Choosing the right backpack for travelling is pretty serious business. Now, students often need a backpack to carry their stuff around, and anyone studying abroad must need a travel backpack. Having a backpack will greatly reduce the luggage costs that you bear while flying, since backpacks will be regarded as carry-on luggage. So if you were thinking about getting one of those gigantic cylindrical hiking backpacks that look like elongated garbage bins, forget it.
Purchasing a backpack that is specifically designed for travelling will make it much easier on you when going from place to place. Ideally, you want the backpack to be able to zip open like a suitcase. You also want the backpack to be comfortable to wear and a size that will meet the requirements of most airline’s carry-on restrictions. Check out our review and see which one we chose as the best backpack for student travel. Take a look at all their features, and choose the one that will be the perfect fit for your needs.
SwissGear Travel Gear ScanSmart Backpack
With its sleek, minimalistic design and tons of storage space, the SwissGear Travel Gear is our top pick for the student travel bag category. First of all, it is made from high quality polyester fabric, which means that it is extremely light and feels really comfortable to handle. The material on the straps and back is very breathable, and promotes positive airflow across your back and neckline, all the way to the shoulders. This prevents you from feeling uncomfortable after carrying the bag on your shoulders, especially on a hot day.
There is a conveniently located bottle holder on the side that could always come in handy, and there is a side pocket right above it, which is super useful for storing little things such as earphones, memory cards, keys, stationary, etc. The bag has ample storage space for your belongings, and is well organized in terms of sectioned storage.
There are two primary sections to the back, which are accessed via a couple of easy to open chains (lockable of course). The front of the bag has two smaller storage compartments that are also really easy to access. All things considered, this is an extremely reliable and well-designed bag, made by a really well known bag manufacturer.
STAR BUDGET PICK
Cloud Peak Travel Backpack
The Cloud Peak Blacktooth should be your choice if you are cash-strapped, and are looking for a simple, yet functional design. It has a gigantic main storage section with a top-loading design that lets you access the bag’s main compartment through a super smooth, ultra durable locking chain system. The exterior is made from polyester fabric which allows this bag to be incredibly light (just 0.7 lbs), even though it is larger than most of the costlier bags.
However, don’t let the light weight and low price imply that this bag is not durable, because it is actually just as tough as any other premium travel backpack out there. There is reinforced stitching on the joints, the shoulders straps are cushioned properly, and the material on the back is breathable too. It sacrifices looks and fancy external pockets for functionality and a minimalistic design that still does the job, and at this price, we can’t really complain about anything.
ZYSUN Women’s Fashion Travel Backpack
Designed with the needs of the female customer in mind, this ZYSUN travel backpack is incredibly easy to load and unload. It is also extremely light, and is constructed from a combination of nylon and fabric. The nylon layers near the joints and straps maintain structural strength across the frame of this bag, while the fabric outlines make it lightweight and keep costs at a reasonable level. It is quite compact, at just 15″ x 13″ x 5.5″ in height, width, and depth respectively.
There are 2 interior slips, one back side inner pocket (zipper operated), adjustable shoulder straps, and large zipper outer pocket that is further segmented into two separate sections by an auxiliary zipper running through the middle. This compact backpack can function as a school backpack, travel backpack, and even a hiking bag, due to its rugged nylon construction. There is plenty of stuff to store all your stationery, your headphones, cards, flash drives, etc. There are two side pockets as well, to hold umbrellas or bottles.
Osprey Porter Travel Backpack Bag
Just like the ZYSUN women’s backpack, this travel backpack is made from a combination of nylon and polyester fiber. It is tough, lightweight, and versatile. The shape is somewhat unique, it is quite tall and features a curved, bulge-like shape that might not be suitable for everyone, but is amazing for storing lots of stuff. If you are looking for a travel backpack to store clothes, laptops, etc., then this is the one for you.
Its nylon joints and straps allow it to easily survive through all the stress and strain of daily commuting, while the rugged stitched edges and joints handle airport conveyor belts with ease. There are carry handles on both the top, as well as the sides. It is a chain-operated, top loading backpack, and has one main storage section, along with a secondary storage compartment towards the front. You won’t find a whole lot of external pouches, straps, or pockets on this model, so it looks pretty clean from the outside and is perfect to carry around in a crowded international airport.
All the stuff, both big as well as small, fit into the 8 interior slips, and 3 card slots. There are 3 internal zipper sections, and 4 external zipper pouches. It is capable of handling more load than one can possibly carry, thanks to the side panels that secure the inner compartments, and these nylon panels are secured by straps on either side for added protection. There are adjustable shoulder straps, along with a waistline strap, to keep the bag firmly planted on your back at all times.
Choosing the Best Backpack for Student Travel
What you need when travelling is a relatively compact travel-grade backpack which is tough enough to withstand the perils of airport transportation (the conveyor belts can be pretty ruthless), as well as comfortable enough to carry around. And you will be doing a lot of carrying, since you will be moving around with it on your back in buses, trains, and on bicycles, if you own one or use them in the college campus.
It is important to ensure that the straps are both comfortable, as well as reliable, and the back needs to be well-ventilated and cushioned so you don’t sweat. The chains need to be lockable, and a front loading bag is always better than a top loader although, having both options in one bag is the best.
As far as materials are concerned, backpacks are normally made from polyester fabric. Polyester is cheap, light, and does the job just fine. If you want something that is much tougher and extra lightweight, go for a nylon bag. Nylon is used in military grade paracords and tents, so you can’t really hope to break it with a laptop and a couple of books. Or even ten books, if you are that big of a genius.
Now, what you should be checking next is the stitching on the exterior. Closely scan the exterior lining, especially the joints where the straps meet the rest of the body. Make sure that the strap joints and edge lines have reinforced stitching on them, or else they will be ripping apart within a few months of usage. Now, you need to focus on the padding. Check out the straps and the back support, see if it feels comfy. If you’re okay with the comfort factor, move on to the interiors.
Check out how many compartments the backpack has, the number of interior pouches, the laptop section, the accessories pouch, the headphone storage space, etc. Keep in mind that the basic principle behind a good travel backpack is light weight and portability. So don’t go for a hundred thousand pouches and sections just because it sounds cool. Get something that is minimalistic, yet functional enough to carry everything that you’ll normally use.
Think about what stuff you’ll be carrying on a daily basis, what extra things you MIGHT need to carry. Add those up and make sure the bag has enough sections and storage space for all that. Check out the straps and external velcro pads, bottle holders, etc. This is not a military bag or survival kit, so keep the external attachments and storage as discreet and low profile as possible. We hope you have enjoyed reading our review to find the best backpack for student travel. Best of luck on your adventure!