11 Best Digital Nomad Backpacks for Travel and Work

A few months ago, my backpack literally saved the day (and my belongings). I was walking down the streets of Bangkok, searching for a place to hunker down and work for the day, when I was suddenly in the middle of a downpour. I ducked into a tiny café to escape the rain and, as I unpacked, I was so relieved to see my laptop was dry, all thanks to the backpack’s waterproof materials.

If you're a digital nomad like us, this bit should get you thinking: don't make the mistake of thinking your backpack is just another travel bag, it's not. It’s your portable office, your emergency kit, and sometimes, your pillow during long layovers. So yes, finding the right backpack is as crucial as a reliable Wi-Fi connection.

But we've been there—with all the options available, finding the right backpack can give you a headache. After years of testing all sorts of travel backpacks, we've created the ultimate guide to the 11 best travel backpacks for digital nomads. We have one for every need, whether you're looking for something stylish, geeky, or simple but durable. Let's find the best travel backpack for you, shall we?

Digital Nomad Backpacks: Our Top 11 Picks

  1. Best Overall for Digital Nomads: Nomatic Travel Bag 40L
  2. Best for Long-Term Travel: Osprey Farpoint / Fairview 40
  3. Best for Versatility: TropicFeel Shell
  4. Best for Lightweight Travel: Tortuga Travel Backpack Pro
  5. Most Durable Backpack: GORUCK GR2
  6. Best for Security: PacSafe VentureSafe EXP45
  7. Best for Extra Storage: Bange Travel Backpack 35L
  8. Best Compact Option: Nomatic Backpack 20L
  9. Best for Minimalist Nomads: Minaal Carry On 2.0
  10. Best for Light Nomad Traveling: Nomatic Navigator Lite 15L
  11. Best Lightweight Option: CabinZero Adv Pro 42L

1. Nomatic Travel Bag (40L)

Best Overall for Digital Nomads

nomatic travel bag 40l digital nomad backpacks

If you're a digital nomad, trust us, it doesn't get any better than this backpack. That unexpected rainstorm in Bangkok I was telling you about? It's this backpack's water-repellent fabric and waterproof zippers that keep everything dry!

And its carry-on dimensions are perfect if you want to skip checked baggage (who doesn't?). Navigating airport security with the Nomatic Travel Bag is a walk in the park thanks to its TSA-ready laptop compartment. It’s all neatly organized and easily accessible, which was incredibly handy during our café-hopping from Chang Mai to Medellìn.

And get this: there's even a separate shoe compartment, which, as crazy as it may sound, demonstrates to us that the people at Nomatic clearly understand the nomadic lifestyle! It came in handy when we hit the beach in Tulum, keeping the sand away from our work materials.

It even has an RFID safe pocket which brings a sense of security in crowded markets, like those of Istanbul, protecting our stuff from potential theft. While the price tag is a bit steep, the value it brings is undeniable. It’s built to last and styled to suit any setting, which means you won’t need another travel bag for a long time.


  • Capacity: 40L (also available in 30L)
  • Dimensions: 53.3 x 35.6 x 22.9 cm, expandable to 30.5 cm (also available in Size S: 48.3 x 30.5 x 15.2 cm, expandable to 22.9 cm)
  • Weight: 2 kg (Size S: 1.8 kg )
  • Material: Durable, water-resistant 500D tarpaulin material
  • Laptop compartment: Fits up to 15" laptop
  • Tablet pocket: Fits up to 8.5" x 11" tablet
  • Shoe compartment: Fits up to size 12 shoes

Top Features

  • Water bottle pocket with magnetic snap closure
  • Waterproof
  • RFID safe pocket
  • Cord pass-throughs in all compartments
  • Removable waist straps
  • Roller luggage sleeve
What we like
  • High-quality, durable, and water-resistant material
  • Expandable design provides extra space when needed
  • Multiple compartments and pockets for organized packing
  • RFID safe pocket for added security
  • Comfortable to carry, even when fully packed
  • Sleek and modern design
  • Carry on size
What we don't like
  • Slightly heavier than other backpacks in its category
  • The shoe compartment takes up space in the main compartment when used
  • The water bottle pocket can be tight when the bag is fully packed

2. Osprey Farpoint/Fairview Series (40L)

Best for Long Term Travel

osprey farpoint and fairview digital nomad backpacks

If you're a true digital nomad, I bet you've probably seen the Osprey Farpoint 40 on the backs of many travelers. This backpack comes in two versions: the Osprey Farpoint 40 for a rugged feel and the Osprey Fairview 40, designed with a fit tailored for women. Both are favorites for their robust, spacious design that handles the wear and tear of long-term travel without batting an eye.

But what we've found sets them apart from others is their comfort during transit—the stowaway back panel, harness, and hip belt tuck away when you don’t need them, making getting from A to B less of a hassle. And during security checks, the laptop sleeve makes pulling out your computer easy peasy.

If you're always on the move like us, we know you'll love the quick-access pocket. It was especially useful during our rainforest treks in Colombia when we needed to grab a quick snack to recharge our energy. Because that's the thing, travel backpacks should keep laptops safe but also include extra features for non-work use.

This gets me to another perk: the backpack has an expandable design, which means you can pack a little extra or cinch it down when you’re traveling lighter. And yes, they’re comfortable to lug around, even fully packed, which is a huge plus. but they’re a bit on the heavy side compared to some others. Still, the Osprey Farpoint and Fairview won’t let you down.


  • Capacity: 40L (Farpoint) / 36L (Fairview)
  • Dimensions: 61 x 38 x 10 cm (Farpoint) / 56 cm x 36 cm x 23 cm (Fairview)
  • Weight: 1.63 kg (Farpoint) / 2.40 kg (Fairview)
  • Material: Nylon mini hex diamond ripstop and packcloth
  • Compartments: Fits up to 15.4" laptop

Top Features

  • Lightweight, frame suspension system
  • Padded laptop and tablet sleeve
  • Stowaway back panel, harness, and hip belt
  • Dual front compression straps
  • Lockable zippers
What we like
  • Comfortable to wear even when fully packed
  • Adjustable harness system for a perfect fit
  • Stowaway backpanel, harness, and hipbelt for convenience during transit
  • Lockable zippers for added security
  • Laptop sleeve and quick access pocket on top for convenience
What we don't like
  • May not fit larger laptops
  • The design may not appeal to everyone

3. TropicFeel Shell (40L)

Best for Versatility

tropicfeel shell digital nomad backpack

We know...digital nomads shouldn't dread packing and unpacking so much. But I can't help it, I just don't like it! If you can relate, this backpack will surely ease the pain. The TropicFeel Shell backpack is for anyone who's constantly on the move. But what we love about it is its super handy wardrobe system. Let me tell you, this feature changed my travels during our month-long stay in Cambodia. The system is a portable closet that you can easily detach and hang up, from a tent in a Koh Rong to a closet rod in a Kuala Lumpur apartment. It'll be useful in any digital nomad accommodation really. With this backpack, my clothes and essentials are always neatly organized and accessible, which is a rare luxury when living out of a suitcase!

The backpack’s adjustable capacity is another great addition although it admittedly gets a bit bulky when fully loaded. Still, the versatility is invaluable and I love this backpack so much (it's been one of my first digital nomad backpacks!). For digital nomads or anyone who doesn't want to be weighed down by luggage, the TropicFeel Shell offers a practical, versatile solution that keeps up with the unpredictability of travel.


  • Capacity: 22 L (expandable to 40 L)
  • Dimensions: 50 x 33 x 18 cm (expandable to 28 cm)
  • Weight: 1.7-2.1 kg (depending on accessories)
  • Material: 600D polyester with polyurethane lining
  • Laptop Sleeve: Fits up to 15” laptop

Top Features

  • Top and front access
  • Wardrobe system for organized packing
  • Kangaroo pocket for separating dirty or wet items
  • Magnetic Fidlock mounting points for attaching additional pouches
What we like
  • Adjustable capacity allows the backpack to adapt to your needs
  • The unique wardrobe system makes packing and unpacking easy and organized
  • The kangaroo pocket is great for separating dirty or wet items from the rest of your gear
  • Magnetic Fidlock mounting points allow for the attachment of additional pouches
  • Made from recycled materials, making it an eco-friendly choice
What we don't like
  • The backpack can become bulky when fully packed
  • The wardrobe system, while innovative, might not suit everyone's packing style
  • The lack of side compression straps can make the bag feel loose when not fully packed
  • Shoulder straps could be more padded for extra comfort

4. Tortuga Travel Backpack Pro (40L)

Best for Traveling Smart

tortuga travel back pro, digital nomad backpack

If you’re interested in our take on travel backpacks, it’s because you know we’re digital nomads who have the same needs. So, if you were to buy a travel backpack from someone, shouldn’t they know what remote working is like? Exactly. Tortuga has been operating remotely since day one, and you can tell, their backpacks really go the extra mile for nomads like us.

Their Travel Backpack Pro 40L packs like a suitcase but carries like a backpack. It’s your perfect carry-on buddy. I recently took it on a trip to the Dominican Republic and was happy to see that it fits perfectly within the US size limits during my layover in Orlando.

In terms of organization, we’re completely sold. It has various pockets and compartments to help you pack in an organized manner and you could pair it with the Tortuga packing cubes for a perfect travel combo. The well-padded back and adjustable chest-hip straps distribute the weight evenly, making it feel lighter than it is—even when packed full. And yes, it's waterproof, which is something you should always consider if you want to take valuable stuff with you (and who are we kidding, you will).

But let’s go over some less cool things, too. While there’s a laptop compartment, it's sometimes as straightforward to extract your laptop, which especially when this backpack is fully packed. The card holder pockets (a nice idea, we’ll give them that), aren’t as practical as they could be. And those straps? They do tend to flop around, which can be annoying on flights. But we think the pros definitely outweigh the cons, making the Tortuga Travel Backpack Pro 40L one of the top digital nomad backpacks around.


  • Capacity: 40 L
  • Dimensions: 21.7 x 13.8 x 7.9 in ​ (55 x 35 x 20 cm)
  • Weight: 4.5 lb (2.0 kg)
  • Material: SHELL200 (Durable, waterproof sailcloth)
  • Laptop compartment: Up to 16" laptop and 12.9" tablet

Top Features

  • Carry-on sized
  • Easy to pack and comfortable to carry
  • Padded laptop compartment
  • Waterproof
What we like
  • Fits international and US overhead bins, avoiding checked baggage fees
  • Front-loading access makes packing straightforward and organized
  • Adjusts to your height with a weight-distributing hip belt and padded shoulder straps
  • Features durable, waterproof materials and water-resistant zippers
  • Enhanced safety with lockable zippers
  • Exceptional durability and ruggedness
What we don't like
  • Card holder pockets are not very practical
  • Feels particularly heavy when fully loaded
  • Water bottle pockets could be larger
  • The four straps flop around which is not great on flights

5. GORUCK GR2 (34-40L)

Most Durable Backpack

goruck gr2 digital nomad backpack

If you're the type of traveler who doesn't shy away from rough grounds or adventurous journeys, then you might want to look at the GORUCK GR2. It's built to handle anything you throw at it without a scratch. This backpack can prove itself super useful in those times when you are hiking through unpredictable weather and rough terrain. It's crafted from Special Forces-grade material, so durability is a given. It’s also designed with multiple compartments that not only keep your gear organized but also easily accessible, thanks to its ability to open flat.

The GORUCK GR2 does come with a few quirks, though. It's on the heavier side compared to other digital nomad backpacks, mainly due to its sturdy materials. And when it comes to looks, well, it might not suit everyone’s style. But it does come with MOLLE webbing for adding pouches and gear, making it highly customizable if you like to tweak its setup. The padded laptop compartment is also very handy for keeping your tech safe on the go. Yes, it’s a significant investment, but for durability that can match the demands of nearly any adventure, it's hard to beat.


  • Capacity: 34 L or 40 L (depending on the size you prefer)
  • Dimensions: Size S: 50.8 x31.8 x22.9; Size L: 55.9 x31.8 x22.9 cm
  • Weight: Size S: 2 kg; Size L: 2.3 kg
  • Material: Special Forces-grade material (1000D Cordura), rainproof
  • Laptop compartment: Size S: Fits up to 13" laptop; Size L: Fits up to 17"

Top Features

  • Opens flat for easy packing and organization
  • Multiple compartments for efficient storage
  • Padded laptop compartment
  • MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) webbing for customization
What we like
  • Exceptional durability and ruggedness
  • Versatile and highly customizable due to MOLLE webbing
  • Opens flat for easy packing and access to items
  • Padded laptop compartment for protection
  • Two main compartments for better organization
What we don't like
  • Very high price point
  • May be too tactical-looking for some
  • Heavier than other backpacks due to durable materials

6. PacSafe VentureSafe EXP45

Best for Security

pacsafe venturesafe digital nomad backpack

Traveling is a blast, there’s no doubt about it. But, when you're in a new city, walking through crowded neighborhoods or markets, keeping your stuff safe should top your list of priorities. It's all too easy for someone to reach into an open backpack while you're distracted, looking at your phone, or giving directions. That’s exactly when PacSafe VentureSafe EXP45 comes to the rescue.

This backpack is more like a personal vault than a backpack. Designed with the security-conscious traveler in mind, it comes packed with top-notch anti-theft features. You name it, it has it: eXomesh slash guards that prevent bag slashers from getting through; Carrysafe splashguard straps that can’t be easily cut; and even RFIDsafe blocking materials that protect your digital data from scanners. It doesn't matter if you’re squeezing through the metro rush or exploring an overflowing street market, this backpack keeps your valuables safe.

Along with its great security features, the backpack offers practical everyday functionality. It has a padded laptop compartment and a 35L capacity suitable for both daily commutes and longer trips. While the robust security measures make accessing your items a bit slower than with less secure backpacks, the added peace of mind is a worthy trade-off if you prioritize security.


  • Capacity: 45 L
  • Dimensions: 55 x 35 x 23 cm
  • Weight: 1.38 kg
  • Material: N210D nylon fabric with eXomesh slashguard and RFIDsafe blocking pockets and material
  • Laptop Sleeve: Fits up to 15" laptop

Top Features

  • eXomesh slashguards and Carrysafe slashguard straps
  • RFIDsafe blocking pockets and material
  • Lockable zippers and lockdown point
  • Padded laptop compartment
What we like
  • Lightweight design makes it easy to carry
  • Waterproof material for protection against the elements
  • Built-in global luggage tracker for peace of mind
  • Three external attachment points to fit jackets, yoga mat, or sleeping bag
  • Very spacious
What we don't like
  • Lack of organizational compartments
  • May not be as durable as other options

7. Bange Travel Backpack (35L)

Best for Extra Storage

bange digital nomad backpack

When storage matters most, the Bange Travel backpack 35L delivers. As someone who's usually overwhelmed by packing, I was surprised myself at how much this backpack could fit without feeling overstuffed. It can become your go-to for longer trips, like when you spend those weeks touring through Southeast Asia. The multiple compartments and pockets work magic for keeping everything organized—from tech gadgets to travel snacks.

One of my favorite features has to be the expandable design. I can assure you that with this backpack, you'll end up finally managing to pick those souvenirs that you were so hesitant to buy last time. The extra space this backpack offers make it easy to fit everything in for the journey home, no extra bags needed. It's slightly bulkier than other models we've tried, but the added room more than compensates for the extra bulk, especially for a full-time digital nomad who can't afford to leave essentials behind.

This backpack also includes a USB charging port which becomes super useful during long transit waits. We were able to charge our phone right from our backpack while waiting for a delayed flight in Orlando. The anti-theft design adds another layer of security, giving you peace of mind while navigating crowded tourist spots or bustling transit hubs.

So, for anyone who needs a reliable, spacious backpack that can handle a bit more nomad gear, the Bange Travel Backpack 35L is a wonderful choice. Just be prepared for a bit of extra weight, and maybe handle the zippers with care.


  • Capacity: 35 L
  • Dimensions: 50 x 32 x 20 cm
  • Weight: 1.5 kg
  • Material: Water-resistant and durable polyester fabric
  • Laptop Compartment: Fits up to 17" laptop

Top Features

  • Multiple compartments including laptop, tablet, and several smaller pockets for organization
  • USB charging port
  • Luggage strap for attaching to a suitcase
  • Anti-theft design
What we like
  • One of the most affordable nomad backpacks around
  • Large capacity for extra storage
  • Multiple compartments for organization
  • USB charging port for convenience
  • Anti-theft design for security
  • Water-resistant material for durability
What we don't like
  • It's heavy when fully packed
  • The design is slightly bulky
  • The zippers may not be as durable as expected
  • We have some concerns about durability

8. Nomatic Backpack (20L)

Best Compact Option

nomatic 20l digital nomad backpack

The Nomatic Backpack 20L might look small, but it's a compact dynamo perfect for digital nomads who like to travel light. I was genuinely surprised by how much this sleek backpack could handle. For shorter stays, it's been my go-to choice, especially when I don't want to lug around a heavier 40-50L backpack.

The quality of construction is excellent, striking a balance between practicality and style. And no, it's not just a downsized version of the 30L—it comes with thoughtfully designed features and pockets that cater well to those who prefer a minimalistic approach. On a recent trip from Sofia to Bansko, I packed it for a four-day art and culture dive. The multiple internal pockets were perfect for organizing my gear, while the tablet pocket kept my device safe and easily accessible.

But yes, there are some downsides to this backpack too. The snaps are a bit tough to fasten, something I noticed while trying to secure the pockets quickly on a busy metro. And while it’s ideal for shorter trips, I found it a bit too compact for anything longer than a few days, unless you're a very light packer. But the backpack's benefits like its compact size, expandability, and organized storage make it a worthy investment, though the price tag is a bit steep for a 20L backpack.


  • Capacity: 20 L (expandable to 24 L)
  • Dimensions: 48.3 x 30.5 x 12.7 cm (expandable to 17.8 cm)
  • Weight: 1.6 kg
  • Material: Waterproof tarpaulin and zippers
  • Laptop compartment: Fits up to 15" laptop

Top Features

  • Tablet pocket
  • Multiple internal pockets for organization
  • Retractable key leash
  • Hidden pocket for valuables
  • Magnetic water bottle pocket
  • Top access pocket for quick access to essentials
What we like
  • Compact and sleek design
  • Carry on size
  • Expandable for extra storage when needed
  • Multiple pockets for organization
  • Retractable key leash and hidden pocket for added convenience and security
  • Comfortable to carry
What we don't like
  • The snaps can be hard to snap
  • May be too small for longer trips
  • The straps for hiding in suitcase mode can be difficult to use
  • The price tag is on the expensive side for a 20L

9. Minaal Carry On 2.0 (35L)

Best for Minimalist Digital Nomads

minaal carry on 2.0 digital nomad backpack

If you're looking for a more stylish look, the Minaal Carry On 2.0 will do it. It embodies minimalist design at its finest—it's sleek, compact, and strips away all unnecessary frills. But don't be deceived by its simple appearance, it's actually loaded with functionalities that make traveling incredibly easy.

You probably got the hint that I'm not a packing enthusiast. But when I took the Minaal Carry On 2.0 on a week-long conference trip to London, the full zip-around access proved to be very useful for packing and unpacking in various places I crashed. The ability to open it fully, like a suitcase, allowed me to organize and reach for my stuff with ease.

The adjustable DeviceNest compartment, which safely cradles your laptop, is another bonus. During my trip, it securely accommodated my 15-inch laptop and tablet without any problem. Although it's not the most budget-friendly option on our list, the quality and thoughtful design justify the investment, especially for minimalist digital nomads who value efficiency and style. The included rain cover can also come in handy!

If you prioritize a clean design and essential features over extensive compartments, the Minaal Carry On 2.0 could be your perfect travel buddy.


  • Capacity: 35 L
  • Dimensions: 55 x 35 x 20 cm
  • Weight: 1.42 kg
  • Material: Nylon fabric with PU coating and YKK zippers
  • Laptop Compartment: Fits up to 15” laptop

Top Features

  • Full zip-around access
  • Rain cover included
  • Lockable zippers for added security
  • Adjustable laptop and device compartment
What we like
  • Sleek and minimalist design, perfect for those who prefer simplicity
  • Full zip-around access makes packing and unpacking a breeze
  • The adjustable DeviceNest compartment provides secure storage for laptops and other devices
  • Included rain cover offers protection in wet weather
  • Lockable zippers add an extra layer of security
What we don't like
  • The minimalist design might lack the organizational features that some travelers need
  • The shoulder straps and back panel could use more padding for comfort
  • The bag may not be as durable as other options on the market

10. Nomatic Navigator Lite 15L

Best for Light Nomad Traveling

nomatic navigator lite 15l digital nomad backpack

Nomatic has done it again, landing another one of their backpacks, the Navigator Lite 15L, on our must-have list for light travel backpacks. We've recently had the chance to put this backpack to the test on several day trips and a few short business trips, and let me spill the tea... it's impressively lightweight without forgetting about storage or features.

The well-padded pockets for a laptop and tablet are very useful during those cramped subway rides in big cities, keeping your tech safe. And the water-resistant material? It comes in handy during a sudden drizzle as you dart between downtown cafés. It's these thoughtful touches that show Nomatic's commitment to making life on the move a bit easier.

We really appreciate how the Navigator Lite retains the sleek, understated style of the Nomatic brand but feels noticeably lighter on the shoulders. Packing is also simple, with multiple internal pockets that are perfect for organizing essentials like headphones, chargers, and sunglasses. There's a spot for everything, which is a big deal for someone like me who likes to keep things tidy.

But no, it's not all perfect. The water bottle pocket lacks a bit of grip, and we found ourselves checking a few times to make sure my water bottle hadn't slipped out during a few hikes. Despite these minor points, the Navigator Lite’s lightweight build, combined with strategic expandability and easy luggage pass-through for attaching to a rolling suitcase, make it a standout choice.


  • Capacity: 15 L (expandable to 28 L)
  • Dimensions: 43.2 x 27.9 x 10.2 cm (expandable to 15.2 cm)
  • Weight: 0.9 kg
  • Material: 400-denier nylon by 330 polyester melange
  • Laptop compartment: Fits up to 16" laptop

Top Features

  • Multiple internal pockets for organization
  • Water bottle pocket
  • Top quick-grab pocket
  • Luggage pass-through
What we like
  • Lightweight and structured design
  • Super comfortable to carry
  • Expandable for extra storage when needed
  • Multiple pockets for organization
  • Luggage pass-through for easy travel
What we don't like
  • The mesh of the water bottle pocket doesn't have much grip, causing bottles to slip out
  • The zippers are not YKK, which might impact their longevity
  • The black interior of the quick-grab pocket makes it difficult to find small items
  • Might not be affordable for some digital nomads

11. CabinZero Adv Pro (42L)

Best Lightweight Option

cabinzero adv pro 42l digital nomad backpack

For those of us who can't stand heavy, bulky backpacks, the CabinZero Adv Pro 42L is a great alternative. It’s incredibly lightweight, which means carrying it around, even when fully packed, feels effortless. It lightens your load but also ensures you have all the storage space and features you need.

During a recent trip through Portugal, the built-in global luggage tracker, powered by Okoban, provided us with peace of mind. By registering our CabinZero bags online, each with its unique Okoban ID, we linked them directly to the WorldTracer system used by over 400 airlines and baggage handlers. This integration meant that if any of our bags were misplaced during flights, they'd be more easily traced and returned to us. Thankfully, we didn't need it, but still, cool feature to have!

The padded laptop sleeve has been crucial for keeping our tech secure on bumpy rides and during endless transits. However, we've noticed that the lack of organizational compartments can be a bit of a challenge, as everything tends to end up in one big jumble. This is something to consider if you're someone who likes to have a specific place for each item.

Its lightweight design, variety of sizes and colors, combined with effective waterproofing and the security of a luggage tracker, makes it a strong choice for anyone looking to travel comfortably without being weighed down. It's particularly well-suited for city adventures and short business trips.


  • Capacity: 42L
  • Dimensions: 55 x 35 x 20 cm
  • Weight: 1.5 kg
  • Material: Nylon 500 Denier Rip-Stop fabric
  • Laptop Sleeve: Fits up to 17" laptop


  • Lockable zippers
  • Padded laptop sleeve
  • Side compression straps
  • Built-in global luggage tracker, powered by Okoban
What we like
  • Lightweight design makes it easy to carry
  • Waterproof material for protection against the elements
  • Built-in global luggage tracker for peace of mind
  • Variety of sizes and colors to choose from
What we don't like
  • Lack of organizational compartments
  • May not be as durable as other options
  • May not be widely available worldwide

You may also be interested in:

Best Digital Nomads Laptop For Remote Work
Discover the top travel laptops that are ideal for digital nomads and remote workers seeking power, portability, and performance on the go.
7 Best Portable Laptop Monitors for Travel & Remote Work
Discover the top portable laptop monitors for travel and compare the most compact and lightweight for remote professionals and digital nomads.
6 Best Portable and Travel-Friendly Laptop Stands
We compare top-rated portable laptop stands for travel. Find the ideal option for your needs, whether it’s for flights, coffee shops, or extended adventures.
The 9 Best Headphones For Remote Work and Travel
Discover the top headphones and headsets for remote work and travel. Compare features, pros, and cons to find the perfect one for you.
6 Best Hidden Travel Wallets to Keep Your Valuables Safe on the Go
From wearable wallets and running belts to RFID blockers and luxury holders. Find the best travel wallets to keep your valuables hidden and safe.

What to Consider Before Buying Your Digital Nomad Backpack

Now that you’ve seen our favorite picks for digital nomad backpacks, let’s focus on what really matters when choosing the right one for you. These considerations aren’t just about storage—they determine how well your backpack will fit into the digital nomad lifestyle, affecting everything from work to travel ease.

Optimal Size & Weight

The perfect backpack strikes a balance between being roomy enough to store all your stuff—like your laptop, tech accessories, clothing, and other personal items—and being lightweight enough not to be a burden during your travels. The backpack must be comfortable to carry in any situation, be it in a crowded airport terminal or while you're exploring new cities on foot. Many of us have learned the hard way that a heavy backpack can quickly wear you down. Remember, when it comes to backpacks for digital nomads, lighter is often better. An extra tip, if you're traveling with your girlfriend, make sure she gets a good backpack too, or you'll end up carrying it!

Meet Carry-On Requirements

Frequent flyers know the drill: navigating varying airline requirements can be tricky. And trust us, the last thing you want is to board a connecting flight, only to be told that your backpack is too large to be a carry-on. To avoid these types of situations and to dodge any extra annoying fees, opt for a backpack that adheres to the most common carry-on dimensions—typically no larger than 22 x 14 x 9 inches.

A Laptop Space

For us digital nomads, our laptop is our office on the go, connecting us to clients and projects worldwide. So yes, a backpack with a dedicated, well-padded laptop compartment is a priority when picking out your travel backpack. More than just safeguarding your device, this space needs to be easily accessible. It should ideally fit a variety of laptop sizes and if you have a larger laptop, double check it will actually fit before purchasing your new backpack.

Compartments Available

No one enjoys the frustration of digging through a disorganized backpack for a charger, only to find everything but what you're looking for. Efficient organization might seem like a minor detail, but it's crucial for a hassle-free digital nomad experience. A backpack designed with multiple compartments can transform your travels by neatly assigning a specific place for each item. This way, you can easily access what you need without the hassle, allowing you to spend more time enjoying what's around you, rather than rummaging through your belongings.

Durable Material

Do you want your travel plans dampened by a damaged bag? Didn't think so. That’s why choosing a backpack made from sturdy materials like nylon and polyester is super important. These fabrics are strong and lightweight but are also perfect for withstanding the tough love of travel. Remember the sprint through Bangkok during that sudden downpour I mentioned at the beginning of this article? My backpack's waterproof materials were a lifesaver! Everything inside stayed dry—from my clothes to my laptop. I didn't have to worry about soggy belongings (nor replace my laptop).

Security Features

When you're carrying all your essentials on your back, security shouldn't just be a second thought, it should be a priority. Backpacks equipped with lockable zippers and stealthy hidden pockets protect against theft, keeping your stuff safe as you explore busy marketplaces or travel via crowded public transportation. You can't watch your back all the time, and a backpack that skips security features could easily lead to lost or stolen items. Better be safe than sorry.


Of course, price is a huge consideration when picking out your nomad backpack. We digital nomads have varied budgets, and not everyone can or wants to splurge on gear. You often hear "you get what you pay for," especially when it comes to the durability and functionality of backpacks, but trust us, there are plenty of affordable options that still tick all the right boxes without emptying your bank account.


Comfort is absolutely critical, too. A backpack might have all the bells and whistles, but if it's a pain to carry, it's going to be more of a burden than a benefit. Make sure to look for one with padded shoulder straps, a breathable back panel, and an adjustable harness. Trust me, when you're navigating an all-day layover or exploring a new city on foot, a comfortable backpack can be the difference between a good day and a bad one. You want a backpack that feels like a part of your journey, not a load dragging you down.

Ready To Travel With Your New Digital Nomad Backpack?

If you want more digital nomad guides like these, sign up for our free newsletter and get upcoming articles straight to your inbox!

You can also follow us on Instagram and join our Facebook Group if you want to get in touch with other members of our growing digital nomad community!

We'll see you there, Freaking Nomads!

Disclosure: Hey, just a heads up that some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means that, if you buy through our links, we may earn a small commission that helps us create helpful content for the community. We only recommend products if we think they will add value, so thanks for supporting us!