Awhile ago on the forum there was a discussion on the best backpack to buy for a Euro trip. And recently, I also happen to have purchased a new backpack for my upcoming travels.
Having traveled the over 90 countries, I’ve went through several backpacks and have become an expert at packing for an adventure, so here’s a little guide to help you pick the perfect travel backpack for trips that are 6 months or less.
Top 3 Best Travel Backpacks for Men
One word: Carry-on.
Checked-in baggage is for women.
You see so many American guys backpacking in Europe looking like they’re about to climb Everest. They not only look like idiots, but are straining their back and spending small fortunes on checked in baggage. (European airlines prey on vanity).
If you can’t fit all your crap into a carry-on, you’re over-packing.
If I can travel for 3-4 months with a 35 liter bag that had everything I need, a laptop, and a video camera, there’s no good reason that you can’t do the same trip with a 50 liter bag. You’re a man, for Christ’s sake! Be a minimalist.
Here are a list of the best carry-on options available.
The lightest and best wheeled option (at least if you get it in blue). You can switch between strapped or wheeled, it has a removable day-pack, and it’s 50 liters and only 6lbs—big enough for everything you need, but small enough to carry on a plane. The only downside is it might be out of your budget. Amazon Link.
Perfect for: Eurotrips, North America, and most of Asia and South America.
The best non-wheeled option with a detachable daypack. At first, I thought 55 liters was too big for carry on, but this review shows that it does the job. This bag is better suited for serious adventure travel when paved roads are in short supply. Personally, I don’t see the need for wheels on a carry on unless your bag is super heavy anyway.
Perfect for: Africa, Central Asia, natural adventures like the Amazon or the Himalayas.
Cheaper Alternative: Deuter Transit 50
1. My choice: Combo of a Tortuga Backpack and Fold-up Daypack.
In my opinion, this is the best option.
I choose the Tortuga because it offers great dimensions for a carry-on and has a separate laptop compartment against your back. (Many others have it at the front of the backpack, which strains your back and offers less protection.) This backpack was specifically designed for digital nomads like myself. At 44 liters, it’s slightly smaller than the other two, but for me it’s plenty. I just bought it and I’m super excited. I might even give a video review of it the future.
I also picking up a separate day pack that’s super lightweight and folds up to fits in your pocket like this one. It’s super light weight, replaceable, and under $20! It’s also available in a whopping 33 liters. The quality is nothing compared to the detachable daypacks from Osprey, but it serves it’s purpose.
Perfect for: Everywhere.
Traveling for longer?
Need more room?
I’ve also reviewed the best backpack solutions for long-term and location independent travelers.