Top 10 best backpacks for travel in UK 2021

As a professional backpacker, I get many questions about what’s the best travel backpack for travel. There are so many to choose from! Here’s what I would pick, and why.

There’s something magical about traveling to new countries while living out of a backpack. I’ve been doing it for 10-years now, going through my share of travel backpacks in the process.

Getting lost in foreign cities, meeting new people, breaking out of your comfort zone, discovering different cultures, and having life-changing travel experiences is just part of backpacking.

Maybe you’re planning your own backpacking adventure soon — to South East Asia, Europe, or South America — and you need a good travel backpack to hold your clothing & gear.

Top 10 best backpacks for travel in UK 2021

All these reviews are my real opinions after actually using them.

1.Tortuga Setout

The Tortuga Setout is a high-quality and attractively priced backpack, making it my go-to recommendation. Despite loads of features, the Setout weighs only about 2kg or 4.6lbs, making it lighter than many other packs.

Its design is quite versatile, making it equally suited to globe-trotting journeys and shorter trips. The main target market is urban/air travel, but I’ve also taken this bag on more adventurous trips (e.g. travel in Asia) where it served me well. For budget travel or backpacking, I like the Setout more than the popular Osprey Farpoint.

As of 2019, there are several Setout editions. The 35L and 45L versions have a large carry-on size. The Setout Divide is a more compact 26L size, but it can expand up to 34L.

The Tortuga Setout is a high-quality and attractively priced backpack, making it my go-to recommendation. Despite loads of features, the Setout weighs only about 2kg or 4.6lbs, making it lighter than many other packs.

Its design is quite versatile, making it equally suited to globe-trotting journeys and shorter trips. The main target market is urban/air travel, but I’ve also taken this bag on more adventurous trips (e.g. travel in Asia) where it served me well. For budget travel or backpacking, I like the Setout more than the popular Osprey Farpoint.

As of 2019, there are several Setout editions. The 35L and 45L versions have a large carry-on size. The Setout Divide is a more compact 26L size, but it can expand up to 34L.

Top 10 best backpacks for travel in UK 2021
Top 10 best backpacks for travel in UK 2021

Buy Now on Amazon

2.Osprey Farpoint 40 Outdoor & Trekking Rucksack

Thanks to the unique design of the Osprey Farpoint 40L travel backpack, you can carry it as a duffel bag, a backpack and even as a messenger bag. Whether you have arranged a weekend hiking trip or a 3-day long rock climbing and camping adventure, a spacious backpack like this one will serve your purpose well.

The inner storage includes a laptop and a tablet sleeve, which enables you to bring your backpack on a work trip, while the outer storage features two mesh pockets and a zippered stash pocket that allow you to store your water bottle and other small-scale essentials that are quick and easy to grab in a hurry.

What we like:

The top of the backpack, the side handles and shoulder straps are all padded for providing you with comfort
The zippered rear flap packs the hip belt and protects it from damage when the backpack is not in use

What we don’t like:

Not suitable for week-long travels

Top 10 best backpacks for travel in UK 2021
Top 10 best backpacks for travel in UK 2021

Buy Now on Amazon

3.Nomatic Luggage- Check In Luggage Perfect for Long Trips

After a super successful Kickstarter launch campaign, the Nomatic Travel Pack has become a traveler favorite for its 20-plus thoughtful features. Outside, it’s designed with weatherproof materials that will stand up to any conditions you’ve unwittingly found yourself up against. And inside, you’ll find dedicated pockets and sleeves for nearly everything you own. Expansion capabilities also leave room for a few extra souvenirs.

Top 10 best backpacks for travel in UK 2021
Top 10 best backpacks for travel in UK 2021

Buy Now on Amazon

4.Samsonite Hexa-packs

With a neat, ergonomic design and tons of smart features, it’s hard to find a better expandable backpack for trips both short and long than this versatile piece of luggage from Knack.

Thanks to its intelligent design with a secret packing compartment, the Samsonite Hexa-packs is able to almost double its capacity (17L to 31L) and go from day pack to full-size travel bag in no time. Convenient organizational features like a padded, side laptop sleeve, an easy-access front triangle pocket, and dedicated compartments for gadgets, water, sunglasses, and so on keep all contents in place, while the stain-resistant, antimicrobial fabric lining provides long-lasting freshness.

Constructed with ultra-durable, water-resistant, and good-looking materials, this backpack is as suitable for daily commuting as it is for weekend adventures.

Top 10 best backpacks for travel in UK 2021
Top 10 best backpacks for travel in UK 2021

Buy Now on Amazon

5.Osprey Europe Men’s Atmos Ag 65 Backpacking Pack

The Osprey Aether has all the advantages of every pack of the Osprey brand (the Osprey ‘All-Mighty Guarantee’, durability, comfort), but this model is slightly smaller than the standard 80+ liter. Making it the perfect backpack for travel on long-haul trips when a small travel bag just won’t do.

Additionally, it has plenty of pockets and compartments to keep things extra organized. An AirScape back panel to keep you cool on the warmest adventures. I can guarantee it’ll last a lifetime, if you don’t believe me, just ask Osprey!

Literally guys, they put a lifetime guarantee on every single product they sell to prove it. The only downside to this pack is you can’t avoid checked luggage fee’s with this bad boy. But at least you don’t have to dump any stuff! This is hands down one of the best backpacks for traveling around the world on a longer adventure.

Top 10 best backpacks for travel in UK 2021
Top 10 best backpacks for travel in UK 2021

Buy Now on Amazon

6.Peak Design Travel Line Backpack

Some bags in this category are built to do one thing extremely well—be luggage on your back. But the Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L is built to adapt. It’s the Swiss Army knife of backpacks: adjustable, customizable, and (if you spring for the extra cubes and organizers) an almost perfect system for a photographer or gearhead on the move. Most bags’ expanding mechanisms aren’t worth the extra zipper they’re built on, and they look about as attractive as a boiled ham splitting out of its plastic packaging. Not so with the Peak Design: It looks just as good fully packed at 45 liters as it does compressed to a 30-liter daypack.

You can access the bag through a back panel, which doubles as a computer and tablet pouch, as well as a front one, if you unzip the pass-through divider. You can also get into the main compartment via two wing-like trapezoidal flaps that run along each side of the pack. In its natural shape, the Travel Backpack holds 35 liters, but an expansion zipper lets the bag swell to 45 liters. If you want to use the bag as a daypack, you fold in the top corners and snap them down, reducing the bag’s volume to a slim 30 liters. And it still feels larger than a normal daypack, but we think that’s a small compromise for being able to use one backpack as both your travel bag and your daily explorer. The Travel Backpack looks good in any of its configurations. The bag itself consists of 400D nylon and polyester fabrics. It feels tough, but not as tough as some other bags we’ve tested, such as the Cotopaxi Allpa.

The Peak Design lets you tuck its shoulder and hip straps away when you’re not using them. But unlike any other bag we’ve ever tested, this pack has magnetic flaps on the back panel that open and close with an almost magical snap. Once you’ve played with them, you’ll wonder why every backpack doesn’t have something similar. A small, childish part of me still gets excited about tucking away the straps when I put the Peak Design into an overhead bin. Although the straps are thin, they’re comfortable. The hip belt isn’t quite as plush as the one on the Tortuga; still, even when the Peak Design is fully loaded, the belt doesn’t pinch or dig into the body.

Peak Design also makes a line of ultralight packing cubes. They’re good cubes, and they compare well to the ultralight Eagle Creek Specter Tech set, our upgrade pick for packing cubes. However, the Peak Design cubes are sized specifically for this bag and fit just so inside it, especially when combined with other Peak Design gear cubes and accessories, like the toiletry bag. (Chase Reeves has done an in-depth video review of these cubes; it’s a good resource for anyone who’s on the fence about buying them.) After testing the cubes (and this is not a mark against the Eagle Creek or the Peak Design ultralight cubes, both of which are excellent), I personally still prefer the more-rigid Eagle Creek Pack-It set, our top pick.

Top 10 best backpacks for travel in UK 2021
Top 10 best backpacks for travel in UK 2021

Buy Now on Amazon

7.Thule Subterra Backpack 34L

Thule is a company that might be better known for their bike racks and roof boxes, but they also make some great backpacks.

The Thule Subterra 34L Travel Backpack is a case in point, being an excellent carry-on compliant bag offering from the company.

This is a dual-purpose bag that’s designed to function as both an everyday backpack or a travel bag for exploring the globe. It’s got a sleek, streamlined design and is the perfect size for one-bag travel, being just compact enough that you’re never going to worry about being allowed to take it on board the planes of stricter airlines.

The bag is made from a highly durable 800D Nylon fabric and all the exterior and interior zippers are YKK, so you’ve nothing to worry about in terms of build quality. On the outside of the bag you won’t find too many notable features due to the minimalist design.

There is a cool stealth side pocket on one side; this only becomes noticeable and expands to hold a water bottle or umbrella after you’ve unzipped it. There’s also a haul loop at the top (it’s strong and beautifully stitched but not very beefy), a side grab handle and the suspension system, which uses comfortable perforated EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) foam shoulder straps with a mesh covering. An adjustable, detachable sternum strap is also featured.

The well-padded back panel is pretty flat and has a central air channel for ventilation. A pass-through sleeve (to attach the bag to a roller suitcase handle) runs horizontally across the middle of the back panel.

The PowerPocket is where you’re supposed to put your power bank, and you can then feed the cable through a channel up to the pouch at the top where you could have your Kindle, phone or tablet charging. The opening panel of the front compartment also has a large zippered mesh pocket.

Top 10 best backpacks for travel in UK 2021
Top 10 best backpacks for travel in UK 2021

Buy Now on Amazon

8.Osprey Ozone 75 Unisex Travel Pack

High-clearance HighRoad chassis is ready to roll almost anywhere, and where it can’t go it only takes seconds to deploy a comfortable, padded harness to finish the journey
Detachable, 16-liter daypack with a comfortable, ventilated back panel accompanies you from basecamp to explore the market, wander through the museum or hike the local trails
Zippered top pocket provides easy access to toiletries and liquids
Padded top and side handles provide comfortable carry
Dual-tube extended handle for extra control of large loads on rough surfaces
Large panel opening with lockable zipper pulls offers access the main compartment
Removable shoulder harness; rear panel pocket; ID card window
Quick-deploy rear panel shoulder harness and padded back panel create an easy, comfortable carry
Detachable Meridian day pack has a ventilated, tensioned-mesh back panel, wide zip access to the main compartment, a padded 15 in. laptop sleeve and a zippered tablet sleeve
Meridian day pack pockets include a heat-embossed scratch-free front panel zip stash pocket, twin mesh front panel pockets, an internal organizer panel and a zip pocket
This item meets carry-on size restrictions for most airlines (size not to exceed 45 linear inches when adding L+W+H; this is subject to change, so check with your airline).

Top 10 best backpacks for travel in UK 2021
Top 10 best backpacks for travel in UK 2021

Buy Now on Amazon

9.KALIDI Backpack Roll top Rucksack Women & Men

The KALIDI Backpack Roll top Rucksack Women & Men from Solo New York offers the perfect combination of classic style and material, with sleek aesthetics that fit in the 21st century.

The bag has a completely waxed canvas body, with a padded laptop compartment that can fit a 15.6” laptop. It has an internal iPad compartment and a quick-access pocket that allows you to reach your passport, wallet, or phone easily. It also offers a front zippered organizational pocket with a key clip.

A great backpack for men, the KALIDI Backpack Roll top Rucksack Women & Men has a high-quality and durable oxford lining, metal hardware, a back panel that slides over the luggage handle, as well as a padded back panel and backpack straps. The best part? All of this weighs in at only 4.55lbs

Top 10 best backpacks for travel in UK 2021
Top 10 best backpacks for travel in UK 2021

Buy Now on Amazon

10.Tortuga Setout – Packable Travel Daypack (19L, Black)

At 26-litres the Setout Divide from Tortuga is designed for light packers on short trips but it can also expand to 36-litres for long term travellers. It has multiple compartments that make organisation super easy whilst still allowing you to pack large items easily.

I was lucky enough to test and review the Setout Divide recently and must say, it passed every test I could throw at it!

Top 10 best backpacks for travel in UK 2021
Top 10 best backpacks for travel in UK 2021

Buy Now on Amazon

How to select the best backpack for One Bag Travel

There’s something so freeing about traveling with only one bag. All of your important stuff is within arm’s reach, and it forces you to cut down of many of life’s seemingly-necessary consumer goods that you can probably live without. With one bag, you easily glide from location to location, always having just enough, but never too much.

Choosing the perfect travel backpack for one bag travel can be a tough endeavor. There are so many brands and models to choose from with varying degrees of durability, price, and try-on-ability (we made this word up for trying something out before buying it online). Add varying views and opinions into the mix from folks with different values, needs, and body types—and you’ve got a veritable clusterf*ck of options to wade through. Whether you’re a new traveler gearing up for your first trip, a digital nomad going through a “sell-all-my-stuff-and-put-it-in-a-backpack” phase, or somewhere in between, it’s essential to have the best travel backpack that works for you.

Here’s the bottom line: There is no “best” backpack that is perfect for every traveler in every scenario. However, we believe it is possible for everyone to find a pack that’s perfect for their unique needs. In this guide, we’ll break down the factors we think are most important when choosing the perfect one bag travel backpack for y

Why a Backpack vs. Standard Roller Luggage?

We’ve found that backpacks give you much greater mobility. You can breeze through airports. You’ll never stand around a baggage carousel after a long-haul again. And as long as your pack is carry-on size compliant, you’ll never lose your luggage, ever. Depending on your travel style and what you’re hauling, it comes down to your personal preference—both roller luggage and backpacks can be good options. In this guide, we’ll focus on travel backpacks for a couple reasons:

They Feel Freeing

You’ve got both of your hands free and you’re not constantly dragging something behind you. No matter what terrain you’re walking on, you’ll never have the annoyance of loud or unsteady wheels behind you from standard travel luggage. Sure, roller bags work like a charm on smooth airport and hotel floors, but how about the winding cobblestone roads of Paris or a sandy beach in Ko Pha Ngan? You can traverse almost any terrain when you’re wearing a backpack.

Travel Backpacks are Versatile & Usually Lightweight

If you pack light enough, you can comfortably have all of your belongings with you at once. Did you arrive earlier than your hotel or Airbnb check in? No problem, just take your pack around with you for the day—no need to stop by and drop your luggage off. Versatility at its finest.

We can’t necessarily guarantee the pack will be lightweight if you fill it up with a bunch of heavy stuff (like camera gear) so we made a Travel Camera Guide too 🙂.

They Provide Flexibility

You’ll take up less room on the airplane or in public transit. You’ll generally feel more agile vs needing to drag around rolly luggage, with the added benefit of not looking like an out-of-place tourist. It caters to a more adventurous lifestyle by always being ready to go. And, you can easily catch that train that’s about to depart without awkwardly side-running with a roller bag or two.

Summary

Despite a few shortcomings, we prefer travel style backpacks because they’re more practical for urban travel.

Travel backpacks also tend to be a little more stylish since most hiking style bags are brightly colored. That said, we see plenty of people using hiking backpacks so it really comes down to personal preference.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

MENU