The 14 Most Stylish Women's Travel Backpacks of 2022

Everlane's ReNew Transit Backpack is the perfect carry-on.

In This Article

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backpacks
Courtesy of Caraa/Everlane/Monos

Backpacks are one of the most versatile bags out there — use one to tote around your things while enjoying an amusement park, hiking, or using as a luggage substitute. No matter your plans, slinging a backpack over your shoulders adds elements of ease and comfort so you can explore hands-free.

Our all-time favorite travel backpack is Everlane's ReNew Transit Backpack thanks to its ample pockets, water-resistance, and gorgeous appearance. But if you had something a little smaller, lower priced, or more luxurious in mind, our list is worth checking out.

These are the most stylish and comfortable travel backpacks for women:

Best Overall: Everlane ReNew Transit Backpack

4.3
Everlane ReNew Transit Backpack

Everlane

Why We Love It: It's so stylish, it makes even sweatpants and a hoodie look chic.
What to Consider: The material is soft, so it's a bit floppy when empty.

This backpack may be incredibly sleek and stylish, but it's more than just a fashionable accessory to tote around. Featuring a water-resistant finish, a luggage handle pass-through strap, and seven pockets including one for a 15-inch laptop, this backpack is a must-have for everything from travel to daily commutes to errands around town. And that's exactly why it's our top pick — while most backpacks offer a pocket or two and a sleeve for a small laptop, the ReNew truly gives you space for everything, including an oversized laptop. You can tell it was designed with travel in mind, but it works as an everyday bag as well thanks to its durable build. Not to mention, it's made entirely of recycled materials, and it's super easy to clean.

Price at time of publish: $95

Material: Recycled polyester | Dimensions: 17.5 x 12 x 7.25 inches | Capacity: 27 liters | Weight: Not listed

Best for Organization: Monos Metro Backpack

4.8
Monos Metro Backpack

Monos

Why We Love It: It opens clamshell style, so you can easily find what you're looking for.
What to Consider: The straps are only lightly padded.

This monochromatic pack is two bags in one thanks to a small Metro Classic Kit attached to the front. The backpack itself features plenty of interior compartments, including a zippered pouch, a mesh pocket, a privacy compartment for clothes, and a felt sleeve that fits laptops up to 15 inches long. The Metro Classic Kit perfectly stows away a phone, passport, powerbank, and keys. Both bags are made of water-resistant and scratch-resistant materials.

Price at time of publish: $200

Material: Vegan leather, nylon | Dimensions: 15.9 x 11.4 x 6.6 inches | Capacity: 18 liters | Weight: 2.4 pounds

Best Drawstring Top: Madewell The Transport Rucksack

The Transport Rucksack

madewell

Why We Love It: The leather is designed to burnish with wear, so it just looks better over time.
What to Consider: It's on the pricier side.

This timelessly gorgeous rucksack deserves a place in every wardrobe — especially if you're often on the go. The bag features a trendy drawstring top with a stud-closure flap for extra security, while an external pocket and three internal pockets expertly hide away all your essentials. The rucksack even received a coveted Gold Rating from the Leather Working Group, which promotes sustainable practices in the leather industry.

Price at time of publish: $228

Material: Leather | Dimensions: 14.5 x 10.5 x 7 inches | Capacity: Not listed | Weight: 2.5 pounds

Best Lightweight: Venture Pal Lightweight Hiking Backpack

Venture Pal Lightweight Hiking Backpack

Amazon

Why We Love It: It's one of the lightest hiking-appropriate options on the market.
What to Consider: It's on the sportier side lookswise, so may not be the most stylish for city vacations.

It doesn't get much lighter than Venture Pal's hiking backpack, which weighs in at just one pound. Made of an ultra-light waterproof nylon, it's the perfect pick for minimalists, travelers, and frequent hikers. While it makes the perfect pack thanks to its variety of pockets, chest strap, and bottle holder, it's also collapsible, so you can easily pack it away. This thoughtful bag even includes an interior waterproof bag to keep important items (like passports) safe.

Price at time of publish: $29

Material: Nylon | Dimensions: 12.5 x 6.3 x 19.3 inches | Capacity: 40 liters | Weight: 1 pound

Best Vegan: Matt & Nat BREMEN Vegan Backpack

Matt & Nat BREMEN Vegan Backpack

Matt & Nat

Why We Love It: The material is so sleek, it could pass for leather.
What to Consider: The skinny straps may not be quite as comfy on the shoulders as wider straps.

This neutral and uniquely boxy pick is lined with a vegan, eco-friendly nylon made from 100 percent recycled water bottles — which comes as no surprise, considering Matt & Nat is a completely vegan and cruelty free company. The backpack has a compartment for your 15-inch laptop and three interior pockets for items like phones, keys, pens, and small electronics. We love the olive shade, but there are three other rich colors to choose from, too.

Price at time of publish: $210

Material: Nylon | Dimensions: 16.5 x 13 x 5.75 inches | Capacity: Not listed | Weight: Not listed

Most Versatile: Lululemon City Adventurer Backpack

lululemon-city-adventurer-backpack-20l

Amazon

Why We Love It: You can use it as a gym bag one day and a travel carry-on the next.
What to Consider: Lululemon recommends spot cleaning only.

The perfect commuting bag, this water-repellant backpack can fit a 16-inch laptop and so much more. Several interior pockets hold small items like your phone and wallet, and the bottom compartment separates your dirty gym clothes from your lunch and other essentials. Reinforced shoulder straps allow you to comfortably carry a heavy load all day, while a luggage strap converts the backpack into a carry-on. No matter where you're headed, the City Adventurer makes the journey easier.

Price at time of publish: $128

Material: Polyester | Dimensions: 16.1 x 11.4 x 7.1 inches | Capacity: 20 liters | Weight: Not listed

Best Foldable: Paravel Fold-Up Backpack

Paravel Recycled Nylon Fold-Up Backpack

Why We Love It: You can take it with you virtually anywhere thanks to its compact size when folded down.
What to Consider: The material is, understandably, much softer and more pliable than that of other options on our list.

Convenience meets style in this sporty fold-up backpack from Paravel. While expanded, the sturdy pack fits everything from a 15-inch laptop to a day's worth of clothes — but when it's not in use, it folds down into a small, 6- by 6-inch pouch. Each backpack is made using 15 recycled plastic water bottles, and the whole thing weighs less than a pound when empty. You can personalize it with a custom embroidered monogram for just $15, too.

Price at time of publish: $65

Material: Nylon | Dimensions: 16 x 13 x 9 inches | Capacity: Not listed | Weight: 0.63 pounds

Best for Personalization: State Bags Lorimer Backpack

State Bags Lorimer Backpack

State Bags

Why We Love It: If you've ever longed for a backpack featuring cartoon hot dogs, rocket ships, or croissants, this one can make that happen.
What to Consider: While it is water-resistant, it's not fully waterproof.

This simple-yet-stylish backpack is made of durable material you can personalize with monograms, patches, and fun symbols like roller skates or palm trees. But no matter how you customize the outside of the bag, the inside will always impress with a 13-inch laptop sleeve, a spacious main compartment, and plenty of interior and exterior pockets. The feature we love most? The sneaky side zipper entry that allows you to grab what's in the bottom of your bag without having to rummage.

Price at time of publish: $110

Material: Nylon, polyester | Dimensions: 16.93 x 12.6 x 5.12 inches | Capacity: Not listed | Weight: 1.2 pounds

Best Anti-theft: Pacsafe Citysafe CX Backpack

black backpack

Amazon

Why We Love It: You can travel essentially worry-free when you've got this backpack in tow.
What to Consider: The main zippered compartment is a bit rigid and requires both hands to zip and unzip.

You'd never know by looking at it, but this bag has all of Pacsafe's thoughtful security features built in: RFID-blocking technology, a cut-proof mesh liner, and interlocking zippers to name a few. In addition, the backpack also boasts a padded laptop sleeve, two card slots, an expandable umbrella or water bottle pocket on each side, and plenty of interior pockets. We love the style and that it comes in several trendy hues.

Jamie Hergenrader, Editorial Director of commerce content at Travel + Leisure, has owned this bag for years and takes it on most trips. It's also her go-to bag for work. "Whether I'm riding the subway to work or transiting around on a trip, I feel like my belongings are safe," she says. "I particularly love the subtle zipper security on both exterior pockets, meaning someone can't quickly unzip to access anything. I also like the feature that allows me to hook one of the straps to a stationary object (like a chair leg or a pole on public transit) for extra security." She also appreciates the trolley sleeve for slipping it over the telescopic handle of a suitcase.

Price at time of publish: $140

Material: Nylon, polyester | Dimensions: 15.4 x 10.6 x 6.3 inches | Capacity: 17 liters | Weight: 1.57 pounds

Best Budget: Eddie Bauer Stowaway Packable 20L Backpack

Eddie Bauer Stowaway Packable 20L Backpack

Amazon

Why We Love It: It's affordable, versatile, and folds down into a tiny, practical carrying case.
What to Consider: It's not available in neutral colors like black or beige.

If you need a backpack with sufficient features that won't hurt your wallet, consider this option from Eddie Bauer. It's lightweight, water-repellant, and equipped with plenty of exterior and interior pockets. It even features four loops on the front for a carabiner or clip light attachment. When you're not using the pack, you can fold it up into a handy little carrying case that easily stows away.

Price at time of publish: $30

Material: Polyester | Dimensions: 18 x 10 x 9 inches | Capacity: 20 liters | Weight: 0.69 pounds

Best Eco-friendly: Fjallraven Water-resistant Re-Kanken Backpack Water-resistant Re-Kanken Backpack

black backpack

Amazon

Why We Love It: Its production process uses less water, energy, and chemicals than similar backpacks.
What to Consider: It's one of the smaller backpacks on our list.

This rectangular bag is so sleek and stylish, you'd never guess it's made entirely of polyester recycled from plastic water bottles (11 of them, to be exact). It's got a spacious main compartment, a front pocket with a zipper, and two side pockets for easy transport of water bottles, umbrellas, or other essentials. Unlike most backpacks, it boasts dual top snap handles so you can carry it with one hand without discomfort or worrying it'll break. It's available in several colors ranging from black to electric blue.

Price at time of publish: $90

Material: Polyester | Dimensions: 14.9 x 10.6 x 5.1 inches | Capacity: 16 liters | Weight: 0.9 pounds

Best Luxury: Tumi Hilden Backpack

Hilden Backpack

Tumi

Why We Love It: It has a pocket for everything.
What to Consider: It's the most expensive option on our list.

This pack by Tumi manages to look polished and practical at the same time, making it easy to pair with both comfy travel clothes and more stylish looks for exploring cities. It's got room for a 13-inch laptop, a change of clothes, and all your other belongings thanks to a crazy amount of pockets, including one that can be accessed from the inside and outside of the bag. It also features a sturdy luggage strap, a waterproof finish, and an option for monogramming.

Price at time of publish: $345

Material: Nylon, leather | Dimensions: 14.3 x 11.5 x 5.5 inches | Capacity: Not listed | Weight: 1.5 pounds

Best Mini: Longchamp Le Pliage Backpack

Le Pliage Backpack

nordstrom

Why We Love It: It's compact yet spacious.
What to Consider: It's too small to fit most laptops.

If you typically travel light, this cute mini pack by Longchamp may be the pick for you. At just 12 inches tall, it's the smallest option on our list, but it packs a powerful punch. Constructed with a surprisingly roomy main compartment and an interior pocket, the little backpack offers ample room to fit everything you need for a day of travel or commuting. It also has a water-resistant lining and leather trim, meaning it's equally functional and stylish.

Price at time of publish: $140

Material: Nylon, leather | Dimensions: 12 x 10 x 3.75 inches | Capacity: Not listed | Weight: .6 pounds

Best Fleece-lined: Herschel Little America Backpack Mid-Volume

black backpack with brown leather straps

Amazon

Why We Love It: Its leather straps, metal pin buckles, and striped interior liner make it look and feel like a luxury item.
What to Consider: Its minimalistic design features less pockets than other backpacks on our list.

You may be wondering why fleece is necessary on a backpack. Well, on this particular bag, the fleece lining is in the laptop sleeve — which means your computer will remain free of scratches, dents, and weather-related damage while you're on the go. The backpack also features a zip front pocket, a drawstring closure, and unique magnetic fastened straps that help keep the bag secure.

Price at time of publish: $110

Material: Polyester, leather | Dimensions: 16.25 x 11 x 5.25 inches | Capacity: 17 liters | Weight: 1.88 pounds

Tips for Buying a Travel Backpack

Choose Materials for Your Intended Use

If you anticipate using your backpack outdoors often, consider a backpack made with waterproof or water-resistant materials like polyester or nylon, or a fabric treated with a water-repelling lining. However, if your main concern is style, you can never go wrong with a sleek leather or vegan leather bag. Leather also happens to be an easy material to clean.

Decide If You Want Something Minimalistic or Flashy

Stiff and sturdy backpacks tend to keep their chic, shapely appearance for the long haul, while slouchy bags typically lose their shape with time. While other features and embellishments are up to personal preference, backpacks with buckles, studs, and straps easily elevate any ensemble.


Look for Pockets and Other Functional Features

If you use backpacks for school or work, padded laptop sleeves are a must-have. If your backpack is mainly for travel, look for options with anti-theft features like interlocking zippers and cut-proof straps. And no matter what purpose your backpack serves, a bag with lots of pockets will never let you down.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What size backpack can you bring on a plane?

    Most airlines limit carry-ons to 22 inches long by 14 inches wide by 9 inches deep — which means every backpack on our list can be used as a carry-on.

  • Can I take both a handbag and a travel backpack on a plane?

    Most airlines allow a carry-on item and a personal item meaning, as long as your backpack fits in the overhead bin, you can bring both a backpack and a handbag. You should always check with your individual airline as some fares don't include bags stored in the overhead bin. Otherwise, if both items fit under the seat in front of you, you're good to go free of charge.

  • What essentials should you pack in a travel backpack?

    In addition to obvious things like your phone, wallet, and keys, it's wise to also pack a reusable water bottle, laptop or tablet, device chargers, travel documents, and writing utensils in your backpack. Depending on your agenda, you may want to bring along a change of clothes, headphones, and a book or magazine as well.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this article, Hillary Maglin researched the best women's backpacks and used her expertise as a travel writer to highlight the function and features that frequent travelers care about most.

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Updated by
Taylor Fox
Taylor Fox, Commerce Updates Writer at Travel + Leisure
Taylor Fox is a Commerce Updates Writer at Travel + Leisure where she tests, researches, and writes about travel products. Taylor holds a Master’s in Geography and has been a writer and editor for over seven years.
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