The Best Packable Backpacks for Travel: Which Is Right for You? (2019)

packable backpack

Amazon

A packable backpack is a great accessory for any type of traveler. These bags fold up to about the size of a sandwich and unfold to fit cameras, rain jackets, water bottles, and other day trip essentials.

If you’re going on a camping trip, pack one of these in your bag and use it for day hikes. If you’re visiting a new city, bring one along to carry your wallet and other essentials during the day, or as a bag to carry home souvenirs.

These packable backpacks are lightweight, durable, and most of them are also pretty affordable. There’s almost no excuse not to pack one on your next trip. They also make great gifts for the traveler in your life!

Best Packable Backpacks for Travel

lightweight packable backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Multiple pockets
Price: $19.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
osprey packable daypack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Reputable brand
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Great design
Price: $23.10 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
venture pal travel backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Inexpensive
  • Double layered bottom
  • Water-resistant
Price: $19.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
outlander packable backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Durable and water-resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Fits a lot
Price: $17.82 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
affordable packable backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Very affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Multiple colors
Price: $12.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Hikpro Lightweight Packable Backpack

    Pros:
    • Durable
    • Affordable
    • Multiple pockets
    • Multiple colors
    Cons:
    • Not as big as some
    • Shape isn't very structured
    • No interior cushioning

    This affordable, lightweight backpack is one of the more durable on the list. It’s made with high-quality water and tear resistant nylon and has abrasion resistant zippers. It’s double reinforced in 14 places and users said it lasts for years. 

    The bag can fit up to 20 liters, but it’s only 7.5 ounces. It folds up into a small pocket about the size of a sandwich, so it can be easily tossed in your bag until you need to unfold it. 

    The breathable mesh shoulder straps are comfortable enough to wear for a full day of exploring, and the length is easy to adjust and lock in place. 

    The bag has a large main pocket, an outer small pocket that fits things like a guidebook or camera, and an inner zipper pocket for things like your wallet or other valuables. There are two large side mesh pockets, great for a water bottle or an umbrella. 

    The packable backpack has almost unanimous five-star reviews on Amazon and comes in 10 colors. 

  2. 2. Osprey Packable Daypack

    Pros:
    • Reputable brand
    • Lightweight and durable
    • Great design
    Cons:
    • Not as spacious as some
    • Not fully waterproof
    • Colors not always true to photos

    If you’re willing to spend a bit more for a high-quality packable backpack, the Osprey ultralight stuff pack might be the bag for you. Osprey is a well-regarded brand in the outdoor bag space, and this backpack is no exception. 

    It’s made from high-quality, durable and water-resistant material and has dual zippers to allow access from different points on the pack. It has a stretch mesh side pocket for extra gear or a water bottle, and an airmesh harness that makes it easy and comfortable to carry. 

    When not in use, it weighs four ounces and packs into its own carrying case. When opened, it fits 18 liters. The bag comes in four colors. 

    “It is very well-designed considering the tiny weight. The straps are ingenious. In fact, the whole design is ingenious,” said one reviewer. 

    One user said it was not quite as comfortable as he expected, and another said the colors were not true to the photos. 

  3. 3. Venture Pal Packable Daypack

    Pros:
    • Inexpensive
    • Double layered bottom
    • Water-resistant
    • Lightweight
    • Comfortable
    Cons:
    • Not as large as other bags
    • Not fully waterproof
    • Not as high-quality material as other bags

    This best-selling packable backpack for travel weighs only 0.7 pounds and costs around $20. The bag is water resistant, making it great for outdoor activities, and can store up to 35 liters in multiple compartments.

    The shoulder straps are made with a breathable mesh fabric that allows you to carry it for long stretches without discomfort. The double-layered bottom helps hold heavier objects without strain, and a chest strap helps you lock it securely in place.

    The backpack has one main pocket, two zippered front pockets, and two side pockets. There are two separators in the main pocket. When not in use, the backpack folds into a zippered inner pocket to save space, so you can pack it in your luggage then take it out to use for day trips on vacation.

    It comes in nine colors. On Amazon, it has nearly 4,000 reviews and the overwhelming majority are positive. “I carried it on my back for about 12 hours one day, and I have to say it was pretty darn comfortable,” said one user.

  4. 4. Outlander Water-Resistant Packable Backpack

    Pros:
    • Durable and water-resistant
    • Lightweight
    • Fits a lot
    Cons:
    • Not as small as some
    • No interior cushioning
    • Fewer color options than some

    This water-resistant packable backpack is made of a highly rip and water-resistant nylon, and the stress points are reinforced with bar tacking. The bag has durable, two-way abrasion resistant SBS metal zippers. When not in use, it folds into a small zippered inner pocket (about the size of a hamburger). It’s great for avoiding extra carry-on baggage fees! 

    The bag weighs only 0.5 pounds when not filled, but can be filled with up to 33 liters. It’s great for using as a daypack on your trip, or for bringing home souvenirs as excess baggage. 

    The bag has a roomy main compartment, two front zipper pockets for small accessories, one internal zipper pocket, and two side pockets. There’s also a carabiner clip so you can carry extra items externally. 

    Users loved that it was durable and that it fits under the seat of small planes when full. “It holds so much more than it looks like it could!” said one reviewer. The only downside was that while the fabric is durable, it’s also thin, and doesn’t provide much cushioning for valuable items like cameras.

     

  5. 5. Affordable Packable Backpack

    Pros:
    • Very affordable
    • Lightweight
    • Multiple colors
    Cons:
    • Not as high-quality as others
    • Shoulder straps not comfortable for extended wear
    • Colors not always true to photos

    This packable backpack is the most affordable on the list, but still fairly durable and spacious. It’s made with ripstop nylon and has abrasion-resistant zippers. It folds into an ultra-compact pouch and unfolds to 11.8 x 16.5 x 7 inches. 

    It has three zippered compartments, including a main pocket, a small outer pocket (great for cash and credit cards), and an inner zip pocket. There are also two side mesh pockets for umbrellas or water bottles. 

    Users loved the backpack both for camping and wandering cities. They said it fit a decent amount and worked well for day use, but the straps were not very comfortable for extended wear. It comes in nine colors. 

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