Best travel backpacks that are ideal for wherever your trip takes you (2023)


fter years of lockdown, the world is open again.

Holidays and long weekend breaks are back on the schedule, and we’re excited to explore places, food and people beyond the island we call home.

For some, this post-pandemic world could present the first opportunity to do some real travelling in years, whether it’s finally pressing go on a stalled gap year, making the decision to go on a career break or dreaming of a sabbatical in the sun.

If you’re planning to do some long-term travelling or cram in a lot of destinations in a short amount of time, there are some things you’ll need before you hit the road. Top of the list is a decent backpack that can hold all your worldly possessions comfortably (with space for a few choice souvenirs of course) as you criss-cross continents.

What size backpack is best for backpacking?

Anywhere between 60 - 70L is a decent volume for backpacking, giving you enough space for a trimmed down travel wardrobe, an extra pair of trainers and some creature comforts to make life while you’re away from home more enjoyable. If you’re going in the winter, you might want to up that number to account for the bulkier and heavier clothing you’ll need.

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What to look for in a good backpack

  • Whether you’re travelling by plane, train or automobile, you’ll want a bag that’s comfortable to carry for long periods, so look for wide padded straps and make sure you know how to adjust it before you set off. Strapping it on correctly using the hip belt - with the bulk of the weight firmly on your hips - will ease the pressure off your shoulders.
  • Compartments are your new best friend. Look for a design with a few exterior pockets to make reaching for essentials like your passport, tickets and travel tech an ease. They will also help organise your bag so you don’t have to upend the entire contents when you need something specific.
  • Look for something that offers easy access to the main compartment, like a main zip that goes all the way around or one that lets you access things from the bottom so you don’t have to root through to find your things. Packing cubes are also helpful to keep similar items - pants, tops, shorts - in one place.
  • A backpack with a smaller bag attached to it is a useful extra and means you’ll have an option for day trips once you’ve reached your main destination.

Choose wisely and you’ll have a backpacking backpack that will last many years and many miles. To help you find the one, we’ve put together a list of the possible contenders.

Shop the best backpacker rucksacks below

Mountain Warehouse Nevis Extreme 65 + 15 Litre Rucksack

With a wide zipped entry into the main compartment, this backpack is perfect for travel, allowing you full access without having to dig your stuff out of the bottom. The 65L main bag comes with a 15L mini day back attached, boosting capacity when you need it and also acting as an extra backpack for day trips.

Both feature plenty of pockets and straps to store and secure the design to you, making it as easy as is possible to cart around. We like the fact that the side of the main bag features handles, making it easier to grab out of a luggage rack. The rip-stop fabric works to stop minor nicks and cuts from ruining the entire design and there’s even built-in cable access to plug in your headphones when your device is securely packed away.

If you’re remote working while you’re travelling a dedicated laptop sleeve will keep your tech safe until the next shift. Comes with a rain cover.

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Lixada Hiking Backpack 60L

There’s no danger of missing this backpack on the luggage carousel: the bright orange will scream for attention from miles away.

The large capacity backpack is light at 1.12kg empty, leaving more space for all your stuff, but it’s a strong bag too with details like breathable mesh padding, a wide hip belt with zipped pockets and adjustable straps to keep things comfortable when you’re on the move.

There are zips and pockets galore, with the one on the top able to expand overall capacity. There’s even a rain cover to protect your things in case of a downpour. As well as backpacking, it’s an excellent option for camping, hiking and festivals too.

Also available in the less exciting colours of black, blue and green.

Mountain Warehouse Ultra Traveller 65 + 15 Litre Rucksack

Made from durable rip-stop nylon, this backpack is built to go the distance and look stylish while it’s doing it. Available in a chic petrol blue colour, the 65L backpack comes with a detachable 15L rucksack that’s perfect for day trips and general exploring. Design elements like a chest strap, padded airmesh back and compression straps aid comfort by keeping things streamlined and secure, and the back system is adjustable so you can fit it for your frame. This design features lockable zips too, giving you extra peace of mind when you’re on the road.

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OEX Vallo 70 Rucksack

This design is made for long-haul backpacking adventures with up to 70L of precious space to make use of. The lightweight pack splits its capacity with a 10L pocket at the top and the rest in the main compartment, safe under a durable and water resistant shell that can handle short showers (for serious downpours, reach for the integrated rain cover).

This blue whale has all the bells and whistles that you could hope for in a serious backpack, from spongey straps and adjustable harness system to u-shaped zip pullers that are easy to use even if you’re wearing gloves.

Doshwin 70L Backpack

It’s a case of access all areas with this backpack from Doshwin. Store the bulk of your clothes in the drawstring-close main compartment, and use the top, side and side mesh pockets to stash important documents, water bottles and keep currency close to hand. There’s even a dedicated pocket to hold shoes, perfect to stop them dirtying the rest of your clothes. The overall capacity is 70L, a good option for up to six months travelling with careful and considered packing.

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Forclaz Women’s Symbium 50 + 10L Rucksack

Make the decision to travel light and you’ll be rewarded with less stuff to lug around on your voyage. This pale blue backpack is loaded with zip entries and pockets with extra storage in the hip belt to keep necessities close to hand. It’s originally designed for female trekkers but there’s no reason it wouldn’t work for longer-term backpacking too. The carrying system makes it easier to bear heavy loads when you’re getting from A to B.

Osprey Porter 30

Going interrailing or city hopping around the EU? You may not need something seriously bulky in that case. Look to Osprey where you can find this duffel/backpack that’s more than up to the job. The shell-like design has a roster of standout features, from a front pocket to keep your passport and tickets in order, a padded slot for your laptop and quick access to the main compartment with lockable zips. StraightJacket straps work like shapewear to compress your bag down to a smaller, compact size.

Eagle Creek Migrate 110 Travel bag with wheels

Wear it, wheel it, roll it. There are multiple ways to carry this brightly coloured duffel bag/ backpack from Eagle Creek, something your future self will thank you for when your shoulders start aching from the weight.

It can carry a maximum of 110L all in one central compartment, although there is a slim side pocket to hold papers, tickets and cash, lending itself well as a top candidate for your travel adventures. In fact, the makers are so confident it will go the distance, this bag comes with a lifetime warranty. Another plus: it’s made from recycled polyester, a much better choice for the planet. Also available in black, red and grey.

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What can I use instead of a Nomatic travel pack? ›

The most functional backpack and travel pack ever

The best alternatives to NOMATIC Backpack are Suitsy , Slicks Travel Backpack and Bags for Thinkers.

What size backpack do I need for a week long trip? ›

Large Backpacks: 40+ Liters

Large backpacks have a capacity of 40 liters or more, which is plenty of space for all your travel gear, even on longer journeys. If you're planning a backpacking trip for seven to ten days (or longer if you're travel-savvy and can pack light), this is the size you'll want.

What is a TSA friendly backpack? ›

What Is A TSA-Friendly Laptop Bag? A TSA-friendly laptop bag is a backpack that can be fully unzipped, so both sizes can be lain perfectly flat. These backpacks have a dedicated laptop pocket, so your computer can be easily scanned by an X-Ray machine without any of your other stuff getting in its way.

Which travel bag is best hard or soft? ›

You may want to buy hard-shell luggage if you'll be packing breakable items. It could offer better security than soft-sided baggage because it can't be ripped open as easily and usually has integrated locks. Aluminum luggage can be even more secure.

Are NOMATIC bags worth it? ›

While NOMATIC backpacks are quite expensive, they're worth it for the quality. And their range means there's something to suit everyone. These backpacks are definitely designed with the city break traveler in mind. NOMATIC isn't ideal if you're backpacking or thinking of doing a lot of hiking.

Does NOMATIC backpack fit under airplane seat? ›

The NOMATIC Travel Pack also gets the carry-on tick of approval. It fits under the plane seat perfectly. When you're traveling, it's always nice to have a bit of extra space. The Nomatic Travel Pack is a very compact 20L at its smallest size, but you can expand it to 30L when you're carrying more travel gear.

Are Packing pods worth it? ›

If you tend to rearrange your suitcase multiple times on a trip, ensuring it's as organized as possible, then packing cubes are helpful and well worth the investment. Using packing organizers is a quick, easy way to bring order and harmony to your bag—and to your trip.

Is a 45L backpack too big for carry-on? ›

Volume: A 45L backpack is the maximum-sized carry on allowed on most US airlines. For international or budget airlines, choose a bag under 40L. If you want to pack ultralight, anything 35L or under can be carried on virtually any airline. Dimensions: The common 45L volume is usually measured as 22 x 14 x 9 inches.

What is the difference between a backpack and a hiking backpack? ›

A hiking daypack may come with some padding to make it more comfortable, but most daypacks are meant to be compressible (aka packable) and not worn for long periods of time. A backpack will come with an internal frame for better back support. They don't have padded shoulder straps.

How much luggage do I need for a 7 day trip? ›

25" - 27" Checked Luggage

They are ideal for trips of 5 to 7 days, or longer, depending on how you pack. They have a large capacity for multiple outfits, shoes, and toiletries.

How many outfits should I pack for a 7 day trip? ›

Do the clothing countdown: If you need a mantra to help streamline your wardrobe, use the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 rule for a weeklong trip: Limit yourself to no more than five sets of socks and underwear, four tops, three bottoms, two pairs of shoes and one hat.

Is Ziploc TSA approved? ›

The TSA liquids rule is also called the 3-1-1 rule, since you're allowed to bring: 3.4-ounce container. 1 quart-sized Ziploc bag. 1 bag per passenger.

How many quart Ziploc bags can you carry-on a plane? ›

Each passenger may carry liquids, gels and aerosols in travel-size containers that are 3.4 ounces or100 milliliters. Each passenger is limited to one quart-size bag of liquids, gels and aerosols.

Can I bring both a carry-on and a backpack? ›

Airline rules allow for one carry on bag and one personal item, unless you're flying on a basic economy fare. But we've all seen people selfishly putting two bags in the overhead bin or carrying on more luggage than could possibly be allowed. You don't want to be like them. But you also might not be a one bagger.

Does hard side luggage crack? ›

Hard shell suitcases can crack, which causes them to fall apart more rapidly than soft luggage. To avoid this concern choose a suitcase made from polycarbonate ABS that stands up to the rigors of travel. The FERGE brand makes a TSA-lockable suitcase on wheels using polycarbonate ABS.

Does the color of your luggage matter? ›

Bright colored luggage also has an advantage if your bags get lost during transit. While uncommon, this does happen. Airline staff will have an easier time locating missing bags if they're colorful and stand out on luggage carts. If you don't own bright colored luggage, you can still make your luggage stand out.

Does hard side luggage break? ›

Hard shell luggage pieces have been known to crack and fall apart more easily than softer cases. The good news is that companies have been making changes to improve overall quality.

Is Gomatic the same as NOMATIC? ›

Gomatic and Nomatic is exactly the same brand. When Nomatic wanted to launch their brand in Europe, they chose to go by another brand name. So don't worry, when you purchase a bag from Gomatic, you will get the exact same bags, quality and design, but with a G instead of an N.

Is NOMATIC made in USA? ›

Where are NOMATIC products made? Nomatic products are designed in Salt Lake City, Utah and proudly manufactured in the Philippines.

Which bag is best for international travel? ›

  • Best International Carry-on. ...
  • Best Set. ...
  • Best Checked. ...
  • Best Trunk. Globe-Trotter Safari 20-inch Carry-On Suitcase. ...
  • Best Organization. Paravel Aviator Carry-On. ...
  • Best Duffel. Beis Hanging Travel Duffle Bag. ...
  • Best Backpack. Samsonite Silhouette 17 Backpack. ...
  • Best Weekender. Beis Weekender Bag.
Jan 4, 2023

Do airlines check backpack size? ›

Many airlines will allow a backpack as a personal item, and for those that don't, a backpack can still be your carry on luggage as long as it is under the size restrictions for the particular airline. The standard domestic carry-on luggage size is 22" x 14" x 9.”

Does TSA check backpack size? ›

Approved personal items include a purse, briefcase, small backpack, camera bag, diaper bag, laptop bag or other similarly sized item. The combined length, width and height of carry-on baggage should be less than 45 inches. Individual items must be less than 22 by 14 by 9 inches.

Are backpacks with charging ports allowed on planes? ›

Good news for you, the TSA states that “portable chargers or power banks containing a lithium-ion battery must be packed in carry-on bags.” This means that yes, you are able to take your charging backpack on a plane. However, you must bring your backpack with you as a carry-on bag.

Which is better PODS or packrat? ›

Compared to 1-800-PACK-RAT, PODS offers the largest fleet and biggest network, with twice the locations and 3X the containers as 1-800-PACK-RAT. We also have 230 secure Storage Centers nationwide. That means more availability for you, and more control when it comes to scheduling.

Is Packrat better than PODS? ›

While 1-800-PACK-RAT scores big in container quality and price-matching its competitors, PODS has low prices, more locations, and better customer reviews. Winner: PODS. Between its low prices (and generous discounts), availability, and exceptional customer service, PODS squeaks out on top.

Is it better to roll or fold clothes when packing? ›

Rolling your clothes in your suitcase will generally save space. This is because it squeezes air from between folds and means the most of available space is used. If done correctly, rolling can also ensure less wrinkles in your clothes.

What is the most used backpack brand? ›

1. JanSport. Probably one of the most popular bags for school, JanSport has made a name for itself among students for being lightweight, durable and fashionable. But just because it's popular among the younger generation, it doesn't mean you can't use this backpack for purposes outside of school.

Can I take a 50L backpack on a plane? ›

Your backpack will generally be allowed as a carry-on if it's under 50 liters, or about 22 x 14 x 9 inches. Get a 45-liter backpack if you want to carry as much stuff as possible on the plane with you.

What size backpack for Europe? ›

A 40 liter backpack is the best size for traveling in Europe as it's small enough to fly carry-on only. If you aren't up to the challenge of travelling with a 40 liter pack, you just need to make sure that you choose a backpack you will be comfortable carrying for long periods of time.

Can a 70 liter backpack be a carry-on? ›

Many airlines allow a backpack as a carry-on with a volume of up to 45 liters. However, make sure to weigh your bag and comply with the airline's weight rules. For instance, budget airlines often restrict carry-on bag weight to even less than the normal 22lbs (10 kg) limit.

What should you not bring backpacking? ›

To help you pack light, here is a list of things you should consider not packing for a trip.
  • Jewelry and Valuables. ...
  • Heavy Zoom Lenses For Your Camera. ...
  • Extra Toiletries. ...
  • Too Many Cotton Clothes. ...
  • More Than One Pair of Jeans. ...
  • Those Nice Shoes. ...
  • Hiking Boots. ...
  • More Than One Heavy Jacket.
Oct 15, 2022

What are the 2 types of backpacks in hiking? ›

Hiking backpacks can be divided into three types; frameless backpacks, internal-frame backpacks and external-frame backpacks.

What size suitcase do I need for a two week vacation? ›

50-75 liters: For a trip that lasts one to two weeks, many people jump up to a bag in this range. 75 liters-100+ liters: For big expeditions, travelers typically need several large bags that can hold 75 liters or more each.

Do packing cubes save space in luggage? ›

Yes, packing cubes really do save space, they compress your clothes and more efficiently fit in a bucket style compartment of a suitcase or backpack. Packing cubes compress your clothes so they take up less space. This is true with any type of packing cubes, not just ones that are specifically called compression.

How big of a suitcase do I need for a 10 day trip? ›

For a 10-day trip, the suitcase size that you need will be between 18 and 22 inches in length. This size is suitable as carry-on luggage. However, if you want a bigger one for extra space, you can choose a 24-inch suitcase, which is recommended for 2-3 weeks' worth of travel but needs to be checked in.

How many bras to pack for 2 weeks? ›

If you have unlimited suitcase space and don't want to do any laundry, a two-week trip means packing 14/2 = 7 bras and at least 14 pairs of underwear.

Does rolling clothes save space? ›

Rolling saves space in your bag, especially if you only have hand luggage. You can organise your bag better, by being able to see every item of clothing. Rolling is great for small items. Especially for items made from synthetic fibres like nylon as they will be less likely to wrinkle.

What is the trendiest bag right now? ›

10 of the most popular designer bags in 2022
  • Balenciaga Le Cagole. ...
  • Chanel 22. ...
  • Hermes Kelly. ...
  • Bottega Veneta Mini Jodie. ...
  • Coperni Swipe. ...
  • Gucci Jackie 1961. ...
  • Miu Miu Wander Matelassé Hobo. ...
  • Prada Cleo.
Oct 12, 2022

What is trendy right now 2022? ›

2022 Fashion Trend: Regencycore, Continued

Corsets, pearls, lady cardigans, and prim florals show no signs of a slow-down. Embrace this form of head-to-toe elegance for polished occasions like work or a party.

What backpack color should I get? ›

Choose a colour that goes well with 90% of the clothes you own. Black and navy blue backpacks are safe colours if your wardrobe's colour scheme is white, grey, blue, and black. For those with a more adventurous palatte, you can go for backpack colours like maroon, red, or teal.

Is a 50L backpack big enough for travelling? ›

Travel: A 50L+ backpack is a great friend to those road tripping around the country for a few weeks or through regions with rapidly changing weather conditions. These bags are spacious and can accommodate a number of outfit changes before you ever have to visit a laundromat.

What size backpack do I need for a 2 day trip? ›

2-3 Day Packs: 35-50 liters

A weekend backpack like a standard 40L backpack is big enough to carry a backpacking sleeping bag, small tent, and pad, as well as extra clothing and layers.

What is the biggest backpack for carry-on luggage? ›

Each airline sets its own guidelines for the maximum allowable size for carry on luggage. Most airlines allow bags up to 45 linear inches (length + width + depth) or 22" long, 14" wide, and 9" deep. To prevent problems at the airport, your bag should be no larger than these dimensions.

Which is the No 1 bag brand? ›

1: Kamiliant by American Tourister Check-in Suitcase

This Travel Bag is from Kamiliant by American Tourister. This is a Kiza combo set of 3 Ash Blue small, medium & large check-in suitcases cum Travel Bag. Outer material of this 4-wheel check-in suitcase is made from polypropylene.

What size backpack do I need for 3 weeks travel? ›

I would suggest you bring a bag between 50-65L, which I found is the best size for me. I loved my 60L backpack because it was big enough to fit all my stuff in it, and there was always extra space. It wasn't too big to be uncomfortable or impractical to carry.

What size backpack do I need for 3 months Travelling? ›

This is where most new backpackers, think they need a larger backpack to travel – but the truth is, with some clever packing, the 40L backpack is the perfect size to pack. You'll be incredibly surprised at just how small of a space you can fit everything you need for 3, 6 or even 12 months.

Can I bring two backpacks as a carry-on and personal item? ›

Airline rules allow for one carry on bag and one personal item, unless you're flying on a basic economy fare. But we've all seen people selfishly putting two bags in the overhead bin or carrying on more luggage than could possibly be allowed.

What size bag do I need for a 7 day trip? ›

25" - 27" Checked Luggage

These sizes are the most popular size of luggage to check. They are ideal for trips of 5 to 7 days, or longer, depending on how you pack. They have a large capacity for multiple outfits, shoes, and toiletries.

Is 40 lbs too heavy for a backpack? ›

A loaded backpacking pack should not weigh more than about 20 percent of your body weight. (If you weigh 150 pounds, your pack should not exceed 30 pounds for backpacking.) A loaded day hiking pack should not weigh more than about 10 percent of your body weight.

What size carry-on for most airlines? ›

Though you might find an inch or two of a difference with various airlines, the standard domestic carry-on luggage size is 22" x 14" x 9", which includes the handle and the wheels. This size limit ensures your bag — and ideally everyone else's — will be able to be stored safely in the overhead bin for your flight.


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