Inside the life of luxury travelers.

Best Backpack For Travel: Considerations To Take

A versatile backpack is essential for anyone who’s on the move. From protecting your laptop to heading off to college, to weekend getaways and global jet-setting, it’s important that you safely carry your stuff.

As reviewers, we’re so over those expensive, status bags that let us down. The lack of space, the seams that rip, the zippers that split – we could go on. But we’d be here all day. In such a crowded market, we want to find one that works well for sports, travel, work, and everyday.

Keep reading to find out the top backpack contenders in each category, and which we think is the best travel backpack in 2023.

Best Travel Backpack for Travel Photography

If you’re a photography buff, you’re going to need a sturdy, protective bag for your fragile equipment. Initially, we liked the Tumi Alpha 3 Brief Pack because it has so many pockets and compartments. But when we saw the outrageous $625 price tag, we almost fell over!

But then Ekster’s GRID™ Backpack popped up in our most recommended items and, wow, it seemed excellent for storing precious tech at a fraction of the cost.

The GRID™ is sleek black, built-to-last, and made with ingenious water-resistant materials. It has a top-access, suspended & padded 16-inch laptop compartment. There’s a quick-access, magnetic tech/glasses pocket in the computer compartment – with a velvet interior to prevent scratches. You can add the GRID™ Camera Cube to your Backpack to hold and protect your photographic accessories.

Best Travel Backpack for Outdoor Activities

Outdoor activities – biking, kayaking, mountain climbing – require a lightweight-yet-rugged, comfy and ergonomic backpack. While the NOMATIC Travel Pack 20L bag is good enough, Ekster’s GRID™ still wins in this category. Although the innovative GRID™ is made with premium polyester, tarpaulin materials, and tough, waterproof zippers, it’s surprisingly more affordable than the NOMATIC. As an aside: NOMATIC’s silhouette is bulky and, frankly, not very attractive or functional.

Plus, the GRID™ Backpack’s ergo-padded and airmesh-ventilated back panel ensures active cooling meets the highest ergonomic design standards no matter the conditions you find yourself in. Its adjustable shoulder straps have a gradation pattern so both straps remain at the same length. It also provides the solid balance and carrying comfort necessary for rigorous outdoor activities like hiking and other sports. It also has attachment straps for extra gear and it can be stored flat when not in use.

Best Everyday Backpack

When it comes to Everyday Backpacks, we’re rating access, organization, roominess, protection, practicality, and functionality. While Peak Design’s Everyday Backpack is popular these days, we – yet again – much prefer the GRID™ Backpack by Ekster.

Both bags are 20L and expandable with a compartment for a 13-16" laptop. There’s room for items like your lunch, water bottle, jacket, wallet, phone, keys, sunglasses, and passport. But the GRID™ truly has the edge here. There’s RFID lining that protects your data – and you can add superb trackability with their Tracker Card – so you’ll always have peace of mind with Ekster.

Best Travel Backpack For Flights

It was a toss up again between the NOMATIC Travel Pack 20L bag and the GRID™ Backpack by Ekster. After trying both, we found that, again, Ekster wins the battle of the carry-ons. It’s the ideal size for hand luggage at 30x47x15cm and spacious enough for your most valuable items – and TSA approved.

We love that you can easily add the Ekster Tracker Card to make the GRID™ Backpack trackable, and virtually unlosable. Plus, it has a luggage pass-through strap and the balancing grippy bottom means it won't topple over when you set it down while waiting at the gate or in the airplane aisle.

Conclusion: Our Final Verdict – What’s The Best Travel Backpack?

No surprise that our winner for the Best Backpack is the GRID™ Backpack by Ekster for a number of reasons. While each bag has its own merits, Ekster’s ticks every box – and far more.

When choosing a new backpack we like to focus on practicality and versatility. Just like their super-smart, smart wallets, Ekster’s GRID™ Backpack is built for life on the move. Out of all the bags we tried, the GRID™ Backpack by Ekster is ideal for everyday, a weekend trip, or it can be used as a carry-on – so practical.

At the end of the day, we’re super impressed with how affordable the GRID™ Backpack is compared to other brands out there that charge $600+ for inferior packs.

From your daily commute to all your outdoor activities, the GRID™ Backpack by Ekster is the best backpack for travel on the planet. So, get out there and enjoy the adventure!

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