The 25 Best Travel Backpacks

25 Best Travel Backpacks

Posted in GEAR GUIDES, STYLE By

You might have your everyday carry sorted out, but when hitting the road for summer travel, you’re going to need a worthy travel backpack. Going lightweight definitely works, especially when you reach for one of these travel backpacks we’ve listed here. There’s just something about being able to grab and go with all your gear in one convenient and easy-to-reach spot, be it stylish summer sneakers, a crisp henley, or a tough, durable leather wallet.

It goes without saying that the best travel backpacks also hold everything you might need for a quick trip, from camping to hiking to some urban exploration around a new city. And blending in stylishly and reliably with the gear you’ve got on your back also helps things along considerably — so you want a backpack that’s tough, well-built and made with neutral yet subtly stylish colors and detailing. It pays to invest in a piece that’s going to work hard for you as you travel around this summer, and keep working on through the rest of the year. Grab one of our picks for the best travel backpacks on the market, and prepare to hit the road.

Alchemy Equipment AEL008 Carry On

Alchemy Equipment AEL008 Carry On

Simple functionality, sleek style points and a heck of a lot of durability and practicality — that’s what you get with the Alchemy AEL008 Carry-On Backpack. Designed to rigorous specifications and built to meet the International Aviation Transport Association’s guidelines, it’s very nearly unlike any other bag on the market. It even features a suitcase-style main compartment, with more than enough space to fit everything you might need for a day’s work.

The bag also includes space for a 15-inch laptop, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of its carrying capacity. Its price tops $300, but for good reason. – Buy It

GoRuck GR2

GoRuck GR2

GoRuck makes no bones about its commitment to quality, excellent design and plenty of functionality for today’s modern traveller. The GoRuck GR2 fills the void in your everyday carry quite nicely, designed after Special Forces bags and featuring a somewhat incredible lifetime guarantee. However, when one looks at the specs on this bag — from the premium YKK zippers to the 1000 denier Cordura fabric construction, it’s clear that it can take just about anything. The brand says that this is one bag you could use to travel the world, and we’re willing to bet that they’re onto something. – Buy It

Hemiplanet Motion Ellipse

Hemiplanet Motion Ellipse

Heimplanet considers its bags as part of a larger package — that is, designed for motion, movement and whatever comes next in your line of work or your daily travels … or just your daily commute. The Motion Ellipse nearly perfects the art of a multi-purpose bag, featuring such handy touches as an elastic front layer and incredibly durable and innovative Diamond Ripstop Melange, made custom for the brand. That means the sum of this bag’s parts are about as good as it gets, and that includes enough space for your laptop and a reliable hydration carrying pocket. When one bag has so many standout features, it’s a wise purchase. – Buy It

AER Travel Pack

AER Travel Pack

Some bags are made for business, some are made for pleasure and others are made for both. The multi-functional AER Travel Pack moves seamlessly between one and the other, starting with a sleek, well-designed and durable heathered polyester exterior. The open-flat main compartment offers plenty of ease when it comes to packing up, and padded top and side handles make for quite the easy carry. The essentials are also taken care of — a laptop holder geared to fit a standard 15-inch computer should work quite nicely, and an expandable water bottle holder is another thoughtful design touch for the man on the go. – Buy It

Standard Pacific Goods Field Rucksack

Standard Pacific Goods Field Rucksack

The Field Rucksack, as Standard Pacific so aptly points out, defies its name as a bag fit for only the field. With its sleek design and sleeker looks, it can readily pair with any minimally designed ensemble — and that goes for travel or your daily commute. You’ll certainly want to bring it with you everywhere, what with its water-repellent nylon shell and striking design accents (touches of red and black are an eye-catching and functional way to access the larger main compartment). Waterproof zippers and a fleece-lined front tech pocket provide even more functionality than one might expect, and the agreeable price is but icing on the cake. – Buy It

Arc'Teryx Blade 28 Backpack

Arc’Teryx Blade 28 Backpack

Arc’Teryx is among a group of brands with a name that calls to mind premium quality and outdoor luxury — with plenty of tough, hard-wearing functionality to go around, of course. The 28 Backpack comes in three minimal and sleek color options, with durable specs for any adventure you can dream up this summer. The clamshell design of the main compartment offers easy access, and a plethora of pockets — including a front pocket and an internal sleeve compartment — make getting to your everyday carry easy, even in a bind. A handy security pocket is another unexpected touch — one that makes the Blade 28 Backpack worth every penny. – Buy It

Rocky Mountain Underground Core Adventure Travel Pack

Rocky Mountain Underground Core Adventure Travel Pack

When a bag has a name like the Adventure Travel Pack, you know it’s geared toward getting out and getting your hands dirty. That’s the way Rocky Mountain Underground designed its latest offering, available for an excellent sub-$200 price and with specs that offer you plenty of value. Able to fit in an airplane overhead compartment, all of the essentials are considered here, including the ability to carry it when skiing or snowboarding. Plus, the dual hydration system and built-in helmet holder are made for hours of use on the slopes. And when you’re off? The sleek black color blends in reliably well as you trek around town. – Buy It

The North Face Router Transit Backpack

The North Face Router Transit Backpack

If you’re already throwing on technically minded gear from The North Face for your next hike or trail ride, might as well complement the rest of your ensemble with a bag that can keep up — right? The Router Transit Backpack is such a bag, made with a lifetime guarantee and the brand’s largest carrying capacity for a backpack (41 liters). The Flexvent Back Panel offers a comfortable carry no matter where you go, while external and internal mesh pockets provide the strength to carry your essentials. This is one bag that’s the complete package, no matter where your travels take you. – Buy It

5.11 Rush72 Backpack

5.11 Rush72 Backpack

A positively beastly backpack with the ability to carry your gear safely through the harshest of conditions, the 5.11 Rush72 Backpack is the sort of tactical bag that every globetrotter should own — it’s that functional, and it’s that well-made.

Made from water-repellent nylon and geared toward carrying 72 hours worth of whatever essentials you might need, the Rush72 features a fleece-lined sunglasses pocket and such handy touches as an internal hydration compartment with hangers and toggles, plus dual-density foam shoulder straps for quite the comfortable carrying experience, no matter the conditions around you. Take it from us — we’d trust this bag to go anywhere. – Buy It

Oakley Kitchen Sink

Oakley Kitchen Sink

The Kitchen Sink Backpack is a remarkably apt name for a bag that’s got every last bit of functionality you might need — and then some on top of that. Able to fit up to a 17-inch laptop through its side-access pocket, the Kitchen Sink Backpack looks nearly bulletproof, featuring an abrasion-resistant bottom panel and a bottom shoe compartment for added carrying capacity. The nylon and polyester blend is also one that’s unique and ready for inclement conditions and a tough commute in equal measure. Priced at $225, it’s an affordable value for a bag that’s quite possibly the toughest bag you’ll own. – Buy It

AER Duffel Pack

AER Duffel Pack

For a grab-and-go bag that meets all of your needs — and then some — the AER Duffel Pack is absolutely the one to buy. Done up in a cool grey color with distinctive black zippers, it features a little bit of everything in terms of functional design. That is to say, it gives you both quick-access side compartments and a padded back compartment, plus a hard-wearing ballistic nylon exterior. It can even turn from a backpack into a duffel just using the strap and carrying configurations. It’ll provide you with plenty of opportunity to hit the road and explore — or just take on your commute in accessible, quick and durable style. – Buy It

Kletterwerks Flip Rucksack

Kletterwerks Flip Rucksack

USA-made construction meets tough nylon and the type of heritage design that only Kletterwerks can bring to life for the modern age. Based on classic alpine packs of old, the Flip Rucksack is a decidedly 21st-century take on the style, done up in sleek black and featuring a padded 15-inch laptop sleeve. It’s a modern blend of style with the sort of rugged specs that should work on your commute, on a day trip or on your next hike (might want to leave the laptop behind for that one). The heirloom leather label adds refinement that even the staunch outdoorsman will appreciate. – Buy It

Topo Designs Trip Pack

Topo Designs Trip Pack

The recognizable design and neat finishing touches of a Topo Designs bag are matched only by the durability and functionality that the brand uses in building them. It’s a small size that’s perfect for, well, day trips. And in addition to that, it features the premium touches characteristic of a Topo Designs bag. That is, a natural leather lash tab, an elastic sleeve and a Cordura fabric base for the ultimate in durability. It also works in conjunction with the brand’s Travel Bag thanks to integrated webbing loops — it’s those kind of touches that set Topo Designs apart. – Buy It

Mission Workshop Rambler Backpack

Mission Workshop Rambler Backpack

With Mission Rambler and products like the brand’s nearly essential Rambler Cargo Pack, you’re assuredly in control. Featuring more than a half-dozen color options for the style and design-minded guy, the Rambler provides you with a water-resistant main compartment for tough functionality. What’s more, it can be broken out in either roll-top mode or a flap-down set-up that goes just about anywhere you need to go. Like other Mission Workshop products, it’s designed to be used on the move; it should work seamlessly with other easy-to-use gear from the brand, too. All of this is to say that the Rambler Cargo Pack should be a new everyday carry go-to. – Buy It

Minaal Carry-On 2.0 Bag

Minaal Carry-On 2.0 Bag

Minaal is of the mindset that its bags shouldn’t slow you down — instead, the brand wants to help you move faster and go further — and that’s easy with pieces like the Carry-On 2.0 Backpack. Made with a mix of fabric and mesh pockets and featuring plenty of compatibility with the brand’s other essential, durable and tough everyday carry offerings, the Minaal Carry-On 2.0 offers you plenty of the durability and sleek style you need to get around on the daily — and it does it all at a fairly accessible price given the use you’ll get out of this bag. Heck, even the four-point load balancing system offers an added touch of hard-wearing style. – Buy It

Herschel Supply Co. Heritage Backpack

Herschel Supply Co. Heritage Backpack

One of the more recognizable backpacks on the market, this distinctive, functional and downright affordable backpack gets the job done when you’re on the go. Pebbled leather zipper pulls and the brand’s signature woven label complement the neutral black color, which has an urban vibe yet also works when out hiking the trails. It’s a reliable classic for just under $60, and it’s got space for up to a 15” laptop, plus an internal media pocket complete with a headphone port so you avoid tangling your headphones while biking, skating or dodging foot traffic heading into (or leaving) the city. – $60

Lexdray Copenhagen Pack

Lexdray Copenhagen Pack

By far the most premium and expensive backpack on this list, Lexdray steps up to the plate and delivers an ultra-durable, ultra-tough and ultra-minimal backpack. This piece incorporates weather-resistant fabric, military-grade hardware and seven exterior pockets that should be able to handle everything you can throw at ‘em. It comes complete with a removable waterproof cover, a fleece-lined notebook compartment with enough room for a 15” laptop, and a proprietary snap pocket system that adds another layer of functionality to the mix. The blend of rugged function and style lends itself to wearing out on hikes with a durable rain jacket, or with a classic Oxford and denim. – $395

Millican 25-Liter Smith Roll Pack

Millican 25-Liter Smith Roll Pack

Millican’s heritage has lent itself quite well to products like the Smith Roll Pack, which is built with the spirit of adventure in mind. It’s weatherproof and features Bionic Canvas, which strips away the excess to leave a minimal look and feel. It’s got a spacious front pocket and 25-liter carrying capacity, and also features internal iPad and phone pockets. On top of that, the padded laptop sleeve ensures you can go right from work to your hike seamlessly. Plus, padded shoulder straps help keep comfort top of mind, as does the air-mesh back panel. Add in a stylish Slate color, and you’re looking at a bag that can’t be beat. – $165

Topo Designs Rover Pack

Topo Designs Rover Pack

Topo Designs definitely knows how to make bags that go the distance, be it weekender bags or the Rover Pack, designed for speed, utility and function. This bag is made in the U.S.A., not far from the base of the Colorado Rockies, which you could feasibly climb with it in tow. Cordura fabric and premium YKK zippers contribute to a premium design, plus leather tabs up the style quota significantly. Your laptop is also safe in this backpack thanks to the inner sleeve, and the eye-catching red-and-blue color combo makes for a welcome bright spot when out hiking, climbing or strolling through the park. – $139

J.Crew Harwick Backpack

J.Crew Harwick Backpack

It might seem at first as if J. Crew isn’t quite qualified to deliver stylish backpacks, but its Harwick Backpack does all of that and more. The brand starts with a water-repellent nylon blend that’s accented by rich leather detailing for a nice contrast. The tan color should play nicely off any of your daily ensembles, be they simple and casual or more complex. An interior laptop pocket makes this one backpack you can take across the city for work, and then to your favorite coffee shop for a morning of weekend reading and writing. And given the durability of this backpack, you can take out for an afternoon hike, too. – $98

Topo Designs Mountain Daypack

Topo Designs Mountain Daypack

The normal functionality for which Topo Designs is known — which is top-notch to begin with — receives an even bigger update here in the form of military-grade nylon and all the other bells and whistles one would expect from this classic outdoors brand. A side water bottle pouch ensures you can stay hydrated while exploring, but the brand didn’t forget that a functional laptop sleeve is a necessary finishing touch. YKK zippers and heavy-duty plastic hardware complement the bag’s crisp, classic look nicely, and the silver colorway stands out subtly and stylishly, a good thing to keep in mind when taking your bag from the trail to town. – $189

Jack & Mulligan Miller Backpack

Jack & Mulligan Miller Backpack

Taking regular, everyday items and elevating them with clean, classic styling, great colors and premium accents is what Jack & Mulligan does best, so the brand’s Miller Backpack is a welcome part of its well-crafted product assortment. The leather top handle and embroidered front patch are two small design details that take this bag from good to great, and additional touches of functionality, like the exterior zipper pocket and padded interior laptop sleeve, help make it just as utilitarian as it is stylish. Like the other bags on this list, this piece packs in versatility in spades, meaning it’s a great fit now to wear with all manner of gear. – $125

Frank and Oak Leather Backpack

Frank & Oak Leather Backpack

For all those times when you don’t feel like lugging around a briefcase but still want to project refinement and a sleek, stylish air, reach for this crisp, remarkably handsome leather backpack. Crafted with refinement and function in mind, it’s but one of a series of pieces that Frank & Oak does so well. An interior tech pouch and padded laptop sleeve help provide plenty of room for your everyday carry essentials, and steel zipped hardware adds a durable-yet-stylish additional touch. The fully lined, cotton twill interior ensures that your gear stays put and stays in shape through the daily grind. – $255

Todd Snyder Billykirk Sport Zipper-Top Backpack

Todd Snyder Billykirk Sport Zipper-Top Backpack

While a fine leather bag is an essential part of every guy’s travel gear (or at least, should be), a durable Cordura nylon backpack sometimes just works. In a refined yet eye-catching burnt orange color and featuring contrasting white straps, this backpack would pair handsomely with a chambray shirt and dark denim for an afternoon of city exploring. The leather pull tabs finish the bag off stylishly, while two front exterior pockets give you enough space to store simple style essentials, like a well-made notebook and a slim laptop. It’s one backpack that would actually add to a stylish blazer during your work commute, too. – $138

Billy Reid Olive Backpack

Billy Reid Olive Backpack

Just as with luxurious and rugged (yet refined) style staples like its Bond Peacoat or its stellar shirting, Billy Reid delivers a stunning take on the classic backpack. Built from the ground up in America and featuring extremely premium and rich Cordovan leather straps, plus copper rivets that add an extra touch of durability, it’s an investment-worthy backpack that lasts and lasts. Despite the heritage styling inspiration, it still feels distinctly modern. Namely, it would be a fine addition to your everyday carry alongside a tan linen suit and leather wingtips — you can’t say that about many ordinary backpacks now, can you? – $695

Best Travel Backpacks

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