Consider These 8 Backpacks with Pockets if You Prefer to Travel Light

Christine Steuber
Nov 7, 2022
33
Tired of dragging your luggage everywhere you go? Consider these 8 travel backpacks with lots of pockets that will fit all your belongings!

What is one must-have feature in a travel bag? 

For me, there’s only one answer here – lots of pockets.

Back in 2015, when I started traveling, I had minimal knowledge of travel gear, including backpacks. I made some unsatisfying purchases and ended up storing my essentials in suitcases and whatnot. Those were terrible days, but I’ve realized that practical gear can make or break your adventures. 

So, today’s guide is for nomads like me who are on the hunt for a new travel backpack featuring sufficient compartments and pockets. 

Ready to boost your travel experience? Let’s go!

5 Characteristics of a Good Travel Backpack

I know you’re excited to see the best options for travel backpacks, but first, it’s equally important to know the top features this product should possess.

Ahead, you will learn the core qualities of a trustworthy and multifunctional backpack. So, without further ado, let’s dive in. 

Feature #1: Weight

As a rule of thumb, a backpack should weigh between 40 to 60 liters. However, the backpack needs to be proportional to your body. 

But if the bag is too small or too big, its weight will make you unbalanced and lead to back pain (speaking from experience). Ideally, your backpack should be big enough to accommodate all your stuff and have extra room inside.

Fortunately, many brands offer suggested waist and torso sizes for bags. But if you ask me, no one can know unless you try it on. In the stores, they stuff 15 kg in the bag so you can see whether it feels bearable. 

Lastly, remember that airplanes allow 40 to 45 liters without charging baggage fees. 

Feature #2: Weather resistance

Going to unknown places also means you will have to face unexpected weather. And if your bag is reliable, you won’t have to worry about sudden downpours. 

What does reliability mean in weather resistance? 

It mostly depends on your adventure. For instance, if you’re an avid hiker, only invest in 100% waterproof bags. 

However, a semi-waterproof material will work fine too. And if the drizzle gets intense, most manufacturers add a cover to the bag. This is another feature you can consider. 

While we’re discussing this aspect, let’s also learn the difference between waterproof and water-resistance. 

So, a waterproof material is completely impermeable to water. On the other hand, water-resistant products resist water penetration to some extent, but not completely. 

Feature #3: Material

Tons of materials are used to make a backpack for travel, each with its own durability level. Here are the most common ones: 

  • Ripstop nylon 

It boasts an insane strength-to-weight ratio which powerfully resists tears and rips. Plus, the weave usually includes extra fibers, meaning that even after a puncture occurs in the bag, it won’t tear further. 

But since this material was created during World War II as an alternative to silk parachutes, it is obviously expensive. 

  • Ballistic nylon 

This is simply nylon with the addition of a ballistic weave, which offers perfect tear and tensile strength. However, ballistic nylon is heavy and almost only available in black. 

  • Polypropylene 

This is a popular polymer used to make fabric. Not only is polypropylene affordable, but it’s a decent insulator and doesn’t absorb water. However, its resistance to UV isn’t substantial. 

  • Sailcloth 

This fabric may be the most water-resistant and lightweight. But very few manufacturers use it, primarily due to inflexibility.

  • TPU 

Thermoplastic polyurethane resists abrasions and never cracks at any temperature. I recommend this material to everyone as it is UV-resistant, too, and doesn’t fade much. 

Feature #4: Zippers

In my opinion, an organized backpack is incomplete without some high-quality zippers. Zippers are among the essential backpack components, and a broken one can cause all sorts of problems.

A broken zipper can ruin a trip, so it’s important to choose a backpack with high-quality zippers that are built to last. Speaking of that, quality zippers are usually made of steel or zinc. These materials are long-lasting and make a backpack more comfortable to use, as they are less likely to snag on clothes or skin. In addition, good zippers will also help keep your belongings secure. 

Feature #5: Comfort

No matter how handy a backpack is to a traveler, wearing it for a long time can cause severe back and neck pain. This brings us to our last core characteristic of a good-quality product – comfort. 

While most buyers look for a lightweight backpack or thick shoulder straps, I have listed down ignored features that guarantee maximum comfort:

  • Sternum strap
  • Load lifters
  • Torso length
  • Hip belt 

These features form the suspension system of a bag as they attach the product to your body and determine how comfy it is to carry. 

8 Best Travel Backpacks with Lots of Pockets and Compartments

Is it good when a travel backpack has many pockets? This is a question most buyers wonder about during shopping. But it’s impossible to answer it appropriately without knowing the types of pockets. 

Usually, you won’t require all these pockets, and the final decision is totally up to you and the number of things you carry. I created a graph to explain various pocket types:

Types of Backpack pockets - Firstforhers

Now, it’s time to choose the best backpack for your future adventures! Ahead, I will show lots of versatile backpacks with compartments, their main features, a list of pros and cons, and a review by a customer or travel blogger. These details will help you make a conscious purchase.

Backpack #1: Pans Large Military Tactical Travel Backpack

Woafly Large Military Tactical Travel Backpack
Credit: Woafly
  • Maximum capacity of 64 liters. 
  • Zips are water-resistant.
  • Main, front, middle, and back compartments. 
  • Weight: 3.6 lbs.

This multipurpose bag comes with a tactical design and plenty of juicy storage units. The zippered side enables you to boost the inner size to 64 liters. 

Similar to a military backpack, the material is cotton. Plus, there is a diverse color availability, so you’ll be able to find it in your favorite.

There is nothing you can’t fit inside, thanks to three external pockets and many inner pouches. 

For instance, this backpack is a great choice for mountaineering. It’s just necessary for a backpack to have lots of pockets for activities like this. It’s a lifesaver! 

Want to know further details on this great product? Here is a travel blogger on Youtube sharing all the reasons why Pans Military Backpack is a must-have:

Credit: YouTube

Now, let’s see the pros and cons:

Pros 

  • A vivid variety of colors.
  • 4 separate internal compartments.
  • A mountaineering loop for gear. 

Cons

  • Not comfortable for short heights.
  • Not enough small external pockets. 

So, I’d say this daypack would be ideal for trekking and hiking.

Backpack #2: Monoki Tactical Sling Backpack

Monoki Tactical Sling Backpack Amazon
Credit: Amazon
  • Maximum capacity of 20 liters.
  • Weight: 5 lbs.
  • Water-resistant.
  • A padded back, main, and two front compartments.

How many of you prefer a sling design? I own several sling bags as they are super comfy for outdoor activities. Plus, I love that I can keep it close to me on the chest without worrying that it will get robbed.

This multi-pocket backpack for traveling is small yet versatile, with a molle on the back. Plus, you can adjust the shoulder strap however you want. 

The extensive array of inner and external compartments is truly impressive. All of them are fitted with an internal mesh pocket to diversify your storage. Not only this but there is also a pack of additional storage items attached to the bag.

Let’s now see what travel blogger Rashad loves about this product in the following detailed review:

Credit: YouTube

Essentially, he lists the following advantages and disadvantages:

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Different fixtures for attaching gear.
  • A comfy sling design.

Cons

  • Not the best quality.
  • Smaller than other bags in the market. 

Finally, if you’re looking for a travel bag that is both functional and stylish, a sling bag is a great option.

Backpack #3: REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Backpack

REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Backpack
Credit: Amazon
  • Maximum capacity of 40 liters.
  • Weight: 3.25 lbs.
  • Water-resistant.
  • Lots of internal compartments.

The next one on our list guarantees durability and water resistance thanks to its high-density fabric composition. 

It’s perfect for carry-ons, too. There are two compression systems for this purpose that condense your stuff. 

The shoulder straps are padded and allow complete ventilation, which makes them comfortable to wear. The cherry on top is heavy-duty zippers, sub-pockets, and double stitching. 

Roland has given an honest yet positive review in this video, so let’s take a look together:

Credit: YouTube

The review highlights the following advantages and disadvantages:

Pros

  • Molle coverage and huge for maximum expansion.
  • The abundance of pockets to accommodate belongings.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • Plastic buckles can break if not used appropriately.
  • Straps could be sturdier.

If you’re skeptical, don’t be. I borrowed this one from my friend once, and I was impressed by its quality and comfort. It’s A+ from me! 

Backpack #4: MediTac Tactical Assault Pack

MediTac Tactical Assault Pack
Credit: MediTak Kits
  • Water-resistant.
  • Weight: 2.51 lbs.
  • 5 internal and 4 external compartments.

This backpack boasts heavy-duty zippers and double stitching. If nine compartments aren’t enough, you can increase the bag’s capacity thanks to the added molle.

There’s hardly a better bag to organize your stuff, and no one should underestimate its storage capability. The only downside to this aspect is that it makes it somewhat heavy.

I found one amazing guy Tony who has briefly reviewed the item in his video, so check it out:

Credit: YouTube

He also mentions that there are more pros than cons to this item.

Pros 

  • Padded laptop compartment for a 15-inch laptop.
  • Competitive price.
  • Versatile MOLLE design.
  • Many internal and external compartments.

Cons

  • Plastic buckles are weak.
  • Insufficient padding in shoulder straps.

Finally, if you are looking for a hiking backpack, this item should be on your list.

Backpack #5: Tacticon 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack

Tacticon 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack
Credit: eBay
  • Maximum capacity of 40 liters.
  • Waterproof.
  • A padded laptop compartment fit for a 17-inch device and other pockets.
  • Weight: 2.7 lbs.

This is the best backpack with an interior pocket, as it comes with a spacious laptop sleeve plus a concealed holster. It also features a strong zipper and waterproof lining. Besides, you will enjoy the padding with breathable fabric and a velcro-backed flag patch.

Want to see what people say about it? 

Chandler here claims that Tacticon 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack is the best bag he owns:

Tacticon 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack positive customer review
Screenshot from Taction’s Amazon page as of November 1, 2022

I went through a few other comments and singled out the following advantages and disadvantages of this item.

Pros

  • A reliable laptop sleeve compartment.
  • Flawless quality control.
  • Sturdy with a 1005 guarantee.

Cons 

  • Short waist straps.
  • Uncomfortable shoulder straps.

Ultimately, this solid product from a combat veteran-owned company  is good for some short walks and activities. I wouldn’t recommend it for a multi-day hike, though.

Backpack #6: Yorepek Travel Extra Large Laptop Backpack

Yorepek Travel Extra Large Laptop Backpack
Credit: Amazon
  • Capacity of 50 liters.
  • Water-resistant polyester.
  • 3 multi-compartments.

Are you a born organizer? Then consider this Yorepek bag because it has everything you need (and even more – like a USB port). Furthermore, the water-resistant construction allows you to enjoy hiking, overnight trips, camping, or traveling even if a downpour arises.

Let’s watch a great video in which Luke shares a review of his Yorepek model:

Credit: YouTube

And let’s now go through the pros and cons he mentions:

Pros

  • 20 big pockets.
  • A USB port.
  • Headphone jack.
  • Luggage strap.

Cons

  • Not suitable if you like slim models.
  • Inflexible zippers.

Overall, this large bag is great for protecting expensive gear or long adventures.

Backpack #7: QT&QY 45L Military Tactical Backpack

QT&QY 45L Military Tactical Backpack
Credit: QT&QY
  • Maximum capacity of 45 liters.
  • Waterproof.
  • Weight: 2.95 lbs.
  • 5 compartments.

Throw all your travel gear inside this roomy bag with pockets and multi-layer interior space. Besides, you’ll definitely love the additional stitching at the stress points and a special coating to make it scratch-proof.  

Finally, padded shoulder straps and mesh backing guarantee extra comfort. Plus, you can choose from five vivid colors.

I found one detailed review about this item, so let’s see Gary’s experience with QT&QY:

QT&QY 45L Military Tactical Backpack positive customer review
Screenshot from QT&QY’s Amazon Page as of November 1, 2022

Finally, let’s summarize the main pros and cons.

Pros 

  • Bottom webbing for storing equipment or sleeping bags.
  • Great molle design for side and front webbing.
  • A laptop compartment.

Cons

  • The shoulder straps place all the weight at the top of the shoulders.
  • Poor weight distribution even with the waist strap.

Let’s head over to our last option. 

Backpack #8: Under Armour Hustle 5.0

Under Armour Hustle 5.0
Credit: Under Armour
  • 4 compartments.
  • Maximum capacity of 33 liters.
  • Water-resistant UA Storm technology.

Water-repellent, comfy as anything, and tough as nails – this backpack has everything you’re looking for. The abrasion-resistant bottom has a big, expandable pocket. Furthermore, two water bottle pockets at the side, a front organizational pouch, and molle webbing will make your trip even more enjoyable.

And here’s one super-detailed review of this item:

Credit: YouTube

Finally, let’s see all advantages and disadvantages.

Pros

  • HeatGear adjustable shoulder straps.
  • Breathable mesh panel back.
  • Laptop sleeve to hold a 15-inch laptop.
  • Above 15 colors.

Cons

  • Inferior straps.
  • Unsatisfying weight distribution.

In terms of appearance, this backpack is the most attractive for me because it exudes that sporty vibe that I really like.

Over to You

And that’s it! We have reached the end of our travel backpack guide. I hope you learned a lot and have found your perfect backpack with pockets. 

P.S. don’t forget the five critical features of a backpack to look out for. Let’s go over them again. 

  • Comfort – keep it light with soft straps.
  • Weather resistance – it must be durable in all weather conditions.
  • Weight – don’t choose a heavy one because when you fill it with your stuff, it will be even heavier.
  • Material – opt for waterproof and durable materials.
  • Zippers – the zippers must be of good quality so that they do not break during the trip.

Want to read more similar content? Check out my blog to learn more about traveling essentials!

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