11 Packable Backpacks for Travelers Who Always Bring Home More Than They Packed
When you’re on the go and want to keep your hands free, there’s no better option than a good backpack. And one that can pack down into itself and tuck into your suitcase when you don’t need it? Even better.
Fortunately, there are plenty of packable backpacks to choose from, no matter your destination or budget preferences. From brands like L.L.Bean, Eagle Creek, and Herschel Supply Co., there’s a style to suit every kind of traveler.
As with any travel accessory purchase, we recommend doing your research first. When shopping for packable backpacks, look for durable fabrics that are built to last. Lightweight materials like nylon and polyester are common, but you’ll want to find one that's resistant to the wear and tear travel can inflict.
Also, make sure to examine the details like closures, pockets, adjustability, and added support features like chest straps if you plan to wear your pack for long periods of time. And don't forget to be mindful of the volume, as well. If you're hoping to bring a lot of gear or snacks, a large water bottle, and a just-in-case jacket along on a day trip, you'll want a pack that's sized to accommodate all your essentials.
Ahead, the 11 best packable backpacks on the market right now.
Herschel Supply Co. Packable Daypack
Known for producing quality backpacks with an American heritage touch, Herschel has made the perfect packable bag for those on the go. It features adjustable straps, a grab handle, and zip-top fastening, plus an inner pocket for stashing away personal items.
To buy: zappos.com, from $30
Zomake Ultra Lightweight Backpack
Designed with extremely lightweight and durable nylon, this sleek backpack folds down into a sandwich-sized pouch. Bonus: it's also water-resistant.
To buy: amazon.com
Flip & Tumble Backpack
Free up your hands with this fun, retro-style backpack. Made of lightweight nylon, you can toss it in the washing machine post-trip, and it easily rolls into a built-in pouch. Choose yours in black, turquoise, gray, lime, or red.
To buy: bedbathandbeyond.com, $34
New Outlander Lightweight Travel Daypack
This ultra-compact bag folds into a zippered inner pocket. Opened up, the inner compartments are roomy, and it’s made from highly rip- and water-resistant nylon fabric. Use it as a carry-on, gym bag, or on the trail. The internal security zippered pocket is also great for storing valuable items.
To buy: amazon.com, $21
Eagle Creek Packable Daypack
You’ll feel comfortable bringing this daypack along on a trek into the wild, thanks to its durable lightweight fabric. Designed to reduce the strain on your back, it features mesh shoulder straps for those hot, humid days, a side bottle pocket, and a lockable main compartment to deter pickpockets in large crowds. Pack it down into the front compartment when you’re not using it.
To buy: amazon.com, $32
High Sierra Pack-N-Go 18L Packable Backpack
Perfect for hiking, this sturdy nylon bag offers plenty of room and two side pockets for water bottles. It's got an adjustable shoulder strap and a smaller top compartment for anything you'd like to have easier access to.
To buy: ebags.com, $16
Mato & Hash? Packable Cinch Backpack
You can’t beat the price on this sporty drawstring cinch, which is perfect for more adventurous trips where you won't mind if it gets a little roughed up. It packs into its own front zipper pocket and features a mesh outer pocket for your water bottle.
To buy: walmart.com, $6
L.L.Bean Stowaway Day Pack
For those wanting to carry a lot, this lightweight but supported daypack is a great choice. It features an adjustable waistbelt and sternum strap to better distribute the weight, plus a handy “Blinky” loop for attaching a light to keep you visible.
To buy: llbean.com, $40
L.L.Bean Lightweight Packable Backpack
Super lightweight and easy to carry, this durable nylon backpack is one of the best deals on the market. Reviewers are into the compression strap — no lower back pain here, easy access side-zip opening, and simple design. Get yours in black or pure blue.
To buy: llbean.com, $30
Eddie Bauer Stowaway Packable 20L Backpack
This rugged backpack is a steal, and it’ll get tons of use on your travels with its external zip pockets, roomy interior, and durable waterproof coating. You can also choose from nine neutral and muted colors.
To buy: eddiebauer.com, $30
Matador Waterproof Packable Backpack
This sleek black backpack by Matador will look stylish indoors and out. It features breathable shoulder straps and two external side pockets and weighs in at only 5.5 ounces.
To buy: uncommongoods.com, $60