Are you gearing up for your next travel adventure? If so, you’ll need to pick the best travel backpack for digital nomads.
Choosing the right travel backpack can be a daunting task. Pick a backpack that’s too big, and you’ll have extra weight to carry around. Too small and you won’t be able to fit all your travel essentials. Pick the wrong material, and your belongings will be soaked when it rains.
Plus, the market is flooded with so many nomad backpacks that it can be hard to determine the right one for your needs.
We’re here to ease you the trouble of finding the perfect backpack for your needs. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the best travel backpacks for the digital nomad. But first, a quick primer on the factors to consider when picking a backpack.
- How to Choose the Best Travel Backpack
- The Best Travel Backpacks for Digital Nomads
How to Choose the Best Travel Backpack
There are a few things to consider when choosing a backpack.
Basically, your nomad backpack should be roomy enough to fit all your travel essentials. It should also be comfortable, durable, and the right fit.
That said, don’t just buy a backpack because of the brand or because it’s in the lower price bracket. Each of the factors discussed below is important, and not considering them can negatively impact your nomadic lifestyle.
Size matters a lot when it comes to choosing a backpack.
There’s no one size truth when it comes to choosing a nomad backpack. But no one wants to carry a bulky backpack, stuffed to the brim, weighing a ton. Not only will it strain your back, but it can also make your travel less fun.
If traveling light, stick to travel backpacks ranging between 35 and 50 liters. Regardless of the length of your stay, don’t choose a backpack larger than 65 liters.
Choose a backpack with water-resistant materials. The last thing you want is your stuff to get soaked in a sudden downpour.
Look for a nomad backpack made from weather-resistant materials like nylon or polyester. Also, ensure all the zippers and seams are well sealed.
Comfort is perhaps the most crucial factor to consider when choosing a travel backpack.
It doesn’t matter whether the backpack is made of durable materials or it costs 50 dollars less than a competing brand…if it doesn’t deliver the much-needed comfort, it isn’t the right one for you. Your backpack will probably be with you in most if not all parts of the journey.
That’s why you have to feel comfortable with it. Buying a backpack that will not make you feel comfortable might make your travel experience more challenging.
Knowing how many straps your backpack has and where they’re located is critical when shopping for a backpack.
Hip straps are a MUST have in a travel backpack. If all the weight is concentrated on your back, it can result in back pain. Having hip straps helps facilitate the upper part of the body to carry your backpack in a more functional way.
The straps should also be comfortable enough to allow an even distribution of weight across your shoulders. Cheap backpacks usually have thin and flimsy straps that cause pain and discomfort after a few minutes of wear. Be willing to spend extra to get a backpack with paddled, ergonomic straps.
The Best Travel Backpack for Digital Nomads
Without further ado, these are the best backpacks for digital nomads.
1. Pac Safe Venturesafe EXP45 ECONYL
Designed for intrepid travelers, the Pac Safe EXP45 ECONYL is the perfect backpack for digital nomads who want spacious bags for long-distance travel.
Why digital nomads love this backpack—security.
This stylish backpack is packed with many anti-theft features to keep off pickpocketers. From lockable zippers and cut-resistant materials to the Roobar locking system and stainless-steel locking cable, you can rest assured thieves will not find their way into your bag.
This backpack is versatile enough to be used for pretty much any type of general travel. It opens like a clamshell allowing different packing arrangements and meets carry-on restrictions for most airlines.
The interior is rather uncomplicated, allowing more room to pack all your belongings. Digital nomads will love the quick access to the laptop sleeve on the outside. There are also secure compartments for your chargers, phones, and other gadgets you’d want to carry around.
In terms of comfort, the EXP45 sits easily on one shoulder when packed under 7kg. The backpack comes with an adjustable sternum strap and padded hip belt for stability and comfort.
Pros of the EXP45 ECONYL Backpack
- Very secure with top-notch anti-theft features
- Adjustable straps for maximum comfort
- Lots of space
- Looks stylish
- Carries equally well as a soft-sided suitcase
Cons of the EXP45 Backpack
- Bulkier and heavier than other bags
- The narrow straps can get uncomfortable when the bag is fully loaded
2. Tortuga Outbreaker
This backpack combines the space and the organization of a suitcase with the comfort and flexibility of a hiking backpack.
Why digital nomads love it—space
Both sizes (35 and 45lts) can comfortably fit a 17-inches laptop and tablets of up to 9.7-inches. There are also side compartments and mesh pockets that can be used to store electronic accessories.
Design-wise, the Outbreaker is built with tough, weather-resistant materials, so you’ll never have to worry about your staff being soaked in a downpour. The minimal design means that this backpack works well for work trips and travel adventures.
The Outbreaker is also comfortable to carry around. The backpack comes with extra padding that gives you more ventilation and breathability, ideal for those long-distance hikes. The adjustable shoulder straps also make the bag super comfortable.
Pros of the Tortuga Outbreaker
- Spacious with many side pockets
- Lots of internal organization
- Comfortable harness system
Cons of the Tortuga Outbreaker
- Hip belt is too long
- A little bulkier and heavier than other backpacks of its size
3. GORUCK GR3
GORUCK designed their GR3 backpack with travel in mind. This heavyweight backpack checks all the boxes with respect to space, price, flexibility, and comfort.
Why digital nomads love it – space
Saying that GORUCK GR3 is spacious would be an understatement. This pack is incredibly huge that international flights will likely have issues with its size.
The front houses three zippered compartments that you can use to store computer accessories or small travel essentials for quick access. Then there is the main cavity which is spacious and lined with loop materials that allow for hook-backed pouches to be attached.
Digital nomads requiring a lot of space for travel packing will fall in love with this backpack. The beauty of this bag is that you can pack everything you need, and it will still fit in the overhead compartment.
Design-wise, the GR3 is constructed from tough 1000D Cordura® Nylon, an incredibly tough material that’s water repellant, abrasion, and tear-resistant. All this craftsmanship comes at a cost. At 2kgs, the backpack is heavy even when empty.
The GR3 features adjustable hip belts for added comfort. It also comes with two padded side handles, perfect for carrying through the airport.
GORUCK GR3 Pros
- Large capacity that’s easy to utilize
- Constructed of tough, durable materials
- Quite comfortable under load
- Multiple handles that make it easy to carry
- Easy to stay organized with hook-backed pouches and packing cubes
GORUCK GR3 Cons
- Bulky and heavy
- Not carry on compliant for all airlines
- Tricky internal organization
4. Aer Travel Pack 2
The Aer Travel Pack 3 is an excellent backpack with a sleek look, designed for traveling smart.
Why digital Nomads love the Travel Pack 3: Versatility
Whether you want a backpack for hiking adventures, light travel, or remote working, the Aer Travel Pack 3 is an excellent option.
This backpack has a sleek laptop compartment where you can fit up to a 17-inch laptop. This compartment opens like a clamshell, making packing super easy. All the other travel gear can be stored in the main compartment.
Within the main compartment are additional two-zippered storage zones that you can use to put laptop accessories and other non-bulky toiletries. There’s also a shoe compartment that’s accessed from the outside of the pack.
Design-wise, the Travel Pack 3 is constructed from 1680D CORDURA® ballistic nylon weave—which is an incredibly tough material. The back panel has stretch mesh for extra comfort. Though it doesn’t come with a hip belt, it does have some loops that allow for a hip belt to be attached.
Travel Pack 3 Pros
- Sleek design with great attention to detail
- Great features
- Strong and Durable
Travel Pack 3 Cons
- No hip belt
- The laptop compartment lacks straps or clips to secure the laptop
5. Tropicfeel Shell
Tropicfeel Shell is a 3-in-1 adjustable backpack ideal for all types of travel.
Why digital nomads live the Tropicfeel Shell backpack – flexibility
The Tropicfeel Shell is perhaps the most flexible backpack you’ll find on the market today.
Designed to be the most flexible and versatile backpack, the Shell adapts to your travel needs. Digital nomads love that they can customize this bag depending on the length of the trip they plan to take.
Going on an epic 3-months adventure? You can customize the backpack to its maximum capacity of 40 liters. Heading for a weekend getaway in the Grand Canyon? Just shrink it down to just 22 liters capacity.
But it’s not just its ability to adapt to the length of the trip that makes it stand out.
The Shell is made of tough, water-resistant polyester material. In terms of comfort, the Shell doesn’t compromise either. It features an ergonomic back panel, adjustable sternum straps, and a hidden hip belt for maximum comfort.
Tropicfeel Shell Pros
- An excellent all-in-one system
- Lighter than most travel backpacks
- Generous back panel foam padding for added comfort
- Sleek looking
- Small enough to carry on
Tropicfeel Shell Cons
- Lacks side compression straps
6. Cabin Zero ADV PRO BACKPACK 42L
The Cabin Zero ADV Pro is an excellent backpack ideal for any traveler who needs a versatile yet stylish travel bag with a lot of space.
Why digital nomads love the Cabin Zero ADV PRO—features
The ADV pro is a minimal bag that packs a lot of features ideal for the digital nomad. Some of its top features include a main compartment that can be loaded from the top or front, a quick access zip pocket, and a water bottle.
There’s also a padded laptop compartment space you can use to safely store your laptop. The laptop compartment is large enough to fit a 14-inch laptop and small tablets. There are also two main exterior pockets you could use to keep laptop accessories.
In terms of comfort, the ADV Pro doesn’t disappoint.
The backpack comes with thick and wide straps made with a perforated EVA foam with a breathable mesh on the back. The straps are also highly adjustable, with elastic keepers to prevent them from dangling and top load adjusters to keep the bag close to your back.
Cabin Zero ADV Pros
- Features rich
- Adjustable straps for added comfort
- Minimalist design
- Two handles for easier carrying it in your hands
Cabin Zero ADV Cons
- The belly strap can be a bit of a nuisance sometimes
- Can’t fit a 15-inch laptop
7. Topo Designs Global Travel Bag
The Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 40L offers travelers the much-needed space and great organization in a classic heritage style.
Why digital nomads love the Topo Designs Global Travel Bag – Pockets
Pockets are everything for the digital nomad. The Top Designs Global Travel Bag has multiple outside organizer pockets and the main compartment. These pockets are zippered and spacious enough to fit computer accessories and travel essentials.
There’s also a laptop compartment that can fit a 15.6-inches laptop.
The bag is also made of waterproof material, which works to protect your electronics from getting soaked in water.
Whether you’re a remote worker an avid traveler, the Topo Designs Travel Bag is the ideal bag for you. This classic travel bag checks all the boxes for size, design, versatility, and price. There are three ways to carry this back: via the stowable backpack straps, stowable should strap, or top and side handle.
Topo Designs Global Travel Bag Pros
- High-quality, weather-resistant materials
- “Three ways to carry” design offers a lot of flexibility
- Slim profile
- Incredibly lightweight
Topo Designs Global Travel Bag Cons
- May not align with many airlines’ travel restrictions
- No water bottle pockets
- The laptop compartment is too small
There you have it! The best travel backpacks for digital nomads.
While there are a ton of amazing backpacks to choose from on the market today, these ones are the deal breakers for the digital nomads.
We hope this guide will help you find the best travel backpack for your travel needs. Feel free to comment and share!
Once you’ve got your digital nomad backpack, check out our guides to:
- Essential digital nomad gadgets and gear
- The best laptops for digital nomads to travel and work remotely
- The best noise-cancelling headphones (w/ microphones) for digital nomads
- Best Virtual Mailboxes for Digital Nomads & Remote Professionals in 2019
- How to Have Reliable Internet Connection to Work While Traveling Abroad
- How to Keep Your Data Secure When Working Remotely
- Best Remote Based Working Companies Hiring Now
- The Best Countries to Incorporate a Remote Based Company for Digital Nomads
- Best Places to Live For Digital Nomads: Top 10 Cities Today
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