Have you ever wished for a convenient, lightweight backpack that you could pull out on your adventures? Something that fits into your luggage and takes up very little space yet is useful when you need a daypack. Then it’s time to look at the best packable backpacks.
Our Top Picks
Whether using your pack for a day hike or carrying your laptop to the coffee shop to get some work done, the best packable backpacks have a few key features. They’re lightweight, have a small footprint when packed away, and are comfortable to wear. We’ve rounded the best packable backpacks on the market so you can choose the right one for your needs.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
What Are The Best Packable Backpacks?
Here is our ranked and reviewed list of the best packable backpacks.
The 5 Best Packable Backpacks
- Best Overall Packable Backpack – Wandrd Veer 18
- Best Budget Packable Backpack – Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack
- Best Full Featured Packable Backpack – Matador Beast 18
- Best Packable Laptop Backpack – Tortuga Outbreaker Daypack
- Best Waterproof Packable Backpack – Matador Freerain 24 2.0
1) Best Overall Packable Backpack – Wandrd Veer 18
The Wandrd Veer 18 is our top pick for the best overall packable backpack, thanks to its inflatable back panel and camera cube (sold separately). The pack is weather-resistant and has air mesh shoulder straps, a breathable back panel, YKK weather-resistant zippers, and an expandable water bottle pocket.
The inflatable back panel is a novel solution that adds cushioning and support to the pack. Inflate it and slide it into the slot, providing an air cushion and structural support to the bag. The backpack also has a hip belt that helps keep the pack in position and distribute weight across your hips.
Built using Weather Resistant N100D Robic Dynatec N210D Robic HD Oxford, the pack is incredibly resistant to strain and tear. It feels as tough as any full-size ultralight backpack.
At 18L, the pack is excellent for day trips to the beach, exploring cities, or short day hikes. It has 4 storage compartments, a dedicated water bottle pocket on the side, and even theft deterrent buckles.
- Weight: 14.6 oz
- Capacity: 18L
- Material: Weather Resistant N100D Robic Dynatec
The Wandrd Veer 18 is the best overall packable bag thanks to its inflatable back panel, rugged materials, and excellent storage system. If you’re looking for a packable daypack that will last, this is the one for you.
2) Best Budget Packable Backpack – Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack
Osprey’s ultralight Stuff Pack is the perfect choice for fast-and-light adventures or as a backup backpack. This lightweight, packable backpack weighs only three ounces yet boasts heavyweight features. The bag has a ton of features with a top zippered pocket, dual zippered main compartment, a mesh side water bottle pocket, and an ultra-compact built-in storage pocket.
The Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack might not look like much compared to other high-tech packable bags on the market. But don’t let its small size fool you! This 3.2-ounce pack is perfect for throwing in your bag or luggage and taking with you on any trip. It comes with three pockets and padded shoulder straps, making it both functional and comfortable to wear. The straps are a little short for taller people, and you must be careful how you pack this bag so that you don’t feel every edge inside.
- Weight: 3.2 oz
- Capacity: 18L
- Material: 40D Nylon Ripstop
This is an excellent ultralight bag for those looking for a small, lightweight, packable daypack option to take with them on any trip.
3) Best Full Featured Packable Backpack – Matador Beast 18
The Matador Beast 18 is an ultralight frame pack engineered for technical outdoor pursuits. A flexible frame suspension system provides support and torsion control while allowing the bag to pack down for travel. This fully-featured alpine pack is built from Robic® fabric and reinforced with a UTS coating for weatherproofing. The pack has padded shoulder straps, a chest, and a hip belt for stability. The hydration sleeve, not often found in packable daypacks, is an excellent feature, gear loops for alpine tools and daisy chains for external storage round out the pack. The Beast18 has a total weight of 1lb 5oz, making it one of the lighter frame packs on the market.
The flexible spring steel frame allows you to fold the backpack like a tent. The bag is then stored in the included compression sack until you need to use it again.
The Matador Beast18 is a comfortable, long-lasting bag well-suited for hiking. Still, it doesn’t pack as small as some other foldable bags.
- Weight: 21oz
- Capacity: 18L
- Material: 210D Robic high tenacity nylon
The Matador Beast18 is an excellent choice for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts who want a reliable, comfortable backpack that will last for years. If you’re looking for a packable bag to take on your travels, the Beast18 is an excellent option.
4) Best Packable Laptop Backpack – Tortuga Outbreaker Daypack
Designed with the traveler in mind, the Tortuga Outbreaker Daypack features a pack-flat design that makes it easy to store in your luggage. Not only does it fold down completely flat to fit into your checked bag, but you can also load it up with everything you need when you reach your destination.
The pack has dedicated sleeves for a 15″ laptop and tablet and a water-resistant exterior. The organizational front pocket is perfect for stashing your passport and other valuables with tons of pockets inside and out and comfortable shoulder straps.
The Tortuga Outbreaker is an excellent option If you’re looking for a bag for your laptop that can double as a packable daypack.
- Weight: 10.6 oz
- Capacity: 21L
- Material: VX03 waterproof sailcloth
The Tortuga Outbreaker is an excellent option for a packable daypack that can hold a laptop and other electronics. The water-resistant exterior is also a nice touch.
5) Best Waterproof Packable Backpack – Matador Freerain 24 2.0 Backpack
The Freerain24 2.0 is a 24-liter, 100% waterproof backpack that compresses flat for travel. The pack is made with ultralight, bomb-proof materials and features a comfortable carrying harness inspired by alpine packs. The Freerain24 2.0 is the evolution of the original Freerain24, now updated with a more minimal rolltop closure system and recontoured shoulder straps for an even more agile fit.
This pack is perfect for alpine adventures with oversized water bottle pockets, gear loops, and shock cord captures for technical tools. The adjustable sternum strap, removable hip belt, and weight-distributing shoulder straps create a comfortable and balanced fit.
- Weight: 10.6 oz
- Capacity: 24L
- Material: 70D Robic nylon UHMWPE
The Freerain24 2.0 is perfect for hikers and backpackers who need a waterproof pack that can take on any adventure, big or small. This pack is also great for travelers who want a lightweight bag they can take on any trip.
Packable Backpack Buyers Guide
When considering packable backpacks for travel, there are a few things you’ll want to look at:
- Think about the size of the bag. You’ll want to make sure it’s big enough to hold all your belongings but not so big that it’s cumbersome to carry.
- Consider the weight of the backpack. A lightweight backpack is easier to carry, but it must be durable enough to withstand the rigors of travel.
- Think about the backpack’s features.
Does it have enough pockets and compartments to organize your belongings? Is it waterproof? Is it comfortable to wear?
Pack weight is vital for both travelers and hikers. A packable backpack should be light but durable. Most packable bags are built from more lightweight materials and limited frames to save weight. You want to find a light pack that does not sacrifice durability or comfort.
How much space do you need? Most packable backpacks are between 20L – 30 L. If you are looking for a pack for an overnight or weekend trip, you may want something larger.
How easily can the backpack be compressed? If you’re planning on using the bag mainly for travel, you’ll want to make sure it can be packed down small enough to fit in your luggage.
Waterproof Packable Daypack
Waterproof packable daypacks are perfect for those who want to be prepared for any weather. With an excellent waterproof pack, your belongings will stay dry, whether caught in a rainstorm or hiking through a stream.
How comfortable is the backpack to wear? You’ll want to make sure the shoulder straps are adjustable and comfortable. A hip belt and sternum strap will also help to better distribute weight. For added comfort, look for bags with a frame system to help support and distribute the weight.
What is the backpack made from? You’ll want to ensure the pack is made from durable materials that can withstand wear and tear. Ripstop nylon or another durable material will ensure your packable bag will last.
Pockets and Organization
Does the backpack have enough zippered pockets and compartments to organize your belongings? You’ll want to make sure the bag has a place for everything you need to bring with you. Do you prefer a zippered pocket or folded one?
Why Travel with a Packable Backpack?
You might want to travel with a packable backpack for a few reasons:
- Packing a bag that can be compressed down small is much easier. This means you won’t have to worry about the backpack occupying too much space in your luggage.
- A packable backpack is usually made from lighter-weight materials, so it won’t add too much weight to your luggage.
- A packable backpack is generally very durable, so it can withstand the rigors of travel.
What is the lightest daypack?
The Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack is the lightest pack on our list at 3 oz.
Which is the best travel backpack?
The Best Overall Packable Backpack is the Wandrd Veer 18. It’s perfect for travelers who need a lightweight, versatile backpack that can be used as a carry-on or packable daypack.
What is a packable daypack?
A packable daypack is a backpack that can be easily packed and stored in your luggage. These bags are perfect for travelers who want to be able to bring gear with them on their travels but don’t want to have to carry it around all the time.
What size backpack is best for carry-on?
The best size backpack for carry-on is one that fits the size restrictions for your particular airline. Most airlines have a size limit of 22″ x 14″ x 9″, so any backpack that falls within those dimensions should be OK.
The best packable daypack for travel is the one that meets your specific needs. Consider the backpack’s size, weight, capacity, and features before making your final decision. And don’t forget to factor in comfort! A comfortable bag is a necessary part of any journey.
No matter what your needs are, there is a packable backpack out there that’s perfect for you. So get packing and happy travels!