Are you on the hunt for the best 40L travel backpack to take for your next trip? Then look no further! A 40L travel backpack is a perfect size for traveling whether you’re backpacking Europe, South East Asia or just plainly using it for domestic travel. We hope our top picks and guide to the best 40l travel backpacks on the market will help you pick the best one to suit your needs and lifestyle.
More and more 40l travel backpacks are being added on the market. Each of your possessions will be carried on the road with your backpack, it is your home and partner. It needs to be solid, functional, comfortable, and compact enough for your travels. This guide provides you with the best travel bags and what makes them more or less for each specific individual needs.
In a Hurry? The test winners after 12 hrs of research
Whether you are a seasoned traveler, on a short weekend trip, or just think about going on the open road, you need the best 40l travel backpack. Simply put, pared-back traveling does not have to include two pairs of underwear, a single t-shirt, and a toothbrush squashed into an old-school bag. Nor does it mean wearing most of your clothes when you want to check your hand-carried luggage at the airport. We have searched the market to offer you what we consider to be the best 40l travel backpacks to help you achieve hassle-free trips.
Osprey Packs Farpoint 40L Men’s Travel Backpack is perfect for a weekend getaway in the city or the wilderness and is built to meet most airline carry-on requirements. The LightWire frame suspension transfers the load from harness to hipbelt. A mesh backpanel improves ventilation and the mesh on the harness and hipbelt reduces chafing under load.
The entire suspension stows away under a zippered panel. Unzip the lockable sliders to access the main compartment. Inside there’s a mesh pocket for small items. Dual compression straps keep cargo from shifting during transit. Outside you’ll find a zippered front panel slash pocket to keep you organized and sewn attachment points to attach gear. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best travel backpacks.
Stowaway backpanel, harness, and hipbelt with zippered rear flap for protection
Laptop and tablet sleeve secure in a lockable compartment
Two internal compression straps hold contents securely
Heat-embossed scratch-free zippered slash pocket
Dimensions: 22″ H x 14″ W x 9″ D
Weight: 3.17 lbs
Carry handles are very comfortable and low profile
Main compartment is useful for packing lots of clothing, it fully opens suitcase/clamshell style
The compression straps in the main compartment and the exterior can help save some space for carry on use
Packing up the shoulder and hip straps can help with the in/out for airplanes
Not enough pockets to aid in organization or quick retrieval of items from outside the pack
The Dinictis 40L Carry On Travel Backpack can convert as a small bag if you prefer to tuck away the straps of your shoulder and carry them instead of wearing them. This bag stores up to a 15.6 inches laptop. Shoulder belts are padded for more protection, and if your bag is particularly heavy there is a chest strap that can support you.
You can put your phone, keys and other things in the front pocket that you need quick access to, and there’s also a side pocket for items such as umbrellas or small water bottles. This low-cost carry-on bag also complies with flight regulations. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best travel backpacks for carry-on.
Hidden shoulder strap
Padded laptop sleeve fits up to 15″
Thickened sponge handles
Multiple carrying options
Dimensions: 19.6″ H x 13.8″ W x 9.8″ D
Weight: 2.56 lbs
The adjustments helped keep the bag properly weighted
Nice pouch in the front where you can discreetly hold your cards/passport
For the price, the fabric provided is not wrinkly
The compartments are spacious and can fit a lot of items
The Kelty Women’s Redwing 40L Travel Backpack is the perfect size for quick getaways, whether on the trail or in the air. Hybrid-loading U-zipper design works as both a top loader and a panel loader, allowing easy access to all your gear. An additional stash pocket on the front of the pack makes it easy to tuck away a jacket or hoodie, and inside we’ve updated the organizers for maps, electronics, pens, and other travel essentials.
The hydration sleeve is a dual-use pocket that can carry a laptop without worries. LightBeam single aluminum stay and Dynamic AirFlow back panel keep your load stable and comfortable, while custom shoulder straps and hip belt are built to fit a woman’s body. Whether your journey takes you to the streets of Chicago or the canyons of Colorado, the Redwing 40 has you covered. Make sure you also check our selection of the best travel backpacks for women.
Padded and ventilating back panel
Removable waist belt
LightBeam single aluminum stay
Front Stash pocket with closure hook
Dimensions: 23″ H x 14″ W x 12″ D
Weight: 2.6 lbs
The zippers are designed so that you can easily get things from the bottom of the pack
It sits comfortable on the shoulders and rests comfortably on your hips when strapped in
The weight is distributed perfectly on your back
Fits perfectly under an airplane seat
No zipper on the hip or shoulder strap for either putting a passport, cellphone or other small items
The PacSafe Vibe 40L Travel Backpack is a versatile, carry-on friendly backpack that is designed for the always-moving city travel. It has compression straps to help reduce bulk, plus handy organization, which means you can pack more in with confidence that it’s all protected by the patented anti-theft security. Pacsafe’s eXomesh slash guard is a lightweight flexible, stainless steel wire mesh that’s built into (and concealed) in the most commonly vulnerable areas of the bag, helping to protect your gear from a quick slash-and-run theft.
The roomy main compartment includes a large internal Velcro pocket for storing a 15-inch laptop and additional organization. The Vibe 40 features a top quick-access pocket and one side stretch pocket for stowing water bottles and more. The stowable shoulder straps, sternum strap, and waist belt help you comfortably carry your load through airports.
Can be worn 2 different ways
Ergonomic, internal frame offers increased balance and support
Meets most airline carry-on standards
Adjustable, padded hip belt for stability and weight distribution
Dimensions: 19.7″ H x 13.8″ W x 7.1″ D
Weight: 2.84 lbs
Anti theft design
Interior is more shaped to use as a suitcase due to it being a big open space
You can lock the shoulder strap with a lock to anything secure
Lightweight and streamlined, the Osprey Packs Fairview 40L Women’s Travel Backpack is an ideal travel pack for fast-moving globetrotters. Despite their minimalist weights, these women’s specific, full-featured packs offer plenty of organization and travel-focused features. The stowaway harness and hipbelt disappears for safekeeping when you check your bag, and durable fabrics offer added protection.
A large panel zip provides convenient access to the main compartment, lockable sliders keep your gear secure, dual front compression straps slim down your pack when you carry less, and a padded laptop/tablet sleeve keeps your electronics secure. The Fairview 40’s compact size ensures carry-on compliance on most flights. Love Osprey? Check out our review of the best Osprey backpacks for our top picks.
Features Lightwire Frame suspension that transfers load from harness to hipbelt for a comfortable carry
Designed to fit most carry on overheads
Made from durable 210D Nylon Mini Hex Diamond Ripstop material
Exterior features dual compression straps and two mesh pockets
Stowaway back-panel harness and hip belt, plus they are secured with the zippered rear flap
Dimensions: 21″ H x 14″ W x 9″ D
Weight: 3.2 lbs
Slides easily into the overhead compartment in the airplane, with no struggle, even if packed overfull
Because it opens fully like a suitcase, it’s very easy to pack and remove items from
There are tightening straps both on the inside and on the outside
Nice fit, hugs weight closer to your bag than other packs
Hip strap not as thick/padded as more rugged packs
The Inateck 40L Travel Backpack is a really great travel bag. It’s big enough to fit everything you’d need on a short trip, and still lightweight enough that when you go anywhere, you can use it as a carry on bag. It is made of materials which are resistant to abrasion and water and features a padded and ventilated backpanel. Two handles have both undergone vibration test carrying a load of 10kg for 1000 times (The test item is set to vibrate within a vibration range of 4 inches for 1000 times at a speed of 30 times per minute.)
As for the actual anti-theft features, you are getting lockable zippers and compression straps. The straps are rather useful – they not only protect your backpack from theft but also reduce its size when it is not filled to capacity. And make sure things inside aren’t jumbling around. There are several hidden pockets in the pack too. Each shoulder strap has a zippered pocket, as well as a slip one on the backpanel. These are perfect for all the things that you want to keep safe. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best small backpacks for travel.
Hideaway shoulder straps
Water bottle pocket
Dimensions: 21.6″ H x 13.4″ W x 7.1″ D
Weight: 2.85 lbs
It’s the size of a carry-on suitcase, so there is no problem bringing it inside the airplane
Sturdy material and well constructed
It comes with a waterproof cover
It has a place for water bottle, which was really handy
The front pockets are pretty much useless, once the bag is full. They only open on top, with a flat zipper, so it’s really hard to access contents inside if the bag is not empty
The Hynes Eagle 40L Travel Backpack is a one of a kind backpack. Made for travelers who don’t want to spend money checking in their suitcase, its generous capacity of 40 liters is perfect for keeping away just the essentials for a few days without the need for another luggage. This travel backpack, on the other hand, is versatile enough to serve as a carry-on, complementing your check-in baggage.
The minimal and simple design of the bag is suitable for both male and female travelers of all ages, but most importantly, as a travel backpack, it is highly functional. Even better, in just a few seconds it may go from backpack to duffel bag. It is properly fitted with several holding options as well as 2 grab handles so that you have options to remove the bag securely from overhead compartments, under seats, and trunks.
Multiple exterior compression buckle straps
A true hands-free carry on with suppressible shoulder straps
1 front zip pocket with multiple interior slip pockets
3 carrying options
Adjustable sternum and waist strap
Brand: Hynes Eagle
Dimensions: 20.1″ H x 13.4″ W x 9.8″ D
Weight: 2.31 lbs
3 cubes are really nice and convenient
The back part of the bag functions just like a suitcase, fully opening up, and everything fits in there super well
After zipping everything up, it’s easy to all carry together, and it fit well under the seat in front of me on the plane
Lots of straps for securing it together and on your back
No where to stuff some of the straps when you aren’t using them
The Eagle Creek Global Companion 40L Travel Backpack will take you from the mountains of Kilimanjaro to the scenic streets of Copenhagen in rugged fashion and secure design. Constructed from 450D Geo Ripstop. Zip closure with self-repairing lockable zippers featuring easy-grip zipper pulls are designed to keep working for you trip after trip. Lockable top zippers can be double secured with a small padlock looped through the Central Lock Point. Top, bottom and side haul handles enable easy pickup from any angle.
Shoulder straps, back panel, and hip belt are designed ergonomically for maximum comfort with padding and moisture-wicking to reduce sweat on the body. Sternum strap features a safety whistle. Traditional suitcase style butterfly opening reveals two zippered peek-through mesh packing compartments including one with an additional mesh pocket for organization. Mesh side pockets are perfect for water bottles and other quick-grab items. Compression straps can be used to stow a jacket, plane pillow or extra gear.
Ergonomically shaped with padded shoulder straps and hip belt with external pocket
Fixed 19″ suspension features padded, moisture-wicking backpack straps, back panel and hip belt for long term comfort
Book-style opening reveals split packing compartments for maximum organization
Padded 17″ laptop sleeve in main compartment
Brand: Eagle Creek
Dimensions: 22″ H x 14″ W x 9″ D
Weight: 3.51 lbs
Loads of tools to keep your pack organized
Dual access—super handy for quick access to your laptop and more
Awesome harness system for a heavy load or long carry
Perfect as a carry-on item when flying
Front organization pockets are a bit awkwardly shaped for certain items, which can be a bit bothersome at times
The Thule Landmark Men’s 40L Travel Backpack is a carry-on style backpack that is specifically designed for traveling around the world. Easily pack and access belongings with a suitcase-style opening, compression straps to hold belongings in place, and mesh pockets for organization. Securely store a water bottle or other small items in the zippered side pocket.
Built-in sternum strap whistle is easy to access and ups your safety game on any outing. Adjustable shoulder straps and hipbelt ensures a comfortable fit for long days of travel. Prevent wear and tear by tucking away the contoured shoulder straps and hipbelt when not in use. Available in multiple sizes, colors, and fits, the Thule Landmark is the perfect travel companion for adventure travel.
Hidden cash Stash pocket keeps a passport and money safe
Innovative Loop Locks secure zipper pulls to the bag to deter theft
Built-in sternum strap whistle
Contoured shoulder straps and hip belt tuck away when not in use
Large zippered side pocket securely stores a water bottle
External lash points to attach a carabineer
Dimensions: 21.5″ H x 13″ W x 9.8″ D
Weight: 3.17 lbs
Comfortable and straps and back are well padded
Enough compartments and where you’d want them
Should and waist straps are stow-able
Lots of ways to lock down the zippers to keep would be thieves at least minimally at bay
The design of the main flap is that it doesn’t open all the way so that you have to kind of wedge your clothes into the bag
The Asenlin 40L Travel Backpack is made from water-resistant, durable polyester fabric and metal zippers. The middle pocket has a computer compartment and a tablet compartment. It can also hold magazines and books. The main pockets are large and can accommodate clothes, shoes, books, umbrellas, keys, mobile power, glasses cases, cameras, and many other items. It is ideal for flight travel, camping, hiking, and college.
It has compression straps that provide maximum compression. Take the shoulder strap in the back panel and turn it into a carry-on duffel bag instantly. There is a sternum strap that adjusts lengthwise and slides up and down the shoulder straps. Design for stabilization and carry comfort. The reflective strip on the back of the backpack makes it safe to travel at night.
Exterior compression straps
Hide away shoulder straps
3 carrying options for travelers’ multiple alternatives
Adjustable sternum strap
Dimensions: 18.5″ H x 12.5″ W x 9.5″ D
Weight: 3.1 lbs
The backpack easily fit in the overhead bids, even when fully packed
This bag has a super large capacity, but it looks cool and not swell when carried on the back
Carries like a backpack but it’s a suitcase when it’s opened
The straps also tuck in as well
The straps are not that comfortable and quality of materials seems a little low, but matches the price point
Most of the time, you want the lightest travel bag that you can find comfort as well because it will save the body from exhaustion. Also, the materials from which a backpack is made can affect its weight, and super lightweight material can definitely increase the price.
Hiking backpacks are usually top-loaded, meaning you have to dig through them to find your stuff from the top. Most 40l travel backpacks are front-loading, so they snap more open like a suitcase and you can easily find stuff.
A padded waist strap, instead of just your shoulder, distributes the weight of your backpack around your waist. It helps to avoid sore shoulders and back pain, particularly in long periods of time while wearing it. There are also some travel backpacks with padded grab handles or a stylish duffel-bag strap.
This is subjective but something nice to have. Many important ones include a pocket for quick access for items like keys, passports, sunglasses, etc. A dedicated laptop pocket or a water bottle pocket is also a plus.
The material that a backpack is made of can determine how resistant it is to weather. Most backpacks need a special rain-cover, others are built right in with rain-resistance. You wouldn’t want to get your clothes wet!
Airlines are beginning to become much stricter regarding the size and weight of your carry-on bag. 40L travel backpacks are safe for the most part but you still want to check the dimensions are not larger than the standard carry-on size of 22″ x 14″ x 9″.
Frequently Ask Questions
Is 40L backpack enough?
Most packs fall firmly between 30L and 40L can satisfy many travel needs, regardless of the duration of the journey. Sometimes these bags are wide enough to carry anything you need while remaining small enough to fit in the overhead compartments. They grant versatility to a greater degree, too. Most veteran backpackers believe that this is the perfect volume; so yes, we believe 40L is enough for most travel needs.
Is it better to travel with a backpack or luggage/suitcase?
With a backpack, it is much simpler to walk around crowds and crowded areas. If the bag suits properly and isn’t overpacked, it can be very comfortable too. Certainly, you don’t need to bring all of your belongings with wheeled luggage. This fits well when you are traveling with smooth streets to locations. If you intend to take a cab to get to your hotel from the airport/train station, a suitcase is definitely the safest choice because you won’t waste any time carrying your luggage. Ultimately, this is a personal choice, but here at Backpack Beasts, we prefer the versatility of backpacks. Especially when your planning to travel through Europe.
How big of a backpack can I take on a plane?
We liked to stick to the standard size of 22″ x 14″ x 9″. As this will work on even the strictest airline. Thankfully, most companies know of these dimensions and try to adhere as much as possible. This is more or less the perfect carry on size and will range from 30-40L.
We hope this guide was helpful for finding the best 40l travel backpacks as well as our guide on features to look for in a 40l travel backpack. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this guide, feel free to let us know in the comments section.