Luke Cuenco 05.14.21
Let’s face it. Many of us can’t wait to get out and will be venturing out of our office caves and heading out into the wilds of the big spinning blue-green marble we all live on. While traveling is relaxing and a great way to break up the year, you never know what dangers you’ll come across and it always helps to be prepared no matter what. It could be making sure you’re got your medications and extra cloths for running through the airport, or survival gear in case your truck breaks down deep in the back country. Wherever your path leads, being able to grab a pack of your essentials is not only smart, but also safe and an added security measure for yourself and your loved ones. Let’s go over some of the best travel backpacks for your adventures. Pick a pack to keep all of your gear, guns and everything else on you as you go about your travels.
Table of Contents
1. Eberlestock HiSpeed II Backpack – Editor’s Pick
The HiSpeed is a great every day carry pack that is big on space and small on non-essential features. This makes it a great travel backpack for anything from flying through multiple airports to grabbing a go-bag and running for the hills. The backpack features an interior MOLLE system for mounting your gear and keeping things organized while the outside features a smooth non-tactical design with subtle MOLLE-10 webbing.
The HISpeed II features 1,800 cubic inches of internal space and side mounted compression straps for keeping your gear and weight near your center of gravity for increased comfort. The HiSpeed II Pack comes in either Black or “Military Green” and runs around $199.00.
Pros/Large Internal Volume and internal MOLLE webbing for organization
Bottom Line/Can carry all of your stuff and is lightweight at just under 6 lbs.
2. Inateck 40L Travel Backpack – Budget Pick
The Inateck 40L Travel Backpack is a great backpack for people on the go and who are constantly in and out of airports or on the road. The Bag has pockets for just about everything and made from a durable splash and abrasion resistant material that will keep the bag looking fresh even with daily use.
The Backpack features generous internal space for laptops and spare sets of clothing. The bag can even be carried like a suitcase if carrying it on your back becomes an issue. For the jet setters out there, the bag itself fits within the IATA size limits for flights meaning you’ll always be able to carry it on a plane without going through the hassle of checking your bags. The Inateck 40L Travel Backpack is available for $49.99.
Pros/Affordable, Durable, lots of pockets
Cons/May be too large for some smaller framed people
Bottom Line/Maximum value in terms of dollars per cubic inch of carry space
3. Vertx Gamut 2.0
I’ve stated before in previous articles about my preference for “unassuming” gear that doesn’t scream that you’re a tactical operator. On the other hand, I also like bags that cater to my needs for every day carry and the Vertx Gamut 2.0 fits that bill nearly perfect. The Gamut 2.0 pack looks very similar to a Jansport school bag and even features pockets for your water bottle making it seem that much more “normal.”
The bag comes pockets for a pistol or PDW if you are a fan of off body carry and also includes space for ballistic panels so that the bag can be used for an extra layer of protection from threats. The main storage compartment is suitable for use with a laptop or pens and notebooks with its extra mesh storage pockets.
The Vertx Gamut 2.0 Pack is available for $199.00. and comes in 8 different color combinations and features a generous 1,768 cubic inches of internal storage space.
Pros/Fits the “Grey Man” aesthetic and method perfectly and has lots of style options
Bottom Line/Great for the tactically minded office monkey looking to keep all his tactical EDC gear with his work gear.
4. BANGE Travel Overnight Backpack – Great Layover Bag
This bag gets extra points with me for its addition of 3 individual clothing totes. The backpack not only serves as a great way to store your work and EDC gear but it also features individualized compartments that are removeable to keep your clothing and overnight supplies separate from the rest of your stuff.
The Bag’s straps, handles and pads are made from a water-resistant fabric that should keep you comfortable throughout your travels. The bag also features several external large pockets to give you easy access to all of your gear without needing to open the main compartment containing your clothing. As a final feature, the bag features a collapsible elastic side pocket for storing a water bottle. The BANGE Travel/Overnight 40-Liter backpack is available for under $60.
Pros/Affordable Feature rich overnight/travel bag
Cons/Mesh compartments usually don’t hold up well to extended use with tactical gear
Bottom Line/Affordable option for travelers needing a few days’ worth of clothing and gear
5. Grey Ghost Precision Griff Pack – Perfect for Multiple Uses
This bag is named after a friend of Grey Ghost Precision who was killed in Tal Afar, Iraq in 2005. The pack is said to live up to its namesake by being “tough, versatile, and has a few surprises.” The Griff pack has a large 1,824 cubic inches of storage space, features a laptop sleeve for every day use and also features pass-through doors on either side of the bag so that you can have access to the holster compartment from either side of the bag for ease of access without taking the bag off of your back.
Access can be closed off from this compartment depending on which side you draw from to keep your concealed weapon secure. The Grey Ghost Precision Griff pack is also designed to accommodate large pistols or SMGs with magazines if you which to swap out your work gear for some more tactically minded items. The Griff pack is available for $102.11 in either Black or Grey.
Pros/Durable and Features a great pass-through pocket for easy access to the bag even while its on your back
Cons/Lacks some of the internal organization methods some other day packs feature
Bottom Line/Great for traveling, trips to the range or being prepared for everything on a daily basis
Determine your size
While larger backpacks do exist, traveling on a plane or train can severely limit your mobility and ability to store your bag. 40L bags tend to offer the most versatility while still offering up to 1,800 cubic inches of storage space. 40L bags also tend to be less conspicuous in size compared to larger tactical or backpacking backpacks.
It is generally accepted by most airlines that bags can be up to 22” long, 14” wide, and 9” deep. To put it simply, this means that bags can usually be up to 40L in size before they need to be checked although certain airlines and aircraft configurations can even put 40L backpacks out of the running for carry on baggage. Best practice even with 40L bags is to not overload them just in case you need to squeeze them underneath the seat in front of you.
How to stay TSA friendly
Carry on luggage is subject to some different rules than checked baggage so be sure to keep these things in mind when traveling. If you carry a pistol, knife, or any type of weapon with you as your EDC, you’ll need to check those items in your checked luggage. Bringing a firearm to a TSA checkpoint even accidentally can garner heavy fines and possible criminal prosecution so its best to double check your bag for these items before traveling.
My recommendation would be to have a separate hard cased bag for your firearms/EDC gear and keep your backpack for just your essential traveling gear. You can always rearm after you get your bags from the carousel and exit the airport.
How do I fly with a backpack?
For one, make sure your bag fits carry on dimensions. Always tuck your straps in if stored under the seat in front of you, and never try to carry anything on the plane you can’t.
Can you put your backpack in checked baggage?
Yes, but I suggest you tighten the straps all the way down and make sure its carefully packed.
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