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Best Backpacks For Travelers: 6 Options With Pros And Cons

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If you are looking for the best backpacks for travelers, you came to the right place! Whenever you go on a trip (whether it's a short one, or you're a digital nomad), there are some essential items and travel tips that can make your experience much easier. A good backpack happens to be one of them.

Don't think of it just as a piece of fabric that can hold your stuff for the day. Instead, think of how many things you can carry around without even having to keep track of them.

Tissues, Band-Aids, extra money, a small towel, a power bank, pen & paper, plastic (or reusable) bags, a small umbrella. If you plan your trip right, you can ALWAYS have this essentials handy without having to be constantly packing and repacking. And THAT is one of the key uses of a good backpack.

Let us walk you through what we've found to be the best backpacks for travelers and digital nomads in the market.


  1. TropicFeel Shell
  2. Quechua Arpenaz NH500 20 L Hiking
  3. Nomatic Travel Pack
  4. TropicFeel Hive
  5. Quechua Arpenaz NH100 Hiking 20 L
  6. Nomatic McKinnon backpack
  7. Bonus

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TropicFeel Shell

Credit of the photo: TropicFeel

Water-resistant zippers
Expandable from 20L to 42L
Additional organization modules
TSA friendly

A little pricy (worth it, though)
Only one physical store (Barcelona, Spain)

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La creme de la creme. This backpack checks all boxes. It can be used as your daily backpack to move around. You can use it for a weekend getaway. You can even have a week-worth of of clothes if you use it to its fullest!

What makes the Tropicfeel Shell unique is its capability to go from a 22L backpack into a 40L one. Yes, almost double! The top compartment expands, and the bottom has a hidden kangaroo pocket for your shoes.

TropicFeel Shell

Credit of the photo: TropicFeel

As well, ALL zippers are waterproof. We found this to be one of the best features, if not the top, when it comes to travel & hike during rainy season. Our camera equipment can always find shelter inside the backpack.

The main zippers opens fully, allowing you to have the laptop compartment separated from the rest of the backpack. This will make your airport TSA check much easier and comfortable.

Tropicfeel also offers several modules that can be added for more organization (like a compressible wardrobe, an independent toiletries pouch, or a tech pouch (for your cables & other accessories).

Quechua Arpenaz NH500 20 L Hiking

Credit of the photo: Quechua

Several travel solutions in one bag
Adaptable to different scenarios

A little too big for daily use
Not water resistant

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The Quechua Camping backpack offers something pretty unique. Big storage, with the ability to keep your food and drinks cold! You read right, the backpack has a dedicated pocket that is meant to keep cold things for longer than a normal pocket.

This backpack has been particularly useful for trips where you may mix cities and camping. It still has a laptop compartment, which is super useful for nomads. And at the bottom you can even find a secret pocket with a...drum roll...picnic blanket! Even though it's super simple, it can be extremely useful.

Quechua Arpenaz NH500 20 L Hiking

Credit of the photo: Quechua

They really planned this one out, because the dedicated cold compartment can be opened or closed with a zipper. This way, you can have more storage whenever you don't need your stuff to stay cold.

Nomatic Travel Pack

Credit of the photo: Nomatic backpacks

Full of organization pockets
TSA friendly

$$$ - a bit more expensive that others
Doesn't have add-ons

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This backpack is meant to be your daily partner. Even though it's more useful for cities rather than nature, it still holds up super well.

The nomatic backpack has pockets for EVERYTHING. For your water bottle, for your keys, for your office supplies, for your laptop. It's really a little portable wardrobe. You can have all your basics ready to go, and simply add whatever you need for the day.

Nomatic Travel Pack

Credit of the photo: Nomatic backpacks

The main compartment also expands by 50%! This is what makes the Nomatic backpack a great option for a weekend getaway.

Just like in the Tropicfeel Shell, the laptop sleeve opens fully, allowing you to go through TSA with ease. It comes in two sizes: 14L and 20L.

TropicFeel Hive

Credit of the photo: TropicFeel

Modular design with add-ons

Expandable from 22L to 46.5L
Multi purpose

Need the add-ons to make it worth the price

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The TropicFeel Hive backpack is meant to be your daily partner, while offering some accessories to go on a longer trip.

The main add-on goes in the front of the backpack. It consists of a packing cube for your clothes, that can be compressed. And since it doesn't technically go inside the backpack, it doesn't use a lot of space.

TropicFeel Hive

Credit of the photo: TropicFeel

On top of that, you can buy a wardrobe that compresses, allowing you to pack an extra 20%. As well, a toiletries' pouch, attachable to the front of the backpack, and even a detachable fanny pack (that serves as a weist belt when attached to the backpack).

Lastly, the backpack also has a zipper in the back, which releases extra space, expanding the maximum capacity, and allowing you to use it for your weekend trips. So believe us when we tell you that you will not be left alone with this one.

Quechua Arpenaz NH100 Hiking 20 L

 Credit of the photo: Quechua

Ideal size for a daily backpack
Super light
Fits in every locker
$ - Very affordable

Not water resistant
Doesn't have a lot of pockets

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If you're looking for a light, affordable, easy-to-csery backpack to move around, this is perfect for you.

The Quechua 20L backpack is a simple, yet big enough backpack that can carry way more than it looks like.

Quechua Arpenaz NH100 Hiking 20 L

Credit of the photo: Quechua

Besides the main pocket, you have 4 other ones. A small front pocket for quick access, two side net pockets (for a small tripod, a water bottle, or even a pair of flip flops), and a hidden pocket inside the backpack. This last one is great for your money, keys or even your passport!

On top of it, the Quechua 20L costs less than 3 meals in McDonald's (we don't ever eat there, but may be it's the most universal way of giving a price reference).

Nomatic McKinnon backpack

Credit of the photo: Nomatic backpacks

Quick-access pockets
Modular interior design
Weather resistant

$$$ - Above average spend for a backpack

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Now, before you skip through this one, let me tell you something. If you rather have one backpack for ALL uses, instead of one for daily use, one for tech equipment, and one for a getaway, this may just be a great choice for you.

This backpack was designed with Peter McKinnon, a world-known photographer who's always moving around with tons of cameras, lenses, and other tech products that need to travel safely.

Nomatic McKinnon backpack

Credit of the photo: Nomatic backpacks

Nomatic McKinnon backpack

Credit of the photo: Nomatic backpacks

The interior of the backpack has a modular structure that's fully customizable. This comes particularly handy when you want to mix clothes and tech.

The main pocket opens 180 degrees, making it super easy to access all of your stuff. As well, the front compartment can expand, giving you that extra inch or space for a longer trip.

It comes in two sizes: 25L and 35L. It's up to your needs to choose which one fits your schedule best. What we can assure you is that you won't be disappointed.

Quechua Arpenaz NH100 Hiking 10

Credit of the photo: Quechua

Super portable
As cheap as it gets

No organization pockets
Can't fit large items

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We added this as a bonus, because this backpack is really not meant to be your main backpack. However, it can come VERY handy when traveling.

Has it ever happened to you that you travel somewhere with a backpack, but you pack it fully, which prevents you from using it daily DURING your trip?

Quechua Arpenaz NH100 Hiking 10 L

Credit of the photo: Quechua

Well, the Quechua 10L backpack is a great addition. If you want to leave your accommodation to explore a new destination, but don't need to take a lot with you, simply unroll your smaller backpack.

10 liters will be more than enough for your essentials, or even to bring with you in case you buy something throughout the day.

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There's a backpack for every person (or in Fede's case, one million backpacks for every person!). If you are planning to move around the globe, choosing a good backpack for travelers will save you from headaches and issues.

We hope this list can help you as a travel tip & first step towards having the right equipment to start making the best out of your trips, so you can become a better traveler!

Looking to plan your next trip? Scratch Your Mapa offers customized travel planning services so that you can stress less and save more! Shoot us an email for your free consultation today.

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