5 of the best travel backpacks for global adventures


One of the most important things a backpacker can find is a great travel backpack. It holds all your gear, it’s with you almost all the time, and in some bizarre, anthropomorphic way, it’s your best friend. I still remember the feeling of coming back from my first solo backpacking trip, and walking around without a backpack. It felt wrong. Like something was missing.

Over the years, I’ve gone through packs like nobody’s business. I’ve never used the same pack for more than two trips, and no matter how many hours I spend either online or in the store, it seems like finding the right pack is always going to be a horrific ordeal.

Discomfort, poorly designed features, dangly straps, sizing issues, and all manner of nonsense have thwarted my path at every turn. It’s tough finding something that fits you properly, and I think, given the high user ratings of certain packs I hate, maybe I just have a bizarrely crooked spine and it’s not their fault.

But I refuse to let them get away with rant-free ease.

“Travel” packs barely exist

Part of the problem is that,

Ultimate Female Guide to Picking a Backpack

Bag_2So you’ve decided you want a backpack, but have no idea where to begin shopping for one. We at Her Packing List have compiled the ultimate post on how to pick the right backpack for you, with plenty of input from our fellow female travelers.

Choose Your Backpack Size

Picking what size backpack you want can be the hardest part of shopping for one. You need to have realistic expectations about how much you will want to pack and how long you will be gone.

If you go bigger than 65L, keep in mind that you won’t be able to carry it onto the plane. Some people swear by 30-35 liter backpacks because it prevents you from packing too much. Also consider what else you will be carrying, like a purse or day pack, to factor in the full weight.

Before you go further, there are a couple of posts you should read so you can think more clearly about backpack size:

  • I want to pack light, but I’m traveling for a year!
  • Confessions of a Chronic Overpacker

Minimalist Size, Up to 29L

These small bags are for people who seriously want

Choosing the Right Travel Backpack

1382507701C___fakepath__Packs13Picking the right backpack is an important part of any trip. Too big, and you’ll have too much extra weight. Too small, and you’ll never fit anything in. Pick the wrong material, and when it rains, your stuff will be soaked. There are so many options out there that it can be very confusing.

I spent a good hour picking out my first pack, and that was also after hours of online research and that research has paid off. My backpack has lasted me 8 years so far and is still looks and works just as good as it did the day I bought it. I have no plans to switch anytime soon.

I’ve tried, seen, and experienced many backpacks over the years I know what works. So in order to save you hours upon hours of research, I’m going to lay out all the good qualities a backpack has so when you find one that matches this criteria, you can simply purchase it knowing it’s amazing and going to last forever. There are many backpacks in the world and many, many places where you can purchase one.

What to Look for in a Good


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How to Choose the Best Travel Backpack for Women

Most travel gear is designed for men. But women need products made for them. For backpacks, you need a bag designed for your body. Male-centric solutions don’t always work.

What Size Travel Backpack Should Women Buy?

Travel backpacks for women should fit within airlines’ carry on guidelines. Most airlines allow carry on bags up to 22″ tall x 14″ wide x 9″ deep.

Use a carry on bag to make your trip easier and more efficient. You’ll be able to go straight to the security line at your departure airport then walk off your flight and out the door at your arrival airport. Don’t waste your time checking in or claiming your bags.

Carry on backpacks can also be kept with you at all times, so your luggage is never at the mercy of your airline.

Women’s travel backpacks should be smaller and lighter than the giant “backpacker” backpacks that can be as large as 80 liters. For comparison, a carry-on-sized backpack like the Tortuga Travel Backpack holds about 44 liters. Using this size of backpack means that you can maneuver through your trip faster without the physical strain caused by carrying too much stuff.

Prevent Back, Neck, and Shoulder Pain

Even though you won’t be spending

A Step by Step Guide Choose the Best Travel Backpack

Why travel with a backpack not a suitcase? The simple explanation can be summed up in one word: convenience.

Backpackers don’t stay at nice hotels with shuttle service to/from the airport. We get off the beaten path and that usually means there may not even be a path at all – literally. Imagine rolling a suitcase around on dirt roads, streets with gaping holes in the cement every few meters, and climbing up and down stairs at train stations lugging around a wheeled monster. It’s not pretty.

Carrying a travel backpack (and packing light) will help you hop skip and jump over anything. Just pick up and go! Keep reading and find out how to choose the best travel backpack.

Factors to Consider

  • Size
  • Panel Access
  • Features
  • Safety
  • Price

What Size to Choose


Traveling carry on isn’t just about saving money on baggage fees it’s also about packing light. Choosing a travel backpack that’s smaller helps you pack less which means you have less weight on your back and ultimately equates to one magic word: convenience.

No one wants to pick up a bag that’s bigger than them, is stuffed to the brim, and weighs 50lb/25kg. Not only is it a strain on your back and a pain to carry when you’re