Travelers can check-in any luggage or baggage that they want, but many prefer to bring at least one carry-on bag.
There is always the risk of losing your luggage, leaving you stranded with no clothes or essential items.
Experienced travelers prefer to purchase one of the best backpack for air travel.
The Top 5 Best Backpacks for Airline Travel
These are the top choices we have when it comes to backpacks that you can bring for airline travel.
Pros of the Daylite:
- Weighs .94 pounds
- 13 liters of storage
- Large loading panel
- Mesh organizer
- Padded shoulder straps with a hip belt
- Capable of adding on accessories
To start the list of the best choices, the Osprey Daylite is an excellent selection. It is a best-seller, loved by travelers who want a simple day pack or a carry-on bag. The Daylite measures 9” x 9” x 18” and weighs .94 pounds. It is one of the lightest choices on the market to purchase.
Osprey created the Daylite with 13 liters of storage. This amount is ideal for a simple day trip while sightseeing. 13 liters is enough to store a few changes of clothing and your laptop with a charger. It could hold everything you need while you travel to your destination. It has a large, panel loading main compartment, giving you easy access to the items you packed. There is also a front zippered pocket with a mesh organizer, ideal for keys, makeup, and pens. Inside of the main compartment, Osprey added a sleeve for a laptop or tablet.
Chances are the load you are carrying isn’t too heavy, but that didn’t stop Osprey from adding some great supportive elements. The shoulder straps are padded and come with a chest strap. A hip belt helps to distribute the weight across your entire torso.
One of the reasons so many people loves the Daylite is users can attach different add-ons, creating a unique pack. You can even roll it up and place the bag into your luggage once you are at your destination. Overall, the price is great, costing close to $50. It comes in eight different colors and has excellent ratings. You are sure to love the Osprey Daylite.
Pros of the Ozone:
- Rucksack style bag
- Multiple storage compartments
- Internal compression straps
- Breathable back panel
- Padded shoulder straps with an adjustable sternum strap
Osprey also creates the next backpack for air travel. The Ozone is a stylish rucksack style bag, ideal for carry-ons or day trips throughout the city. It offers a lot of storage space for users with one large, main compartment that zips, an interior slip pocket, and 11 exterior pockets. Altogether, it has 35 liters of storage, which is plenty! You could easily carry a few outfit changes, necessary toiletry items, and any electronic devices as well.
Buyers can select from three colors – black, red and blue. Osprey minimized the bulk by hiding the carrying handles. The internal compression straps will keep the size in place and stable. To access everything inside, there is an easy access pocket on top.
Just like any other Osprey bag, the Ozone offers support and comfort for travelers. An AIrScape back panel adds breathability to the pack for enhanced comfort. Breathability is important for long day trips or on hot days. There are padded shoulder straps for comfort and an adjustable sternum strap. The harness is also made of a mesh material, along with the hip belt.
Overall, the Ozone is lightweight, weighing only 1.9lbs. It costs around $130, a bit more than other bags but it is a high-quality bag.
Pros of the Redwing:
- Male and female versions
- 40 liters of storage
- Dimensions for carry-on bags
- U-Zip panel
- Lots of pockets including laptop sleeve
- Padded shoulder straps, chest straps and adjustable hip belt
Kelty creates our next choice for the best backpack for air travel. The Redwing has a male and female versions; the female version is designed with a woman’s body in mind. Both versions offer 40 liters of storage; the ideal amount of space for a weekend trip or a carry-on bag. The Redwing fits within the international standard size for carry-on bags, allowing you to take it on any airplane.
40 liters offers enough space to store all of the essentials. Kelty added a variety of compartments to keep you organized. It is a top loading bag, but you can access all of the storage through the front panel. It features a U-Zip, which is ideal for any traveling bag. Airport inspection is much easier with a U-Zip bag.
On the side, there are zippered pockets, along with front pockets for accessories and smaller things. You will find a water bottle holder; users can pair it with a hydration pack for camping. In the main compartment, Kelty placed a padded sleeve for laptops and tablets
Kelty added supportive elements to keep you comfortable while wearing the backpack. There are padded shoulder straps, chest straps, and an adjustable hip belt. The back panel has mesh for breathability; airflow keeps the wearer cool even in warmer climates. Kelty placed mesh on the straps and belt to allow maximum airflow. The suspension system distributes the weight of the pack to your hips instead of your shoulders.
Travelers love the Redwing! It is priced under $100 and is durable. You can use it for months to come.
- Three different storage capacities
- 40 liters of storage
- Added suspension system
- Padded hip belt for support
- Two different sizes for custom fit
- Spacious storage pockets
- U-Zip main compartment
Osprey also creates our next best backpack for air travel. They indeed make some great products! Travelers can purchase the Osprey Farpoint in three different sizes – 40, 55 or 70 liters. The 55 and 70 liters are great, but they are too large for air travel. Of course, you could check them in as regular luggage, but they wouldn’t fit as a carry-on bag. The 40L is the only one that would work on an airplane. It provides ample space for necessary items; a minimalist could even live out of it for weeks!
Farpoint has important characteristics that appeal to a variety of travelers. They added a suspension system that adds support and comfort. The suspension takes the pressure off of your shoulders and transfers it to your hips. A padded hip belt will help keep the weight on your hips but comfortably, without stressing your body. The belt will adjust to you.
Unlike other backpacks, you can purchase the Farpoint in different sizes. As mentioned above, there are three different storage capacities. In each storage size, there are either small/medium or medium/large sizes. You can purchase the size that will fit you appropriately. Travel backpack reviews love this feature; a too big or small bag will cause discomfort over time.
The another great feature is the compartments. Osprey included a spacious interior pocket, zippered front ones and mesh pockets for bottles. There is a sleeping pad strap that you can remove. To reach the items inside, a U-zip opens up the main compartment. This feature is ideal for air travel; inspection is faster.
If you want a lightweight and versatile backpack, the Farpoint is an excellent option. It has nice features, different sizes, and supportive elements. Travelers love it!
- Durable construction
- Two storage capacities – 45 or 65 liters
- Multiple zippered pockets
- Compression sidewalls to stabilize the pack
- Padded shoulder straps with a harness and sternum strap
- Spacious storage available
Osprey also crafts our fifth bag. The Porter is loved as a backpack for traveling Europe, but it is also a great bag for airline travel. The sturdy, durable construction, with ballistic nylon, allows travelers to purchase one bag and use it for years to come. You can buy it in two versions – 45 or 65 liters. The 65 liters is pretty big and will not fit the standard size for carry-on bags. However, the 45 liters meets the general guidelines for most airlines.
To access the storage compartments, Porter’s front panel unzips fully. You won’t be searching for hours to find what you need! There is a zippered top pocket for the essential items. Travelers can lock the main compartment for safety. There is an internal mesh pocket and an interior fabric pocket that zips closed. These pockets are ideal for little items.
You will love the comfort provided by the Porter. They used padded foam sidewalls to compress the bulk of the pack. Compression stabilizes the load, making it easier to carry. Padded shoulder straps and a harness with an adjustable sternum strap spreads the weight of the bag over your entire torso. If you decide to use the carrying handles, the Porter lets you, stowaway, the straps and harness.
The Porter is a spacious, well-constructed, durable and affordable backpack for air travel. Remember to purchase the 40-liter version. It is priced close to $150 and has flight approved dimensions.
How to Select the Best Backpacks for Air Travel
If you have selected a traveling bag before, the characteristics you want to look for should be the same. However, there is one significant difference. If you want an air travel bag that can be carried on the plane, it has to fit certain dimensions. You want a compact bag to take on board. Travelers need to consider just how much you need to take with you on the plane. It will also be the backpack you use while traveling to your destination, so consider what type of bag you want for a daypack.
- Storage Capacity: The typical carry-on bag won’t be more than 40 liters. You honestly don’t need more than this if it’s just an air travel backpack or a day trip bag. 40 liters can fit a few changes of clothes, an extra pair of shoes and any essential electronic accessories. If you plan to bring a lot of items, you will want a bag close to the 40L. Otherwise, you can lower the amount of storage space available.
- Support and Comfort: Trekking through airports can take hours; you don’t want an unsupportive and uncomfortable backpack. Ideally, the best backpacks for air travel have padded and reinforced shoulder straps, a padded hip belt, and chest strap. These features help distribute the weight of the pack across your entire torso rather than solely your shoulders. Some bags have an added suspension system that focuses the weight of the load on your hips. Certain styles also have an internal frame, which is only necessary if you plan to pack a lot of items.
- Pockets: Ideally, you need a few compartments to organize your items. There should be two or three large compartments along with a few smaller ones. The smaller sized ones are perfect for accessories or little items that may get lost otherwise. However, avoid the bags with dozens of pockets. In theory, they sound nice, but it is complicated to find what you need. Simple and organized is good.
What is the Best Backpack for Air Travel?
These five choices are excellent! All of them have approved dimensions. While all airlines have different recommended sizes for carry-on bags, 21” x 14” x 9” is the standard size. The five bags listed above all are within these measurements.
Even though all of these are perfect for air travel, the Kelty Redwing is the top backpack for air travel. It has a budget-friendly price, costing less than $100. You can purchase a male or female version, which means it will give you a custom and more comfortable fit. Each version has 40 liters of storage, which is plenty for a weekend trip or a carry-on bag. For support, there is a padded shoulder strap, chest strap, and hip belt; your back will never be sore. However, you could select any of the five and end up with a fabulous backpack.