The Best Travel Backpacks for Every Adventure

Like a tortoise and its shell, the backpack is an intrinsic part of any traveler’s armor. It ensures all the essentials are within arm’s reach. But with so many brands and models out there, choosing the right product can be a difficult task. From lightweight daypacks that you can sling over one shoulder to jumbo 60-liter hiking backpacks that you’ll need help strapping yourself into, the type of bag you pick depends on the vacation. Here are six of the best options that will have your back.


The Budget Backpack


When it comes to backpack brands, it doesn’t get more classic than Jansport. This Right Pack version is affordable, and features a surprisingly large main compartment, a secure laptop sleeve, and two front pockets for storing things like passports, wallets, phones, sunglasses, and other knickknacks. Plus, the suede bottom gives the bag plenty of collegiate style points.

The City Break Backpack


When you’re traveling in the city, the last thing you want is a huge, hefty bag to weigh you down. This compact, water-repellent backpack from Patagonia is attractive, slim, and features a padded inner compartment for your laptop. Bonus: It comes in a bright, vacation-ready hue.

The Hip Backpack


Made in America with tough nylon and leather, this Topo Designs backpack will withstand anything you put it through. You can carry a rolled-up jacket or blanket, even if the main compartment is filled, thanks to hiking pack details like exterior lash straps. Hip, yet built to last, it’s the choice for hikers who hike, and for those who just want to look like they do.  

The Waterproof Backpack


When the rain begins to pour — because vacations can’t always be perfect — it’s good to have the peace of mind that a waterproof bag offers. This tough, compact backpack from Chrome is an all-weather, waterproof cocoon that will shield your precious phone, laptop, and camera no matter the weather. With enough space to store a sweater and a jacket, as well as a camera and laptop, it’s a good piece to consider if you’re heading where rain is likely. 

The Hiking Backpack


On-the-go travelers who plan on living out of a bag for a week will appreciate the Osprey backpack. The newest version of a tried-and-tested model, this top-loading pack is designed to fit the contours of your body, offering comfort when wearing it for long periods. It also comes with an additional rain cover in the event of rainy weather.

The Rolling Backpack


Can’t decide between a compact wheeled suitcase and a versatile backpack? Why not choose a bag that serves as both? Perfect as a carry-on, this Jansport bag can play the part of rolling suitcase one moment and transform into a rugged daypack the next. It’s ideal for the airport, street, trail, beach, or all of the above.

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