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Best Backpacks for travel (and Everyday) in 2022

The right bag is the best traveling companion. That is certainly true when it comes to backpacks.  When I am traveling for work as a corporate flight attendant, I always keep a lightweight string type backpack in my luggage to use at my destination. I think these are the best to use for

sightseeing, and shopping for the jets, to keep my hands free. It holds the basics: credit card, wallet, keys, water bottle and super lightweight.  (I use wheeled luggage and tote bags while in uniform). These lightweight backpacks are also good for everyday life – the gym, errands, etc.


If I am on a personal trip and want to do a day hike, then a backpack that is bigger, and fits well on my back, water resistant and some lockable zippers is best.  It holds the basics: credit cards, wallet, keys, water bottle, plus some food and snacks, rain jacket, insect repellant, and contains padded shoulder straps. I like multiple zippered compartments in the front, and backpacks that you can open wide so you can find your stuff.  


If you are traveling by jet, backpacks are a great “personal” item that fit nicely under the seat in front of you. Most of the time, your travel backpack will not be given a second look by gate agents when boarding. Unlike your wheeled bag which they will sometimes ask you to put in the “sizer box”.  If your wheeled bag does not fit perfectly in the sizer, they will check your bag. Yes it has happened even to me!


Sometimes when traveling for work, I like a little  “dressier” backpack than my lightweight string bag (which is sports related). I like one that I can use for the evening out, and still be hands free especially if walking to dinner.  I also like a little color in  my backpacks.


When I travel commercially to a conference, or have business meetings, I love to carry a 3-in-1 Convertible type Backpack with RFID Phone Wristlet. These bags are a backpack, briefcase, and shoulder bag all in one, have a quick access phone pocket ,and a sleeve that slides over or luggage handle. Many brands carry these one bag wonders, but the ones from baggallini come in lots of fun colors.


Most importantly when selecting a backpack, is what weight and size is comfortable for YOU. Here are a few I recommend. I’ll add more to this article as I try them. (Yes, I do have a “thing” for bags!)


Best Lightweight String Backpacks: (sports related)

You can find a string backpack from your favorite team at Fanatics. Fanatics is a sports merchandise on-line superstore that partners with collegiate and professional teams. 

Example: Pittsburgh Steelers, N.C. State Wolfpack, Clemson Tigers.  Here is a string backpack  like mine. Mine has a side pocket for a water bottle and a front pocket for keys.




Best Travel Backpacks for day trips:

I have used eBags products for years. They have a number of great backpacks good for men and women. The Mother Lode Travel Backpack is all that. Pockets for everything – your laptop, snacks, keys. It packs like a suitcase, meaning a big open compartment. Easily holds your packing cubes, and has expandable compression straps. You can also access the main compartment from the front of the bag, without having to unpack the whole bag. (when you want to grab your sweater in flight). It has top, bottom, and side handles for easy lifting.  




Best 3-in-1 Convertible type Backpack with RFID Phone Wristlet:

I’m a corporate flight attendant so of course I love baggallini bags which were designed by flight attendants who understand the challenges of traveling. The 3-in-1 Convertible Backpack with RFID Phone Wristlet really might be the perfect combination of form and style, lightweight, and organization. Removable, adjustable straps let you wear the bag as a crossbody bag, a shoulder bag, a backpack, and it slides it over your luggage handle. Lots of pockets make this a dream bag. baggalini offers some good color choices. You can use the wristlet to hold your phone and credit card for dinner out when traveling, and leave the bag in your room.




Best Backpacks for Everyday:

I do love a little color in my backpacks. The Naples Convertible Backpack holds the basics, looks sharp for dinner out, and has great reviews (other than just me). I like the French Navy color. You can also adjust the straps to wear it like a sling.




Best Backpacks for Traveling for Work:

If you have to travel for work, or just need a professional looking backpack everyday to the office, check out the eBags Pro Slim Jr. Laptop Backpack.

It’s a sharp looking streamlined bag with a separate compartment at the bottom just for your cords and chargers! No more tangled mess in the bottom of your bag.

Nice organized pockets keep all your stuff tidy. If you look at this link, you can see how it compares to the slightly bigger eBags Pro Slim Laptop Backpack.