Last updated: 16/10/2022

Welcome to our big travel backpack test 2022. Here we present all the travel backpacks we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We want to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best travel backpack for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of if you want to buy a travel backpack.




The most important facts

  • Travel backpacks are suitable for uncomplicated trips and trips where hiking excursions are planned.
  • There are different types of travel backpacks: The traveller model, the trekking backpack and the suitcase backpack. All of them have their advantages and disadvantages.
  • Before you buy your travel backpack, we have listed criteria that you should look for before buying a backpack.

The best Travel Backpack: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a travel backpack

What is a travel backpack?

A travel backpack is a backpack that is especially suitable for longer trips where a suitcase is impractical. A perfect travel backpack should therefore be particularly robust and hard-wearing so that it does not break during the often rough transport.

This travel backpack is a trekking backpack and is particularly suitable for hiking tours and longer trips. (Image source: pexels.com / Rawpixel)

In addition, the backpacker’s backpack should be practical and clearly laid out so that you can get to the contents quickly. Another important feature for travel backpacks is that they are waterproof or come with a rain cover.

But the most important thing for long trips is that it is comfortable to carry and easy to transport.

Who is a travel backpack suitable for?

A travel backpack is suitable for everyone who travels. A suitcase is very impractical if there is no way to pull it and you have to carry it. Whether you are travelling on cobblestones or rural gravel roads, a backpack is much more practical and not so restrictive.

If your travel backpack is of a certain size, you can take it with you in your hand luggage. You can find out more about this in the Trivia. One type of travel backpack is the suitcase backpack, which can be packed and opened like a suitcase.

We highly recommend this option if you like the principle of a suitcase, but a backpack is more suited to your travel style and destination. Travel backpacks are specially adapted for women and men, so you can find your perfect backpack.

How is it different from a normal backpack?

There are many different types of backpacks:

  • Hiking backpacks / Daypacks
  • Touring backpacks
  • Alpine backpacks
  • Children’s backpacks
  • School backpacks
  • Camera backpacks etc.

All these backpacks have different features. Travel backpacks are larger than daypacks and are made specifically for their function as travel backpacks.

What alternatives are there to travel backpacks?

Travel suitcases are certainly an alternative to the travel backpack. However, they can be much more complicated to move around. Another alternative is travel bags, which you can often strap to your back.

However, we have to say that there is no really good alternative to travel backpacks that fulfil all the characteristics of a backpack. Of course, you can also convert a hiking backpack into a travel backpack.

Travelling with a backpack has many advantages: You are more flexible and, depending on the size, you can even travel with hand luggage only. (Image source: pexels.com / Sebastian Voortman)

Decision: What types of travel backpacks are there and which one is right for you?

So you’ve decided on a travel backpack, but what are the different types of travel backpacks and which model suits your needs? We want to help you find the right travel backpack for you.

In general, you can differentiate between the following types of travel backpacks:

  • Traveller backpack
  • Trekking backpack
  • Suitcase backpack

We will now introduce you to the different variants with their advantages and disadvantages.

What distinguishes a traveller backpack and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A traveller backpack is not really a type but rather a subcategory of backpack. However, many suppliers have offered this extra category, which is supposed to be different from trekking backpacks.

We don’t see any big differences here, but for the sake of completeness we’ll also list this variant. The traveller backpack is designed for travelling. So it is ergonomic for your back and has a large volume. Of course, the traveller backpack is also very robust and suitable for rough transport.

Advantages
  • Perfectly adapted for travelling
  • Lots of volume
  • Robust
  • Ergonomic
Disadvantages
  • Not very well laid out
  • Weight should be low

What distinguishes a trekking backpack and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The best-known example is probably the trekking backpack when you think of travel backpacks. They are probably the classic variant among backpacks. The model is suitable for outdoor use and is therefore very robust and practically processed and constructed.

The volume of trekking backpacks is usually very large. Since they are intended for long journeys, they are very ergonomic and so gentle on the back. Precisely because of this, they are well suited for longer distances on foot.

Advantages
  • Suitable for long journeys on foot
  • Lots of volume
  • Robust
  • Ergonomic
Disadvantages
  • Not very clear
  • Weight should be kept low

Classic models of trekking backpacks have about 65 to 110 litres. This size is suitable for long journeys. Experienced travellers who are happy with just a few things might be fine with 50 litres. If you plan to go hiking, you should choose a trekking backpack.

What distinguishes a suitcase backpack and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Suitcase backpacks mean, as the name suggests, that they are built like suitcases. In other words, they are a mixture of a backpack and a suitcase. This makes them very clear and structured, because you can open the backpack completely.

So you don’t have to rummage around for a long time to get to the contents. Unlike trekking backpacks, suitcase backpacks are not suitable for longer distances on foot. If you are not yet sure whether you are made for backpacking, we recommend that you choose the suitcase backpack.

Most suppliers integrate a small backpack into the suitcase backpack that you can use for day trips.

Advantages
  • Like a backpack
  • Lots of volume
  • Robust
  • Easy to pack
  • Clearly arranged
  • Daypack integrated
Disadvantages
  • Fewer straps for attaching trekking gear
  • Not suitable for hiking tours

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and rate travel backpacks

Now we would like to show you which criteria you can use to compare and evaluate travel backpacks. There are many different factors that play a role in your decision. Our brief explanation will certainly make it easier for you to find the right travel backpack for you.

  • Volume (expandable volume)
  • Back adjustment
  • Features
  • Gender
  • Colour
  • Pack and body weight

In the following paragraphs we will show you what the individual criteria are.

Volume (expandable volume)

If you want to buy a travel backpack, it is important that you decide in advance how long your trip will be and how much you want to take with you. This is crucial for the choice of volume. The volume is always given in litres.

This gives you an overview of the different sizes. A typical travel backpack starts at around 50 litres, but if your trip is not very long or you can get by with less, a backpack with less volume may be suitable.

In addition, the volume is not necessarily related to the weight. If you fill the backpack with light material, it will of course be easier for you to carry. Nevertheless, you should check how much weight you can really carry.

The volume depends on the destination, weather, gender and accommodation. Winter clothing takes up much more volume than summer clothing. Generally speaking, men can carry a little more weight. For men, 65 to 80 litres is recommended, while for women between 50 and 65 kilos is recommended.

Did you know that backpacks with 40 to 80 litres are recommended for trips with a few changes of location?

The more luggage you need, the more litres your travel backpack should have. We personally prefer 60 litre backpacks when travelling.

Back fit

Travel backpacks are often worn for long periods of time, especially on hiking tours. It is therefore important that the backpack is well fitted to your back. That’s why travel backpacks are offered with different back lengths and with most models you can even adjust the back length individually.

Before buying, you should measure your back length. To do this, measure the distance between the top of the shoulder blade and the top of the pelvic bone. These can be divided into three categories:

  • Short: 40-49 cm
  • Medium: 50-57 cm
  • Long: 58-69 cm

In addition, most good quality travel backpacks offer back padding that makes them particularly comfortable to carry and usually also have a ventilation function that reduces perspiration during long periods of carrying.

Features

When choosing your travel backpack, features are one of the most important criteria. Most outdoor backpacks are made of water-repellent material and can withstand light rain, but this does not always mean that they are waterproof.

However, many of the backpacks come with a rain cover. If this is not the case, you can also buy a rain cover, in the right size of course

The cover can be very practical for hiking. It can also protect you from thieves when you’re out and about in cities, because it covers all the zips.

Trekking backpacks are usually divided into three sections: An intermediate bottom separates an upper main compartment and a bottom compartment, and you can often open the intermediate bottom. All travel backpacks also have a lid compartment with zipped compartments.

In addition, many trekking backpacks have side and front zip openings that make it easier to access the contents. Trekking backpacks also always have numerous compartments and loops that you can use for additional luggage.

Suitcase backpacks are structured differently. They usually have a divided main compartment that is divided into an upper and lower section that you can open all the way. The daypacks, which are usually also included, offer more storage space. Suitcase backpacks, however, do not have loops and straps.

Gender

Gender plays a role in the choice of size. Most backpacks are unisex and therefore equally suitable for men and women.

Most travel backpacks are unisex. However, there are also special women’s backpacks. (Image source: pexels.com / veerasak Piyawatanakul)

However, some brands also offer extra backpacks for women. These have a special carrying system that is designed for the female anatomy and have a shorter back length, as well as narrower and more curved carrying straps.

Did you know that men should choose 65-80 litre backpacks and women 50-65 litre backpacks?

Because in most cases, women should not carry as much weight as men.

Colour

There is a lot of choice when it comes to colour, whether you prefer subtle colours or signal colours, there is something for everyone. Colours are often mixed.

Different shades of green and grey are particularly popular. But you often see red travel backpacks, too, because they are particularly eye-catching and immediately stand out among black suitcases. Online shops usually offer a wider range of colours than retail shops.

Pack and body weight

Body weight determines your pack weight, because a person with normal muscle mass, body stature, build and health should not carry a backpack over 25% of their body weight.

On average, this works out to around 16 kilos for male travellers and a maximum weight of around 12 kilos for women. Ideally, 25 to 35 per cent of the weight of the backpack should rest on the shoulders and 65 to 75 per cent of the pack weight should be carried by the hips.

So when you plan hiking routes, you need to take into account the weight of water bottles and provisions. In addition, the weight of the backpack will usually be higher on the return journey, due to souvenirs. So check your weight before planning long distances on foot.

Image source: pixabay.com / Pexels

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