The Last Travel Backpack You’ll Ever Need

A backpack is a wardrobe essential, not something you outgrow when you graduate high school. It can be difficult to find a backpack that’s truly in it for the long haul, however. A travel backpack needs to stand up to airport bathroom floors and busy city streets all while keeping valuables safe and protected. Here’s what to look for in the last backpack you’ll ever need.

Solid Cotton Construction

All-polyester backpacks may start to fray and unravel after a few months of use. Not to mention, they don’t break down in landfills and are pretty terrible for the environment. Cotton body backpacks with waterproof lining are a better option. The wide-open and irregular cotton fibers are breathable against your skin and easy to spot clean if stained.

Ergonomic Padding

A travel backpack should be comfortable no matter how you wear it or load it up. Look for backpacks with comfy padded straps that won’t cut into your shoulders. Padding along the back and sides of the pack also makes a bag feel like a natural extension of your body.

Basic Colors and More

Color options for a great backpack should go beyond a vaguely sporty grey. Everyone loves a trusty solid black backpack. This chic option can match any outfit, and even most professional dress codes.

Beyond neutrals, the best backpacks should come in solid colors that add charm to your basic wardrobe. Pink, warm brown, light blue and olive are all neutral-adjacent but retain a bit of colorful fun.

Laptop & Water Bottle Friendly

A must-have feature on any backpack built to last is a designated water bottle holder. Clipping a heavy water bottle to a bag without this feature will cause its structure to warp and fail after no time at all. Look for a well-integrated and deep pocket that can fit multiple sizes and styles of water bottles. That way, you’ll always be able to stay hydrated while traveling.

For carrying laptops, look for a large and separate open pocket that runs the entire length of the backpack. This pocket should be padded to protect the laptop even without a case around it.

Beware of backpacks that advertise a specific ‘laptop pocket,’ as they’re often not the correct size to fit all laptops. Instead, look for a general design scheme with large open pockets.

Perfect Pockets

Everyone’s idea of the perfect backpack layout is different, but few people work best with one wide-open cavity flanked by tiny pockets. This almost always leads to a mess of clothes, shoes, electronics and chargers floating around with no hope of organization. Equally frustrating is a backpack that is so compartmentalized that it can’t fit large items such as a coat or a laptop. 

Like many things in life, the answer is balance. A great backpack should have some small pockets, but mostly large and separate pockets throughout its construction.

Look What Black Backpack Owners Have To Say

Those who have made the switch to backpacks have left the oversized purse lifestyle far behind them. Try a well-designed and sturdy backpack for your next trip to change the way you travel.

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