September 24, 2023

Best travel backpack 2021: Osprey to Samsonite

The best travel backpack is an ideal way to get out into the world on…

Best travel backpack 2021: Osprey to Samsonite

The best travel backpack is an ideal way to get out into the world on an adventure, where you can go anywhere with everything you need strapped to your back. But you don’t have to be planning to trek up a mountain or wade through jungle river to use a backpack. These are great travel options for any trip.

From a business trip to a family holiday, the best travel backpack lets you travel while keeping your hands free. That makes them ideal for public transport, hiking and jumping between flights. Some travel backpacks will offer waterproofing and most come with intelligent back support to help spread the heavier loads evenly. They’re also far less bulky than suitcases, making them lighter, less likely to be damaged and easier to fit in luggage storage areas. They may even work out more affordable.

What is the best type of travel backpack?

The main variation in travel backpack types is the opening style. You have the more traditional top-opening option but there are also zip-open models which can fully lift from the side, like a lid on a suitcase. The former is great for quickly loading and emptying, while the latter is ideal if you’re travelling and want to dip in and out of your case, getting access to items at the bottom as easily as those at the top.

Adjustable backpacks are pretty standard but some have more adjustment options than others. You may want to look out for this if you’re going to be walking long distances and need maximum comfort and intelligent load distribution.

What should you look for when buying a travel backpack?


That top- or side-loading access is important. You may pay a little more for side loading but it means your life will be easier if you’re planning to live out of the pack for a longer, multi-location trip.


Having lots of pockets can be a great feature which means quick and easy access to things like wallet, passport, sun cream, hats, shoes and so on, without having to dive into the backpack or, in many cases, even having to take it off.


While backpacks can be lighter than cases, they vary in weight. If you’re only wearing it minimally, a heavier and more pricey option might be fine. But if you’re walking long distances you’ll want to keep this weight as low as possible.

Material type

Variations in material type mean different levels of protection for your kit. Some offer waterproofing, while others have tougher outers to avoid damage. Some will use more flexible materials leading to greater comfort than others.

What’s the best travel backpack you can buy online?