Choosing the best backpacks for traveling Asia depends on many things. But these backpacks will make your Asia trip better (not worse).
When it comes to backpacks, your perfect pack is about as unique as your fingerprint.
The best backpack for traveling Asia depends on several factors, such as your height, the kind of traveler you are, the trip you’re taking, and where you’re headed. However, there are a few things that all the best backpacks for traveling Asia have in common.
This article will look at the 5 best backpacks for traveling Asia. I’ll also give tips on what to look for when choosing a backpack for your next trip — whether hitting the beautiful beaches of Phuket and Koh Samui or diving into the mountains of Nepal!
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- 5 best backpacks for traveling Asia
- Why getting the right backpack is important
- What to look for in a backpack
- How to get the most out of your backpack
5 best backpacks for traveling Asia
With as many backpack brands as there are (and more popping up every day), it’s a tough list to narrow down.
But here are the 5 best backpacks for traveling Asia:
1. Osprey Farpoint 40L
🏆 Best backpack for backpacking Asia🏆
The Osprey Farpoint 40L is the perfect backpack size for Southeast Asia.
It’s a front-loading backpack with plenty of pockets and sleeves to keep your belongings organized and safe. The Osprey Farpoint 40L is also comfortable. You can easily adjust its shoulder straps, and the suspension system helps balance it perfectly.
Whether roaming Ho Chi Minh City streets or the ruins of Angkor Wat, the Osprey Farpoint 40L is perfect for you.
And you won’t be alone in Southeast Asia. Many consider the Osprey Farpoint the best backpack for backpacking in Southeast Asia.
Also, they make a women’s version of the Farpoint called the Fairview 40L, which is probably the best travel backpack for Southeast Asia for women.
- Many pockets and sleeves for your small items
- Great suspension system
- Offer women’s specific version
2. Nomatic Travel Pack
Are you tired of lugging around heavy luggage when traveling?
I mean, you ordered a backpack, not a boulder from The Flinstones. No one wants a heavy bag while they’re island hopping in Thailand.
Well, say goodbye to those days with the Nomatic Travel Pack.
This backpack is the perfect travel companion, whether you’re going on a quick weekend getaway or an extended trip.
The Nomatic Travel Pack has many features that will make your life easier as you jump from vehicle to vehicle. It has a built-in laptop sleeve, a water-resistant front pocket, and even a place to store your passport.
Plus, the adjustable straps make this the best backpack or suitcase for Southeast Asia.
So whether you need a hiking backpack for the mountains, a city backpack for exploring a new city, or a suitcase for a business trip, the Nomatic will get you there in style.
This combination of features makes it one of the best backpacks for traveling Southeast Asia, digital nomads, and anyone looking for a solid laptop backpack.
- Great for digital nomads
- Plenty of hidden pockets for safety
Buy it here: Buy the Nomatic Travel Pack on Amazon
3. Cotopaxi Allpa 35L
Are you looking for the best bag for backpacking Asia that catches eyes and works in the city and mountains?
Let me introduce you to the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack.
This pack has everything you need, whether you’re headed out for a quick weekend trip or a multi-week adventure.
The Allpa 35L is made from durable, water-resistant materials. So, you don’t have to worry about your belongings getting wet or damaged during the rainy season in Phnom Penh, especially with the rain cover. And it has many pockets and compartments, so you can easily organize everything you need based on your style.
Plus, it comes in various stylish colors, so you can find the perfect one to match your outfit (for a day at least).
So if you’re looking for a travel pack that has it all, the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack makes for a great Southeast Asia backpack.
- Looks unique
- Great water-resistance
- Comfortable on your back
Buy it here: Buy the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L on Amazon
4. Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 30L
If you’re a frequent traveler, you know your bag is like Frodo…and you’re Samwise Gamgee.
You’re helping each other. Even if one is doing less work than the other one and is just being carried around all the time and not providing muc….oh, I’m sorry. I got carried away.
You get the point.
You need something large enough for your things but not so big that it’s a pain to carry around. You also need a bag that fits snugly like a good t-shirt but also with straps that keep the weight balanced.
And, of course, it needs to look good, too. Not asking too much.
The Topo Design Global Travel Bag 30L doesn’t think so.
It’s large enough to hold everything you need for a long trip but small enough it feels like a daypack on your back as you wander around getting street food. The straps are comfortable, distribute the weight perfectly, and the bag is stylish and well-made.
If you’re looking for a travel bag that ticks all the boxes, the Topo Design Global Travel Bag 30L is the perfect choice for the best backpack for Southeast Asia.
- Many pockets for smaller items
- Small enough for carry-on size
- Distributes weight well
Buy it here: Buy the Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 30L on Amazon
5. Peak Design Everyday Backpack 45L
Welcome to the world of the Peak Design Everyday Backpack 45L.
Voted ‘Best in Show’ and Editor’s Choice by several websites, like Outdoor Gear Lab, Gear Patrol, Gear Junkie, and Carryology, to name a few.
And one of the main reasons is its expandability. You can compact this backpack to make it 30L or expand it to 45L. So, the Peak Design Travel Backpack can handle your needs, whether you’re a minimalist or a maximalist (this is a thing, right?).
And if you’re looking for a backpack that’s as stylish as it is functional, look no further than the Peak Design Everyday Backpack 45L.
- Sleek design
- Large main compartment
Why getting the right backpack is important
You may be thinking, “Why does it matter what backpack I use? They all serve the same purpose.”
But you’d be very wrong. The backpack you choose can make or break your entire travel experience.
Here are a few reasons why getting the right backpack is so essential.
- Comfortable to wear. You’ll be lugging this thing around all day like an overworked mom with an infant. The longer you carry it, you’ll feel fatigue start to set in until you can’t stand it anymore. The best backpacking Asia backpack will be comfortable.
- Enough space to fit everything. You need your backpack to be small enough to fit bag requirements but big enough to fit everything on your packing list. Quit the problem, right? So, it’s good to test different backpack sizes to know what you need.
- Enough security for your valuables. You’ll have valuable items on you — passport, phone, wallet, computer. You want to ensure your pack has enough protection to keep them safe. Does the zipper have a loop for a lock? Can the material be easily cut with a knife?
- Looks great. It may sound petty, but you’ll look at this thing daily. You better like how it looks. Plus, you can use the color to spot it easily. I like my bright red backpack because it stands out instantly if I ever need to stow it on a trip.
What to look for in a backpack
Your backpack is the last thing you want to worry about when packing for a trip.
But with so many different types and styles of backpacks on the market, it can take a lot of work to know which is right for you.
If you’re in the market for a new travel backpack, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- What type of traveler are you? Are you the type who likes to pack light or bring everything? If you pack light, you want a lightweight backpack that’s easy to carry. But if you’re more of a ‘just-in-case’ type, you’ll need a big pack to fit all your items.
- What kind of trips do you take? Are you a backpacker who spends most of your time roaming cities, dashing between landmarks? Or are you a traveler who gets out of town and heads to the outdoors? Keep the features in mind for each type.
- How much do you want to spend? This one is obvious, but it’s important to stress. Travel backpacks can get expensive. And before you know it, you’ll have sunk more money into bags than your mom did for you in the 3rd grade (✋).
- What extra features does it offer? Do you want a day pack? Is a top loader (top loading) or a front loader better for you? Do you need a hip belt? Extra features depend on you.
- What size backpack for traveling Asia? How will you be traveling in Asia? If it’s by plane, you’ll want to stay under baggage limits to save money. For that, stick around 30-35L. If you’re not traveling by plane, you have more flexibility.
How to get the most out of your backpack
Whether a beginner or a pro, you can do a few things to get the most out of your travel backpack.
With some planning and the right gear, you can ensure your backpack is comfortable, functional, and stylish.
Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your travel backpack:
1. Choose the right backpack
Seems obvious, right?
But it’s a lot easier said than done. Even to this day, I’m constantly seeing new backpacks with features I think would help. I adjust what I take and try to slim down if I can. It’s a neverending process.
Plus, you may be asking, “What size backpack for Southeast Asia/Asia?”
Generally, you want to stay under 45L. If you’re in the 30-35L range, even better. Keep that in mind if you’re traveling on a plane.
So, it’s essential to think through which backpack you want. You’ll spend a lot of time with it.
2. Pack smart
You can have the best backpack in the world, but if you don’t pack it right, it doesn’t matter.
Here are a few quick tips for packing efficiently:
- Get packing cubes
- Roll your clothes
- Distribute weight evenly
- Remove even more items
If you want more advice on how to pack, I wrote a post about how to pack your backpack perfectly.
(I promise at least a few of the tips will be helpful 😉)
3. Try different things
You’ll surprise yourself even when you think you’ve nailed down how to pack your backpack.
You’ll find you should have been packing X in before Y, and if you put Z sideways, it creates 3% more space!
Sounds weird, right? Until you’re the one doing it. But take that time to try different things. Pack other items, put them in various places in your pack, and twist them around to see what works best and maximizes your space.
There’s no right way to pack — only wrong ways.
If you’re looking for the best backpack for traveling Asia, your search is over!
This list provides the best options to suit any traveler’s needs. From packs specifically designed for travel to those offering a more general design, there’s something for everyone.
So, what are you waiting for? Share this list with your friends, follow me for more travel tips, and leave a comment to let me know which travel backpack is your favorite!
Or, if you know anyone headed to Europe, here are the best backpacking tips for Europe!