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The Best Backpacks for Solo Travelers

Heading out there alone? Better bring a bag that is built for any type of adventure.

Updated:

October 20, 2021
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When you’re flying solo, your real travel partner will be the backpack you choose to bring. Shutterstock

Whether you’re heading off on your own to the wilderness or a luxury hotel, a good backpack is one of the best tools for traveling solo. Here are five packs to consider, and what to look for.

The North Face Vault Backpack

For Work and Play

Whether exploring a jungle or spending a night at your favorite local resort, you’ll want to be able to bring what matters. The North Face

Weight matters when it comes to luggage, but especially backpacks. Go for a pack that’s light but made of tough material, like ripstop nylon, so you can cram it full if need be.

Amazon Basics Carry-On Travel Backpack

A Little Room for Everything

Everyone needs something different from a bag, but space is always one of the most consistent priorities. Amazon Basics

Next, take a look at the design. If you’re going to be roughing it across trail and glen, then you probably can forgo the laptop pocket, for example, but if this will be your airport road warrior, get one it’s easy to organize with.

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SWISSGEAR 5358 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack

For Travelers on the Move

When you don’t have time to waste, pick the bag that was made for cruising through the TSA line. SWISSGEAR

If you’ll be seeing the inside of a lot of airports, get a bag that’s compliant with TSA standards. This includes standardized locks, a lay-flat design, and no metal snaps or zippers over the laptop pocket that might obscure your stuff from x-ray machines.

High Sierra TSA Elite Laptop Backpack

Go Easy on Your Arms

Younger travelers shouldn’t have to experience the pains of heavy bags and bothersome straps with no padding. High Sierra

Comfort, of course, will also matter. Check for packs that have vents and breathable designs that give your back and shoulders a little room to “breathe,” so you’re not sweating five minutes into your hike.

Targus CitySmart EVA Pro Travel Business Commuter and Checkpoint-Friendly Backpack

Like Bringing Your Office

When your trip is all work and very little play, choose the bag that reinvents organized travel. Targus

Make sure your backpack works with your other bags. Look for features like trolley straps, to fit over a rolling bag’s telescoping handles, to make lugging everything a little easier.

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Victor Tan is a contributing writer to Islands, an award-winning brand founded in 1980 that speaks to international travelers who have an affinity for the Caribbean and beyond. The website showcases destinations, resorts, cruises, and recommendations by the Islands’ staff. Victor has a focus on the Caribbean, Mexico, and cruises. As a solo traveler, he’s always looking for the best luggage and bags to make the trip easier. He’s also serious about keeping up with fitness away from home, so there’s no gadget he isn’t willing to try.

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