The 8 Best Travel Backpacks of 2019

Our favorite travel bags include Mystery Ranch, Peak Design, RMU, and more
December 11, 2018Words by Jon Gugala

If there’s one thing that makes travel more enjoyable, it’s the right gear, and it’s all gotta go somewhere—so let’s talk bags. We’ve got our favorites, but there’s no clear winner because there’s no one trip. Some weekends, when the downhill bike is on the back of the Tacoma, we’re reaching for one option. Other days, when we’re tacking an impromptu mini vacation on the end of a business trip, we reach for another. Wherever you’re going, we’ve got a bag to carry with you. Take our custom quiz to find the perfect backpack, duffel, or briefcase for your next adventure, or scroll on to see a roundup of our favorites.

 

 



Peak Design Travel Backpack


Peak Design Travel Backpack

The Man:
For the guy that loves tech-forward products, Peak Design’s 400D water-resistant backpack features access from the top, sides, and rear via weatherproof zippers and ingenious design.  

The Mission: The Travel Backpack expands from a 35-liter capacity to 45-liter hauler with the pull of side zips. Loads of external pockets and integration with your favorite roller bag make it perfect as an airline carry-on.

The Maker: Whether it’s your favorite camera bag, strap, or carry clip, Peak Design is world-renown for innovating in spaces long thought impervious to improvement.
 

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Mystery Ranch Mission Duffel Backpack Hybrid


Mystery Ranch Mission Duffel

The Man:
The fast-moving guy whose journey takes him on planes, trains, and automobiles is the epitome for Mystery Ranch’s duffel backpack.

The Mission: For week-long trips, you’ll appreciate the capacity of the Mission Duffel Backpack Hybrid, which feels bottomless thanks to its one large compartment, accessible through a giant U-shaped zipper. When it’s time to boogie, the heft is surprisingly comfortable thanks to cushy backpack straps.

The Maker: Mystery Ranch is legendary among communities that depend on their gear in life-or-death situations, including woodland firefighters, the military, and first responders.
 

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Rocky Mountain Underground BRFCS


Rocky Mountain Underground BRFCS

The Man:
For the mountain biker throwing a load of gear into a bag and then throwing that into the trunk, Rocky Mountain Underground’s briefcase backpack is a no-brainer. It’s built from 630D Nylon face fabric with carbonate PU coating that could easily turn a stab from an errant spoke.

The Mission: For the guy with the most, the 35-liter BRFCS expands to 50 while still keeping your gear clutter-free with clever organization, including a laptop sleeve, separate compartments for dirty and clean clothes, and even a helmet sling.

The Maker: Once ski bums extraordinaire, RMU has moved out of its humble Summit County garage, graduating into one of the premier alpine outfitters in the U.S.
 

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Mystery Ranch Mission Rover Travel Backpack


Mystery Ranch Mission Rover Travel Backpack

The Man:
For those who appreciate tactical design (like military specialists and vets), Mystery Ranch’s pack sources rugged components like 500D Cordura and YKK zippers with civilian-favored features like a laptop sleeve.

The Mission: The Mission Rover Travel Backpack’s clamshell opening and dedicated shoe compartment allow for easy identification of essentials, while the slim design keeps you nimble. A carrying handle lets you hoist it like a duffel.

The Maker: Mystery Ranch is legendary among communities that depend on their gear in life-or-death situations, including woodland firefighters, the military, and first responders.


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Patagonia Black Hole MLC


Patagonia Black Hole MLC

The Man: The city-dweller whose eyes stray toward the distant mountains, Patagonia’s mod on its classic bag will help you organize your upcoming weekend adventure.

The Mission: The Black Hole MLC takes the popular duffel design and slices it down the center in a briefcase-meets-backpack style, creating individual compartments that make organization a breeze. At 45 liters, it will easily take you through a four-day weekend, while the 900D polyester ripstop, treated with a TPU material and a DWR finish, protects along the way.

The Maker: The iconic outdoor company has defined entire product categories even as it fights for the protection of the wild spaces in which to enjoy them. 
 

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AER Travel Pack 2
 

Aer Travel Pack 2

The Man:
For the urban commuter on the move, AER makes gear that performs like it’s designed to go up a mountain—but without the gearhead look.

The Mission: The Travel Pack 2 is our first choice for the long weekend or business trip. The laptop sleeve, shoe compartment, and easy-access clamshell design will keep you organized and mobile.

The Maker: AER is redefining the modern man in the city, incorporating alpinist features into bags that look at home on the streets of NYC.
 

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Topo Designs Travel Bag


Topo Designs Travel Bag

The Man:
The fashion-forward explorer on the way to an outdoor festival or Southeast Asia, Topo Designs’ sleek one-bag travel companion is rugged enough to be dropped off the plane while protecting a laptop in a dedicated compartment.

The Mission: For long backpacking trips anywhere in the world, the Topo Designs Travel Bag holds more than a week’s worth of gear. Better yet, it’ll stay organized thanks to an internal dopp kit and dedicated storage for all your essentials. Forty liters of gear is kept comfortable thanks to load-lifter backpack straps.

The Maker: Denver’s Topo Designs is known as much for its iconic color blocking as it is for bags that feature quality components like padded ballistic nylon back pannels.


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WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel
 

WANDRED HEXAD Access Duffel

The Man: Half outdoorsman, half photographer, the man that hoists WANDRD’s bag will appreciate its double-duty design.

The Mission: Long weekend trips are no sweat with the HEXAD Access Duffel, even while carrying your precious DSLR and a few lenses. Its TPU-coated tarpaulin is abrasion-resistant and water resistant for those torrential commutes. A padded laptop sleeve and YKK zippers ensure your gear stays safe and dry.

The Maker: WANDRD makes gear for the adventurous man who’s documenting the journey along the way.


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