Choosing the Best Backpack for Air Travel

Wondering whether to buy a backpack for your next trip? Confused between a backpack or the usual luggage roller? Here’s why a backpack might be a better option: a backpack is freeing, versatile, usually lightweight, and provides much more flexibility than a regular luggage roller. Not only are all your essential belongings within an arm’s reach, carrying a backpack encourages you to focus on packing the essentials. The mobility they provide is convenient when moving around airports especially since you need not wait for your luggage to arrive. Similarly, in situations of delays or early check-ins, you can simply carry your backpack around the city with you without it being burdening. Read this guide to pick the best backpack for air travel for you.

Factors to Consider

While backpacks can work as multipurpose luggage carriers whether you are on vacation or an office trip, there are many factors that can help you decide which backpack works best for your specific needs. After researching the quality of various kinds of backpacks, we found the following factors to work as a deciding guide in choosing your best backpack:

Durability and Quality:

Probably the most important factor is durability and quality of the backpack when you are traveling away from home. Any wears or tears could lead to you losing essential belongings in a difficult situation. To check for durability and quality, the backpack’s fabric material and zippers are the key features. While there are many fabrics out there, nylon products are more durable while zippers from any quality brand work. For instance, YKK zippers are among the best zipper brands while RiRi zippers work really well too.

Pack Profile:

Pack profile is simply the slimness of a pack. This is useful because it makes travel in congested places like public transit, boarding the airplane, and so on, a very convenient experience.


Each airline has its own guidelines for the allowed size for carry-on luggage.  Most of them allow a total 45 linear inches as the sum of length, width, and depth or 22″ long, 14″ wide, and 9″ deep.

Security Concerns:

Among the biggest issues with carry-on backpacks is getting them past security. A travel backpack must, for instance, have a dedicated laptop compartment that can be conveniently accessed from the outside. If such a compartment is not present, security staff may ask you to remove your laptop from the backpack.

Product Recommendations

  1. Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack 40L
  2. NOMATIC 40L Travel Bag- Duffel
  3. Thule Subterra Backpack 34L
  4. Osprey Farpoint 40
  5. TIMBUK2 Authority Laptop Backpack
  6. eBags Pro Slim Weekender
  7. Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack

Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack 40L

Hynes Eagle Backpack provides a fashionable backpack option for an economical price. This 40L capacity backpack has all your essentials covered whether it is a weekend getaway with family and friends or a short business trip. Even longer trips can be easily manageable if one packs lightly. Apart from its spacious capacity, this carry-on backpack provides a variety of compression buckle straps, adjustable sternum and waist straps that allow you to adjust the backpack according to your body size and shape, making the experience comfortable and enjoyable. More so, it fits the allowed luggage size criterion for international air travel as well. Furthermore, there’s a 15.6 inch laptop compartment along with a front zip pocket with multiple interior slip pockets.

NOMATIC 40L Travel Bag- Duffel

The Nomatic 40L Travel bag is a great choice for many reasons. Not only does it rank highly on durability, it is also weatherproof and has a variety of innovative features to speak for. For instance, the patented strap design makes it possible to switch between a duffle bag and a backpack. As such, the Nomatic 40L is a really great multipurpose option such that if you’re off to the gym or the office, a weekend getaway or international air travel, this bag not only contains all your essentials but can also be adjusted to make it more comfortable as well as stylish. There are more than twenty innovative features: from pockets designed for shoes, liquids, tech, etc to a full perimeter zipper, RFID sage pocket, a water bottle pocket, and more.  At the same time, a hangable laundry bag keeps dirty clothes separate while traveling. As such, the Norton 40L is a great option, convenient, innovative, multipurpose, durable, and weatherproof.

Thule Subterra Backpack 34L

Thule is among the best backpack brands having products ranging from camera bags, duffel bags, hydration packs to travel backpacks. The Subterra 34L in particular happens to be a dual-purpose pack that can function as both a travel bag or an everyday backpack with a 15 inch laptop compartment. Although it’s volume capacity may not be ideal, it’s perfect for light packers as a backpack for air travel and can come in handy on the trip as well. More so, its nylon material makes the bag highly durable. Adding to the durability are its zippers, all of which are from YKK – one of the best zipper brands Furthermore, its streamlined shape adds to the aesthetic check. In summary, it’s a great travel bag for packing light although the laptop compartment could be a bit short for larger laptops.

Osprey Farpoint 40

Light, affordable, durable, this backpack is available in some gorgeous and classic colours: black, volcanic grey, jasper red, rainforest green. Conveniently enough, it meets most airlines’ requirements, has lockable zippers, as well as a laptop compartment. On the inside, it has a comfortable suspension system, its light wire frame transfers the load from harness to hip built, adding to its sturdy design, made to keep you comfortable. A back mesh panel improves ventilation while the hip belt and sternum strap keep the backpack comfortably adjusted to your body’s shape and size. In summary, this option is a popular choice among the best backpacks for air travel because of its comfort, durability, and spaciousness.

TIMBUK2 Authority Laptop Backpack

This laptop backpack is particularly more suited for office work and trips, while complying with air travel limits. With a 17 inch laptop compartment which can safely also hold books, a table, or a notebook, the bag also has a spacious main compartment that can be used for a few clothing items. In the front, there is a smaller pocket which can be used for writing supplies or thinner books etc. There’s a separate water bottle stretch pocket. As a pure nylon product with a lifetime warranty, it is an incredibly durable backpack. A simple, elegant, streamlined design makes it an attractive option from a professional point of view.

eBags Pro Slim Weekender

If you have a business trip coming up, you are probably wondering about the best backpacks for air travel for carrying tech. Among these, the Pro Slim Weeknder by eBags is a great option as not only is it a great laptop bag but also comes along with a compartment for a tablet as well. Suitably compartmentalized, this backpack is a really slim and secure option for your various tech gadgets. More so, the backpack features padded, lockable compartments, a fleece-lined tablet sleeve, and a zippered bottle pocket. These features make the backpack a really safe, secure, stylish, and organized option for business trips.

Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack

The Allpa Travel Pack’s unique selling feature is the security it provides. All of its external zippers have a theft-proof webbing sewn across any openings. The shoulder straps are contained in a slotted back panel, making it an organized design, while four handles provide carry point when the shoulder straps are to be tucked away. Made from sturdy coated polyester, it is quite a durable product while it’s 35L volume capacity also makes it a spacious backpack option. As such, this backpack easily makes it to the best backpack list for air travel as it is an extremely secure, convenient, and durable option.


In conclusion, the best backpack for air travel for you really depends on your needs and requirements. While for light packing business trips, shorter laptop backpacks would suffice, for longer travels, a more durable product like the Osperin 40L or Norton 40L would offer a long-lasting option.

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