The Best Travel Backpacks 2024 | Best Travel Backpack for Women

Packing is the hardest part about being a travel enthusiast. The planning, the itineraries, the actual time spent traveling –  all of that is enjoyable. But packing? It’s hard.

The problem is you’re trying to fit the maximum amount of clothes, toiletries, shoes, and other travel accessories in a very limited space. On top of that, your luggage often has to pull triple duty as your safe and closet and be easy to tote around through airports, city streets, gravel paths, and more.

So that’s why I’m obsessed with the effectiveness and economy of a great travel backpack. Utilized properly, a great backpack will help make your trip as enjoyable as possible. It helps you bring that little bit extra that might not fit in your suitcase and doubles as a day bag option for those longer days of exploring. If you’re looking to find the best travel backpack for your trip, this guide is for you!

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Kim's Best Travel Backpack Recommendation

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Benefits of a Great Travel Backpack

Look y’all – this doesn’t need to be too complicated. A great travel backpack is the best because its hands-free. Not only can you carry more than you can in a purse or belt bag, but you can carry it in comfort. And you can even find a stylish one, too, like one of the packs that I’ve highlighted below.

Beyond convenience, backpacks also help you make more of your travel plans by allowing you to prepare for more time spent away from your hotel. You can handle more types of situations, all while maintaining comfort and durability. That’s what makes the best travel backpack!

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Things to Consider When Choosing the Right Travel Backpack

There are so many factors that go into which backpack is going to be the best travel backpack for you. Here are a few areas you may want to consider when looking at your options:

The Best Travel Backpack for Women Depends on the Destination

Since we’re focusing on backpacks for women, you really need to consider the destination and where you’re going to be traveling. It has a huge impact on the type of backpack you’ll need. Tropical destinations, beach destinations, cold weather destinations, and mountainous destinations – all will require different specs to make your backpack the best choice.

You might need a backpack that’s water-resistant and has extra straps and buckles for additional support, or you might need one that’s more lightweight and perfect for a quick weekend getaway.

Domestic vs. International Travel

Domestic travel usually means shorter flight times and more access to familiar resources. International travel means longer flights and more unfamiliar places, meaning you might need to bring additional items, such as travel pillows, blankets (I recommend using a scarf that doubles as an accessory), and plug adapters. So whether you’re staying in the country or going abroad, you’ll want to choose a backpack that will fit your needs for space, durability, and compatibility.

Travel Backpacks & Carry-Ons

Most people are looking at travel backpacks as a secondary piece of luggage that will also work as their carry-on bag. If that’s the case for you, then you’ll need to choose a backpack that will easily fit into the overhead bin or under the seat when flying. If you typically also carry a purse with you, make sure that it can fit inside your travel backpack just in case you need to consolidate your carry-on items.

Waterproof & Laptop Safety Features

Last but not least, you need to make sure that your travel backpack is going to keep all of your precious contents safe – in any condition. That means being able to securely store your tech and keep it dry when it rains or when you’re traveling through wetter conditions. If you’re worried about theft, look for one with a securable zipper for the laptop compartment.

A List of the Best Travel Backpacks 2024

We’ve done our own research to find the best travel backpack overall. I’ve personally tried dozens of travel backpacks in dozens of locales and have my own list to recommend. But I wanted to make sure I include all the other recommended travel gear out there in my ULTIMATE LIST so you can decide what’s best for you.

The Abundant Traveler’s Top Travel Backpacks 2024

These are backpacks that I’ve personally tried and traveled with, so I can recommend them with plenty of confidence.

PackHacker’s List of the Best Backpacks in 2024

  • Aer Travel Pack 3 (Best Travel Backpack Single Bag Travel)
  • GORUCK GR2 (40L) (Best Travel Backpack for Outdoors)
  • Peak Design Travel Backpack 30L (Best Travel Backpack for Photographers)
  • TOM BIHN Synik 30 (Best Travel Backpack for Organization)
  • Tortuga Travel Backpack 30L (Best Travel Backpack for Suitcase-like Travel)
  • TOM BIHN Techonaut 30 (Most Versatile Travel Backpack)
  • ULA Equipment Dragonfly (Best Travel Backpack for Lightweight Day Traveling)
  • Osprey Farpoint 40 (Best Travel Backpack for Budget Conscious)
  • Minaal Carry-On 3.0 Bag (Best Travel Backpack for Business Travel)
  • EVERGOODS Civic Travel Bag 35L (CTB35) (Best Travel Backpack for Carrying Comfort)
  • Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 40L (Best Travel Backpack with Built-In Packing Cubes)
  • Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack (Best Travel Backpack for Style)

Read more about PackHacker’s list here.

GearJunkie’s Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L (Best Overall Travel Backpack) 
  • JanSport Journey Pack (Best Budget Travel Backpack) 
  • Osprey Farpoint & Fairview 40 Travel Packs (Best Carrying Travel Backpack) 
  • Matador SEG45 Travel Pack (Best Organization in a Travel Backpack) 
  • Patagonia Black Hole MLC 45L (Best Shoulder Bag) 
  • Evergoods Civic Panel Loader 24L (Best Commuter-Style Travel Backpack) 
  • TimBuk2 Never Check Expandable Backpack (Best Personal Item Travel Pack)

Read more about GearJunkie’s list here.

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NYTimes.com’s Best Carryon Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack (Best for Small Carry-On Bag for Most Situations) 
  • Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L (Best Large Carry-On Bag for Most Situations) 
  • Patagonia Black Hole MLC 45L (Best Carry-On for Mobile Office) 
  • Osprey Farpoint 40 and Fairview 40 (Best Carry-On for Lots of Walking)
  • Tortuga Travel Backpack Pro 40L (Best Carry-On for Maximum Space)

Read more about NYTimes.com’s list here.

The Best Travel Backpack for Women

Now that we’ve seen what some of the most reputable experts out there recommend, let’s pull it all together. Luckily, there are some obvious standouts for the best travel backpack for women.

Best Travel Backpack by Category

This is the ultimate travel buddy. This lightweight backpack is perfect for all your adventures! It’s flat and fits snugly into its own zipper pouch, making it easy to pack in your larger bags, and great for those spontaneous moments when you need an extra bag while on a trip.

One of my favorite features is the double-zip entry to get into the main compartment for quick access to your travel essentials. I also love the straps – they’re so comfortable during longer trips. Plus, the “add-a-bag” strap allows you to attach it to your luggage as you dash through the airport.

This backpack is stylish and functional – you can really take it anywhere. I tend to use it more on business trips or vacations where I’m going to be doing more “work” than exploration. It has all the modern conveniences, including a padded laptop or tablet sleeve and built-in organization for all your essentials, like pens, headphones, chargers, and more. The adjustable comfort straps make it a breeze to carry through airports, city streets, and beyond.

There’s also a security pocket for your valuables. This backpack is treated with an H2O guard for added moisture resistance, keeping your belongings safe and dry.

If you’re ever concerned about safety when you travel and want to keep your belongings safe, this is the best travel backpack for you. It has slash-resistant panels, a double-cable cut-resistant strap, locking zippers, and RFID protection. There’s no way anyone is getting in there and getting your stuff! In a lot of ways, it’s over-engineered for safety, which I love.

Crafted from lightweight, water-resistant material, this backpack is perfect for any weather. For tech-savvy travelers, the backpack includes a grommeted opening for charging and headphone cords, keeping you connected on the go.

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If I had to pick a bag that was my overall go-to travel backpack, it would be this Samsonite one. Seriously, I take it with me on pretty much every trip! It’s big enough to fit most laptops up to 15” but is still light enough to carry around and not strain my back too much. It has several pockets for organizing and is made of water-resistant fabric to keep your tech and belongings safe.

For the plane, you can throw your carry-on items in here, plus some spare clothing, just in case something happens to your checked bag. For day trips, you can fit what you need for the day, some water and snacks, and still have room to bring back souvenirs. That’s why I think this one is the best travel backpack!

Have You Found the Best Travel Backpack for You?

Now that you’ve seen all of the lists and I’ve shared my thoughts, I hope you can feel confident in finding the best travel backpack for you and your adventures! Have you tried any other brands of backpacks that you’ve really loved? Let me know in the comments. I’m always looking for things that can help make my travels easier and more fun, that I can then recommend to traveler likes you!

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Looking for more travel tips and products to bring with you on your next trip? Check out my favorite travel products and some of my other posts on packing and preparing for a trip!

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