Is there anything handier than a packable backpack?
Probably, but packable backpacks definitely have their uses.
From providing extra storage on a trip abroad where you only took one case, to transporting your laptop and other essential items between college classes. Whether it be a way to carry water and snacks on a hiking trip or just an easy way to store your coats when the weather can’t make its mind up, it is clear to see just how useful a packable backpack can be.
There are so many different packable backpacks on the market varying in size, color, and features, making it confusing to know which one is the best for you. But, don’t worry, we’ve put together this helpful guide full for all the best packable backpacks available, with additional buyers guide full of things to consider when making a purchase and how to ensure you make the right choice.
In a hurry?
If you need a packable backpack quickly, why not consider the Venture Pal 40l lightweight backpack.
This is our top pick because it has so many amazing features, such as:
- Built with high quality, tear and water-resistant nylon fabric with heavy-duty zips, and bar-tacks for enhanced strength and durability.
- Mesh shoulder pads with extra padding for added comfort and stress relief on your shoulders.
- Weighs only 0.7lbs with lots of sections, including a main zipped compartment, a zipped front pocket, and 2 side pockets for easy access. With an additional wet pocket to store any wet items away from the rest of your valuables.
- Additional features including a chest clip for better balance and a whistle buckle to better distribute the weight of the backpack and its contents.
Top 5 Packable Backpacks
OUR TOP PICK
Our favorite packable backpack on the market is the Venture Pal 40L lightweight backpack.
This lightweight design comes packed full of amazing features making it the perfect backpack for a variety of different situations. It is built with a high-quality water and tear-resistant nylon fabric complete with heavy-duty metal zips and bar-tacks to add extra strength to stress points within the design and enhance the durability of the backpack.
The Venture Pal 40L is designed for convenience with lots of different sections including a main zipped compartment, an exterior zipped pocket, 2 side pockets, and a waterproof wet pocket which can be accessed through the back of the backpack to keep wet items away from the rest of the backpack’s contents.
With mesh shoulder pads for comfort and a chest clip and waist buckle to evenly distribute the weight of the backpack which can all be folded away into a pocket weighing 0.7lbs when not in use, it is clear to see why this is one of the best packable backpacks on the market.
- Built with tear and water-resistant material
- Mesh shoulder pads with additional padding for comfort
- Multiple sections including a wet pocket to protect your valuables from wet items
- Bar-tacks at stress points for additional strength
- Folds away into a pocket that weighs only 0.7lbs
- Chest clip and whistle buckle for even distribution of weight
- No notable drawbacks
Another excellent backpack on the market is the Outlander Packable Lightweight backpack which is a 35L backpack that comes available in a variety of different colors.
This backpack is built with a water-resistant and durable material that also protects from rips, with bar-tacking for additional strength and longevity.
This product offers a variety of different compartments for your belongings including a large main compartment with 2 front zipper pockets and 2 side pockets perfect for water bottles. It has a super space-saving design as the backpack folds away into one of the inside zipper pockets ensuring you never have to worry about losing the bag to fold it into.
With additional features including an aluminum carabiner to attach additional items, a whistle buckle, and reflectors for use at night it is easy to see why this is one of the best packable backpacks on the market.
- Water and tear-resistant material
- Variety of compartments for your belongings
- Folds away into an interior pocket so you will never lose the fold-away bag
- Available in different colors
- Includes an aluminum carabiner, whistle buckle, and reflector
- No notable drawbacks
The next backpack on this list is the 4Monster Hiking Daypack which offers 16L of storage and is available in lots of different colors.
This backpack is designed with a highly rip and water-resistant CORDURA fabric for added strength and folds away into a pocket that is sandwich-sized, weighing only 4oz.
This backpack is a great choice for day hiking or as additional storage when traveling, with breathable mesh shoulder straps which can be adjusted to fit you perfectly.
It has a nylon lining and a zipper enclosure to protect all your personal effects, making it is easy to see why this is one of the best packable backpacks available.
- Extremely lightweight - only 4oz
- Breathable mesh shoulder straps for comfort
- Adjustable to your torso length
- Water and rip-resistant material
- Available in multiple colors
- Only has 16L storage
Another great option on the market is the Amazon Basics Ultralight Portable Backpack.
This design features 35L storage and comes available in 6 different color options with a sleek and stylish design. It is built with extremely strong nylon fabric to provide a longer life with bar-tacking reinforcement in stress points and abrasion-resistant zips for security.
This backpack includes multiple compartments including the main area, with a front zipper pocket, an internal zipped pocket, and 2 exterior pockets made of mesh which are perfect for easy access to water bottles.
This product is designed for optimum comfort with adjustable breathable shoulder straps that can be adjusted to your body type, and a small bag for it to be folded into when not in use.
This might be part of the Amazon Basics range but this backpack is far from basic and is definitely one of the best packable backpacks money can buy.
- Water and tear-resistant material
- Abrasion-resistant metal zippers
- Adjustable shoulder straps
- Different color options
- No chest or waist straps
The final backpack on this list is the Boulder Pack Co. lightweight backpack, which is made with water-resistant material.
This backpack comes with 28L of storage and is available in 4 color options allowing you to stand out from the crowd. It differs from the other backpacks on this list as it can also be used as a bag when folded away as its carry case features 2 exterior pockets while still only weighing 11.2oz.
The backpack itself comes with padded shoulder straps and has 4 exterior pockets as well as an internal divider to separate the main compartment into 2 sections.
Additionally, this backpack has a built-in whistle which is attached to the chest strap in case of emergencies, and a carabiner which allows you to easily attach your essentials and provides extra storage.
- Multiple color options
- Built-in whistle and carabiner for extra storage/safety
- Usable as a bag when folded away in pouch form
- Water-resistant fabric for use in any weather
- Heaviest of the backpacks on this list
Best Packable Backpacks Buying Guide
Packable backpacks are extremely useful in so many different situations, they can fold away in your existing bag and only be used when you need additional storage, or they can be handy for a day out hiking, or even when traveling abroad.
Whether you want one in case of emergencies or for everyday use, there is a packable backpack on the market for every situation, but the perfect one for you will depend on what you want to use it for.
The products detailed above are some of the best packable backpacks on the market, but if you want to do further research we have put together this helpful guide full of all the information you need to make a decision.
Size and Space
A very important thing to consider when buying a backpack is the size of it, not only when it is in use but also when it is folded away.
If you want a packable backpack that will spend most of its time in your bag waiting for an emergency to arise, it is likely you will want one that folds away into a tiny, compact size, whereas if you want to use it every day this function will be less important.
The size of the backpack when it is in use will also be important depending on what you plan to carry in it, generally, a 20L backpack is big enough for most tasks but this is definitely something you should consider before making a purchase.
Another thing to consider when buying a backpack is your body type as this will have a direct impact on what is the perfect one for you.
Your height and the width of your torso will affect which backpack will be the most comfortable for you to use and whether or not the measurements of a backpack will be too big for you to carry.
It is common for companies to separate their larger backpacks from their smaller ones by gender, however, you should always check the measurements to see which will be the perfect fit for you.
Possibly the most important thing to consider when buying a backpack is the storage it includes, as this is their main function.
Different companies will offer different storage options, but the usual design is one large main compartment which sometimes comes with a divider, as well as exterior pockets for convenience and zipped pockets to protect your valuables.
Exterior pockets are always helpful for storing water if you are on a hiking trip or an umbrella if you are using the backpack for everyday use, so the perfect storage will depend on what you want to use the backpack for.
Finally, it is very common for backpacks to come with a variety of additional features that will make that product stand out from the others on the market.
While all of these features are not essential there are some features that will make your backpack easier to use, such as hip belts and buckles to secure the backpack in the right place and chest straps for better balance. Other features may include water bottle pockets, a whistle for emergencies, reflective parts for use at night, and carabiners to attach additional things to your rucksack.
All of these different features can be useful but whether or not they are necessary will depend on how you want to use your backpack.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I use a packable backpack for?
A packable backpack is extremely useful as it can be used to carry a variety of different items and can also be folded away into an extremely small size while it is not in use.
Packable backpacks can be used for a variety of tasks and can store items such as your laptop, phone, and other valuable items, as well as food, snacks, water, and other items if you wanted to use it for travel or day trips.
Can I use a packable backpack as hand luggage?
Yes, packable backpacks can be used as hand luggage for plane journeys, and are very helpful for this task.
Packable backpacks are usually small and very lightweight meaning that some flight companies will allow you to take them on board as hand luggage for no extra charge as they could be considered a personal item.
Are packable backpacks waterproof?
The best packable backpacks will be waterproof, but most packable backpacks are at least showerproof or contain a waterproof pocket somewhere in their design.
If you are looking to buy a packable backpack it is important to consider the areas you want to use it in and what for as this will impact how important a waterproof function is.