Best Backpacks for Airline Travel

best backpacks for airline travel

If you love traveling, surely at some point you have the idea of ​​buying 0ne of the best backpacks for airline travel. You already know that if you travel by plane you will have to take into account the dimensions of your luggage.

In the case of not checking luggage because you travel with a low-cost rate and your plane ticket does not include it, you will have to carry all your belongings in your hand luggage. Or if instead, you check in a suitcase, you can also carry another piece of luggage in the cabin.

In this case, the most practical travelers will choose good and, if possible, cheap backpacks for traveling by plane.

In any case, your hand luggage, whether it is a wheeled suitcase or a backpack, will have to adjust to your needs and the type of trip you are going to take.

And in the case of backpacks, what are the best backpacks for airline travel?

Almost all travelers look for these things in common:

  • Make it comfortable to carry
  • With differentiated compartments
  • With good value for money
  • Have a nice design

In the event that you need it to travel by plane, it will also have to have the allowed dimensions in the cabin.

The dimensions of hand luggage are very important because space is limited inside the aircraft cabin. Especially on low-cost airlines, where luggage space is minimized to the maximum in order to include more seats and more passengers.

Each airline marks its own measurements, but generally, they are usually 55 cm x 40 cm x 20 cm (44L).

And the maximum weight is usually between 7kg and 10kg.

And is it better to travel with a suitcase or a backpack? Obviously, it will depend on the type of trip, the destination you travel to, and your tastes.

In this case, we are going to focus on travel backpacks because they seem more comfortable, lighter to carry as hand luggage, and also tend to be more practical and cheaper than suitcases.😉

What are the best backpacks for airline travel?

These 5 types and brands of travel backpacks that we show you below, perfectly meet the measurements of a plane backpack, are comfortable, ideal as cabin backpacks, and also have very good value for money.

What more could you want?

1. Cabin Max luggage brand – BUDGET TRAVEL BACKPACKS

best backpacks for airline travel
Click the image for more info.

Does the Cabin Max luggage brand ring a bell?

The  Cabin Max travel backpacks are ideal for practical travelers who are looking for a backpack with a large capacity to transport luggage (44L), a backpack to store clothes comfortably with its 180º opening and most importantly: a backpack with the guarantee that it meets perfectly with the measurements of the luggage allowed in the cabin of the vast majority of airlines ( 55x40x20 cm).

Without more, a backpack ready to take on the go, either for weekend getaways or even for week-long trips. Without having to invoice!

And you know what? These economic backpacks have the distinction of being striking and original, being available in more than 30 designs for all tastes. Traveling with an original backpack is great!

If you travel with an original handbag, in addition to avoiding coinciding with another same backpack on your flight, you will decrease the chances of it being stolen and you will increase the chances of finding it in the event that you lose it.

There are millions of common pieces of luggage in black, navy, or gray, but an original backpack like this, with polka dots, camouflage print, bright colors, or fluorescent zippers, is instantly recognized and will be one of the best backpacks for airline travel 😉


best backpacks for airline travel
Click the image for more info.

Among the most important characteristics of a handbag are that it is comfortable, that it has compartments and enough capacity to carry all the things that you will need and that the weight of all your luggage is well distributed.

If it is also waterproof and has a compartment to store your laptop, this will be your best travel companion.

Within this category of handbags, you can also choose a backpack-briefcase, multi-function backpack or backpack type suitcase, whatever you prefer to call it.

It is one of our favorites to travel only with hand luggage and not check-in, since it is a large capacity backpack (40 L) thanks to a fairly large compartment, with great measures to carry it in the plane cabin (55 x 34 x 18 cm) and with straps to adjust depending on the load and make the backpack more compact and comfortable.

Without a doubt, it is one of the best backpacks for airline travel, highly recommended also for its value for money. It is made of materials similar to suitcases, it has handles to carry it like a briefcase and a rear strap to attach it to the handles of your suitcase.

In short, it is a great choice for business trips where you need to carry your work material at hand, well secured and tidy and also for short breaks of one or several weeks.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a compact backpack to travel, but prefer a more sporty style, why not go for a trusted brand like The North Face.

It is proven that their backpacks are quality and that they last for many years (or travel;)

For example, The North Face Borealis, in addition to complying with cabin measurements, is adjustable by means of side straps and has a great aesthetic and ergonomic design, for greater comfort and practicality.

This backpack has a smaller capacity than the previous one but you can choose between 14 different designs!

If your trip is short, if you need a backpack as a second piece of luggage or if you are able to reduce everything you need in a small space, (there are many travelers who get it;)) it will be perfect to travel by plane with a small backpack like this 31L, which can also be used for daily use, going to class, trekking …

Do you keep the sports backpack or do you prefer the business style backpack?


best backpacks for airline travel
Click the image for more info.

There are travelers who do not decide between choosing a suitcase or a backpack to travel by plane.

Both have their advantages since suitcases allow you to lose weight on your back and make your clothes wrinkle less, but on the other hand, backpacks are more comfortable to move from one place to another and are usually cheaper.

So how about a wheeled travel backpack?

All the advantages of suitcases and handbags in one luggage!

If you are one of those who do not decide, you can choose to choose this travel backpack that can also be used as a suitcase with wheels.

These backpacks are valid as cabin luggage and at the same time have a great capacity to carry all your clothes and shoes, as well as a laptop, electronic devices, or any other luggage you need.

Use it as a suitcase while you are moving through wide spaces, such as airports or stations, and use it as a backpack when you are wandering around cities, to go up and downstairs …

To convert the suitcase into a backpack, just open the zipper where the shoulder handles are located, lower the telescopic handle to its compartment and that’s it!

So, as long as they meet the weight and baggage measurements allowed by budget airlines, these wheeled travel backpacks can be a great choice.

4. Mardingtop 50L Hiking Backpack. 

best backpacks for airline travel
Click the image for more info.

We have mentioned above all urban backpacks for traveling by plane, but what if you are looking for a backpack for backpacking by plane and not carrying any other luggage?

We have already written a post about the best mountain backpacks valid as hand luggage, as well as the exact liters that each airline allows. And among all the ones we mentioned, one of the best without a doubt is The North Face Terra 50L.

In addition to being a trusted brand, it has a discreet design and above all, the exact measurements to carry it as a handbag in the cabin of the plane!

If you choose to travel with a backpack, it is probably because the place you travel to or the type of trip you take requires it, which means that the lighter your hand luggage, the more comfortable and practical your trip will be.

In this aspect, this 50L backpack is the maximum capacity normally allowed by airlines and we guarantee that you can carry clothes for up to 15 days if you organize yourself well.

Although if you are a true backpacker, you can travel with her for months 😉

If, on the other hand, you are able to travel with a backpack of only 35L and you also want it to be a modern and good quality backpack, try the Under Armor UA Contender.

The good thing about this backpack is that while you don’t use it to travel, you can use it for the gym, to go to the mountains, to go to class …

This capacity is ideal for a weekend getaway, but if you’re traveling longer, there are a few ways to minimize your carry-on luggage.

Such as buying toiletries at your destination, vacuum packing your clothes or replacing a few kilos of clothes with a bar of soap or detergent to reuse during your trip 🙂

The other good option is to carry this backpack as hand luggage when traveling by plane, carry in it the things you need during the flight, and check everything else in another suitcase.

5. XD Design Bobby Pro Anti-Theft Backpack 

best backpacks for airline travel
Click the image for more info.

If your priority is to be able to travel calm and confident, knowing that your belongings are safe while you carry the backpack, then we recommend the backpacks with anti-theft details.

The pioneers were the XD Design brand backpacks, and little by little we began to hear and read more about this type of backpacks and to find more brands, but what characteristics do they have?

They are also called smart backpacks and they have technological complements, such as integrated charging battery, USB ports, charger cable, security padlocks, reflective details, closure with hidden zippers, strategic pockets … And some even incorporate solar panels.

In addition, they are designed with resistant anti-tear, waterproof and shockproof fabrics. How come you don’t have one yet?

For all this, these anti-theft backpacks are for us one of the best backpacks for airline travel and to move quietly through airports, train and bus stations, city centers …

You can carry this travel backpack in the cabin of the plane and transport your laptop and valuables without fear. Even carry it as a second piece of hand luggage when the airline allows two pieces.

Every time they manufacture more original and elegant designs and there are more and more brands that adapt their backpacks to new technologies. And the advantage is that you can really find anti-theft backpacks at very good prices.

They are the next level of travel backpacks!


In short, these are for us, and for many travelers, the types of backpacks that are perfect to carry as hand luggage.

Some have the capacity to transport the entire luggage and others can be used as a second piece of luggage, since they also do not exceed the measures allowed by the airlines.

And as you may already know, most airlines allow you to travel with two pieces of carry-on luggage, which are often called “luggage packages”.

Carrying two pieces of luggage helps you organize much better, you can carry your mobile, wallet, travel documents and objects you need to have on hand during the journey in the small bag, and carry the rest of the luggage in another suitcase or backpack larger travel.

In the following image, we give you an example if you want to buy a backpack to travel with a small companion backpack to carry everything you need. It is a suitcase wheeled backpack.

best backpacks for airline travel

Finally, we detail some things you should know to travel by plane with a backpack :

  • In general, if you organize your luggage well, a backpack has more capacity than a suitcase, since the backpack is more flexible.
  • However, remember that a travel backpack should not weigh more than 25% of your body weight.
  • The capacity of the backpacks is measured in liters, and the maximum dimensions allowed for an airplane handbag are usually 50L. Sometimes they can accept a 55L but try not to fill it completely so that it does not seem too bulky, so you will avoid checking the measurements. Even so, check very well the dimensions that your airline allows !!.
  • Not all brands have unified sizes. To know which size of travel backpack to choose, you will have to measure the distance between the base of the neck and the hip, since the weight should fall on the waist and not on the shoulders. You can also buy a specific travel backpack for men or women, in such a way that it adapts to the physiognomy.
  • To distribute a load of luggage in a backpack well, it is recommended to place what you do not need during the journey at the bottom, the heaviest things in the middle of the back, and everything you need to have on hand during the trip at the top.

In conclusion, these 5 travel backpacks are totally different, but they all meet the requirements to carry them as hand luggage in the cabin of the plane.

Now you only have to fill them with all the things you need on your trip and with all the experiences you bring back. 😉

If, on the other hand, you are more than traveling by plane with a suitcase, you will be interested in taking a look at these 5 brands of carry- on suitcases with very good opinions, according to traveler reviews, or if you are traveling with the whole family, look before the best children’s suitcases.

And you? What kind of luggage do you usually travel with? We will be happy to read in the comments your suggestions about the best backpacks for airline travel, your favorite brands, your experiences … go ahead and share your opinion!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here