12 Best Carry-On Backpacks in 2017

When you are traveling off the beaten track, using a backpack will often be more prudent than suitcases.

The convenience of travel in this way can be increased further by ensuring that the backpack can brought into the cabin as carry-on hand luggage.

By abiding by the rules of the airline and ensuring that it has the features you need, you will be able to obtain the best carry-on backpack that can also be used for hiking and similar activities.

Top 12 Carry-On Backpacks Overview Table

DesignNameHeightWidthRating (1-5)
  1. Top Power 8001 Transformable Convertible Carry-on Travel Backpack with Laptop Compartment 18” 13” 4.6
  2. Venture Pal Ultralight Lightweight Packable Foldable Waterproof Travel Camping Hiking Outdoor Sports Backpack Daypack 18” 13” 4.6
  3. eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible (Solid Black) 21.5” 14” 4.6
  4. SwissGear Travel Gear ScanSmart Backpack 18.5” 13.5” 4.6
  5. Ibagbar Canvas Backpack Travel Bag Hiking Bag Camping Bag Rucksack Khaki 18” 12”4.4
  6. ArcEnCiel 40L Black Backpack High Capacity Outdoor Daypack 21.7” 12.6” 4.4
  7. KAUKKO Water Repellent Laptop Backpack Hiking Rucksack with Large Capacity 18.5” 11.8” 4.3
  8. Free Knight 25L Packable Handy Lightweight Travel Backpack Daypack-Lifetime Warranty 18.5” 12.2” 4.3
  9. Coreal Large 35L Lightweight Packable Travel Hiking Backpack Black 21.56” 40cm 4.2
  10. Cabin Max Metz Backpack Flight Approved Carry on Bag 44 Litre Travel Hand Luggage 55cm 40cm 4.1
  11. SHTECH Backpack Outdoors Camping Hiking Mountaineering Waterproof Backpack Shoulder bag 21.6” 12.6” 3.9
  12. Rockland Luggage 17 Inch Rolling Carry-On Backpack 13” 17” 3.9

How to Find the Right Carry-On Backpack

The first thing to consider when choosing a carry-on backpack is the size, and making sure that this meets the requirements of the particular airline that you intend to use.

Bear in mind that different airlines have different rules, accordingly, it is prudent to check the website of the relevant airline to ensure you get the right specifications.

In addition to size restrictions, carry-on baggage is subject to weight restrictions in the same way that checked baggage is. Accordingly, to reduce your risk of being overweight, ensure that the bag is as lightweight as possible. Remove any necessary straps or buckles

Remember that carry-on luggage may be subject to scrutiny at airport security, accordingly, you may be required to repack it if there is something at the very bottom that appears suspicious on an X-ray. If there is anything that may need to be checked, ensure that this is one of the last things that you pack so that it is on the top.

Features to Help You Choose the Best Carry-On Backpack

  • Padded Straps – A carry-on backpack that comprises padded straps can be more comfortable to catarrh when it is heavy. A grab handle can also be padded, which will be easier in the hands on the occasions when it is carried in this way.
  • Compartments – Different compartments will enable you to store different items and get quick access to items that you will need regularly, such as tickets and boarding passes. Internal compartments will also make it easy to keep your belongings organized within the backpack.
  • Flat Base – A backpack that comprises a flat base will be able to stand up of its own accord rather than needing to lay it on its side or lean it up against something.
  • Secure Fasteners – If you like to be able to secure your carry-on, check whether it is capable of accommodating a lock. The type of fastener will also need to be considered as part of this step.
  • Appearance – Being able to find your carry-on backpack amongst others can help to save time and avoid confusion when searching through the overhead compartment.

Top 4 Carry-On Backpacks Reviews

1. Top Power 8001 Transformable Convertible Backpack

The Top Power 8006 Convertible is a backpack that comprises several detachable compartments. The bag in itself is also able to be converted from the main carry-on, which has a capacity of 22L, to a daypack that can hold 20L. This ability is hidden beneath a façade that gives the impression of a standard backpack.

It is a stylish looking backpack that is understated and would work well in various situations.

Even though it is not flashy, it offers great benefits, including a back panel that allows air to flow through to prevent the back from sweating, and padded straps to prevent strain on the shoulders.

A laptop of up to 14” can fit comfortably in the Top Power 8006 Convertible, alongside a number of other items.

It is available in a number of different color combinations to suit all tastes.

The strong nylon and sturdy two-way zipper of the Top Power 8006 Convertible makes it a prudent choice for many a traveler.

2. Venture Pal Ultralight Lightweight Backpack

The Venture Pal Ultralight backpack is a size that allows it to be able to be used as a carry-on with dimensions of 20” x 13” x 7.5”. It benefits from being foldable, so it can be converted into a small package of 9” x 8.5” x 2.2” that comprises a convenient handle.

It is a handy size to be able to carry with you when traveling, and creates the ability to carry a significant amount as it has a capacity of 35L. Though the main compartment is large, there are also four external pockets.

The material it is made from is strong and resistant to tears, and benefits from being water resistant. The bottom is double-layered to give it extra strength and the straps are mesh-lined to make them breathable and comfortable to wear. This makes it ideal for hiking as well as air travel.

The Venture Pal backpack is ideal for frequent travelers who would benefit from versatile luggage.

3. eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible

The eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender is a bag that is suited to the seasoned traveler, as well as those who only travel sporadically.

It is ideal for a traveler that likes to be organized, as it offers the ability to compartmentalize and have a dedicated space for your belongings. As part of this feature, it has a laptop sling to keep a laptop secure.

There is also an ability to keep small items in place, so they do not roll around and risk damage.

The double zipper allows it to be fully opened up to allow easy access to the contents

It has the benefit of a lifetime warranty, so you can be sure it is a bag you can trust.

The eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender is the best carry-on backpack for those who value good organization.

4. SwissGear Travel Gear ScanSmart Backpack

The Swiss Gear Scan Smart is named correctly as it has the features to make it a smart option for travelers.

The 1200D polyester from which it is made makes it durable and easy to clean.

At 18.5” x 13.5” x 9” it is a good size and is large enough to hold a laptop of 17”, for which it has a dedicated sleeve to keep a laptop safe.

It comprises a number of other compartments that make organization easy, and has strategically placed external pockets to keep small items handy and strong, fixed loops.

The double zippers offer easy access and the adjustable straps make it simple to size correctly for high comfort.

The Swiss Gear Scan Smart backpack is ideal for those who like practicality and an effective organizational system.