The backpack – the heart of travel gear.
You want a good backpack, but how much does a good backpack cost? Should you splurge or should you save?
Before you can know how much to spend on a travel backpack, you’ll first need to see the average travel backpack price.
Average Travel Backpack Price:
Travel backpacks come in all types of colors, styles, and prices. The average travel backpack costs between $100 and $250. There’s a lot of choices above and below that price range, however the majority of high quality reasonably priced backpacks are between this range.
On the more expensive end, outside of the $250 range, you can spend $275 for the Eagle Creek RFID Deviate 85 (this is a massive backpack, 85 liters, IMO more than you’ll ever need) or $325 for the Pacsafe Venturesafe 65L GII. These packs tend to be larger or have some more frills and features (some of which are unnecessary or travel style specific i.e. padded camera compartments). For example, the Pacsafe backpack has a 3mm stainless steel locking cable and puncture resistant zippers.
You can find the Pacsafe Venturesafe 55L backpack, which is smaller than the 65 liter version for $300. I’ve briefly tested this backpack out, and have to say that it’s one of the best travel backpacks on the market, although pricey. It has a great suitcase style opening, allowing you to quickly access your clothes, a comfortable suspension system and is overall really durable and high quality. More on this backpack to come…
At the highest end of the scale you can spend $450 for the Arc’teryx Altra 65 (although it’s more of a hiking pack than a travel backpack).
If you can find something under $100, great, but make sure it’s a high quality product.
Travel tip: Buying a smaller backpack can be a win-win-win situation.
- Smaller backpacks are cheaper
- Smaller backpacks force you to pack less, lightening your load
- Smaller backpacks can meet carry on requirements
But how small is too small? Find out more at this article: What is the best travel backpack size?
If I were planning on using a travel backpack for multiple years or a really long RTW, I wouldn’t have a problem with spending more than $250. But, I most likely would not spend more than $300 for a travel backpack. Here are 4 reasons why:
- While traveling the backpack will get scratched, and abused especially if I’m planning on checking it in. It’s not an uncommon occurrence for backpacks to be stolen or torn either.
- I don’t want to look too fancy or attract attention when in a 3rd world country
- No matter how amazingly attractive the backpack is, it will eventually get out of date or there will be a newer cooler version
- The point of having a travel backpack is for you to travel with it. I’d rather put that $300+ towards priceless travel experiences.
If you’re a photographer with $5,000+ worth of photography equipment, you might want to spend more on a photographer specific backpack which can cost $300+ to protect your valuable photo gear. One adventure photography backpack company which I’ve heard good things about is F-stop Gear.
Check out my reviews of the best travel backpacks.
Don’t stinge on a good travel backpack – but that doesn’t mean you have to spend $450. Most high quality packs fall between the $100 to $250 range. There are obviously exceptions, but that is the range I have come up with based off experience. A lot of the time, you get what you pay for.
Your travel gear questions answered. Got a question about gear? Leave a comment below, or email me.
There’s a bunch of affiliate links in this article, most going to Ebags.com and some to REI.com. This means we get commission if you decide to make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. This helps to fund the site. 🙂