Whether you are a fresh face in the digital nomad world or are looking for a replacement for an old battered backpack, choosing the right backpack can make a huge difference. After all, your backpack is your companion on your travels, helping you stay organized and comfortable. In this article, we’ll explore the top 14 best backpacks for digital nomads – with plenty of options to suit every type of traveler.

Table of Contents

1. Osprey Farpoint/Fairview 40L

Best Overall

The Nomad Almanac Score: 5 / 5

  • Compartments: 5
  • Comfort: 5
  • Durability: 5
  • Price: 5

Price: $185

The Osprey Farpoint and Fairview Series is a big name when it comes to digital nomad backpacks for a reason! This 40L backpack was previously a much lengthier model, but it has since been remade to exactly fit carry-on restrictions for most, if not all, airlines! That is, as long as you can keep the backpack under the weight restrictions as well.

Featuring an adjustable torso fit with padded side and top handles for easy handling, the Farpoint and Fairview backpack is light and durable. The quick access 16” laptop sleeve is nicely padded and will fit most laptops with ease (even if you have a cover). There are multiple pockets for you to stuff, including an external zipped toiletry pocket!

Specs:

  • Capacity: 40L
  • Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9 in / 55 x 35 x 23 cm
  • Weight: 3.486 lb / 1.581 kg
  • Laptop compartment: Up to 16″ laptop

Pros:

  • Features a stowaway harness and hip belt
  • Adjustable torso fit
  • Breathable and comfortable fit
  • Maximum size that can fit carry-on restrictions
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cons:

  • Can be bulky

2. Osprey Farpoint/Fairview 55L

Best Large Backpack

The Nomad Almanac Score: 4.7 / 5

  • Compartments: 5
  • Comfort: 4
  • Durability: 5
  • Price: 5

Price: $220

While we may be biased as we personally carry the 55L all over the world, the Osprey Farpoint 55L for men and the Fairview 55L for women is the best option if you want a larger pack. Like the 40L option, this pack is the perfect size to carry onto all flights while still being spacious enough to pack all your clothes, shoes, toiletries, and equipment. We particularly loved that the 55L comes with a detachable daypack. While the main compartment itself is only 40L, along with the 15L daypack, you’ll be able to fit more than you think! The laptop sleeve is well-padded and protected, and the many compartments within the bag will help you organize your packing, even if you don’t have any packing cubes.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 55L (40L main pack + 15L day pack)
  • Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9 in /  55 x 35 x 23 cm
  • Weight: main pack – 4.234 lb / 1.92 kg
  • Laptop compartment: Up to 16″ laptop

Pros:

  • Features a stowaway harness and hip belt
  • Adjustable torso fit
  • Detachable daypack
  • Breathable and comfortable fit
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cons:

  • Can be bulky
  • Daypack may sag when connected to the main pack

3. NOMATIC Travel Bag 40L

Best Backpack for Organization

The Nomad Almanac Score: 4.85 / 5

  • Compartments: 5
  • Comfort: 5
  • Durability: 5
  • Price: 4

Price: $289.99

Made with durable, water-resistant materials and zippers, the Nomatic Travel Bag 40L is the perfect backpack to duffle carry-on for digital nomads looking for some versatility. This backpack features everything you’ll need, including a laundry bag to keep your dirty clothes separate. Other compartments include spaces for shoes, clothes, equipment, and, of course, a water bottle to keep you hydrated. The endless pockets will make for some easy and organized packing.

While the Nomadic 40L Travel Bag is definitely on the pricier side, it does provide a lot of value, making it an excellent investment for digital nomads wanting a mix of comfort, functionality, and some style, too!

Specs:

  • Capacity: 40L
  • Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 9 in / 53 x 35 x 23 cm
  • Weight: 3.42 lb / 1.55 kg
  • Laptop compartment: Up to 16″ laptop

Pros:

  • Durable and water-resistant
  • Comes with 20+ features
  • Multiple compartments

Cons:

  • Pricey

4. BANGE 35L Travel Backpack

Best Expandable Backpack

The Nomad Almanac Score: 4.45 / 5

  • Compartments: 5
  • Comfort: 4
  • Durability: 4
  • Price: 5

Price: $70.99

A surprisingly large capacity backpack, the BANGE 35L Travel Backpack is the best expandable backpack for digital nomads. Before the backpack is extended, it is a mere 22L. But after expansion, it can hold up to 35L, making this backpack perfect for weekend trips! As any decent digital nomad backpack should, the BANGE backpack has many compartments, perfect for organization. The backpack also features a wet pouch. Another great feature is the travel backpack’s ability to hold a laptop up to 17.3”. So, if you have a larger laptop, this is a great option. The price at way under $100 is also difficult to beat!

Specs:

  • Capacity: 35L
  • Dimensions: 18.5 x 12.2 x 9.8 in / 47 x 31 x 25 cm
  • Weight: 3.26 lb / 1.48 kg
  • Laptop compartment: Up to 17.3” laptop

Pros:

  • Fits 17.3” laptop
  • Waterproof
  • Sleek design
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Can be heavy
  • Can be bulky

5. KAKA Carry-On Backpack

Best Budget Backpack

The Nomad Almanac Score: 4.15 / 5

  • Compartments: 5
  • Comfort: 3
  • Durability: 4
  • Price: 5

Price: $51.99

Featuring 10 total pockets, the KAKA carry-on backpack is durable, water-resistant, and scratch-resistant. Its multiple compartments provide separate spaces for your laptop, clothes, wallet, technology, and more! Besides its multiple compartments, we’re also big fans of this backpack’s sturdy shoulder straps that come with four loops to hold your belongings. The waistband is adjustable, too, so you can fit it according to how it sits best on your body and distribute the weight better. And, of course, the price is definitely a huge advantage!

Specs:

  • Capacity: 40L
  • Dimensions: 20.5 x 11.8 x 7.1 in / 52 x 30 x 18 cm
  • Weight: 4.2 lb / 1.9 kg
  • Laptop compartment: Up to 17.3” laptop

Pros:

  • Hard-to-beat price point!
  • Water-resistant and scratch-resistant
  • Adjustable straps

Cons:

  • Uncomfortable
  • Main pouch doesn’t open flat; only opens backpack-style
  • Not the most durable

6. Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L

Best Backpack for Photographers

The Nomad Almanac Score: 4.85 / 5

  • Compartments: 5
  • Comfort: 5
  • Durability: 5
  • Price: 4

Price: $299.95

Now, if you’re looking for a super functional backpack with a ton of features – look no further. The Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L has it all. It has expandable side pockets, 360-degree handles, plenty of internal and external pockets, and hidden pockets. This backpack is built to last – even the side pockets, which are usually made of mesh in other backpacks, are made of a more durable nylon material! The waist straps are easy to stow away as well.

As this travel pack was designed with photographers in mind, know that this Peak Design backpack will hold all of your camera gear. Plus, the modern and sleek look is a huge plus as well! While the price tag might be a bit heavy, this backpack does feature theft-deterring and weatherproof zips, too.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 45L
  • Dimensions: 22 x 13 x 9.5 in / 56 x 33 x 24 cm
  • Weight: 4.5 lb / 2.05 kg
  • Laptop compartment: Up to 16” laptop

Pros:

  • Modern and sleek design
  • Has a lot of compartments
  • Max carry-on size
  • Top, side, front, and rear access
  • Expansion zips
  • Weatherproof

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Might be too complicated of a design for those who don’t need that many compartments

7. AER Travel Pack 3

Best Backpack for Shorter Trips

The Nomad Almanac Score: 4.55 / 5

  • Compartments: 5
  • Comfort: 4
  • Durability: 5
  • Price: 4

Price: $249

The Aer Travel Pack is the perfect digital nomad backpack for shorter trips or with fewer belongings. With the number of compartments and pockets it has, you’ll be able to fit everything you need in this bag, with absolutely no need to bring another one onboard the plane! Talk about convenience! This Aer backpack even features a shoe compartment to keep your dirty shoes separate from the rest of your luggage.

The quality is fantastic, and the backpack will super comfortably fit in the overhead compartment. The Aer Travel Pack also features a handle that you can use to carry as a duffle bag when you want to switch it up a bit. Plus, since the backpack is quite small, you can even double it as a daypack when needed for excursions.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 33L
  • Dimensions: 21.5 x 13 x 9 in / 54.4 x 33 x 21.5 cm
  • Weight: 4.12 lb / 1.87 kg
  • Laptop compartment: Up to 16” laptop

Pros:

  • Sleek design
  • Perfect size for a shorter trip
  • Multiple compartments
  • Quick-access top pocket
  • Hide-away load lifters

Cons:

  • Quite pricey for a smaller bag
  • May be too small for longer trips
  • Side and top handles can be uncomfortable

8. Tortuga Travel Backpack 40L

Best Comfortable Backpack

The Nomad Almanac Score: 4.55 / 5

  • Compartments: 4
  • Comfort: 5
  • Durability: 5
  • Price: 4

Price: $350

While Tortuga may be an institution known for hiking bags, they are trying to win the digital nomad’s heart with their Travel Pack model. At 40 liters, this Tortugal Travel Backpack will fit almost everything, including a laptop of up to 16” – all while being carry-on sized! One of the things we love most about the Tortuga is its comfort. The backpack is easily adjustable according to your height, and the (removable) hip belt takes 80% of the weight off your shoulders! While we’re not sure of the exact figures, we can attest that this backpack distributes weight well.

In terms of organization, the Tortuga Travel Backpack is a front-loading backpack with a spacious main compartment and padded sleeves for your laptop. This backpack also has two external water bottle pockets and a flat front pocket.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 40L
  • Dimensions: 21.7 x 13.8 x 7.9 in ​/ 55 x 35 x 20 cm
  • Weight: 4.5 lb / 2 kg
  • Laptop compartment: Up to 16” laptop

Pros:

  • Recycled and durable fabric
  • Supportive hip belt and comfortable straps
  • Weather-resistant

Cons:

  • Not very fashionable
  • Not as many organizational options

9. Minaal Carry-On 3.0

Best Minimalist Backpack

The Nomad Almanac Score: 4 / 5

  • Compartments: 4
  • Comfort: 4
  • Durability: 4
  • Price: 4

Price: $349

The Minaal Carry On 3.0 is the perfect backpack for you minimalist digital nomads who are not looking for a backpack with a ton of features. There’s no unnecessary frills here! But just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it doesn’t pack a punch. Our favorite feature of this backpack is its easy front-loading access, making packing and unpacking all the easier. The DeviceNest laptop compartment provides a secure place for your laptop (or laptops!), too. While the price may scare some digital nomads, it’s a good investment if you’re looking for a quality backpack that will last and help you travel light. Plus, if your back is getting a bit sore from carrying the load, you can tuck the straps away and carry it like a briefcase.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 35L
  • Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.7 x 7.87 in / 55 x 35 x 20 cm
  • Weight: 3.12 lb / 1.41 kg
  • Laptop compartment: Up to 16” laptop

Pros:

  • Rain cover included
  • Front-loading backpack for easy packing and unpacking
  • DeviceNest is a shock-proof double device sleeve that fits up to 2 16″ laptops
  • 4-point harness adjustment system

Cons:

  • Expensive for the size
  • Lacks in features
  • Not as comfortable

10. GORUCK GR2 40L

Most Durable Backpack

The Nomad Almanac Score: 4.55 / 5

  • Compartments: 4
  • Comfort: 5
  • Durability: 5
  • Price: 4

Price: $425

If you’re looking for a rugged-looking and durable backpack, look no further than the GORUCK GR2. Based on Special Forces medical packs, you’re definitely going to look like the cool guy with this rucksack. And just like a Special Forces medical pack, this backpack features pockets to help you stay organized. Plus, it’s carry-on compliant.

When it comes to durability, it’s hard to beat the GR2. GORUCK extensively tests the fabric for each part of the backpack. And they’re so sure about the durability that they even offer a lifetime guarantee. While the backpack may be on the heavier side, it does come with extra padded straps and a top handle for your comfort.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 40L (but the GR2 comes in 26 and 34 liters as well)
  • Dimensions: : 22 x 12.5 x 9 in / 55.9 x 31.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Weight: 4.5 lb / 2 kg
  • Laptop compartment: Up to 17” laptop

Pros:

  • Pretty much indestructible
  • Opens flat for easy access
  • Several compartments for organization
  • Carry-on compliant
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cons:

  • The look may not be for everyone
  • Very expensive
  • Heavy

11. CabinZero Adv Pro 42L

Best Lightweight Backpack

The Nomad Almanac Score: 4.2 / 5

  • Compartments: 3
  • Comfort: 5
  • Durability: 4.5
  • Price: 4.5

Price: $164

Boasting a minimalist design, the CabinZero Adv Pro 42L might not look like much at first glance, but it offers more than you would think! A super lightweight design, this backpack is pretty easy to carry around. The Adv Pro is a perfect size for a carry-on backpack and boasts features such as side compression straps, a top handle, a side handle, a padded laptop sleeve, stowaway backpack straps, and a few different pockets for organization. Furthermore, the waist belt is padded for your comfort. The back padding is pretty comfortable, too! The CabinZero Adv Pro also gains some points in terms of durability, thanks to its water-resistant coating.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 42L
  • Dimensions: 21.7 x 13.8 x 7.9 in / 55 x 35 x 20 cm
  • Weight: 3.3 lb / 1.5 kg
  • Laptop compartment: Up to 17”

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Minimalist design
  • Water-resistant

Cons:

  • Not as many pockets for organization
  • Front placement of the laptop sleeve is odd
  • Water bottle holder is too short

12. Pacsafe Venturesafe EXP45

Best Secure Backpack

The Nomad Almanac Score: 4.7 / 5

  • Compartments: 4
  • Comfort: 5
  • Durability: 5
  • Price: 5

Price: $279.95

The PacSafe VentureSafe EXP45 backpack is THE backpack to get if you’re worried about keeping your bag safe from thieves and pickpockets. The backpack features puncture-resistant zippers, and the fabric is cut-resistant. It also comes with a stainless steel cable so you can easily lock your bag to objects! No more worrying about carrying your valuables with the EXP45. The one downside about all this security is that it does make it a bit less convenient to access.

In terms of organization, the PacSafe VentureSafe EXP45 comes with 2 lockable main compartments, and the main compartment opens up suitcase-style. The padded laptop sleeve can fit a laptop up to 15”. The EXP45 is quite comfortable to carry, too, thanks to its padded and adjustable shoulder straps and hip belt. The back support is padded as well.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 45L
  • Dimensions: 13 x 7.9 x 4.3 in / 33 x 20 x 11 cm
  • Weight: 4.3 lb / 1.95 kg
  • Laptop compartment: Up to 15” laptop

Pros:

  • Super secure
  • Comfortable straps and handles
  • Spacious
  • External attachment points

Cons:

  • No quick access pocket
  • Laptop compartment is in the front and is quite small

13. WANDRD Fernweh

Best for Camera Gear and Clothes

The Nomad Almanac Score: 4.6 / 5

  • Compartments: 5
  • Comfort: 5
  • Durability: 4
  • Price: 4

Price: $369

If you’re looking for a high-quality backpack that is perfect for carrying around your camera gear and clothes, the WANDRD Fernweh should be your pick! This backpack also comes with a laptop sleeve, making it a perfect bag for digital nomads who travel with a lot of gear. While the bag is technically quite heavy and has a lot of pockets, it is relatively lightweight, considering how sturdy it is and how many features it comes with. The Fernweh also comes with quick side access for your camera so that you can capture those raw moments during your travels. Furthermore, thanks to its high-quality materials and breathable foam and airmesh back panel, straps, and belt, the Fernweh sits quite comfortably on the body. If it doesn’t, that should be an easy fix with the 6-point adjustment system.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 50L
  • Dimensions: S/M – 25 x 13.75 x 9.5 in / 63.5 x 34.9 x 24.1 cm; M/L 26 x 13.75 x 9.5 in / 66 x 34.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Weight: 5 lb / 2.27 kg
  • Laptop compartment: Up to 13.5” laptop

Pros:

  • Waterproof and weather-resistant
  • Comfortable
  • Removable bucket to segment
  • Quick side camera access

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • Top access
  • Small laptop sleeve

14. TropicFeel Shell

Best Backpack with Wardrobe

The Nomad Almanac Score: 4.625 / 5

  • Compartments: 5
  • Comfort: 4
  • Durability: 5
  • Price: 4.5

Price: $249 to $509

Hands down, the best thing about the TropicFeel Shell bag is its wardrobe system that pretty much eliminates the unpacking time. This backpack also features an expandable kangaroo pocket and an additional elastic to hold a yoga mat for you yogis out there! Thanks to its expandable design, the TropicFeel Shell can hold anywhere between 22 to 40 liters, so you can adjust it according to how much space you need. If that’s not enough features to entice you, you can buy 3 accessories to go with the backpack: a toiletry bag that secures to the front, a lockable pounch, and a camera cube for the photographer digital nomads out there.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 22L to 40L
  • Dimensions: up to 24 x 12 x 9 in / 60 x 30 x 23 cm
  • Weight: 3.3 lb / 1.5 kg
  • Laptop compartment: up to 17”

Pros:

  • All-in-one system
  • Wardrobe system
  • Back panel foam padding
  • Weatherproof and water-repellent
  • Ability to add the following accessories: toiletry bag, lockable pouch, or camera cube

Cons:

  • No side compression straps

Summary of the Best Backpacks for Digital Nomads

  • Osprey Farpoint/Fairview Series 40L: Best Overall
  • Osprey Farpoint/Fairview Series 55L: Best Large Backpack
  • NOMATIC Travel Pack: Best Backpack for Organization
  • BANGE 35L Travel Backpack: Best Expandable Backpack
  • KAKA Carry-On Backpack: Best Budget Backpack
  • Peak Design Travel Backpack: Best Backpack for Photographers
  • AER Travel Pack 3 (33L): Best Backpack for Shorter Trips
  • Tortuga Travel Backpack 40L: Best Comfortable Backpack
  • Minaal Carry-On 3.0: Best Minimalist Backpack
  • GORUCK GR2 (34-40L): Most Durable Backpack
  • CabinZero Adv Pro 42L: Best Lightweight Backpack
  • Pacsafe Venturesafe EXP45: Best Secure Backpack
  • Osprey Kestrel 48 Pack: Best Hiking Backpack
  • WANDRD Fernweh: Best for Camera Gear and Clothes
  • TropicFeel Shell: Best Backpack with Wardrobe

What to Consider When Buying a Backpack

So, as a digital nomad, what are some of the things to consider before you shell out over $100 on an important piece of luggage?

Carry-On Size

While your life certainly won’t be over if you decide to check your luggage, it’s no secret that carrying everyone on board is much easier. No need to wait an hour for your luggage to appear on your carousel; you can simply pick up and go from destination to destination! Plus, having fewer items to carry makes your life so much easier as well!

Unfortunately, not all digital nomad backpacks are created equal. For example, one 55L backpack may fit carry-on size restrictions, whereas another may not! It all depends on the dimensions of the bag. So, make sure your backpack is carry-on size so that you don’t run into any issues at the gate!

Compartments

First things first, a good digital nomad backpack should have a laptop sleeve at the very, very least! After all, as a digital nomad, you’re nothing without your laptop! But what makes a GREAT digital nomad backpack? Multiple compartments! While definitely not a dealbreaker, having multiple compartments can make your life on the go SO much easier. It helps to have those extra pockets for accessories and other items.

Compartments made up 30% of the total The Nomad Almanac product score.

Comfort

When you’re carrying 7 to 10 kg on your back, it’s important that your backpack is comfortable to carry around from city to city and country to country. To ensure ultimate comfort, look out for features like padded shoulder straps and a ventilated back panel. And make sure the harness is adjustable as well. After all, every person is shaped differently, so being able to customize the backpack to your size and height is a major plus in our book!

Comfort made up 30% of the total The Nomad Almanac product score.

Durability

The backpack should be made of durable materials that will withstand general wear and tear. No matter how careful you are with your backpack, it will be going through the trenches, so you’re going to want to ensure it’s made of tough stuff! Make sure the backpack is weather-resistant and water-resistant for some extra protection against the elements.

Durability made up 25% of the total The Nomad Almanac product score.

Price

Of course, one of the first considerations when buying anything is price. Whether your budget is $100 or $500, there’s a perfect digital nomad backpack for every budget. But you shouldn’t solely be looking at the number; the value is incredibly important, too. For example, if you get a cheaper backpack, you don’t want to have to sacrifice the additional compartments a more expensive backpack may get you. And on the flip side, if you get a “spensy” backpack, you want to ensure it’s worth the money!

Price made up 15% of the total The Nomad Almanac product score.

Get Ready for Your Next Adventure!

Whether you prioritize durability, cutting-edge technology, or a fusion of style and functionality, there’s a backpack on this list that’s tailored to your unique needs. As you venture into your life as a digital nomad, you’ll see that the right backpack can not only lighten your load but also make that constant packing and unpacking much less of a chore. That alone makes buying the right backpack all the more worth it – that’s for sure!

If you’ve now chosen your perfect backpack, it’s time to apply for some digital nomad visas! Check out the digital nomad visas for Spain, Greece, and Bali to get you started.

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