After many years of travelling with too many things, I know that having a good quality carry on backpack is a worthy investment. Your backpack stays with you throughout your journey, so you want to ensure it has everything you need. The best carry on bags are lightweight and comfortable to carry without causing any strain to your shoulders and back.
Finding the right backpack can be quite an overwhelming endeavour. There are so many different brands and models on the market with several factors to consider such as durability, cost and capacity. Additionally, it must meet the size requirements of airlines. To save you the hassle, I have put together this buying guide to assist you in finding the best carry on bag suitable for you.
Whether you are searching for the best budget carry on backpack, the best carry on backpack for international travel, the best carry on backpack for business travel or the best carry on backpack for men, you are sure to find one that suits your requirements.
Keep reading and you will find everything you need to know to pick the best carry on backpack for you below, including a comparison chart of all the top carry on backpack options, a full guide to the main features to consider when looking for the best carry on backpack for travelling and, finally, individual reviews of each of the best carry on backpack 2021 options. This will help you whether you are looking for a large carry on backpack or the best small carry on backpack or something else entirely.
- 1 Our Pick For Best Carry On Backpack Australia 2021
- 2 Compare The Top 10 Best Carry On Back Pack Australia 2021
- 3 Top 10 Best Carry On Backpacks 2021
- 4 How To Choose The Best Carry On Backpack for Travel 2021
- 5 Top Carry On Backpack Reviews Australia 2021
- 5.1 Cabin Max Equator 44L Womens/Mens Backpacks Review
- 5.2 Sterkmann Expandable Carry on Backpack Review
- 5.3 Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack Review
- 5.4 Pacsafe Venturesafe G3 Review
- 5.5 Kelty Redwing 44 Backpack Review
- 5.6 Asenlin 40L Travel Backpack Review
- 5.7 Mark Ryden 23L/40L Business Carry-on Travel Backpack Review
- 5.8 Pacsafe Venturesafe 25L GII Review
- 5.9 Kelty Women’s Redwing 40 Backpack Review
- 5.10 Kaka Carry On Duffle Backpack Review
- 5.11 Related posts:
Our Pick For Best Carry On Backpack Australia 2021
Just want to buy the best carry on travel backpack 2021 right now? Great! This is our top pick.
A great all round backpack that ticks all the boxes and will be the perfect travel companion. The backpack is extremely spacious and comfortable to carry. The three year warranty gives users added peace of mind.
Compare The Top 10 Best Carry On Back Pack Australia 2021
Here is a carry on backpack comparison chart so you can select the best carry on travel backpack for your situation. Use this table to compare the features of the best carry on backpacks for travelling in Australia. If you want more information on a product or the current price, click on the product name.
|Cabin Max Equator 44L Womens/Mens Backpacks||44L||54 x 36 x 23 cm||1.3kg||Showerproof 600D PU||Click||Water resistant fabric, 3 year warranty||5.0|
|Sterkmann Expandable Carry on Backpack||20L-30L||47 x 16 x 30 cm||1.3kg||Waterproof Coated Eco-polyester||Click||Affordable, expandable||5.0|
|Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack||40L||56 x 36 x 23 cm||1.36kg||210D Nylon Mini Hex Diamond Ripstop||Click||Durable, water resistant||5.0|
|Pacsafe Venturesafe G3||25L||24 x 29 x 48 cm||0.9kg||Nylon and Polyester||Click||Lightweight, versatile, cut resistant fabric||4.0|
|Kelty Redwing 44 Backpack||44L||60 x 40 x 30 cm||1.7kg||Nylon||Click||Large capacity, extra pockets||5.0|
|Asenlin 40L Travel Backpack||40L||47 x 32 x 24 cm||1.32kg||Polyester Oxford Cloth||Click||Budget friendly, compression straps||4.5|
|Mark Ryden 23L/40L Business Carry-on Travel Backpack||23L-40L||46.6 x 35.2 x 8.4 cm||1.2kg||Water-repellent Cloth||Click||Sleek layout, collapsible, charging cable||4.0|
|Pacsafe Venturesafe 25L GII||25L||20 x 50 x 29 cm||0.51kg||N210D 3line ripstop and N400D 100T||Click||Lightweight, cut resistant fabric||5.0|
|Kelty Women’s Redwing 40 Backpack||40L||58 x 35 x 30 cm||1.18kg||Rugged Polyester Taffeta Shell||Click||Adjustable hip belt, well padded back panel||4.0|
|Kaka Carry On Duffle Backpack||40L||38 x 28 x 11 cm||1.22kg||Tear-Resistant Oxford Fabric||Click||Durable, multifunctional||4.5|
Top 10 Best Carry On Backpacks 2021
Find our handy list of best carry on backpack for travelling options – see our full carry on travel backpack reviews further below.
- Cabin Max Equator 44L Womens/Mens Backpacks, 44L capacity
- Sterkmann Expandable Carry on Backpack, 20L – 30L capacity
- Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack, 40L capacity
- Pacsafe Venturesafe G3, 25L capacity
- Kelty Redwing 44 Backpack, 44L capacity
- Asenlin 40L Travel Backpack, 40L capacity
- Mark Ryden 23L/40L Business Carry-on Travel Backpack, 23L – 40L capacity
- Pacsafe Venturesafe 25L GII, 25L capacity
- Kelty Women’s Redwing 40 Backpack, 40L capacity
- Kaka Carry On Duffle Backpack, 40L capacity
How To Choose The Best Carry On Backpack for Travel 2021
When you are choosing the best carry on duffel backpack or the best carry on backpack with wheels, there are so many great options out there that it can be easy to get carried away with cool designs and fancy features. Whichever best carry on pack or best carry on luggage backpack with wheels you choose to go for, make sure you have considered the following factors before making your final choice.
One of the most important factors in deciding which best cheap carry on backpack is best for you is how much you can fit inside. The capacity of the best air travel backpack is usually measured in Litres and the maximum volume allowed is approximately 45L.
The capacity of the backpack which you require will depend on what items you like to pack and the purpose of your backpack. If you need to travel with a laptop or camera, you may need to consider a bigger capacity compared to lightweight travellers who may only carry a few extra clothes.
When choosing the best carry on luggage backpack, try not to look for something too big and bulky. Keep in mind that airlines have specific size requirements and that carry on backpacks have to be relatively small to fit the overhead bins. For this reason, the dimensions of the largest carry on backpack must be ‘flight approved’ for the airlines you will most likely be flying with.
As mentioned above, airlines have very strict weight requirements for the best travel carry on bag. You should keep in mind that the best carry on backpack luggage can weigh up to 2kg, which is added to the total luggage allowance.
You don’t want to be lugging around a heavy backpack that will cause pain to your neck and shoulders. Look out for the best airline carry on backpack that includes a hip belt and is adjustable, so the weight is evenly distributed from your shoulder to your hips.
Durability and Material
When investing in the best travel carry on backpack, you want to make sure it is built to last. This depends a lot on what type of material the backpack is made from. There is a wide range of fabrics available. The most common options with their advantages and disadvantages are listed below.
- Cotton: Affordable and breathable so it’s a great material if you plan on wearing the pack for long periods but generally weaker than something like nylon so could rip easier.
- Nylon: Strong and water resistant but not very breathable so could lead to a particularly sweaty and sticky back if worn for a long time.
- Polyester: Usually has more protection from UV deterioration but can tear easily.
The quality of stitching also plays an important role in defining the lifespan of the best carry on backpack for women or men. So, although a cotton material may rip easier, if it has excellent stitching that will help a little.
Other Great Features
The best carry on backpack should come with various features for added durability, ease of use and comfort. What features you want with your backpack will depend on your usage and preferences. A few features to consider include:
- Different compartments: Easy access to important essentials such as passports, tickets or water bottles is made much easier if they have a specific compartment and you don’t have to dig through the whole bag to find something.
- Water resistance: Ensures water doesn’t come into the bag so your valuables are protected and it’s important if you’re not sure what type of weather you’ll be travelling in. Even just wearing the bag from an airport to a train station in the rain could see your gear getting wet if the bag isn’t water resistant.
- Separate laptop sleeve: Perfect for those who travel for business or carry their laptop with them during travel. Many laptop sleeves provide a little extra padding to provide extra protection and make it easy to quickly find your laptop.
- Adjustable hip straps: These ensure weight is evenly distributed from the shoulders so there is less strain on your back and they are particularly important if you know you’ll be wearing the bag for long periods.
Top Carry On Backpack Reviews Australia 2021
- Capacity: 44L
- Dimension: 54 x 36 x 23 cm
- Weight: 1.3 kg
- Material: Showerproof 600D PU
Extremely spacious with a 44L capacity, this best carry on travel pack is an upgraded model of the existing Equator backpack and makes the perfect travel companion. The main compartment is roomy, and there is a dividing panel with a padded laptop compartment which works great if you’re after the best carry on laptop backpack.
The front flap includes a deep zipped pocket in terms of safety, and there are a few other hidden pockets around the bag to keep your valuables secure. The upgraded model also features thicker shoulder straps for added comfort. This best airplane travel backpack meets all the carry on regulations.
There is an integrated rain cover, and the bag is waterproof, making it durable for any kind of adventure. The Cabin Max backpack review on Amazon are all fairly positive, and it comes with a 3 year warranty for added peace of mind!
- Very water resistant with integrated rain cover
- Deep zipped pockets for added security of valuables
- 3 year warranty
- I haven’t come across any so far!
- Capacity: 20L – 30L
- Dimension: 47 x 16 x 30 cm
- Weight: 1.3 kg
- Material: Waterproof Coated Eco-polyester
Travel in style with this innovative best carry on size backpack. The Sterkmann backpack is highly versatile and can quickly expand from 20L capacity to 30L when required. The design is well thought out and consists of 3 main compartments and 12 other internal pockets for inside storage.
Other handy features of the backpack are the shell opening, shoulder straps that can be tucked in so it’s more like a briefcase and comfortable carry handles. We also love that the backpack comes with a compression packing tube, shoe bag and laundry bag, which are a real bonus.
Overall, this could be the best backpack for plane travel because it’s good value for money and can be used for daily use too!
- Expandable from 20L to 30L
- It comes with extra accessories such as laundry and shoe bag
- Zips are sticky initially due to the waterproof nature of the bag
- Capacity: 40L
- Dimension: 56 x 36 x 23 cm
- Weight: 1.36 kg
- Material: 210D Nylon Mini Hex Diamond Ripstop
If you’re after the best lightweight carry on backpack, the Osprey Farpoint should not be missed! Osprey is a trusted brand, so there is no doubt that this bag is highly durable. Although it is a backpack, it is multifunctional as it can open up like a suitcase making it much easier to pack.
This best Osprey carry on backpack is made from Nylon material and is water resistant. Another great feature is the hip belt and harness, which distributes weight evenly on your hips, making the backpack highly comfortable. It also comes with a special laptop compartment and mesh compartments to store your belongings safely.
You will not need to worry if things go wrong, as all of Osprey’s products come with a lifetime warranty.
- Hip belt distributes weight evenly
- Nylon fabric is water resistant
- Highly Durable
- It doesn’t come with a rain cover
- Capacity: 25L
- Dimension: 24 x 29 x 48 cm
- Weight: 0.90 kg
- Material: Nylon and Polyester
This particular backpack is very easy to use and an excellent choice for those hunting for the best travel backpacks for flying. The backpack is lightweight and also has an ample amount of inner space for your belongings.
The best part about this bag is the number of extra features it has for added security. The ‘exomesh slashguard’ easily goes unnoticed, but it is a cut resistant fabric that prevents people from slashing through the bag with a knife. The zippers also slide into each other for added security.
The padded and adjustable shoulder straps with a hip strap for weight distribution offer extra comfort. We also love that this best international carry on backpack comes with a loop and lock shoulder strap you can hook around a chair or pole when needed to give you added peace of mind. Additionally, it has an RFID pocket to prevent card skimming, front easy grab handle and various different sized pockets.
- Extremely lightweight
- Versatile (can be used for daily commutes, camping, hiking)
- Cut resistant fabric & lock strap for extra security
- 25L can be quite a small capacity when packing for travel
- Capacity: 44L
- Dimension: 60 x 40 x 30 cm
- Weight: 1.7 kg
- Material: Nylon
Although this backpack looks more like a hiking bag in terms of appearance, the multipurpose design and the 44L capacity will ensure you have a hassle free travel experience.
This model is now equipped with many extra pockets compared to its previous model, making it much easier to store your belongings. It contains a spacious main compartment with a laptop sleeve and two side zipper pockets for your smaller accessories.
A unique feature of this bag is the ventilating back panel, which not only provides comfort but also prevents sweat build up on the back of the user. Overall, a great backpack to consider that is both sturdy and comfortable for your travel journey.
- Extra pockets for easy storage of luggage
- Ventilating back panel that prevents sweat
- Large capacity
- Zippers aren’t lockable for extra peace of mind
- Capacity: 40L
- Dimension: 47 x 32 x 24 cm
- Weight: 1.32 kg
- Material: Polyester Oxford Cloth
If you still haven’t found a backpack that fits within your budget, the Asenlin 40L is a great choice that is both simple and affordable. The models have been upgraded many times to make them as user friendly as possible.
This backpack can easily transform into a duffel bag when needed with top and side carrying options to switch when needed. The added compression straps on the bag’s exterior reduce pressure on the zippers and prevent items from moving around inside.
If you love being organized, you will appreciate that you also have the option of getting three custom made storage bags of different sizes to pack your belongings.
- Budget friendly
- Choice of different carrying options
- Compression straps on the bag’s exterior
- The weight isn’t evenly distributed when the backpack is full. This may cause some users neck and back pain after use for long periods
- Capacity: 23L – 40L
- Dimension: 46.6 x 35.2 x 8.4 cm
- Weight: 1.2 kg
- Material: Water-repellent Cloth
With a sleek and practical design, this carry on Backpack has a minimalist look and is sure to meet all your backpack requirements. It is made from water repellent material, with three easily accessible pockets with seven compartments inside.
The adjustable waist straps and breathable mesh shoulder straps ensure that there is not too much pressure on your shoulders.
The Backpack has a 40 litre capacity but can be collapsed to 25 litres when needed for daily use or to comply with the regulations of stricter airlines. You will love that this Backpack has a built-in charging cable for a more convenient way to charge your phone, especially for the technologically savvy, business traveller or those who frequently use their phone.
- Sleek and practical layout
- Collapsible design from 40L to 25L
- Built in charging cable
- No pockets to store a water bottle
- Capacity: 25L
- Dimension: 20 x 50 x 29 cm
- Weight: 0.51 kg
- Material: N210D 3line ripstop and N400D 100T
If your top priority whilst travelling is security, this might be the right option for you! The design is very simple, and this backpack is very straightforward to use. For added comfort, this Pacsafe bag is equipped with padded shoulder straps and an adjustable hip belt.
The bag includes many organisational pockets, and in terms of security, the unisex backpack includes cut-resistant fabric, RFID blocking pocket, and secure zippers. The bag’s lightweight and durable nature make it easily convertible into a backpack for daily commute. This carry on bag is definitely one of the most secure backpacks on this list!
- Many organizational pockets
- Cut resistant fabric
- Yet to find some!
- Capacity: 40L
- Dimension: 58 x 35 x 30 cm
- Weight: 1.18 kg
- Material: Rugged Polyester Taffeta Shell
If you’re after an extremely versatile, lightweight and comfortable backpack, look no further! As suggested by its name, this backpack is designed with the comfort of women in mind. If you love the Kelty’s best-selling Redwing backpack but find it too big, you might like this downsized version with similar features.
The shoulder straps, hip belt, and sternum strap all come with multiple adjustments, making this backpack a perfect fit for anyone! The back panel is also well padded with mesh which provides plenty of ventilation for the user. The main compartment features a padded laptop sleeve, whilst the front pocket has many organizational elements to store your belongings.
- Adjustable hip belt, sternum strap and shoulder straps
- Well padded back panel
- Laptop sleeve and hydration compartment are shared
- Capacity: 40L
- Dimension: 38 x 28 x 11 cm
- Weight: 1.22 kg
- Material: Tear-Resistant Oxford Fabric
Kaka Carry on duffle backpack has been constructed with tear resistant oxford fabric, which is durable and built to last. You can easily hide the shoulder straps if you want to use it as a duffle bag too.
The “S” shaped shoulder straps ensure a perfect fit, and the shoulder straps are made from elastic and breathable material to optimise comfort. The main compartment is very spacious and is big enough to fit a 17 inch laptop. Similarly, the front compartment has numerous pockets to fit all the essentials in an organised manner.
If you’re after a multipurpose backpack, the Kaka carry on bag is worth considering. This backpack can be used for hiking, day trips and camping too.
- Tear resistant fabric
- Durable and built to last
- It can be interchanged to a duffle bag when needed
- Heavier and bulkier compared to other backpacks on this list
I hope you enjoyed this guide and find it helpful in choosing the best carry on backpack for your next trip! Looking for other travel or camping essentials? Read about the best packing cubes, best camera bag, best duffel bag, best carry on luggage, best travel backpacks, best hiking backpacks, best pop up tent, best camp shower, best sleeping bag, best camp ovens or find all my guides to the best camping gear here.
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