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When it comes to travel, fashion and functionality seldom meet. A traveler’s backpack is more than just a fashion statement—for many, it’s a lifeline providing them with food, water, clothes, and sometimes even shelter. So, while your new life-saving backpack might clash with your beach poncho, it may be a sacrifice that you have to make. These are a few of what we consider to be the best travel backpacks on the market—they will see you through a beach vacation in Rio or a trek through the jungle of the Congo.
This tasteful backpack is perfect for both low-impact urban travel and heavier backpacking. It is the maximum carry-on size and is front-loading. This means it opens up like a clam, giving you equal access to everything without having to rummage to find small items such as your toothbrush or ultra-thin wallet.
This carry-on promises to pack like a suitcase and carry like a backpack—which makes it a great bag for travel. It has tons of pockets throughout the design; you can even hide the backpack straps in their own pocket while stowing it in the overhead bin. If you love the accessories on this backpack but find it a bit cumbersome, it’s also available in a more compact, junior size.
Waterproof material makes this backpack incredibly lightweight and perfect for quick overnight trips. Though it appears small, it can fit around 33 liters of essential items. It’s also collapsible, folding down to nothing more than a pocket-sized bag. Though it lacks structure and padding, this means you can really fill it to the brim making it surprisingly sturdy.
Osprey is a very high-quality brand for intense activity backpacks and is especially popular with backpackers. The Porter 46 is a bit smaller than your average backpacker’s pack, but that makes it perfect for more casual travels.
For high-tech engineering, this backpack has managed to cram more packing features in it than any other backpack of its size. It will soothe your neuroticism with its amazing structure and a wonderfully weather-resistant exterior. Keep in mind that the price for this one is a bit steeper than others—but totally worth it!