There’re some really good travel backpacks out there, from small day backpacks, to large backpacks. There’re different brands to choose from. But which is the best travel backpack to buy for 2023?
We know how difficult it can be to choose just the right bag for your needs, depending on your travel style.
You might be someone who loves exploring the city, or going on hikes, visiting the beach, or you just need a good backpack to take on as hand luggage or your checked in bag.
Whatever you need the backpack for, you should be looking for something that is lightweight, durable, within your budget and comfortable. But not every backpack will be suitable for everyone.
Some backpacks are specific for women, or men and not all backpacks are ideal for a day trip to the beach.
We have done the research for you, digested all of the products on the market and have concluded on a range of the best budget travel backpack to buy in 2023 for all travel styles.
Table of Contents
What travel backpacks are there?
There’re different travel backpacks depending on your budget and adventure. The large back packs, such as the 80L backpack will be ideal for backpackers or multiple day hikers. These large backpacks can store all of your belongings, including camping gear, trekking poles, clothing, sleeping bag and all the essentials you need.
The smaller backpacks are lightweight and great for day hikes, or sightseeing. You’ll be surprised with how much you could store in your smaller day backpack, such as food, snacks, spare clothing, hiking poles, camera gear and more.
What we love about most of the backpacks, is the additional pocket at the back for a hydration bladder. A hydration bladder, is a small pouch which contains water and can be drunk as you walk. We have a 2lt pouch which keeps us hydrated even if we are out sightseeing for the day.
You could also choose an anti-theft bag. These packs are a great way to deter your belongings from being stolen. The zip to the bag will be on the internal face closest to your back. The idea behind them, is so the zip is not visible, with limited chance of theft.
What brands are available
There’re many great brands out there that produce backpacks, such as Osprey, The North Face, Lowe Alpine and many more.
You may even have your own favourite brand that you’ll want to stick with, which is fine. When we were looking for our first backpack, we researched and looked around for some time, before we found the ideal backpack for us, which we will discuss later.
Features you must consider when buying a travel backpack
Before purchasing your backpack, test out the backpack to find which is the most suitable for you. There are somethings however that you should look out for before purchasing your backpack.
The backpack should be lightweight. A heavy backpack to start with will only make you exhausted even before you have left your accommodation.
Looking for a lightweight backpack will make you feel more comfortable.
Backpacks can come in a variety of sizes depending on the required use and normally measured in volume.
Small everyday backpacks are between 10-30L, while the large backpacking packs are used for weekend hiking trips or backpacking, these are between 30-80L. The larger the capacity, the more you could pack.
The straps on the bag should be padded to allow for comfort and to help with the distribution of the weight over your back and shoulders.
While hiking, you’ll have your backpack on for most of the day, so purchasing an inadequate backpack could cause you pain and discomfort across your back and shoulders.
Having a few pockets on your backpack will be ideal for separating your belongings and keeping things in order.
Depending on the brand and design, some backpacks will include a laptop section and a clip to keep the keys safe.
Not every backpack is waterproof. Ideally you will want a pack that is waterproof, or comes with a waterproof cover. The last thing you could possibly want is your belongings getting soaked.
Price is the big contender when purchasing the best travel backpack. Cheap and cheerful packs are not always the ideal purchase.
Many can break quickly, may not be waterproof, or uncomfortable to wear. It wouldn’t be worth purchasing a cheap travel backpack, just for it to get a few uses before you have to purchase a more expensive one because it broke or uncomfortable.
To purchase a very good backpack, you will need to spend a bit more than you may have initially budgeted for, however we have chosen the best travel backpacks to purchase depending on your budget.
Best Travel backpacks for 2023
With all the great brands and different backpacks, we have chosen the best travel backpacks for 2023.
The first backpack that we would recommend is an anti-theft bag. Yes, that’s right, you can purchase anti-theft bags which do actually help to prevent your belongings from being stolen.
If you haven’t heard of, or know much about anti-theft bags, then what are they?
We only discovered this in the last couple of years and would highly recommend them. They aren’t like any normal bag where the zip opening is on the face of the bag. But anti-theft bags have the zip opening on the rear of the bag, closest to your back.
This means, the zips are hidden from people, making access to your bag and the belongings inside much harder.
These great bags and backpacks have plenty of space to pack the essentials for a day out sightseeing in a busy tourist spot and some backpacks can store your laptop, that’s if you need to take your laptop with you.
You can use it as a carry on, as it meets the requirements as a small personal bag to be placed under the seat in front of you or in the overhead locker. But would be a little small as a carry-on case.
An anti-theft bag however is not suitable for hiking. If you’re looking for the best budget backpack for a hike, then we cover this below.
We purchased our anti-theft backpack from Amazon for about £20.00, which is reasonable and has lasted us for many years.
We really can’t live without our anti-theft bag and would highly recommend you purchasing one for your travels in 2023.
Budget backpacks for under $100
We have selected some of the best budget travel backpacks that will cost less than $100.00.
All of these backpacks, are still good quality, lightweight and comfortable.
Osprey Daylite Plus
We both have a small lightweight backpack that we take with us on our travel adventures, be it sightseeing, or a day long hike.
Our favoured brand is Osprey. We both have the Osprey Daylite Plus Rucksack and it’s the one we would recommend as being the best travel backpack on a budget for 2023.
Its great features such as, lightweight, weighing in at 540g, durable and has a capacity of 20L, with space for a laptop, tablet and spare clothing. The pockets at the front are of a good size for small personal belongings.
The Osprey Daylite Plus is so versatile, you could use the backpack for a day hike, sightseeing, as personal baggage to take into the aircraft cabin, or commuting to work.
But, one of the best attributes of the bag is the hydration sleeve at the rear. This allows for easy access to water from the pouch, with the added bonus that the weight of the water will be distributed over the entire back.
This would be one of the more budget friendly backpacks on the market at under $100.00.
Vango Dryft 28 Rucksack
This is a little heavier for a day pack weighing in at 720g, but it’s still versatile and durable.
The main pocket at the front allows for easy access to spare clothing, walking poles and has a detachable rain cover.
With this great backpack, you can safely say the essential items inside will not get wet.
The smaller pockets are great for separating your belongings. Most hydration pouches are compatible, ensuring you remain hydrated throughout your trip.
It is a little bit more expensive out there but still under $100.00.
Lowe Alpine Edge II 18 Day Pack
A well-known brand on the market, offering a smart looking pack and lightweight, weighing in at 520g that holds a capacity of 18L.
The backpack has a good number of compartments for ease of access to what you need and a key clip for safe keeping of the keys.
Lowe Alpine Edge II 18 Rucksack is so versatile, you can use this for a day pack or an everyday bag. The included bonus is the hydration compartment, for hydration all day.
A great budget travel backpack for under $100.00
Best budget backpacking and multi day hiking backpack
These backpacks are more suitable for multi day hiking and backpacking, due to the size and capacity.
However, you could use them as everyday backpacks, but you may find them to be big and bulky. Some places may also stop you from entering the premises due to the size of the bag.
So, consider this if you plan to use these for sightseeing.
Lowe Alpine Airzone Trail 30
Sticking with Lowe Alpine, this backpack’s a little larger. It holds a capacity of 30L but weighs in at over 1kg.
Although this might be a little heavy in weight, what counters this is the sternum and side compression straps, making it more comfortable on any adventure.
The belt across the hip includes pockets for valuable items, or just easy access to important items you need as you hike.
At the rear the AirZone boosts the airflow to the back, making it more breathable and reduces the moisture build up.
This backpack has the right attributes for an ideal backpack to purchase in 2023 for hiking and backpacking.
Osprey Kestral 48 Rucksack
The Osprey Kestral 48 Rucksack has a slightly smaller capacity compared to the other backpacking packs, but is lighter in weight at 1.63kg compared to the Osprey Women’s Kyte 66 Rucksack.
Ideal for a multi-day hike or backpacking, with trekking pole attachments, twin ice axe loops and sleeping bag.
You’ll find this will be an ideal backpack for all weather conditions, with a detachable rain cover for when it rains, or during the hotter climates the Airscape back panel can be adjusted for ventilation.
The added padding around the straps and hip, will keep you comfortable throughout your journey. Pockets are aplenty including hip pockets for easy access to some small valuable items.
The larger backpacks are more expensive at over $100.00, but well worth the price especially if the backpack lasts for many years to come.
Vango Contour 50:60s Rucksacks
Vango Contour 50:60s Rucksacks is one of the more budget friendly backpacks and has a capacity of 60L, but does weigh considerably more than the many other backpacks on the market at 2.3kg.
The products bonus is the high visibility detachable rain cover which is included, plus side pockets, padded hip belt for comfort and equipment attachments.
We have included this one as it’s still a good backpack and within a good budget. This would be a great backpack for first time travellers, backpackers or hikers.
Cheap travel backpacks for women
Due to the shape of women, not all backpacks are compatible for men and vice versa.
We have selected the best travel backpack for women
Osprey Women’s Kyte 66 rucksack
This larger backpack will be ideal for women who are taking a multi-day hiking trip, or backpacking.
It holds a capacity of 66L, although it is a little weighted at 1.76kg. That said, it can hold all your essentials, such as sleeping bag, clothing, toiletries, hiking poles and even ice axe, if you’re hiking in cold conditions.
If you’re looking for a backpack with compartments, this pack comes with plenty, with internal and external lid pockets, side pockets for water bottles, front pockets and even an internal hydration sleeve.
For comfort the backpack has padded straps and hip padding, with pockets on the hip for easy access to valuable items.
It is designed for the woman in mind.
The pack is a little more expensive at $100.00+, but well worth the price if it lasts for many years to come.
Tips on how to purchase the best budget travel backpacks
The most important thing you must do before you make any purchase, is to do your research. Well, that’s why you’re here.
Once you have selected a few of these best inexpensive travel backpacks, you should then visit the store and look at the backpacks, try them on and see if they will suit you and your needs.
Looking at images and videos online is great; you’ll get some idea of what backpack is more suitable for you. But that is as far as it will go.
You may find after purchasing it online, that it’s not comfortable or you don’t like something about it, due to its design, size or even weight.
When you are looking at backpacks, check its size, how many pockets it has, are the pockets enough and the right size for what you want, is it even lightweight and are you happy with its size and fit.
All of these factors should be taken into account before purchasing your best travel backpack.
Also consider what budget you have in mind? Buying the cheapest backpack may not be the best one for you. It could break, it might be too heavy and uncomfortable for you, or it might not be the right size for your travels.
You should establish what backpack is the best one for you and within your price range.
Conclusion, which travel backpack to purchase?
We have done all the research for you, by choosing the best travel backpacks to buy on a budget in 2023.
If you haven’t already visited a local outdoor, or hiking store, this is the next step. You should try each backpack on, to make sure you are completely satisfied with it, before making the purchase.
Once you are completely comfortable with your chosen backpack, you are on your way to having the most comfortable trip, leaving only memories not a painful back.
Did you purchase any of these backpacks? Which one did you purchase? Is there a backpack that you purchased on a budget that you would recommend? Let us know, with a comment below.
Continue your travel planning, with these useful posts:
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- Travel gift idea
- What to pack for a hike
- How to stay fit while travelling