15 Dec by Sonya

Top 5: Best Carry-On Backpacks

Carry on, two or four-wheeled carry on suitcase, Whole Foods re-usable shopping bag or “wearable luggage”? There may just simply be too many choices.

Sure, wheels make life easier in airports but when you get to your destination, they are usually stowed in the hotel closet and their utility becomes practically nonexistent. If travelling to a warm climate, the wearable option is impractical.

When it comes to multi-functional utility, choosing the best lightweight backpack is the way to go. Intrepid travelers can take them to the beach, use them for quick trips to the local market and, when negotiating the uneven sidewalks and dirt roads found in exotic locales, they don’t present the “lugging factor” of luggage. And most fit under your airplane seat, avoiding the dreaded, “excuse me, I have to crawl over you and get my headphones” maneuver.

1. Timbuk 2 The Authority Pack

With a 28L volume that will fit a 17” laptop, this efficient and chic backpack will stow what you need without looking bulky. If staying organized is a priority, this is a gem. It has five internal pockets for pens, phones and your other can’t-leave-home-withouts and the laptop compartment is in the rear to leave more space for other items in the main section. We like the side neoprene pocket for your eco-friendly water bottle.

With measurements of 11.4″ x 18.1″ x 5.9″, it meets airline carry-on requirements while still being large enough to comfortably tote your necessities. The value for price puts this at our #1.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Padded compartment fits up to a 17 inch MacBook
  • Dimensions: 10.2″ x 5.9″ x 18.1″
  • A supremely organized monster of a work pack
  • Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Side Neoprene pocket

2. Everki EKP121-1 Atlas Checkpoint Friendly

If you’re a professional “road warrior”, you will love this efficient, sleek bag. An adjustable strap snugly holds any laptop between 13” and 17.3” in a separate, extra-padded and lined compartment. We love the easy-to-access top pocket—great for a boarding pass, smart phone, and passport. The large main sections are plenty big for the rest of your items, from documents and business cards to chargers and powerpacks.

The coolest feature? Keep your laptop snug in its compartment through security scans. Just unzip its pouch, it will lay flat and be able to be screened without taking it out of the pocket.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Trolley Handle Pass-Through Strap, 5-Point balance strap system
  • External dimensions: 13.5″ x 9″ x 18.9″
  • Felt-Lined iPad/Kindle/Tablet Pocket, Quick-Access Magazine
  • Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Spacious, well-Organized compartments

3. Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack

Looking for an all-in-one solution that combines the convenience of carry on with the ability to bypass the annoying wait at the end of your journey for the conveyor belt to spit out your beaten-up suitcase?

This Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack lets you pack you normal bring-aboard items and add clothes, using packing cubes, to create the perfect bag for a weekend trip with just one carry-on. It will fit easily into an overhead airplane compartment or stow nicely beneath a seat. This sturdy bag is appropriate for a hike on a backwoods trail, and attractive enough for an office meeting.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Package: 1 x backpack, 1 x packing cubes 3 pcs set (small/ medium/ large)
  • Backpack dimensions: 20.1″ x 13.4″ x 9.8″
  • One front zip pocket with multiple interior slip pockets, second compartment fits up to most 15.6 inch laptop
  • 40 L capacity to fit your belongings
  • Designed to fit the maximum size allowed on an IATA flight

4. Hypath 2-in-1 Convertible Travel Bag

This backpack/wheeled carry on option is the best choice if you just want to use one piece of luggage for your trip, especially if there are any extra fees for extra bags. It’s a bit pricey but worth every penny. Sturdy, and comes with a “we’ll buy it back from you with no questions asked” guarantee, you can’t lose.

If you are thinking about a bag for an extended backpacking trip through Europe and don’t want to hassle with the checking in and waiting for luggage at the end of each airplane ride, or lugging heavier, clunkier options on and off of trains and busses, this is the bag for you.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Carry on the max amount of luggage allowed by most airlines and avoid fees
  • Made of hex-nylon ripstop with water resistant PVC coating
  • No extra fees and no baggage lines.
  • Won’t rip and can take a beating

5. Tumi CFX Carbon Fiber Southington Backpack

This is our “if money is no object” choice. It’s also the strongest of all our top 5, constructed with a carbon-fiber shell, specially-treated to become soft. If you’re into high-tech, this is the best bag money can buy, featuring the “Tumi Tracer”, which will help if, heavens forbid, it is ever lost or stolen.

Make no mistake, there is no value for price here. This is a status bag from a status company. But, if you can afford it, this might be the last backpack you’ll ever need to buy.

And, if you’re considering buying a Koenigsegg luxury automobile, this will look great when getting out of the car.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Open pocket with protective lining and magnetic snap closure
  • Quilted 15″ laptop pocket
  • Footed bottom for stability
  • Adjustable backpack straps


The best carry on backpack is the one that best suits your needs. Are you in need of a handy, lightweight bag in addition to your checked luggage? Do you need a pack that can handle all of your needs for a quick trip? Maybe you want something you can take on a six-month journey around the world.

Be sure to consider your travel needs and everyday uses when deciding on the best option for you. Think about what you will mostly be doing on your trip, both on various transportation vehicles and at your destination.

We think the above descriptions of our top 5 will give you a great selection for your next hassle-free, amazing trip.


Just an ordinairy girl from Dallas. Things I love: dancing, electronic music, dogs, photography, diet coke, bloggers who support other bloggers, and writing. Not necessarily in that order.

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