These days, more and more people are breaking free from conventional 9-5 jobs and embracing the world of location independence. I’ve been a digital nomad for the last 18 months and I can honestly say it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.
However, in order to work remotely from anywhere in the world, it’s important to make sure you have the right gear. In this post, I’ll be discussing my pick of the 10 best digital nomad backpacks to help keep your work equipment safe and (equally importantly) portable.
Each backpack on this list is versatile and durable enough to accompany you on your nomadic journey. However, there are various different styles to choose from, and I’ve included some of the best and most popular ones below.
Best Digital Nomad Backpacks
Below, I’ve given an honest review of each backpack, including its pros, cons, and key features.
From fashionable urban chic to rugged and functional, these digital nomad backpacks are all fantastic and unique in their own right. This list includes a good range of brands, styles, and prices in the below list, so there should be something here that’s perfect for you:
1. Osprey Escapist 25 Daypack (Overall Best Backpack for Digital Nomads)
Whether you’re hiking up a mountain, exploring a new city, soaking up some rays on the beach, or simply walking to your favorite coworking space, the Osprey Escapist 25 Daypack is without a doubt my favorite backpack on this list.
You can fit a surprisingly large amount of stuff in this pack, despite its medium-sized appearance. And, even when fully loaded, it’s really comfortable to carry thanks to the ergonomic padded straps, as well as its ventilated and adjustable back panel.
Inside, the pack has several zippered pockets and compartments, so it’s easy to keep all of your work kit (or whatever else you’re carrying) organized and accessible. It also has three outer mesh pockets and even comes with a stashable waterproof rain cover.
I’ve had one for nearly 10 years and use it most days, and it’s still going strong! As well as being my go-to backpack for all of my work gear, I’ve also taken it hiking in Central Asia, city-hopping in Europe, and road-tripping in Ethiopia, Somaliland, and a number of other offbeat destinations.
It currently costs $127 on Amazon. Click here to buy one now.
Features of Osprey Escapist 25 Daypack
- Mesh-covered, adjustable back panel
- Hip belt with zippered stash pouches
- Multiple pockets for internal organization
- Separate compartments for shoes and clothes
- Zippered scratch-free top pocket for sunglasses, etc.
- Hydration sleeve in back panel
- Integrated rain cover
- Bike helmet attachment system
Pros and Cons of Osprey Escapist 25 Daypack
- Excellent organization: Multiple pockets and compartments for easy organization and access to gear
- Comfortable to carry: AirScape back panel and BioStretch harness provide a comfortable fit and ventilation
- Versatile: Equally suitable for carrying work gear, hiking, weekend trips, etc.
- Durable: Made of high-quality materials so will last a long time even with extensive use
- No dedicated laptop sleeve: You’ll need to put your laptop inside its own case within the pack
- Relatively high cost: It’s more expensive than many other digital nomad backpacks, so may not suit all budgets
- Limited color options: The pack only comes in black, red, and blue, which may not be to everyone’s preference
2. NOMATIC Travel Pack
The Travel Pack 20L is a very solid offering from NOMATIC, a relatively new brand that specializes in producing high-quality digital nomad backpacks. One of my favorite features of this bag is that you can expand it from 20 to 30 liters, depending on how much you need to carry.
As well as having a dedicated padded laptop sleeve, it also has a number of other pockets, pouches, and wallets inside to help keep your stuff organized and accessible. The design is sleek and stylish, with a minimalist, professional aesthetic.
This is a premium product, with a premium price tag. However, it’s built from high-quality durable, water-resistant materials (including waterproof zippers), so it’s likely to last a long time if properly cared for.
It currently costs $300 on Amazon. Click here to learn more.
Features of NOMATIC Travel Pack
- Padded laptop sleeve
- Anti-theft pockets
- RFID-safe lockable pocket
- Expandable (by an additional 10 liters)
- Stylish design
- Adjustable, comfortable straps
Pros and Cons of NOMATIC Travel Pack
- Sleek and professional design: Stylish and polished aesthetic suitable for professional settings and stylish urban adventures
- Great storage and organization: Multiple compartments and pockets for efficient organization of belongings
- Versatile and customizable: Includes features such as a removable waist strap, retractable key leash, and customizable panels
- Carry-on compliant size: Meets the size requirements for carry-on luggage on most airlines
- Durable and water-resistant: Constructed with high-quality materials and resistant to showers and moderately bad weather conditions
- Comfortable to wear: Padded shoulder straps and back panel provide comfort and support
- Cost: Very expensive compared with other digital nomad backpacks
- Limited external attachment points: It has less functionality for outdoor activities like hiking
- Small water bottle pocket: The water bottle pocket isn’t stretchy and can’t hold larger bottles
- Issues with zippers: In online reviews, some customers have reported issues with the zippers not being robust enough
3. Tomtoc Travel Backpack 40L
This is one of the best backpacks for techies. The Tomtoc Travel Backpack is ideally suited for nomads who need to carry around a lot of stuff, including a laptop with a larger screen.
The bag has several compartments, a dedicated tech storage area that can hold a 17-inch laptop as well as an iPad with various accessories. With a 40-liter capacity, this is one of the largest digital nomad backpacks to make the list.
I like the quick-access front pocket which is ideal for storing your travel or work essentials. You can also unzip the main compartment and open it up flat like a suitcase, which is a nice feature and makes it easier to pack and unpack.
An added bonus of this bag is that it’s made from recycled plastic bottles! It currently costs $65 on Amazon (reduced from the usual list price of $90). Click here to buy one now.
Features of Tomtoc Travel Backpack 40L
- Can hold a 17-inch laptop, iPad, and related tech gear
- 180-degree clamshell opening design for easy packing and unpacking
- Thick contoured shoulder straps and an adjustable chest strap
- Quality buckles and straps, and YKK zippers
- Sturdy outer shell
- Qualifies as a carry-on with most airlines, despite its large 40L capacity
- Good eco-credentials (it’s made from recycled plastic bottles)
Pros and Cons of Tomtoc Travel Backpack 40L
- Affordable: More budget-friendly than some of the other premium packs described in this post
- Spacious and versatile storage capacity: The 40L capacity provides ample space for packing belongings, and various compartments allow for efficient organization
- Durable and water-resistant: Constructed with high-quality materials that offer durability and protection against water damage
- Comfortable and adjustable carrying system: Padded shoulder straps, back panel, and adjustable sternum strap ensure a comfortable fit and support
- Multiple external attachment points: Allows you to attach additional gear to the exterior of the backpack (tripods, sleeping bag, small tent, etc.) – great for hiking and camping
- Convenient accessibility: Has a front pocket organizer and side pockets for easy access and organization
- Lack of dedicated laptop compartment: You’ll also need to use a protective case for your laptop
- May be too big for some: At 40L in capacity, this is a fairly large digital nomad backpack and may not be suitable if you don’t need to carry very much
- Not carry-on compliant: Given its larger size, you may not be able to take this as a carry-on with some airlines
- Limited back ventilation: This can lead to a lack of comfort (i.e. a sweaty back)
- Limited padding on shoulder straps: Less comfortable when carrying heavy loads
4. BANGE 35L Travel Backpack
The BANGE 35L Travel Backpack is another affordable bag that’s able to hold quite a lot of gear. Its dedicated laptop compartment can hold up to a 17.3-inch laptop and is made from waterproof PVC material so should keep your computer dry and safe from bad weather.
The bag has several internal compartments, pouches, and pockets that are handy for keeping your gear organized. It can also be expanded from 22 to 35 liters, so it’s quite versatile and spacious but also packs away fairly small when required.
I really like the separate waterproof compartment that can be used for storing wet clothes and/or leaky toiletries, so you don’t have to worry about damage to any of your other items inside the pack.
It currently costs $66 on Amazon. Click here to learn more.
Features of BANGE 35L Travel Backpack
- Expandable from 22 to 35 liters
- A separate (waterproof) laptop compartment that fits up to a 17.3-inch laptop
- Wet and dry separation pockets
- Built-in USB charging port
- Reinforced shoulder and handle joints
Pros and Cons of BANGE 35L Travel Backpack
- Affordable: This is another budget-friendly digital nomad backpack
- Dedicated laptop pouch: Can hold a 17.3-inch laptop and keep it safe and secure
- Spacious: 35L capacity
- Carry-on compliant: Fits underneath the seat on most airlines
- Multiple compartments: Helps with efficient organization and provides easy access to your things
- Zipper and seam durability: Some customers have reported issues with the durability of the zippers and seams
- Lack of adjustability: May not fit all body types
- Available in black only: May not suit everyone’s personal preferences and style
5. MATEIN Travel Laptop Backpack
The MATEIN Travel Laptop Backpack is a great budget backpack for a digital nomad looking to minimize costs. Given its low price, it has an impressive number of features, including a built-in USB port and a hidden anti-theft pocket.
It has loads of useful pockets, including a separate laptop compartment that can hold a 15.6-inch laptop. There’s also a front organizer compartment with further inner pockets and pouches.
This is one of the cheapest digital nomad backpacks on the market. While it may not be quite as durable as some of the other bags reviewed here, it’s still excellent value and has a good price-to-quality ratio.
It currently costs $30 on Amazon. Click here to learn more.
Features of MATEIN Travel Laptop Backpack
- Integrated USB charging port
- Padded laptop compartment that fits up to a 15.6-inch laptop
- Front organizer pocket
- “Secret” back pocket for security
- Strap for secure attachment to wheeled luggage
Pros and Cons of MATEIN Travel Laptop Backpack
- Extremely affordable: This is one of the cheapest digital nomad backpacks that I’m aware of
- Storage and organization: Multiple compartments and pockets
- Dedicated laptop compartment: Not all of the backpacks on this list feature this
- Water-resistant: Keeps your belongings dry from light rain or spills
- USB charging port: Allows for easy charging of devices on the go
- Comfortable and ergonomic design: Padded shoulder straps and a well-designed back panel provide comfort during extended wear
- Build quality: It’s a cheap backpack so you can’t expect it to last as long as a higher-end backpack built with better-quality materials
- Zippers may not be as sturdy: As with most cheaper backpacks, some users have reported issues with the durability of the zippers
6. Osprey Farpoint 40
Another excellent bag from Osprey, I also own a Farpoint 40 and tend to use this when I need to carry more stuff with me than will fit into my Escapist 25.
This is a very versatile bag. As well as fitting all of my work equipment (with lots of space to spare for clothes and other belongings), I’ve also used mine for shorter backpacking trips, road trips, and various other adventures.
It can be used as carry-on luggage with most airlines. Still, it’s worth double-checking the exact dimensions you’re allowed beforehand, especially if you’re flying with a budget airline (these tend to be stricter about baggage limits).
If you’re using the pack as a checked bag, the shoulder straps and hip belt stow away into a helpful zippered back panel, so you don’t need to worry about these getting damaged in transit; essentially converting the pack into a holdall.
It currently costs $185 on Amazon. Find out more here.
Features of Osprey Farpoint 40
- Quick-access laptop compartment
- Webbing straps for attaching additional gear
- Internal compression straps
- Stowable back panel for protection during transit
- Padded carry handles and sling-style shoulder strap for when the back panel is stowed
Pros and Cons of Osprey Farpoint 40
- Carry-on compliant: Despite its spacious 40-liter capacity, this pack meets most airlines’ carry-on size allowances
- Comfortable to carry: It has padded shoulder straps, a mesh back panel, and an adjustable sternum strap
- Lightweight yet durable: This pack is very lightweight despite being sturdy and hard-wearing (Ospreys are great!)
- Great organization: Lots of internal zippered mesh pockets for organizing all of your work and personal gear
- Limited access to the main compartment: You need to open the entire front panel of the backpack to access the main compartment
- Not very waterproof: This pack does offer some water resistance, but can’t withstand heavy rain or prolonged exposure to moisture
7. TANGCORLE 50L
With a 50-liter maximum capacity, the TANGCORLE 50L is a backpack for digital nomads who need to carry a lot of belongings. It’s expandable from 36-50 liters though, so can still be used as a carry-on when you don’t need to bring quite as much.
This pack can easily carry a 17-inch laptop, as well as enough clothes and personal items to last for up to a week. The spacious main compartment can be unzipped to open a full 180 degrees, which makes it easy to pack and access all of your belongings.
The separate laptop compartment is located on the back of the bag and is accessible without going into the main compartment, which is handy. But this also keeps your laptop close to your back when you’re wearing it, for added security and peace of mind in crowded settings.
It currently costs $78 on Amazon. Click here to buy one now.
Features of TANGCORLE 50L
- Expandable from 36-50 liters
- 180-degree opening main compartment
- Comes with 3 packing cubes included
- Integrated USB charging port
- Hidden zipper pocket for valuables
- SOS whistle on the chest strap
Pros and Cons of TANGCORLE 50L
- Large capacity: You can fit a lot into this bag
- Versatile: The fact that you can expand the pack from 36-50 liters means you can use it for various lengths and styles of trip
- Comfortable to carry: Padded back pad and shoulder straps mean it’s relatively comfortable even when carrying heavy loads
- Value for money: Great price-to-quality ratio
- Large size: This is a fairly big backpack so some people may not find it suitable for everyday use
- Small water bottle holder: May not fit larger water bottles
- Thin interior fabric: The internal nylon fabric that separates the compartments is rather thin so might not be as durable as some of the other packs described here
8. TARION XH Hard Shell Waterproof Camera Backpack
The TARION XH is a super-durable camera backpack that’s ideal for those who travel with a large DSLR camera, lenses, and other photography equipment.
It has a PVA hard shell cover, a 3-layer lining, and thick protective padding, and is made from highly water-resistant fabric to help keep all of your camera gear safe and secure.
The main camera compartment has a capacity of 18.5 liters and comes with moveable (and removable) padded dividers so you can customize the inside space to fit your camera setup. In total, it can hold up to 5 lenses or 2 DSLR cameras with 3 lenses.
There’s also a 15-inch laptop compartment which is detachable and accessible through the back of the bag (good for security). You can even carry a small-sized drone in this backpack, and the top of the pack has a roll-down top which can give up to an extra 10% storage capacity.
It’s often easy to spend a lot of money on fancy camera backpacks, but this one is surprisingly reasonably priced and currently costs $80 on Amazon. Click here to learn more.
Features of TARION XH Hard Shell Waterproof Camera Backpack
- 15-inch detachable laptop sleeve at the back
- Expandable rolltop compartment
- A convenient side pocket that allows quick and easy access to your camera
- Moveable padded dividers
- PVA hard shell cover
Pros and Cons of TARION XH Hard Shell Waterproof Camera Backpack
- Very sturdy and durable: Hard shell design provides excellent protection against impacts and falls
- Waterproof and weather-resistant materials: Designed to keep your camera gear safe and dry in wet conditions
- Customizable and adjustable interior compartments: Allows for flexible organization of camera equipment with adjustable dividers
- Comfort: Padded shoulder straps, back panel, and ergonomic design ensure it’s comfortable to wear even when carrying heavy equipment
- Expandable rolltop compartment: Allows you to expand the bag or pack it down smaller, depending on how much you need to carry
- Detachable laptop sleeve: You can use this as a padded laptop case even without the rest of the backpack
- Bulkier and heavier than other backpacks: The hard shell construction adds weight and bulk to the backpack
- Limited storage space for non-camera items: The main purpose of the backpack is camera gear storage, which may limit space for personal items
- May not fit larger camera setups: The backpack’s size and interior dimensions may not accommodate larger or professional camera setups
9. KAKA Travel Backpack
The KAKA Travel Backpack is another great digital nomad backpack that can be converted from a backpack to a duffle bag. As well as the padded carry handles, it also has an extra strap so you can carry it as a shoulder bag if preferred.
This versatility means that it can be used for a range of different purposes other than carrying your work gear, such as hiking, climbing, road trips, or even short backpacking trips.
The main compartment makes up the majority of the bag’s capacity. It is spacious, although you might also want to use packing cubes to help with internal organization. The shoulder straps could benefit from having thicker padding, however, overall, this is a great backpack.
It currently costs $70 on Amazon. Click here to buy one now.
Features of KAKA Travel Backpack
- Converts from a backpack to a duffle bag/shoulder bag
- Zippered back panel stashes and protects the shoulder straps if you need to check it in on a flight
- Dedicated compartment for a 15.6-inch laptop
- Comes with a stashable rain cover (for when the bag is being used as a backpack)
Pros and Cons of KAKA Travel Backpack
- Versatile design: Can be easily converted from a backpack to a duffle bag, providing additional flexibility for different travel scenarios
- Good storage capacity: 35L capacity provides ample space for your belongings
- Build quality: Made from high-quality materials so should be durable and long-lasting if taken care of
- Affordable: This is an excellent, affordable, mid-range digital nomad backpack
- Lacks internal organization: Most items need to go in the main compartment (so you may want to also use packing cubes)
- Small front pockets: The front pockets can’t fit much inside
- Lack of padding on shoulder straps: A few customers have complained that the padding isn’t thick enough on the shoulder straps
10. CYUREAY Convertible Tote Daypack
The CYUREAY Convertible Tote Daypack is another convertible bag – this one can be used as both a backpack and a tote bag.
In addition to its chic and stylish appearance, this bag is also both practical and comfortable to carry, with adjustable shoulder straps and a wide rectangular opening.
It can carry up to a 15.6-inch laptop in the main compartment, and a built-in USB charging port means you can charge your devices on the move. There are five other pockets, including two zipper pockets at the front, for you to store various personal items.
It currently costs $34 on Amazon. Click here for more info.
Features of CYUREAY Convertible Tote Daypack
- Can be used as both a backpack and a tote bag
- Built-in USB charging port
- Stylish yet also practical
- Can carry a 15.6-inch laptop
- Made of water-resistant fabric
- Comes in various different colors
Pros and Cons of CYUREAY Convertible Tote Daypack
- Versatile design: Offers the flexibility to use the bag as a tote or easily convert it into a backpack
- Lightweight and compact: Designed to be lightweight and easy to carry
- Multiple compartments: Comes with various compartments and pockets to keep your belongings organized
- Suitable in various situations: Can be used for work, travel, or casual outings, offering versatility in different settings
- Affordability: This is another good budget-friendly digital nomad backpack
- Limited padding and support: Less comfortable for carrying heavy loads
- Smaller capacity: You can’t fit as much inside compared with other packs mentioned in this post
- Durability: Some customers have reported issues with the bag’s durability
- Not unisex: This bag is primarily marketed to women (although there’s no real reason that men can’t use it, other than potentially not liking the style)
Things to Consider When Choosing a Digital Nomad Backpack
When picking the right digital nomad travel backpack for you, it’s important to bear in mind a number of factors. Some of these overlap, but all are worth considering:
1. How long you’ll be gone: The length of time you’ll be traveling is one of the most important things to think about when choosing the best nomad backpack for your needs. Shorter journeys may call for a compact and nimble option, while extended trips usually require a larger and sturdier backpack capable of accommodating all your belongings.
2. How much you need to bring: As a digital nomad, it’s really important to strike the right balance between necessity and excess. When traveling for extended periods of time, it’s good to carry the odd comfort, but, how much do you really need to cart around? Answering this question honestly will help you pick an appropriately sized backpack.
3. Type of Work: Similarly, the nature of your work also determines what style and size of backpack you need. If you’re a blogger, you probably don’t need too much equipment for work. On the other hand, if you’re a professional photographer or a podcaster, you might need a larger bag (and require dedicated compartments) for all of your gear.
4. Waterproofing: Is the backpack waterproof? This is obviously more important in some countries/regions (e.g. Ireland/the tropics) than others (e.g. Egypt/the Middle East).
5. Pace of travel: Consider the rhythm of your nomadic lifestyle. Will you be on the move frequently or settling in each location for an extended period? The more you’ll be moving around, the more comfortable you’ll need your backpack to be.
6. Comfort and adjustability: All of the backpacks in this post are comfortable and, to an extent, adjustable. But some bags excel in this area more than others. One of the main reasons I love the Osprey Escapist 25 so much is that it’s extremely comfortable, and you can adjust various sections of the back and straps so that it fits perfectly to your body.
Digital Nomads Backpacks: FAQs
Here are some answers to commonly asked questions on the best digital nomad backpacks available:
For me, the Osprey Escapist 25 is the best backpack for digital nomads overall. But, the NOMATIC Travel Pack is also really excellent too.
The MATEIN Travel Laptop Backpack is the cheapest digital nomad backpack on this list.
The best carry-on backpack for digital nomads does, to an extent, depend on your personal requirements and preferences. Personally, I believe the Osprey Escapist 25 is the best one.
A good nomad backpack should have various compartments or pockets that make it easy to organize your belongings. It should also be durable, weather-resistant, and versatile enough that you can use it in a variety of different settings.
I hope this guide to the best backpacks for digital nomads has been useful and helps you to pick a pack that’s perfect for your needs.
My favorite pack is the Osprey Escapist 25 as it’s ideally suited to my lifestyle and needs. But everyone has different requirements and preferences, so it’s a good idea to compare a few different packs before deciding which one is best for you.
Remember, whatever your budget, it’s worth investing in quality gear, especially when it comes to the things you use every day.