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The Best Travel Backpacks - A Guide by Remote Year

12. Nov. 2021

Traveling backpack

No matter where you go, your baggage comes with you. Whether of the literal or figurative kind, you’re always bringing something with you - something that you need, something that inspires you, or something that makes you feel a little more secure.

As any experienced traveler will tell you, you’re going to need an exceptional backpack to keep those essential belongings safe. You don’t want to be caught boarding a plane with just any regular old backpack. You want to know that the backpack you choose will be one that can last you through any situation.

Picture yourself running through the streets of Kyoto during a sudden rainstorm, looking for a roof to wait under until the downpour passes. Your backpack needs to protect your laptop through that.

Imagine waiting for a taxi in the hot midday sun of Medellín, sweat dripping down between your shoulder blades as time ticks slowly on. Your backpack needs to stay comfortable through that.

Think of what it would be like to head out on a walk back to the workspace on a snowy afternoon in Sofia. Your backpack needs to keep all of your tech in check through that.

Your backpack has to stand up to every climate and every situation. We know that there’s nothing predictable about travel, but the one thing that you should be able to count on is the quality and durability of your bag.

With that in mind, we’ve racked our brains (and those of the Remote Year community) to come up with a definitive list of cool backpacks for travelers in 2018.

Put your travel backpack to the test on a work and travel program

2018’s Best Travel Backpacks


The one made with remote workers in mind

If you spot a group of people on Remote Year waiting for their connecting flights, you’ll notice a trend. Tortuga backpacks are a mainstay in this crowd - and for good reason. Tortuga created their signature backpack with location independent workers in mind, each designed to fit a laptop and all the other gear (think: chargers, cameras, external hard drives, a wireless mouse, etc.) that you’ll need to get the job done. They offer three specifically-designed collections to appease any type of traveler: from the city-hoppers on weekend trips to the full-time digital nomads who are traveling indefinitely. Bonus: Tortuga’s blog offers great tips on how to effectively pack for a trip with their backpacks. Goodbye, packing guesswork!

All of Us

The one that supports a good cause

If you’re a socially-conscious traveler, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of All of Us backpacks. Not only do they have a unique aesthetic that makes them stand out in the crowd, but with each purchase you’ll know that you contributed to a globally important cause. 10% of  sales from All of Us  goes to support humanitarian aid through the International Rescue Committee. This commitment to giving back to those in need around the world aligns with the ethos of many travelers: that experiencing diverse cities through a local perspective is the only way to develop compassion and empathy. All of Us encourages its customers to get out and see the world with their backpacks in tow in the hopes that they too will affect a large-scale change in society.

Eagle Creek

The one that encourages fearless exploration

Ever heard the phrase “get out of your comfort zone?” That sentiment is  what Eagle Creek is all about. They create durable backpacks for travelers who don’t let anything hold them back from living every day to the fullest. They have a passion for discovering the many wonders that the world and its people have to offer, and their backpacks reflect this view. They are endlessly versatile, allowing you to pack as much as you need. They include organizers that are useful for every type of traveler. No matter if you’re tech-obsessed or more minimalist, your belongings will be where they’re meant to be. You’ll never risk leaving something important behind because you thought that it might already be hidden in your pile of stuff. Eagle Creek backpacks have a lifetime warranty, called the “No Matter What” warranty, that not only speaks to the quality of their products, but also to their dedication to creating products that won’t end up in a landfill. It must be working - their return rate is less than 1%.


The one that you can take anywhere

There is more to life than travel (that hurt a little bit to say), so when you’re choosing your backpack, it’s important to keep other aspects of your lifestyle in mind. Minaal backpacks were made to be taken from the tarmac to the boardroom, without skipping a beat. With bundles built for any situation, from quick business trips to long term adventures to daily exploration around the city that you’re living and working in, you’ll be sure to find the gear you need from Minaal. We could list the different features that make these backpack collections special, but we would be here all day. Okay, here’s a sampling: hip pads that take the weight off of your shoulders, secure laptop compartments, a shoulder sling, packing cubes and even a shirt protector.


The one that’s all over Instagram

We know that we said that this list was about the coolest backpacks for travelers, but we have a confession to make. This company doesn’t make backpacks - but we’re sure that you’ve seen their luggage on Instagram. Away has a sleek, identifiable design, and a lifetime warranty so your suitcases and carry-on bags are sure to last. Though they are stylish, and their aesthetic appeal is a major reason why so many people are flocking to buy these showstoppers, they also have a secret weapon: the ability to charge your devices. That’s right - no more pacing around the airport terminal in search of an available outlet. Away bags also come with a built-in TSA-approved lock, so you can be sure that your belongings are secure, no matter where you’re traveling.

Your backpack is the one item that will be coming with you wherever you go, holding your life together when the chaos of travel sets in. Whether you’re looking for something with heightened durability, or something that will look good on your Instagram feed, these travel backpacks will stand the test of time, giving  you one less thing to worry about while you’re experiencing the world.