Best Travel Backpacks For Business and Pleasure – Reviews and Buying Guide

Packing tends to be the activity we least look forward to as part of the travel. However, as those who are frequently on the move know, the packing experience itself can still be made much easier and much more convenient if you have the right bag.

Luggage and other bulky suitcases can be a hassle, which is why having the right travel backpack to hold all your goods has become one of the more popular ways to travel. Whether you are packing up for a camping trip, gearing up for an epic trip across a new country or continent, or are frequently on the move for business, a quality bag can make the experience much more pleasant.

In this review, we will give you a guide to choosing the right backpack for your travel needs and a quick rundown of our top picks for the best travel backpacks!

Why Choose a Backpack vs Luggage for Travel?


There’s a reason why so many people—nomads and casual travel enthusiasts alike—opt for purchasing a good quality backpack over luggage for their travels. Perhaps one of the most important benefits of the former is the superior mobility that backpacks offer.

Luggage tends to be heavy, bulky, and, well, can also get lost. By choosing a carry-on compliant pack, you can evade that lost luggage trap altogether and still get the most for your buck. Travel packs are also more versatile and offer a greater sense of freedom in contrast to the wheels or general bulk of your standard suitcases.

Plus, backpacks designed specifically for travelling purposes tend to be manufactured with much more comfortable materials to ease the burden of your load as much as possible.

The primary question you need to ask yourself before making your purchase is: What am I going to be using it for?

The type of travelling experience you are buying for—whether for camping, general nomad wandering, or business trips—matters in determining what specific features you are going to need from your pack, as well as size and how much you are willing to spend.

Not all travel bags are made the same, and if you aren’t keeping an eye out for the most essential features, you could easily find yourself with a showy, expensive bag that won’t be able to work out for more than one miserable trip—if it even gets you that far.


Key Features to Look Out For:


Weather Resistant

Even if most of your travelling consists of walking through airports or heading from one hotel to another, it’s reassuring to know that your bag will keep your keepsakes safe from rain or other harsh weather conditions.

And for those who are planning on or otherwise do frequently travel outdoors for camping, hiking, or what have you—this feature is essential and should be considered non-negotiable!

Correct Size (Carry on vs Larger)

One of the features you’re going to want to pay attention to when browsing travel bag options is its size. The ideal size for most travellers is a bag that is carry-on compliant. It simply saves you from paying extra checking fees at airports and is generally deemed more convenient for portability purposes.

For anything longer than a day-trip, you shouldn’t be buying under 30L and should generally aim for the sweet spot of a 40-45L bag.

Correct Size (Carry on vs Larger)

Loading everything from the front instead of having to awkwardly reach in and dig for packed items is much more convenient and practical. This feature is most often seen in clamshell design travel bags.

High Quality Straps

Buying high-quality doesn’t always require you to fork over the big bucks. Travel bags should be comfortable and durable, and the straps featured on the bag can weigh heavily on the make-or-break determination of how convenient and useful it will be to you. Compression straps are a plus.

While budgets among the wanderlust vary, it’s good to look around a bit and make sure you are getting the best value for your buck. Some brands may offer sleek or otherwise snazzy designs that come at a high cost. Others may or may not actually deliver as well in functionality compared to the more tried-and-true—and best reviewed!—models.

That being said, purchasing a backpack that has been specifically designed for travelling is going to be an investment no matter which direction you go. For a large to extra-large pack that can offer the most in function, features, and quality—you don’t want to skimp out. No one wants a bag that is going to fall apart after one use or not even have the room to hold all your necessities.

Comparison Table

Product Name

Details

Price

Tortuga Setout Bag

Price: $199

Type

Carry-on

Size

45L

Volume

22” x 14” x 9”

Color Options

Gray with Black Accents

Price: $239.99—$459.99 (Depending on Bundle)

Type

Carry-on

Size

  1. Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack

Volume

21"x14"x9"

Color Options

Gray with Black Accents

MSRP:$290—$549.94

Type

Carry-on

Size

Available X-small to Medium (49—55L)

Volume

29" x18" x6"

Color Options

Gray, Red, Blue

Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack

MSRP: $160  via Amazon

Type

Carry-on

Size

40L

Volume

21"x14"x9"

Color Options

Gray, Red, Blue

MSRP:  $244.02

Type

Trekking/Camping

Size

65L

Volume

34 x 15 x 16 in

Color Options

Gray, Red, Blue

Top 5 Travel Backpacks of 2018


1. Tortuga Setout Backpack


Best for:
Urban travel, all-purpose

Summary: This chic 45L backpack from Tortuga is more lightweight—and dare we say fashionable—than their Outbreaker pack, as well as a more budget-friendly option.

As lightweight as it is for its size at approximately 3.3 lbs., the Tortuga Setout backpack is capable of packing in a lot. Not only that, but it still fits right at the maximum size for carry on compliance at most airports. This makes it much more convenient than your average suitcase while still providing the benefit of packing like one. It has a clamshell-design that zips open from the side and features a maximum internal space and pockets.

The gray material of the bag makes it versatile for both business and personal trips, letting its owner evade the sheepish embarrassment of hauling around a flashy backpack.

With comfortable padded straps and a detachable hip belt as well, the Tortuga Setout is one of the most popular carry-on travel bags currently on the market. It possesses several appealing and useful features that are perfect for casual, city, or air travel.

Key features:

  • Carry-on compliant
  • Made of weather resistant materials
  • Organization pockets/compartments
  • Laptop and tablet sleeves
  • Padded hip belt
  • Adjustable chest and waist straps

Strengths:

  • Front-loading for convenient packing
  • Versatile as a high-quality bag for suitable for all-purpose use
  • The polyester material makes for a chic aesthetic
  • Detachable, ergonomic padded hip belt makes for handy storage with its cushioned material and pockets.

Weaknesses:

  • The zippers on this bag are not rubber-sealed (though still weather-resistant)
  • The hip belt is not adjustable

2. Nomatic 40L Travel Bag—Best for Business/Professional

Best used for: Business travel

Summary: Nomatic’s 40L Travel Bag is an innovative and highly-functional solution for individuals who are frequently on the move for business. While it may seem a bit too engineered or fussy for casual use, those who are often packing for short business or personal trips will certainly be able to get the most out of this bag.

Its durable—albeit stiff—materials and design will keep all your most precious keepsakes safe from any harsh weather you run into. It will protect anything from your best professional apparel to your laptop or tablet.

Key features:

  • Carry-on compliant
  • Front-loading for main storage
  • Materials are both durable and waterproof
  • Laundry bag included
  • High-tech

Strengths:

  • Can be used as either a duffel bag or a backpack
  • You can nab free shipping (in the United States) if you buy directly from the manufacturer
  • Highly functional with over twenty features, including laptop and tablet pockets, a laundry bag, shoe compartment, and more—handy for those who are frequently travelling for business

Weaknesses:

  • High-priced if only for bought for casual use
  • Not the best pick for hiking or camping trips
  • Designed specifically for 3 to 7-day trips so not suitable for longer-term travels
  • Shopping Bag
    External material is somewhat stiff

3. Osprey Women’s Ariel 55—Best for Women (Specially-Designed)

Best used for: Outdoor travels, longer travels

Summary: This hefty backpack from Osprey is made for ample storage, comfort, and function with its largest size coming in at an extra-large 55L. The backpack is offered in three sizes, from 49L to 55L, and features a plethora of pockets and straps to store all your necessities while keeping everything secure.

It is a little on the heavier side and likely won’t work out as a carry-on if you are planning on flying with your bag. However, its included features as well as its high-comfort ratings from users all across the web nonetheless rank it as one of the top backpacks you can gear yourself with if you are a traveler in need of the extra storage and wilderness-ready features.

Key features:

  • Hip and shoulder compression straps
  • Anti-gravity suspension
  • Hip belt with two zippered pockets
  • Shopping Bag
    Sleeping bag compartment
  • Shopping Bag
    Internal compression strap
  • Shopping Bag
    Raincover

Strengths:

  • Suitable for trekking and camping trips
  • Available in several sizes (from 49L—55L)
  • Highly functional with many innovative, useful features

Weaknesses:

  • Not carry-on size
  • Not the most budget-friendly option
  • Top-loading

4. Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack

Best used for: General purpose, outdoors/wilderness travel

Summary: As a medium-to-large bag that is still deemed carry-on compatible, the Osprey Farpoint 40 is a simply-designed backpack that can be a great option for camping trips out in the wilderness. While it is not as versatile as the Tortuga or as large as Osprey’s Ariel 55L, it offers decent storage capacity, and it’s made of durable, quality materials. It also wouldn’t look totally out of place if used for urban travel, so city travelers do not need to scroll on just yet!

Front-loading, with hip and chest straps, as well as a detachable shoulder strap, this bag offers comfort as well as function and convenience. Priced more fairly than some other backpacks on the market, it offers good value for those who aren’t quite able or wanting to throw down hundreds of dollars on the latest snazzy bag.

Key features:

  • Dual front mesh pockets
  • Laptop compartment
  • Front-loading
  • Shopping Bag
    Padded handles
  • Shopping Bag
    Stowaway back panel

Strengths:

  • Carry-on compliant for air travel
  • Relatively budget-friendly compared to competitors
  • Lightweight
  • Shopping Bag
    Simple, non-fussy design
  • Shopping Bag
    Decent internal storage capacity

Weaknesses:

  • Doesn’t have as many organizational features as some other travel bags.

5. Osprey Atmos 65—Best for Trekking/Camping

Best used for: Trekking, camping, hiking, outdoor travels

Summary: Designed not for the light packers but for those eagerly gearing up for the long haul, the Osprey Atmos 65 is truly one of the best travel backpacks available for camping or trekking. Its hefty size alone is indicative of its capability as a bag suitable for extended travels. The durable material, organizational compartments, and other features additionally make it stand out as another great pick from a reliable brand.

Another thing that makes this bag stand out from others of its size or larger is that it manages to have generous storage capacity without a heavy frame. Although it’s not your lightweight 10 or 20L day-trip pack, it still manages to be comfortable and lightweight enough for its intended purpose.

Key features:

  • Inside-out compression straps
  • Zippered hipbelt pockets
  • Sleeping bag compartment
  • Shopping Bag
    Integrated raincover
  • Ventilated and breathable with a netted support system for sweaty travelers!
  • Suitable for extended camping/hiking/trekking trips
  • Large without the heaviness of some other similarly-sized backpacks
  • Shopping Bag
    Comfortable for those planning on getting a lot of use out of it

Weaknesses:

  • Not ideal for light travelers
  • Some users have reported fussy zippers

Buy the Best Travel Backpack Now!

Do you think you’ve got an idea which of the best travel backpacks may be right for you? Get on it now and get your hands on the best travel backpack to suit your travelling needs today!

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