What Is The Best Carry On Backpack? A Guide For True Travelers

If you want a bag that is big enough to hold a week or two’s worth of travel stuff but small enough to carry on, it’s time to invest in the best carry on travel backpack. Using this bag is a great option to avoid the hassles of checking your bag.

The following products are the ones that stood out based on price value, ease of use and capacity. Use these reviews to find the one that suits you.

Our Top Picks At A Glance:

Osprey Porter for the Bargain Hunter

One of the least expensive options for carry on backpacks, the Osprey Porter features a basic suspension system, making it suitable for basic travels. Choose from three available sizes, the 30L, 46L and 65L.

This bag has a simple design, with no extra straps but just basic hip belt and shoulder straps. You can easily carry it on the top and side as it weighs only 2.5 pounds. Price starts at $100, which isn’t bad for a basic backpack built with compression sidewalls and backpack harness for comfort.

Osprey Porter for the Bargain Hunter

Kelty Redwing- Best Bang for your Back

Certainly one of the best travel backpack carry on for the price and features, this bag is a good option for frequent travelers. It is equipped with more advanced features but is very affordable. It also qualifies as the best overnight backpack or multipurpose pack that you can use for international travel or a day of hike.

It is top loading, with the top lid convertible to sling pack. Zippered side pockets offer easier access to your stuff. The front pocket with organization keeps small items in place. It is hydration compatible and is built with ventilating back panel. It weighs only 2 pounds and 10 ounces, making it

Kelty Redwing

Tortuga Backpack- Best In Class

Many carry on backpacks are hiking-style bags but this one is designed with the urban traveler in mind. Anyone would be confident to use it for city travels considering its sleek look, but you’ll be more impressed learning about its functionality. The size makes it fit to be carry on, making it one of the best backpacks for air travel since you don’t have to pay for baggage fees.

It loads in front, making it easy to find items. It has padded hip belt and shoulder straps for comfort. These straps can be neatly tucked behind the cover if you don’t want to see too many straps on your bag. You can hold it from the side using the side handles. It makes it possible to safely carry your laptop with you for it has a laptop sleeve, while the external pockets make it easy for you to bring some books or your water bottle.

Tortuga Backpack

Deuter Transit 50- Only if you Want the Best

If you’re both an outdoor enthusiast and air traveler, this is a great option. It boasts quality suspension system, nice help bit and well-padded shoulder straps that can all be stowed away. The shoulder straps allow you to carry it like a messenger bag, something that the other bags don’t offer.

The bag ensures a great fit, since the torso length can be adjusted to fit from 15.5-inch to 22-inches. The back is contoured and padded with breathable foam for ultimate comfort. Another excellent feature is the removable daypack perfect for day trips. The 50-liter bag also has front pockets that hold your valuables in place.


eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender- Awesome for the Price

The 54-liter lightweight backpack is an excellent choice for women as it comes in light colors and travel-friendly features. It packs like a suitcase and for the price, it would be difficult to find a similar product with the same features. It has multiple pockets for easy organization. It also comes with an adjustable laptop sleeve and an expandable sipper to add more load.

The main compartment measures 21X3X13 when not expanded, the perfect size for trips and the best travel carry on backpack for those on a budget. The quality fabric, the pockets and compartments are combined to make it an easy bag to carry.

eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender

How to Avoid the Pain of Lost Luggage

The airline industry is seemingly always finding ways to make travel more difficult for us world travellers. It used to be that we were permitted two 50-pound bags for free. Then it was one. Next, some of the budget airlines got rid of free checked baggage all together, and even decided to strictly limit the size of your free online carry on bag. If you are a budget traveller like me, paying excess baggage fees can easily affect your travel budget. Thus, finding a travel backpack that meets the strict (and often insane) size regulations of most airlines is essential.

Furthermore, by finding a backpack that can be carried on to your flight, you also reduce the risk of losing your checked baggage. When you are on a tight travel schedule, having to wait around the airport for a couple days (or even a week) in order to recuperate your belongings can be a major bummer. You can find a complete guide here to the best travel backpacks that are also small enough to be able to be carried on to your next flight.

Final Thoughts

No one bag suits every kind of traveler. When choosing the best carry on backpack for traveling, think about the factors that matter to you, such as the weight, capacity, comfort, expandability, quality of materials and cost. Go with the one that meets your priorities and make sure the downsides are liveable.

So, which factors matter to you?

Scott Moey

Based in Brooklyn, New York, entrepreneur and philanthropist Scott Moey lives a wild life as an adventurer, explorer and traveller. He blogs about his love for the outdoors on LiveOnceLiveWild.com.

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