This Popular Travel Backpack Folds Down to the Size of a T-shirt So You Can Take It Anywhere — and It’s on Sale

I can easily store it in my carry-on and it makes the perfect bag for any trip.

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Venture Pal 35L Ultralight Lightweight Packable Foldable Backpack
Photo:

Travel + Leisure / Pamela Jew

Behind every savvy sightseer is a good backpack. Traveling without one is like canoeing without a paddle. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve seen the value in having a quality bag that is comfortable to wear and convenient to carry. In fact, I was that kid who didn’t mind summer break coming to an end because it meant I’d get to pick out a new backpack for school. Seriously. As an adult and avid traveler, my years-long quest for the perfect daypack recently culminated with the discovery of a foldable backpack that puts my former ones to shame: the Venture Pal 35-Liter Packable Backpack. It’s so good, it belongs in the backpack hall of fame. 

Like many travel essentials these days, the Venture Pal 35-Liter Packable Backpack can be found at Amazon. And like most of the retailer’s top-selling travel bags, it’s relatively affordable with its $32 price tag (which is a fraction of what I’ve paid for designer bags that have a lot less functionality). As a matter of fact, it recently went on sale, which means you can get it for $29. Tack on the additional on-site coupon at checkout, and you’re paying just $26 for a bag that can hold 24 hours’ worth of gear. 

Venture Pal 35L Ultralight Lightweight Packable Foldable Backpack

Amazon

To buy: amazon.com, $26 with on-site coupon (originally $32) 

Of course, the best part about this backpack is the fact that it folds down into its own pocket. When fully compressed, it takes up about as much space as a t-shirt in a suitcase. In the past, I’ve had to dedicate a good chunk of real estate in my luggage for a bag I could use during the day. But these days? I never worry about running out of room. If I’m flying, I just slip this bag in my carry-on. Then, when I arrive at my destination, I simply unfold it, and voilà! I have a backpack for all of my day trips and exploring.

Size-wise, this 35-liter bag is like the SUV of backpacks, and that’s not even counting its super-sized 40-liter counterpart. It can easily fit a pair of tennis shoes, a jacket, a travel towel, snacks, and souvenirs for the whole family. The main compartment also has two dividers, which are great for separating things. I use them for my towel after it gets wet and for my spare shoes. This bag also has mesh pockets on the side that are perfect for a water bottle and umbrella, and smaller front zippered pockets for items like sunscreen, portable chargers, chapstick, and loose change. 

Venture Pal 35L Ultralight Lightweight Packable Foldable Backpack

Travel + Leisure / Katie Jackson

Unlike other foldable packs I’ve had, this one has substantial padding on the shoulder straps, which is an essential component if you’ll be using it as a hiking backpack or wearing it for a prolonged period of time. Even if I’m just wearing my bathing suit or a tank top, the shoulder straps are comfortable and don’t chafe or rub. They also feature a chest strap with a buckle which helps distribute weight evenly and prevents the bag from sliding. While this bag is definitely lightweight — it weighs just over half of a pound — the tear-resistant fabric it’s made of seems pretty durable. It reminds me of the fabric on my camping tent, which has survived some pretty harsh elements. And, the bottom of the bag is reinforced, so I don’t need to worry about it giving way like my Trader Joe’s paper shopping bags when I overload them.

While this bag isn’t waterproof, it’s impressively water-resistant, and I’ve never had anything inside get wet when water splashes on the exterior of the bag. Currently, I’m in Africa with The Luxury Safari Company where I’m doing daily watersports at Santorini Mozambique. I bring this bag to the beach with me every day. Last night, I took it on a sunset cruise where I sat near the front of the boat and got soaked. Despite the outside getting wet, the contents of my bag —a towel, my smartphone, a sweater, etc. — stayed bone dry. 

Venture Pal 35L Ultralight Lightweight Packable Foldable Backpack

Travel + Leisure / Katie Jackson

Currently, the Venture Pal 35-Liter Packable Backpack comes in 11 colors, ranging from neutral options like black, gray, and navy to eye-catching hues such as royal blue, teal, and purple. It’s also worth noting that 75 percent, a.k.a. 12,777, of its 17,499 ratings on Amazon are perfect five-stars. 

“Honestly, this is the best backpack,” exclaimed one Amazon customer. “[I] bought one for my daughter and I for a two-week trek through Europe and the U.K. The backpack is so lightweight and [it] held so much stuff — almost too much.” The same shopper also noted that they have shoulder and back issues, but were still able to carry this bag for miles without any problems. “[It’s] a great value for the price,” another satisfied reviewer wrote, adding that they use this bag as their personal item on the plane, which is something this travel writer also does from time to time.

Venture Pal 35L Ultralight Lightweight Packable Foldable Backpack

Travel + Leisure / Katie Jackson

I love this next review because I can totally see myself doing the same thing as this shopper’s  wife: “I bought this one and my wife bought another brand. After being around my backpack, she got rid of hers and is ordering one of these.” Chiming in to speak to the backpack’s longevity and durability, another Venture Pal fan shared,  “I bought this back in June 2018. It has been on over 30 hikes, to over five different countries, and [to] Disneyland many times. The outside still looks great, like it is new.”

Personally, my only complaint is that there’s no padded pocket for a laptop (although it easily fits my 13-inch Macbook). But then again, if there was a padded laptop pocket, this bag wouldn’t be so lightweight and easy to pack. And the more I think about it, the more I think it’s actually a good thing. If I don’t have my laptop with me, I’m not tempted to do any work. And if I’m not tempted to do any work, I can fully immerse myself in the destination. Heck, even the downside of the Venture Pal 35-Liter Packable Backpack is an upside.

If one thing’s for sure, it’s that this backpack won’t let you down. Get one to try for yourself today while it’s on sale at Amazon. And, don’t forget to add the on-site coupon at checkout for more savings. 

At the time of publishing, the price started at $26. 

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