What Are the Different Types of Travel Backpacks?

When it comes to traveling, having the right backpack can make all the difference in terms of comfort, convenience, and functionality. With numerous available options, it’s essential to understand the different types of travel backpacks to choose the perfect one for your needs. 

This article will explore various types of travel backpacks, including daypacks, carry-on backpacks, travel duffel bags, trekking backpacks, rolling backpacks, and travel laptop backpacks, and discuss their features, benefits, best use, popular brands, and examples.


People typically use daypacks for day trips or short hikes as they are lightweight and compact, making them ideal for carrying essentials such as water bottles, snacks, sunscreen, and a camera. Daypacks usually have a capacity of 10-30 liters and come with features like padded shoulder straps, water bottle pockets, and multiple compartments for organization.

Some of the benefits of daypacks include their lightweight nature, which makes them comfortable to carry for long periods, and their versatility, as you can use them for various outdoor activities. Daypacks are ideal for day trips or short hikes where you need to carry only the essentials. Popular daypack brands include Osprey, Patagonia, and North Face.

Carry-On Backpacks

Airline regulations for carry-on luggage dictate the design of carry-on backpacks, making them an ideal choice for air travel. They are typically larger than daypacks, with a capacity ranging from 30-45 liters, and come with features like padded shoulder straps, lockable zippers, and multiple compartments for efficient packing. Most airplanes have overhead compartments that can accommodate carry-on backpacks, enabling travelers to avoid checked baggage fees and save time at the airport.

Some benefits of carry-on backpacks include their convenience and portability, as they allow you to carry all your essentials and avoid the hassle of waiting for checked luggage. However, it’s important to note that size restrictions for carry-on backpacks vary by airline, so it’s essential to check the specific regulations before boarding your flight. Popular brands for carry-on backpacks include Eagle Creek, Osprey, and Tortuga.

Travel Duffel Bags

Travel duffel bags are versatile and easy-to-use bags suitable for weekend trips or carrying sports equipment. They come in various sizes, from small duffel bags for overnight trips to large duffel bags for extended trips. And feature durable materials like nylon or canvas. Travel duffel bags typically have a large main compartment, top handles, and a removable shoulder strap for easy carrying.

Travel duffel bags offer versatility. Depending on the user’s preference, you can use them as a backpack or carry them like a traditional duffel bag. They are also ideal for sports enthusiasts carrying equipment like soccer balls, basketballs, or gym gear. Popular brands for travel duffel bags include Patagonia, The North Face, and REI.

Trekking Backpacks

Designers create trekking backpacks for multi-day or extended trips in the great outdoors. They are typically larger in size, with a capacity ranging from 40-80 liters. They come with features like adjustable suspension systems, padded hip belts, and external attachment points. Trekking backpacks evenly distribute weight across your body, making them comfortable for carrying long distances.

Some of the key features of trekking backpacks include their ergonomic design

and durability, which are essential for withstanding the rigors of outdoor adventures. They often have specialized compartments and pockets for organizing gear, such as sleeping bags, tents, and cooking equipment. Trekking backpacks also come with a rain cover to protect your belongings from wet weather.

Fit is one of the most critical factors to consider when choosing a trekking backpack. It’s essential to ensure that the backpack fits your body comfortably. And distributes the weight evenly to prevent strain on your back and shoulders during long hikes. Popular brands for trekking backpacks include Deuter, Gregory, and Black Diamond.

Rolling Backpacks

Travelers who want the versatility of a backpack combined with the convenience of wheeled luggage prefer rolling backpacks. This is because they come with wheels and a retractable handle. Hence, it allows them to roll like a traditional suitcase or be carried on the back using shoulder straps. Rolling backpacks typically have a capacity ranging from 30-60 liters and feature padded shoulder straps, multiple compartments, and durable wheels.

One of the significant benefits of rolling backpacks is their versatility. One can use them for urban travel or carrying heavy loads, making them ideal for business travelers or students. They are also useful for navigating crowded airports or train stations without carrying the weight on your back the entire time. Popular brands for rolling backpacks include High Sierra, Samsonite, and SwissGear.

ALSO READ: What Are the Different Types of Travel Bags?

Travel Laptop Backpacks

Travel laptop backpacks cater to digital nomads or business travelers who need to carry laptops and tech gear on the go. They feature a dedicated padded compartment for laptops and multiple pockets for organizing essentials.

These backpacks are sleek and professional-looking, with features like padded shoulder straps and back padding for comfort. They are also made of durable materials like nylon or polyester.

One of the key features of travel laptop backpacks is their laptop protection and organization, with padded sleeves and compartments to keep your devices safe from bumps and scratches. They also provide easy access to your tech gear, making them convenient for security checkpoints or when you need to retrieve your laptop during your travels quickly. Popular brands for travel laptop backpacks include Targus, Timbuk2, and Incase.


Several types of travel backpacks are available in the market. Daypacks are ideal for day trips or short hikes. Carry-on backpacks are suitable for air travel. Versatile and easy-to-use travel duffel bags are ideal for weekend trips or sports equipment, trekking backpacks are designed for multi-day or extended trips, rolling backpacks offer convenience and versatility, and travel laptop backpacks are perfect for digital nomads.

When choosing the right travel backpack for your needs, it’s crucial to consider factors such as comfort, durability, functionality, and size restrictions for air travel. It’s also essential to try on different backpacks and find the one that fits your body comfortably and distributes the weight evenly to prevent strain on your back and shoulders.