Travel Backpack Brands – Who Makes the Best Backpacks for Travel?

Travel Backpack Brands – Who Makes the Best Backpacks for Travel?

A top quality backpack is one of the most important travel items you will buy but with so many different brands to choose from, each with their own plus points and negatives, it can be difficult to know where to start. As a result, buying your backpack or travel backpack can end up being one of the more stressful aspects of the entire planning process.

Ideally, you want to find a backpack that is durable, the right size, comfortable to wear and, if at all possible, fashionable. To help you out, we have compiled a list of five of the best travel backpack brands out there, taking into account a range of factors, including their variety of backpacks, the materials used, comfort and price.

1. Osprey

Osprey was founded in California, USA back in 1974 but today has its headquarters in the state of Colorado. The company has a reputation for creating innovative, high-performance backpacks, which are durable enough to withstand even the most physically demanding adventures and which cater to both men and women.

From standard travel and hiking, to mountaineering and skiing, Osprey produce a huge range of purpose-built packs from quality materials like 210D Nylon, with sizes ranging from 36L to over 100L. Several packs, including the popular Osprey Farpoint and the distinctly feminine Osprey Aura, have picked up prestigious travel awards.

Typically, Osprey packs are built for function and comfort ahead of fashion, which coincides with a general stance the company takes on environmental issues. Wherever possible, the manufacturer tries to minimize waste, reduce the amount of packaging used, and build long-lasting products which won’t need to be replaced often.

2. Deuter

Deuter products are still relatively new to the United States but the company, which is based in Augsburg, Germany, has been involved in the creation of backpacks for well over 100 years and this experience shines through. In particular, the brand is associated with durability and innovation.

The company completely revolutionized backpack design in 1985, through its ‘Aircomfort’ system, which is said to have been the first modern-style ventilated back system in the world. This system allowed air to circulate and perspiration to evaporate, reducing the discomfort associated with a sweaty back.

If saving you from dreaded back sweat still hasn’t convinced you, Deuter also create great, functional backpacks. For example, the Transit 50 is able to combine features associated with travel and hiking backpacks, making it an extremely versatile option, while the ACT Lite has a waterproof design with minimal pockets to deter pickpockets.

3. REI

REI, or Recreational Equipment, Inc., was founded in 1938 and is based out of Washington, USA. The business operates hundreds of retail stores across the country and much of what it sells is equipment made by other companies. Nevertheless, REI also manufacture and sell their own high-quality, durable and comfortable backpacks.

For instance, the Vagabond Tour 40 is made from nylon, ideally sized for air travel and features a padded hip belt, allowing you to carry heavy loads. Meanwhile, even large bags like the REI Grand Tour 80 (for women) and Grand Tour 85 (for men) come with fully adjustable straps, which can be moved up and down the back panel as required.

One of the best things about REI is its commitment to environmental causes, with the company donating millions of dollars towards conservation efforts. That fact, combined with the company’s presence in every FORTUNE Magazine “100 Best Companies to Work For” list since 1998, ensures your money is going to a business that truly deserves it.

4. Berghaus

Despite having the most German-sounding name imaginable, Berghaus is based out of Sunderland in the United Kingdom. In actual fact, the name of the company is German, translating to ‘Mountain House’ which is a deviation of the business’s original name of ‘The LD Mountain Centre’.

One of the brand’s most highly-rated travel backpacks is the Berghaus Freeflow, available in sizes from 15-40L, which includes a vented foam system on the back, making it ideal for hot climates. Alternatively, the Berghaus Motive features very discreet zips and a hidden valuables pocket; perfect for the security-conscious traveler.

Historically, Berghaus products have been slightly harder to find in North America, compared to the other brands on this list. However, company distribution is worldwide and their presence in the United States is increasing.

5. Thule

Finally, Thule is a company based out of Sweden but its products are available in more than 100 countries worldwide, including the United States. Thule is involved in the production of all kinds of outdoor equipment, but its backpacks have a particular reputation for being tough and versatile.

What really sets Thule apart from much of the competition is the sheer range of backpacks available, from basic travel backpacks, to hiking backpacks, skiing backpacks, biking backpacks and even child carrier travel packs. Many of these are also customizable, with detachable pockets and shoulder harnesses with a number of possible settings.

For the most part, the brand’s backpacks are constructed from Cordura™ nylon. Moreover, packs like the Thule Versant and the Thule Capstone have detachable rain covers, offering additional protection against the elements.


In conclusion, the travel backpack brands highlighted above are well-known and have great reputations so, generally speaking, they are a good choice but several models from other brands exist that are super quality and innovative.

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