Your passport to keeping everything you need on hand without weighing yourself down is so much more than just a throwback to your days spent in the classroom. Backpacks are stylish, sturdy and great for on-the-go organization, which makes packing streamlined and easy. Whether you’re hitting the open road, hiking to the summit or quenching your thirst for adventure, there’s a great backpack out there to meet your needs.
When shopping consider fit above all else. The best fitting backpack is sized appropriately for your torso length. It also provides a snug fit to your hips. It should also stand up to how you're intending to use it. For adventure, look for durable, water-resistant packs that can withstand your activities. For travel, you might prioritize additional storage pockets for your mobile devices and style that complements your look while exploring new destinations.
Best Overall: Osprey Farpoint 40
No matter if you’re going across town or across the country, Osprey’s Farpoint 40 backpack has the style and durability to get you where you’re going. It's sized for easy carry-on, while offering ample storage. It has a lockable laptop and tablet sleeve, zippered access to the main compartment with lockable sliders and a stowaway backpanel for a convenient combination of security and access. The padded handles add comfort. The integrated compression straps keep your belongings securely in place.
Best Value: SwissGear Travel Gear Lightweight Bungee Backpack
The low price point isn’t the only thing to get excited about when considering the SwissGear Travel Gear Lightweight Bungee Backpack. Its spacious main compartment has a pocket large enough to fit a 15-inch laptop. It also has an organizer pocket with space for a tablet, key fob, pens, smartphone and other accessories. It’s made of breathable fabric and features padded, ergonomically designed straps for carrying comfort. It also has reflective accents for enhanced safety.
Best for Traveling with Tech: Nomatic Backpack
Safeguard your mobile devices and valuables with Nomatic Backpacks. This sleek backpack is water-resistant and versatile, with adjustable carrying options that let you seamlessly switch from backpack to briefcase. It features lockable exterior zippers and a concealed RFID blocking pocket in the back. Stay organized with individual pockets to stash your laptop, phone, tablet, charter, keys, water bottles and more.
Best for Weekend Adventures: Venture Pal 40L Lightweight Hiking Backpack
Proof that traveling light doesn’t have to mean sacrificing space, the Venture Pal 40L lightweight hiking backpack has ample storage, large capacity and a comfortable design. It's so compact that you can even fold the 0.7-pound bag up and into its own pocket for space-saving storage when you're not using it. Enjoy weekends hiking, camping and experiencing new thrills with this water-resistant pack available in multiple colors and designs.
Best for Cyclists: Timbuk2 Especial Medio Rally
Weatherproof, top-loading and designed with cyclists in mind, the Timbuk2 Especial Medio backpack combines durability, organization and safety in one comfortable pack. The tapered design lets bikers easily glance over their shoulders while reflective paneling enhances visibility. Plenty of pockets and ample open storage space makes this a great option for cycling to work or cycling long distances.
Best for Carrying On: AmazonBasics Carry On Travel Backpack
With more than 500 five-star ratings, it’s clear that the AmazonBasics Carry On Travel Backpack has a reputation for delivering a balance of ample room for packing with the space efficiency that frequent travelers need. It's flexible, lightweight and designed to meet carry-on requirements. Three exterior handles make it easy to lift in and out of overhead compartments or carry the bag using the side handle instead of putting it on your back. It boasts multiple compartments, including a zippered front pocket perfect for passports, itineraries and boarding passes.
Best for Photographers: Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW Camera Backpack
Trekking cross-country or across the city can be nerve wracking without the right pack to protect your gear. The Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW Camera Backpack can fit up to two professional DSLR cameras, lenses, accessories, a tripod and a 15-inch laptop. It can also fit a DJI Mavic Pro drone for photographers who enjoy aerial shots. It offers four points of access, modular accessories and dividers for a secure fit for all your gear.
Best for Camping Adventures: Teton Sports Scout 3400 Backpack
Camping requires more gear than a daytrip does. And that means you need a bigger pack that can accommodate all you need without weighing you down too much to enjoy the journey. The Teton Sports Scout 3400 backpack has more than 1,400 five-star reviews. This durable internal frame pack has a padded, breathable back panel and adjustable straps for comfort. It's sized with ample room and features a separate compartment for your sleeping bag. Exterior pockets make it easy to organize smaller accessories while the bungee storage area provides secure, easy-access areas for things like jackets.
Best for Fishing: Wild River by CLC Tackle Tek Nomad Lighted Backpack
Anglers need to bring their tackle whether they’re hiking to their favorite fishing hole or driving directly there. The Wild River by CLC Tackle Tek Nomad lighted backpack makes it easy to do just that. The lower storage compartment fits up to four medium trays and the front pocket folds down to provide a work surface before or after you cast. Built-in LED lighting lets you see what you're doing no matter what time you decide to hit the waterway. Other handy extras include a molded sunglasses compartment, four side pockets and a rain cover for added protection.
Best Leather: Kenneth Cole Reaction Back-Stage Access Backpack
Do you prefer something in leather? Consider the Kenneth Cole Reaction Back-Stage Access backpack for your next quick trip or urban exploration. Made of durable Colombian leather, this backpack is sleek and it ages well. The professional appearance makes it equally appropriate for business or personal travel. It's TSA-approved with a checkpoint friendly EZ-scan feature that eliminates the need to take your laptop out while going through security. The fully lined interior includes an RFID protection pocket, laptop pocket big enough to accommodate laptops up to 16 inches and slim construction.