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The Best Backpacks for Long-Term Travel & Location Independent Living

Last week, I did a full run-down of the Best Travel Backpacks for your next trip. I always encourage  a carry-on for trips of 3 months or less, but what about trips that last over a year?

Or what about people who actually live on the road?

Or videographers, photographers, and other digital nomads who need to carry more equipment?

Sometime, a carry-on just doesn’t cut it.


If you must check-in, without a doubt the best option is a wheeled backpack hybrid. A 60-80 liter bag is bloody heavy. Other backpackers will snigger at you, but when their ass sweat leaves a trail all the way to the bus station, your only struggle will be holding back a smug smile. I’ve been all over the world with a wheeled backpack, and you’d be surprised how rarely you actually need to use the straps. Even in Mogadishu they have paved roads.

If you’re absolutely against wheels, so be it. Do your research elsewhere. My advice is just don’t get a top-loaded hiking bag; they’re a pain when you need access to something at the bottom of your bag.

Anyway, assuming you’re willing to listen my advice, here is a list of your best options.

Top 3 Best Travel Backpacks for Long Term Travelsojourn

3. Osprey Sojourn

This is the best option if you already have a carry-on or a fold up one daypack. It has wheels, straps, and it’s available in a 60L and 80L version. No other backpack looks cooler than the Osprey and the materials are the best money can buy. The only problem is it’s a little pricey. That said, I’ve yet to find a good alternative to the Sojourn. If you know of any, please mention it in the comments section and I will add it to the list.

UPDATE: Here’s one that comes kind of close.

2. Caribee Sky Master 70

This bag is probably the best bag your buck (see what I did there). Aside from having both wheels and straps, it also has a detachable backpack and a sky_master80_blueseparate compartment for shoes at the bottom. It’s an absolute winner. I could probably fit my whole life in this bag. It’s also available in the 80 liter version and the Fast Track version  that comes with clip-in daypack as opposed to zip based one. Personally, I would go with the Fast Track version. It doesn’t look as good , and the daypack is smaller, but you can detach it 3x quicker.  It depends on your priorities. If you want to store a laptop in the daypack, the Sky Master is probably a better option.

1. Osprey Meridian

Like the Caribee above, it has wheels, straps, and a detachable backpack. However, there’s no side pockets, shoe compartment, and it’s also more expensive. Realistically, you should go with Caribeospretye,  but the Meridian it just so…. sexy. I mean, look it at. You just want to slowly undo the zipper, slid you gear inside of her, and fill her up till she can’t take any more. *Druels*


That’s my round-up, folks!

If you know of any alternative you feel I should add to list, please leave your suggestions in the comment section.

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4 Responses to The Best Backpacks for Long-Term Travel & Location Independent Living

  1. MateuszBamski August 6, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

    As I wrote last time I strongly recommend Campus Nadel… I used it in Sahara, Swiss Alps, Iraq, Philippines… Really good raiot quality to price 😀

  2. Wiggly Woe September 6, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

    I prefer the OG Backpack.

  3. Jan Thielemann January 22, 2017 at 6:13 am #

    I haven’t heard to much good about the Sky Masters but I love my Osprey Farpoint 40 which I use as my carry on (and currently as my only bag). If I ever go back to something bigger, I think the Meridian looks very promising.

    What is your opinion on Deuter backpacks or are they a no go for you because they have no wheels?

    • Mark Zolo January 23, 2017 at 11:32 am #

      For long term, I really think you need wheels for the weight.

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