People around the world rely on the best backpacks to help them travel from one place to another. Not only for travel, but school, work, or hiking. Due to the amount of hard use they sometimes endure, finding the right backpack for you can be a daunting task. Below is a thorough buying guide, along with reviews of the best backpacks currently on the market, to help you narrow down your search. Here is a quick list of what we will review, followed by a guide of things to look for when making the selection that is right for you.
How much do you want to carry?
There are lots of different factors that will assist you in choosing the correct size backpack. Truth be told, backpack capacity is very personal. Some individuals tend to carry more items than others, whereas some need to carry numerous articles that are heavy and bulky.
If you do not plan on going anywhere in which you won’t be reliant on your backpack’s items, such as an extended vacation, it is advised to maintain an average capacity. This is usually between 40 to 50 liters. For this size, it will maintain comfortability when traveling yet will not feel too bulky when draped across your back.
If you enjoy hiking or anticipate a trip whereby little time will be spent indoors, a 50-liter backpack could be too small. You should consider a bag that can hold 70 to 80 liters if this is the case. Know what size you want prior to your purchase. You do not want to find out during the middle of a camping trip that some of your belongings will not fit into the backpack itself. Therefore, it’s imperative to find the best backpack for you!
Regardless of how light your best backpack will be, you will eventually feel tiredness in the back and shoulders from carrying it around for an extended period of time. This is why it is important to find a good bag that is fitted with durable straps that do not tear or break easily. Cheaper bags often have weak straps, especially near the bottom area of such products.
Look for straps that have good padding and will not bring too much weight on your shoulders. Most high-quality bags will bring the weight throughout the entirety of your upper and lower back, which helps prevent exhaustion quickly.
The Number of Pockets
A common complaint among many backpack enthusiasts is the placement and quantity of pockets found within the bag. Products with a minimal design will have a select number of compartments for organization. Look for bags that will separate your sensitive items, such as electronics, from notebooks and clothing. Be sure that the areas where liquids will be stored are properly divided from other areas, to avoid water damage. Best backpacks have those!
If you do plan on using your best backpack for liquid drinks, there are bags that have pockets on the exterior specifically placed for hold them without spilling.
Best Backpack Materials
During some time during your errands, you may become trapped in weather conditions that make you dirty and wet. Your backpack must take on these elements if you are carrying it with you. This is why it is suggested to find a bag made of high-quality materials or one that is suitable for the region in which you live. For example, if you reside in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S, it would be wise to look for a waterproof backpack that will hold up well in cold and wet conditions for an extended period. Additionally, pay attention to other useful features such as scratch resistant fabric, especially near the seams.
The Bag’s Design
Some like to wear different backpacks as fashion statements. Such will be decked out with appealing decals and stylish fabrics that look ironic and chic. However, you should always make comfortability a priority first. Other times, the backpack take on damage easily, even while the brand is well known. To avoid this situation, think carefully about what you plan on using the bag for.
If you are in school and will primarily be carrying books and paper, the weight of the books could need ample support. If a short weekend getaway (one that will not include outdoor activities) is expected, you could use a backpack that is more of a fashion statement. In any case, buying the product that is versatile and can be recommended for any occasion is always the better option. Best backpacks are always versatile!
Much like clothing, some backpacks will fit people better or worse when their size and height are factored. Find out the length to which the bottom straps will extend. If you are over 6 feet in height and weight over 250 pounds, the straps could be a better fit since they won’t hug the middle portion of your back too tightly.
Best Backpacks and Ease of Access
The ability to open and find everything you need in the backpack quickly is crucial to whether you will love or hate your backpack. Some bags have zippers that open from the top only. If you prefer bags built as such, remember that you may end up taking everything out just to reach a specific item that is buried deep within the bottom.
Furthermore, if you fly often, you know how annoying it can be to dig all of your clothing out for airport security to show them your passport or travel itinerary. Find the best backpack that can accommodate small items within reach, even when your bag is full to the max. Zippers or straps located in areas that help you look at all areas of the bag without mixing up your carefully organized items can help you save lots of time.
Modern best backpacks will have pockets for you to fit your electronics in. For those who like to carry around lots of tech such as cameras, smartphones, laptops, tablets, and small speakers, a bag that can separate such sensitive items away from the rest of your gear will be the best pick. Wires should also not be forgotten. Bags with small, tight pockets are best to help you avoid the hassle of getting your cords tangled.
Zipper that Lock
Visit any online or brick and mortar store and you will find that lockable zippers have become extremely popular. They add an extra layer of security when your bag is being handled by a third party. During backpacking, pickpockets will be given less opportunity to open your bag when you are not looking. Keep in mind that sometimes not very durable and can be opened if enough effort was undertaken to get into the bag itself.
Timbuk2 Uptown Laptop Travel-Friendly Backpack
Timbuk2 Uptown is a great bag for just about any purpose. Its versatility puts it in the conversation for the best backpack currently around. If you like to carry a sizable portion of goods or are enjoy having everything laid out neatly when you travel, the abundance of pockets in the backpack makes this a great buy that will be used multiple times.
With this bag, there are two compartments, with one of them being larger than the other. The top compartments are padded and will be great for storing temporary items when you must travel through checkpoints or take out items on your camping trip. There are zippered and slip pockets inside of the main pocket as well. You should be able to file and divide any items up well with little clutter, as lots of small trinkets will have no problem going in.
Even with the considerable space that you will have available with this product, the design of the backpack was built to compliment the shape of the carrier’s body. You should feel little to no irritability in the shoulders, even after a prolonged walk with the bag. The straps are designed to help you keep your posture stable and minimize slouching over from an uncomfortable strain. Furthermore, back panels help keep the air flowing in the interior, a good attribute to reduce body heat and minimize food spoiling too quickly.
As stated, the Timbuk2 is great you live in an urban setting yet like to venture out for hikes and trails. If doing extended camping, it also makes a great companion case alongside other luggage that you may use. Just keep in mind that it is not resistant to water, so if the weather is unpredictable, you may want to find an alternative if you don’t want your items to get moisture inside.
- Designed to contour the the wearer’s shape
- Has many pockets and methods of organization
- Appealing design and great for use outdoors
- Is TSA compliant
- Built-in laptop pocket
- May not be enough room if traveling on long getaways
- The backpack is not weather resistant
The Oakley Backpack, tough and rugged in its shape and appearance, will help you bring lots of clothing and other travel/outdoor items you want yet maintain comfort and style at the same time (as evident by its name). Needless to say, it’s regarded as one of the best backpacks on the market. There is lots of space, which may be surprising to some since the size does not bulk up too much. It is manufactured using nylon and has sleeves that can hold an average-sized laptop or tablet. For small temporary items, a front panel works great when you need to quickly set aside something when in the middle of any activity.
There are multiple colors in which the bag can be purchased. Upon further opening, you will notice a large holding area in its center for all of your larger items you need to take. This portion can hold several books and magazines easily without too much bulkiness. As with everything, nothing is perfect, however. The big compartment, when in use, does not stretch a great deal and offers minimal flexibility, which could hinder your packing when you need to go the extra mile to make as much get into the bag as possible. Regardless, the Kitchen Sink has other notable attributes such as heavy-duty clips and an abundant amount of padding to keep everything secure and comfortable to wear for long hours.
- A great bag for the outdoors (camping, hiking, sightseeing)
- Should fit in most airplane overhead compartments
- Made with mylon material
- The shoulder straps have extra padding
- Does not stretch easily to offer additional room
- Some laptops that are bulky may not fit into the designated compartment
Chaos Ready Waterproof Backpack
The Chaos Ready Waterproof Backpack is one of the best backpacks that is sold online. It has great durability and is very flexible. The people who designed it have surely done a terrific job in giving the customer what they desire most in a multi-purpose backpack. There is a primary compartment that will help you get to your gear with little hassle of playing around with the openings. A pocket in the front is also included for any short-term or small papers, and tough shoulder straps that are easy to support and adjust.
The interior is about 22 liters in size, which is enough to hold most things that you may expect to fit in a carry-on sized bag. Two side pockets made out of mesh also give more capacity for miscellaneous goods. When it rains, it will not pour into your bag. The Chaos is completely waterproof and will not leak, drip, or absorb any liquids into the insides of the backpack when the weather is not in your favor. The build is solid as well and made from tarpaulin, a heavy-duty cloth that aids in the bag blocking out water and moisture. The openings remain watertight from a seal that folds around the gaps when you have the bag secured and closed.
If you wish to carry around lots of items that are sensitive to water such as electronic notebooks, paper, and textbooks, the Chaos is simply one of the best choices for you to buy online. It will give a great deal of service knowing that your valuables and important documents will never succumb to the outdoor elements.
- Made from water resistant tarpaulin
- Highly flexible material that can accomodate any body type, regardless of height or weight
- Lots of different compartments for any important gear
- Can fit slightly more than what is specified (recommended) by the manufacturer without worry of damage
- The shoulder straps, while comfortable, could be weakened after prolonged use
Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack
What many like the most about the Kelty Redwing 50 is that there are multiple outer pockets to prepare travel any of small items you want to take with you, such as cords and cables for charging your electronics. There are two front facing pockets on the bag made exactly for this purpose. If you unfasten the clip from the front compartment, the entire backpack with fold open, allowing you to view everything that is inside without tampering with the luggage. This type of bag is commonly referred to as panel loading.
Additionally, the Kelty Redwing has a sleeve made for your laptop and is big enough for medium to large size screens (some 17-inch notebooks may fit into the sleeve but be sure to know the exact dimensions of your device prior to purchase, so that you can compare the sleeve capacity better). An auxiliary pocket inside can also hold a hydration pack if you plan on using the bag for camping, although the pack itself is sold separately. This could be useful for reducing the number of canteens taken with you for the trip if you do decide to make use of this alternative feature.
Just about all areas of the bag are well padded. This includes the shoulder straps, panels, and belt. In its design and appearance, this is a product with almost military-grade features since there are so many advantages given to the user who will carry this with them for extended trips through the great outdoors. To see more about the product visit Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack Review.
- Has numerous pockets that are placed in areas for simple organization
- The shoulder straps and panel area is extremely well made and padded
- Has good ventilation on the inside
- Does not feature straps to consolidate the backpack (compression straps)
- Is not completely weather resistant
Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack 40L Flight Approved Carry on Backpack
The Hynes Eagle Backpack is a good accessory for carry-on baggage due to its size and quality in the materials used. It has a 38-liter capacity and measures about 13 by 9 inches. Made to appeal to both men and women, the appearance looks minimal yet very appealing, especially to those who enjoy wearing bags that have solid colors. Speaking of colors, there are 11 different styles for you to choose which increases the chance of you seeing a type that is most suitable to your style or particular wardrobe choice.
It has compression straps around the sides of the exterior which will help your belongings from moving around inside the bag. This also doubles as a great way to remain compliant with every individual airline carrier’s overhead compartment standards since an airline’s carry-on dimensions can vary with each company or number of people inside of the cabin. The primary compartment area of the bag is large enough to fit most average sized articles of clothing, along with other additional electronic you must take with you. However, be careful not to overpack to backpack as it could damage the straps over time. Even with this minor hiccup, don’t let it scare you away from purchasing the bag. It will serve you well when you need it and remains a popular option for travelers in need of a bag with style and ease of wear.
Here is another best backpack for traveling that can be a good fit for you, so take a look at Ibagbar Canvas Backpack Travel Bag Review.
- Can carry up to 38 liters of items
- Will comply with most airline carry-on stipulations
- Can be compressed to reduce size if needed
- Several options of colors to choose from
- Not recommended for extended backpacking trips or camping
- May become damaged if excess weight in added to the bag
- Not very functional as a backpacking bag
- Some customers have reported experiencing issues with wear and tear on this carry-on bag
Osprey Farpoint 55 Travel Backpack
The Osprey Farpoint 55 another bag that is designed for multiple uses. A fairly large compartment within the primary holding area and a smaller backpack is featured, of which can be zippled out or in quickly.
Another great feature to notice is the expertly designed straps. When they are tucked away, the bag gives off the resemblance of a small duffle bag. While these straps do a swell job at altering the size and shape of the bag itself, being that there are about 10 different straps to adjust for such an endeavour could be somewhat annoying for someone that needs to quickly get things larger, smaller, or more secured. Loose straps also tend to get cut easily, particularly when that are several of them that must be secured from becoming too loose.
With a carrying capacity of about 55 liters total, the Farpoint is large enough to hold enough items for about two weeks, depending on how the bag is adjusted. It shines better when being used as a carry on item, especially the daypack. In this regard, the backpack could be used for two people that do not mind keeping their travel luggage light and easy to pick up and go. Osprey Men’s Atmos 65 AG Backpacks is another good solution. When you must carry the bag on your shoulders, it won’t add too much strain but be careful to not overpack as the shape is not one that some backpackers have become accustomed with overall. Still, the Osprey Farpoint makes great strides in helping the user keep thing simple, organized, and protected during any travel outside the home.
If you prefer bigger packs, Osprey Packs Fairview 70 can be the right choice. It truly is one of the best backpacks around.
- The backpack is versatile and able to fit most body types
- Lots of sizing options is a particular bag from the bag is not the right fit
- Has the ability to be converted to a duffle bag or backpack
- Has a separate detachable pack
- May cause sweating around the back after extended use
- No ventilation on the back portions of the bag
High Sierra Access Laptop Backpack
The High Sierra laptop Backpack is filled with tons options. The backpack comes with a compartment for holding laptops at sizes of 17 inches max. This backpack also includes an organization pocket on the inside. The inner compartments are great for writing utensils, smartphones, wallets, and other small items. There is even a holding area for your keys to go, so that they won’t scratch you in your pants pockets.
The bag offers padded shoulder straps that will fit with the shape of your body. A mesh area on the bag of the backpack, or the areas behind the shoulder straps, is breathable and will reduce sweat and moisture when it is being worn. This makes it suitable for you if residing or vacationing in an area that is humid and warm. The straps are also adjustable and can fit tall or short individuals.
Carrying laptops is done by nearly everyone who travels, regardless of if its a camping trip or a backpacking adventure to multiple country destinations. With this High Sierra product, the laptop holding area includes lots of padding around the side areas and the lower portion to ensure the great protection and security when it is being stored. High Sierra Tackle Laptop Backpack includes several interior pockets whereby you can place all of your accompanying wires, headphones, and cords.
- Manufactured using polyester material
- Offers lots of cushioning
- Can hold laptops that are 17 inches in width
- Has a pocket specifically made for smartphones or mp3 players
- Shoulder straps and extremely well made and easy to wear
- The padding can increase the weight of the entire backpack once items are places inside
KAUKKO Laptop, Travel, Hiking And Camping Rucksack Pack
KAUKKO backpacks are popular among high school and college students for many different reasons. It is functional, with large capacity and superb organization options. It is made from polyester material on the exterior and nylon stitching on the interior pieces. This backpack qualifies as an upscale bag that doubles by being reliable when carrying delicate items such as laptops and other sensitive products. Not every bag offers great looks and comfortable wear at the same time. This will remain an in demand bag for these reasons for a very long time. It also resistant to water damage and interior leakage. Scratches and bruises with be hard to made since it is also resistant to abrasions.
Additionally, you could also find the KAUKKO comfortable to carry on day trips such as hiking and short term camping. This is thanks to the padded shoulder straps that are length adjustable to accommodate the various needs according to the weight. You will love the smaller bag that comes with it, great for when you need to store office supplies or small pieces that you do not want to lose in the larger pockets. It’s listed as one of the Best Hiking Backpacks 2018, too.
Adjustable drawstrings are available on the front pockets. They allow the bag to remain secure by preventing items from falling off of the sides (items you could place on the sides). If you are a university or high school student in need of the best backpack that will not break easily from carrying heavy textbooks, the KAUKKO is a recommended choice for you.
- Has large pockets for fitting laptops of medium and above average sizes
- It water resistant
- Very stylish and looks well on both men and women
- The drawstring is made of cheap material
- Colors may fade overtime
Get the Best Backpack When You’re Ready
After looking over the following best backpacks and information relevant to choosing the best quality, your search should be considerably easier. Some of the brands listed could already be familiar to you. Regardless, remember that your comfort should be the overall deciding factor in your final choice. If you need additional colors, some of the backpacks like Herschel Little America Backpack can be acquired to match any particular clothing style you may want to display to your friends for an event. The eight bags that were shown are some of the best currently sold online at this time. There is sure to be one could suit your needs, no matter what venture you have planned when it arrives at your door.