How to Choose the Best Travel Backpack for Men

Men love to find the right tool for the job. So why are so many guys ill-equipped when they travel?

The wrong bag can ruin a trip. Yet many guys still bring hiking backpacks, or wheeled suitcases, when they leave the country.

Buying the right bag will ensure that you have a trusted travel companion for years to come, so you can focus on enjoying your trip, not complaining about your luggage.

Read on to learn what to look for in a men's travel backpack.

What Size Travel Backpack Should Men Buy?

When shopping for travel backpacks for men, first look at the size of the bag. You want a carry-on-sized bag.

Airline rules vary, but carry on luggage is usually limited to 45 linear inches (length + width + height). The most common configuration is 22" tall x 14" wide x 9" deep. All Tortuga travel backpacks fit these dimensions so you'll stay carry on compliant every time.

Buying a carry-on-sized bag means that you can keep it with you at all times. No more worrying about airlines losing, or damaging, your stuff.

Plus, if you fly without checked luggage, you can leave the airport faster. As a busy guy, you know how annoying (and inevitable) airport delays can be.

Have Everything You Need at Your Fingertips

Whether you're a slob or a neat freak, choose a front-loading bag for better organization and easier access to your stuff.

Most backpacks load from the top, meaning that you have to unpack your bag to get to anything below the top layer. It's like packing a garbage bag with about the same amount of organization.

Instead, use backpack that packs like a suitcase for maximum access. Your stuff won't be a jumbled mess, and you'll be able to see everything you packed.

Prevent Back Pain

Most importantly, you need a comfortable backpack. While you won't be scaling any mountains with it, you will be idling in airport security lines and walking through sprawling cities. If your backpack isn't comfortable, you'll struggle with shoulder and neck pain. Instead of wasting your money, buy a bag that feels light on your back.

At the very least, your bag needs cushioned padding on the shoulder straps and back panel. This padding will buffer the weight of the bag against your body.
For optimal weight distribution, your bag should have a padded hip belt. Cinching the belt tightly will take some of the bag's weight off of your shoulders and distribute it onto your hips.

Some guys think the belts look dorky and won't wear them. Few people understand how beneficial the belt can be in preventing back, neck, and shoulder strain. A hip belt may not look cool, but you know what does? Good posture.

When buying a man's travel backpack, pick one that's carry-on-sized, loads from the front (not the top), and is comfortable to wear. 

The Best Travel Backpacks

For Organization Enthusiasts

The Outbreaker Backpack combines the ergonomics and portability of a backpack with the obsessive organization and easy packing of a suitcase. With the Outbreaker, you have a place and a compartment for everything. It's our most ergonomic, most organized, and most adjustable backpack. 

For Light Packers

The Homebase Backpack was designed with the minimalist traveler in mind. For light packers, a maximum-sized carry on is too much bag. Work bags are the right size, but aren’t built for travel.

The Homebase is an ultralight backpack that's ideal for minimalist packers and short trips. It's a mid-sized carry on, which is perfect if you're not a fan of packing more than the minimum.

The Best of Both Worlds

If you like internal organization, lots of packing space, and a hip belt but still prefer a lightweight bag, the Setout Backpack is your holy grail. It has most of the organization and packing space of Outbreaker in a lighter weight package. It's also our most affordable travel backpack. 

Compare travel backpacks for men and find the right bag for your trip.