You need a backpack for carry-on, be it travel backpack or regular ones. A backpack is an essential item for travel.
In this article, we will go through 2 types of backpacks that are suitable for everyone and good for carry-on. We will look at the 5 important criteria: size, weight, convenience, price, durability.
Backpacking is one of the cheapest ways to travel now. You bring only essential items and travel with it. Here are 2 backpacks I highly recommend, after many research and interviews with frequent travellers.
Disclaimer: this is not a paid/sponsored review. This is my honest review of the products I use. It took me a long time to find a good and cheap backpack, so I recommend it. The post includes affiliate links, so if you are purchasing the items, please click the link and purchase that. It is the best way to support this website!
Backpack is the Best for Travel
Before I begin, let me tell you a little story. I started out travelling with those cookie-cutter travel agents and regular tourist places. It was fun, but it did not get my heart racing. I was one of those boring regular boring tourists. I did not truly appreciate a culture and country.
When one day, I had the opportunity to travel to Italy for the first time. I did a road trip, talked to frequent travellers and went to hidden restaurants frequented by locals. Laughed with an old Italian lady because we didn’t understand each other. Went to Italian cities with no tourists. Ate in some of the best handmade pasta in local restaurants. Took more public transport than cars. Saw people living their everyday lives. I fell in love with the culture, the people and the body-language communication.
It took me a lot of courage, but since then, I travelled with my backpack for years and have never stopped. My old travel backpack died on me after 7 years. It prompted me to find a new one.
It took me ages. I was in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Prague, Italy, France, Indonesia and all over, looking for that one perfect backpack. After much research…
… I finally found it! The travel backpack that has been with me to 12+ countries now!
Best Backpack for Backpacker Travel: Quechua Rucksack Forclaz 50L
If you are a backpacker, you need a good backpack. You need one to fit your travel essentials yet small enough to be a carry-on.
I highly recommend Hiking Camping Water Repellent Backpack Rucksack Forclaz 50L.
So many backpack reviews and super confused? Not sure how people decide what is good?
If so, in a few minutes, I will break down the elements of a good backpack. I look through the 5 important criteria (size, weight, convenience, price, durability) to understand why it is a good backpack. That way, you’ll find a good backpack to match you.
Or you can buy the recommended Quechua 50L Backpack.
Quechua Forclaz 50L: Size
Size is important. You want it small to be a carry-on, but big to keep your items in. 50L is a perfect size for 8-10 week travel in summer and 4-6 week travel in winter.
Note: travel in summer is better as you carry less bulky items like coats. They take up space.
In the 50L, I can fit:
- My gadgets: camera, laptop, chargers, drone
- Clothes sets: 1 bikinis, 2 shorts/skirt, 5 tops/t-shirts, 4 light summer dress, 1 light windbreaker
- Toiletries: TSA-approved toiletries, toothbrush
- Shoes: slippers
- A day bag
Sometimes I bring a sleeping bag for camping/hiking.
Details of Size
- Volume: 50 liters
- Weight: 1.7 kg
- Dimensions : H 62 x W 32 x D 24
- Compartments: Pockets: 3 ext., 1 int., 1 belt. Pole-loop. bottom access and compartments
Quechua Forclaz 50L: Weight
Weight is the next important thing. Since you carry it on your shoulders, you need it light. Light is good. For planes, the carry on weight is 7-10kg, so you need something light.
The bag itself is 1.7kg. When I travel, I carry up to 10kg in the bag with my gadgets.
Note: To make things lighter, you should get the lighter versions of your gadgets. i.e. Mavic Air, MacBook Air, smaller camera
It does not feel as heavy. When you buy your backpack, you should make sure that most weight is supported by your waist and not shoulders. This way, the weight is evenly spread out.
Also, there is a metal support in the backpack to support the weight. It’s like a giant stick that distributes the weight evenly. My previous backpack does not have it and I always felt like I was tipping over.
Another thing, the backpack looks light even when it’s packed. When you are at the check-in desk, they usually ask to weigh your bag. But if they think your bag does not look heavy, it will not be weighed! You could possibly get away with a heavier carry-on bag.
Quechua Forclaz 50L: Convenience
This is important for a frequent traveller.
What you want is a backpack that works like a suitcase. A big opening to get items out easily. Many traditional backpacks are usually top-loading. There is one access at the top, where you get things out. It is horrible.
This Forclaz 50 backpack has a large opening in its body. If you lay it down, you can open it like a suitcase. It is easy to take things out instead of rummaging through your items with just one top opening.
There is also an opening on the top, like most traditional backpacks. You have handles around the bag to hook things like travel pillow and additional bags.
The main compartment of the bag can be divided at the bottom with a divider (included). I keep my sleeping bag there when I use the backpack for camping. There are 2 deep pockets on each side of the bag. I put my water bottle there. At the top, you have another component for easy access. I usually have useful things there like my travel pack (item #8).
Most Important: Safety Pocket
…And here’s the best part.
A safety pocket. It is one important thing I always look out for in a backpack. I need a safe pocket to keep my valuables. The Quechua Forclaz 50L has a small pouch at the waist strap. It is small, yet big enough to keep your passport and money.
Quechua Forclaz 50L: Price
And we come to my favourite part. A branded backpack is expensive. This backpack is half the price! For those going on more extreme terrains, the backpack is also water resistant, so you don’t have to buy an additional waterproof cover for the bag.
Quechua Forclaz 50L: Durability
In addition, it also comes with a 10 years warranty. Backpacks usually get worn out in 2-4 years, so a 10-year warranty is extremely helpful. I have been to at least 10 countries and it is good under my care.
But thanks to United at Chicago O’Hare airport, my backpack was soiled and dirty from god-knows-what. It was easy to wash the stains off and it’s good as new again!
Quechua Forclaz 50L: Downside
One major downside I noticed is many people are using this bag too. So, when you are at the bag carousel, you can get confused with other bags. What I would recommend is to customize it. When you travel, you can buy country flag pins or iron-on flags to add to your backpack. You can also use fabric paint to give it a new colour.
Best Backpack for Carry-On: Anti-Theft Backpack
If you are like me, you have plenty of gadgets and going through airport security is annoying. This XD Design Anti-Theft travellers backpack is perfect for you.
Ever had to go through security and fumble for your gadgets to show them? Take out the iPad, laptop, camera and other gadgets? You must open your luggage or backpack, remove the item, go through security and put the item back. It annoys me. What if there is a simple way? All you need do is to open this bag. I need to go through security fast!
Anti-Theft Backpack: Size
The backpack is the perfect size for a day bag. It fits my camera, laptop, iPad and toiletries. If I do check-in, this backpack is the right size for my important gadgets. You also have lens holders in the backpack for extra camera lens.
- Size: 11.02 X 4.92 X 17 inches.
- Weight: 0.75kg
- Capacity: 12L
Anti-Theft Backpack: Weight
The backpack is L.I.G.H.T. I used to have the old MacBook Pro (2kg) + camera (1kg) but it doesn’t feel as heavy with this backpack. It is designed to have the weight evenly spread out. The shockproof storage design is also proven to remove 20% of weight!
Anti-Theft Backpack: Convenience
This is designed as a travel backpack.
When going through security, simply unzip the bag and lay it flat. You do not have to remove your laptop then, and it clears security quick and easily! It can lay flat if you unbutton the 2 metal buttons on the side.
- All the zips are hidden, which is difficult to be robbed
- Power bank connection available, making it easy to charge on the go
- Secret pocket at the back of the backpack, where you can keep important documents
- Water repellent material for rainy days
- Anti-slash material
- Reflective band for safety at night
Anti-Theft Backpack: Price
This item is so popular now, it is cheaper now. It is very affordable now and it prevents your things from being stolen! This is especially crucial if you are travelling to places with high chances of being pickpocketed, like Barcelona and Ho Chi Minh City.
Anti-Theft Backpack: Durability
If you are not using it for travel, you can use the anti-theft backpack for school, work or day trips out. I have used the backpack for more than 1 year now, and it is literally as good as new! You can also buy a warranty if you need.
The original product is cut proof and shockproof due to its design and material. The fake ones might not have this feature.
Anti-Theft Backpack: Downside
The bag is not very fashionable. I’ve had people telling me how the bag does not go with my outfit. Well, safety first guys.
With that being said, I recommend these 2 products: Quechua Hiking Camping Water Repellent Backpack Rucksack Forclaz 50L and XD Design Anti-Theft travellers backpack. Get yours on Amazon today. If you are purchasing it, please support it the original brand instead of the fake ones. The original brand is XD Design. Although it is more expensive, it is definitely value for money.
Ps: Your gadgets (camera, laptop, phone, passport) are worth thousands of dollars. Why skim on the one backpack that prevents them from being stolen?
Trevellers is my way to change the world. Through my stories, tips and lessons learnt, I truly hope to inspire you to get out of your comfort zone, see the world and see who you truly are. Travel is more than just taking a selfie. Travel is an adventure, where you can truly become who you are, give you the time to reflect and grow to become the person you’ve always wanted to be.