Best Travel Backpack for Men in 2018

Backpacks are commonly used to carry school books or for hiking trips, but travel backpacks or travel duffels also make for a great carryon luggage piece. They meet most airline restrictions for size and allow you to keep your hands free when you are traveling.

With a travel backpack for men, you’re able to store your carryon beneath the seat so you can easily access anything you need during your flight. They are also the perfect size to be used as overnight or weekend bags to throw in all your travel gear such as clothes and water bottles. For many men, a travel backpack is the perfect piece of luggage.

How Do You Choose the Best Travel Backpack for Men?

Picking out a backpack for carryon travel or weekend travel that fits travel essentials and the odd personal item can be more complicated than choosing a backpack for schoolbooks or even for hiking or other purposes. With a travel backpack, you not only need to find something that suits your needs (water bottle pocket, a front zippered pocket, a padded laptop compartment, etc.)  you might need something that fits airline restrictions. And, depending on your situation, things like style and the fit of the backpack are also important.

The good news is finding the perfect travel backpack makes everything easier. The effort you put into narrowing down your choices and finding the pack that’s just right for you is well worth it when you’re traveling without any concern for the pack you’re using.

What are some of the most important things you should consider when shopping for a travel backpack for men?


The first thing you should consider when shopping for a backpack for travel is the fit of the pack. If a backpack doesn’t fit or is uncomfortable nothing else will matter. The best bag in the world does you no good and isn’t the best bag for you if it fits your body poorly.

There are a few things you should consider when assessing the fit of the bag. First, is the hip belt. This is the strap that goes around your hips and helps you bear the weight of heavier loads. If it’s too low or too high it’s not going to serve its purpose and might actually cause your body pain or injury.

The next fit factor is the torso length of the pack. A proper backpack fit will match the length of your torso. To get your torso length measurement, measure between your shoulder blades to the top of your hips.

Next up is the shoulder straps. You want the straps of a travel backpack to extend a couple to three inches past your armpits. There should also be as much padding as reasonable that conforms to the shape of your shoulders.

The final factor regarding fit is the backpack’s back panel. Soft, padded panels are great, but they aren’t going to offer as much ventilation as thinner padding. Padding is good, but many cheaper packs load up on back padding to compensate for other shortcomings and you end up with a sweaty back and a cheap, poorly made pack. Look for a backpack with air mesh foam that offers decent airflow.


The volume of a backpack refers to its interior size and the load it can handle. Volume is measured in liters and the majority of packs are going to fall somewhere in the 15L to 85L range—so a pretty varied amount.

Though it might seem as though choosing the largest volume you can afford is the way to go, this isn’t always the case. Bigger isn’t always better and the majority of “travel backpack experts” recommend searching for a bag around 50L, give or take 5 to 10L. This gives you plenty of space without resulting in your bag being too heavy for travel, and it encourages you to be as efficient as possible when packing.


Most travel backpacks provide mainly the same features, but there are some differences here and there. There are also no rules regarding what is best for features—it’s just about what you as the individual traveler prefer.

Some of the most common features in a travel backpack for men include:

  • Easy access to the main compartment
  • Stow-away suspension
  • Zipper pockets, external, and internal
  • Fear loops
  • Water-resistant

There might be a few other features that specific manufacturers like to add to their packs but, in general, this is what you are going to get. It’s just a matter of choosing specifics that are right for you. For instance, do you want external zipper pockets with locks? Do you want to be able to access the main compartment from the top and the bottom? Give some thought to your travel habits before you begin shopping, so you’ll have some idea of what will work and what won’t work for you.

Our Picks for Best Travel Backpack for Men

Kelty Redwing 44 Travel Backpack

This pack has a volume of 44L and is great for traveling. It works well for short- and long-term trips and has a style that is more metropolitan than it is hitting the trails. The pack features a LightBeam aluminum stay and high-density polyethylene frame, which makes it easy to manage your heavier loads.

The back and straps are comfortably padded but cut down on heat generation by using the Dynamic AirFlow system back panel so you stay cool even when wearing the pack for long stretches of time.

Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack

This Osprey backpack is named the 40 because of its volume: it holds 40L. It’s ideal for travel and combines size, comfort, and portability. This bag is special because you can use it as a backpack or a duffel, depending on your preference and the situation. It’s comfortable and features sturdy and functional shoulder straps and a hip belt.

Gregory Zulu 55

This is a 55L backpack that’s great for travel, but can also do double-duty for hiking and backpacking. It features a classic design and offers great lumbar support because of its CrossFlo suspension system. It’s hydration compatible and comes with a rain cover to protect it from the elements.


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