The Best Travel Backpack

best travel backpack

Ah, the fun of packing light. Less is always better on the road, don’t you agree? In this series, we’ll run you through some of our tried-and-true best packing tips for living the flâneur lifestyle.

Paul laid down the ultimate challenge: to travel across Italy for two-and-a-half weeks with only what can fit in a carry-on. I laughed at first, but looking back at our time in Italy, it was the best decision we could have made.

Tortuga travel backpack

Our vessel of choice: the Tortuga Travel Backpack. Paul did extensive research here, and while we have no affiliation with Tortuga, we can't stop singing their praises. The top three reasons this bag was best for us, you ask? Without further adieu...

  • Cobblestones, stairs, and checking luggage were no issue for us. We watched as fellow travelers struggled with monstrous rolling luggage clickity-clacking through the quaintest of European neighborhoods, while we danced our way through the narrowest of passageways with ease. These bags fit overhead on even the smallest of flights.
  • This bag is an agile mother-f-er. The straps are adjustable, meaning the same bag was comfy for trekking across Venice on foot for both a six-foot frame, and a 5'5" one as well. But the best part was how the straps tuck inside to transform into a handheld suitcase which worked particularly well for getting on and off planes. And did we mention it opens up like a suitcase? It was awesome.
backpack phase 1
  • It has just enough structure and give for all the must haves...and then some. We purchased the accompanying packing cubes and found they fit perfectly, even when we acquired more little goodies along the way...those zippers held up phenomenally! There are also pockets placed exactly where you might need them -- like in the top for quick access to your rain coat, or at the hip for your passport or a granola bar.

Finally, as a lady, I kept getting questions about the backpack...was it the most stylish thing to parade through the streets of Paris with? Probably not. But its perks more than made up for that...would it have been stylish to struggle with a rolling piece of luggage up a spiral staircase to a honeymoon suite in Paris? I don't think so. I say pick your battles...

Again, we have nothing to do with Tortuga, but they seem to be a small company that really gets what it means to be a traveling flâneur and we recommend them wholeheartedly :)