10 Best Travel Backpacks That Also Look Good

I spend a lot of time at airports these days and I’m starting to become more and more frustrated with my canvas rucksack which I thought looked great when I bought it, but in reality, is completely useless. In the past, I haven’t been overly enthusiastic about backpacks, but you can’t argue with their practicality, especially when travelling. The entire process, from checking in, until the moment you board, is fidgety and often frustrating, especially the need to remove your laptop and tablet at security. Having your hands free is invaluable. Also knowing that I have my most prized possessions on my back alleviates additional stress and allows me to carry my passport, and phone in one hand, and a coffee, book or newspaper in the other.

Over the weekend I set out on a quest to find a new backpack, one that was stylish, rugged, organised and practical, with the ability to fit my MacBook Pro and DSLR with an additional lens. Here are my top picks for the 10 best stylish travel backpacks.

Teranishi – Venture US$475

Made to order flexible waxed canvas bag with roll top and side zipper for fast Macbook access.

Teranishi Venture Backpack - Best Travel Backpacks

Filson – Photographer’s Backpack US$385

Waxed cotton construction, padded top pocket, laptop sleeve and leather straps with seven slot interior divider for camera kit.

Filson - Photographer's Backpack - Best Travel Backpacks

Hither Hill – Finley US$109

Classic everyday backpack constructed from water repellant twill in a range of great colour combos.

Hither Hill - Finley - Best Travel Backpacks

Slicks – Suit25 AUD$275

A backpack that doubles as a briefcase with an integrated and removable suit bag for business trips.

Slicks - Suit25 Backpack - Best Travel Backpacks

GoBag AUD$270

Recently funded project on Kickstarter allows you to vacuum compress the bag for compact travel.

GoBag - Best Travel Backpack

Topo Designs – Klettersack 15L US$159

A slightly scaled down version of Topo’s classic Klettersack. Handmade in Colorado featuring a Cordura exterior and lined inner compartment.

Topo Designs - Klettersack 15L - Best Travel Backpack


Patagonia – Black Hole 25L AUD $149.95

The practical ruggedness of this backpack makes it surprisingly handsome and in all black, I think it almost gives off a high fashion luxury aesthetic.

Patagonia - Black Hole 25L - Best Travel Backpack


Tumi – Revere Leather Brief Pack US$595

The whole Tumi range is very impressive (and some are quite affordable) but I couldn’t go past this leather backpack from their Beacon Hill collection.

Tumi - Revere Leather Brief Pack - Best Travel Backpack

Mission Workshop – Vandal US$315

Expandable cargo pack with weatherproof main compartment and more practical compartments than you could possibly imagine – seriously well-designed piece of kit.

Mission Workshop - Vandal - Best Travel Backpack

Gurka – Explorer No.239 US$1295

As far as stylish backpacks go it’s hard to look past the Gurka Explorer in vintage chestnut leather. It’s not as practical or organised but I’m prepared to forgive it due to its stunning appearance.

Gurka - Explorer No.239 - Best Travel Backpack



For more bags, check out our list of great Weekend Bags.


James is the Founder and Editor of The Versatile Gent.

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