As a solo traveller, your travel rucksack is more or less your only companion. It’s been beside (or behind haha lol, sorry) you through all the hustling, road confusion, food crawl, couchsurfing, beach bumming, and mountain climbing. Friends come and go, but your backpack remains. And, well, who needs friends when you have the best outdoor backpack, amirite?
Through my years of backpacking, I’ve tried many a-backpacks. Today, I’d like to share with you the best backpacking backpacks for any occasion: for backpacking Europe, for versatility, as a carry on, for a day trip, for hiking, for when you’re too tired to carry your backpack on your back and want a travel backpack with wheels, for wet water-heavy adventures, for when you want an overall lightweight backpack, and the best travel backpack for women. Let’s get packing, mofo’s!
The Best Outdoor Backpack for any Occasion
Best Versatile Backpack: THE WAYKS
Spearheading my best travel backpack list is WAYKS. It’s a lovely Berlin-based independent brand that’s dedicated to innovative, modular travel gear. Offering one of the best backpacking backpacks with their travel bundle, day pack, compression packing cubes, rain luggage covers, cube bags, mat straps, and cube inlays, it’s easy to guess why WAYKS ONE stole my heart and fell into my best versatile category. The sibling-run brand has created this awesome adjustable system where you can fit your stuff from seven to 37 litres, making it a no-brainer choice for when you the travel bug bites. The best part? The WAYKS ONE is socially-aware and made from recycled materials!
Best for Day Trips: Aevor Trip Pack
Looking for a small travel backpack for a day trip? Fret not, Aevor Trip Pack Black Eclipse is all you need and possibly the best travel daypack. May it be in the city, on an island, at a mountain or far far beyond, Aevor is a solid and sustainable option you won’t regret. It’s an expandable backpack that can go from 26 to 33 litres, making enough space for a 15-inch laptop, camera, and other non-negotiable items for the modern day-tripper. What’s more, the Trip Pack Black Eclipse is water-repellent, made up of 50 percent PET recycled fabrics, has a rolltop system and a circulating zipper at the back for an easy but secured access to your valuables.
Best Hiking Backpack: Fjällräven Abisko Hike 35
Hiking anytime soon? Fjällräven Abisko Hike 35 is a lovely option to keep you good company to the summit. Fjällräven promises functional, durable, and timeless products, which the lightweight and flexible Abisko Hike 35 definitely is. Available in five colours, Abisko Hike 35 is made of recycled polyester and organic cotton. Features include a top lid closure with expandable compartments, an extra zipper opening on the side, padded shoulder straps, and hip belt, to name a few. The bag is also compact and can be folded flat and packed in a larger suitcase for longer trips, making it one of the best hiking backpacks out there.
Best travel backpack carry on: Osprey Farpoint 40
Osprey is a widely-known brand that needs no introduction, but let me tell you why this brand represents the best carry on category anyway. The Osprey Travel Backpack Farpoint 40 gives all the conveniences of a suitcase without breaking your back. It is lightweight, has a detachable shoulder pad, a padded laptop and tablet sleeve, a mesh ventilated back panel, and lockable zips for extra security, among other great features. This is the best travel backpack for women as it is specifically designed with the female body in mind. Durable as hell, and also vegan.
Best Waterproof Backpack: The North Face Peckham
Another no-brainer entry for great backpack bags for travel is The North Face Peckham, especially great when you’re planning a beach trip, a water-heavy adventure, or when inadvertently hitting monsoon – oops. Peckham Backpack has a padded slot for a 13-inch laptop to keep your holy grail safe and sound through hell and back. It features spacious compartments, and a roll-top closure armed with nine hooks.
Best Travel Backpack with Wheels: Osprey Sojourn 60
Even carrying the best outdoor backpack can be a tiring drill to take, especially for long-term travellers who like big backpacks (and cannot lie) or anyone with back problems. That doesn’t have to be a problem now that Osprey brought a wheeled backpack in the market: behold the Osprey Sojourn 60. It can be easily transformed from a backpack to a suitcase and vice versa, with wheels tough enough to brave any rough surfaces. Sojourn 60 is also equipped with a handy emergency whistle, sternum strap, removable harness, hip belt, easy access zippers, and partitions for a seamless wheeled backpack experience. If well taken care of, Osprey Sojourn 60 will last you for years and years – it’s a beast.
Best Lightweight: Cabin Zero
Of course, this whole best outdoor backpack list wouldn’t be complete without the ever so lightweight Cabin Zero. This baby is feather-light. The team at Cabin Zero believes that your luggage shouldn’t be a hassle during your travel, and for that, they created a backpack that’s meant to be sturdy and comfy. With Cabin Zero, you can choose from their wide array of backpacks such as ADV Dry, Classic Pro, Hip Packs, and Sidekicks.