 760 grams. The only disappointment I have with this bag is that when you are wearing it for a long time it can put some strain on your shoulders. To prevent this, make sure the weight of the bag is distributed on both sides. As the bag is very light the weight just drops to the bottom.
Best Travel Backpacks for Hiking
Lots of people love going on hiking trips while traveling. They need a special type of travel backpack, one that can carry more and last longer than the average travel backpack. Here are a couple more options when looking for a good bag to go hiking with.
1. Osprey Aether 85 Backpack
The Osprey Aether 85 backpack is the best travel backpack on the market by far, say a lot of travel bloggers. The best thing about Osprey is that they provide a great guarantee. They will repair any damage done to the bag for free forever.
The bag is expensive but worth the money if you are always traveling, as it will last a very long time and in the long run save you money, as if you bought a cheap bag it will break and you will be buying more of them.
The Osprey Aether 85 is a big expedition backpack; it’s 85 liters, extremely comfortable, and has vast variety sections of storage such as a mesh pocket for a 1-liter size water bottle, a zippered storage pocket, and more. The bag comes with a hip belt molding straps that are removable and shoulder straps. You can fit everything in this pack and it will remain manageable.
2. Gregory’s Baltoro Pack
This bag is made to be the ultimate multi-day backpacking pack. This bag is very comfortable even when carrying heavy loads. It has a compartment for a sleeping bag, removable trekking pole retainers, and waterproof rain cover. It comes as a 75l size and only weight: 5 lbs. 1 oz.
Not only does the bag come with all that, there is more. It comes with a bottle holder on the side. As well as this, it includes a small Daypack in case you want to lug that big bag around with everything inside it you don’t need.
3. High Sierra Pathway
The bag volume capacity is 50L, a great size for a hiking backpack. It has a belt across both the waist and chest for added stability, so you don’t hurt your back. Also comes with an internal reservoir sleeve. It only weighs 2 lb. 9 oz.
There are padded shoulder straps that are adjustable load-lifter webbing (strong fabric). The weight is evenly distributed so you can hike for miles without discomfort. It includes a large front zippered pocket with internal organizer and stretch mesh exterior pockets.
4. Everest Hiking Pack
It comes in One size volume capacity is 48 L and weight 3 lbs 4 oz / 1.5 kg. It has a spacious main compartment, two side pockets and crossed elastic laces.
Some side compression straps keep everything in place and conjunction with the padded shoulder straps add comfort, so nothing keeps moving around. The great thing about the size of the bag is that you can take it on as carry-on luggage on most airlines.
5. NACATIN Trekking Rucksack
This hiking backpack is a big bag that is 70L. It is for the adventure hikers that need to carry a lot, e.g. camping equipment in case they need to stay overnight while hiking. The bag comes with a vast variety of things built into the bag.
Firstly, it has a side zipper pocket to store important things. Secondly, the shoulder straps are well padded, so your shoulders don’t hurt carrying the bag. Thirdly, there is a packet on the side for a bottle. Lastly, it comes with a rain cover and has clips to hang things if you run out of space inside the bag.
Best Camera Backpacks for Traveling
1. Wandrd PRVKE 31
This bag has a cool design that will make you look stylish when rocking this camera bag. The bag comes in two sizes: 21L or 31L. There are three different ways to open the WANDRD PRVKE 31. The bag has extra hidden pockets as well as lots of other bits for mounting various accessories.
The bag is very light, at only 3.4 lbs. It does sit a little heavy on the shoulders though especially when the bag is packed full of weighty equipment. The straps can be adjustable and there are waist straps that can be installed to help take the weight off your shoulders.
There are no camera cubes with the bag but you get a WANDRD Camera Cube in the buddle deal and you will need it to properly store your camera gear. The bag can fit 3 camera lenses and a camera with a lens on it, along with some camera accessories.
2. LowePro Whistler 350
The camera backpack is made with TPU coating that allows the camera backpack to take lots of wear and tear. There is a large zipper so you can open the camera bag to quickly change the lenses so you can get your shoots.
As well as this. It comes with a laptop pocket that can fit a 13 inch laptop or smaller. It holds a deceptively large amount of gear. The weight of the bag is 5.6 LBS (2.5 KG). Capacity is 30 Liters and the load range is 30-40 LBS.
One nifty feature is an external gear strap that can hold a snowboard, skis, your tripod, or anything else you may need. The LowePro makes a larger 450 model, but it’s too big for carry-on. The only downside to this bag is there only one colour.
3. Peak Design Everyday 30
The is a great camera bag for a walk around cities, for day hikes, or as a carry-on camera backpack. The bag is pretty weather resistant.
The Peak Design Everyday Backpack has three methods of opening the bag. From the top, as well as two side flaps for easy access to your camera gear without needing to remove the backpack completely. This is a very lightweight camera backpack at 3.4 LBS (1.5 KG) with a capacity of 30 liters. The load range is 30 LBS.
4. Thule Aspect DSLR Camera Backpack
This bag is made from 100% nylon so it is very durable and water-resistant. The Aspect is padded for ultimate comfort. The great thing about the bag is it is very lightweight. At only 3.17 lb, but not too small as you can comfortably fit a 15.6” laptop in this pack.
The camera bag comes with several dividers as well as a small zippered pocket on the cover of the compartment.
It offers an iPad pocket with pockets on the hip belt for items at easy reach. Another wonderful thing about this bag is that it comes with a tripod strap on the side of the backpack. No bag is complete without a side pocket for your water bottle and this bag has one.
5. Evecase Extra Large Professional DSLR Camera/Laptop Travel Backpack
This Evecase camera backpack is excellent for the professional photographer who is always carrying way too much gear while traveling. This bag has a pocket at the back to fit your laptop and tablet.
The backpack has a dual-layer top and Bottom storage space for your Camera Compartments for Easy & Quick Access to your Camera and Accessories. The top layer has a removable padded divider that holds up to 1 DSLR and 2-4 lenses. The bottom layer has a removable insert that holds 1 DSLR and 2 Lenses.
The backpack comes with a rain cover to keep all your electrical gear safe. It also has a mesh side pocket for your water and straps to hold a tripod. The backpack features a number of internal and external accessory pockets.
Best overall backpack for traveling
1. Peak Design Travel Backpack
I think this is the overall best travel rucksack. The backpack is 45L. It is a bit expensive for the budget traveler, but you need to spend a bit more if you want a backpack that is very durable and will last a long time, especially if you travel a lot. I have had many bags in the past that only lasted for a few trips before they broke. So investing in quality can be cheaper in the long run as you needn’t replace the bag so often.
Most travel backpacks come with many features, leading to overly tight spaces, and too heavy materials. This backpack is loaded with features but remains lightweight and easy to access.
2. OSPREY FARPOINT 40
This travel backpack is great for backpacking and hostelling. The Farpoint 40 is hugely popular on the backpacking scene. The bag is 40 liters that will be allowed as a carry-on for most airlines, but double-check before you go.
The Osprey Farpoint 40 Is reasonably priced and very comfortable due to having a padded back panel, padded shoulder straps, and full-size hip belt. Six different adjustment straps make it easy to distribute the weight along your entire back.
If you need a bigger bag and don’t mind checking the bag in. Then consider the Osprey
Farpoint Trek that is newer and comes with some exciting improvements.
3. Aer Capsule Pack
This is an excellent all-purpose travel bag. Aer Capsule Pack comes in a 35 and 40-liter size. All the zippers are weather-resistant and lockable. The bag can be used in different ways. You can wear it as a backpack or detach the harness and use it as a duffel bag.
The backpack comes with a laptop compartment, a travel organizer, and a top compartment for your on-the-go essentials. The bag, when packed, has lots more support to lift the load and make it more comfortable.
4. Berghaus Freeflow
Berghaus is a well-known company that specializes in the outdoors and travel. This backpack is great for your adventure into the wilderness or walking the city streets.
It is one of the best budget backpacks to add your backpack collection. It provides plenty of pockets for storage, a padded hip belt, a safety whistle on the chest strap, and an in-built rain cover.
The Berghaus Freeflow backpack is 35 liters or 40 liters. This backpack is a great all-around backpack but does offer a limited amount of space.
5. Deuter air contact 65+10 backpack
This is an excellent backpack for those looking for comfort, support, and breathability. The bag is 75 liters, so it should hold a lot. The rucksack has shoulder straps, hip fins, and chest straps to evenly disabuse the weight.
The rucksack has top and bottom loading, so that allows you to easily reach your gear. There’s also an optional flap that you can zip at the bottom area from the rest of the backpack, which is handy if you want to keep dirty clothes separate.
The travel rucksack has a vast amount of pockets and compartments to make the organization easier. It comes with a smaller 10 liters compartment that you can clip off. The rucksack is compatible with a Hydration system and lots more additional features.