When it comes to carry comfort, backpacks are king

Two shoulder straps offer the benefit of balanced load distribution, while sternum straps and hipbelts help stabilize the load too. Both useful when you’re carrying gear for extended periods of time, closing deals like a boss. Not to mention having a bag close to your body makes navigating through crowds much easier (compared to wheeled luggage for example). And if you add sharp, business-ready aesthetics to the mix, you get all the benefits of backpack comfort while still looking good and professional.
How to choose the right backpack for business travel?
Business aesthetics

As touched on above, smart aesthetics are important in a business travel backpack. Understated is best, with neutral colorways like black or gray and clean silhouettes that will fit more easily into meetings and formal occasions.

Access and organization

Access and organization are also important considerations when choosing a business travel backpack. Ideally it should offer separate storage for work tools and clothing and travel essentials. Dedicated quick-access storage for tech makes it easier and faster to get to on the go, while clamshell access for the main compartment removes a lot of potential hassle in reaching items throughout the bag. Additionally you’ll want sufficient pocketing to ensure smaller items are within easy reach and don’t get lost in a jumble of gear. And don’t forget, you can always make use of packing cubes to help you stay on top of gear and avoid having to undo all your careful packing each time you want a particular item.


When it comes to staying comfy on your journeys, keep an eye out for features such as ventilated back panels, well padded shoulder straps that contour to the body, hipbelts and sternum straps. Especially if you’ll be carrying heavier loads and want to minimize fatigue as much as possible.

Weatherproof construction

You won’t always be able to avoid downpours during your trips, so weatherproof construction is definitely key to help protect expensive tech and ensure your clothing stays dry. Look out for features such as coated fabrics, weatherproof zippers and raincovers to help keep the elements out.

Gear protection

Speaking of protection, a good business travel backpack should offer sufficient protection for your valuables – be it from drops or thieves looking for an easy target. The likes of suspended laptop storage and lockable zippers will give you that little extra peace of mind.

Flexible portability

While backpack mode is great for load carrying, the ability to carry the bag as a duffel or in briefcase mode will better suit a formal event. Not only will it look more professional but the bag will also not crinkle your blazer or suit jacket around the shoulders.

Daypack adaptability

Lastly, while it’s not strictly necessary, it is useful having a backpack that can compress down for day trips. Alternatively you can pack a packable daypack for carrying essentials at your destination.

So with these considerations in mind, check out our selection of the best travel backpacks for business…
Best Business Travel Backpacks for Overnight or Short Trips
Tortuga Setout Divide Backpack (US$179)

For shorter trips you don’t always need to carry a larger bag, though flexible packing space sometimes comes in handy. Enter the Setout Divide Backpack, which offers nifty expandability from 26L to 34L to accommodate changing loads. The clamshell main compartment partners with a front organization panel and dedicated tech storage to keep your gear tidy on the move. And you’ll stay comfy on the go too courtesy of the stowable shoulder straps and padded, removable hipbelt.

Weight: 3.8 lbs
Dimensions: 20″ x 13″ x 6″ (expands to 8″)

Arc’teryx Blade 28 Backpack (US$209)

Arc’teryx’s durable build quality, sleek aesthetics and practical design come together in the now classic Blade 28 Backpack. A Carry Award winner and proven workhorse for 2-3 day business trips. The clamshell opening allows for easy packing and access, while multiple pockets are on hand to organize smaller items. The pack also has a padded laptop pocket, top and side carry handles and a comfy harness for hassle-free carrying.

Weight: 1.46 kg (52 oz)
Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 8 inches

Carry Award Winner

Nordepack (US$219)

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The Nordepack serves up understated style, durability and travel-friendly functionality with a clamshell main compartment, quick-access laptop storage and choice of pockets for stashing smaller items. And when you need to carry a little extra? No problem, it’s got you covered with its expandable design that grows from 24L to 34L. The durable and water-resistant 800D nylon exterior stands up to frequent use with ease, while an included raincover provides added protection from the elements.

Weight: 3.5 lbs (1.6kg)
Dimensions: 18.5″ x 11.8″ x 5.9″ expandable 2″ (46.5 x 30.5 x 15 cm expandable 5cm)
Best Business Travel Backpacks for Longer Trips
Tortuga Setout Backpack 45L (US$199)

The Carry Award winning 45L Setout Backpack suits maximum-sized carry-on use and packs plenty of useful features into its comfy, practical design. The clamshell opening, separate laptop compartment and front organization panel keep gear easily accessible on the go. The pack also comes with a removable hipbelt and stowable shoulder straps for easier carrying over longer distances. And its sleek, durable and water-resistant build will deliver years of reliable, stylish service.

Weight: 3.9 lbs
Dimensions: 22″ x 14″ x 9″

Available in mens and womens fit

Carry Award Winner

Aer Travel Pack 2 (US$230)

Aer’s design approach of minimalist aesthetics paired with functionality makes the Travel Pack 2 a solid option for business trips. The clamshell opening and quick-access pockets for your laptop and travel essentials help you move smoothly through your journey, while lockable main compartment zippers add peace of mind. You’ll find separate storage for shoes or laundry, comfy shoulder straps, a luggage passthrough to secure the pack to rolling luggage, and the option to add a hipbelt (sold separately) for heavier loads. The burly and water-resistant 1680D Cordura® ballistic nylon exterior handles travel well. And you can cinch it to daypack size for use at your destination.

Weight: 3.7 lbs
Dimensions: Length: 21.5″ (55 cm), Width: 13.5″ (34 cm), Depth: 8.5″ (22 cm)

Highly Commended Award winner

Minaal Carry-on 2.0 (US$299)

Minaal’s Carry-on 2.0 dishes up a fine balance of clean style, durability, comfort and practical access. The water-resistant build comes with a raincover for added protection and serves up a handy clamshell-style main compartment with lockable zippers for convenient packing and retrieval of items. The shoulder straps can be tucked away to carry the pack in more formal briefcase mode, with a shock-proof laptop compartment keeping your tech safe and at the ready when you need it.

Weight: 1.415kg / 3.12lb
Dimensions LxWxH: 55cm x 35cm x 20cm / 21.6in x 13.7in x 7.87in (fully packed)
Best Business Backpacks for the Office and Transit
Aer Flight Pack 2 (US$160)

Multiple carry options, intuitive organization and pared-back aesthetics are thoughtfully brought together in Aer’s Flight Pack 2. The bag can be carried as a backpack, shoulder bag or briefcase-style, with a luggage pass-through standing by too. The durable and water-resistant build takes the commute or transit in its stride, while dual compartments and a variety of pockets keep your work and travel items neat and easily accessible.

Weight: 2.8 lbs
Dimensions (L, W, D): 18″ (46 cm), 12″ (30.5 cm), 5″ (13 cm)

Heimplanet Transit Line Travel Pack (US$206)

Heimplanet’s Transit Line Travel Pack fuses chic form and durable functionality to create a carry-on pack that works well for the daily grind too. The pack’s exterior is a sustainably made DYECOSHELL fabric that’s both tough and water-resistant. The clamshell opening lets you easily get to your gear, with a suspended laptop compartment to safely store your tech. And a front zipper allows access to the main compartment without having to open the clamshell. Additionally, the pack includes a removable hipbelt and sternum strap, with smooth Cordura polyester stretch where the harness comes into contact with your body in order to protect your clothing.

Weight: 1.66 kg (3.66 lbs)
Dimensions (HxWxD): 53 x 34 x 19 cm (21 x 13 x 7 inch)

Highly Commended Award winner
Best Lightweight Business Travel Backpacks
Arcido Faroe (US$129)

With its attractive styling, lightweight and water-resistant construction, and useful access the Arcido Faroe is a smart choice for lightweight business travel carry. The clamshell-style main compartment is complemented by a separate tech and organization compartment that provides an adjustable laptop harness to securely store your Mac or PCs in varying sizes.

Weight: 900g (1.8lbs)
Dimensions: 55 x 35 x 20cm (22″ x 14″ x 8″)

Kathmandu L-TRA Pack (US$169)

The L-TRA Pack is all about traveling in discreet style. It’s designed with wings to conceal the easily accessible exterior pockets and to pare back the “travel bag” aesthetic to avoid unwanted attention. Made with a durable yet lightweight Cordura exterior, the pack features sleeves for a laptop and tablet, RFID-blocking storage for a passport and bank cards, and a ventilated back panel with a luggage pass-through strap.

Weight: 1.02 kg
Dimensions: L 50 x W 28 x D 24cm

OPPOSETHIS Invisible Carry-On Backpack (US$216.62)

As the name suggests, the Invisible Carry-On Backpack is a bag designed to blend in, carrying your gear in understated, trusty style. The clamshell main compartment is great for travel use or carrying bulkier commute items, while the separate laptop compartment and useful front organization compartment prevent the need to rummage for smaller items. Slim, weather-resistant and elegant, it’s a savvy pick for business travel.

Weight: 1.05 kg (2.3lbs)
Dimensions: H50cm (20″) x W30cm (12″) x D20cm (8″)
Best Business Travel Backpacks for Day Use
Kathmandu Federate Travel Pack (US$169)

The versatile Federate Travel Pack works equally well for travel or EDC use, with a compressible design that allows it to transition into daypack mode. It features a removable organizer and lay-flat laptop pocket, as well as handy side zip access to the main compartment.

Weight: 1.45 kg
Dimensions (H x W X D): 54 x 30 x 28 cm

Tom Bihn Synapse 25 (US$210)

If you love a pack with plenty of organization options, the Award winning Synapse 25 (also in 19L) is sure to appeal. A variety of exterior pockets are on hand to keep items within easy reach, while the interior offers additional attachment points and a more open space for larger items. And with a choice of materials and color options, you can tailor your carry to suit your personal style. Add in its trusty build quality with a lifetime guarantee and you’re all set for a solid business partnership.

Weight: 832g to 900g
Dimensions: 13.4″ (w) x 20″ (h) x 9.1″ (d) / 340 (w) x 508 (h) x 230 (d) mm

Carry Award Winner
Best Budget Travel Backpacks
Osprey Porter 30 (US$120)

The Osprey Porter 30 is ready to embrace the knocks and scrapes of travel life with padded side walls and dedicated laptop storage to protect your tech. The main compartment has lockable zippers, with a range of quick-access pockets to keep essentials readily available. You’ll also find a stowable harness and hipbelt for snag-resistant storage in tight spaces, as well as compression straps to help secure the load.

Weight: 1.3 kg
Dimensions (cm): 50 (L) x 33 (W) x 25 (D)

Eagle Creek Wayfinder Backpack 40L (US$129)

The Eagle Creek Wayfinder Backpack delivers great value for money, with a variety of useful travel features to make your journeys smoother. The pack features a comfy padded harness with a sternum strap and stowable hipbelt. The weather-resistant laptop compartment keeps your tech safe from the elements, while a front pocket with a wipe-clean lining provides useful storage for wet items. The main compartment has lockable zippers for protection on the go. And rounding things off is Eagle Creek’s trusty No Matter What warranty.

Weight: 2 lbs 9 oz (1.17 kg)
Dimensions: 14 x 21 x 8.25 in (35.5 x 53 x 21 cm)

Incase ProTravel Backpack (US$149.95)

Incase’s signature pared-back style teams up with convenient access to deliver the ProTravel Backpack. The wide-opening main compartment makes it easy to access your gear and you also benefit from a faux fur-lined laptop pocket. Additionally a luggage pass-through provides handy all-in-one portability with wheeled luggage.

Dimensions: 17.7″ x 12.6″ x 6.7″ (L x W x H)
Best Camera Bag for Work and Travel
Peak Design Travel Backpack (US$299.95)

Flexibility is often key when traveling with camera gear. And that’s exactly what the Peak Design Travel Backpack delivers. The 35L pack can expand to 45L for larger loads or compress to 30L for smaller loads or daypack use. Dual side access along with front and back panel access lets you easily reach gear throughout the bag, with a choice of pockets for stashing smaller items. Additional features include a stowable harness and a durable, weatherproof build with a 100% recycled nylon canvas shell.

Weight: 2.05 kg (4.5 lb)
Dimensions (standard): 51cm x 28.5cm x 16.5cm (20″ x 11.5″ x 6.5″)

Carry Award Winner
Best Anti-Theft Backpack for Business and Long Flights
Pacsafe Venturesafe EXP45 ECONYL Anti-theft Backpack (US$199.95)

If discreet security features are a priority, look to the Venturesafe EXP45 ECONYL Backpack. Lockable zippers, a locking cable, eXomesh slashguard and a puncture-resistant double zipper help keep opportunistic thieves at bay, without drawing unwanted attention. And it’s also sustainably made with ECONYL® regenerated nylon.

Weight: 3 lb 13 oz (1.73 kg)
Dimensions: 21.7 in x 13.8 in x 8.7 in (55 cm x 35 cm x 22 cm)

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The post The Best Travel Backpacks for Business 2019 appeared first on Carryology - Exploring better ways to carry.
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