Ditch Your Checked Bag for These Versatile Travel Backpacks

Thule Aion Travel Backpack 40L

This light, 3-pound backpack has a removable, slide-in rolltop TPU bag that separates damp, dirty togs from the clean stuff. It’s got a useful zippered storage area on the outside so you can have easy access to electronics, earbuds, and snacks to pull out while you’re trekking down the jetway.

Best travel backpack for frequent travelers

Cotopaxi Allpa 42L  Del Día

The lay-flat bag has one large half that’s great for packing clothes (with or without cubes), and the other side has a shoe compartment, another mesh area for a toiletry bag, and additional zipper compartments for the other bits and bobs you can’t live without.

Best travel backpack made from recycled fabrics

Matador SEG42

This 42-liter segmented bag has five horizontal zippered compartments to keep all of your clothing separate and organized. You no longer have to undo your whole pack when you’re trying to retrieve a pack-up puffy jacket or to stash extra layers. And the inner area opens up separately for things like dirty clothes and shoes.

Best travel backpack with compartments

Helly Hansen HH Scout Travel Duffel Bag

The slim, boxy design hides the fact that it’s a roomy 50 liters, and it won’t look out of place if you use it as a gym bag (or for its original purpose—taking to the sea). There’s a pouch area behind a side zipper roomy enough for a pair of boots and all of your dirty clothes on the road, or gym and cycling shoes if you’re doing a two-a-day.

Best lightweight travel backpack

Eagle Creek Migrate Duffel Bag 40L

The soft boxy design that clocks in at around 2 pounds conforms to whatever you’re bringing with you. Snowboarding in Zermatt? Your helmet will fit just fine. Are you packing your new Timbs and don’t want to get creases? Stuff those suckers with socks and t-shirts and they won’t smush in this backpack duffel.

Best versatile travel backpack

Topo Global Travel Bag Roller

This one has a small, slick design with a hard outer casing on half and fabric on the other. It’s actually a three-fer, since it can be carried as a duffel bag, too. Given the design, it doesn’t feel backpack-y when you’re filling it up.

Best travel backpack with wheels

There’s a solution to your travel dilemma to head off trouble: a travel backpack. Yes, we are suggesting you fit everything you need into one bag. And you can do it if you’re going overnight, for a long weekend, or traveling a week or longer. You just need to know how to pack. (We will help you with that, too.) We looked for options that were user-friendly, versatile, and easy on the eye.

Our goal here is simple:  to help you live a more adventurous,  eventful and engaging life.