The Best Daypacks For Travel (2022)

What’s the best daypack for travel? While we’ve already dived into the best carry-on backpacks, these are for people looking to pack it all in one bag. One is your main piece of luggage – a suitcase, duffel bag, or backpack and the other is your daypack.

It’s a staple of our everyday life, and they fit seamlessly between exploring a new city, a short hike, or commuting to our favorite coworking space. A daypack is excellent for carrying a camera, laptop, map, headphones, or your favorite water bottle when traveling.

It’s pretty easy to neglect the daypack, but in reality, it’s an item you should take the time to get right. After all, your favorite travel backpack or luggage will only be with you when you change locations, but a daypack can spend the whole day on your back when you’re exploring a new city or deep in the jungle.


The Best Daypack For Travel

Knack Backpack in Hong Kong

These are our favorite daypacks for everyday use and navigating the urban streets. These packs won’t make you stand out like a sore thumb. I also find them more comfortable than their outdoor counterparts.

The key detail of these daypacks for travel is their sleek design and stylish features. The modern-day traveler wants to conquer pavement and airports, not mountains and hiking trails.


Peak Design Everyday Backpack

Peak Design Everyday Backpack Best Daypack For Travel

MSRP: $259 | Weight: 3 lbs.| Capacities: 20, 30L

Features

Laptop Sleeve, Adjustable Top, Expandable Side Pockets, 400D Nylon Canvas Shell, Integrated Luggage Carry, Flexfold Dividers, Internal Padding, Side Loading Zips

Pros

  • Amazing Feature Set
  • Comfortable Support System
  • Laptop Sleeve
  • Organization
  • High-End Product

Cons

  • Very Expensive
  • A Little Heavy

The Everyday Backpack is our favorite daypack for travel, as the backpack works well for travel and everyday life. We love the gear we have from Peak Design, and it’s all exceptionally high quality. Their Everyday Backpack provides a level of accessibility, organization, and quality we’ve seen in no other backpack so far.

It starts with the top access, which uses a patented MagLatch technology that is pretty nifty and makes for quick access. Access is not limited to the top, as both sides open for quick access to your bag. You have control of organizing the bag’s interior via padded interior sleeves, similar to a camera bag.

The side pocket also has additional pockets and storage that make for easy organization. The tuckaway straps and integrated luggage carry system make it easy to slip on top of a roller suitcase for travel.

The addition of a dedicated laptop sleeve for a tablet and documents is just icing on the cake for a great daypack. One big negative of this pack is the price, as the sizeable 30L version is shy of $300.

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Nomatic Backpack

Nomatic 40L Travel Backpack Best Anti Theft Backpack

MSRP: $279 | Weight: 3 lbs. 10 oz.| Capacities: 24L

Features

Laptop Compartment, Lockable Zippers, Quick Access Laptop Compartment

Pros

  • Feature-Packed
  • Carry-On Size
  • Comfortable
  • Versatile
  • Super High-Quality
  • Stowaway Straps

Cons

  • A Little Heavy

Nomatic is fairly new to the anti-theft backpack game, only getting started after raising over 5 million dollars on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. They claim to have created the “most functional travel bag ever!” Based on their design scheme, they might have.

With a roomy 40L bag, individual removable organization panels, headphone and charger cord pass-throughs, magnetic snap-back side pockets, and backpack to briefcase versatility, it does seem like they have thought of everything.

It is a business/travel backpack with anti-theft features, such as RFID protection and lockable zippers, rather than calling it primarily an anti-theft bag. It isn’t just great as an anti-theft backpack, but a general travel backpack.

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Pacsafe Venturesafe x30

Pacsafe Venturesafe x30 Best Daypack For Travel

MSRP: $180 | Weight: 2 lbs. 6.4 oz. | Capacities: 12L, 15L, 18L 24L, 30L, 40L, 45L

Features

Laptop Compartment or Water Reservoir, Lockable Zippers, Cut Resistant Cables, Slash Resistant Material, Rain Cover, eXomesh Slashguard, Wide Range of Sizes

Pros

  • Feature-Packed
  • Carry-On Size
  • Comfortable
  • Versatile
  • High-Quality
  • Outdoor Versatility

Cons

  • Not Suitable For Everyone

In terms of anti-theft daypacks, most brands cater to world travelers and business-savvy tech lovers. Unfortunately, that can leave a large part of the spectrum under-represented. What about those outdoor enthusiasts that want the same peace of mind while hiking, climbing, or biking? 

Don’t worry; Pacsafe has you covered! Their VentureSafe x30 has combined all the comforts of a hiking pack – such as an aluminum-supported back frame, padded shoulder, hip, and chest straps, and a built-in rain cover that will keep your contents bone-dry when out in the elements. 

Now combine all this with slash-proof materials, lockable zippers, and even RFID protection, and you have a pack that gives you the best of both worlds! All of this in a stylish daypack makes for a winning combination. The Venturesafe comes in a wide range of sizes to suit your needs, from lightweight minimalist to full-time traveler.

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Patagonia Black Hole 25L

Patagonia Black Hole 25L Best Daypack For Travel

MSRP: $129 | Weight: 1 lb. 8 oz. | Capacities: 25L

Features

TPU-Film laminate For Waterproof Exterior, Laptop Sleeve, Bucket Style Opening, Small Stash Pocket, Vented Back Panel, Water Bottle Pockets

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Weather Resistant
  • Feels At Home in Mountains or City
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • No Hip Belt
  • Lacks Interior Organization

Another one of those iconic best daypacks for travel. First things first, this pack is made by Patagonia, one of my favorite brands! Patagonia makes excellent quality gear and garments. Two years on the road, and I still have my Patagonia is showing minor wear signs. I continue to buy more of their products. Patagonia’s Black Hole is everything I have come to love about the company. It features a ripstop polyester with a water-resistant TPU laminate, making it waterproof and super rugged.

The pack has a great look. An inner padded pocket is inside to hold a laptop, making for a great bag in the city or out hiking in the woods. Another great feature is the daisy chain loops that allow for the attachment of a skateboard, yoga mat, or climbing gear. This daypack is a slam dunk, but some might not like the laminate materials look. Also, it lacks compartments in the interior for the organization of your gear.

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Thule Subterra Backpack

Thule Subterra Backpack 30L Best Daypack

MSRP: $139 | Weight: 2lbs. 8 oz. | Capacities: 23L, 25L 30L, 34L, 40L

Features

Laptop Sleeve, Weatherproof Nylon Exterior, Vented Back Panels, Sternum Strap, Water Bottle Holders, Side Handle, Luggage Sleeve Attachment, 800D Nylon Exterior

Pros

  • Traditional Backpack Style
  • Vented Backpack Panel
  • Comfortable Straps
  • High Quality
  • Separate Padded Laptop Sleeve

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Mixed Style

Another strong contender in the field of durability is the Thule Subterra backpack. Like Osprey, Thule focuses on products for intense adventure and backcountry use. This daypack is made to travel and keep your laptop secure and safe for the entire trip.

The padded laptop sleeve includes Thule’s SafeEdge Corner Protection that beefs up the padding around the edges and corners of your device, where damage is most likely to occur. The treated heavy-duty nylon material contributes to its level of protection by keeping the water at bay, and the additional valuables and tablet pockets also feature added padding.

We are also big fans of the quality of this bag as it stands out against most backpacks. It’s a daypack designed for travel and everyday use that provides easy access to your gear, a handy side zipper, direct access to your laptop when needed, and a nice luggage sleeve to secure on a roller bag. This bag has many features of the Peak Designs Everyday Backpack at a fraction of the price. Also, if you want a more stylish version, it comes in a rolltop style.

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Topo Designs Rover Pack

MSRP: $129 | Weight: 1 lb. 4 oz. | Capacities: 20L

Features

Flap Top, Drawstring Cinch Closure, Large Main Compartment, Padded Laptop Sleeve 15″, Large Exterior Pockets

Pros

  • Style
  • High Quality
  • Great Zippers
  • Internal Laptop
  • Sleeve
  • Roll Top
  • Weatherproof Nylon Exterior

Cons

  • No Sternum Strap

Topo Designs makes some great backpacks, including one of our favorite travel backpacks for European travel. The interior features a double zipper U-entry, one large compartment, a medium-sized compartment, two small pockets, and two mesh pockets. The interior features a padded laptop sleeve. A nice-sized compartment with pockets and a roll-top entry for the main compartment is on the front.

The exterior is heavy-duty nylon, and the bag uses robust zippers that are the best we’ve seen on a daypack, albeit a bit clunky. I really enjoy the style of this bag, and the heavy-duty nylon feels excellent in person and will likely handle travel very well.

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Herschel Classics Little America Daypack

MSRP: $99 | Weight: 1 lb. 8 oz. | Capacities: 25L

Features

Padded Laptop Sleeve, Drawstring Opening, Striped Liner, Magnet Facet Straps, Front Pocket With Key Clip And Hidden Pocket, Internal Media Pocket

Pros

  • Value
  • Style
  • Padded Laptop Sleeve
  • Drawstring Top
  • Vented Back

Cons

  • Quality
  • No Sternum or Hip Straps

You’ve seen this daypack before. These bad boys were all over the streets when we lived in NYC, and Tasha carried a green one. Herschel makes a classic backpack with styles from mountaineering bags back in the day.

They have a classic look, and it’s a simple backpack. No, this isn’t a heavy-duty travel daypack meant to tackle mountains, but with a great look and affordable price, we’ll take it. I appreciate the features such as the drawstring top, while the polyester exterior does a decent job at water repellency and durability.

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Timbuk2 Robin Pack

Robin Pack Timbuk2

MSRP: $100 | Weight: 1 lb. 15.4 oz. | Capacities: 20L

Features

Magnetic Sternum Strap, Reflective Mesh Panel, Internal Slip Laptop Sleeve, Dual Side Slip Pockets, Mini Rainfly, Magnetic Top Closure, Loop For Bike Light

Pros

  • Feature Packed
  • Quality
  • Sternum Strap
  • Mini Rainfly
  • Laptop Sleeve

Cons

  • Tall Design Makes Access Difficult

Yet another contender for stylish yet functional travel laptop backpacks is the Timbuk2 Robin Pack. While Timbuk2 has made a name for themselves in allowing almost complete customization of their bags, the off-the-shelf Robin Pack features a very sleek appearance that is loaded with features that secure its place on our top backpacks list.

The laptop-specific sleeve is heavily padded and easily unzips to lay flat and roll right through TSA screenings. The rest of the pack’s pockets have organization and compartmentalization in mind; you’re provided with spots for chargers, phones, glasses, passports, and any other gear you’d like to carry with you. All of this is encased in durable and weather-resistant nylon to keep the rain out. Please note that this particular bag is on the smaller side and only fits 15″ laptops and smaller.

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Knack Medium Expandable Backpack

Best Carry On Backpack Knack Bag Exterior Front of Large Size

MSRP: $225 | Weight: 2 lbs. 11 oz. | Capacities: 27-39L

Features

Padded Laptop Pocket, Fleece-Lined Tablet, Zip-Away Water Bottle Pocket, Expandable Packing Compartment, Hidden Trolley Sleeve, Molded Comfort-Cool Foam, YKK™ Water Resistant Zipper

Pros

  • Organization
  • Style
  • Decent Suspension
  • Laptop sleeve
  • Internal Compression Strap

Cons

  • Too Small For Long Trips
  • Triangle Front Pocket

As far as design, the Knack Expandable Backpack is one of my favorite travel backpacks and definitely the best daypack for travel. The exterior and design of the pack are overwhelmingly positive. Compared to any of the other travel-specific bags I’ve had the chance to look at, it delivers high quality with excellent features.

This pack’s design is innovative. I’m impressed with the organization, number of pockets, and ridiculous features in a small layout. Serious kudos to the designers of this pack. It has some surprising features for its size, such as a secret compartment and water bottle holder capable of holding our large 18oz Hydroflask water bottles.

It’s not well suited for those on long trips, but if you’re making a quick city escape for a long weekend or week in a town like London or Paris, this pack would be a tremendous decision. Furthermore, it’s professional enough looking for business travel.

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Jansport Hatchet Backpack

 Jansport Hatchet Backpack Best Daypack For Travel

MSRP: $60 | Weight: 1 lb. 6 oz. | Capacities: 28L

Features

Laptop Sleeve, Two Water Bottle Holders, Sternum Strap, Two Exterior Pockets

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Style
  • Laptop Sleeve
  • Dual Water Bottle Pockets
  • Comfortable
  • Side Compression Straps
  • Carabiner Key Clip

Cons

  • Mixed Quality
  • No Ventilation in Back
  • Meh Zippers

I love the design of Jansport’s Hatchet Backpack. It drew from influences of outdoor gear and managed to make a stylish backpack that looks great in a modern environment. The pack features one main compartment with a series of sleeves perfect for organizing a travel laptop, notepad, and headphones.

Several pockets are perfect for stashing your accessories or a pen and notepad on the exterior. It’s by no means the best daypack for travel on this list, but it’s affordable and stylish, so it gets high marks in that regard.

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Packable Daypacks

These best daypacks for travel are lightweight and can be stuffed into your main luggage. Packable daypacks are perfect for only traveling with one suitcase. There is no need to carry a backpack on the plane as it rides in your bag. We used an Eagle Creek packable daypack for the longest time and only ditched it because we lost it in Cape Town.

Daypacks in this category are some of the cheapest options and can save you a buck if you’re not looking to commit to a standard travel backpack. These daypacks for travel are purpose-designed. They make a great choice. However, don’t expect this light to last for years on end.


Eagle Creek Packable Daypack

Eagle Creek Packable Daypack

MSRP: $49 | Weight: 5 oz. | Capacities: 13L

Features

Packs Down, Multiple Compartments, Water Bottle Holder

Pros

  • Packs Down In Luggage

Cons

  • Not Many Features

Eagle Creek Packable Daypack is made from fairly strong material and should be able to hold your daily essentials. It’s one of the cheapest options in this guide. If you plan on carrying a laptop, camera, or books, this probably is not the daypack for you.

The loose design means things sit oddly on your back if they weigh anything. We used this pack in conjunction with our other daypack for shopping at the market. However, it’s fantastic for stuffing in luggage or your car whenever you need a daypack.

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New Outlander Packable Daypack

 New Outlander Packable Daypack
  • Weight: 8 oz.
  • Capacities: 20L
  • Features: Packs Down, Three Compartments, Two Water Bottle Holders
  • Pros: Packs Down In Luggage,
  • Cons: Not Many Features,

MSRP: $16 | Weight: 11.2 oz. | Capacities: 13L

Features

Packs Down, Multiple Compartments, Water Bottle Holder

Pros

  • Packs Down In Luggage

Cons

  • Not Many Features

This packable daypack has water bottle pockets, a sweet feature the Eagle Creek does not have and is cheaper.

The only problem is we know and trust Eagle Creek’s durable products. It also comes with multiple pockets, a feature lacking in the Eagle Creek version. This could mean it doesn’t pack and leaves it more susceptible to travel damage.

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Camera Daypacks

Travel Camera

I’m only going to mention one of these because camera packs could warrant their post. However, that means a lot of valuable heavy equipment for those serious about their photography.


LowePro Fastpack BP250 AW II

Backpacks For Photographers Lowepro 250 Fastpack

MSRP: $90 | Weight: 4 lbs

Pros

  • Value
  • Level of Protection
  • Storage Compartments
  • Laptop Sleeve
  • Rainfly
  • Tripod Pocket/Strap

Cons

  • Mid Range Quality
  • Limited Storage Capacity
  • Top Section Feels Cavernous

This camera backpack is of tremendous value and is one of my favorite backpacks for photographers. The camera bag packs a punch with the number of features included. We had this bag for years before recently upgrading to the more robust LowePro Whistler. The LowePro Fastpack BP250 AW II can carry a camera with an attached lens and three other lenses, a laptop, several jackets, or even other clothing articles needed for the top trip.

On the side of the bag, it can accommodate a tripod or bottle of water. The backpack also includes a rain cover for protection from all kinds of weather, from monsoons to sandstorms. However, it does feel a little limited at the top, and I had difficulty accommodating all I needed for travel like a jacket, water bottle, hard drive, sunglasses, and headphones. Don’t expect a robust high-end bag in terms of quality, but its craftsmanship is admirable. Overall, the backpack is a great value.

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Thule Aspect DSLR Backpack

Thule Aspect DSLR Backpack For Photographers

MSRP: $140 | Weight: 3.2 lbs

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Construction Quality
  • Value
  • Suspension

Cons

  • Lack of Sufficient Camera Organization

The Thule Aspect DSLR backpack can carry a bit of everything. One camera, two lenses, a laptop or tablet, a tripod, and even a small drone. Depending on what you want to carry, many compartments fold up to allow flexibility in what you may be hauling that day. Unfortunately, these dividers cannot be taken out of the bag.

Like many backpacking bags, this camera backpack also includes a hip belt to take some of the weight off the wearer. On top of the camera equipment this bag can carry, it can also hold a laptop up to 15-inches in size. The Thule Aspect covers all the bases for a camera bag and at a moderate price.

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What Makes A Great Daypack?

Hiking Canada Hydroflask Backpack

Comfort

Like anything, make sure that the daypack you choose is comfortable on your back. You should be able to hike comfortably for at least two hours. When buying online, it’s a good idea to check the return policy if the backpack does not fit you the way you would like.


Style

There are two basic designs of daypacks. You have performance or urban backpacks that tend to be sleek with a good plan. The other option on offer is the outdoor pack. It serves the traveler well, but it looks goofy when hopping in and out of cabs and walking through the streets of a city.


Organization

The bag that stores your items when you travel is essential, but it doesn’t mean many pockets. My favorite backpack has two interior pockets, and it’s served me well for several years now.


Design

The best daypack for travel doesn’t necessarily mean a bunch of bells and whistles. Make sure you narrow down if you want a top-loading pack or front-loading, and check for any extra straps, harnesses, zippers, and clips you may or may not want and need. There is a whole range of daypacks designed to be rolled up and stored in a suitcase until you reach your destination.

About Cameron

Cameron Seagle is one of the principal writers and photographers for The World Pursuit. He is a travel expert that has been traveling the world for the past six years. During this time he established a passion for conservation and environmental sustainability. When not traveling he's obsessed with finding the best gear and travel products. In his free time, you can find him hiking, mountain biking, mountaineering, and snowboarding. His favorite countries are Ireland, Scotland, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Japan.

You can learn more about Cameron on The World Pursuit About Us Page.

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