Digital Nomad Travel

The Best Backpack for Digital Nomads – Our Top 3 Brands [2022]

This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

Reminder: Make sure to check the country’s covid guidelines before travel.

Picking the right backpack that will join you on your travels is one of the most important decision for packing for digital nomads. Sam and I have made some really bad backpack decisions and some really good ones. Your backpack is basically your home while you are traveling and is the only thing that is constant throughout your travels. Sometimes you don’t know what backpack is best for you until you test it out yourself through trial and error. Fortunately we have had a lot of trial and error which is why we think we can help take some of the stress away by sharing our experiences and providing you with what we consider the best backpack for digital nomads.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PICKING THE BEST BACKPACK FOR DIGITAL NOMADS

All of the best digital nomad backpacks have these categories below. Take a look at what makes or breaks the best backpack for digital nomads.

Cost

Look, no one wants to spend a fortune on a backpack but we are true believers in you get what you pay for. It really just comes down to what you want to compromise to get the most for your money. We won’t be showing you any backpacks that aren’t worth their price tag especially since most of us are wanting them to protect our valuable laptops and cameras. 

Size/Weight/Carry-On

Size and weight are one of the most important things to consider outside of cost. The size of the bag really depends on what you should pack as a digital nomads. Some like to be more minimalist while others are totally fine traveling with a larger bag. It just depends on how you like to travel. Sam and I have traveled with massive backpacks that nearly knock Sam over with just a slight bump to her bag. In addition to traveling in Thailand for 3 weeks with a 24L hiking backpack. I look back on that specific trip and can’t believe we pulled that off. It was like Hermione’s beaded bag that was enchanted with the extension charm, we just kept pulling more and more stuff out of it like a bottomless pit. After all of our travel experiences we will always choose light/minimalist packing.

We also usually always choose to bring a backpack that is carry-on size instead of checking bags which is why all the digital nomad backpacks in out list are all carry-on size. I cannot begin to tell you how many times the airport has lost our luggage when we have checked backs. It is always our worse nightmare to be in another country with lost luggage knowing we have so many destinations to visit during our travels and waiting on our luggage to be found is the last thing we want to do.

Hiking, Beach Hoping, or City Exploring?

Whether you typically like hiking, beach hoping, city exploring, or maybe all three, you will want to make sure you are picking a backpack with will Support you on these travels. Thing you will want to consider are the material of the backpack, comfortability with the back panel and shoulder straps, and of course the size as we’ve outlined above.

digital nomads traveling with backpacks

Durability

Durability is so important. Any bag you get should last years and be able to withstand bumps and scratches without falling apart. We have literally stretched our backpacks to their max capacity time and time again and they are still intact.

Storage for Electronics and Laptop

We didn’t think much about this in our earlier travel days but picking a backpack that is compatible for our electronics that we travel with is a deal breaker. If we don’t feel like a backpack is going to be able to hold our electronics and also keep them safe then there is literally no point. 

Weatherproof

Weatherproof backpacks are HUGE. For some reason our travels often end up with us on some tiny boat somewhere in Central or South America going from one location to another. It is essential that we have a bag that can withhold all weather conditions. The backpacks we have listed all have weather sealed zippers and the shell is also weatherproof.

Security

This is a given. Whether you are walking around town, in an airport, or in a hostel you want to make sure your belongings are safe in your bag. People do pickpocket and people do steal so it is important to make sure you feel like your bag has proper safety features to keep your electronics, cash, and passport secure. 

OVERVIEW OF THE BEST BACKPACK FOR DIGITAL NOMADS

Best For: Everyday use

Price: $279.99 USD

Best For: Everyday use & Photographers

Price: $279.95 USD

Best For: Everyday use or 1-3 day trips

Price: $199 USD

Best For: 1-3 day trips

Price: $299.99 USD

Best For: 2-4 day trips

Price: $279.99 USD

Best For: 2-4 day trips & Photographers

Price: $279.99 USD

Best For: 3-7 day trips (with packing accessories)

Price: $249 USD

Best For: 3-7 day trips

Price: $289.99 USD

BEST BACKPACK FOR DIGITAL NOMADS

We have taken the time to put together a comprehensive list of what we consider to the best backpack for digital nomads. We have picked out three top brands – Tropicfeel, Nomatic, and Peak Design. All three brands have really taken ahold of the digital nomad market for excellent backpacks. These are proud of their well thought-out designs to ensure they are producing really good nomad backpacks.

Tropicfeel Nest

tropicfeel nest backpack for digital nomads

Best for: 

  • Everyday use & 1-3 day trips

Carry-on: 

  • Yes

Packing Accessories: 

  • Yes, options to purchase compatible packings cubes, toiletry bag, camera cube, etc.

Features we like:

  • 16L to 20L – the 20L is when the kangaroo pouch is extended and in use. Regardless, with full extension it is carry-on approved. If you are using the additional 10L packing cube in the spider net then technically this bag is capable of being 30L. 
  • The versatility and functionality of the bag for just packing clothes to also packing camera equipment/electronics
  • The kangaroo pouch for your shoes
  • The additional elastic on the kangaroo pouch to hold a yoga mat, towel, sleeping bag, or even just a jacket – overall very functional
  • The versatility of the top loader but also unzips all the way around for full access. 
  • Love the protective compartment in the bottom of the bag. It can either be in use or not so it doesn’t take up extra unnecessary space.
  • Weather proof and sustainable material – if you get caught in the rain you won’t have to worry about water getting in the bag
  • Made with recycled materials
  • Hidden back pocket for cash or whatever you want to put back there. 
  • Love the portable closet/wardrobe accessory 
  • Fits a 15” laptop

Cons:

  • If you travel with a lot of camera gear your clothes are most likely going to be in a backing cube under the spider nest in the front of the bag and not in your bag
  • Because of the protective compartment there is only one water bottle holder. 

Cost

  • About $199 USD and up to $375 USD with the 4 accessories*

Your can choose compatible accessory options at checkout when you select the bag you want.

*Note: With Tropicfeel backpacks, if you go to checkout you have the option to add 1-4 bag accessories to your order. If you are planning to order some of the compatible accessories I would recommend order them at checkout with your bag because you do get a discount on the accessories than buying them separately.

If you are looking for a simple backpack that is a little bigger for longer trips you can also check out the Tropicfeel Shell backpack which we have listed next.

Tropicfeel Shell

tropicfeel shell backpack

Best for: 

  • 3-7 day trips. If you get the the wardrobe accessory it will make packing for a week long trip much more doable

Carry-on: 

  • Yes

Packing Accessories: 

  • Yes, options to purchase compatible packings cubes, toiletry bag, camera cube, etc.

Features we like:

  • Starts at about 22L and can get up to 40L with some accessories, fully expanded, and if the kangaroo pouch is extended and in use. 
  • The versatility to go from a small back out to a fully packed travel bag
  • The kangaroo pouch for your shoes
  • The additional elastic on the kangaroo pouch to hold a yoga mat, towel, sleeping bag, or even just a jacket – overall very functional
  • The versatility of the top loader but also unzips all the way around for full access.
  • Weather proof and sustainable material  – if you get caught in the rain you won’t have to worry about water getting in the bag 
  • Hidden back pocket for cash or whatever you want to put back there. 
  • Made with recycled materials
  • Love the portable closet/wardrobe accessory 
  • The strong magnet toiletry feature is pretty cool because it is easy to get to and I don’t have to worry about having my toiletries in my bag. 
  • Fits a 15” laptop

Cons:

  • You will most likely have yo purchase accessories for the bag to get the full 40L experience

Cost: 

  • About $249 USD for just the backpack and up to about $500 USD with all 4 accessories* 

Your can choose compatible accessory options at checkout when you select the bag you want.

*Note: With Tropicfeel backpacks, if you go to checkout you have the option to add 1-4 bag accessories to your order. If you are planning to order some of the compatible accessories I would recommend order them at checkout with your bag because you do get a discount on the accessories than buying them separately.

Nomatic Backpack

Best for: 

  • Everyday use

Carry-on: 

  • Yes

Packing Accessories: 

  • Yes, options to purchase compatible packings cubes, toiletry bag, etc. 

Features we like:

  • The material of Nomatic backpacks are super durable and sleek
  • The tech organization of this bag is top notch – SO MANY compartments 
  • RFID safe pocket for your passport and credit cards
  • The water bottle holders are sleek and convenient. They have strong magnets on them so when they are not in use the pockets collapse against the bag. 
  • The main compartment is a full zip for easy packing and makes it easy to get to every part of the bag.
  • Hidden back pocket for cash or whatever you want to put back there. 
  • Expandable key leash
  • Slit in the back to slide over the handle of your rolling bag
  • Expandable zipper to go from 20L to 24L
  • Fits a 15” laptop

Cons:

  • It’s just a little too small for us to take on a trip. Really is best for just everyday. This backpack is overall just the best backpack for remote workers. If you love this backpack but just want a little more space then keep reading on the next one for the Nomatic Travel Pack.
  • The expandable key is great but it is so far down in the backpack to be super functional for everyday use. 
  • Price is high for everyday bag
  • No additional spot for an additional pair of shoes
  • Only comes in one color

Cost: 

  • About $279.99 USD

If you typically take smaller trips or just like having a smaller bag and packing minimally even during longer travel than this Nomatic Track Pack is going to be a great option for you

Nomatic Travel Pack

Best for: 

  • 1-3 day Trips 

Carry-on: 

  • Yes

Packing Accessories: 

  • Yes, options to purchase compatible packings cubes, toiletry bag, etc. 

Features we like:

  • The Travel Pack is essentially the same thing as the backpack with some additional room to add clothes if you are going on a short trip 
  • The material of Nomatic Travel Pack are super durable and sleek
  • The tech organization of this bag is top notch – AGAIN SO MANY compartments 
  • RFID safe pocket for your passport and credit cards
  • The water bottle holders are sleek and convenient. They have strong magnets on them so when they are not in use the pockets collapse against the bag. 
  • The main compartment is a full zip for easy packing and makes it easy to get to every part of the bag.
  • Hidden back pocket for cash or whatever you want to put back there. 
  • Expandable key leash
  • Slit in the back to slide over the handle of your rolling bag
  • Expandable zipper to go from 20L to 30L
  • Fits a 15” laptop

Cons:

  • No additional spot for an additional pair of shoes
  • Only comes in one color

Cost:

  • About $299.99 USD

If you feel like you need more space for packing and want a larger travel bag the Nomatic Travel Bag is a great choice. This bag is a perfect combination of the their day pack mixed with a super functional travel bag. It comes in two different sizes so you can pick the one that fits your needs.

Nomatic Travel Bag 30L and Nomatic Travel Bag 40L

Best for: 

  • 30L bag is best for 2-4 day trips and the 40L bag is best for 3-7 day trips

Carry-on: 

  • Yes for both

Packing Accessories: 

  • Yes, options to purchase compatible packings cubes, toiletry bag, etc. 

Features we like:

  • Overall just an awesome travel bag. It is versatile and should have no issue packing everything you need
  • Super durable and sleek
  • TSA ready laptop sleeve
  • Side pocket for tech organization or anything else you want to hold in there like your passport. 
  • Water bottle pocket
  • The main compartment is a full zip for easy packing and makes it easy to get to every part of the bag.
  • Slit in the back to slide over the handle of your rolling bag
  • Duffle bag straps
  • Fits a 15” laptop
  • Ventilated shoe pocket

Cons:

  • It’s a little boxy for a larger bag 
  • Only comes in one color

Cost: 

  • 30L is about $279.99 USD
  • 40L is about $289.99 USD

Peak Design Everyday V2 20L and Peak Design Everyday V2 30L

Best for: 

  • Photographers – 20L bag is best for everyday use and the 30L bag is best for 2-4 day trips

Carry-on: 

  • Yes for both

Packing Accessories:

  • Yes, options to purchase compatible packings cubes, toiletry bag, etc. 

Features we like:

  • Go to the bag for photographers. There are adjustable compartments so you can fit your camera and lenses how you like. 
  • It is made with great materials and super durable and looks good. It is also very comfortable
  • Anti-theft zippers like all Peak Design backpack have
  • Magnetic back straps for stowing the traps when not in use
  • 4 hidden steps you can attached to the outside to hold items on the exterior of your bag
  • The laptop compartment is suspended in the back so it can help protect your laptop on unexpected drops of the bag
  • 3 ways to access the bag – the top and the 2 side zips
  • 2 Large side pockets for water bottles or anything else you want to quickly store there.
  • Slit in the back to slide over the handle of your rolling bag
  • Fits a 15” laptop
  • The magnet latch hardware on the top of the bag provides additional expansion on the top of the bag
  • Weather resistant 

Cons:

  • To get the full 20L or the full 20L the magLatch expansion has to be fully expanded – this is a little deceiving 
  • Tech compartments for your laptop are in the back and it is a little tight so you are really only able to keep a couple of items in there. 
  • No dedicated space to put a pair of shoes 

Cost: 

  • 20L is about $279.95 USD
  • 30L is about $299.95 USD
Peak Design Everyday Backpack V2 20L Ash, Camera Bag, Laptop Backpack with Tablet Sleeves (BEDB-20-AS-2)
  • UNBEATABLE ACCESS: Grab your gear instantly. Open...
  • CUSTOMIZE YOUR SETUP: Three configurable FlexFold...
  • EXPANDS TO FIT MORE: MagLatch hardware provides 3L...
Sale
Peak Design Everyday Backpack V2 30L Black, Camera Bag, Laptop Backpack with Tablet Sleeves (BEDB-30-BK-2)
  • VERSATILE DESIGN: Customizable internal dividers...
  • SIDE + TOP ACCESS: Access from top via MagLatch,...
  • PROTECTED LAPTOP SLEEVE: Holds 15" laptops (see...

Make Sure You’re Covered During Your Trip

Thinking about medical costs or unforeseen things like lost luggage or travel delays while on the road is always concerning. Even if you have medical insurance at home it might not always cover you abroad which is why companies like SafetyWing exist. We started using travel insurance when traveling long term and it was well worth the money. Whether you are traveling short-term, long term, or if you are a digital nomad it is always important to make sure you are covered in some capacity. SafetyWing is our go to travel insurance. It is affordable and has all the coverage we need for travel and medical.

Trying to decide where to go on your next digital nomad adventure?

Make sure Mexico is next on your list! We’ve spent a lot of time in Mexico as digital nomads and have put together some extensive digital nomad guides to several cities. We talk all about the benefits and potential cons of the city, the best co-working spots, lodging, and of course FOOD! Check out our guides Mexico digital nomad guides below.

Like this Best Backpack for Digital Nomads post? Pin it for later!

Are you a digital nomad or soon to be one and need the best backpack for your adventures? We have taken a lot of backpacks for a spin and have put together a list of all the ones we think are the best for digital nomads. Check out this best backpack for digital nomad article for all the info! #peakdesign #nomadic #tropicfeel #digitalnomad #bestbackpack #bestbackackdigitalnomad #digitalnomadmexico #digitalnomadtravel #mexicodigitalnomad

I’m Courtney and as blonde and gay as they come! I fell in love with travel on my first international trip with my wife. Travel reminds me to live in the moment and I feel like the truest version of myself. My wife and I love meeting new people and feeding street animals while we travel. There is so much of this world to see and we can't wait to explore it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]