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The 16 Best Swissgear Backpacks & Luggage for Travelers [2023]

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Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 63 U.S. States Visited: 9

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Keri Stooksbury


Countries Visited: 44 U.S. States Visited: 28

The 16 Best Swissgear Backpacks & Luggage for Travelers [2023]

Why Buy Swissgear?

1. a tech-friendly backpack for everyday use, 2. breeze through security with scansmart technology, 3. a backpack with lots of pockets for your gadgets, 4. a great backpack for smaller laptops and tablets, 1. an expandable spinner set — perfect for just the 2 of you, 2. carry-on convenience with state-of-the-art benefits, 3. a great all-rounder for carry-on-size adventures, 4. lightweight and spacious for a week’s vacation, 1. a super-useful spinner range for the entire family, 2. a practical, expandable soft-sided suitcase range, 3. light and stylish for frequent flyers, 1. keep your gear close by with this under-seat travel bag, 2. a wheeled garment bag with plenty of space for all of your accessories, 3. a compact garment bag with full-size benefits, 4. a reliable duffel bag for day-to-day use, 5. a creative storage solution for short trips away, final thoughts.

We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.

Swissgear offers so much more than just the Swiss Army knives that it is so famous for. When it comes to luggage, the brand always picks up on the latest luggage fashion trends and combines state-of-the-art technology with clever design elements to produce brilliant backpacks, travel bags, and suitcases at affordable prices.


If the idea of Swiss precision-engineering elements mixed with European styling appeals to you, then Swissgear  could be just the brand you are looking for. Forget about ostentatious patterns and colors and think instead about über-practical, sleek, good-looking bags, duffels, and cases that are loaded with carefully crafted finishing touches .

Swissgear laptop bag

Made from superior materials and designed to handle life on the go, Swissgear prides itself on offering luggage that really performs. Incredibly user-friendly, well-made, and durable, all of its ranges are also affordable, making Swissgear a solid choice for savvy travelers.

Swissgear straps

It’s not just its sharp looks that make Swissgear so popular either. Following the introduction of state-of-the-art technology like the ScanSmart lie-flat laptop compartments that allow your bag to go through the scanner while protecting your laptop from the dangers of the scanner, the brand is becoming a firm favorite with travelers who love their tech.

Swissgear handle

All of its collections come in a variety of simple but attractive colors, while every series offers matching pieces if you are in the market for an entirely new luggage set .

Swissgear drinks pocket

From carry-ons to garment carriers and hard-sided suitcases to backpacks , Swissgear luggage caters to every kind of adventure. It is also popular with those looking for durable and reliable bags and backpacks to use on the daily commute , at the gym, or even just for school or college.

Swissgear compartments

Bottom Line: Clever designs, ample interiors, and a mid-point price range make Swissgear luggage some of the most practical pieces of luggage.

The 4 Best Swissgear Backpacks

There is a wide variety of Swissgear luggage available, all as well-built and cleverly designed as the next, but here are some of our favorite pieces.

BEST OVERALL: Swissgear 1900 ScanSmart Backpack

Swissgear 1900 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack

Dimensions: 19 x 14 x 9 inches

Weight: 3.3 pounds

Made from durable 1200D polyester, this smart-looking backpack has enough room to carry everything you need for the daily commute or overnight stay, as well as innovative storage features to keep your much-loved laptop safe on the go. There are also matching rolling and travel laptop backpacks available in this range.

With enough pockets, dividers, and zippered accessory compartments to house all your gear, the ScanSmart lie-flat design makes this backpack special. Able to fit laptops up to 17 inches in size, you can safely leave your laptop in the bag as it goes through the scanner . This feature, coupled with the floating TabletSafe tablet pocket, offers increased security for your tech, wherever you are headed.

For impressive carrying comfort, the contoured padded shoulder straps can easily be adjusted to suit your frame, and the padded, Airflow back panel offers excellent ventilation and support — all in all, a great, tech-friendly backpack for everyday use.

What We Like

  • Can leave your laptop inside your bag when going through airport security

What We Don’t Like

  • No chest strap for extra support

UPGRADE PICK: Swissgear 5358 ScanSmart Backpack

SWISSGEAR 5358 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack

Dimensions: 18 x 11.5 x 7 inches

Weight: 3 pounds

Lightweight and incredibly durable, this laptop backpack is made from super-tough polyester and features all of the good looks and smart tech features you would expect from Swissgear.

Large enough to comfortably carry laptops measuring up to 16 inches, you can breeze through security with the ScanSmart lie-flat compartment that keeps your tech safely protected in the x-ray scanner. If you need to charge your devices on the go, simply plug into the integrated USB port that attaches to your own power bank internally.

Pop your sunglasses into the crush-resistant front compartment, and for any other items you need at your disposal, you can choose from several quick-access external pockets. A large collapsible side pocket can be used to stash a pair of shoes away from the rest of your gear and several internal dividers and mesh pockets will keep you well-organized with your passport, wallet , etc.

With a reinforced steel handle, this backpack is easy to carry, and when you need your hands free, the adjustable and well-padded shoulder straps allow for stress-free shoulder carrying. When toting multiple bags, you can easily slip this backpack over a suitcase handle using the trolley strap.

  • Has a USB port for charging on the go
  • Could do with a few more internal pockets

Swissgear 5977 ScanSmart Backpack

Swissgear 5977 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack

Dimensions: 18.5 x 13.25 x 9 inches

Weight: 2.75 pounds

With sharp good looks, this large backpack has enough room to comfortably house a 17-inch laptop, while still being reasonably lightweight . Made from 600D grey heather material, this backpack is not only durable but can be customized with your own embroidery.

On the inside, the TSA-friendly, lie-flat ScanSmart compartment allows you to leave your laptop tucked away as your belongings go through the scanner, and with the media pocket and headphone cord port, you can stay plugged in as you navigate the airport.

With a front organizer with a key clip and useful front divider pockets, you can keep your documents and passport well-organized. Featuring adjustable shoulder straps and a padded Airflow back panel, it’s comfortable to carry for hours on end, and the straps and grab handle make it easy to stow in the overhead compartment.

  • Comfortable Airflow back panel to allow air to circulate
  • No RFID-blocking compartments

Swissgear 5709 ScanSmart Backpack

Swissgear 5709 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack

Dimensions: 18 x 13 x 8.5 inches

Weight: 3 pounds

With a ton of separate storage pockets and compartments, this compact backpack offers much more space than it appears. With the Swissgear-patented ScanSmart lie-flat laptop compartment for laptops up to 15 inches in size, as well as the TabletSafe tablet pocket, this backpack offers the ultimate in organization and protection for your tech.

The main compartment is spacious and easy to access, while the additional cords and cable pocket, fleece-lined top pocket, quick-access zippered front pocket, and organizer compartment offer loads of space for you to fill with your gear on the daily commute or further afield.

On top of all this, the ScanSmart laptop pocket makes it super easy for you to whiz through security without even having to take your laptop out. For increased comfort on the go, the padded and adjustable shoulder straps help you find a customized fit , and the adjustable side compression straps and padded back panel keep the backpack in shape and well-supported.

Need more than just a backpack? No problem! This backpack comes complete with an add-a-bag sleeve, meaning you can slip it over the telescopic handle of your suitcase. Perfect!

  • Comfortable padded back panel and straps
  • No RFID-blocking pockets for cards and passport

The 4 Best Swissgear Hardside Suitcases

Swissgear 7739 Trunk

Swissgear 7739 Hardside Luggage Trunk with Spinner Wheels, Black, Checked-Large 26-Inch

Dimensions: 26 x 17.5 x 11 inches

Weight: 10.9 pounds

This gorgeous hardside spinner set offers all the luggage space you need in a black color. Stunning retro looks give the impression of an old-fashioned storage trunk , while the super-lightweight ABS material offers all the convenience of precision-styled modern design and construction.

The case is expandable, offering even more storage space when you need it most. With large interior compartments, as well as additional zippered storage pockets, mesh compartments, and elastic tie-downs, your belongings will stay safe and wrinkle-free during transit.

The case glides along effortlessly thanks to 8 supersmooth spinner wheels, offering 360-degree maneuverability, while the reinforced wrapped grab handles extend and retract with ease. The larger suitcase also features a side grab handle for lifting on and off carousels and in and out of cars. This really is a great little luggage set for both of you to enjoy.

  • Elegant and distinctive set that you’ll never miss on the carousel
  • Can scuff and mark easily

Swissgear 7272 Energie Hardside Expandable Luggage

Swissgear 7272 19″ USB Energie Expandable Carry-On Hardside Spinner Luggage

Dimensions: 22.75 x 13.5 x 8.5 inches

Weight: 6.64 pounds

Offering a heady blend of sharp looks, superior protection, and state-of-the-art technology, this good-size spinner suitcase is the perfect fit for your next family vacation. With a rugged Makrolon polycarbonate construction and built-in USB capability , this suitcase will really go the distance.

On the inside, the main compartment offers 2 large storage spaces, one of which comes complete with tie-down straps to keep your belongings in place on the go. There is also a large zippered compartment, cinched pockets, and a further accessories pocket.

To ensure your tech stays charged, there is an internal mesh pocket that hides your USB cord and holds your power bank to charge that pesky low battery when you really need to.

The retractable locking handle makes it easy to find the right position to suit your height, and the supersmooth spinner wheels offer 360-degree maneuverability. There is also an integrated TSA-approved lock for extra security and easy access, and if you really want to impress, this case comes in a selection of 9 eye-catching colors.

  • Built-in USB port for on-the-go charging
  • Zipper can sometimes come apart

Hot Tip: Searching for the perfect carry-on for your next trip? Check out our guide to the best carry-on luggage bags for any traveler .

Swissgear 7366 Durable Expandable Luggage

Swissgear 7366 19″ Expandable Hardside Spinner Luggage

Dimensions: 22 x 14.25 x 10 inches

Weight: 6.6 pounds

This sleek and stylish expandable laptop hardside spinner case will help to keep your tech safe as you travel. Made from lightweight yet durable ABS and polycarbonate materials , this is a sturdy case that is perfect for both business and pleasure.

The split-case design offers 2 good-size storage spaces with tie-down straps and a zippered packing pocket to hold your clothes in place. The smaller side pocket is ideal for keeping smaller essentials safely tucked away. For when you need that extra packing space, this case is expandable, making it a very capacious carry-on for short trips.

As with all Swissgear suitcases, the 360-degree spinner wheels offer a supersmooth ride, while the telescopic locking handle makes it easy to pull along with you. As you would expect from Swissgear, this case comes with a TSA-approved locking system to ensure that your gear is safe on the go, while still offering access to TSA agents should they need it.

  • Has a foldable cup holder on the back
  • Laptop pocket space eats into the internal compartment

Hot Tip: Are you looking for even more hardside luggage options? Explore our dedicated guide on the best hardside luggage for travelers .

Swissgear 3750 Hardside Expandable Luggage

SwissGear 3750 Hardside Expandable Spinner Case

Dimensions: 26 x 17.5 x 11 inches

Weight: 8.4 pounds

This expandable hardside spinner suitcase offers utilitarian looks combined with ample space, allowing practical packing for any adventure . Made from superior ABS materials and available in stylish silver, this suitcase is a statement piece that really performs.

On the inside, the large split-case compartments offer more than enough space to carry your belongings for 5 to 7 days, while the elastic tie-down straps will keep your clothes wrinkle-free in transit. The zippered lid pocket is useful for keeping your gear well-organized, and the expandable zipper system offers those extra inches when you need them

The locking telescopic handle makes pushing and pulling a breeze, and the 4 360-degree spinner wheels make for super-easy maneuverability across the airport terminal.

With reinforced grab handles and protective side bumper feet, this solid suitcase can withstand the rough handling of air travel and the built-in TSA-accepted 3-dial combination lock makes for easy access for agents, without risking any damage to your beautiful new suitcase.

  • Very lightweight and durable
  • Not many internal pockets for keeping organized

The 3 Best Swissgear Softside Suitcases

Swissgear Sion Softside Luggage

SwissGear Sion Softside Luggage with Spinner Wheels


  • Carry-On — 22.75 x 14.25 x 10.25 inches
  • Small Case — 26.25 x 16.75 x 11 inches
  • Large Case — 30 x 18.5 x 12.5 inches
  • Carry-On — 8 pounds
  • Small Case — 9.5 pounds
  • Large Case — 11.1 pounds

This gorgeous range of soft-sided suitcases offers all the space you need for a family vacation or global adventure . Comprising of a carry-on case, a medium checked case, and a large checked case, there is an impressive amount of cleverly conceived storage space in each case, maximizing your luggage capacity on the go.

Each suitcase expands for those useful extra inches of storage space, as well as offering fully-lined interiors, adjustable luggage tie-down straps for keeping your gear secure in transit, and additional zippered pockets and mesh compartments to keep your belongings well-organized on the go.

Made from lightweight and scuff-resistant polyester, this range is available in a choice of 7 bold color options, and all cases feature supersmooth spinner wheels, retractable handles, and built-in ID tags.

Designed very much with practicality in mind, this stylish set represents excellent value for money.

  • Spinner wheels glide smoothly
  • Lighter-colored versions can stain easily

Swissgear 4010 Softside Luggage

SwissGear 4010 Softside Luggage with Spinner Wheels

Dimensions: 26.75 x 16.25 x 11 inches

Weight: 6.45 pounds

Made from rugged polyester fabric, this expandable spinner bag offers all the benefits of a hardside suitcase in a soft-sided package . Available in black, this case is also available in 18-inch and 27-inch versions.

The main compartment is fully lined and offers a large interior zippered mesh pocket, along with tie-down straps to help keep your belongings well-organized in transit. This case can expand to offer additional storage space when you need it most, and the 2 front panel pockets are useful for storing essentials that you need easy access to.

With 4 360-degree, multi-directional spinner wheels, you can enjoy easy maneuverability, and the aluminum locking telescopic handle allows you to push or pull the suitcase effortlessly. Extra touches, including a removable zippered wet bag and an integrated ID tag, give this superlight suitcase an upscale look and feel.

  • Top, side, and bottom handles for easy lifting
  • Single spinner wheels are not as maneuverable as double wheels

Swissgear 6570 27 Expandable Liteweight Spinner Luggage

Swissgear 6570 27″ Expandable Liteweight Spinner Luggage

Dimensions: 31 x 18.5 x 12 inches

Weight: 8.2 pounds

This stylish soft-sided suitcase is perfect for frequent flyers, and with additional expandability, it offers enough space to easily cater for family-sized adventures. Made from superstrong polyester and available in an attractive blue and grey color , this case is durable enough to handle the bumps and knocks of air travel.

On the inside, the large main compartment features compression straps to keep your belongings neatly organized in transit. There is also a separate zippered mesh compartment in the lid for smaller items, and the zipper expansion system offers those all-important extra inches.

On the outside, the 2 front panel pockets keep travel documents close at hand, and an additional side storage pocket is useful for items you need to grab quickly.

With a lightweight aluminum locking telescopic handle and 360-degree multi-directional spinner wheels, this case is easy to maneuver despite its size. The integrated ID tag will help you to find your case on the carousel, and the Swissgear quality ensures that this case will be with you for many years.

  • 2 handy external pockets for separating items and for quick access
  • Doesn’t come with a TSA lock

The 5 Best Swissgear Duffels and Rolling Travel Bags

Swissgear Wenger Granada Wheeled Notebook

Wenger/SwissGear 600659 Wheeled Laptop Case

Dimensions: 16.5 x 13.7 x 9.8 inches

Weight: 4.41 pounds

This softshell bag with wheels is compact enough to fit neatly under your seat while still being big enough to handle a change of clothing and other travel essentials. The quick-access front compartment has lots of handy pockets and pouches for holding your travel documents and other valuables and has a double zipper to control how much you open the compartment.

The main compartment can be opened like a suitcase for easy packing and is spacious with interior straps to hold your clothing safely in place. Towards the front of the bag, there’s a separate padded compartment for a 17-inch laptop which is held securely in place with a Velcro strap.

With smooth in-line skate wheels that quietly glide through the terminal and a front stand that doubles up as a handy carry handle, this bag is easy to maneuver and lift in and out of places.

  • The perfect size to store under most airline seats
  • In-line skate wheels that won’t suit travelers that like a spinner case

Swissgear Premium Rolling Garment Bag

Swissgear 7895 Full Sized Wheeled Garment Bag

Dimensions: 24 x 23 x 9.5 inches

Weight: 11.6 pounds

Perfect for business trips or special occasions, this garment bag is roomy enough to hold your clothing and accessories while keeping all your travel essentials in 1 place. There is also a matching wheeled duffel bag available in this collection.

Despite its compact dimensions, the inside of this bag unfolds into 4 sections with zippered pockets for accessories , a hook for a hanger, and compression straps that help to keep your clothing wrinkle-free in transit. There are also 2 further shoe pockets and a line of smaller pouches for keeping personal items, toiletries, or jewelry safe on the go.

The full side zipper opening makes it easy to pack and unpack your outfits, and the separate wet bag keeps your dirty clothes away from the clean ones. Complete with 2 tip and roll wheels and a retractable handle, this bag is also supereasy to pull along behind you while breezing through the airport.

  • Keeps clothes neat and wrinkle-free
  • Zipper pulls can sometimes break

Swissgear Full-Sized Folding Garment Duffel

Swissgear 6067 21″ Garment Duffel Bag

Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 12 inches

Make business trips, lunchtime gym sessions, or special occasions easy with this garment duffel bag that unzips easily to convert into a hanging bag. Keep your suits, shirts, dresses, or other clothing items wrinkle-free to ensure you are looking sharp from the outset.

The main compartment has enough room to hold a weekend’s worth of outfits , while the additional internal sleeves are perfect for storing your shoes and other personal items. The zippered front and back pockets offer easy access to your travel documents, wallet, and other essentials, and the external side pockets will hold your files and documents on the go.

This innovative garment bag looks and handles like a duffel bag with a detachable and adjustable shoulder strap as well as a top grab handle.

Made from super durable polyester material and with a bag trolley strap to slide over your suitcase handle, this is a great addition to your travel luggage.

  • Internal compartments for shoes and other items
  • No wheels for easy transportation

Swissgear Apex Duffel

Swissgear 9000 28” Apex Duffel Bag

Dimensions: 15 x 26 x 12 inches

Weight: 2.9 pounds

Compact and lightweight, this deceptively spacious duffel bag is perfect for the gym, school, college, or even an overnight stay. This practical duffel bag is incredibly spacious and extremely durable in blue, grey, black, or red.

The large main compartment has enough space to hold several changes of clothing, shoes or books, files, and other essentials, and the large top opening makes it easy to pack and unpack your gear on the go .

An additional front zip organizer compartment comes complete with a key clip and divider pockets for ID, pens, and a smartphone, and there are a further 2 large side zip pockets for other essentials.

The detachable shoulder strap is padded for extra comfort, and the grab handle can be used to lift the bag off the floor or in and out of the trunk. For additional storage, this clever duffel even offers a bungee-cord system to let you hold extra gear, as well as a mesh water bottle holder to help keep you hydrated on the go.

The Apex duffel bag is available in both 20-inch and 28-inch options.

  • Padded shoulder strap and comfortable carry handle
  • No waterproof pocket for wet clothes

Swissgear 8869 16 Rolling Tote

Swissgear 8869 16″ Rolling Tote

Dimensions: 16 x 16 x 8 inches

Weight: 7.2 pounds

Make overnight stays effortless with this rolling tote bag that offers a creative storage solution for short trips away. With enough space to carry both a change of clothes and your work gear, this is a great bag for business trips, school, or college.

With an internal compartment that is perfect for storing files and other work essentials, as well as a good-size main storage place for your clothes and personal effects, this rolling tote bag is great for both business and pleasure . Easy access organizer pockets and compression straps to keep your clothing all in 1 place help you keep your gear organized.

The telescoping handle system and in-line wheels make for easy handling and a smooth and quiet ride for increased convenience.

  • Compartments for your laptop and documents
  • No strap to attach to a suitcase

Swissgear offers practical, durable, and great-looking luggage with mid-point price tags, making it a sensible and attractive proposition for almost every kind of traveler. It is hard to go wrong with Swiss design, engineering, and looks, and with a company with a history going back to 1893, there is a lot to love.

Looking for other great brands of luggage? Explore our guides on the best American Tourister , Travelpro , OGIO , Delsey , Osprey , Eagle Creek , Hartmann , Samsonite , and Briggs & Riley luggage .

Frequently Asked Questions

Is swissgear the same as victorinox.

Swissgear is a brand that was owned by Wenger. In 2005 Victorinox acquired Wenger, and therefore also Swissgear. Wenger still operates as an independent subsidiary.

Are Swissgear backpacks good?

Swissgear manufactures great backpacks to suit most traveler and commuter needs. Its backpacks are well-designed, comfortable to carry, made from durable materials, and are very stylish.

Are Swissgear backpacks water-resistant?

Swissgear backpacks are mostly made from nylon or polyester, giving them a decent degree of water-resistance. They are, however, not fully waterproof but should be able to provide adequate protection from moderate rain.

Which Swissgear backpack is the best?

Swissgear has a range of excellent backpacks, but we like the Swissgear 3988 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack. It’s compact and lightweight, while still possessing all of the clever technical features found in its larger counterparts.

How long do Swissgear backpacks last?

Swissgear backpacks are built to last. The brand is so confident in its craftsmanship that it offers a 5-year limited warranty on all luggage and travel bags when proof of purchase is presented.

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About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.


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Backpacks and Messenger Bags

​​​​​​​Life moves fast – and you've got places to go and plenty to do. So count on Victorinox backpacks and messengers to keep you well organized and moving smoothly. Each one is designed to organize and protect your belongings, while offering comfort and durability. You'll always have everything you need and be ready for wherever your day takes you.

What makes the quality difference in Victorinox backpacks and messengers, how to maximize the comfort level when wearing them, and what to look for when making a purchase, that’s where we need a few more details.

Victorinox Backpacks and Messenger Bags

  • $50 - $100 (5)
  • $100 - $200 (18)
  • $200 - $300 (10)
  • $300 - $400 (4)
  • $400 - $500 (1)
  • blue / black (5)
  • Deep Lake (2)
  • Gray / Black (5)
  • Midnight Blue (2)
  • Stone Grey (4)
  • Neutral (18)
  • Awarded (2)
  • Not Awarded (34)
  • Backpacks (26)
  • Crossbody bags (7)
  • Messenger bags (1)

Altmont Original Vertical-Zip Laptop Backpack

Altmont Original Vertical-Zip Laptop Backpack

VX Sport EVO Compact Backpack

VX Sport EVO Compact Backpack

Altmont Professional Compact Laptop Backpack

Altmont Professional Compact Laptop Backpack

Architecture Urban2 Messenger

Architecture Urban2 Messenger

Altmont Professional Deluxe Travel Laptop Backpack

Altmont Professional Deluxe Travel Laptop Backpack

Altmont Original Dual-Compartment Monosling

Altmont Original Dual-Compartment Monosling

Architecture Urban2 Deluxe Backpack

Architecture Urban2 Deluxe Backpack

Touring 2.0 Traveller Backpack

Touring 2.0 Traveller Backpack

Altmont Professional Tablet Sling

Altmont Professional Tablet Sling

Victoria Signature Deluxe Backpack

Victoria Signature Deluxe Backpack

Altmont Original Laptop Backpack

Altmont Original Laptop Backpack

Altmont Professional Fliptop Laptop Backpack

Altmont Professional Fliptop Laptop Backpack

Altmont Professional Essentials Laptop Backpack

Altmont Professional Essentials Laptop Backpack

Touring 2.0 Commuter Backpack

Touring 2.0 Commuter Backpack

Architecture Urban2 City Backpack

Architecture Urban2 City Backpack

Touring 2.0 Sling Bag

Touring 2.0 Sling Bag

Touring 2.0 City Daypack

Touring 2.0 City Daypack

Victoria Signature Compact Backpack

Victoria Signature Compact Backpack

Altmont Original Flapover Digital Bag

Altmont Original Flapover Digital Bag

VX Sport EVO 2-in-1 Backpack/Duffel

VX Sport EVO 2-in-1 Backpack/Duffel

Altmont Original Standard Backpack

Altmont Original Standard Backpack

Architecture Urban2 Crossbody Bag

Architecture Urban2 Crossbody Bag

Crosslight Boarding Bag

Crosslight Boarding Bag

Architecture Urban2 2-Way Carry Tote

Architecture Urban2 2-Way Carry Tote

Crosslight City Daypack

Crosslight City Daypack

Werks Professional CORDURA® Compact Backpack

Werks Professional CORDURA® Compact Backpack

Werks Professional CORDURA® Deluxe Backpack

Werks Professional CORDURA® Deluxe Backpack

VX Sport EVO Daypack

VX Sport EVO Daypack

VX Sport EVO Backpack on Wheels

VX Sport EVO Backpack on Wheels

VX Sport EVO Deluxe Backpack

VX Sport EVO Deluxe Backpack

Victorinox Luggage & Suitcases

Backpacks and messengers Reliable all-rounders for business, leisure, and daily use

When we’re on the move and traveling, backpacks and messengers ensure that we have both hands free at all times so we can get ahead more easily. Whether we’re on a bike, Vespa or motorbike, on foot, or even, as often happens with us Swiss, on snowshoes and skis. This feature makes backpacks and messengers extremely likeable companions, but that’s not all they can do, not by a long shot. Think elegant business partner, robust adventurer, trusted companion through life’s ups and downs – all wrapped up in the same package. It really depends on what features are packed into them and what they are being used for at a given time. While color and material are basic characteristics, there are a lot more things to consider when choosing the right backpack and messenger than just these two points. What makes the quality difference in Victorinox backpacks and messengers, how to maximize the comfort level when wearing them, and what to look for when making a purchase, that’s where we need a few more details.

Backpacks, messenger bags, or over-the-shoulder day bags: Choosing the perfect backpack or messenger model is a matter of individual lifestyle and the scope of your planned endeavors. Today’s backpacks have moved light years beyond their previous reputation as lacking in finesse and primarily suited to outdoor pursuits. Their use is no longer limited to backpacking and hiking aficionados, and they now hold impeccable business credentials. Messenger bags may still exude a hint of coolness and dynamic energy due to their origins, though this has more to do with their outer appearance than their internal design, which in fact is extremely structured and well organized. One advantage may be that, like an over-the-shoulder day bag, they often have more of a minimalist look. Those people who tend to suffer from overloading and chaos in their bags could possibly solve this once and for all with the right partner by their side.

Size and weight: What is basically true for all kinds of travel gear and bags takes on greater significance once a suitable backpack has been chosen. Since backpacks are often carried over long distances and in many cases feature a generous volume capacity, the structure, format, and weight of the backpack must be compatible with the wearer’s body size and must feel comfortable to wear at all body contact points. It’s worthwhile to make a comparison test, as well as visiting a store, where you can try some backpacks on and take a few steps with it filled to the maximum load. A helpful tip for daily use: Less is more, and the pros only pack the items they really need.

Contoured back panel and padded adjustable straps: Achieving optimal comfort levels in a backpack is the result of perfect load distribution and ergonomic molding. The latter provide effective padded surface areas, they are gentle on the back and shoulders, and prevent pressure points, abrasion, and sweating. For this reason, it is also important that the shoulder straps on your backpack are not too wide and the length is adjustable.

Seams and zippers: Whether it’s sensitive electronic devices, important documents, or clothing – even if you are using an umbrella, seams and zippers must be able to withstand any weather conditions and should be protected from moisture and dampness under all circumstances. That may seem obvious; however, it is also a question of the finishing quality and capability to cope with extreme conditions. For this specific reason, we have fitted backpacks in the Vx Touring collection, the Rath Slim Backpack, and other selected models in our product range, with special water-repellent zippers in the interior compartment and also on the external pockets.

Victorinox inside: Loops and hooks, daisy chains and TSA security locks, bottle openers and screwdrivers – inspired by our heritage and the Original Swiss Army Knife, we have also taken the technical expertise, handy tools, and smart accessories developed over decades and incorporated them into our backpacks and messengers. The bottle opener we have built into the shoulder straps on some models is just one of many such practical ideas.

Purchase online or at a specialist retailer: It’s clear that a lot of information is now available online and we are also working hard to give detailed descriptions and a full online presentation of all our models. How do I adjust the backpack properly, is it light and comfortable, how does the material and color look, which model best meets my personal needs, and what handy accessories are available – you can get answers to all of these questions plus any specific inquiries you might have, and also enjoy excellent personal service any time you visit one of our Victorinox Flagship Stores.

Red Dot Award:

  • Deluxe Travel Laptop Backpack
  • Compact Laptop Backpack
  • Rath Slim Backpack

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  • 13 Best Swiss Gear Backpacks
  • Travel Gear

The 13 Best Swiss Gear Backpacks

It’s quite safe to say that almost every traveler has owned a backpack at some point. Who doesn’t love a great backpack while traveling? It’s even better if you can get some good Swiss Gear backpacks deals. The reason is that backpacks are one of the most convenient pieces of luggage for travel. They are handy, easy to pack, and can take quite a beating and come out unscathed. For someone looking for a great backpack, it doesn’t get better than bags from Swiss Gear. Switzerland is renowned for its precision, innovation, and quality craftsmanship. These traits are reflected in every Swiss-made product, including backpacks. These are some of the most reliable and durable on the market, designed to withstand even the toughest conditions.

The company was established in 1893 to produce knives for the Swiss Army but later diversified. From watches to lifestyle accessories, Swiss Gear is synonymous with some of the best products in the market. Whether you’re a frequent traveler, a student, or an outdoor enthusiast, Swiss Gear has a backpack that suits your needs. From sleek and stylish to rugged and practical, there’s a backpack for everyone. So, if you’re looking for the best Swiss Gear backpack, read our reviews of what we think are the best Swiss Gear backpack Amazon offers. In this article, we’ll review their features, durability, and design, helping you choose the perfect backpack for your lifestyle.

Table of contents

Swiss gear 2769 scansmart laptop backpack, swiss gear travel gear 1900, swiss gear sa6752, swiss gear hybrid, swiss gear sa9769 laptop computer backpack, swiss gear 6392 scansmart ultra premium black on black, swiss gear sa1923, swiss gear travel gear 5977 scansmart tsa laptop backpack, swiss gear getaway weekend padded laptop backpack, swiss gear mini 1900 scansmart slim, swiss gear 3598 city backpack, swiss gear 5358 usb scansmart laptop backpack, swiss gear 3576 artz vintage laptop backpack, our verdict, the purpose of your backpack, look at the basics, check out accessories, what are the types of swiss gear backpacks, are swiss gear backpacks waterproof, what does the swiss gear backpack warranty cover, what are some of the features that swiss gear backpacks offer.

The Swiss Gear 2769 Scansmart Laptop Backpack will probably end up as one of your ‘go-to’ travel bags due to all the handy features. The TSA-friendly multipurpose bag is specially designed for stress-free air travel. You won’t need to take your laptop out of the bag while going through security. Just open up the bag like a clamshell to lie flat, and you’re good to go. However, one thing that you need to remember for the Scan Smart feature is that there should be nothing else but the laptop in the intended pocket.

Swiss Gear is renowned for its water-resistant, durable bags, and this one lives up to that image. There’s no doubt about the durability of the superior ballistic weave fabric and high-density nylon lining. You can also be sure your bag will be easy to carry around with comfortable straps.

The main compartment can comfortably fit a 16″ laptop, while additional pockets are handy for packing smaller items. There is also a keychain holder in the middle pocket, so you don’t have to rummage around for them. However, the bag is not as big on organizational space as other bags from Swiss Gear. And yes, there are two elastic mesh pockets for a water bottle or umbrella.

  • It’s sturdy and durable.
  • The interior organizer comes with a pocket and divider pockets for small items.
  • It features adjustable padded laptop straps.
  • It’s breathable because of the airflow back system.
  • The Swiss Gear backpack warranty is only good if you buy the bag from an authorized dealer, so you’ll need to check with Amazon about this.

swiss travel backpacks

Biggest capacity . With over 8,547 reviews on Amazon, 76% of them being five-star ratings, we were curious to know what makes the 1900 ScanSmart TSA Laptop Backpack so special. One look at the bag and we were more than convinced that this is definitely one of the best Swiss Gear travel backpacks. There’s no doubt that the iconic Swiss Gear 1900 is well-designed. But if you need even more storage, check out Swiss Gear Luggage .

Its superior weather-resistant ballistic fabric, padded airflow panels, and contoured shoulder straps easily got our attention. The shoulder straps also have a built-in reflective accent material for additional night safety. This bag too has the ScanSmart compartment that allows you to pass through security without removing your laptop.

On closer inspection, we were quite taken with the organization space too. Good organization is one of the signature features of Swiss Gear, and this backpack shows us why. Besides the 31L volume, there are plenty of pockets for organizing all your little and big items, plus two side pockets for your water bottle. The front organizer is handy for easy access to travel documents. The bag also comes with a 10-year extended Swiss Gear backpack warranty. You can also check out the Swiss Gear 1900 full review on Youtube .

  • It’s made from superior ballistic polyester.
  • The mesh-backed straps and airflow padding makes the bag more comfortable to wear.
  • It features a sturdy grip handle and smooth zippers.
  • It’s available in eight different colors.
  • The zippers are not very sturdy.

For someone who prefers a backpack for a short trip rather than carrying a travel duffel bag , the Swiss Gear 6752 is a backpack designed with the modern traveler in mind. And this is one of the best Swiss Gear backpacks deals you can get. Its ScanSmart TSA lay-flat design allows for quick and easy scanning of your laptop at airport security checkpoints, saving you precious time and hassle. No more fumbling with your laptop or worrying about damage as it passes through the X-ray machine.

One of the most impressive features of the Swiss Gear SA6752 is its durability. So, when you see a Swiss Gear backpack deal, you should get this one. This backpack comes with a 10-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship, giving you peace of mind knowing that your investment is protected. Inside, you’ll find an organizer compartment with a key clip and multiple divider pockets for pens, mobile phones, and ID cards, keeping all your essentials organized. And with the wire-reinforced, padded top handle and crush-resistant pocket, you can transport your valuables safely. The smart design, superior comfort, and durability make this backpack a reliable companion for all your adventures. And you may also need Swiss Army knives for survival .

  • It has an innovative design with Airflow back panels.
  • The signature air mesh ergonomic contoured shoulder straps for superior comfort.
  • It comes with a plethora of pockets and compartments.
  • The zipper is n the best quality.

Most unique . Combining the convenient features of a backpack with a split case, this 26L hybrid works great as carry-on luggage. Since it opens up like a suitcase, the bag is easy to pack. One side of the Swiss Gear Hybrid bag has a large packing compartment, while the smaller pockets on the other side help in better organization. It also has straps to hold everything in place. It’s an excellent Swiss Gear backpack Walmart has to offer.

A side handle provides you the flexibility of carrying this as a tote bag, or you can use the padded straps to wear it on your back. The bag has a laptop sleeve and a side pocket for your water bottle. It also has an airflow back, which is great for ventilation and provides support. Made from 100% rugged polyester,  you can be sure that it will do pretty well during travel.

  • It’s made from 100% rugged polyester
  • The bag has good organizational space and a roomy main pocket.
  • It can be used as a backpack or tote, opening up like a suitcase.
  • The back compartment is not big enough for a 15″ laptop.

A versatile backpack designed for convenience and functionality, the Swiss Gear SA9769 Laptop Computer Backpack is ideal for someone who’s always running to catch the last transport. It’s also a great backpack for someone who cycles a lot. The reason is that this backpack is designed to evenly balance weight. If you are literally running to catch your flight, you can rest assured that the bag won’t swing too much. The compression straps help in adjusting the weight and keeping the bag close to your body, while the airflow back system prevents sweat build-up.

This is an excellent Swiss Gear backpacks deal for someone on the lookout for something to keep your binders and other stuff that you’ll require for a meeting. The laptop sleeve is big enough to accommodate a 15″ Macbook, but anything larger will probably be a bit of a squeeze. There are enough extra pockets for organizing small items and even a pretty cool holder for your sunglasses. Two side pockets will comfortably hold your water bottle.

  • It features side pockets for water bottles and a laptop sleeve.
  • The bag is made of durable, water-resistant material.
  • There’s a holder for sunglasses.
  • It’s available in three colors.
  • The front compartment is not very user-friendly.

Are you a business traveler looking for the best Swiss Gear backpack to suit your travel? If you are, then we recommend the professional-looking Swiss Gear 6392 ScanSmart Ultra Premium . This pack is quite pricey when compared to the other backpacks, but that’s because it’s larger and does its job well. You can comfortably carry all you need for that next business trip and pass through security with this ScanSmart design. It’s an excellent Swiss Gear backpack Best Buy offers, though you can also get it on Amazon.

With this one, you’ll have plenty of space to pack an overnight change of clothes. Multiple divider pockets with an organizer pocket for your pens and keys are great for efficient packing. There are also two side pockets for your water bottle. The padded back panel and adjustable padded shoulder straps add to the comfort of carrying this bag. It also comfortably fits the regulation size of most airlines for carry-on luggage. You’ll be able to safely fit it under the seat with no difficulties. We like that this bag can be slipped on most wheeled luggage with its built-in add-a-bag panel.

  • the adjustable contoured padded shoulder straps are comfortable to wear.
  • The bag is very sturdy and provides organizational space.
  • The bag arm can be a cause for concern, but overall, we didn’t find much to complain about this bag.

Most compartments and pockets . Crafted for functionality and convenience, the versatile Noir Satin TSA-Friendly Backpack has a whole lot of features. Most of the recent backpacks from Swiss Gear feature the ScanSmart design which allows you to open up the bag flat, to easily go through security with your laptop. This one has the design too, to make travel that much more simple.

The contoured shoulder straps and signature padded back provide extra comfort. It’s also made from highly durable ballistic weave fabric to stand up to the stress of travel. We loved the super sturdy feel of the backpack with its rigid handle and rugged zippers. With over 1,500 reviews on Amazon, we can see that there are many who agree with us on the choice of this backpack.

There is plenty of space for storing smaller items and ample space in the main compartment. The two pockets for a water bottle are large enough for a liter bottle, unlike many bags that only have a small pocket. Another great thing about this bag is that it stands up on its own; not many packs do that.

  • It’s made from durable ballistic woven fabric.
  • The airflow back padding and contoured shoulder straps add extra comfort.
  • there are two exterior water bottle pockets and extra pockets.
  • The bag is available in four colors.
  • The thickness of the laptop padding compromises the space of the main pocket.

If you’re on the lookout for a backpack that is big on organizational space, the 5977 Scansmart TSA Laptop Backpack is for you. With 4 main pockets and plenty of smaller organizational pockets, there’s a lot that you can fit into this bag. This one is also made from durable weather-resistant polyester.

It’s a great backpack for the modern traveler who’s always on the move. A padded checkpoint-friendly laptop and tablet pocket will help in breezing through security. Added to this are a small media pocket and two side pockets for your water bottle. We like the airflow back panel on these backpacks too. They’re not only great for ventilation but also provide back support. Comfortable, contoured padded shoulder straps and compression straps also make this backpack a lot easier to carry. It’s a great Swiss Gear backpack Target offers, but you can find it cheaper on Amazon.

  • It’s made of durable weather-resistant polyester.
  • It features padded shoulder straps and a back panel.
  • It has TSA approved ScanSmart design.
  • There’s no sleeve or loops to hang it on your roller bag.

Stressing about finding something light and easy to pack for a weekend trip? Well, this rather unconventional backpack will definitely cater to your short-term travel needs. The Swiss Gear Getaway Weekend Padded Laptop Backpack features a split-case design, and it gives you the advantage of packing like a mini-suitcase with the portability of a backpack.

A large packing pocket on one side and slip pockets on the other side help you pack more efficiently. The 24.6L main compartment has a mesh pocket and slips pockets for shoes and clothes. It also has a separate 15″ laptop compartment which can be accessed easily.

Padded shoulder straps and the signature airflow back panel add to the comfort of carrying this bag. What impressed us about this backpack is the side grab handles. With these handles, you can carry the bag like a tote if you want to rest your back. The add-a-bag sleeve helps to attach it to your rolling luggage for hands-free carry-on mobility. For more details, check out the full review of Swiss Gear Gateway on Youtube .

  • It’s ideal for an overnight trip.
  • The split-case design offers more efficient packing.
  • The side and top grab handle add better mobility.
  • There’s an add-a-bag sleeve for attaching to rolling luggage.
  • The zipper on the main pocket sometimes gets caught in the fabric.

Simplest . One of the best Swiss Gear backpacks deals is the Swiss Gear Mini 1900 Laptop Backpack . It offers a perfect combination of durability, comfort, and functionality, making it an ideal backpack for anyone on the go. This backpack is crafted from rugged polyester, ensuring it can withstand even the toughest journeys, from your daily commute to your next adventure. For all-day comfort and breathability, it features ergonomic, padded shoulder straps and an Airflow back panel. This ensures that you can carry your backpack all day long without experiencing any discomfort or fatigue.

Additionally, the heavy-duty grab handle and side water bottle pocket provide grab-and-go versatility throughout your commute, making it easy to stay hydrated and organized. This backpack also comes with a front RFID-protected organizer compartment, allowing you to safely store your cards and ID. You can rest assured that your personal information is safe from any potential identity theft.

  • It’s made of rugged polyester.
  • The backpack comes with RFID protection.
  • It’s minimalist and lightweight.
  • It can only fit a 13-inch laptop.

This slim no-frills backpack is ideal for someone looking out for a compact backpack for their daily essentials. If you’re looking for something to accommodate your laptop, then this one doesn’t fit the bill. It does have a padded pocket for a tablet, though.

Despite the narrow silhouette, it’s surprisingly quite spacious and will carry more than you can imagine. Two large compartments, an exterior organizer panel, and a side water bottle pocket all add to the convenience of this backpack. Made from strong, durable fabric, the bag also comes with a Swiss Gear warranty.

Outfitted with the signature airflow back panel and adjustable padded straps, the lightweight Swiss Gear 3598 City Backpack is comfortable to carry around. For someone looking out for a handy carry-on bag, this one is great.

  • The side pocket and tablet pocket come in handy.
  • There’s an exterior organizer panel and two large compartments.
  • The purchase comes with a 5-year warranty.
  • There’s no sleeve or strap to slip over the handles of rolling luggage.

Swiss Gear has consistently been churning out top-quality products with designs on par with the times. They’ve gone out on a limb with this innovative backpack that combines durability with modernity. Their modern backpacks with the Scansmart laptop compartments are impressive enough, but this backpack even has a built-in USB outlet. With this ready port, you can charge your device on the go. However, you’ll need to have your own battery pack, as that is not included.

Another impressive component of the Swiss Gear 5358 USB Scansmart Laptop Backpack is the crush-resistant sunglass compartment. It’s really the small things that matter in a great product, and this one scores big because of its attention to detail. The bag is easy to carry because of the signature airflow back panel and shock-absorbing shoulder straps, combined with compression and sternum straps.

Your laptop and tablet are also protected with padded compartments. While we were impressed with the zippered shoe compartment and multiple pockets, we liked that the bag can also fit on your rolling bag.

  • It features TSA friendly ScanSmart laptop compartment.
  • There’s a crush-resistant sunglasses compartment
  • The bag comes with a built-in USB power outlet.
  • The mobile compartment seemed a little too small for a smartphone, but the company has since rectified this issue.

Chic yet practical is how we would describe this stylish Swiss Gear 3576 Artz Vintage Laptop Backpack . If you’re looking to up the glamour quotient a bit, this bag will do just fine. It’s a great backpack to take along with you for a business meeting or to carry some of your necessities on a trip. You can use the handles to carry this as a tote bag or carry it on your back. The comfortable padded shoulder straps add to the comfort of carrying this around.

We especially like the unhinged opening, which allows you quick access to your belongings. The laptop slot is convenient, too, and so are the other organizational compartments. It even has two side pockets for water bottles. We were also quite taken with the durability of the material, although we don’t expect anything less from Swiss Gear. A stylish interior adds to the overall look of this one. The full review can be seen on US Backpacks .

  • The bag features comfortable padded shoulder straps and a quick access opening.
  • There are multiple divider pockets.
  • The bag comes with a fully lined interior and internal organizer panel.
  • There are pockets for water bottles.
  • The laptop slot is a little small, but the main pocket will comfortably hold a laptop.

Swiss Gear backpacks are a great investment for anyone who values durability, functionality, and style. They are designed to make your life easier. Whether you’re a frequent traveler or just looking for a reliable backpack for everyday use, Swiss Gear has something to offer. After carefully considering the top options on the market, we have identified the best options that meet various needs and preferences.

  • Biggest capacity: Swiss Gear Travel Gear 1900
  • Simplest: Swiss Gear Mini 1900 Scansmart Slim
  • Most unique: Swiss Gear Hybrid
  • Most compartments and pockets:  Swiss Gear SA1923

How To Choose The Right Backpack

Backpacks from Swiss Gear are the ideal choice for any traveler. They are durable, secure, convenient, and versatile. The downside to choosing a bag from Swiss Gear is the dilemma you will probably find yourself in. With such a huge variety of great backpacks, you’ll probably find yourself stuck when choosing. However, to help you in choosing a backpack, here are a few pointers that you need to keep in mind. These points are not specific to Swiss Gear but to backpacks in general.

Before you invest in a backpack, you need to be aware of where you’re going to be using it. Are you looking for a backpack for carry-on luggage to carry all your gear? Or are you looking for something bigger and more rugged for a week-long trek? Or just something to take on a business trip. As much as the size is important when choosing a backpack, you’ll also want something that is lightweight.

If you’re going to be using your backpack for a hike, then the empty bag itself should not weigh a ton. For a long trip that requires you to pack heavy gear, look out for a 65 to 70-liter backpack. A 30-50 liter backpack should suffice for a long weekend. Don’t be bashful about trying on the backpack if you’re buying a Swiss Gear backpack from Target or Walmart. There’s nothing like getting a first-hand feel for what you’re buying. You don’t want to subject your shoulders and back to something that’s not comfortable.

Backpacks generally have specific designs that are unique to them. If you understand the basics of their design, it will make choosing easier. A bag that is well-ventilated will keep sweat from accumulating on your back. By well-ventilated, we mean that it should have padding and a mesh. Also, a bag with an external frame will allow better ventilation. However, bags with internal frames tend to be lighter even if they do stick closer to the body. An internal frame is also better for the distribution of weight.

Another thing to consider is the opening for packing. While backpacks that open on the top are lighter, they can be quite inconvenient. Panel loaders, on the other hand, are more accessible. You can easily open or unzip a panel to retrieve something without rummaging through all your stuff. Backpacks that have multiple external pockets are also great for packing the smaller stuff. It’s also a good idea to get a backpack that has an external space for a water bottle.

If you’re going to be using your backpack outdoors, then it’s a good idea to pick up a few accessories. A rain cover will save you a lot of headaches if you’re going to be traveling in wet weather. A good idea is to invest in a few extra straps so you can attach more items to the pack. For someone who’s going to be using the backpack for treks, you may want to consider investing in a hydration reservoir.

Now that you know what to look out for when choosing a backpack, check out our reviews below.

Swiss Gear backpacks are of three kinds.

  • School backpacks – These are available in a variety of colors and are priced quite reasonably. These packs also come with numerous electronic compartments and organizer panels.
  • Laptop bags –  The name itself tells you what these bags are intended for. Besides the regular backpack features, these bags also have the ScanSmart design and an additional RFID blocker pocket.
  • Tablet-friendly bags – The padded sleeve or pocket is just large enough for a tablet, but the space and organization of the bag are like most Swiss Gear backpacks. These bags are also available in many colors and have similar ScanSmart or TSA features.

Backpacks from Swiss Gear are water-resistant and not waterproof. The difference is that water-resistant bags will prevent water from getting into the bag if you get caught in rain. On the other hand, they will not stand up well to being dunked in water. Waterproof bags, on the other hand, will keep your belongings safe even if you have an accidental tumble in a pool.

Swiss Gear states that all products purchased from them will automatically be eligible for their 10-year extended warranty. The warranty states that when the backpack is used under normal conditions for which it is designed, it is warranted to be free from defects in materials and workmanship. If such a defect occurs, the company will replace or repair the backpack at its discretion on the presentation of the original sales receipt. However, it’s always best to confirm this from Amazon or whoever you buy it from to avoid unpleasant surprises later.

The best Swiss Gear backpacks have a few standout features that give them an edge over the competition.

  • They are crafted from water-resistant material to keep your gear dry
  • Are extremely versatile and can be used for various needs
  • Have multiple compartments
  • Padded shoulder straps are either contoured shoulder straps, suspension shoulder straps, or compression shoulder straps.
  • Sternum straps and adjustable waist straps make these backpacks easier to carry
  • A padded back panel
  • They usually come with a frame that not only protects belongings but gives them a shape.

Author:  Peter S

A travel blogger and the founder of WOW Travel, Peter is a crazy dreamer with an insatiable desire for adventure who could never settle for an ordinary life or conform with the norm. After visiting more than 50 countries, he aims to travel with a purpose and inspire people to do the same.

The Best Carry-On Travel Backpacks

A person standing outside in a light blue short sleeve shirt wears the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L backpack, in black with a gray llama-head logo and aqua accents.

Opening up your favorite carry-on travel backpack—with all of your stuff in the right place and easy to reach—should feel like you’re opening the door to a well-organized closet or sitting down at a clean desk.

This is a moment to center yourself, no matter how chaotic the journey.

What we considered

A 45L bag maximizes overhead space but can get heavy when fully packed; 35L bags tend to be more manageable.

Clamshell designs open like a book and are easiest to pack, but bags that open traditionally tend to have more structure.

Ideally, a travel backpack has handles on all sides, especially the bottom, for pulling it out of overhead bins or from under seats.

Some internal pockets are useful, but major organizing is better managed on your own with packing cubes.

We spent six months testing 22 bags and flying across the country with all of our picks.

In the end, we chose two as our top picks: the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L (for most trips) and the larger Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L . Both bags are exemplary carry-on travel backpacks that are designed for comfort, durability, and organization.

Though these backpacks are great as companion bags for any trip, they’re designed to ultimately replace all of your other luggage and become your exclusive bag as you travel.

This is not a style of packing that’s for everyone, but once some people try it , they’re forever hooked. However, finding the right bag is a personal choice, and no single bag will appeal to everyone.

That’s why we have picks that are great for people traveling for work , others designed to be carried over long distances , picks for maximizing your packing space , and budget options for travelers who want to give the one-bag strategy a try.

The research

Why you should trust us, best small carry-on bag for most situations: cotopaxi allpa 35l, best large bag for most situations: peak design travel backpack 45l, best bag for document organization: topo designs global travel bag 30l, best bag for long journeys on foot: osprey farpoint 40 and fairview 40, best bag if you need a large suitcase on your back: tortuga travel backpack 40l, best affordable large backpack: ebags tls mother lode weekender, other good carry-on travel backpacks, who this is for, how we picked and tested, what to look forward to, the competition.

I’ve been covering aspects of luggage and travel bag design for Wirecutter for nearly a decade and have personally researched, tested, and compared hundreds of bags in that time. And as members of a remote organization, our editors and writers travel a lot and are continually testing the gear we recommend—our travel gear guide remains a perennial favorite among staff members. I personally try to do most of my travel with a single backpack whenever possible. I spent nine months roaming around Hawaii with not much more than that and another six months nomadically couch-surfing in New York City.

In addition to documenting our own experiences, I reached out to experts and writers who specialize in traveling the world carrying everything they need in a single bag. Eytan Levy is the owner and operator of the Snarky Nomad travel website, which combines travel guides and tips with in-depth gear reviews. James Feess is the founder of The Savvy Backpacker and author of The Savvy Backpacker’s Guide to Europe on a Budget . And Sharon Gourlay is the writer of the Where’s Sharon? travel website. I also spoke with moderators of Reddit’s r/onebag and r/heronebag forums, as well as with Chase Reeves, bag fanatic, reviewer, and owner of Matterful .

The shiny, one-piece back of the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L on a tester's back

Cotopaxi Allpa 35L

A versatile small pack for a week or a weekend.

The Allpa’s clamshell design makes organizing your things simple. The strap design lets you easily wear this durable bag on your back or carry it in your hand while you’re on the move.

Buying Options

Get this if: You want an easy-to-organize, comfortable-to-carry bag with a rainfly for downpours or you want to support a B-corp and its related social and sustainable missions .

The Cotopaxi Allpa 35L features an easy-to-pack clamshell design and highly adjustable straps that make it a great all-around bag for any traveler who’s dedicated to packing light, or for a smaller person who wants less to carry. Handles on all four sides of this bag make it easy to grab no matter where you’ve stowed it. It’s also protected by a full lifetime warranty and has the build quality to back that up. After more than four years of testing, this single backpack (plus a personal item ) has replaced nearly every travel bag or piece of luggage I use.

Cotopaxi also makes the Allpa in 28 - and 42 -liter sizes. But the 35 liter is, for us, the best. At 42 liters, this bag becomes heavy for most people to carry when its fully packed, and for a bag that big, we’d prefer that it had a more-robust hip belt. At 28 liters, the bag becomes a touch small for most people, and its internal organization feels fussy for any shorter trip, such as an overnight. Cotopaxi also makes a hip pack that’s designed to fit snugly into the Allpa’s front top compartment. It’s a neat little addition to the bag, and it is worth getting if you like wearing fanny packs while you travel.

The Allpa has a clamshell design, which means it opens like a hard-sided suitcase: A large YKK zipper runs around three sides of the bag, letting it fall open into two halves when unzipped. On the right side is a deep compartment, spacious enough for two large packing cubes or half a suitcase’s worth of clothes (which you access through a mesh zippered flap). On the left, there’s space for one more medium-size packing cube behind a zippered flap. Above that are two smaller pockets with high-visibility backing—useful when you’re looking for hard-to-differentiate personal items.

The Cotopaxi Allpa open to show the zip-up compartments on both the left and right sides filled with clothes, packing cubes, and other gear.

The Allpa’s hip belt, which can be removed while the bag is on your back, is substantial enough that it’s comfortable to wear when you need it. With or without the hip belt, the Allpa is decently comfortable over long distances. However, folks who have longer torsos (over 19 inches) may find that the waist belt sits a little high off the hips, unless you fully extend the shoulder straps. Speaking of, unlike the shoulder straps on our other picks, the Allpa’s straps are contoured to fit people who have large or small chests. It’s not a specifically gendered design, but our female tester noticed the improvement right away.

The Allpa has two side-access zippers—great for on-the-go access, especially when the bag is hanging from your shoulder. One of these reveals a flat computer pocket with a padded false bottom, so if you drop the bag, it won’t land on the corner of your computer; the other reveals a “secret” pocket with a hidden zipper and access to the main compartment. All of the main compartment zippers are protected by security loops, which you thread the zipper through at the end of its run. This prevents anyone from subtly or quickly grabbing a zipper and opening your bag when you aren’t paying attention.

The Allpa is made with 1680-denier ballistic nylon, similar to the Topo Designs Global Travel Bag or the Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45 . This feels similar to a strong canvas, but it has a more prominent weave. The Allpa is the kind of bag you can toss as easily into an overhead compartment as you can into the back of a rusty pickup truck. Uniquely in this category, the Allpa also includes a rainfly.

A person holding a gray Cotopaxi Allpa backpack in front of themselves by gripping the side handles.

Flaws but not dealbreakers The Allpa has a minimal amount of administrative organization—places to keep pens and papers, spaces to hold tickets, and so forth. This is where a good personal item comes in handy. However, if you want to travel with just this one bag, there are a few nooks you can hide things in. The front organizer is deep enough that you can also fit several small organizing pouches, if you want, or the aforementioned fanny pack.

Cotopaxi does enjoy playing around with fabrics and colors. Sometimes the company has released the Allpa without the TPU-lined front panel. The TPU panel improves water resistance, but we’ve found after many years of travel with our bag that the TPU layering can begin to flake in spots. We’d love to see the all-nylon option return at some point, for people who prefer the added robustness and don’t mind sacrificing a bit of rain coverage.

Capacity: 35 liters Weight: 3 pounds, 5 ounces Main compartment access: Clamshell opening Style: Adventurous Colors: Assorted

A person in a gray tshirt and red shorts stands between a solid wooden fence and tall shrubs while wearing the 45 liter Peak Design Travel Backpack.

Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L

An easily customizable large bag for long trips and expensive gear.

This bag was built with photographers in mind, but most travelers will appreciate its easy accessibility, clever tuck-away straps, and the elegant way the bag expands and contracts. The accessory cubes cost extra, though.

Get this if: You travel often with expensive camera gear and need easy access and many storage pockets, or you just prefer a backpack-based packing system with plenty of adaptability and customization.

Some bags in this category are built to do one thing extremely well—be luggage on your back. But the Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L is built to adapt. It’s the Swiss Army knife of backpacks: adjustable, customizable, and (if you spring for the extra cubes and organizers) an almost perfect system for a photographer or gearhead on the move. Most bags’ expanding mechanisms aren’t worth the extra zipper they’re built on, and they look about as attractive as a boiled ham splitting out of its plastic packaging. Not so with the Peak Design: It looks just as good fully packed at 45 liters as it does compressed to a 30-liter daypack.

You can access the bag through a back panel, which doubles as a computer and tablet pouch, as well as a front one, if you unzip the pass-through divider. You can also get into the main compartment via two wing-like trapezoidal flaps that run along each side of the pack. In its natural shape, the Travel Backpack holds 35 liters, but an expansion zipper lets the bag swell to 45 liters. If you want to use the bag as a daypack, you fold in the top corners and snap them down, reducing the bag’s volume to a slim 30 liters. It will still feel larger than a normal daypack in this configuration, but we think that’s a small compromise for being able to use one backpack as both your travel bag and your daily explorer. The bag itself consists of 400D nylon and polyester fabrics. It feels tough, but not as tough as some other bags we’ve tested, such as the Cotopaxi Allpa .

The Peak Design lets you tuck its shoulder and hip straps away when you’re not using them. But unlike any other bag we’ve ever tested, this pack has magnetic flaps on the back panel that open and close with an almost magical snap. Once you’ve played with them, you’ll wonder why every backpack doesn’t have something similar. A small, childish part of me still gets excited about tucking away the straps when I put the Peak Design into an overhead bin. Although the straps are thin, they’re comfortable. The hip belt isn’t quite as plush as the one on the Tortuga ; still, even when the Peak Design is fully loaded, the belt doesn’t pinch or dig into the body.

If you travel with a camera, you don’t have to use Peak Design’s camera cubes , but they do make carrying that gear a whole lot easier. The cubes come in three sizes, and if they’re situated properly in the bag with the provided clips, they line up with the Travel Backpack’s side-access flaps for quick access. Caleigh Waldman (the photographer for this piece and, full disclosure, my spouse) took this bag across the country for a wedding shoot. “I want this backpack,” she said after three weeks of travel. “I want to travel with it everywhere. With my cameras. Without my cameras. It doesn’t matter. I want to travel with it.”

Peak Design also makes a line of ultralight packing cubes . They’re good cubes, and they compare well to the ultralight Eagle Creek Pack-It Isolate Cube set, our pick for light packers . However, the Peak Design cubes are sized specifically for this bag and fit just so inside it, especially when combined with other Peak Design gear cubes and accessories, like the toiletry bag . (Chase Reeves has done an in-depth video review of these cubes; it’s a good resource for anyone who’s on the fence about buying them.) After testing the cubes (and this is not a mark against the Eagle Creek or the Peak Design ultralight cubes, both of which are excellent), I personally still prefer the more-rigid Eagle Creek Pack-It Reveal set, one of our longtime picks .

Flaws but not dealbreakers The Travel Backpack has few flaws. It is expensive—especially if you commit to the entire system of packing and camera cubes. The adjustable design and multiple zippers do add complexity, and complexity adds potential weaknesses. Peak Design covers all of its bags with a lifetime warranty , which should alleviate most people’s concerns. But if you’re particularly hard on your gear and still need to carry as much as possible, you might consider the Tortuga instead.

Capacity: 45 liters Weight: 4½ pounds Main compartment access: back-panel loader Style: minimalist and unobtrusive Color: Black, Sage

A person in a black jacket walks across a brick plaza while carrying the Topo Designs 30 liter travel bag over their shoulder with the optional shoulder sling. The bag is olive green with bright yellow and red accents.

Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 30L

Combines more organization with a simple interior.

This bag’s open interior makes packing easy. Those who travel for work will appreciate the Topo’s accessible front pockets and holders for organizing books, papers, and assorted miscellaneous items.

Get this if: You travel often for work and prefer a bag that’s much easier to work out of than most of our other picks. The front panel and assorted pockets are like a small traveling office space.

Of all the bags we recommend, the Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 30L comes closest to the style of an everyday carry backpack, due to its small size and minimal external features. This bag is perfect if you have to travel to a work event, get off the plane, and then use it as a daily backpack without drawing too much attention to yourself. Topo also includes built-in attachment clips, if you want to piggyback a smaller daily-carry backpack to your Travel Bag. I know people who love to do this. I personally do not. But it’s a good feature, especially if you’re committed to Topo gear in general. However, given its basic strap system and flat nylon back, the Topo is not built as well as our other picks for longer hikes.

The Travel Bag is one of the simplest bags we tested, with a main compartment and some basic document organization in the front pocket. This bag is a front-panel loader (which we find very easy to pack), organized around a main pocket that can fit two large packing cubes. Inside, the lid of the bag also has two mesh dividers, for a small amount of organization. Outside, the bag has two small zippered pockets for travel accessories (such as earbuds and a passport) and a larger organizer pocket for books, tickets, and snacks. The Topo is constructed with heavy YKK zippers and, similar to the Cotopaxi Allpa, has built-in zipper security loops (strong loops of fabric that secure your zippers when the bag is shut), if you want a touch more security.

Similar to our other picks, the Travel Bag is backed by an excellent lifetime warranty and repair program from Topo. However, Topo’s gear is made from 1000D nylon (a dense and very tough fabric) and built like a tank; it has rigid padding throughout, and there is an attention to detail (particularly in the stitching around the zippers and handles) that’s a mark of quality to any savvy bag enthusiast. The point is, you would really have to get into some trouble to need the repair program. But it’s there if you do need it.

If you want to carry as much as possible, the Travel Bag also comes in a 40L model . It’s a fine bag at that size, and it does include a small yet stowable waist belt to help carry the weight. But we prefer our larger picks, like the Tortuga (more carrying capacity) or the eBags TLS Mother Lode (less expensive).

The Travel Bag has a built-in laptop compartment that fits most 15-inch laptops and is situated close to your back; this protects the computer and keeps its weight closer to your body. The Topo is well padded on all sides, and it is stitched in a way that keeps the edge of your computer from the bottom of the bag and should protect your computer from all but the worst drops. This bag, like most of Topo’s gear, is designed to work with Topo dopp bags , accessory bags , and packing cubes . Fully packed, it can carry two large packing cubes, two medium accessory bags, and a dopp kit.

Flaws but not dealbreakers Despite its travel-document organization, the Topo bag lacks the large internal pockets of our other picks, and the bag’s main compartment isn’t quite as spacious as that of our other picks. People who like a deeper main compartment might prefer the Cotopaxi or Tortuga bags. The Topo bag’s compartment is a little tight for large laptops, so it isn’t the best when going through security. We’d love to see a little more attention paid to the back contouring and straps of this bag, to make longer walks more comfortable.

Capacity: 30 liters Weight: 2 pounds, 10 ounces Main compartment access: front-panel loader Style: retro Colors: Navy, Black, Clay, Charcoal, Olive

A tester from behind, wearing the Osprey Farpoint

Osprey Farpoint 40

For long distances on foot.

A great starter option for one-bag travel, the Farpoint is easy to pack, adaptable to most situations, and sturdy enough to take with you as you travel the world. And it’s backed by a lifetime warranty.

May be out of stock

swiss travel backpacks

Osprey Fairview 40

For smaller torsos.

A scaled-down version of the Farpoint, the Fairview has shoulder straps that are slightly lower, to keep the bag’s bulk more aligned with smaller torsos.

Get this if: You’re starting out with one-bag travel and aren’t sure which style of bag is best for you, but you want one that’s easy to carry over long distances.

The Osprey Farpoint 40 is well made, easy to pack, and comfortable to carry over most mid-length distances—such as walking across a city for an afternoon. (For simplicity’s sake, everything we say here about the Farpoint applies to the Fairview as well.) Osprey makes excellent backpacks for hauling around, and its lifetime warranty is renowned within the industry . The Farpoint also has an optional messenger bag–style strap, which offers some flexibility when you’re maneuvering tight spaces like subways or crowded city centers.

If you’re just starting out with one-bag travel, or you aren’t sure what type of travel bag best suits your needs, the Farpoint is an excellent first choice.

The Osprey backpack opened to show its neon-green interior mesh pocket on one side and a bright red packing cube strapped in to the other side.

The Farpoint is easy to pack. Opening the bag reveals a clamshell design; it’s deep enough to accommodate most large items, without your having to fumble awkwardly with zippers once it’s time to close up the bag. The feeling you get is not unlike packing a bit of sturdy luggage, which is something we love about bags like this—especially when you pack with packing cubes . Osprey says this bag, when fully packed, can carry 40 liters. But after using the Farpoint for a few years, we’ve decided that its rounded shape seems to cut into that theoretical packable space more than other bags do. In practice, the available space in the Farpoint is closer to—but still less than—that of the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L .

Like all Osprey bags, the Farpoint has very comfortable shoulder straps. The years of design and consideration that Osprey has put into its line of hiking backpacks are quite evident in the Farpoint. After more than six years of long-term testing this bag, we’re still surprised by how great it feels to put on when it’s fully packed. Crucially, the straps of the Farpoint stow away neatly behind a zippered panel. However, when you’re using the shoulder straps, the design forces you to also use the hip straps. Though this isn’t a huge issue, if you prefer a sleeker look or would rather have the option of using shoulder straps without hip straps, the Cotopaxi Allpa is more flexible and lets you hide the waist straps while the bag is on your back.

A black Klean Kanteen water bottle in the mesh water bottle pocket of an aqua colored Osprey backpack.

As some reviewers have pointed out, smaller individuals may appreciate the lighter weight and more-compact design of the Farpoint or the Fairview (which basically have the same design, but the Fairview is made for someone with a more-diminutive torso). On both, the chest-strap clip is also equipped with a small security whistle that’s surprisingly loud. It’s a handy feature for anyone traveling in unfamiliar environments.

Flaws but not dealbreakers For a smaller carry-on travel backpack, this one has little not to like. However, we do wish Osprey would trade some of the sleeker contours for a little more interior space.

Capacity: 35 liters Weight (Farpoint): 3 pounds, 3 ounces Weight (Fairview): 3 pounds, 2 ounces Main compartment access: front-panel loader Style: active Colors (Farpoint): Gopher Green, Tunnel Vision Grey, Muted Space Blue, Black Colors (Fairview): Winter Night Blue, Zircon Red, Night Jungle Blue, Black

A traveler wearing a black backpack

Tortuga Travel Backpack 40L

A suitcase to carry on your back.

For dedicated single-bag travelers, this water-resistant, durable bag is easy to pack and to travel with. And it’s comfortable to wear over endless miles—as long as you don’t mind the heavier weight.

Get this if: You want to maximize your packing space in a bag that’s durable, customizable to fit most torso lengths (there’s also a 30L version ), and water-resistant, and that has organizational features to suit any digital nomad.

The Tortuga Travel Backpack 40L is built to occupy the maximum carry-on space available. It’s a nearly perfect blend of backpack and luggage. On the outside, its tear-resistant sailcloth and sealed zippers provide ample protection from sharp objects and the elements. Opening the main clamshell zipper reveals a cavernous interior and a few organizational features that make the bag a cinch to pack. The front panel is a particular standout, great for keeping track of electronics and chargers. Of all the bags we tested, the Tortuga strikes the closest balance between the carrying comfort of a hiking backpack and the space and organization of a piece of luggage.

When it comes to packing, the Tortuga has a soothingly minimal interior, as any good suitcase should. In addition to the bag’s cavernous main pocket, its interior lid has a large vented panel. The panel is too narrow to hold additional packing cubes, but it’s great for holding light jackets or doubling as a dirty-laundry bag (if you’re really committed to one-bag travel). The Tortuga is available as a 40-liter bag (the max space for a carry-on bag), which we tested, along with the 30-liter version, which is compliant with some intra-European flights. The more-diminutive version is a decent choice for weekend travel or for minimalist travelers—but for those uses, we prefer the space-saving profile and extra internal organization of the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L .

However, the Tortuga is the most adjustable bag we’ve tested five years in a row, thanks to its adjustable torso length, shoulder straps, and waist-belt system. The adjustable strap system lets you manipulate the location of the shoulder straps (video) to fit a wider variety of body sizes, in both the 30- and 40-liter versions. This design (with its included load-adjuster straps at the top, to prevent the bag’s weight from sagging toward your lumbar region) is the best of those we’ve tested at distributing the weight of the bag (4.5 pounds when empty—roughly a pound and a half more than most of our other picks, except the Peak Design.) The hip straps are removable if you need, but the shoulder straps are not stowable.

Flaws but not dealbreakers Some people, especially those who are hard on their gear, may consider not being able to remove or stow the Tortuga’s shoulder straps (as they can with our other picks, like the Cotopaxi Allpa) a disqualifying factor. But after years of testing, traveling with, and occasionally checking our bag, we haven’t had an issue. Personally, it still makes me nervous to see the Tortuga traveling on the luggage belt toward mysterious machines and conveyors beneath the airport—all of which, in my imagination, are waiting to tear the hip belt from the bag or slice open the sailcloth exterior. But the Tortuga appears to shrug it all off with ease. However, if these mysteries beneath the airport also make you nervous, you might prefer our picks with easy-to-stow straps, such as the Peak Design Travel Backpack .

We’ve also fielded complaints from some testers that older models of this bag were too heavy for them to carry, even with the padded hip belt and adjustable straps. The additional padding does add weight. At 4.5 pounds, the new Tortuga is more than half a pound lighter than it used to be —the difference is noticeable—and it weighs the same as the equally large Peak Design . But if you feel like you would struggle carrying this model, we strenuously encourage you to consider one of our more-manageable picks, like the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L .

Capacity: 40 liters Weight: 4.5 pounds Main compartment access: clamshell opening Style: minimal, with a rigid construction Color: black

A person in a gray tshirt and red shorts wears the eBags TLS Mother Lode while walking outdoors next to tall shrubs.

eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender

Affordable capacity and organization.

The Mother Lode offers the organizational features most travelers want, at an affordable price. However, it’s not as comfortable to carry as pricier options, and it can expand well past the limits of most overhead bins.

Get this if: You want an affordable bag with a traditional look, to carry as much as you can—potentially more than you’re allowed by airlines.

If you like the concept of the large Tortuga Travel Backpack but not its price, the eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender is a great option for infrequent travelers who are willing to give up some features, such as a decent hip belt. It’s not comfortable enough for trekking long distances on foot, but there are plenty of external pockets for organization, a laptop sleeve that holds the weight of your computer high up on your shoulders, and an easy-to-access main compartment. This bag also has the largest capacity of any of those we tested, expanding to 65 liters—well beyond any airline’s regulated 45-liter limit. However, the bag’s more-casual looks might not be to everyone’s taste.

The Mother Lode is a good suitcase built around a basic (if slightly underwhelming) backpack. That’s the tradeoff you make for its low price, which is less than half that of other models. Unlike our other picks, the Mother Lode is not for carrying over long distances, especially when it’s full. If you know you’re going to be walking long distances (say, over a mile or so) with your pack on, you might want to consider one of our other picks. That said, if you’re carrying your bag only from a taxi to the airport security line but you want to avoid checked-item fees, the Mother Lode might be the bag for you.

The best part of the Mother Lode is the interior layout: It is easy to pack, and it’s smartly organized but still adaptable enough to mold to your preferred style of packing (meaning you can find what you need when you need it). However, the intense design focus that’s evident in the interior of the bag seems to have slipped a bit when it came to the exterior. Compared with those of several other picks in this size, this bag’s slim straps and barely there hip belt are noticeably lacking, especially if you’ve maxed out the bag’s ludicrous capacity.

The clamshell opening of the Mother Lode is similar to the Tortuga’s or the Cotopaxi Allpa’s. This space is augmented by a separate front compartment and organization panel for quick access to mid-size items like a toiletry kit; a top compartment for keys, small books, or sunglasses; and a front pocket organizer for smaller flat items, like travel documents and wallets. The laptop pocket is large and well protected, and it has a strap to help secure and position your laptop’s weight higher up your back if you wish.

Flaws but not dealbreakers There are plenty of flaws with this bag, if you choose to see them as flaws instead of the necessary consequences of the Mother Lode’s inexpensive price. During testing, we packed as much into the Mother Lode as we did in the Tortuga (more, if we expanded the Mother Lode past strict carry-on dimensions). The problem with that much capacity? It becomes an absolute bear to carry. And the flimsy waist belt is almost useless at distributing weight across your hips. Several times during testing I considered just cutting it away. This is a shame, since the bag could go from “decent for the price” to “fantastic, especially at this price” with just a few upgrades.

Capacity: 45 liters (expandable to 65 liters) Weight: 4 pounds Main compartment access: clamshell opening Style: casual Colors: Eggplant, Garnet, Slate Blue, Heathered Graphite, Pine Green

If you want to travel like a backpacker but fit in at a board meeting (and have the budget to do so): Consider the Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45 —its reputation for durability, adaptability, and a low-key aesthetic make it a favorite among many dedicated one-bag travelers, and after testing it, we think it’s a great bag too. That said, for the bag to really stand out against other backpacks, and to take full advantage of its carrying adaptability, you need to buy the $33 internal frame , the $33 hip belt , and (if you’re traveling with a suit or jacket) the $33 shoulder strap (all prices at the time of writing). This all adds up on a bag that already costs $330. Even though everything about the Tom Bihn (the fabric, the zippers, the quality of construction) feels like an upgrade from other bags, it’s simply too pricey, and its design is too rarified and specific for most people. The biggest flaw, from our perspective—apart from the price—is that the Tom Bihn lacks a dedicated laptop pocket. In its place, the company sells laptop sleeves (a fine version if you don’t have one) that clip into the bag’s central compartment. Not everyone needs a dedicated laptop pocket, but we prefer the more secure feeling of bags that do.

Anyone who wants to travel light and stay flexible should seriously consider using a carry-on travel backpack. For some people, the challenge of cutting down a packing list is intimidating. But if you can get past that initial hurdle, traveling with a single bag is a revelation. With fewer items, you have more time to concentrate on and appreciate the journey. It’s easy to remain more mobile when you’re not loaded down by heavy luggage and easier still to adjust your plans mid-trip. If you’re willing to do laundry on the road, then one bag is all you need to travel indefinitely. And as airlines charge more and more for checking baggage, traveling with just a carry-on bag (frequently referred to as one-bag travel ) is becoming less of a lifestyle choice and more of a survival skill. At its heart, one-bag travel allows you to discover more—not just about the places you’re going but about yourself and what you really need day to day.

If you desire more creature comforts or more gear, or if you plan to be away for a long time across multiple climates, you’ll want a bigger travel backpack . These larger bags are not carry-on-friendly, though, especially in Europe, so be prepared to check them. We also have a guide to wheeled carry-on bags , which are designed to hold a lot of stuff while remaining easy to maneuver around airports. However, wheels, retractable handles, and frames subtract from precious packing space and add weight, and can make a bag difficult to manage on busy city streets.

There’s no single backpack that is perfect for everyone. Before you make any purchase, consider some basic points. How much can you carry? And where do you usually visit: city or outback? Travel gear should feel like a welcome companion—there to support you when you need it, but unobtrusive when you do not. The best bags are built to survive a lifetime of use and, if cared for properly, should be something you develop a bond with over time.

To compile our list of possible models, we scoured the world of travel blogs and product reviews (most driven by a similar affiliate revenue model to ours), including The Savvy Backpacker , Snarky Nomad , The Travel Hack , Nomadic Matt , The Travel Tester , Where’s Sharon? , Y Travel Blog , Lengthy Travel , and GearLab . Additionally, we lurked on Reddit’s r/onebag  and r/heronebag forums, and emailed and had phone interviews with the moderators of those subreddits, Addison Ryan and Lindsay Lorraine Calderón, respectively. Additionally, we spoke with the prolific travel bag reviewer Chase Reeves to get his thoughts on what most great bags have in common. We ended up with a list of 60 candidates and then narrowed this list down to 22 finalists using the following criteria: capacity, compartment design, aesthetics, reviews, and reported comfort.

There isn’t one perfect bag to please everyone, but there are tools you can use to find what’s best for you. We did a lot of our own research to compare models of travel bags, but r/onebag moderator /u/-Nepherim created one of the best product-comparison spreadsheets we’ve seen . If you want to keep researching your own pick, this spreadsheet is a great place to start.

A graphic comparing 45-liter vs. 35-liter travel bags. The difference in size translates to fitting 4 large packing cubes, 1 medium packing cube, and a toiletry bag (45-liter) vs. 2 large packing cubes, 1 medium packing cube, and 1 small toiletry bag (35-liter)

Even if you aren’t convinced by our picks, we do think we can help you figure out what parameters are best for travel bags of any size. We’ve narrowed down our specifications to the following list of features, ordered from most to least relevant.

  • Panel-loading or clamshell opening for the main compartment: As with any good piece of luggage, with these bags, you want to be able to open them and see everything you’ve packed. A panel-loading or clamshell design—rather than a traditional top-opening design—lets you pack and unpack these bags just as you would a suitcase.

A graphic illustrating a clamshell bag opening

  • Backpack strap comfort and design: You never know when you’ll be walking farther with your bag than you’d intended. The more comfortable and well designed the straps, the easier traveling will be. “Ideally, you want a bag’s shoulder straps to adjust to the angle of your shoulders,” said Eytan Levy of Snarky Nomad. “Good shoulder straps are the difference between an easy trip and a hard trip.”
  • Hip belt comfort and design: A hip belt transfers heavy loads from your back and shoulders onto your hips, letting your legs—not your back—bear the brunt of the weight. Just having a waist belt is a plus, but having a padded and sculpted one—especially on bags with over 40 liters of volume—makes a world of difference.
  • Style: This is purely subjective. We preferred bags that had a minimalist exterior style, but not all of our picks will please everyone. Most of the people we spoke with, however, preferred not to stick out like a tourist wearing a large, colorful backpack, if they could avoid it.
  • Material quality: Durability is critical for any type of luggage, but especially for a backpack that will be your only bag. Most bags worth considering are made of nylon, which resists abrasion more than polyester fabrics of similar density. Spending more, however, can get you such exotic, light, and strong materials as Dyneema or sailcloth.
  • Weight: Once the bags arrived, we weighed each one ourselves. Most of the bags weighed within a few pounds of one another. But unless you’re very strict with yourself, by the time you’re packed for a two-week journey, all bags are going to feel equally massive, even if one is just 2 pounds heavier than another when empty.
  • Stowable straps: These are nice to have but aren’t absolutely necessary. “The more often you need to check a bag, the more often you need to hide away the straps,” Levy said. “But if the straps are tough enough, it doesn’t matter.”
  • Accessory pocket layout and design: Some people will love an accessory pocket that has a specific space for everything, while others may find that feature constricting and unadaptable. We prioritized simple designs that guided our packing without constraining us.

During testing, we flew with these bags across the country, took weekend trips to nearby cities, lived out of them on extended trips, and tried them locally in our daily routines. We also packed and unpacked each bag, using a standardized set of weeklong travel necessities and accessories, to see how well the internal organizational features (or lack thereof) aided or got in the way of efficient packing.

The Patagonia Black Hole MLC 45L has an updated design featuring a new hip belt, which brings it back into class with many of its competitors in this category. In the past, the MLC’s straps were too slim and unsupported for the bag’s 45-liter capacity. Also, its lack of any framing gave the bag a soft and unsettling feeling if it was anything but fully packed. We’re looking at the newest model to see if some of these problems have been corrected and if a former champion travel backpack can regain the spotlight.

Asenlin 40L Travel Backpack : This mind-bendingly inexpensive bag (which includes three packing cubes, all for $45 at time of publication) is a remarkable testament to the cutthroat logic and efficiency of a globalized free market. Is it attractive? No. Is it comfortable to carry? Not particularly. Is it durable enough to withstand years of travel? Unlikely. Is it $45? Yes! If you want the absolute least expensive carry-on travel backpack we’ve ever seen, this is it. But you’ll get more with the TLS Motherlode , which, although double the price, is still very affordable.

Away F.A.R. Convertible Backpack 45L : A rare miss from the Away team. This bag is resoundingly average for the price. Admittedly made of excellent materials, the bag is let down by its overall design, which lacks any kind of structure or attention to comfort. There are better options.

Cabin Max Metz (and the nearly identical AmazonBasics Carry-On ): This cheap, no-frills bag is enticing for the price. But after comparing these bags to the TLS Mother Lode, we think you’re better off paying twice the price for way more than twice the value. The Mother Lode is more reliable and built from stronger materials, and it will hold more stuff comfortably than either of these bags.

GeniusPack Travel Backpack: The GeniusPack is the only model we came across that tried to fit a suit into a travel backpack. Though some people might need this, we think those who have to travel with a suit (or clothes that require pressing) would be better off with a piece of carry-on luggage . (GeniusPack now has a version 2 of this bag, but our conclusion hasn’t changed.)

Goruck GR2 : I’m a big fan of Goruck bags, and I use the GR1 regularly as my daily work and travel bag. These bags will last a lifetime. However, the GR2 is too expensive and too large (its 40L size is a true 40L) for many people, especially since none of the three sizes (26L, 34L, and 40L) comes with a hip belt. We wish the GR2 had a removable hip belt, something similar to what’s on the GR3. That said, this bag is simple, sturdy, and stoic. There is a lot to love about it. And if you don’t mind the high cost, this bag will probably outlast your corporeal self.

Goruck GR3 : The GR3 is almost worth the cost for certain people. It’s strong and simple and covered by an iron-clad repair guarantee. The removable hip belt is comfortable to wear and good at displacing the weight of a 45-liter backpack. It’s a good bag. However, after testing it, we weren’t thrilled with the internal Velcro lining for compatible Velcro packing cubes. Velcro isn’t great: It wears out, is difficult to keep clean, and clings to dirt. That might seem like a small thing, but for the price, this bag should feel perfect.

Kelty Redwing 44 : When we got our hands on the Redwing, we realized that it was closer to a top-loading light camping backpack than to the panel-loading packs we tested. It didn’t quite fit the scope of this review because of its design.

Hynes Eagle 40L Flight Approved Carry-on : This pack is very similar pack to the eBags TLS Mother Lode and the Cabin Max Metz models. It might be useful as a weekend traveler, but we don’t think it would hold up for longer trips.

MEI Voyageur : There’s a lot to like about this bag, especially for the price. It features 1000D Cordura nylon and YKK zippers, and it has a spacious design and decent shoulder straps. But we’re still on the fence about recommending it. The lack of recent reputable reviews gives us pause, along with the sparse Shopify website, which, the last time we checked, in 2024, wasn’t operational. (The company now appears to be selling directly via PayPal.)

Minaal Carry-on 2.0: This bag was designed to be the absolute best travel backpack for business people. But if you’re a business person, you’re probably wearing at least a blazer, so you wouldn’t use a backpack in any case. Even so, if you’re a business traveler who falls more on the casual end of the business-casual spectrum, and you’re not on a budget, you should know that many travel writers have spoken highly of this bag, despite its high price. This does look to be a well-thought-out pack, but we think our picks are more versatile for world travel. (Minaal has since introduced a 3.0 version ; our thoughts about it remain the same.)

Osprey Porter 46: This was a slightly larger sibling of the Farpoint 40 . It’s about 2 inches longer, and it pushes right up to most airline limits. If you don’t mind possibly having to gate-check your bag at the last minute, this would have been an excellent alternative to the Farpoint 40. (It has since been replaced by the Osprey Sojourn Porter 46 ; we may take a look at it.)

Trakke Storr Carryon : Travel-bag enthusiast Chase Reeves used to list this bag as one of his top picks for a medium-size carry-on bag, and it looks very well built . But at $500, plus shipping from Scotland, it is simply too expensive for most people.

We also tested and dismissed The North Face Overhaul 40, which has since been discontinued.

This article was edited by Ria Misra and Christine Ryan.

Chase Reeves, , phone interview , October 10, 2018

Addison Ryan, moderator, r/onebag , email interview , September 8, 2018

Lindsay Lorraine Calderón, moderator, r/heronebag , phone interview , September 28, 2018

Meet your guide

swiss travel backpacks

Kit Dillon is a senior staff writer at Wirecutter. He was previously an app developer, oil derrick inspector, public-radio archivist, and sandwich shop owner. He has written for Popular Science, The Awl, and the New York Observer, among others. When called on, he can still make a mean sandwich.

Further reading

Four Osprey travel backpacks, two blue, two green, sitting next to each other.

The Best Travel Backpack

by Geoffrey Morrison

For trips ranging from a week to multiple months, the Osprey Farpoint 55 and Fairview 55 carried everything we needed comfortably.

A person in an outdoor environment wearing one of our picks for best buy it for life backpack with a minimalist look, the GoRuck GR1.

The Best Buy It for Life Backpack (Please Don’t Call It Tactical)

by Kit Dillon

A buy-it-for-a-lifetime backpack should last you for years of heavy use. But as with all investments, you need to decide if it makes sense for you.

Three of our favorite backpacks, totes and duffle bags on display

Wirecutter’s Favorite Bags, Totes, Backpacks and Carryalls

by Truth Headlam

Whether you’re going to school, work, the gym, the store, or on vacay, you need a bag. Here’s the Wirecutter-recommended carrying gear we love most.

A person wearing the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L travel backpack.

I Took 5 Trips in 6 Months. My Go-To Weekender Bag Was This Surprisingly Spacious Backpack.

by Elissa Sanci

Struggling to pack for your weekend away? The Cotopaxi Allpa 35L fits so much more than you’d expect.

  • Preplanned tours
  • Daytrips out of Moscow
  • Themed tours
  • Customized tours
  • St. Petersburg

Moscow Metro

The Moscow Metro Tour is included in most guided tours’ itineraries. Opened in 1935, under Stalin’s regime, the metro was not only meant to solve transport problems, but also was hailed as “a people’s palace”. Every station you will see during your Moscow metro tour looks like a palace room. There are bright paintings, mosaics, stained glass, bronze statues… Our Moscow metro tour includes the most impressive stations best architects and designers worked at - Ploshchad Revolutsii, Mayakovskaya, Komsomolskaya, Kievskaya, Novoslobodskaya and some others.

What is the kremlin in russia?

The guide will not only help you navigate the metro, but will also provide you with fascinating background tales for the images you see and a history of each station.

And there some stories to be told during the Moscow metro tour! The deepest station - Park Pobedy - is 84 metres under the ground with the world longest escalator of 140 meters. Parts of the so-called Metro-2, a secret strategic system of underground tunnels, was used for its construction.

During the Second World War the metro itself became a strategic asset: it was turned into the city's biggest bomb-shelter and one of the stations even became a library. 217 children were born here in 1941-1942! The metro is the most effective means of transport in the capital.

There are almost 200 stations 196 at the moment and trains run every 90 seconds! The guide of your Moscow metro tour can explain to you how to buy tickets and find your way if you plan to get around by yourself.


  1. Review of Best Swiss Gear Backpacks

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  2. The 16 Best Swissgear Backpacks and Luggage [2023]

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  3. Swiss Gear

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  5. SwissGear Travel Gear ScanSmart Backpack

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  6. Swiss Gear Scan Smart Backpack

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    Central Air Force Museum The Central Air Force Museum, housed at Monino Airfield, 40 km east of Moscow, Russia, is one of the world's largest aviation museums, and the largest for Russian aircraft. 173 aircraft and 127 aircraft engines are on display, and the museum also features collections of weapons, instruments, uniforms (including captured U2 pilot Gary Powers' uniform), other Cold War ...

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