Home Away From Home: Recommended Long Term Travel Backpacks

Sunglasses, guidebook, and clothing are all essentials for traveling, yet the biggest necessity of all is, without a doubt, your backpack.  It’s your only ‘home’ as you take everything with you like a turtle, whether for a week or a year, and the type of pack you bring is extremely important.  You can cover it in patches and carry it for years or always update to the newest model, either way the most important factor is comfort so find something you feel good in. The following recommended backpacks are comfortable, light, and easy to carry for general use.

REI's Grand Tour

REI Grand Tour 85 Travel Pack- This long term travel backpack comes available for both men and women which means a more tailored, comfortable back.  It also features a detachable daypack which is convenient for day hikes and weekend adventures.  The best part of this pack has to be the main opening from the middle rather than the traditional top.  Instead of digging blindly through your bag, you can get a clear view of the contents like a traditional duffle bag which is conveniently appreciated. Don’t forget the plethora of zippered pockets and extra compartments which makes organizing a cinch.  But the overall winning feature of this bag has to be REI’s lifetime guarantee which means if you have any problems, you can return or exchange it for the full price for the rest of your life.  Now that’s reliability!

Eagle Creek's Rincon

Eagle Creek Rincon 90L Travel Pack – Your experience traveling can be ruined if you don’t have a comfortable bag and fortunately this bag focuses on comfort. It has an aluminum torsion bar which provides light but sturdy stability for the bag, allowing you to have a big bag without all the weight. The bag also has load-lifter straps which should create a 45 degree angle between you and the straps, allowing the shoulder straps to be slightly lifted, giving you more comfort. There’s also the sternum strap which connects the two shoulder straps in the front preventing them from falling off and the lumbar pad which provides comfort for your lower back.

The Dueter Quantum

Deuter Quantum 70+10 Travel Backpack - This bag has a unique feature called a variquick shoulder harness/back system that allows you to adjust the length of the torso to fit you distinctly. Also, the long rectangular shape of the bag makes it easy to get fit through doorways and unproblematic to squeeze under any tiny bus seat. Similar to most modern backpacking bags, it comes with a daypack. This daypack is easily accessible because it buckles onto the main bag rather than zippers on, which also means it will never rust or break (common in long term humid environments). Another distinctive feature this bag has is a transport cover which can be used for flights as it covers and secures the straps while adding extra grab handles and a name tag.

Osprey's Waypoint

Osprey Packs Waypoint 85 Backpack – The bag itself might be a little heavy, but it does have a lot of room for packing. There are many compartments which make sorting and finding things a lot easier. This, too, comes with a detachable daypack which is convenient because you don’t always have to take everything with you. This bag would be great for backing through Europe and still usable for camping when you get home.


The Eagle Creek Adero

Eagle Creek Adero 45L Travel Pack – This backpack allows enough room to pack anything you could possibly need. It has a zippered top that is nicely concealed which makes it more difficult for any unfriendly beings to open it. On the side there are holders for drinks, shoes, etc. that come in handy since it’s important to travel with a reusable water bottle.  It also has some reflectors, a smart feature to have for inevitable night travel. This bag is relatively light, big, durable, and safe.


Picking out a backpack can be a daunting task. The type of pack you get should get depends upon the length of your trip, the weather you’re expecting, and types of activities you enjoy. For example, colder hiking trips will naturally require bigger packs than shorter holidays with beach clothes. It’s important to remember while traveling with a backpack that you have to carry everything; there will be no Sherpas to help carry your bag. I know from personal experience that it’s not fun having to carry a heavy and uncomfortable backpack up and down numerous flights of stairs of tall European hostels without elevators. There are many different types of backpacks on the market, and not all of them are suitable for every type of trip. The most important things to remember is to pack light, leave room for souvenirs, and enjoy yourself as you explore the world.

Megan Williams

About Megan Williams

Megan is our Editorial Intern. She lives in Long Island, New York, has studied abroad in Prague, Czech Republic, and traveled across Europe.