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Traveling Light in 2021: The Best Carry on Backpacks

When it comes to The Best Carry on Backpacks, there are a few things you need to know…

First – there are a lot of backpacks on the market at the moment. Some of them are amazing, but some of them are crap.

Second – the term carry on will vary depending on the airline. What some airlines allow – others will not.
The Best Carry on Backpacks

Introduction

When it comes to The Best Carry on Backpacks, there are a few things you need to know…

First, there are a lot of backpacks on the market at the moment. Some of them are amazing, but some of them are crap.

Second – the term carry on will vary depending on the airline. What some airlines allow – others will not.

Ultimately, there’s a lot of confusion on the subject. What is allowed on the plane? What makes a good bag? This is exactly why I put together this guide to the best backpacks for flying in 2021!

With the help of this little guide, you’ll be able to easily find the best carry on that suits your travel style. 

This is because I have organized for you, so all you have to do is find what you need, and BOOM! You’ll have the carry-on travel backpack of your dreams.

These aren’t just the 15 best carry on’s of 2021 – these might be some of the best backpacks on the market. 

Let’s get started!

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The Best Carry On Packs of 2021 / Quick check

Nomatic 40L travel bag | Best Overall Carry On Backpack

Nomatic Travel Bag is 40L. This bag is carry-on accepted by a large majority of airlines, and you’ll be doing it in style and with optimal efficiency.  This is a bag designed for modern, tech & smart travelers.
The Best Carry on Backpacks

Nomatic Travel Bag is 40L. This bag is carry-on accepted by a large majority of airlines, and you’ll be doing it in style and with optimal efficiency.  This is a bag designed for modern, tech & smart travelers.

The Nomatic Travel Bag comes with 20 unique features including a shoe compartment,  a secure valuables pocket, a water bottle container, and a ton of other features that made it an easy pick for the best carry-on travel backpack. Looking for more info? Check out the review of the Nomatic Travel Bag! On Amazon!

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Pros

CONS

  1. 40L = Carry on compliant
  2. Next level organization
  3. Backpack or duffel bag
  1. Expensive
  2. Not for hiking/camping
  3. Too much organization/flash for some
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Gaston Luga BITEN 15″ GREY-BROWN

Discount code: Discoverevolution (use at check out 15% Off)

KEY FEATURES

Slip-over luggage strap for easy travelling.

Two open side pockets, perfect for water bottles.

Internal padded sleeve fits most 11″-15″ laptops.
The Best Carry on Backpacks

KEY FEATURES

Slip-over luggage strap for easy travelling.

Two open side pockets, perfect for water bottles.

Internal padded sleeve fits most 11″-15″ laptops.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Dimensions (cm)38 x 26.5 x 17.5
  • Net Weight0.8 kg
  • Inner Volume17.5L

    Read more

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Pros

CONS

  1. High-quality bag
  2. 15% Off (discount code: DISCOVEREVOLUTION)
  3. Free accessories with every backpack purchase
  1. Expensive
  2. Not for hiking/camping
  3. Only 17.5L storage
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NOMATIC Travel Pack 30L – Best Carry On for EU Residents

The NOMATIC Travel Pack was designed for everyday use. It is made with durable waterproof materials and zippers.This bag is slim but expands when you need to pack more from 20L to 30L. In addition, the versatile strap system allows you to go from backpack to briefcase carry for those times when you need to look more professional.
The Best Carry on Backpacks

Meet the Nomatic Travel Pack

The NOMATIC Travel Pack was designed for everyday use. It is made with durable waterproof materials and zippers. This bag is slim but expands when you need to pack more from 20L to 30L. In addition, the versatile strap system allows you to go from backpack to briefcase carry for those times when you need to look more professional.

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Pros

CONS

1 – Strong

2- Accessibility

3- 20 pockets

1 – Expensive

2- Too much organization/flash for some

3- Not made for hikers

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Gaston Luga – Classic Black-Brown

Discount code: Discoverevolution (use at check out 15% Off)

KEY FEATURES

Inner padded pocket holds most 11″-13″ laptops.
Zippered front pocket for quick item access.
Hidden back pocket for valuables like a passport.
The Best Carry on Backpacks

KEY FEATURES

  • Inner padded pocket holds most 11″-13″ laptops.
  • Zippered front pocket for quick item access.
  • Hidden back pocket for valuables like a passport.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions (cm)42 x 28 x 14
  • Net Weight0.9 kg
  • Inner Volume15L

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Pros

CONS

1- High-quality bag

2- 15% Off (discount code: DISCOVEREVOLUTION)

3- Free accessories with every backpack purchase

1- Expensive

2- Not made for hikers

3 – Only 15L storage


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Osprey Fairview 40L – Best Women’s Carry On Backpack

Being 40 liters, the Osprey Fairview 40 is the perfect size for a carry-on, as you’ll be able to take this on 99% of flights. This bag is very well designed, has amazing organization, while still being super minimalistic.

The Osprey Fairview 40 can be used for traveling, camping, hiking, hitching, and even for your work. This bag really has it all, as even digital nomads use it as their number one backpack.
The Best Carry on Backpacks

Being 40 liters, the Osprey Fairview 40 is the perfect size for a carry-on, as you’ll be able to take this on 99% of flights. This bag is very well designed, has amazing organization, while still being super minimalistic.

The Osprey Fairview 40 can be used for traveling, camping, hiking, hitching, and even for your work. This bag really has it all, as even digital nomads use it as their number one backpack.

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Pros

CONS

1- 40L storage

2- Also made for hikers

3- Accessibility

1- Some people prefer a modern look

2- Not made for hikers

3 – 40 Liters might be way too big for some


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Osprey Stratos 36L – Best Carry On for Hiking Backpack

The Osprey Stratos is a hiking bag first, and a travel bag second. But if you love hiking, you’ll love this bag for many reasons.  This bag is perfect for short hikes and can even be used for overnight camping excursions. It comes with an integrated rain cover and has an impressive amount of organizational capacity for its minimal design.

The Osprey Stratos is a hiking bag first, and a travel bag second. But if you love hiking, you’ll love this bag for many reasons.  This bag is perfect for short hikes and can even be used for overnight camping excursions. It comes with an integrated rain cover and has an impressive amount of organizational capacity for its minimal design.

At 33 or 36 liters (depending on the size you buy), you can be 100% assured that this bag is ALWAYS going to be with you on the plane.

View more detail on Amazon.com

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Pros

CONS

  1. Always carry on compliant
  2. The cream of the crop for ultra-light hiking backpacks
  3. Ventilated mesh back panel
  1. Likely too small for most travelers
  2. Only good for hikers/campers
  3. Sidely expensive



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Active Roots Foldable Daypack – Best Packable Day-pack

The Active Roots Foldable Daypack backpack is the best foldable carry-on backpack for travel. It’s lightweight, affordable has enough to bring on type of transportation, yet durable and water-resistant enough to bring on any adventure. The fact that it is foldable and weighs less than 10oz means there is no excuse NOT to pack this pack. You can easily bring this backpack along as your secondary daypack while using another one of the packs on this list as your main carry-on.

The Active Roots Foldable Daypack backpack is the best foldable carry-on backpack for travel. It’s lightweight, affordable has enough to bring on type of transportation, yet durable and water-resistant enough to bring on any adventure. The fact that it is foldable and weighs less than 10oz means there is no excuse NOT to pack this pack. You can easily bring this backpack along as your secondary daypack while using another one of the packs on this list as your main carry-on.

View more on Amazon.com

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Pros

CONS

  1. Affordable
  2. Compact
  3. Water- resistant
  1. Maybe too small for some travelers
  2. Not ideal for one bag travel
  3. Not the modern type



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Tortuga Outbreaker – Best Carry On Bag for International Travel

The Outbreaker was built for two things – organization and durability for long term travelers. And it has absolutely nailed both.

We put this bag as the best carry-on backpack for international travel because of how much stuff you can fit in here. It’s easily the largest carry backpack bag we’ve ever seen, and you’ll be astonished how much you can actually fit in it.

The Outbreaker was built for two things – organization and durability for long term travelers. And it has absolutely nailed both.

We put this bag as the best carry-on backpack for international travel because of how much stuff you can fit in here. It’s easily the largest carry backpack bag we’ve ever seen, and you’ll be astonished how much you can actually fit in it.

This is because of its luggage design. The Tortuga Outbreaker has a square shape, so what you lack in style, you certainly make up for in space.

View more on Amazon.com

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Pros

CONS

  1. Incredibly durable
  2. Compact organizational masterpiece
  3. Very Spacious
  1. Very large capacity
  2. Very expensive
  3. Not suitable for hikers



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Osprey Sojourn 45L – Best Backpack Suitcase Hybrid

If you are looking for a backpack – look elsewhere. In addition, the Sojourn’s backpack feature is well designed, it’s only meant to be used when you need it. If you are looking for a backpack, the Sojourn’s wheel system is giving you additional weight that your back will not appreciate. However, If you are looking for a rolling suitcase – this could be the bag of your dreams!

The most important thing to realize is this – this is a rolling suitcase FIRST, and a backpack as a very, very, very far second.

While the 45 liters might be a bit big for some budget airlines, you should be good to take the Sojourn as a carry-on on most of your flights.

View more on Amazon.com

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Pros

CONS

  1. Incredibly durable
  2. 45L storage capacity
  3. Very Spacious
  1. Maybe too big for some people
  2. Very expensive
  3. Not suitable for hikers
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LowePro ProTactic 450 AW – Best Carry on Camera Backpack

Over the years, we’ve always looked at a lot of  camera backpacks, yet I always come back to the LowePro.

Why?

The Lowerpro Protactic 450w is designed with the ultimate efficiency. This bag can safely and securely fit 2 DSLRs, up to 8 lenses, and a laptop.

In addition, the design is so impressive, as the bag allows for customization, so you can create compartments personalized for your photography needs.

View more on Amazon.com

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Pros

CONS

  1. Tons of awesome features
  2. Huge compartment
  3. Laptop compartment
  1. A bit pricy
  2. Made exclusively for photographer
  3. No water compartment
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