The 15 Best Travel Backpacks for Women

Backpacks aren’t just for school. Whether you plan to use your backpack as a carry-on for a flight, as a bag for commuting, or anything in between, the best travel backpacks are as stylish as they are functional. From trendy mini designs to larger minimalist styles, there’s sure to be a fashionable backpack (or several) that will work just fine when you’re on the go. And with materials like plush leather, vegan leather and brightly hued canvas for a nostalgic moment, there’s bound to be one for every mood.

So how do you choose a backpack specifically for travel? For exploring a new city on foot, going on a trip, or using as a personal item on a plane, carrying a mini backpack (or any compact backpack) as a handbag is a great idea. If you plan to use your backpack to hold your luggage, you’ll probably need a larger size – and one with separate compartments, a padded laptop sleeve and/or a trolley sleeve to secure the bag around a handful of luggage can make it even more useful.

Not only are backpacks super practical, they can also look effortlessly chic, so it’s no wonder that elevated versions of the classic silhouette are constantly in style. Here are some of the best travel backpacks to help you stay organized on the go and look great while doing it.


A leather backpack that will only get better with age

FRYE’s Logan backpack is made of pull-up leather that will get softer and more beautiful the more you use it. Its silhouette is a traditional backpack shape with a large zippered main pocket, interior and front zippered pockets, and two exterior side pockets for water bottles or any other items you might need to store. Whether you use it as a carry-on, weekender or backpack, this is a bag that is sure to serve you for a long time.


A chic backpack that comes in 50 colors

This classy backpack can transform into a shoulder bag with an additional shoulder strap, making it an extremely versatile option for carrying your items during your trip. It’s made of faux leather available in tons of colors so you can find one that really speaks to you. The backpack has several zippered pockets and open side pockets to organize anything and everything.


A well-organized suitcase backpack for long trips

Cotopaxi has made a name for itself with its cult fleece jackets and outdoor gear, and its Allpa Travel Package fits the style-meets-function mold. The backpack comes in neutral and more eye-catching colorways, and it’s made with a water-resistant polyester and nylon lining to protect your stuff from any wet weather you face on your travels. But its organization is what really sets it apart: the interior is divided into two mesh sections, one with one large compartment and the other with three smaller zippered compartments. The effect is a backpack with what are essentially packing cubes built into it.


An editor-approved convertible backpack

To switch effortlessly between a handbag and a backpack, this Merrin HOBO bag is a must-have for the TZR editor Wesley Salazar, as it does not require any additional straps. Salazar explains, “What sets them apart from many convertible styles is that they transition seamlessly from backpack to handbag with the simple pull of the strap. This means you don’t have to carry an extra strap or reattach the straps in different ways when you want to switch places. It’s made from a supple leather that comes in bright and neutral colors, has a main zipped compartment with four small interior pockets, as well as two easy-access exterior pockets. According to Salazar, it’s a great option for travelling: “I like to carry it as a backpack when I’m sightseeing and slip it over my shoulder and under my arm when traveling through the airport. It’s practically perfect. She adds, “I’m lucky enough to own two HOBO convertible bags, and I have this particular style in black.


A machine-washable canvas backpack

Baggu has the fashion bag market under lock and key, and this recycled cotton canvas backpack continues its legacy of casual and cool bags. It has a drawstring top with an additional snap closure, a large drawstring compartment and two deep outside pockets. It doesn’t have a laptop sleeve, but the bag is big enough to accommodate 13-inch laptops if you need to store yours. Another advantage? It’s machine washable, so don’t worry about getting it dirty when exploring a new city on foot or laying it on the floor of a car on a road trip.


A classic style laptop backpack

This Herschel Laptop Backpack, with its signature faux-buckle straps, is an ubiquitous accessory at this point, and for good reason: it’s incredibly roomy and functional. I would know, because I’ve been rocking one for a while and I’m just as thrilled with it now that the 2000s twee is making a comeback. It’s made of polyester and faux leather, and its main compartment is secured with a drawstring and snaps. The padded laptop sleeve can accommodate 15-inch laptops, and it also features a front pocket with a key clip and a concealed zipper.

All in all, I’ve used this backpack as a carry-on, duffel, weekender, and road trip bag for almost a decade, and while it definitely looks a bit worse to wear these days, it handled everything with style and grace. Choose from two different sizes and dozens of colors.


A mini backpack in tons of bright colors

To keep it casual on the go, consider the mini version of the cult classic Fjallraven backpack. It is made of durable and water resistant materials Vinylon F, so you don’t have to worry about getting caught in the rain. It has a simple construction with a main zip pocket, a front zip pocket and two side pockets for your essentials. And since the bag is available in tons of fun colors, you can have fun coloring, coordinating or contrasting it with the rest of your outfit.


A vegan leather laptop backpack

This elegant kenneth cole laptop backpack is made with vegan leather available in three neutral shades to match just about anything. Its zippered main compartment includes a padded laptop sleeve that can accommodate 15.6-inch laptops, as well as an interior mesh pocket. It has an additional zipped front compartment, two exterior side pockets and a trolley pocket to effortlessly convert it from commute mode to vacation mode and back again.


A fashionable backpack that crosses your body

If you’re looking to bring effortless street style to your travel looks, consider this Champion Sling Backpack. The oversized belt bag style is easy to carry and has a zipped main compartment, plus additional exterior pockets to keep all your essentials close at hand whether you choose to wear it on your back or front.


A faux leather backpack that converts to a shoulder bag

Made of imitation leather, this rectangle Fossil backpack Easily converts to a shoulder strap with just one strap, making it a versatile option on the go. It has a spacious main zipped compartment with two inside pockets and a concealed, easy-access zipped pocket on the outside to keep all your belongings safe and organized. With two sizes and a range of styles to choose from – patchwork, textured and riveted options are all present and catered for – there’s no need to sacrifice style for function.


A travel backpack from a beloved luggage brand

Samsonite is known for its travel gear, and this laptop backpack with multiple pockets can help ensure that everything you need to carry with you has its own dedicated space. It’s made from premium leather for a stylish look and feel, and features three exterior zippered pockets, as well as a padded laptop sleeve that can accommodate laptops up to 14 inches. A trolley strap attaches it securely to your carry-on, making it the perfect backpack for any trip.


A roomy square bag with a port for your power bank

If easily charging your devices from your backpack is a priority, consider this sleek square bag with a USB charging port on the outside that you can attach to your power bank. Its main compartment is spacious and rectangular, with additional storage pockets on the front and sides. It also features a trolley strap and a padded laptop sleeve available in three sizes to accommodate 14-inch, 15.6-inch, or 17-inch laptops.


A spacious wheeled backpack that you can carry 2 ways

This rolling backpack has a large capacity of 45 liters – but it also has wheels, meaning you have the option of rolling it when it’s full or carrying it on your back when it’s lighter. The interior has a padded sleeve for a 14-inch laptop, as well as exterior zippered pockets. Best of all, the aluminum alloy handle retracts and there’s a wheel cover to cover the wheels (and protect your clothes) when you want to pick it up and carry it on your back.


A suitcase-style backpack that comes in many bright designs

Maximalists, rejoice. Vera Bradley has a travel backpack in updated rotations on flowers – and it’s also incredibly effective. Made from water-resistant recycled fabric, the backpack fully unzips on three sides so you can lay it flat and use it like real luggage. Its main compartment has a mesh panel dividing it into two sections, and it also has a padded pocket that can accommodate 15-inch laptops, a front pocket with separate sections, an exterior side pocket, and a trolley strap to slip it into. easily on your favorite wheeled luggage when needed.


A backpack and tote bag that brings together the best of both worlds

Carhartt is a popular choice for functional and stylish workwear, and that backpack of the brand offers an equally smart and flexible design. Made of durable, water-repellent polyester, the zippered bag can be carried as a tote, backpack, or shoulder bag. The large main compartment features a padded laptop sleeve that can hold laptops up to 15 inches, plus additional interior and exterior pockets to keep all your travel essentials close at hand.

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