Best Carry On Backpacks of 2020

When you’re searching for a carry on travel bag, you need to focus on price, durability, comfort, size and overall value. Below is a list of the best carry-on backpacks for you to take with you on your next journey.

 Top Overall Pick

AmazonBasics Backpack

This is the best carry on value backpack available on the market. It hold laptops up to 15.6 inches and ulta-slim laptops up to 17 inches. Your laptop can be stored in a separate padded interior to protect your computer.

It also includes mesh water bottle pockets along with compartments for pens, keys, and your cell phone. It’s the #1 best seller in Amazon’s Laptop backpack section and provides the best value for your money.

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Best Anti-Theft & Security Backpack

SwissGear SA1908 Backpack

This is one of my favorite travel backpacks because SwissGear always produces high quality products. It’s an extra-roomy, full featured laptop backpack with plenty of space for your valuables.

The backpack is made from polyester and has large rugged zippers for easy access to your stuff. It also comes with extra padding for your back and extra comfortable strips so you don’t feel the backpack digging into your spine.

If you have a laptop, you can store it easily (up to 17 inches) and remove it during TSA security checks. Another cool feature is the water bottle holder and hidden pockets for storing money and other things.

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Best Lightweight Backpack

Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack

One of the more expensive backpacks on this list is the Osprey Farpoint Travel Backpack. It’s made out of Nylon material and perfect for international travel.

This backpack comes with loops for your TSA approved security locks and can be reduced to a smaller size if you hide the inner and side straps.

It’s super lightweight yet dense enough to comfortably carry your possessions.

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Best for Business Travelers

Kopack Business Backpack

If you’re a business traveler, then take a look at the Kopack Business backpack for your business trips. It’s TSA friendly with a fold down flap for easy TSA checkpoint access.

It fits most laptops up to 17 inches and provides extra cushion to prevent scratches and damage. It is also waterproof resistant and comes with over 18 pockets (including secret ones) to store your valuables.

This backpack is perfect for business trips as well as storing your valuables to and from work.

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Great for Stylish Business Travelers

Samsonite Xenon 2 Backpack

I am a longtime Samsonite fan because I know about the quality of their products. This backpack is made of polyester and provides plenty of padded protection for your laptop and other valuables. It’s another popular choice among business travelers.

It’s water resistant and has removable straps for extra comfort. It is perfect for the stylish traveler who believes in the quality and design of Samsonite.

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Carry-On Backpack Buyer’s Guide – How to Find the Best Backpack

Finding the best carry on backpack is essential to enjoying your trip/journey to the fullest.

Whenever I travel overseas, I make sure to use a good, sturdy backpack for my trip. It must be lightweight, durable, and small enough to carry on the plane. The reason I prefer a carry-on backpack is because I want to protect my valuables and keep them with me.

I always check my main travel suitcase because it contains all my clothing. However, I highly recommend taking a carry on backpack on the plane because you can store your personal valuables, cash, electronics, and other essentials without worry about theft or damage during flight.

Here are our tips on selecting the best carry-on backpack for your needs.


Size is a very important factor when choosing your backpack. TSA adheres to strict guidelines and your bag needs to follow these rules.

Smaller backpacks are easier to fit in overhead bins as well as underneath the seat in front of you during flight. If your backpack is too bulky, you may be forced to check it instead.

Your height is important, too. You want a backpack that fits your body comfortably yet protects your valuables from theft and damage.


The size of your backpack will determine its capacity. Sometimes, less is more. The bigger the backpack, the more items you will carry even though you probably don’t need everything. Choosing a smaller backpack forces you to choose only the most useful items for your trip.

Any extra items can be stored in your locked checked bag or simply purchased when you reach your destination. I always recommend packing light because you will have to carry your backpack everywhere. Give your back a break and pack as light as possible!


Certain backpacks provide more usefulness than others. Business travelers need plenty of compartments for storing items such as documents, brochures, business cards, and other important items. However, if you are a tourist or leisure travelers, you need a backpack that provides holders for your water bottle, cell phone and laptop.

Each backpack caters to a specific customer so use our recommendations to select the best backpack for you and your needs.


You get what you pay for. If you can afford a more expensive backpack, then I recommend getting the best one you can afford. It’s better to spend up on a good backpack while cutting costs on other things like nightlife, hotel fees and transportation.

A good backpack will not only keep your valuables safe, but keep your back healthy and strong. Choosing a cheaper backpack that isn’t designed for you can do long-term damage to your body and affect your well-being.

After traveling with a cheaper backpack, I am thankful I invested in a more expensive replacement. My back is super happy now!

Best Carry-on Backpacks: Summary

AmazonBasics Backpack$
SwissGear SA1908 Backpack$
Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack$$$
Kopack Business Backpack$$
Samsonite Xenon 2 Backpack$$

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