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10 Best Travel Backpack For Men | SportAndOutdoorHQ.com

10 Best Travel Backpack For Men

A good travel backpack is a worthy investment since it can make your life a whole lot easier when traveling outdoors. But to enjoy stress-free travel, you have to first get yourself that good backpack. This isn’t easy because there are hundreds or maybe even thousands of models to choose from.

In this post, we are going to help you with this uneasy endeavor! Today, our aim is to guide our male readers to the best backpack for their travel needs!

10 Best Travel Backpacks For Men

As a first step, we want to introduce you to our personal Top 10 of the best travel backpacks for men. In the review section, we’ll provide you with some details on our picks to somewhat introduce you to available options and help you get an idea of what the right backpack for you would be.

1

Venture Pal Lightweight Hiking Backpack

  • Capacity: 35 liters.
  • Outer fabric: Nylon.
  • Straps: Shoulder & chest.
  • Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 7.5 inches when unfolded, 9 x 8.5 x 2.2 inches when folded.
  • Weight: 0.7 pounds.
best travel backpack for men

This backpack from Venture Pal is a fine choice for buyers on a budget. This thing won’t withstand heavy use, but it offers remarkable organizational capabilities and convenience thanks to its numerous compartments and pockets.

what we like

  • Built well enough for light trips.

  • The covered zipper area is decently water-resistant.
  • Folds down for added space efficiency.
  • Plenty of pockets.
  • Multiple color options.

what we don't like

  • Won’t take much abuse.

2

SOLDIERKNIFE Travel Backpack

  • Capacity: About 40 liters.
  • Outer fabric: Nylon.
  • Straps: Shoulder.
  • Dimensions: 18.8 x 12.6 x 7.9 inches.
  • Weight: 1.6 pounds.
best travel backpack for men

Priced close to the Ventura Pal backpack, this men’s travel backpack offers a number of nice features for added convenience. More importantly, it boasts an integrated USB port for on-the-go charging, a padlock for some security, and a luggage strap to help you with transport.

what we like

  • Good organizational abilities.
  • Integrated USB port and luggage strap.
  • Added mesh padding in the back.
  • Simple padlock for security included.

what we don't like

  • The included lock isn’t the most secure.
  • Flimsy and not waterproof unlike what’s advertised.

3

ZOMAKE Ultra-Lightweight Backpack

  • Capacity: 20 liters.
  • Outer fabric: Nylon.
  • Straps: Shoulder.
  • Dimensions: 17.7 x 10.6 x 5.5 inches.
  • Weight: 0.49 pounds.
best travel backpack for men

If lightness is most important to you, then the ZOMAKE backpack with its weight of 0.49 pounds might be an excellent choice. This travel backpack is exceptionally cheap as well! Of course, ZOMAKE has sacrificed some interior capacity to allow for this level of lightness, but it might be worth it for some of our readers.

what we like

  • Very affordable.
  • Foldable design.
  • Plenty of color options.

what we don't like

  • The zippers let water inside.
  • Not for heavy use.

4

Tzowla Travel Backpack

  • Capacity: Not specified, but probably around 25 liters.
  • Outer fabric: Polyester/nylon.
  • Straps: Shoulder.
  • Dimensions: 19.29 x 11.8 x 5.43 inches.
  • Weight: 1.85 pounds.
best travel backpack for men

Tzowla pushes smartphone convenience a little further than the SOLDIERKNIFE travel backpack – in addition to a USB charger, it has a headset port! Not only that, but it’s much more compact than the SOLDIERKNIFE backpack – great if you have limited space.

what we like

  • Integrated combination lock.
  • Exterior USB and headset ports.
  • Luggage straps for added convenience.
  • A few color options.

what we don't like

  • The lock is nice but not 100% secure.

5

Waterfly Crossbody Travel Bag

  • Capacity: Not specified, but probably around 8-10 liters.
  • Outer fabric: Nylon.
  • Straps: Shoulder.
  • Dimensions: 7 x 3.5 x 15 inches.
  • Weight: About 0.65 pounds.

Although technically not a backpack, the Waterfly travel bag can replace a classic backpack at very light luggage weights just fine. Not only that, but you can easily swing it from back to front to easily access your items!

what we like

  • Very compact and lightweight.
  • Very pocket-friendly.
  • Rather breathable mesh back area.
  • Earphone hole on the front.
  • A good number of color options.

what we don't like

  • Not the best weight distribution.

6

ZOMAKE Travel Backpack

  • Capacity: 30 liters.
  • Outer fabric: Nylon.
  • Straps: Shoulder, chest.
  • Dimensions: 13 x 7 x 19 inches when unfolded, 10 x 3.5 x 7.9 inches when folded.
  • Weight: About 0.74 pounds.
best travel backpack for men

The ZOMAKE travel backpack offers added support and more even weight distribution thanks to its chest strap. Its main zippered compartment is additionally decently protected from water. With its foldable design, this backpack is very space-efficient as well.

what we like

  • Pocket-friendly.
  • Supportive.
  • Light and space-saving.
  • Water-resistant main compartment.

what we don't like

  • Zippered compartments other than the main compartment aren’t too water-resistant.

7

 FENGDONG Travel Backpack

  • Capacity: 40 liters.
  • Outer fabric: Nylon.
  • Straps: Shoulder, chest, hip.
  • Dimensions: 20.5 x 13 x 7.1 inches.
  • Weight: 1.9 pounds.

The FENGDONG travel backpack offers added support thanks to its chest and hip straps. Additionally, the back area is amply padded with a mesh material and is highly breathable. What also catches the eye in this backpack is its high capacity and the abundance of pockets.

what we like

  • Very supportive.
  • Padded and breathable back panel.
  • Capacious and easy to organize.

what we don't like

  • Flimsy zippers.
  • Heavy.

8

 sunhiker Hiking Backpack

  • Capacity: 20-25 liters.
  • Outer fabric: Nylon.
  • Straps: Shoulder, chest, hip.
  • Dimensions: 18.5 x 9.4 x 5.9 inches.
  • Weight: 0.76 pounds.

If the FENGDONG travel backpack seemed too large for your needs, then this compact 20-25-liter model from sunhiker might be the right choice. It offers comparable support and comfort, and despite the small size, it’s still pretty easy to organize!

what we like

  • Good amount of support and breathability.
  • Compact and rather light.
  • Plenty of storage pockets and compartments.

what we don't like

  • The zippers will probably let water through.

9

 MATEIN Travel Backpack

  • Capacity: Not specified, probably about 25-30 liters.
  • Outer fabric: Polyester.
  • Straps: Shoulder.
  • Dimensions: 18 x 12 x 7.8 inches.
  • Weight: 1.56 pounds.
best travel backpack for men

If none of the previous USB-equipped backpacks seem nice to you, then perhaps the MATEIN backpack will work. This thing’s polyester upper will offer good durability and water resistance (though you should keep water away from the zippers). Additionally, the backpack is pretty roomy and has plenty of compartments and pockets for item organization.

what we like

  • USB charging port and luggage strap.
  • Spacious and easy to work with.
  • Some extra padding in the back.

what we don't like

  • The polyester upper shell is not as water-resistant as nylon shells.

10

YOREPEK Large Travel Backpack

  • Capacity: 45 liters.
  • Outer fabric: Nylon.
  • Straps: Shoulder.
  • Dimensions: 19 x 14.6 x 10.2 inches.
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds.

Finally, if you want something big and roomy, then the YOREPEK travel backpack may be the best pick for you. With its 45-liter capacity and 20 pockets, this travel backpack offers perhaps the best item organization capabilities on this top. Notably, this thing is so large that it can fit 17-inch laptops!

what we like

  • 20 pockets for excellent item organization.
  • Integrated USB charging port & luggage strap.
  • Padded and breathable back panel.
  • Opens flat for easy TSA checks.
  • Can hold large 17-inch laptops.

what we don't like

  • The wide straps may be uncomfortable for small-bodied wearers.
  • The water resistance leaves much to be desired.

What To Look For In A Travel Backpack 

Choosing the best travel backpack can be tough – we’ve only featured 10 backpacks, but there are hundreds and hundreds of others available out there.

To help you with identifying the right backpack in the huge pool of options, let’s now talk about what you should be paying attention to when shopping for a travel backpack.

Size

Backpack size is hands down the most important spec to consider in a travel backpack. This is due to two reasons:

  • Your travel backpack should be large enough to carry all your stuff, but it shouldn’t be too large.
  • Ideally, you should be able to take your travel backpack as hang luggage onto a plane. Hand luggage size limits depend on the airline, airplane model, and some other factors, so you may need to check them yourself.

The first point has priority with travel backpacks. If you have to get a large backpack, then won’t matter if it’s too large to be allowed as hand luggage. It’s better to check the backpack and then have a comfortably large backpack in travel than the other way around.

All in all, your travel backpack should be sized just right for your items and have a little bit of extra space.

Now, when it comes to precise numbers, the ideal size of a travel backpack will depend on the duration of your travel. For some perspective, here are some size recommendations based on trip length:

  • 1-3 nights: 30-50 liters.
  • 3-5 nights: 50-80 liters.
  • Over 5 nights: Over 70 liters.

Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to tell out of the blue how many liters you will need. You’ll have to do some trial and error to determine that yourself.

However, try not to oversize your travel backpack. If you get a huge backpack, you will fill it with items that you don’t really need, making your baggage unnecessarily heavy. Try to make a list of items that you 100% need on your trip, and try to assess how many liters they will take up.

Backpack capacity is usually measured in liters, but some manufacturers may use other units of measurement, like cubic inches or quarts. You may easily convert one unit of measurement into another by using Google.

If the manufacturer only provides backpack dimensions, you could multiply together its width, length, and height to get the capacity in cubic inches. Then, you can convert cubic inches to liters to be able to compare different backpacks with each other.

Keep in mind that you want internal dimensions when calculating capacity. If not provided, external dimensions may also work, but you’ll get an inflated number since exterior dimensions include the frame, walls, and other outer structures of the backpack.

Water protection

In our opinion, water protection is the #2 most important feature in travel backpacks. Not only is this because a travel backpack should be able to protect your belongings, but also because understanding water protection in backpacks is difficult.

You see, backpacks with water protection can be either waterproof or water-resistant. Although these terms may seem equivalent, they are actually drastically different.

“Waterproof” means that the backpack will not allow any water inside even if submerged in water for a long time. “Water-resistant”, in contrast, implies that the backpack can block out some water, but not all of it.

Now that we understand that, let’s talk about the specs & features that add water protection to travel backpacks:

  • Denier (D). Typically, high-denier fabrics have larger gaps, making it easier for water to get through.
  • Protective backing/coating. Even if the outer shell of the backpack lets water through, it may be stopped by an interior coating or backing. Among the more popular water-stopping backings are PU (polyurethane), PVC (polyvinyl chloride), and TPE (thermoplastic elastomers). Some backpacks also use wax or Teflon coating to force the water to bead and roll off the surface.
  • Zipper. Even if the outer shell of your backpack is completely impervious to water, zippers can still allow water through, rendering all that fancy water-stopping tech pointless. A truly water-resistant or waterproof backpack will also have water-resistant or waterproof zippers.

Note that some brands may advertise water-resistant zippers as waterproof. A true waterproof zipper requires lubrication, is difficult to open/close, and costs a lot. Water-resistant zippers use splash guards or water-resistant covers over them to keep water out.

  • Seams and stitching. Water can make it inside your backpack via seams too. Water-resistant backpacks use sealants or tape to provide water protection. In contrast, waterproof backpacks have welded seams.

Now, which style of a travel backpack to get – waterproof or water-resistant?

For short trips, a water-resistant travel backpack will probably suffice. Likewise, it should work just fine if you can easily avoid water along your route.

Otherwise, think about getting a waterproof backpack. You may get a waterproof backpack anyway just in case too, but you’ll probably have to pay a lot of money for such a travel backpack.

Outer fabric

Backpack makers use a variety of outer fabrics to make their produce tougher and more long-living. Although for the average user, any fabric could work, there are some small details that may matter to you.

With that, here is a list of the most popular fabrics used in travel backpacks.

  • Nylon. Nylon is a synthetic fabric that has decent water resistance along with good durability. With that said, nylon tears when punctured, so it’s not the best in areas where, say, a branch could contact your backpack.
  • Polyester. Polyester is probably the most popular fabric in travel backpacks. This is because it’s cheap and offers decent longevity. However, polyester backpacks aren’t as durable or water-resistant as nylon ones.
  • Ripstop. Usually made of nylon, ripstop is composed of dense grids of thick threads. Thanks to their construction, ripstop fabrics are highly tear- and puncture-resistant. However, note that abrasion quickly wears ripstop fabric.
  • Polypropylene. Also called PP, polypropylene offers good thermal insulation and is often used where things need to be kept warm or cool. PP is quick-drying and offers good water resistance too. The main downside of PP is that it fades and breaks down under UV faster than other fabrics, so it’s not the best pick for summer trips.
  • Cordura. Cordura is a family of synthetic fabrics developed by DuPont in 1929. This material offers excellent resistance to abrasion and tearing. Typical Cordura fabrics are also waterproof and self-extinguishing.

To determine fabric strength, you should check its deniers (denoted with the letter D). The higher the denier, the tougher the fabric is. With that said, you can’t directly compare the deniers of different fabric types. This is because a stronger fabric with low denier can be more durable than a weak fabric with high denier.

Construction & frame

Construction-wise, travel backpacks are available in 3 styles:

  • Internal-frame backpacks.
  • External-frame backpacks.
  • Frameless backpacks.

In internal-frame backpacks, the frame and supports are built into the backpack and aren’t visible from the outside. In contrast, external-frame backpacks have a visible frame, with the backpack contents suspended on the frame. And obviously, frameless backpacks have no frames.

Unless you want to stay very light and aren’t worried that much about the safety of your items, avoid frameless backpacks. As for the internal- vs external-frame backpack debate, things are a bit more difficult.

To make choosing easier, let’s list the pros and cons of each backpack style.

Here are the pros of external-frame backpacks:

  • Better cooling. This is because the frame is sitting against your back, while the backpack body itself is away from your body.
  • Better posture because the external frame forces you to stay upright.
  • Support for external gear. The frame allows you to attach whatever you want to your backpack.
  • Ability to stand upright. 
  • Lower price.

In contrast, the cons are as follows:

  • Heaviness.
  • Low comfort and poor weight distribution since the backpack doesn’t conform to the body shape of the wearer.
  • Difficult maneuvering.
  • Lower space efficiency because the frame makes the backpack larger.
  • Fewer features. Compared to the typical internal-frame backpack, a standard external-frame backpack has fewer pockets, compartments, adjustment options, and some other things.

As for internal-frame backpacks, their pros are as follows:

  • Lightness.
  • Added comfort and better weight distribution since the backpack conforms to your body shape.
  • Better features and customizability.

Finally, the cons of internal-frame travel backpacks are:

  • Higher price.
  • Lower breathability (though some backpacks are better than others).

With all this in mind, internal-frame backpacks are going to be the right option for most people. There are plenty of backpack models of this style available as well, so you should be able to easily find a backpack that works for your needs.

Backpack fit

Needless to say, people of different statures can comfortably wear different backpacks. So fit is very important to consider too, though this isn’t too easy.

Travel backpacks are fit based on torso length. Here, everything is like when shopping for shoes – you should check the sizing charts provided by the backpack maker. Like it is with clothes and footwear, sizes vary from brand to brand, so always consult provided size charts.

Compartments

Your travel backpack should be easy to organize as well. To ensure convenient packing, backpack makers add a wide range of compartments to their backpacks, including but not limited to:

  • Main compartment with dedicated pockets for a tablet/laptop, clothes, small items, or whatnot.
  • Dedicated compartments for sleeping bags, shoes, or other items.
  • Hydration compartment with hose ports. This compartment accepts a water reservoir – you then run a sip tube via the hose port to get easy access to water while traveling.
  • Side pockets, often made of a mesh material and intended for water bottles.
  • Front zipped pockets.
  • Hipbelt pockets to allow you to keep essential items within easy reach.
  • Thermally insulated compartments to keep food or drinks cool.

When shopping for a men’s travel backpack, make a list of what you will be carrying with you and try to organize everything into categories. Based on this, determine what kind of pockets or compartments you would want to have in your travel backpack.

Backpack access

Top-loading backpacks are standard and are probably suitable for the needs of most people. However, if you want to be able to access your items without taking the backpack off, then you should consider a travel backpack with front panel access. Alternatively, get yourself a backpack with a side zipper opening.

Comfort & breathability

Comfort is of utmost importance in travel backpacks. The longer your trips, the more careful you should be when shopping for a men’s travel backpack (and any other backpack for that matter).

Among the things that impact comfort in travel backpacks are:

  • Shoulder straps. The shoulder straps in a backpack should be well-padded. In heavier backpacks, you would want more padding. Additionally, it would also be nice if the shoulder straps had at least some breathability.
  • Hip strap/belt. A rather simple feature, a hip strap or belt can dramatically increase comfort by more evenly distributing the weight of the backpack.
  • Chest strap. This strap performs the same function as a hip belt. Having both a chest and hip strap is nice, but if you had to choose one, a hip strap would be preferable.
  • Load shifter straps. These straps connect the top of the shoulder straps with the top of the backpack. They thus keep the weight of the backpack closer to your body, distributing load more evenly.
  • Padded, breathable back. Some heavier backpacks also have additional padding in the back area to make carrying a little more convenient. Often, this area is made of a mesh material to keep your back cool.

Note that if you are looking for a lighter backpack, then all those chest straps or load shifter straps won’t matter as much. They will make carrying easier, but they won’t make as big of a difference as in a huge backpack.

Accessory mounting points

For safety, items like ice axes or trekking poles should be attached to your backpack. This can be done via accessory mounting loops on the exterior. Alternatively, if you have an exterior-frame travel backpack, you may attach such items to the frame directly.

Security

A good travel backpack will be secured against theft or unwanted access as well. If you want to keep your backpack and items protected, look for features like this:

  • Secret pockets. These pockets aren’t readily visible in the backpack and can be used for more or less safe storage of your most valuable items.
  • Tough zippers that can be locked.
  • Knife-proof outer fabric.
  • RFID blocking, though this feature is only useful if you have a credit card or other items with RFID capabilities.
  • Steel cables that allow you to secure your backpack to stationary luggage.

Weight and dimensions

Finally, check the physical weight and dimensions of the desired travel backpack. Ideally, your backpack should be light and compact while satisfying your travel needs. But when it comes to weight, also remember that a light backpack may have poor build quality.


Final Words

To be fair, finding the best travel backpack, for men or not, can be very challenging. There are many things that are important and many things you may miss. Moreover, most people don’t make the right choice on their first try, nor the second, nor the third.

Although you should try to invest your money in the right backpack for men, know that without at least some experience, you will not know what works and doesn’t work for you. So as a beginning traveler, you should get something that you think will work well for you now. Then, time will show if you chose right.

With that, hopefully, our buyer’s guide can set you on the right track! We’ve covered all the basics that you need to know, so you should be good to go.


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