Reddit’s 8 Best Travel Backpacks Are Awesome

Best travel backpack

Reddit’s 8 Best Travel Backpacks Are Awesome

Key Points

  • The right travel backpack can make all the difference in having a successful trip.
  • User reviews on Reddit provide honest feedback on travel backpack recommendations.
  • The Osprey Farpoint 40 is recommended for its comfort, storage, and ability to meet carry-on requirements.
  • The Thule Subterra is praised for its protection of valuables and organized packing cube.
  • The Peak Design Travel Line offers expandability and versatile storage options.

When the time comes and you’re looking to head out on your next adventure, choosing the right travel backpack can make all the difference.

If you’re looking to travel light and carry just the bare necessities, having the right travel backpack is key to having a successful trip. The good news is there are quite literally thousands of travel backpacks all vying for your money with the promise of storage, comfort, and reliability. 

To help cut through the noise, finding user reviews of backpacks through Reddit is a great way to see exactly how well a backpack has performed for others. Understanding if it can fit under an airplane seat or if it doesn’t distribute weight properly are the exact types of feedback you are looking for from anyone who has used a recommended travel backpack model. 

Let’s look at the 8 best travel backpacks recommended by Redditors for your next trip. 

Why Use Reddit for Travel Backpack Suggestions? 

While there is no shortage of online reviews for every backpack, including Amazon reviews as well as dozens of websites that cover backpacks, Reddit just feels more practical. You will be hard-pressed to find a more honest place for feedback on any travel backpack recommendations.

These travel backpacks have been put through their paces around the world, including a deep understanding of the exact sizes you need for various airlines in different world destinations. 

Between r/onebag, r/TravelHacks, r/digitalnomad, and more, there are plenty of Reddit resources to find recommendations for your next travel backpack. 

With that in mind, here are the best travel backpacks as recommended by Redditors as of August 2023. 

#1 Best Overall: Osprey Farpoint 40

Best Overall
Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack
  • Adjustable torso fit
  • External Gear Attachment loops
  • Padded top and side handles
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02/29/2024 03:26 pm GMT

Widely regarded as the best travel backpack around, the Osprey Farpoint 40 is a fantastic choice no matter where your next adventure will take you. 

The recommendations from this r/onebag thread are clear: the Farpoint 40 is full of opportunity with 40L of total storage. Osprey claims this bag is “built for adventure” and, by all accounts on Reddit, this is true, and it starts with its very comfortable adjustable harness. Ideal for an all-day fit, the padded shoulder straps are breathable while a sternum strap helps balance the weight and includes a whistle to get the attention of local transportation as an added bonus. 

For many travelers, meeting U.S.-based carry-on requirements is critical, and the Osprey is able to meet all domestic requirements while still fitting a 16-inch laptop. On top of laptop storage, internal zippered mesh pockets will help keep clothes organized and easy to find, while a front shove-it pocket enables quick access to priority items like a quick change of clothes or various toiletry items. 

Osprey has even gone as far as thinking through expanded storage by including external webbing straps so you can link a separately-purchased daypack down the road. 

Best for Protecting Valuables: Thule Subterra 

Best for Protecting Valuables
Thule Subterra Backpack 34L
  • 800D nylon
  • Imported
  • Cords are neatly managed between your device and your mobile charger in the internal power pocket
  • Easy access to contents through wide roll top opening with magnetic closure
  • Keep clothes organized while traveling thanks to removable packing cube
  • Protects your laptop (15" MacBook Pro or 15. 6" Pc) in the padded laptop sleeve with safe edge construction and secure flap closure
  • Access your laptop through the top-loading compartment or the side zipper
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02/29/2024 03:27 pm GMT

A standout name in the world of travel, the 34L Thule Subterra travel backpack is a terrific choice for protecting your items. 

As is the case with just about every Thule backpack, the 34L Subterra offers an excellently padded laptop space with Safe Edge construction and a secure flap for the top of the laptop. The front exterior pocket of the backpack is also built for various electronics including a mobile phone holder and tablet sleeve.

However, what this thread in r/TravelHacks liked most was just how well it handles going from city to city with everything you need. The inclusion of a dedicated packing cube makes it easy to store a few days’ worth of clothing in a neat and organized way. Once packed with clothing or other items, the packing cube drops into the magnetic roll-top opening, which provides quick access to any items in the packing cube. 

A zippered side access adds an entirely different storage area where you quickly access a coat or other items you need in a hurry. Last but not least, the 800D nylon material ensures plenty of longevity for the bag as well as solid comfort for years to come.

Best for Expandability: Peak Design Travel Line

Best for Expandability
Peak Design Travel Line Backpack 45L
  • Expandable 30-35-45L
  • Nylon lining
  • Magnetic closure
  • Hand wash only
  • Black
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02/29/2024 03:27 pm GMT

Another solid name in the travel backpack space, the Peak Design Travel Line is a great option with its expandable features. 

No matter what you are looking to carry on your next trip, this thread from r/digitalnomad showers the Peak Design Travel Line with praise. Redditors praise its available storage and expandability as well as fitting most U.S. carry-on requirements. 

Unsurprisingly, the Peak offers a dedicated laptop or tablet (up to 16 inches) space on the rear of the backpack for quick access. Outside of this stand-alone space, the rest of the backpack is ready to be filled. You can choose between its compressed state at 30L, normal state with 35L capacity, or expand the bag to handle up to 45L of items. 

Peak considers the max storage good enough for up to 4 days on the go with space for everything from water bottles, cameras, storage cubes, and even 2 hidden pockets for cash and a passport. 

North Face Router

Best for Everyday Use
The North Face Router 40L Backpack Meld Grey/TNF
  • Polyester
  • Nylon lining
  • Recycled/repurposed
  • Material: 210D recycled nylon ripstop, non-PFC DWR
  • Volume: 40L (2441cu in)
  • FlexVent suspension system shoulder straps
  • Removable waist belt
  • Black and gray
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02/29/2024 05:07 pm GMT

Considering North Face’s largest lifestyle pack, the North Face Router is an excellent 40L travel backpack perfect for everyday use. 

Certified by the American Chiropractic Association for its heightened levels of support and comfort, this thread from r/travel praises how the bag has never let its owners down. The bag’s highlights start with its stand-alone protective laptop compartment good for computers up to 17 inches, which is separated from the rest of the bag for protection. 

The capacity of 40L is more than enough to carry a few days’ worth of clothes inside its main compartment. There is even enough room for a book or two to help you get through long flights. Carrying the bag in an airport or on the go is easily achieved thanks to the padded shoulder straps, sternum straps, and removable waist belt. 

One bonus pocket offers fleece-lined protection for sunglasses, keys, or a phone and offers quick access on the go. 

Traveler woman plan and backpack  see airplane flight at the airport glass window, girl tourist happy hold bag and waiting luggage in hall airplane departure.  Business people trip and Travel Concept
Finding the right travel backpack can help you enjoy life on the road without worrying about additional luggage.

Hynes Eagle 38L

Best Budget-Friendly
Hynes Eagle Carry on Backpack 38L Large Travel Backpack
  • Flight approved
  • 15-inches
  • Black and gray
  • 3 pieces packing cubes set
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02/29/2024 05:07 pm GMT

Designed with women in mind, the Hynes Eagle 38L travel backpack is a great choice for those looking to stay with a budget-friendly price tag. 

Reddit showers praise on the Hynes Eagle in this r/onebag thread over its basic and budget-friendly approach to travel backpacking. Women, in particular, in the Reddit thread have praised Hynes Eagle engineering for its comfortable air mesh straps that help make the bag rest easy as on your shoulders. There has also been plenty of positive comments about how quickly the Hynes Eagle can convert into a weekender duffel bag for slightly longer adventures. 

Capable of fitting most carry-on requirements around the world, the Hynes Eagle offers a primary main compartment with tie-down straps. These straps help keep all of your clothing, toiletries, shoes, and other items from shifting around while you’re on the go. Hynes even provides 3 included packing cubes as an added bonus for putting all of your important items together so they are easy to find. 

A staple feature across all Hynes Eagle bags, the front zippered pocket provides quick access to priority items like a phone or passport. In addition, the dedicated laptop sleeve offers extra padding for increased peace of mind while also being able to fit ultra-slim 17-inch laptops. 

Thule Aion Backpack

Best Accessibility
Thule Aion Travel Backpack 40L
  • Made with bluesign-approved, 100% recycled polyester fabrics and a waxed canvas with a PFC free durable water-resistant coating
  • Expands from a 28L daypack to a 32L travel backpack for 15% more packable space
  • TPU divider helps keep items separated during travel, is easy to clean, and tucks away when not in use
  • Zippered top pocket keeps small items secure, organized, and within reach
  • Nutria color
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02/29/2024 05:23 pm GMT

It’s hardly surprising to see Thule appear twice on any best travel backpack list as the Thule Aion is another excellent choice from the well-known brand. 

Redditors on this r/onebag thread prioritized Thule’s orientation of the 16-inch laptop pocket for easy access and overall padding. While the bag is smaller overall with only 28L of capacity, the bag can actually expand to provide up to 32L of space, a 15% boost overall in storage capacity. 

The interior of the bag is mostly open, enabling you to fit any number of different items you will need while traveling. From clothes to shoes to toiletries, there is ample room to hold all of these things plus extras like phone chargers, books, and a tablet. 

Thule has even thought of everything and has made the Aion backpack compatible with the separately purchased Aion Sling Bag, which can double as a hip belt. Even if you opt out of the belt, a quick access pocket on the front of the backpack is perfect for a passport and phone while going through airport security. 

Cotopaxi Allpa 35L

Best for Reliability
Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack
  • Nylon lining
  • Zipper closure
  • Machine washable
  • Weight-distributing, low-profile harness system.
  • Carry-on-compatible 35L capacity
  • TPU-coated 1000D polyester, 840D ballistic nylon paneling
  • Suitcase-style, full-wrap zipper opening on the main compartment
  • Large zippered mesh compartment on the right side, subdivided zippered mesh compartment on the left side
  • Padded laptop and tablet sleeve with a shortcut zipper to the main compartment.
  • Top zippered pocket with security YKK zippers
  • Carabiner lash loops. Tuck-away straps. 4 reinforced grab handles
  • Included rain cover
  • 35L Size
  • New removable waist belt
  • Black
  • Tons of colors to choose from!
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02/29/2024 05:23 pm GMT

As the 5th most mentioned bag across the r/onebag subreddit, this thread highlights just how good the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L is as a travel backpack. 

Manufactured out of a 1000D polyester material with 840D ballistic nylon paneling, the Cotopaxi is built to handle all of the trips you have planned now and those you will plan in the future. All of these trips will not destroy your back either as a built-in suspension system helps evenly distribute weight so you feel comfortable no matter how full you have this 35L bag. 

A padded laptop and tablet sleeve is one of the first areas for access on the right-hand side of the bag, while the left side offers quick access to the main compartment without removing the bag from your back. 

Inside the main compartment, you have enough room for 3-5 outfits for up to 4 days away from a washing machine. Even with this amount of clothing available, the bag remains TSA-compliant for carry-on through all domestic and many international airlines. 

Osprey Porter

Best Storage Capacity
Osprey Porter 46L Travel Backpack
  • Zippered top pocket provides easy access to toiletries and liquids
  • U-zip full panel zip access to the main compartment
  • Straight jacket compression with padded sidewalls secures any size load effectively
  • Haybale Green color
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02/29/2024 05:23 pm GMT

If you need the most amount of storage capacity possible with a travel backpack, the Osprey Porter is the absolute best option available. 

With an available 46L of capacity, Redditor in this r/onebag thread offers more than 45 comments praising everything from the brand quality to storage. 

Weighing 3.45 pounds on its own, the Osprey Porter isn’t a small bag by any means, but it more than makes up for its larger size with features and benefits. These benefits start with the stowaway harness and hip belt, which can quickly come out for extra comfort and disappear just as fast when not in use. 

The real highlight of the Porter is its large internal compartment, which offers enough room for 4-5 days worth of clothing and other travel essentials. Two straightjacket compression straps help secure any size load you have in the main compartment and padded side walls ensure everything is safe while you move around. 

A side-carrying handle helps give your shoulders a break from time to time or you can reduce the bag to a smaller size by compressing the unused areas for a smaller footprint. 

Wrapping Up

From the moment you jump on Reddit and start searching for the best travel backpacks, you will find years and years of history.

Even with multiple subreddits as part of the search, it’s clear these 8 travel backpacks are the most highly recommended on Reddit, no matter which subreddit you try to explore. The real question becomes which one of these travel backpacks is right for you.

Summary Table

RankBackpackKey Features
#1Osprey Farpoint 4040L of total storage, comfortable adjustable harness, meets U.S.-based carry-on requirements, fits a 16-inch laptop, internal zippered mesh pockets, front shove-it pocket, external webbing straps for expanded storage.
#2Thule Subterra34L capacity, excellently padded laptop space, front exterior pocket for electronics, dedicated packing cube, magnetic roll-top opening, zippered side access, 800D nylon material.
#3Peak Design Travel LineExpandable storage (30L to 45L), dedicated laptop or tablet space, hidden pockets for cash and passport.
#4North Face Router40L capacity, stand-alone protective laptop compartment, padded shoulder straps, sternum straps, removable waist belt, bonus pocket for sunglasses, keys, or phone.
#5Hynes Eagle 38LComfortable air mesh straps, convertible to a weekender duffel bag, fits most carry-on requirements, main compartment with tie-down straps, front zippered pocket, dedicated laptop sleeve.
#6Thule Aion Backpack28L capacity (expandable to 32L), 16-inch laptop pocket, open interior for flexible storage, compatible with separately purchased Aion Sling Bag.
#7Cotopaxi Allpa 35L35L capacity, 1000D polyester material with 840D ballistic nylon paneling, built-in suspension system, padded laptop and tablet sleeve, quick access to main compartment, TSA-compliant.
#8Osprey Porter46L capacity, stowaway harness and hip belt, large internal compartment, two straightjacket compression straps, padded side walls, side-carrying handle.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Reddit’s most recommended travel backpack?

This is an easy one as the Osprey Farpoint is a name that comes up in almost every Reddit thread about the best travel backpacks. 

How much should you spend on a travel backpack?

If you want a lengthy warranty, excellent build quality, and a reliable name, you should anticipate spending around $150-$200.

What is the ideal storage capacity for a travel backpack?

There is no one-size-fits-all for everyone but ideally, between 32 and 35L is probably a good size for most people on 3-4 day trips. 

What are the best subreddits to learn more about travel backpacks?

If you want the best recommendations, go to r/onebag, r/digitalnomad, and r/TravelHacks.

Do most travel backpacks work as carry-ons?

This is a tough question to answer as U.S. policy may allow larger bags while international airlines offer lower capacity limits. It’s best to look at each individual airline prior to traveling. 

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