When it comes to the constant dilemma of carry-on suitcase vs. travel backpack, it all depends on your own preferences and travel essentials. Although we have to confess, we always tend to choose the backpack option, for the fact that we've found it to be the more practical choice of the two, particularly on budget airlines where you're more concerned with the weight of your luggage.
There's something so relieving about traveling with only one bag. All of your essential things are within arm's reach, and it requires you to cut out many of life's seemingly-necessary user products that you can probably exist without. With just one bag, you effortlessly hop from location to location, always having just enough, but never too much.
Picking the excellent travel backpack for one-bag travel can be a challenging endeavor. There are several brands and models to choose from with different levels of durability, style, and cost. Whether you're a new traveler preparing for your first trip or a long-time adventurer that wants an upgrade of their backpacks, it's crucial to have the best travel backpack that works for you. Here are five durable and sleek backpack options that will have your back (literally) on your next voyage.
1. Best Style: Standard Luggage Co. Flight Approved Backpack Travel Bag
If you're going for the practical and minimalist look, the ultra-functional 35L Flight Approved Backpack by Standard Luggage Co. is worth considering. The elegant black backpack has a touch of burnt-orange accents on the handles and zippers and with a carrying capacity of 35 to 45 liters (thanks to its expandable zipper). The carry-on backpack is beautifully designed with hideable shoulder straps so it can also be used as a suitcase or shoulder bag. Unlike regular backpacks that unzip from the top, it has a clamshell luggage design and a padded, removable laptop sleeve. This water-resistant bag also comes with a lot of other features like a built-in safety whistle, compression straps, two exterior zipped pouches, and padded carry handles.
2. Best for Business: eBags TLS Professional Weekender
For a bag that carries all your work essentials, as well as some clothes for a few days, the eBags TLS Professional Weekender fills the bill. The Weekender is as roomy as it can be for a carry-on backpack. It has a size of 21 x 14 x 8 inches and thanks to an organizational panel with pockets, laptop and tablet sleeves, and a bottle pocket. With its several pockets and features, yet it still has an elegant look and even substitutes as a briefcase. Plus, the TSA-friendly bag flips open for easy screening through security without having to remove your laptop.
3. Best for Comfort: Herschel Little America Backpack
Travel with ease with Herschel's iconic Little America Backpack. It offers a pain-free trip experience, even during long, international travels for its mesh padding and contoured shoulder straps. The 19 x 12 x 6.5-inch lightweight backpack is also exceptionally spacious, with a media pocket for gadgets, laptop sleeves that fit most 15-inch laptops, and a 25L main compartment - roomy enough for an overnight or mountaineering tours. Plus, magnetic snap and drawstring closures help keep your things safe.
4. Best for Adventure: Osprey Porter Travel Duffel 30
Fearless travelers will be well-prepared for a fun outdoor adventure with the Osprey Porter 30 Travel backpack. Osprey is a famous brand with numerous travelers because of the space their bags offer. Yet at 20 x 13 x 12 inches and 2.8 pounds, the Porter Duffel 30 falls under carry-on regulations. A gear hip belt helps lessen the heft, and locks on the front panel keep your belongings guarded. The carry-on backpack is produced of sturdy, lightweight fabric and is perfect for travels up to two weeks - however, buying some packing cubes would be a great plan to save space.
5. Best for Storage: Oakley Kitchen Sink Backpack
Oakley's famous "Kitchen Sink" backpack is ideal for heavy travelers. The carry-on bag measures 8 x 14 x 20 inches and has unique features such as hooks for fastening keys or water jugs, as well as lots of pouches and pockets to store separate things. The Oakley seems stylish, yet is useful enough to carry most essential travel equipment (like laptops, speakers, tablets, snacks, and chargers) for a quick getaway while still fitting comfortably in the overhead bin. One product tester particularly loved "that the bottom of the bag can be unzippered to give you a ton more space."
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