Fall is travel season and back-to-school season. With that in mind, we have scoured the web to find our favorite travel backpacks. Our criteria included durability, spaciousness, carry comfort, and price point. Check these out!
- 1. ALCHEMY EQUIPMENT MINIMALIST DAYPACK IS BUILT WITH NEW ZEALAND STYLE
- 2. THE COTOPAXI LUZON 18L IS AN ULTRALIGHT DAYPACK FOR ANY ADVENTURE
- COTOPAXI LUZON 18L DAYPACK SPEC
- 3. EVERGOODS CROSSOVER PACKS BLUR THE LINE BETWEEN OUTDOOR AND EVERYDAY
- 4. GREGORY ALPINISTO 35: LIGHTWEIGHT DAYPACK FOR ICE-CLIMBING, SKIING, DAYHIKES
- 5. ICEMULE BOSS BACKPACK COOLER: TOUGH, PORTABLE, COLD
- 6. INCASE EO TRAVEL BACKPACK: VERSATILE COMMUTER BAG FOR STASHING YOUR EDC
- 7. MAXPEDITION PYGMY FALCON II: DAYPACK. BUG OUT BAG. COMMUTER BACKPACK
- 8. THIS URBAN ASSAULT PACK FROM MYSTERY RANCH HAS YOUR BACK
- 9. GORUCK GR1 BACKPACK IN COYOTE BROWN
- GORUCK GR1 FEATURES THAT SET IT APART
1. ALCHEMY EQUIPMENT MINIMALIST DAYPACK IS BUILT WITH NEW ZEALAND STYLE
Alchemy Equipment hails from the South Island of New Zealand. Not the first place you think of when outdoor gear is mentioned, but easily one of the most beautiful locations in the world, and a fantastic place for outdoor adventures. And that’s what has inspired their line of performance driven outerwear and gear.
The Alchemy Equipment Minimalist Daypack pays homage to Dieter Rams, the legendary German industrial designer, one of the pioneers of the country’s efficient, minimalist aesthetic. Thus, the bag is truly sleek and minimal, with virtually nothing on the outside; there’s an external pocket and, of course, the requisite waterproof YKK AquaGuard zippers, but they are as slim and flush with the rest of the bag as possible. The upper is made of 900-denier Kodra fabric, with a black marble, and coated 3x with Polyurethane. There’s a TPU grab handle as well as ultra-low profile shoulder straps, and the aluminum hardware is all anodized.Inside, the pocket has enough room for a 15” laptop.
So the real question is: what are you going to use it for? The AEL103 is light enough that you can take it outside into the mountains, but sleek and convenient enough for everyday wear on your urban adventures, too. It weights only 1.2 pounds, and packs 20l of storage space into that small weight. Impressive. (By comparison, the Goruck GR1 weighs in at 2.9lbs and only has 6 more liters of storage). And the price is pretty reasonable for a bag of this quality and style, too. If you’re looking for an ultra-lite bag that looks as good in the city as it does outside, Alchemy Equipment has you covered.
2. THE COTOPAXI LUZON 18L IS AN ULTRALIGHT DAYPACK FOR ANY ADVENTURE
Cotopaxi is inspired by a desire to make positive impacts in people’s lives, and all the gear they produced is made with this mission in mind. Named after the active Stratovolcano in the Andes Mountains, Cotopaxi makes most of their products are made in the Philippines from repurposed and recycled materials, such as their Luzon 18L Backpack.
The Luzon is made from entirely repurposed ripstop nylon fabric, which means that not only is it ultra-lightweight (coming in at about 300g), but each bag is also entirely unique. Thanks to its incredibly minimal design, it is crushable and packable, stuffing into tight places or folding down and crushed into larger bags. There is a large main compartment, with an internal hydration sleeve, with drawstring closer on the top. Two mesh shoulder straps on the front keep it comfortable and secure on your shoulders, while a front zippered pocket adds convenient extra storage space.
The Luzon is a perfect daypack for short day hikes, outdoor adventures, and even bike commuting.
COTOPAXI LUZON 18L DAYPACK SPEC
- Made from repurposed, nylon ripstop material
- 18L capacity
- Large main compartment with drawstring closing
- Internal Hydration Pocket
- Front zippered pocket
- Mesh shoulder straps
- Weight: 300g
- 20″ x 11.25″ x 5.1″
- Available in various colors
3. EVERGOODS CROSSOVER PACKS BLUR THE LINE BETWEEN OUTDOOR AND EVERYDAY
The guys over at EVERGOODS, located in rugged Bozeman, Montana know what they’re doing, having honed their design skills at renowned outdoor manufacturer such as Patagonia and GoRuck, and they’ve taken that expertise, combined it with passion, and produced a fantastic new line of packs. The EVERGOODS Crossover bags are, in their own words, meant to blur the line between outdoor and everyday, bags that look as good on the street as they outdoors – hence the name.
Specifically, EVERGOODS makes two models: The CPL24 and MPL30. The CPL24 stands for City Panel Loader 24, which is a city-focused, 24-liter bag that is designed as a commuter bag but looks great in any environment. The MPL30, or Mountain Panel Loader, is it’s larger, outdoor-oriented cousin, that can still rock the subway or the back of your bike. Construction is 500d HT textured nylon, with plastic frame and aluminum stay. Both models can carry up to a 15″ laptop, and works with a hydration carrier as well.
Each and every bag is made right here in the USA, and EVERGOODS also donates 1% of their gross revenue to land conservation.
They’ve only just launched a Kickstarter campaign, but have already raised twice their goal. These bags are going to carry a pretty hefty price tag (up to $325 each retail), so if you’re interested in getting your hands on one, contributing to Kickstarter could save you quite a bit of cash.
4. GREGORY ALPINISTO 35: LIGHTWEIGHT DAYPACK FOR ICE-CLIMBING, SKIING, DAYHIKES
Gregory backpacks go way back. When Wayne Gregory was just 14 years old, he invented his own backpack design as a Boy Scout project, and 50 years later, he’s still designing all different kinds of backpacks. Gregory’s emphasis was on fit, and the brand was one of the first to create backpacks with different waist sizes and adjustable waistbelts that actually adjust to different waist angles.
So, when you invest in a Gregory backpack – like the Alpinisto 35 – you can be sure you’re getting a backpack with an ideal fit. The Alpinisto is a lightweight but capable pack, built for just about any use on the mountain. With 35 liters of capacity, it’s best for daytrips, but if you’re an obsessive ultralight backpacker, you can probably get away with it for a weekend.
It’s constructed from 210D High Tenacity Nylon, and features a Fusion Flex suspension system, which integrates Gregory’s decades of experience with fit and function, with a removable HDPE framesheet, aluminum frame stay and comfy, padded hipbelt. The pockets and design are all designed to be as streamlined and slim as possible, with a top-loading design, and Side compression straps with integrated ice axe retention.
But that doesn’t mean there’s no room for stashing all your climbing gear. The hipbelt features gear loops, ice clipper slots, and straps for ropes and emergency hauling. There’s even a compressible crampon pocket with puncture-resistant TPU panel, and adjustable ice axe attachments, that both stow away when not needed. Lastly, both the outside of the backpack and the interior liner have been designed to be as visible as possible.
At 3.2 pounds, this is a backpack designed for traveling light and fast both up and down mountains, and it fits like a glove.
5. ICEMULE BOSS BACKPACK COOLER: TOUGH, PORTABLE, COLD
We’ve seen our fair share of drink coolers before, but we’ve yet to see anything quite like the IceMule Boss Backpack Cooler. This backpack cooler hybrid may just be the most convenient and portable cooler there is, is easy to wear and carry, meaning it will go anywhere you may find yourself heading off the beaten path. It’s MuleSkin fabric is 100% waterproof and floats, should you accidentally drop it into water, and has a built-in suspension with ventilated, airmesh back pads and straps, a cushioned hip belt, and a sternum strap. The most comfortable and easy-to-carry cooler ever? Maybe.
But more important than that is how cold it keeps your drinks. The BOSS uses a 3cm thick layer of PolarLayer XT insulation, that promises to keep your drinks cold for several days at a time. Not bad. IceMule’s IM AirValve is also an option to increase insulation even more. The top is a wide-mouth, that Icemule calls the Trifold-DryTop, and lets you just pour ice and drinks right in, quickly and easily.
The outside is equipped with 3 large utility pockets for storage, as well as several rows of MOLLE webbing so you can attach additional pouches. They’re got waterproof PakShield zippers to keep them water-tight, and are even padded and insulated, so you can throw drinks or food in there and still keep it cold.
Sounds like quite the cooler. The IceMule Boss is a smart, tough, portable cooler that, unlike most, can go anywhere you’re willing to carry it. Pick one up if you enjoy cold beer and fresh food when camping as much as we do.
6. INCASE EO TRAVEL BACKPACK: VERSATILE COMMUTER BAG FOR STASHING YOUR EDC
With plenty of storage in a slim, sleek package, the Incase EO is a versatile pack ready to tackle the demands of both everyday and overnight travel. It’s made of Durable 300D heathered weave Ecoya® eco-dyed poly, which is tripled-coated to be weather-resistant and keep moisture out. The main compartment measures almost 21.5″ x 15″ x 5″ (L x W x H), and actually expands 35% for more room on longer trips, but without taking up too much space on regular days. The side compression straps keep things tight and controlled so as not to swing around too much and cut down a bit on bulk.
There’s a 17” laptop compartment that fits laptops of any size, is padded, and is easily accessed for when you’re going through security at the airport and need to pull devices out. There’s also interior slip pockets for holding your iPad, and organizer pockets for your cables and everything else. Also, the bag zips open and lies flat, which makes packing easy.
The back panel is padded for comfort, as are the shoulder straps, which all contain mesh so you can breathe and remain cool while cycling (and on other alternative forms of transport). The sternum straps keep things comfortable and tight, while the padded grab handle on the side means you can grab it out of the overhead bin and carry it by your side when necessary.
Overall, the Incase EO is a convenient, tightly-designed, and very comfortable backpack for commuting to work on your bike, heading out to the hills for the weekend, or catching that next flight.
7. MAXPEDITION PYGMY FALCON II: DAYPACK. BUG OUT BAG. COMMUTER BACKPACK
The Maxpedition Pygmy Falcon II is a compact, portable urban daypack, made with the true military heritage and design you can expect from Maxpedition. It’s built with tough Cordura fabric, to Maxpedition standards of quality and durability. Total capacity is 1100 cubic inches – or 18 liters. That’s enough for any day-trip, or super light overnights. On the side are two dual mesh pouches, each of which can fit a 1-liter bottle, so you never have to go thirsty.
The bag is held in place by the Y-shaped compression strap, which Maxpedition considers their signature. It cinches down for a tight fit. The front of the Pygmy Falcon II also features the customary PALS webbing, so you can add as many additional pouches and features as you like – or your adventure demands. The back is well-padded for all-day comfort, even with heavier loads, the shoulder straps are thick, and the sternum support keeps things tight and the load well-distributed.
The Pymgy Falcon II’s small size, low weight, and versatility make it a perfect choice for day hikes and urban treks. Throw in a knife, some snacks, and a couple of water bottles, and you’re on your way. It also makes a handy, compact commuting bag on the back of your bike.
Maxpedition products have also always been extremely affordable too, a fact that belies their high-end quality. For a quick, easy, cinchable pack that goes everywhere you do and barely weighs anything, the Pygmy Falcon II should be your new go-to.
8. THIS URBAN ASSAULT PACK FROM MYSTERY RANCH HAS YOUR BACK
When you need a day bag to carry all your essentials to and from work, school, or just around town, you need bag that is two things: tough and as simple as can be. You don’t need tons of frills, you just need a dependable place to store your gear, and the lighter and more-streamlined, the better. In other words, you need the Mystery Ranch Urban Assault Pack.
Mystery Ranch makes packs for different scenarios, from tactical situations to multi-day hunting and backpacking expeditions, and every piece is designed to be bombproof and versatile. While the brand is relatively new, the Bozeman, Montana-headquartered company’s expertise and experiences goes back decades. Case in point: the Urban Assault Pack.
The Urban Assault Pack really is the definition of slim and streamlined – and that’s what Mystery Ranch wants it to be. It has a super-simple, 3-zip closure that opens up to reveal 21 liters of storage space, including laptop and tablet sleeves that keep your devices closely bound to your back for comfort and stability. A zippered, mesh-lined pocket is built into the lid, including a key clip, and there are two internal zippered pockets for anything else – keys, snacks, phone. The outside is 500D Nylon Cordura (AKA tough) and YKK zippers complete the ensemble. It weighs 2.8 pounds, which isn’t the lightest pack in existence, but makes up for it with ease and durability.
From the city to the trail, the Urban Assault Pack has your back (literally) – everything you need to get going, with nothing to slow you down. Throw it over your shoulders with those padded straps and get after it.
9. GORUCK GR1 BACKPACK IN COYOTE BROWN
You may think “not another backpack review.” Be assured, if we review a product, there is something that sets it apart. The GoRuck GR1 is definitely set apart based on the features and durability. We’ve all had that backpack that failed under normal usage–and it always seems to be at a time it is needed most. Also, most of us have always wished there was just one more feature in our backpack. The GoRuck GR1 may be just the backpack with all the features you’ve wanted. Now for a limited time and only available at Huckberry, the bestselling GR1 in Coyote Brown!
GORUCK GR1 FEATURES THAT SET IT APART
- First and Foremost it is American Made: The superior construction is strength-tested at over 400 pounds and has a lifetime guarantee.
- Military-Grade Materials: Water resistant 1000D Cordura material which incorporates YKK zippers (as used in Special Forces sandstorm gear)
- Reinforced Laptop Compartment: Laptop compartment (up to 17 inches) is designed to secure your laptop flush against your back. A false bottom protects your laptop in the event you drop your bag.
- Supports a 3-liter hydration bladder (not included). Hydration tube exit port under the top grab handle.
- Extra Shoulder Padding for Heavier Loads
- Two Rows of Molle Webbing: One exterior and one interior.
- Bottom Surface Double Layered 1000D Cordura for Harsh Conditions
- YKK with silent, glove friendly 550 paracord zipper pulls
- Designed for High Carry: Allows for pressure on shoulders rather than lower back
- 26L Size: 12″ x 20″ x 6.75″
So how does your backpack compare? Whether you carry a GoRuck or a customizable backpack, your options are very wide. With a little research, there is one that will accommodate all your gear.