Travel Backpacks

Travel backpacks come in all shapes and sizes, but for the most part, you want to pick a bag that works with your travel style. If you're an urbanite or are traveling with a companion, a smaller pack that carries like a messenger bag is probably right for you; if you're on the go constantly and need access to gear quickly, look into something like a convertible duffel-backpack hybrid; if you're going on a long trip, get a big hiking pack. Read on to learn more about the specific features that make up your ideal travel backpack!


Capacity is a measure of how much you can fit in your pack. You need to know how much capacity you need for any given trip to determine the best backpack size and if the bag meets your needs.

Are you carrying this bag on airplanes? If so, check with the airline's website or call them directly to find out whether they have a limit on the carry-on size and weight. Most airlines let travelers carry one personal item (like a purse or small backpack) plus one larger piece of luggage (like a duffel bag). If you'll be checking baggage, it's generally good practice to choose a smaller pack than you think will hold everything—that way, there won't be any chance of missing anything when it comes time for the TSA inspection at security.

How much do I want/need to carry? This should include not only what type of equipment or supplies are necessary for each day's activities but also how much water each person needs during travel time as well as overnight stays. Where am I going? The weather can impact which items are significant enough to warrant being packed inside rather than carried externally on trekking poles, straps around my waistline buckle system, etcetera.


The size of your backpack is a crucial factor to consider when choosing the right one. It affects everything from how much you can pack, to how comfortable it will be, and even how much you'll have to pay. The trick is finding a balance between these factors, so let's go over them one at a time: How much are you going to pack?

This is probably the most critical question because if you're planning on packing a lot into your bag, then there's really no point in buying an extra-small option. If your trip involves trekking through jungles or hiking up mountainsides for days at a time—and this includes carrying all of your gear—then don't skimp out; get something that can hold plenty of supplies without being too heavy. On the other hand, if most of what you need fits into small daypacks already (that way, they're easy to carry while sightseeing), maybe getting something bigger isn't worth it. 

Suspension system

The suspension system is a crucial part of any travel backpack. It's the part that holds everything in place, keeps you comfortable, and allows you to move around freely. If you're looking for a bag with an excellent suspension system, there are several things you should consider:

  • How does it fit your body?
  • Does it distribute weight evenly?
  • What is the balance of the backpack?
  • How does it feel when you are walking?
  • How does it feel when sitting down or riding a bicycle?


Several materials can be used to construct a travel backpack. Cotton, nylon, polyester, and canvas are the most common materials. Each has its unique benefits.

  • Cotton is comfortable and breathable but not very durable or water-resistant. It does not tolerate extreme temperatures well either; it will shrink if exposed to high heat for too long and hold moisture when wet.
  • Nylon is durable and water-resistant but can become stiff in cold weather (you'll need to store your backpack somewhere warm before using it). It also doesn't breathe well, so you may end up feeling sweaty if you're hiking in hot weather with a nylon backpack on your back all day long!
  • Polyester has good durability and is lightweight, making it easier on your shoulders when walking around town all day long! The downfall is that it doesn't do much against rain, so keep that in mind if you plan to visit rainy destinations during summertime. You might want something else instead of canvas material since they're both made out of cotton fibers but have different properties due to their different manufacturing techniques."


You need to consider how many pockets you need and what kind of pockets they should be. You'll have a lot of gear with you, so having a lot of easy-to-access pockets is vital. If your backpack has a zippered pocket or two, great! But if it doesn't, consider where those locations are (i.e., making sure that the bottom of the bag is accessible when taking off and putting on).

If possible, look for bags with padded laptop sleeves inside—they're essential for keeping your laptop protected from bumps along the way. This also means checking whether it fits in as one big compartment or if there are multiple compartments within which your computer could fit snugly (but not too snugly). You may also want to consider packing cubes that help organize everything else inside so nothing gets lost in a sea of clothes and toiletries.

Laptop carry

A laptop compartment is a separate, padded compartment intended to hold a laptop. Some backpacks also have a small tablet or e-reader pocket, but it's generally best to keep these items in the main compartment of your bag if you're using one at all.

Some backpacks offer removable or externally accessible laptop sleeves, which means you can easily remove your computer from the pack without opening up all of its compartments. This can be useful for security reasons—if you're worried about theft and don't want anyone getting into any other part of your bag while on the move, this may be an option worth considering. A removable sleeve will also allow you to easily clean off dirt and debris around the zipper when opening and closing it daily.

Buckles and zippers

When you're shopping for a backpack, make sure to check out the zippers and buckles. A solid but easy-to-use zipper should be on your main compartment and any side pockets accessible from the outside. The buckles should also be sturdy and have some locking mechanism so nothing can come open accidentally while you're walking, hiking, or biking!

There are many aspects of a travel backpack to take into account.

Having the right backpack will make your trip go much more smoothly. There are many aspects of a travel backpack to consider, and they're not all obvious at first glance.

Before you start looking for a bag, consider the following questions:

  • What are you using it for? Are you backpacking through Europe or carrying around just enough for your commute? Does it need to hold camera or work equipment?
  • How often will you be using this bag, and where? Are there any places that might be particularly challenging for this type of pack (i.e., are there many stairs, or do streets have uneven pavement)?

We hope this guide has helped you determine which travel bag best suits your needs. In addition to the information we've covered, many other aspects can influence your decision. Ultimately, the right backpack is one that fits all of your needs without sacrificing comfort or safety—and, more importantly, if it makes you feel like traveling! Happy hunting!