Best Travel Backpack Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Best Travel Backpack

Owning a great backpack should be at the top of your priority if you are a person who travels frequently; it is a travel essential! It is only when your so and so backpack, that you rather conveniently picked up from a gas station, fails you in the middle of your trip that you realize the importance of having a high quality, reliable and durable one. So how do you get your hands on the Best Travel Backpack out of a few million?In this article, I will be disclosed to you all that you need to know in order to be able to choose the useful backpack for yourself. And to top it off, you will also be given a list and reviews of some of the Top Rated Backpacks. Let’s begin our Backpack 101!

​​The 5 Best Travel Backpack Reviews

On the 3rd place of our list of a travel backpack that needs no formal introduction, no convincing whatsoever. It is the SwissGear Travel Gear ScanSmart Backpack.

​SwissGear, just the brand name is enough to let you know how thought-through and high quality its ScanSmart Backpack is going to be. The ScanSmart Backpack is designed keeping all the go-getters in mind: the A class students, the office stars, and you! The travel backpack is designed to complement the most productive personalities. It has several chambers (including an organizer chamber), water tabs on each side with a belt to secure it, many internal pouches to electronic gadgets and of course, an audio interface through which you can hook up headphones. Needless to say, carrying heaps of things into this 30-liter backpack won’t be an issue. The ScanSmart Backpack is lightweight, weighing just 3.1 pounds. It measures 8.5 x 18.5 x 13.5 inches in dimensions. It uses polyester fabric which makes it water resistant, has comfortable shoulder straps and back with soft padding.

But the one thing that instantly won over my vote about the ScanSmart is that is a full-size laptop bag as well. This bag will carry laptops up to 17 inches easily! And the laptop storage chamber in this bag is sheer genius. The chamber opens to divide the bag in half, revealing two sides; one to store tablets and other small size devices, and the other to store your precious laptop in (side entry).


  • Serves as a full-size laptop carrying bag with an easy-store and easily retrieve chamber
  • Is durable and water resistant
  • Have several internal pouches for storing gadgets and small items
  • Has an audio interface
  • Lays flat for convenient TSA scanning
  • Back and shoulder padded for comfort with Airflow for ventilation


  • Not enough padding to cushion the gadgets inside in case of a fall

I do not want to sound like a stereotypical feminist, but it is true that the market choices for women’s products are as narrow as it is expensive compared to men’s. On that note, let’s kick start our list of the Travel Backpacks with a backpack that is specially made for women, the North Face Women’s Jester Backpack.

​First of all, the Women’s Jester Backpack is lightweight, weighing in at just 1.7 pounds. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a backpack that is a little bit on the heavy side as long as you use it irregularly. But for day to day use, carrying a heavy and bulky backpack not only inflicts discomfort but also could lead to long term chronic back pains, ill posture and shoulder aches. Secondly, despite being rather compact, measuring just 18.8 x 14 x 7 inches in dimensions, the Women’s Jester Backpack can load up pretty well thanks to its spacious interior.The Women’s Jester Backpack is everything you look for in a backpack for daily use! The backpack is made from imported, high-quality materials, has 2 chambers, 360-degree reflective bike light loop, 2 water bottle tabs and shoulder strap webbing.It looks simple and effortless; perfect for students.

​But, what makes this backpack so special, and what eventually made me put it on top of my list of the Best Backpacks is that it has been specifically designed to coordinate with feminine body types which are already top-heavy. The Women’s Jester is light and compact so as to not make it any heavier on a woman’s top half. And, to make carrying more comfortable, the backpack has been padded with soft pads on the back and shoulder straps. For added security, it offers a chest belt as well.


  • Light and compact
  • Includes a chest belt
  • Made with imported, high-quality materials which promise durability


  • The zippers have been sewn rather loosely to the body; may come apart
  • The mesh water tabs are too small in height to cradle long bottles
  • Users may find the numerous dangling straps uncomfortable or awkward while walking

​If you are one of those people who take the bull by its horn, then our best pick for the Best Carry-on Backpack is your ultimate bet. If light tracking, campus, and hiking are your cup of tea then the Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack from TETON is your best backpack found!

​We all know how frustrating it is to pack for overnight trips. It is always stressful and something is always missing or left out. But with the Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack, you are covered for 2-4 days’ worth of packing! The backpack is large and ridiculously spacious, a whopping 3400 cubic inches or 55-liter capacity to be more exact. Weighs 4.5 pounds and measures 30 x 17 x 12 inches in dimensions, and yes, that is large and a little heavy, but you don’t carry it everyday and this weight and size is very typical of the outdoorsy backpack. Good thing is that this backpack is scattered with pockets and chambers everywhere, including 2 water bottle tabs! And if the in-bag storage was failing to impress you, the bag has several gear loops that let you hang your activity gears. One of the neatest features of the Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack is also what landed it a place onto being one of my Backpacks: the rain cover! Yes, this monster of a Yes, this monster of a backpack also offers you a rain cover, bright yellow in color, which is discreetly stored away in the bottom back of the backpack.

​To say that this backpack is “well designed” would be an understatement and utter injustice. The backpack offers quite the substantial comfort level for being such a monster of a bag. It has an adjustable chest belt that caters to maximum body types, men, and women; open-cell foam on the back and shoulder straps maximum for comfort and ventilation. And to make your purchase that much more satisfying and reassuring the company also offers a 1-year limited warranty!

  • The Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack is large and spacious; filled with chambers and pockets for strategic and wholesome packing
  • Comes with a rain cover
  • Is rugged and durable; water resistant
  • Offers external gear carriage through its loops
  • Comes with a generous lifetime limited warranty
  • The height of the backpack can put off wearers
  • The zippers have a tendency to split

For our 4th pick for the Best Travel Backpack, I have chosen a travel backpack that caters to those groups of people who are more drawn towards smaller, lightweight backpacks. And The Timbuk2 Laptop Backpack is just the perfect fit for your needs if you are students, computer or need some light carrying.

The Timbuk2 Laptop Backpack weighs just 1.9 pounds and measures 0.9 x 15.6 x 18.3 inches in dimensions. It is clearly not the largest backpack. However, this petite line from TimBuk2 is exactly what appeals to people who do not want to carry a giant on the backs for just a handful of items. But do not underestimate this bag’s capacity power. With a capacity of 22 liters or 1342 cubic inches, storing items will definitely not be an issue.You can also rely on the bag’s durability since it is made from high-quality nylon. As for comfort, the bag has soft padded foam on the back and shoulder straps, which also allow airflow for ventilation and freshness. One cool feature on the Timbuk2 Laptop Backpack is that on the right shoulder strap is attached a bottle-opener! The bag could not be any more casual and athletic in my opinion.

​But, here’s what put this backpack on our list of the famous Backpack: despite being rather small and compact, the Timbuk2 Laptop Backpack is what says it is: a full-size laptop bag! It will store laptops up to 15 inches in height and can be accessed through the side by swinging the bag forward. It also has a long chamber on the front of the bag for storing power adapters; easy and fuss-free!

  • The Timbuk2 Laptop Backpack is perfect for lightweight carrying
  • Has a secure, side entry laptop storage chamber
  • Bonus: include a can opener on the right shoulder strap
  • Water resistant


  • Does not have any water tab or pocket
  •  The stitching seems to gray at the seams

​You have had enough of the school-style travel backpacks, so for the final A travel backpack on your Best Choice Backpack’s list, I have something a little different for you: the Bago Travel Duffle Bag. A duffle bag is essential for everyone, and the Bago Travel Duffle Bag is here to put an end to your search.

​he Bago Travel Duffle Bag is large size travel bag; measures 10 x 13 x 23 inches in dimensions and has a capacity of 53 liters. But you will be surprised by how lightweight this giant is; it weighs just 1.3 pounds! And this is all thanks to its lightweight fabric, which is not also just water resistant but is seriously durable making it ideal for some intense travel activities like gym, sports practice, plane carry-on, etc. the Bago Travel Duffle Bag has 1 main chamber, 2 at hand’s –reach chambers on the front and 1 chamber on each side for storing all the small, essential items you may need access to quickly.

The bag has 2 straps which let you carry the bag on hand and on the shoulders. The feature that put the Bago Travel Duffle Bag in our prestigious list of the Backpack is that it is foldable into a very small size, making it most ideal for international trips where you do not want to pay up the cost of an extra luggage at the airport.


  • Gigantic size minus the bulk and the weight
  • Can be folded
  • Is water resistant
  • Is very durable


  • The carrying straps are not padded; prolong period of carrying the bag will definitely hurt the wearer’s shoulder or hands
  • Weak zippers

​Best Travel Backpack Buying Guide

​When you are looking out for one of the Best Travel Backpacks for travel, consider these key points

Purpose and Size

Buy bags that are fit-for-purpose. Do not buy a fancy laptop bag for an overnight trip in the wild outdoors.Pick a size of a backpack that fits your purpose. Bigger does not always mean better; bigger also means weight and bulk. So, choose one that perfectly stores all your important items but also make sure that there is enough space for extra additions. And the same principle goes the other way: do not purchase smaller bags than you need.

Comfort and Fit

​Always make sure you wear and test out a travel backpack prior to purchase. Remember these aren’t your evening bags or clutches that you use once every blue moon; these are travel backpacks that are meant to be used for long trips or on daily basis. So, making sure that you would be comfortable in them is absolutely crucial! Check for countered design, foam padding for comfort and airflow or ventilation component to prevent sweating and maintain freshness.Also, make sure that the weight of your preferred backpack is not more than you can pull off. Pick one that does not drag you down to the depth of earth and beyond. Keep an eye open for the height of the backpack as well, especially camping travel backpacks. A bag too long could interrupt the flow of your walking.One other thing that could be really useful is straps. Look for travel backpack with chest or waist straps to give your bag that extra grip against your body, and so that your backpack never feels too loose. The Best Travel Backpack has adjustable straps so that you can manual set the tight or looseness.


​The one thing most important when it comes to travel backpack is capacity. Your travel backpack needs to have enough space to carry all your valuable items safely and properly, without squishing it. Capacity in backpacks is measured in volume, in liters to be more precise. So, the 4 digit number you usually see with the name of any travel backpack is very likely denoting its capacity. However, many times, it may also be denoted through cubic inches.Always buy a travel backpack of a capacity higher than you think you need. A little extra room will never go to waste!


If you do not plan to buy a new backpack for every day of the week, then you need to make sure that the one you pick is tough, rugged and durable. The top-rated backpack have high-quality fabric and materials used in the making so that you never have to for a second option. Look for water resistance in the Travel Backpacks; always great for the outdoorsy people.Other than being able to take some intense wear and tear, the Best Backpack for travel should have excellent components; zipper in particular. If there is any problem that has been driving people insane, it is the zipper. Zippers are usually the part that people have most complaints about. They often tend to be weak, flimsy, get split or stuck. So, if your find one with great zippers, consider your journey to finding the great Backpack complete!

Security against theft and damage

​Backpack for travel will make sure your carried items never go in the wrong hands or get damaged. Look for travel backpacks with lockable zippers, either with a padlock or a code.It is more than common to have items drop and “sway” out of their storage compartments inside the bag, especially true for laptops. To avoid this, make sure the storage compartments for your gadgets have a snug fit or are secured with a belt or soft foam to cushion fall impacts.


Knowing the budget is just as important as the durability, capacity, and level of comfort. Travel backpack comes with various prices depending on their features, brand, and fabric. It starts from below $50 to over $300 USD. You can tell by now that the expensive ones are going to come with features that you can already find in the low-cost ones. The good news is that you love the prices of the travel backpack whose reviews are mentioned above.Some brands take money for no good reason and you should not get fooled by them. Do not cross your budget no matter how nice they appear. Also, excessively cheap is not good because it will not be durable. You do not want a bag that just tears and falls apart.It will not be fair to sacrifice quality for the cost. It is going to be your best friend during travel. The reason you are choosing this over the luggage or heavy suitcase is because you want it to be with you all the time. You can use it during hiking, camping or other outdoor activities whereas other kinds of travel bags would require you to stay at a five-star hotel.You can become the recipient of bag jealousy if you can manage to get the best backpack at a reasonable price.

Bonus features

​This point in filtering the best business travel backpacks is entirely optional for most people, but it may pay some good value to a great number of you as well. Gear loops are absolutely essential for outdoor camping or hiking shoes, but you can also benefit from them every once in a while. Look out for a gear loop or two in your choice of backpacks to give you that extra pair of hands for carrying gears.It is the smallest details on a backpack that make it the Best Backpack for us. A few thoughtful additions to your travel buddy could make a world of a difference. This could be through rain covers to save you and your bag from rain drops or any water. Or it could be through audio interfaces that let you enjoy your day out with some great music! Details matter.Now, let’s look at the warranty factor. The Best Carry on Backpacks from the most confident companies offers them. Some consumers take it seriously, others simply don’t. But, I do suggest that you look for warranties in a bag that is expensive and claims durability. Your hard-earned money should not go to waste over false claims and poor products.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the difference between water resistant bags and waterproof bags?

​Answer: Great question! Everyone seems to get confused over these two. Well, a waterproof bag is made up of materials that are entirely immune to damages from water. It gives you the freedom to submerge and immerse the bag in water without the fear of any consequential damage (but just because you can, does not mean you should).A water-resistant bag is made of materials that repel water, but it is not immune from damage from it. For instance, you rain drops on your water-resistant bag will roll right off without any problem. But immersing the bag under water definitely cost you the bag.

Do female, male, unisex travel backpacks really make any difference? Or is it a profiting gimmick?

​Answer: I absolutely understand your concern, and it is very justified considering how many companies exploit consumers by gender-orienting products. But, in all honestly, in products like travel backpacks, it matters! You see, travel backpacks aren’t necessarily luxury products; these things are made to be used intensely and extensively. So, designing them to complement a particular body type, or both, for comfort and ease is perfectly sane in my book.


So, with this, it’s a wrap to our search of the travel backpacks! I hope you have enjoyed this article and found it even a tad bit useful to your quest to finding the Right Backpack for yourself. Look through all the key points before purchasing a travel backpack and always make sure you try out, wear and test a few backpacks of your choice before making the final purchase. My comprehensive reviews of some of the most popular Travel Backpacks are most reliable, honest and will help you narrow down your choice from a sea of million other backpacks. Into my article and reviews, I have crammed as much information as possible to educate you on the subject, but just in case you feel you would like further more details, you can always click on the corresponding links.A useful tip: Always considers the pros and cons of each bag before making up your mind and don’t ever hesitate to ask for help from the store assistant of the company website. It will very literally pay you to ask and learn than to buy a regrettable purchase on an impulse. Now that you are all set, go grab the Best Travel Backpack you can find. Good luck!