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The best carry-on travel backpacks to consider

Now that travel is starting to become safe again, here are some travel backpacks that can make your voyage easier.
Man standing near window, holding luggage and wearing a backpack at the airport and watching plane before departure
We rounded up some travel backpacks from popular brands like TUMI, Away and Dagne Dover.YakobchukOlena / Getty Images

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Now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says fully vaccinated individuals can travel freely in the U.S., many people are gearing up to go on vacation for the first time in over a year. Vaccinated Americans may even be able to travel to through Europe as soon as this summer. If you’re one of the many Americans preparing to go on a much-deserved getaway, you might be looking to upgrade your travel accessories. One worthy investment to consider is a travel backpack, which can help you safety transport delicate belongings like laptops and passports and, in some cases, may even be able to replace bulkier carry-ons. Certain travel backpacks even come equipped with duffel bag handles, wheels and USB ports. To help you navigate all the travel backpack options out there, we rounded up some options from popular travel brands like Patagonia, Dagne Dover, TUMI and Away.

Best travel backpacks for women

Dagne Dover Dakota Neoprene Backpack

For the traveler who cares about fashion as much as function, Dagne Dover makes a water-resistant neoprene backpack available in three sizes — Small, Medium and Large — and several colors. The Large bag features a zippered laptop pocket, a shoe bag and a slip sleeve for your tablet, plus a top panel for your phone and several pockets. The Dakota Backpack has a 4.8-star average rating from 1,400 reviews on Dagne Dover.

Caraa Studio Bag

Available in Small, Medium and Large sizes, this travel backpack from Caraa also has a strap so you can wear it as a satchel or crossbody. According to the brand, the inside of the bag is lined with a waterproof and antimicrobial fabric and it comes with bags for a pair of shoes and some clothes (in case you want change before your flight). The Large bag boasts a 4.8-star rating from 45 reviews on Caraa’s site.

Ytonet Travel Backpack

One of the more affordable options on our list at $40, this carry-on backpack is designed with both safety and storage in mind. The bag features several interior and exterior pockets, plus a padded laptop pocket and a pocket equipped with an RFID scanner to protect sensitive information on your passport and credit cards from being stolen. It also comes with a USB charging port connected to a built-in charging cable (though power banks are sold separately). This travel backpack has a 4.8-star average rating from more than 2,200 Amazon reviews.

Tortuga Outbreaker Carry-On Travel Backpack

This travel backpack from Tortuga is designed to be your primary carry-on bag. According to the brand, it has room for seven days’ worth of essentials, and it opens flat like a suitcase so you can pack everything neatly. At 5.1 pounds completely empty, this bag is relatively lightweight for travel and the straps feature sweat-wicking Ariaprene foam padding for added comfort. It has a 4.5-star rating from more than 500 shoppers on Tortuga’s site.

Patagonia Black Hole Briefcase Backpack

This bag from Patagonia is made of durable and weather-resistant recycled polyester ripstop and meets most airlines’ carry-on requirements, according to the brand. It comes in two sizes — 26L and 45L — and can be carried as a backpack, a shoulder bag and a regular suitcase. It also has a rear sleeve so you can attach it to the handle of your rolling luggage and avoid neck and shoulder strain while you travel. The bag has a 4.8-star average rating from 68 reviews at Patagonia.

Best travel backpacks for men

The Ridge The Commuter Backpack

Boasting a 4.9-star average rating from nearly 300 reviews on The Ridge, this highly rated travel backpack is great for tech lovers. It’s built with a shock-resistant laptop compartment, external USB ports and an integrated power back holder so you can safely charge and carry your electronics. It also includes an RFID-blocking pocket, a water bottle holder and a roomy main compartment.

High Sierra Dell’s Canyon Convertible Duffle

This backpack is a highly rated option for the traveler who likes to trek in the outdoors — it’s made with durable hex ripstop and polyester that is built to withstand wear and tear. The bag can be carried like a duffel or a backpack depending on your preferences, and for longer trips, it expands for additional storage space. It has a 4.9-star rating from 27 reviews at High Sierra.

Briggs & Riley Convertible Duffle Backpack

This travel bag is a backpack and a duffel bag all in one — with the pull of a zipper, you can maneuver between the two options. The bag features a laptop compartment, an anti-theft RFID blocking pocket to protect your personal data and several mesh pockets to organize your belongings like in a suitcase.

TUMI Merge Wheeled Backpack

This TUMI backpack has wheels on the bottom like a rolling duffel — and it can be used like one when you don’t feel like lugging your items around on your back. When you’re using it as a backpack, fabric panels cover the wheels so they don’t get your clothes dirty. It has several exterior compartments for your laptop, water bottle and other essentials, and you can add a monogram for no extra charge.

Away Travel The Backpack

Unsurprisingly, the makers of some of the best carry-on luggage also make a great travel backpack. This bag has three main compartments, a 15-inch laptop pocket, a hidden zippered back pocket for your passport and a side pocket for a water bottle. It comes in sleek colors like Green Nylon, Navy Nylon and Asphalt Nylon and boasts a 4.9-star rating from 147 reviews on Away.

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