Best Travel Backpack 2020
Best Travel Backpack 2020-Choosing the best travel backpack is probably the most essential step in planning your trip. No matter if you’re planning on traveling long term or just going on a short vacation, your backpack will be “your home away from home”. Check out our Best Travel Backpack 2020 and buy your best one.So you definitely want to make sure you have a travel backpack that fits you well and doesn’t fall apart after the first use.Although there are plenty of wheeled baggage options, travelers who prefer the traditional route of carrying their carry-on luggage have a wide range of efficient backpacks to choose from.best laptop backpack 2020.
|Best Travel Backpack
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|Best Laptop Backpack For Travel
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Best Travel Backpack 2020-Comparison
As a newer version of Oakley’s popular, “Kitchen Sink” backpack, the Accessory is perfect for travelers who don’t pack light, but don’t want to check a bag. The “Accessory” measures 8 x 14 x 20 inches and has extra features such as hooks for attaching keys or water bottles, as well as plenty of pockets and pouches to store separate items. The Oakley looks stylish, yet is functional enough to carry most necessary gear (think laptops, speakers, tablets, snacks and chargers) for a short getaway while still fitting easily in the overhead bin. Amazon buyers felt that the bag was large enough for their needs, but not overwhelmingly so (as the title might imply).
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Swiss Gear is known for making reliable, long-lasting gear, and the SA1186 functions perfectly as a basic, affordable backpack that fits carry-on regulations. The sleek black backpack measures 17.5 x 11.5 x 7.5 inches and can be used for day-to-day activities, as well as airport travel. Bungee cords are attached to the front for easy access to items, but there’s also a water bottle holder, and separate interior pouch for a laptop. The bag has plenty of smaller pockets and compartments, and even when the backpack is entirely full the comfortable shoulder straps make it easy to carry around.
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If you prefer a hybrid backpack carry on, the Aoking backpack by Jollychick can give your back a break with the ability to roll the bag easily behind you. The backpack includes an anti-rust, retractable handle, foot rests and durable rubber wheels. When carrying the bag, there’s a breathable mesh backing and porthole for headphones – making trekking through the airport a little more comfortable. The backpack comes in a 20-inch and 22-inch size with loads of pockets and compartments both inside and outside, including slots for cell phones and wallets, plus loops to attach other items to the exterior. It is made of waterproof nylon in case of an unexpected rain shower.
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If you’re the type of traveler who is registered in Global Entry and knows the ins and outs of the TSA screening process like the back of your hand, then the Timbuk2 Uptown Laptop TSA-Friendly Backpack is for you. The design allows you to keep your laptop inside when going through security, so you can be on your way that much faster. The bag has a separate laptop compartment that fits up to a 17-inch MacBook Pro, as well as an iPad. Timbuk2 measures 19.7 x 8.7 x 11.4 inches and is stylish (choose from several color options) and versatile – take it to a meeting or out to lunch with friends. The shoulder straps and design make it comfortable and at just over two pounds, it’s lightweight. The Timbuk2 is great for short trips, but if you’re traveling for more than a few days you’ll need something larger.
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If you prefer a lighter carry-on bag, the Sumtree Lightweight Foldable Packable Backpack is the way to go. For starters, it packs a lot of gear for a daypack: when unfolded it measures 10.5 x 19.5 x 5.9 inches, but weighs less than a pound. There are side pouches for water bottles and an internal pouch that is ideal for a cell phone, headphones or other small items. Besides being lightweight, the main draw is that it can fold into itself to make a little pouch that measures 9.8 x 8.6 x 1.2 inches for easy storage. The bag comes in eight different color options, and is ideal for a quick weekend getaway. Be aware that most compressible daypacks lack padding (or they wouldn’t be able to compress), however, for added comfort, the shoulder straps on this bag are wider than most.
If you’re going for the efficient, minimalist look, the ultra-functional 35L Flight Approved Backpack by Standard Luggage Co. is worth considering. The unpretentious black backpack has a touch of burnt-orange accents on the handles and zippers and has a carrying capacity of 35 to 45 liters (with the expandable zipper). The bag is designed with concealable shoulder straps so it can also be used as a suitcase or shoulder bag. Unlike traditional backpacks that unzip from the top, it has a clamshell luggage design and a padded, removable laptop sleeve. Other features include a built-in safety whistle, compression straps, two exterior zipped pouches and padded carry handles. The bag is water-resistant.
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If you’re a traveler who loves gadgets, the Kensington Secure Track 17 ensures your electronics will be safe. The professional looking, lockable bag also features sturdy anti-theft zipper tracks. For those who have ever tried (unsuccessfully) to balance a carry-on bag on top of wheeled luggage, the Kensington has a brilliant, open-back feature that allows the user to slip the handle of a wheeled luggage into the backpack, thus connecting the two. The compartmentalized backpack has a separate area for a laptop, two different ways to open the main storage areas, as well as slots for keys, pens, credit cards, phones – you name it. The bag measures 13 x 8 x 19.5 inches.
Intrepid travelers will be well-prepared for an outdoor adventure with the Osprey Porter 30 Travel backpack. Osprey is a popular choice with frequent travelers because of the space it provides, yet at 20 x 13 x 8 inches and 2.5 pounds, it falls within carry-on regulations. A harness hip belt helps reduce the load, and locks on the front panel keep your valuables secure. Another handy feature is that the harness can be stowed away when not in use (so you don’t have to look like you’re climbing a mountain if you’re standing in line at Starbucks). The bag is made of sturdy, lightweight fabric and is ideal for trips up to two weeks, however purchasing some packing cubes would be a good idea to save space.
If you’re seeking a carry-on that can hold a lot of items, the Hynes Eagle has a near-flawless design that holds up to 40 liters of gear, but weighs just 2.4 pounds. One of the largest nuances of a backpack is having to dig to the bottom to recover items, but the Hynes Eagle Flight Approved bag has solved this issue by opening like a suitcase. The bag has a minimalist, clean look to it and comes in black, grey or purple. Four exterior compression straps allow you to adjust as needed to your height, and the middle compartment is padded to secure a laptop or tablet. A handy water bottle holder and interior slots make it easy to quickly access important items. The bag measures 20.1 x 12.4 x 9.8 inches, and some Amazon buyers noted that when completely full, the bag slightly exceeds carry-on dimensions. However, the compression straps can be adjusted to bring this back to carry-on requirements.
For a bag that holds all your business essentials, as well as some clothes for a few days, the Ebags TLS Professional Weekender fits the bill. At 21 x 14 x 8 inches, the Weekender is as spacious as it can be for a carry-on backpack – and yet it still has a professional look and even doubles as a briefcase. The Weekender flips open for easy screening through security without having to remove your laptop. Some Amazon users reported that the bag felt very large on their back, so it may not be ideal for smaller body types.
Whether using it in the office, for outdoor getaways, weekend trips or just day-to-day use, the I Street Backpack by Gregory is perfect for many occasions. The versatile backpack has a stylish messenger-bag front, woven rip-stop material and TPU coating for durability, so you can take it to the office followed by an outdoor adventure when the workday is done. The roll-top design and double-lined, water-resistant bottom are idea for hiking or canoeing, and the dedicated padded laptop and tablet sleeves make it a perfect carry-on bag when navigating through airport layovers. Padded shoulder straps and backing, as well as a waist strap help to relieve pressure – allowing you to carry more.
The Setout backpack is a great carry-on bag that zips open suitcase-style, which means you can arrive at your destination with neatly folded clothes, just as you packed them. The bag is oversized (but still meets airline carry-on requirements by measuring 22 x 14 x 9 inches) and is perfect for the savvy backpacker who has an eye for style.
The gray, weather-resistant backpack has injection molded foam padded shoulder straps, as well as highly cushioned, breathable mesh back support. If you maybe went a little overboard on packing, two detachable velcro waist buckles provide even extra support by transferring 80 percent of the bag’s weight to the hips and have zippered pockets that are ideal for a smartphone, wallet, boarding pass or passport.
There’s also a Neoprene sleeve on the side that can keep your water bottle secure. The outside zippered pouch is ideal for toiletries, while the two on the opposite side of the flap can store an extra pair of shoes, flip-flops or smaller items such…
For a bag that will help relieve pressure on your shoulders and back while protecting your gear, the Kenneth Cole Reaction Icy Hot is a top choice. Loaded with padding, the 18-inch expandable bag has two compartments, including a lined, padded pocket for up to a 17-inch laptop. The front exterior has small zipped pockets for cell phones, boarding passes, headphones and other must-have items, plus two holster pockets at the sides. There are also padded shoulder straps, a comfortable carrying handle with molded grip, as well as a breathable, mesh back. Made from sturdy polyester, the carry-on backpack is ideal for an overnight or to complement a checked bag for longer trips.
What is the best capacity for a travel backpack?
Personally, we are fans of 35 – 45-liter backpacks because you can use them as a carry-on on budget airlines. Also, they can easily be stored under your seat or in the overhead bins of buses and trains. A smaller travel backpack also forces you to take less stuff with you. If you get a bigger travel backpack, you will have a tendency to fill the empty space and carry around unnecessary things with you, which gets quickly tiring for your shoulders and back.
Don’t think you can fit all your stuff in a 45-liter travel backpack? Check out our ultimate packing list for backpackers for help on what to pack.
2.) Frame Size
After figuring out how many liters you want to carry, the next and very important step is finding a travel backpack that corresponds with your torso length and hip measurements.
To measure your torso length, find your C7 vertebrae (the boniest part at the base of your neck) and the top edge of your hipbones, then measure the distance between the two, and the number you get is your torso length.
If you don’t want to do this yourself, just visit any good camping/outdoors company and they will help you find your torso length. Based on your torso length you can decide which travel backpack size (ES, S, M, or L) is the perfect fit for you.
Here is a general size chart from REI:
- Pack size: Extra small = Torso length: Up to 15.5″
- Pack size: Small = Torso length: 16″ to 17.5″
- Pack size: Medium/Regular = Torso length: 18″ to 19.5″
- Pack size: Large/Tall = Torso length: 20″+
Please note that the sizes may vary slightly based on brand.
Front loading or top loading backpack?
Both, front loading and top loading backpacks, have their pros and cons. Neither one of them is necessarily better than the other, it’s really a matter of personal choice. We have traveled with both and prefer top loading over front loading backpacks but a lot of other travelers might disagree.
Front loading backpacks, also called panel loading backpacks, have a zipper that goes all around the front and open like a regular suitcase, making them easier to pack and unpack. The reason why we don’t like them is because they are usually shorter and bulkier than top loading backpacks and are more difficult to store under your seat or in the overhead bins on buses and trains. Since we travel a lot by public transportation in developing countries, a front loader simple wouldn’t work for us. Plus, front loading backpacks look very weird and unproportional on your body.
Top loading backpacks open at the top and sometimes on the bottom, depending on the bag. Getting stuff in and out is a little bit more difficult than with a front loading backpack but once you know how to pack your travel backpack properly it shouldn’t be a huge problem. We, for example, always pack the stuff we need the most near the top or bottom of the bag, and everything else goes in between. Top loading backpacks are also slimmer and taller than front loading backpacks.
What to look for in a good travel backpack?
No matter what size you choose or if front loading or top loading, your new travel backpack should definitely have the following features:
Padded shoulder straps: Good padded shoulder straps are essential to avoid bruising and to add comfort when carrying around your bag.
Padded hip strap: Good hip straps help you distribute your backpack’s weight more evenly and take away the pressure from your shoulders and back.
Back Cushion/Ventilation: A good travel backpack should have plenty of back cushion and allow air to move freely, keeping your back from sweating against your bag.
Sternum strap: This little mid-chest strap might not look like much, but it is essential for bringing your bag towards your body and stabilizing heavy loads.
Hip-belt pockets: Those extra pockets can come in handy for the smaller items you need more frequently like your passport, money, phone, etc.
Water-resistant material: Your new backpack probably won’t be 100% waterproof, but it should at least be semi-water-resistant for the times you suddenly get caught in a downpour.
Rain cover (tarp): Besides the backpack being semi-water-resistant I also strongly recommend you get one that has a rain cover. If your preferred backpack doesn’t come with a rain cover, you can always purchase one separately.
Compression straps: Compression straps help you tighten your backpack and distribute the weight more evenly.
Multiple compartments: Multiple compartments help you keep your things organized and allow for easier access.
Water bottle pockets: It’s not the end of the world if your bag doesn’t have water bottle pockets but I think they are a nice addition to any backpack.
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