The best for travel backpacking
Osprey’s Fairview Trek 50L pack is as good at peak-bagging as it is priority boarding, working well as both an adventure and travel pack.
Pros: Wide hip belt, very comfortable to wear, large capacity without looking bulky, lifetime repair/replace warranty
Cons: Not the most fashionable pack
Weight: 4 lbs, 1 oz.
If your backpacking trip is less backcountry and more planes, trains, and automobiles, you still need a backpack that’s comfortable and perfectly-sized, but with different features. The Fairview Trek 50L pack can handle running to catch trains, hours of wear while walking and hiking, and the wear-and-tear of being tossed on hostel floors as much as in tents.
Among our testing of 9 travel backpacks, the slightly smaller, 40L Fairview was named the most comfortable to carry. If your want the pack to support equal parts backpacking as travel, we recommend those extra 10 liters.
This panel loading pack also has built-in compression in the main compartment to keep your gear from shifting. When that’s full, the pack stands up thanks to an extra frame built into the bottom. The sturdy waistbelt, articulated shoulder straps, and venting are comparable to what Osprey uses on its most core backpacking packs.
As is the harness adjustment system, which lets you change the bag’s torso length with a simple pull of a tab. Hip pockets, oversized stretch side pockets, and a hydration sleeve complete this travel-ready pack.
Inside the top lid in a pocket marked “Aircover,” there’s a duffel bag style cover that fully encases the pack when you need to check it, store it at a hotel, or stash it under a bus. It not only protects the pack from wear and tear but also serves as a theft deterrent of sorts. Plus, if you overshop at a local market, the cover doubles as an extra duffel.