10 Best Packable Backpacks for Travel in 2023 – Buyer’s Guide
(Last Updated On: February 2, 2023)
Packable backpacks for travel are a perfect choice if you need a lightweight bag to store when traveling with your luggage. They are also perfect if you need an additional bag during your regular commute or you are doing any unnecessary errand. There’s no better choice than a packable backpack while you’re on the move and want to have your hands free. And one that will fold into itself when you don’t need it, and be placed in your other bag safely. Thankfully there are loads of packable backpacks for travel to choose from, irrespective of your destination or budget choices.
On days that our luggage is too big and we need something smaller for sightseeing. A compact, foldable backpack is ideal because it blends in on travel days in our main bags. This also helps you to fly with simple carry-on luggage (which is what certain strict airlines allow) but also has a little room to explore. Packable backpacks are handy because you don’t need a large bag. You may want to carry a folding backpack inside your handbag or pocket to use when needed — for shopping or later removing your sweater or jacket.
In a Hurry? The test winners after 9 hrs of research
Packable backpacks vastly improve the game by offering most, if not all, of a typical daypack’s features while packing down to or below the size of a bottle. There are lots of fantastic luggage choices for taking your stuff to your travel hotel from the plane, train, or bus. Yet once you arrive it will easily hamper your explorations by bringing all your clothes. This is the spot where packable backpacks come into their own though. They are lightweight and powerful enough to pack in your luggage, perfect for transporting important things so you can remain flexible and travel more openly, just like small backpacks for travel.
When you need to compress volume without significantly adding weight, the Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Daypack is an excellent solution. Made from a 30D diamond rip-stop siliconized CORDURA fabric they can be compressed to one-third of the original volume.
Features include bartack reinforced stitching on all stress points, reinforced shoulder straps for increased carrying comfort, webbing daisy-chain attachment point that can hold a bike light. Ideal for use inside your pack or travel bag when you need to compress clothing or bulky soft items to allow space for other essentials or fun holiday items. Our handy guide to the best travel daypacks features more great products like this.
Packs down small so it easily fits in pockets, purses or luggage
Simple, streamlined design making it light and low-profile
Siliconized Cordura for strength and durability
Bar tack reinforced stitching on all stress points
Ultralight, easy to carry, and easy to store, this Eddie Bauer Unisex-Adult Stowaway Packable 20L Daypack folds into the smaller front zip pocket for stowing. Durable 200-denier ripstop polyester stands up to the rigors of adventure, travel, and daily use. It’s highly versatile, to say the least. Also, this packable backpack is composed of 100% polyester and treated with StormRepel DWR water-resistant finish that sheds moisture so it doesn’t soak into fabric.
Notable features include two elasticized mesh side pockets on the sides of the pack for carrying water bottles or other essentials. Three external zip pockets – one large capacity to access the main compartment and two smaller zip pockets for storing essentials. One interior Velcro back panel pocket. Four front lashing loops. Lightly padded adjustable shoulder straps.
StormRepel WR finish sheds moisture
Two external zip pockets
Two elasticized mesh side pockets
One interior Velcro back panel pocket
Four front lashing loops
Brand: Eddie Bauer
Dimensions: 18″ H x 10″ W x 9″ D
Weight: 0.68 lbs
There are 2 mesh side pockets and 2 zippered small outside pockets
There is a large pocket inside in the back
The shoulder straps are very slightly padded
There are four convenient loops on the pack for securing items that might fall out of the pockets
While traveling or backpacking there is often a need for a small day pack to carry just the essentials for a day trip and then disappear when not in use. The Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack does just that with deluxe features not found most crushable daypacks.
This is a packable daypack you can take around throughout the day and keep stashed when you’re traveling. It folds up to baseball size and weights less than a checkbook. Know those ones? With 18L of storage and a side water bottle pocket, this mighty little backpack is perfect for side adventure trips and day hikes. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best waterproof backpacks for travel.
Stretch mesh side pocket for gear or water bottles
Airmesh harness provides comfortable carry anywhere in the world
Packs down into its own carrying case
3 exterior pockets
Dimensions: 17″ H x 9″ W x 7″ D
Weight: 0.19 lbs
Incredibly well made for the money
Thoughtful features, including key ring
Integrated stuff sack that won’t get lost
Integrated water bottle holder actually handles a standard water bottle very well
The straps can be a tad uncomfortable, as with all backpacks in this class, if you have a lot of weight
Naturehike Lightweight Packable Backpack is made with high-quality water & tear resistant 30D nylon material. Silicone coated nylon fabric features PU2000mm water-resistant, all zippers sealed by silicone coating can be fast open and close. It will be a fantastic necessity for not matter outdoor sports or leisure activities in or out of the city.
The main pocket is large enough to carry what you need when you are outdoors. Outer pocket & Inner zippered pocket is great for quick access such as guide books and valuables items. Two large side mesh pockets for water bottles or umbrella. The padded should strap relieve pressure so you carry loads comfortably and the breathable mesh keeps you cool and dry in wet weather.
30D nylon material
Outer pocket & Inner zippered pocket
Two large side mesh pockets
Dimensions: 16.5″ H x 9.1″ W x 6.7″ D
Weight: 0.26 lbs
Can hold an adequate amount of gear
Great water bottle pocket holders
Durable YKK zippers
Great value for the price
The shoulder straps are adequately comfortable, but can easily twist while trying to put onto shoulders
Designed for everyday use or short travel adventures, the AmazonBasics Ultralight Portable Packable Day Pack works well as a carry-on, day-trip pack, or small backpack. The go-anywhere bag offers a sleek, stylish look and exceptionally useful packing space—all in a lightweight design that’s perfect for savvy, minimalist packers. The daypack’s adjustable, breathable straps ensure a proper fit and comfortable all-day use.
Traditionally shaped, the AmazonBasics daypack provides several pockets for handy storage and convenient organization. In addition to its roomy main compartment, the backpack features one front zipper pocket for smaller items, an internal zippered pocket, and two open-mesh side pockets that work well for a water bottle or umbrella. Made from ultra-strong rip-resistant nylon fabric, the daypack provides exceptional strength and longer life. Be sure to also check out our list of lightweight hiking backpacks for more great items like this.
Internal/external zippered pockets
2 mesh side pockets
Stuffs into own pocket for space-saving storage
Dimensions: 19″ H x 13″ W x 8.2″ D
Weight: 0.4 lbs
The backpack is made of double layered textured nylon fabric
The shoulder straps , considering the lightweight and foldable nature of the backack, are relatively comfortable
There is a front zipper and two large(ish) side pockets for bottles
It is water-resistant
Even with its reinforced stitching, shoulder straps and large capacity the bag is good only for lightweight use
Wherever your travels take you, it’s helpful to have extra storage for goods you pick up along the way. This Eagle Creek Packable Daypack for Travel packs away into its front pocket, taking up virtually no space until you need it. Don’t be distracted from your travels by small discomforts. This backpack is the perfect size to be taken to the office or on your next adventure. Providing both convenience and comfort, this is the ideal bag for any traveler.
Keep your belongings safe in large crowds. Two central lock points and two-way lockable zippers offer maximum security for your belongings. The pack-in pocket gives you the ability to carry this backpack on your back or snuggly in a larger bag. Breathable shoulder straps giving optimal air flow so no more worrying about those strap sweat marks after a long day in the sun.
Two-way lockable zippers
Breathable mesh shoulder straps
Brand: Eagle Creek
Dimensions: 17.5″ H x 11″ W x 4.75″ D
Weight: 0.31 lbs
The front pocket is a nice feature that not all of these sort of bags have
There is a water bottle holder
The bag is fairly snazzy looking
Folds up nicely and small to pack in a suitcase for airline travel
The shoulder straps are pretty thin and flimsy, but they have a tiny bit of padding, about as good as you are going to get with this sort of bag
With a stylish look, this packable go-anywhere pack is for super-minimalists who make every gram count. Ultra-light. Ultra-durable. Ultra-awesome. The Outlander Ultra Lightweight Packable Backpack is perfect for day-to-day use or occasional travel. The backpack is made from high rip and water-resistant nylon fabric, which provides strength and long-lasting performance, with minimal weight. Stress points are reinforced with bar tacking for increased longevity.
Folds into a zippered inner pocket to fit anywhere. Unfolds from pocket to backpack. A must-have on any trip. Features a classic shape with several pockets for storage and organization. This backpack has a roomy main compartment, two front zipper pockets to hold small accessories, one internal zippered security pocket for valuable items.
Made of highly rip-proof and water-resistant nylon
Breathable mesh shoulder strap
Stress points are reinforced
Durable 2-way abrasion-resistant SBS Zipper
Dimensions: 18.5″ H x 13″ W x 7.5″ D
Weight: 0.7 lbs
Small zippered pocket inside the main compartment
Very easy to adjust shoulder straps
Reinforced mesh straps feel soft and pliable
Pockets fit a Nalgene bottle
No back padding and does not keep it’s shape. Typical for a foldable pack
Gonex Ultralight Handy Travel Backpack Packable Daypack is made of high-quality water and tear-resistant nylon material, with abrasion-resistant SBS metal zipper and reinforced more than 14 places with bartack process. Like a sandwich size after being folded, easy to carry, convenient and practical. It fits into an ultra-compact pouch, so you can easily pack it in your suitcase for use at their destination as an extra bag for the trip.
The main pocket is Large enough to carry what you need on the trip. The outer smaller pocket is great for quick access such as guide books and camera. An inner zippered pocket is a perfect place for valuables such as cash, credit cards, and passport. There are also two nylon mesh pockets on both sides, and they are perfect for storing water bottles and an umbrella.
8 colors to choose from
SBS metal zipper
Water and tear-resistant nylon material,
Dimensions: 17.3″ H x 11.8″ W x 5.9″ D
Weight: 0.40 lbs
It is pretty useful and sturdy
Extremely light and compact
The mesh pockets on this will hold a disposable water bottle but nothing larger
The inside pocket at the top is great for storing small items that you need to grab and don’t want to dig for
NEEKFOX Lightweight Packable Travel Hiking Backpack is made from build quality thickened nylon fabric, which can stand up to heavier loads of your travel. The s-shaped breathable shoulder straps are adjustable to fit anybody. Easy to use and easy to store. Fold this backpack into its own zip pocket for storage and unfold it when you reach a travel destination.
This travel backpack features one zip main compartment, two front zip pockets, two mesh side pockets, and several inside pockets. The main compartment can hold a 13″ laptop with spare space. Two mesh side pockets can even hold a 40 oz water bottle. Its ripstop nylon construction sheds rain and resists wear better than cheaper polyester, provides extra strength and long-lasting performance with the lightest weight possible.
Breathable padded mesh straps
Reinforced stress points
Dimensions: 20.86″ H x 12.6″ W x 9″ D
Weight: 0.91 lbs
The pockets, straps and loops are adequate
The material is made out of a water resistant material
Very roomy for a daypack
Zippers are of good quality, they generally don’t get stuck
The backpack and straps are thin, but that’s why it’s lightweight and collapsible
This Peak Gear Foldable Backpack – Compact Packable Day Pack is small and foldable. Perfect light backpack for travel. You’ll want to take this collapsible travel backpack on your next adventure, whether you are hiking or spending a day at the park. Quickly and safely recover misplaced bags. If your day bag is ever lost and found, ReturnMe, the world’s largest item recovery company, will connect you to the finder directly and help get it back to you from anywhere in the world.
Double zipper opening makes the Peak Gear lightweight packable backpack easier to open and fill than other bags that only have one zipper. Convenient with internal pocket and divider. Side mesh pouch for easy access for things like a book, light, or water bottle.
Durable 210D ripstop nylon
Compact folding for easy travel
Padded shoulder strap
Jam-free YKK zippers
Brand: Peak Gear
Dimensions: 9.8″ H x 8.1″ W x 2.8″ D
Weight: 0.48 lbs
The material is thick
The zippered pocket that the backpack folds into acts as a little zippered compartment inside the top area
Various material styles are included in packable backpacks. A good material for packable packs needs to be light and rough. The majority of the packs on our guide are made using nylon or polyester. These fabrics are relatively heavy, without contributing too much to your bag ‘s weight. Ripstop fabric adds a little bit more weight. Ripstop is a collection of thicker threads that are sewn onto the other content. The ripstop stops it from spreading if you manage to have a tear in your pocket. Even the ripstop assists in repelling light rain.
You never know when the weather could become wet and you need to have a daypack to be able to handle a ton of water. Another choice is to purchase a packable rain cover for the bag, which will provide you maximum protection. Many producers use either a water-resistant or water-proof covering on their bags for this. These coatings repel light rain, although most can not withstand heavy downpours. You will also make sure that the zippers do have some sort of water protection, as well as the coating. Otherwise, you’re having to struggle with a leak, which implies a damp kit.
Typically, packable daypacks are top loaders. Top loaders have a single compartment and a point of entry at the top. Top loaders are ideal for quick stuffing of products while front loaders can organize stuff better and are more convenient to use. To store additional stuff such as tablets, maps, and water bottle carrying compartments, several side compartments are attached to the daypacks. This can be quite useful.
Comfort is one of the main aspects to ensure that you get the best packable backpack. The breathable places in the backpanel and the straps are other items to watch into. If the temperature increases, it should keep you cold. For these places padding is always a necessity, so the backpack lies easily instead of digging deep. Padding on the back often stops the stuff in the pack from rubbing into your back right upwards. Adjustable straps guarantee that the bag is placed securely on the back. Often, sternum and waist braces can give you some additional protection, but that might not be required if your bag is not full.
Since most daypacks prefer the simplicity of the build, they typically do not cost too much. Some of the daypacks on our list cost less than $40 and some of them are even less than $20. The least the bag costs, the fewer features you may find on them. That may mean fewer pockets, no water-resistance, or inexpensive body or harness materials. So, it may be better to pay a little extra to guarantee the highest possible value, particularly when even the extra costly bags are still fairly budget-friendly.
Frequently Ask Questions
What is a packable daypack?
A packable daypack is an ultralight backpack that can fit in your luggage. Typically they fold into a tiny pouch. They come in a number of sizes, with one compartment some lightweight and ultralight, other bulkier with many of the pockets and features you ‘d find in a standard backpack. Often they are often referred to as a foldable backpack or collapsible backpack.
We hope this guide was helpful for finding the best packable backpacks for travel as well as our guide on features to look for in a packable backpack for travel. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this guide, feel free to let us know in the comments section.