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The 12 Best Suitcase Backpacks in 2023 [Sturdy, Large Capacity]

Amar Hussain's image
Amar Hussain
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Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

774 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 63U.S. States Visited: 9

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Suitcase backpacks are a popular choice with travelers who want the best of both worlds. With a suitcase-style opening for easy access, you can have a more compact solution than traditional travel suitcases, with all benefits that regular backpacks offer. Many of these options are also great to use as a carry-on for shorter trips.

Things To Consider in Suitcase Backpacks

Osprey
Suitcase backpacks are a popular choice with travelers who want the best of both worlds. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Before you opt-in for a certain suitcase-style backpack, you need to be aware of the qualities required to make it a long-term solution. You should focus on finding waterproof and wear-resistant material backpacks with enough capacity to pack all of your things.

Having multiple entries to the main compartment and 1 large opening, just like in a traditional suitcase, can help as well. You could also need additional compartments and pockets for sensitive items and zipped pockets for packing fragile belongings.

Here are some of the main things to look for in a suitcase backpack:

Large Capacity

Backpack access
Suitcase backpacks usually provide 20 to 40 liters of capacity. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Having a large capacity backpack makes it suitable for travel, and you can decide on the exact storage space for your needs. Usually, you should be able to find backpacks with at least 20 to 40 liters of capacity, while some options range even to 60 liters.

With such a large capacity and easy access to the main compartment, you can easily pack up your things, like you normally would with a travel suitcase.

Materials

Osprey zippers
Having a tear-resistant and waterproof material backpack is a must. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Having a tear-resistant and waterproof material backpack is a must, so you should focus on reinforced stitching and materials like nylon blends. These are among the most durable and waterproof options, and they should last you for many future trips.

Also, you should keep an eye out for polyester blends with water resistance and similar fabric.

Additional Pockets

Osprey Backpack with bottle holder
Find a backpack that features smaller compartments and zipped pockets. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

The main trait of suitcase backpacks is their large capacity suitcase-like opening, but that doesn’t mean you should go just for that. It’s possible to find backpacks that feature smaller compartments and zipped pockets for sensitive items.

Bottom Line: If you want to get an all-around solution for short trips and vacations, picking the one with the most pockets and compartments can’t hurt.

The 12 Best Suitcase Backpacks

Now that you know all the tips for choosing the best suitcase backpack, it’s time for our top picks. There are different types of suitcase backpacks, but one of these will be the perfect match for you.

1. Large Suitcase Backpack for Men

Check on Osprey

Osprey Farpoint 40 Men’s Travel Backpack

A rather sophisticated solution for a travel backpack is Osprey’s suitcase backpack for men. It’s a bit larger than the most compact options, but it’s well worth it, with a large storage unit in the middle that opens like a suitcase with a zip.

The large panel zip lets you access the main compartment easily, but that’s not everything this backpack has to offer in terms of capacity. It also has 2 bottle holders on the outside and a few outer pockets.

There’s a large padded strap that you can use to convert this option into a shoulder bag. It also has a mesh storage unit on the inside as you open the large central compartment. You get the capacity and convenience of a compact travel suitcase in this backpack but it is much easier to carry.

What We Like

  • Large internal storage unit with compression straps

What We Don’t Like

  • Only comes in single-color patterns

2. Durable Travel Backpack With Anti-theft Lock

PacsafeVenturesafe EXP45 Anti-Theft Carry-On Travel Backpack

As a regular-sized backpack, the Pacsafe suitcase backpack provides more than enough capacity and is the most secure traveling option. We say this because of the steel mesh lock and zippers that prevent any possibility of theft.

On top of that, it’s super comfortable thanks to the padded and adjustable shoulder straps that let you carry it easily. It’s highly versatile as it has external attachment points that let you fix a sleeping bag, or any other bulky item, onto the outside layer and carry it along.

What We Like

  • Extremely secure traveling option

What We Don’t Like

  • It might take some time to adjust to the lock retention

3. Large-capacity Women’s Travel Suitcase Backpack

Tortuga Women’s Setout 45L Max Size Carry-On Travel Backpack

Tortuga Women’s max size backpack is a perfect fit, even for longer vacations than just weekend retreats.

It’s much more comfortable than its oversized dimensions might seem due to its ergonomic design. It’s 22 inches long and 14 inches wide and comes with some superb features, like laptop and tablet sleeves, 2 separate mesh pockets, and 1 large compartment that opens like a suitcase.

It’s supportive for your back, thanks to the padded straps and extra straps in the waist zone. Being made of durable and water-resistant materials, on top of the features already listed, makes it the ultimate travel companion.

What We Like

  • 45 liters of capacity with mesh pockets and laptop sleeves

What We Don’t Like

  • It might be too large for day trips

4. Sturdy Suitcase-style Travel Backpack

Check on Osprey

Osprey Porter 46 Travel Backpack

If you liked the Farpoint 40 but still need a backpack with a sturdier construction, Osprey Porter 46 is a great pick. This travel backpack offers several impressive features that are usually associated with suitcases.

Not only does it open like a suitcase, uncovering a large central storage unit, but it’s also firm and sturdy like one. This helps you get complete support, even for the most fragile items you plan on carrying, as well as providing additional support for your back.

You will find a zippered top pocket for fragile items, a full panel zip that uncovers the main pocket, and a vertical pocket for books and laptops. The reinforced padded straps provide greater support, with waist-zone straps that secure the backpack aligned with your back.

What We Like

  • Reinforced stitching and sturdy support

What We Don’t Like

  • No side pockets

5. Compact Travel Backpack for Women

eBags Mother Lode Travel Backpack

Being made of highly durable and breathable materials makes this backpack a solid option for women. It’s a mid-size travel backpack that opens like a suitcase and has plenty of additional storage areas, with a great capacity for its size.

Some of the main traits of this backpack are a padded laptop sleeve, zip expansion, 2 additional external pockets, and 1 large compartment. It even has a bottle holder on the side, making it perfect for hot days.

There’s a side strap that connects the 2 large shoulder straps and offers practicality with the large central unit. It can fit all of your clothes for a weekend and more and has 2 separate straps that secure your packed gear.

What We Like

  • Compact women’s backpack with several external pockets

What We Don’t Like

  • The laptop sleeve might be a bit snug

Hot Tip: If a traditional carry-on may better suit your travel needs, check out our guide to the best carry-on luggage bags for any traveler.

6. Great Suitcase Backpack for the Weekend

Hynes Eagle 38L Flight Approved Weekender Carry On Backpack

If you’re looking to get the most convenience in a compact solution for shorter trips, Hynes Eagle 38L is a great choice. It can fit a laptop and all of your essentials easily, with more than enough storage space and a main compartment that opens like a suitcase.

It measures 19 inches in length and is 13 inches wide, so it’s perfect for most airlines as a carry-on bag. The best thing is that you can hide away the shoulder straps and use a carrying handle on top of the backpack to carry it in your hand.

It features reinforced stitching and tough zippers around the 2 external pockets and a single large unit when opened. This backpack can truly be carried as you please since there’s even a side handle.

What We Like

  • Adjustable straps and handles

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t have separate sleeves for fragile items

7. Large Backpack for Vacations

Amazon Basics Carry-On Travel Backpack

If you need a bit of extra packing space, Amazon Basics’ carry-on backpack can provide it, along with other useful features. It comes with an ultimate 60 liters of capacity and has hideaway straps and a carrying handle, so you can carry it in your hand.

As for the external pockets, you’ll be pleased to hear that this backpack has plenty. There are 2 large central outer pockets, as well as a side pocket and a bottle holder. The large inner compartment is equipped with a full expansion zipper and offers 5.5 by 13 inches to 14 by 21.5 inches as the main storage area.

What We Like

  • Extra carrying capacity

What We Don’t Like

  • Too big as a carry-on

8. Airplane-approved Weekend Travel Backpack

Check on Walmart

MATEIN Carry On Backpack Extra Large Expandable

If you’re looking for a daypack that is certified for airplane travel and an expandable backpack with room for travel essentials, this might be the one. It’s equipped with hideaway straps and all sorts of outer pockets and storage units.

The larger inner compartment includes 1 extra-large compartment with straps to secure your items. Also, there’s a zipped mesh pocket on the opposite side of the backpack, which you can use for fragile items, laptops, jewelry, or toiletries. There’s a handle on the side as well, so you can choose how you wish to carry it.

What We Like

  • Perfect size for airplane travel

What We Don’t Like

  • No bottle holders

9. Laptop-compatible Travel Backpack

Asanlin 40L Travel Backpack For Men and Women

Those in need of a perfect weekend travel backpack that opens like a suitcase might like the Asanlin Univeral Daypack. It’s perfect, even for air travel, due to its 18.5 x 12.5-inch dimensions. This backpack has 1 large inner compartment that opens like a suitcase and another above it.

The outer compartment can fit up to 17-inch laptops, while the central unit is perfect for clothes, toiletries, and other necessities. You can use both the side handle and the upper one to carry the backpack in your hand. Also, the straps can be removed and hidden away, which is especially beneficial for air travel.

You can adjust the vertical strap, as well, for utmost support and balance while carrying this suitcase backpack on your back. Another useful feature is the addition of external compression straps that can be used to reduce the pressure on the zippers.

What We Like

  • Adjustable flight-approved suitcase backpack

What We Don’t Like

  • No side pockets

10. Multifunctional Travel Suitcase Backpack

Dinictis 40L Carry On Flight Approved Travel Laptop

An excellent multifunctional travel suitcase backpack is the Dinictis 40L carry-on daypack. It features more than enough space for fitting a laptop in the front compartment and using the central storage unit for clothes and other belongings, with a double strap.

It also has a mesh pocket, divided into 2 zones for utmost convenience, with a 40-liter capacity. It also has 1 multifunctional outer pocket that fits some additional items. It’s divided into 2 smaller compartments, and you can use this pocket for fragile items.

It has reinforced stitching and reinforced zippers, which is a great addition if you are looking for the most durable of options.

What We Like

  • Durable construction and multifunctional pockets

What We Don’t Like

  • Dark color variants

11. Perfect Option for Business Travelers

Check on Walmart

Inateck Cabin Luggage Carry-On Backpack for Travel

This suitcase backpack is a perfect option for business travelers who need proper protection for their documents and laptop. It comes with a separate compartment for the laptop and a raincoat cover to protect from bad weather conditions and spillages.

The backpack is designed based on vibration tests for the handles to ensure the sturdiest grip possible. It has a compression strap and lock-optimized zippers for fitting an anti-theft system. There’s a bottle pocket on the side and a document pocket, as well as a few side storage compartments for fragile items.

What We Like

  • Perfect for business travel

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t have an inside strap

12. Expandable Travel Backpack With Charging Port

TOTWO Travel Backpack Expandable 40L Carry-On Backpack

Those on the lookout for a modern multi-compartment suitcase backpack might settle on this travel expandable daypack. It’s a blend of a travel bag and a suitcase, in the form of a large-sized backpack with reinforced zippers.

You can increase the thickness of the backpack by 3.9 inches, and there’s even a built-in USB port for charging electronic devices. It’s made of durable fabric with water-resistant properties and has 1 front pocket, the main luggage compartment that opens like a suitcase, and a laptop pocket.

The backside is made of soft padded material for maximum breathability and support, with a pressure point reinforcement in the strapping zone.

What We Like

  • Versatile suitcase backpack with USB port

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t have any side pockets

Final Thoughts

Our top picks will help you find a suitable backpack for travel that opens like a suitcase, so you can get the best of both worlds. Shorter trips demand options like these, as they provide more comfort than carrying a suitcase or a travel bag.

With up to 50 liters of capacity, we are confident you can use one of the options from our list with the help of our guide to pick the right one for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a suitcase backpack for travel?

If you are unfamiliar with the concept, suitcase backpacks are a perfect blend of a suitcase and a travel-size backpack that open like a regular suitcase. With 1 large inner compartment and luggage distribution, like in a normal suitcase, you won’t have to bother carrying large travel bags or flipping the entire contents of a backpack just to find specific items.

Are suitcase backpacks allowed for air travel?

Yes, you can use a suitcase backpack for air travel, and there are plenty of options out there, depending on your required capacity.

Is a suitcase backpack similar to a travel rucksack?

Some large capacity options resemble rucksacks, but the main difference is in the opening design, which is like that on a suitcase.

Do suitcase backpacks have any other compartments?

Having the same opening type as suitcases doesn’t mean the suitcase backpacks can’t have more compartments. There are some options with 3 or more outer compartments, and some even have specific laptop or tablet sleeves.

Amar Hussain's image

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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