Last Updated on 08/08/2021 by Edy Ragnoli
Keep all your clothes, gear, and personal things safe while travelling around the world. Discover the best travel luggage, bags, and backpacks for a family holiday, adventure travel, hiking, and photography.
Either you travel for one day or several weeks for leisure or work, you need to carry your belongings and gear and make sure they stay safe while you get the max comfort and satisfaction.
Finding the right product is difficult and time-consuming. You risk wasting time and losing money. This buying guide can avoid these problems by helping you find the best travel luggage, backpacks, and camera bags that offer high quality at any price range, from cheap to top level.
Carry-On Travel Luggage
Carry-on luggage is the bag you can bring on board the plane and stow in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you. It's ideal for short trips or when you are very busy (for ex. on business travel) and need just a few things. You may also use it on long trips as additional baggage.
What are the main advantages of carry-on luggage?
- Most of the time, it's free of charge.
- You can keep all the essential and/or valuable belongings with you.
- The packing is simple and light.
- You can reduce stress.
- You can move around the airport faster and more easily.
- You can avoid queues at check-in gates if carry-on luggage is your only bag.
There are many brands and models of carry-on luggage, but all of them has something in common. They are under the maximum size allowed by airlines. Although any company has its own baggage policy, the standard domestic carry-on luggage size is 22 x 14 x 9 inches. International flights often follow the same requirements. But verify it with your airline companies before packing and departure.
Cheap Carry-On Travel Luggage
Dimensions: 19.5x14x8 inches | Weight: 2 lbs. | Capacity: 36 litres | Exterior Pockets: 3 | Material: 400-denier nylon | Laptop Compartment: Yes (17″) | Tablet Compartment: No
This suitcase is cute and spacious. It's the perfect luggage for a day or weekend trip. It's also ideal for a frequent flyer. It's lightweight but still offers plenty of storage space inside. There are no telescopic handle and wheels that can steal some storage space while also increasing the weight. That's why I love it as cheap carry-on luggage: convenient and yet robust and handy.
Thanks to the straps, you can use this suitcase as a shoulder bag or backpack. This makes the bag extremely comfortable to carry. The Osprey Transporter Global carry-on bag is available either in blue and red colour. Just visit the website and check by yourself.
Mid-Level Carry-On Travel Luggage
Dimensions: 22x14x9 inches | Weight: 4 lbs. | Capacity: 39 litres | Wheeled: Yes (2 rolling wheels) | Material: Recycled polyester/1000-denier Helix polyester twill/recycled polyethylene terephthalate | Laptop Compartment: No | Tablet Compartment: Yes
Eagle Creek made a sturdy and functional wheeled duffel carry-on bag. What makes this bag amazing?
- Multiple handles for easy pick-up
- Great capacity/weight ratio
- Several useful pockets
- A beautiful design
- A water-resistant construction
For example, when you visit tropical countries (but also America and Europe), it's almost impossible to avoid the rain. It's very annoying when you're in a hurry, walking on the street and, suddenly, you have to stop and find a shelter to keep all your stuff away from the water.
This is exactly what happened the first time we've been in Malta, on our way back to the airport. Because of sudden rain, we waited more than 30 minutes under a broken shop tent and almost lost our bus (and baggage integrity).
That wouldn't have happened with this suitcase. Don't get me wrong. It's not waterproof (don't go diving or fishing). But if you find yourself walking on the street for a few miles under normal rain, you can stay assured your baggage will keep dry, stable, and undamaged.
Top Carry-On Travel Luggage
Dimensions: 22x14x9 inches | Weight: 7 lbs. | Capacity: 33 litres | Wheeled: Yes (4 spinner wheels) | Material: Polycarbonate | Laptop Compartment: No | Tablet Compartment: No
For the top carry-on luggage category, I suggest this impressive hard-shell suitcase. It features durable construction, very sturdy handles, and size just perfect for the overhead bin.
Despite the hard-shell and four wheels, the design maximises the storage space. And what about gliding it over rough terrain? I generally prefer rolling luggage, but the oversized rear wheels of this Thule Revolve spinner suitcase are good over bumpy surfaces too.
Wheeled Travel Luggage
Your travel is nothing without luggage. Whatever your destination, you need something sturdy and easy to move. The quantity of baggage and type of terrain will determine the best type of wheeled luggage for you. The big and most debated difference stands on the wheels. So, let's clarify things once for all.
2-Wheel Rolling Travel Luggage
A rolling suitcase has two wheels. Generally, these wheels are more robust and allow you to pull your luggage behind you. Two wheels are better on rough terrains and uneven pathways and less prone to damage in such conditions.
4-Wheel Spinner Travel Luggage
A spinner suitcase, instead, mounts four (sometimes eight) wheels. It's easy to glide it along your side at the airport and in tight spaces, such as aeroplane aisles, without hitting the other passengers' legs. The wheels can rotate 360 degrees and make your luggage more stable and manoeuvrable. Your body will thank you for the reduced effort and pain. But be aware of rugged trips. I suggest you avoid them. In fact, spinner wheels work better on smooth surfaces and carpets.
Note: as a general rule of thumb, 62 linear inches is usually the maximum allowed bag size for most domestic and international carriers. Therefore, you must consider it when your trip involves flights too.
What to look for when choosing the best wheel luggage?
- Sturdy telescopic handle, especially for medium and large suitcases.
- Hard-shell case when you prefer durability (polycarbonate, aluminium, ABS, and polypropylene).
- A soft case when you prefer flexibility, more storage space, external pockets, and less weight.
- Strong fabric materials such as Cordura nylon, ballistic or polyester when you opt for soft cases.
- In-line skate wheels that are made of polyurethane for more durability.
Cheap Wheeled Travel Luggage
Dimensions: 25x15x9-11 inches | Weight: 8.5 lbs. | Wheels: 2 inline skate wheels | Pockets: 5 | Material: 1200D 2-tone polyester with PVC backing | Laptop/Tablet Compartment: No
This Travel Select Amsterdam rolling suitcase offers good value at a good price. I suggest it for minimalist travels. This luggage features strong zippers and handles, edge protection, and rugged inline wheels. It will be your travel companion for thousands of miles and dozens of flights.
Do you use multiple luggage? The strap on the top allows attaching other bags with ease. This is very comfortable, for example, when you travel with your family.
Mid-Level Wheeled Travel Luggage
Dimensions: 31.5x22x12-14 inches | Weight: 11.7 lbs. | Wheels: 8 spinner wheels | Pockets: 5 | Material: ABS/Polycarbonate + Molded corner reinforcement | Laptop/Tablet Compartment: No
Are you tired of your clothes getting damaged? This hard-side spinner luggage is the solution: a very sturdy, well-made and cute hard-shell suitcase. It survived a trip from Boston to Istanbul to Stuttgart and back without scratch or dent. For the price, it's a real bargain. Many other competitors definitely offer lower quality at the same price.
What else do I like about this travel bag? I love the storage space, the interior compartments, and the available colours (navy, charcoal, and the noticeable pretty rose gold).
Top Wheeled Travel Luggage
Dimensions: 30x16x14 inches | Weight: 8 lbs. | Capacity: 100 litres | Wheeled: Yes (2 rolling wheels) | Material: 420-denier nylon | Pockets: 7 | Laptop/Tablet Compartment: No
Are you looking for a lot of storage space along with lightness and durability? Here's the bag for you in the high-end wheeled luggage category. We're talking about a 100-litre capacity in a suitcase unbeatable over uneven terrains, curbs, and miles of cobblestone streets (for instance, the beautiful stone roads in Europe).
This Osprey rolling luggage is large enough to store, in a single bag, all the essential items for a long journey or when you travel with kids (clothes, diapers, toys, books, and much more). All you need to pay attention to are just the airlines' weight limits (assuming you're taking a plane).
The addition of a backpack harness would make it even better (as long as you have the strength to carry heavy baggage).
Duffel Travel Bags
A duffel bag or kit bag features an open non-rigid structure and features handles and shoulder straps. It's made of either natural or synthetic fabric (typically canvas). Originally, it came with a top closure using a drawstring and was used by non-commissioned military personnel.
In the travel industry, this term also refers to hoop-handled zipper bags. Commonly, people use duffel bags for recreational activities. In fact, they are good for carrying sports gear or bulky objects. They can also feature wheels that add more comfort with heavy baggage.
Cheap Duffel Bag
Dimensions: 25.5×13.75×13.75 inches | Weight: 1 lbs. | Capacity: 60 litres | Exterior Pockets: 1 | Material: Coated 610-denier Cordura® polyester | Waterproof: No | Backpack Straps: No
Do you want something that will look almost brand new after dozens of trips? Here you go! At a reasonable price, you get a durable, light, and easy to carry duffel bag. I suggest it for both travel, camping, commuting, fitness, and casual use.
The storage space is impressive. For more convenience, it packs down into its own side pocket. In this way, you can stash it in your checked or carry-on luggage and use it to have additional luggage space for the return flight (for example, to bring home souvenirs).
Mid-Level Travel Duffel Bag
Dimensions: 24x14x13 inches | Weight: 3 lbs. | Capacity: 65 litres | Exterior Pockets: 2 | Material: 800-denier nylon + double thermoplastic urethane coating | Backpack Straps: Yes | Waterproof: No | Water-Resistant: Yes
For the mid-level category, I propose an easy-to-carry duffel that can turn into a backpack: 65-litre travel luggage you can comfortably carry everywhere. The Osprey Transporter 65 duffel bag is rugged and features fully-opened U-zip access. The colour and design are cool. The internal space is enough to store all the gear for your adventures (tools, a 70-metre rope, jacket, tent, food, etc). It's simply amazing!
I suggest it for long weekend trips (4 days/3 nights) and camping. Read all the customers reviews. You will buy it immediately later on.
Top Duffel Bag for Travel
Dimensions: 28×15.5×11 inches | Weight: 6.1 lbs. | Capacity: 75 litres | Interior Pockets: 2 | Material: Nylon | Waterproof: Yes | Backpack Straps: Yes
Are you passionate about water sports and adventure travel? YETI Panga 75 Dry Duffel is the ultimate travel luggage to keep your gear and clothes dry and safe during a torrential rainstorm or even when the bag is dunked and dragged.
With a 75-litre gear capacity, it offers plenty of room for at least 5 days. Furthermore, it's easy to carry as a backpack. A larger opening would make it stellar. But I think the waterproof feature requires some compromise.
I suggest this duffel bag for camping and paddling.
Travel Daypacks/Day Backpacks
A daypack is a small version of a backpack. It features back straps, but it's lightweight yet big enough to carry a few extra items for your day adventure. Because of its size, weight, and more stylish design, a daypack is ideal for coffee shop runs, daily commutes, short urban trips, day hikes, road biking, or running.
What are the main characteristics of a daypack (or day backpack)?
- Up to 35/40 litres capacity
- Little (or zero) back support
- No padded shoulder straps
- Top opening
Cheap Travel Daypack
Dimensions: 17.75x11x4.75 inches | Weight: 5 oz. | Capacity: 13 litres | Exterior Pockets: 3 | Material: 70-denier nylon | Lockable Zipper: Yes | Tablet Compartment: No | Carry-on: Yes
So let's assume you reached your destination and checked into the hotel. Now you're ready for your day trip to visit the local heritage. With the Eagle Creek packable daypack, you can leave your big luggage in the room and have something stylish and practical to store the essentials while roaming around, cycling, shopping, and more.
It's lightweight yet sturdy. For a low price, you get a quality bag I recommend for everyday use.
Mid-Level Day Backpack for Travelling
Dimensions: 19.5x11x10.5 inches | Weight: 2.7 lbs. | Capacity: 24 litres | Exterior Pockets: 3 | Material: Nylon/closed-cell foam | Laptop Compartment: Yes (15″) | Tablet Compartment: Yes
Here's a very well-constructed day backpack. I recommend it for an urban or nature adventure. This bag is practical and durable. Some customers claimed it's also water-resistant or even waterproof.
Although it features tablet and laptop compartments, its sleek design makes it very comfortable and discreet. You could run even in the forest without snagging on anything. A hip belt would make it more complete.
Top Travel Day Backpack
Dimensions: 20x7x12.5 inches | Weight: 4 lbs. | Capacity: 28 litres | Chest Strap: Yes | Hip Belt: Yes | Material: High-density nylon/thermoplastic urethane lamination | Waterproof: Yes | Carry-on: Yes
The YETI Panga Pack is the most durable daypack you can find on the market. It's waterproof and rugged, almost “bulletproof”. The bag and your expensive gear can survive any wild adventure, water activities (in either freshwater or saltwater) and outdoor obstacles (rapids, torrential downpours, rocky terrain, desert). I recommend the Yeti Panga Pack for activities such as hunting, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.
Backpacks for Hiking/Trekking and Backpacking
Do you want to get the most out of your adventure travel? I suggest you leave for long multi-day hiking and camping trips equipped with the right gear. On these occasions, you need much more comfort and storage room. So, a full-size hiking backpack is what you need to start your journey the right way.
What are the main specifications of a hiking or trekking backpack?
- High capacity ranging from 30 litres to 80 litres to carry all your items such as water, food, tools, shoes, clothes, a tent, sleeping bag, first-aid kit, etc.
- Inner framework or skeleton as support to disperse the load and provide more comfort.
- Adjustable padded shoulder straps.
- Many compartments to organise your gear and make them more accessible.
- Multiple adjustment points for a custom fit.
Here's my best selection of hiking and trekking backpacks for the weekend or multi-day trips. Let's discover the best small and big alternatives, from the cheapest to the more expensive, both very appreciated for their high quality. Here are the best buys of the year.
Cheap Hiking Backpack
Dimensions: 24x12x8 in | Weight: 2 lbs. | Capacity: 30L | Frame: Internal | Frame Material: Delrin | Material: Nylon/polyester/closed-cell foam | Ext. Pockets: 4 | Hip Belt: Yes | Hip Belt Pockets: Yes | Raincover Included: Yes | Reservoir Compatible: Yes | Stays: 1 peripheral hoop
The Deuter Trail 30 is the best medium-size pack for a day or weekend hike (and great adventure). For example, you can plan a hike on the southern island of New Zealand, a small hike in Colorado, a 3-day hike walking 10 miles a day.
What does it stand out for?
- It's lightweight and adjustable.
- It's comfortable on the shoulders and around the waist.
- It's functional.
- It comes with an attractive cranberry colour.
- It features a handy front-access zipper.
- It's breathable.
- It's made of high-quality materials.
Mid-Level Backpack for Backpacking
Dimensions: 29.1×11.8×9.4 in | Weight: 3 lbs. | Capacity: 55L | Frame Type: Internal Frame | Frame Material: Aluminum | Material: Nylon/polyester/closed-cell foam | Ext. Pockets: 4 | Hip Belt: Yes | Hip Belt Pockets: Yes | Adjustable Torso Length: Yes | Reservoir Compatible: Yes | Stays: 2 | Sleeping Bag Compartment: Yes
Do you want to make things more memorable with multi-day hikes? What's better than a solid, comfortable, and functional backpacking backpack? The Deuter Aircontact 55-litre backpack fits perfectly a thick lady short torso, but it's adjustable hence good for many body types. It also features several compartments that easily keep food, clothes, and tools separate.
Here's an example of what you can pack all at once:
- Sleeping bag
- Gas canister
- Self-care products
- Water filter
- Water reservoir
Top Backpack for Hiking and Trekking
Dimensions: 28x15x13 in | Weight: 5 lbs. | Capacity: 51L | Frame: Internal | Frame Material: Carbon | Material: CORDURA nylon | Exterior Pockets: 2 | Stays: 4 | Adjustable Torso Length: Yes | Reservoir Compatible: Yes
The first reason I love this backpack is the extra load-carrying capability between the frame and pack bag. Secondly, I like the incredibly sturdy and durable structure. The high-quality is worth the price.
Other reasons to buy this hiking backpack are:
- A frame that flexes with your body.
- An outstanding weight distribution.
- The 3-zipper design.
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Camera Bags for Travel
Whether you travel for leisure or business, a camera is nowadays your best inseparable companion. Do you prefer nature? Are you more interested in urban adventures? In any case, you need a travel camera bag to carry all your travel gear and accessories comfortably and keep them safe from damage, the weather, and thieves.
There's plenty of choice on the market, but it's easy to purchase the wrong item. A good camera bag is 1) lightweight, sturdy, and durable; 2) roomy enough to store all your gear and accessories; 3) easily accessible to grab your camera and lens immediately while the bag is still attached to your body.
Here's a selection of the best camera bags you can buy online for a low, medium, or high price. They are the most highly rated camera bags and backpacks by amateur and professional photographers.
Cheap Camera Bag
Dimensions: 10.6×6.2×17.7 in| Weight: 3.3 lbs. | Lenses: 5-6 | Flashes: 2-3 | Water-Resistant: Yes | Chest Buckle: Yes | Tripod Storage: Yes | Laptop Compartment: 17.5″ | SD Card Pocket: Yes | Side Door: Yes |
Here's an impressive camera bag at a low price. It features many compartments, shoulder straps, front and side access.
What are the other reasons to buy it?
- Quality material
- Flexible setup
Read the customer reviews and see real pictures of this camera backpack. Your natural next step will be a click on the “buy now” button.
Mid-Level Camera Backpack
Dimensions: 14.17×8.66×20.47 in | Weight: 5.06 lbs. | Lenses/Flashes: 8 | All-Weather Cover: Yes | Hip Belt: Yes | Tripod Storage: Yes | Laptop Comp.: 15″ | Side Door: Yes | Bottle Holder: Yes
Let's level up with an all-around camera backpack. The Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW II offers plenty of space to accommodate even a full-frame camera and a drone such as a Mavic Pro.
When you travel and shoot many photos and videos, you need a durable, comfortable and weather-resistant camera bag. This is your best buy. It looks just amazing and gives a very pro feeling. A hard-shell bottom would make it superior.
Top Camera Backpack for Professionals
Dimensions: 12.2×23.2×9.1 in | Weight: 5.1 lbs. | Expandable Roll-Top: Yes | Lenses/Flashes: 4-5 | Water-Resistant: Yes | Removable Belt: Yes | Adjustable Shoulder Strap: Yes | Side Door: Yes | Tripod Storage: Yes | Laptop Compartment: 16″ | Bottle holder: Yes | Capacity: 70 litres
The Shimoda Action X70 is a professional camera backpack that can store definitely a lot of travel photography equipment. It's the best camera bag you can have for your photography passion and professional work. It also makes a great camping bag for landscape photographers so you can bring both your gear and clothes.
What are the main reasons I love this camera backpack?
- Highest quality
- Ease of cleaning
- Comfort even with a lot of weight
- Room for a ton of gear
- Wonderful army green colour
- The adjustable shoulder strap system
Travelling can be an everlasting experience regardless of the reason. But it turns into a nightmare when you lose or damage your baggage. What's the best luggage, then? There's no definitive answer. The best luggage is the one that best fits your needs and travel destination.
So, discover what your trip requires, the weather and terrain conditions. Then match all of this with the above-mentioned luggage options, features and price. You'll find the best companion for your next unforgettable journey. So, which travel luggage do you prefer? What else would you add to this list?