Which are the best backpacks for digital nomads ? Wanderers also considered nomads, are people that do not stay in one place for much time. They usually like to travel light which basically means that the less they can carry the better, only essentials for living and working on the road. Since you are going to be living out of your backpack, it makes one of the most important decisions as to which backpack to purchase. Whether for casual carrying to the most extreme places you can go, here I will show you the best backpacks on the market for digital nomads.
The way people travel has changed drastically over the past few decades, from hitchhiking to the top of the nomad life, there will always be a great choice for you. So how exactly do we choose from so many brand selections?
Read more: best luggage for digital nomads
There are several things to consider when choosing the right backpack
While cost is probably the first thing that comes to mind when choosing the right backpack, I would strongly recommend to treat this purchase as an investment rather than just a product. If you spend a fair amount of money on a more expensive backpack you will ensure that the product you are getting will last for many years of wear and tear as you would probably do.
Having a large backpack unless traveling from place to place can be a bit of a burden. For the most part you will want a backpack that is big enough to store your needed belongings, but also small enough that you can actually move around while with it. Somewhere between 30L and 40L can be a good choice for this purpose as you can also use them as a carry on.
Like the last point, weight can be an issue to carry around reason why we do not recommend anything over 40L.
When living the life of the digital nomad, you are most likely to carry with you some amount of electronic equipment such as laptop or other smaller electronics so one thing to bear in mind is security, some of these backpacks come with anti-theft features available that can certainly minimize the risk of getting your electronics lost.
If you can spend the extra money getting a waterproof backpack is the way to go. For one thing you will be moving around and at some point is very likely that it ends up raining and electronics and water do not go very well together.
Here are our top picks for the best digital nomad backpack
1. Nomatic 40L travel backpack
This will be our top choice for this list. This backpack gathers all the main features you are looking for when choosing a backpack that can do just about anything. From external waterproofing to keep your items completely dry to its 40L capacity that allows for carry-on when traveling on airplane.
Its laptop storage pocket is super secure and it has the compartments to store your cables, chargers and other small electronics. It also comes with a shoe compartment and a mesh bag where you can put just about anything and keep it away from your other stuff.
The waist straps help to alleviate some of the weight if the backpack is full and to top it all, the customer service is outstanding, they will solve your issue in no time at all whether it’d be a replacement or simply having it repaired in case something happened.
2. Aer Travel Pack 2
This San Francisco based company brings the Aer travel pack 2. This backpack is made with ballistic nylon which ensures you will have a sturdy item that will not wear and tear like a regular backpack. I
t has breathable padding on the back for comfort during long walks. It comes with a clamshell opening for the main compartment and it has some structure with the foam that comes inside.
If you are looking for versatility then this is the backpack for you. This will be a durable and versatile purchase.
3. Minaal carry on 2.0
This minimalist-styled back carry on backpack is a solid choice if laptop security as it comes with a shock proof pocket for it. It is perfect for having as a carry-on when flying. It has a seam-sealed rain cover so all your items will be perfectly dry. All in all, this is a very complete backpack with just the right size to be able to move around without all the bulkiness of a 35L+ backpack.
4. The Tortuga oubreaker
This nomad backpack is extremely comfortable, it brings just about all the freatures that you would look for in a nomad backpack.
One interesting feature is that this backpack is to be packed like a suitcase but build to carry as a backpack which can be very useful during the packing and unpacking as you can access and organize pretty much anything on the backpack without much trouble.
This backpack is available in two versions, a 35L and a 45L although you can fit a 17” laptop in any of the options. It also comes with a hip belt which helps take off at least 70% of the weight from the shoulders to the hips which in case of long walks or hikes it is of great help. It is also waterproof to help keep you belongings dry.
5. Lowepro protactic BP 450
Are you a photographer? This is the right backpack for you for traveling with your cameras and photographic equipment. This backpack looks and feels extremely sturdy and durable as the name tells us, it is made for tactical and heavy-duty use.
The stiffness on the nylon material used combined with the right amount of stitching and design, will make you feel all your contents are just safe. Everything from the straps, buckles, zippers to the well-built quality feels just very well made.
You can easily store a 15” laptop or any other essentials you may need during your travel. It comes with en entire exterior covered with loops into which you can hang or attach anything you want on the exterior of the backpack. It protects the interior with its hard shell construction so the crucial areas are not affected. The straps are thick and the all come with ring attachments.
On the interior we can find many ways of arranging as it comes with Velcro dividers which is a feature that most camera bags come with.
6. FE active – 30L dry bag
This backpack is made from marine grade PVC tarpaulin lightweight material and its welded stitched. This backpack is totally water proof ensuring all items are safe and dry no matter what the conditions are. Please bear in mind that it only comes in one color and one size.
7. REI’s Rucksack 40
Very well made and comfortable backpack to carry around. If these two factors are important to you then you must try the new REI Rucksack 40. This great outdoor backpack will just about fit your needs when it comes to outdoor adventures as it is made for both hiking and traveling so you can get the best out of each need. Its ventilated mesh back panel integrated with the light padded and ventilated straps makes it for a great hiking companion as all the weight is shifted towards your back for precise stability.
For packing and unpacking it comes with a full zipper design which allows to open the bag almost completely for easier access. It also comes with a sleeve on the back that can carry a 3L water reservoir as well as a 15” laptop. Its durability comes from its premium material ripstop nylon which can last for years of wear and tear.
8. Osprey Farpoint
Osprey has been one of the top brands for backpacks for a long time. They have stablished their name under certain great characteristics such as life time warranty on their backpacks and so on.
This is a long-lasting backpack thanks to its extremely well-built construction and materials used. Although these backpacks were made in the USA nowadays, they are made in Vietnam but with extremely high-quality standards.
These backpacks are always designed with comfort in mind. It comes with adjustable straps and hip straps. This backpack comes in 40L to 70L sizes to accommodate your needs. We recommend the 40L as it is the one that best fits for a carry on or just for daily use.
9. Tropicfeel Shell backpack
This weatherproof backpack, along with its great capacity for storage, its padded laptop pocket and many attachable accessories makes this backpack one of the best on our list.
Its expandability allows you to fit things you would otherwise do not consider. The kangaroo pocket on beneath the backpack is awesome to store bulky items such as shoes or other items, this pocket gives you an extra 6L of capacity and it is fully foldable when not in use.
Although not very easy to pack as the opening at the top does not open completely and it has no support on the sides so it can be a bit tricky to pack even though you can fully open it from the back, once you have filled about a third of the bag this problem does not affect at all.
The laptop pocket although it does not keep it suspended like other brands, it comes with good padding that could probably resist minor impacts. The zip pocket on the lid allows for quick access to items you may need right away such as keys, or money.
Overall it is a great deal for the money, well and strong built combined with top of the line materials makes this bag a must to take.
10. Packsave venturesafe backpack
If security is your main concern, then the PacSafe Venturesafe back pack is the right choice for you. It comes with a built-in anti-theft design with super strong zippers that can be locked with a padlock. The material of the backpack is cut resistant and it comes with a cable made of stainless steel to lock it into anything. This is a 45L backpack with a very large main compartment and easy access pockets on the exterior. It also comes with a 5 year warranty on materials and or fabric defects.
If you are a nomad and like to travel around the world or like outdoor adventures, there is always going to be a perfect match for you and your requirements. From waterproof backpacks to lock-safe ones there is always something to please every taste. This was our list of best backpacks for digital nomads, which one is the right for you?