Posted: 12/7/2020 | December 7th, 2020
Buying a travel backpack is one of the most important purchases a traveler will make. A backpack isn’t just where you carry your stuff — it’s your home. You’ll be living out of this bag for weeks or months or years. You’ll be hauling it on hikes and across hectic cities, stuffing it onto crowded buses, and flying it around the world.
If you’re like me, you want a bag that lasts. I’ve had my bag for 5 years (my previous one, before it got lost on a flight, lasted 10), my Community Manager has had his backpack for 7 years, and the director of our charity FLYTE has had hers for 8 years.
Your bag is an investment. You want one that can handle the abuse that comes with traveling the world on a budget.
You need a bag that works for you — but what works for you might not necessarily work for someone else. While I have this long article on how to pick a backpack for travel, I want to mention here some of the things you need to think about as you look at my favorites below. You want backpack that has
- Water-resistant material
- Lockable zippers
- An internal frame
- Padded hip belt & shoulder straps
- Multiple openings (not just a single top opening)
- Lots of compartments
- Contoured/Padded back
Be sure to make sure your backpack fits your body too. Don’t get one that’s too small or too large as it will hurt back. Proportionality matters!
To help you save money and stay comfortable as you travel the world, here are my top 14 travel backpack suggestions.
The Best Travel Backpacks: Detailed Review
REI Flash 45 Pack
The back paneling on this pack is breathable, and the handy water bottle pocket is located near the front of the hip belt so you never have to take off your backpack to get a drink. The design is great!
- Size: 45-47L
- Compression technology
- Movable top lid, large pocket at the front, hydration compatible
While that backpack is my favorite, here are some other packs that you can’t go wrong with either:
Not every one of these bags will work for you. Some will be too narrow or too wide. Some will be too tall or too short. For that reason, you’ll want to make sure you spend time trying your bag on and making sure it’s comfortable.
Choosing the best travel bag — the one that works for you — is what’s most important here. Even if it’s a bag that isn’t on this list!
A good travel backpack will last years and the bags on this list are some of the best on the market. This isn’t just a purchase, this is an investment. A good backpack will make all your travels better.
Remember, it’s not just a bag: it’s your home.
Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. I’ve been using World Nomads for ten years. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
Need to book your trip?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use when I travel. The are the best in class and you can’t go wrong using them on your trip.