July 22, 2024


Safe Travel USA

TOP 9 LIST: Best Small Backpack in 2022

When traveling, you do not want to be turned away at the checkpoint to find your rucksack is not a carry-on bag. Neither do you want to hike with a heavy pack. That’s why I chose 8 best small backpacks out there. So without keeping you waiting, let’s get on with this review.

What is the Best Small Backpack?

To find the absolute best small backpack we have searched through most of the available compact backpacks and read all the comments left by people who bought and used them. Then we compiled the list of the top 9 small backpacks based on their pricing, specs and ratings by real users. Feel free to use the results of hours of our research now and thank us later in the comments.

Oh, and just so you know, there are also Buying Guide and FAQ sections below the top products that provide a handy overview of things you may need to know before and after you buy your new small backpack.

1. Osprey Daypack Daylite Plus

Osprey Daypack Daylite Plus
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Capacity: 20 Liters
Weight: 1.2 Pounds (0.5 kg)
Size: 18 x 10 x 9 Inches (45.7 x 25.4 x 22.9 cm)

The small carry-on backpack offers you all-around use for international traveling with easy to load main compartment and access to inside content. For hiking, it is perfect with the multi-function sleeve on the inside to use with a hydration bladder, plus you get a front shove-it pocket for stashing smaller items and a light rain shell. You never know when you may need it. I chose it as the absolute best small backpack because it’s so lightweight and versatile.


  • Multi-function interior sleeve for a hydration bladder,
  • Comfortable back panel,
  • Roomy main compartment,
  • Lightweight for hours of carrying,
  • Durable design,
  • Perfect size for day travels


  • Water bottle pocket not deep enough,
    The Grab handle may rub against the lower neck

2. Thule Lithos Lightweight Backpack

Thule Lithos Lightweight Backpack
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Capacity: 16 Liters
Weight: 1.4 Pounds (0.6 kg)
Size: 16.5 x 11 x 7.9 Inches (41.9 x 27.9 x 20.1 cm)

A lightweight city backpack to wear all day without getting tired. Easy access laptop compartment for business travel with durable and weather-resistant construction. Designed with an attachment point for blinky light (sold separately) to remain visible at night.


  • Dedicated laptop sleeve with elevated tablet storage,
  • Strap management system,
  • Front organization pocket,
  • Side pouch for a bottle,
  • Perfect for commuting,
  • Keeps items dry and protected


  • Limited pockets in 16L version

3. HIKPRO Hiking Backpack

HIKPRO Hiking Backpack
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Capacity: 20 Liters
Weight: 0.4 Pounds (0.2 kg)
Size: 18 x 12 x 5.5 Inches (45.7 x 30.5 x 14 cm)
Material: Nylon
Wheels: No
Water Resistant: Yes

A nice small hiking backpack with water-resistant and high-quality nylon material construction to guarantee its durability. Made with durable shoulder straps, you can customize the length for a comfortable body fit.

The backpack weighs 7.5oz when empty which reduces the overall weight when loaded and it folds easily for convenient storage. Although it is a compact pack, it features a 20L internal space with an internal pocket for your cash and cards. The external pocket is convenient for quick access items like energy bars and a book. It has a large main pocket for daily needs with an outer pocket for a camera, guidebooks, and your tickets. The side pockets are also convenient for your water bottle and umbrella. I like that it is easy to adjust the weight distribution on the go as it comes with adjustable shoulder straps, and it’s also highly ergonomic for back support.


  • Keeps things organized with the zippered compartments,
  • Made with tear-resistant nylon and waterproof,
  • Easily adjustable shoulder straps,
  • Versatile to use biking and hiking and other outdoor activities,
  • Washes and dries fast,
  • Strong mesh pockets to hold your water bottles,
  • Lightweight and easy to fold when traveling,
  • Reinforced at more than 14 places for extra strength


  • Design of backpack doesn’t allow for sufficient ventilation on the back whole carrying
  • Little to no padding on the back and shoulder straps

4. Stubble&Co Roll Top Mini Backpack

Stubble&Co Roll Top Mini Backpack
Price: 💲💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Capacity: 14 Liters
Weight: 1.8 Pounds (0.8 kg)
Size: 16.1 x 11 x 4.7 Inches (41 x 28 x 12 cm)
Material: Recycled waterproof materials: 600D PET, 200D PET, Tarpaulin
Water Resistant: Yes
Waterproof: Yes

Stubble&Co Roll Top Mini Backpack works very well in a wide variety of environments and weather conditions, all due to its fully waterproof design. While it is so stylish that you could take it to the office and barely anyone would notice it’s a travel bag, the features like reflective trim and vertical outer pocket make it great for the outdoors.

We found it to work best with flat items like laptops and books, which are rarely taken for a hike, but this backpack would still work very well as a daypack for a hike in unpredictable conditions.

What we like the most is the durability thanks to high-quality materials, which are mostly sourced from recycling.

The price may be a challenge if you’re on a budget, but if that’s not the case, it is certainly one of the best products on our list.


  • Fully waterproof for peace of mind,
  • Works well as a daypack, regardless of the weather conditions,
  • Stylish design that would make you look good even in a serious business setting,
  • Lightweight which makes it great for long hikes,
  • Free worldwide shipping


  • Rather pricey,
  • Designed for flatter items like laptops/books

5. Osprey Daypack Daylite

Osprey Daypack Daylite
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Capacity: 13 Liters
Weight: 1.1 Pounds (0.5 kg)
Size: 18 x 9 x 9 Inches (45.7 x 22.9 x 22.9 cm)

I love this tiny backpack for its versatility to wear it anywhere from day hikes; trail runs to city travels. The side pockets fit two full water bottles, and you get a built-in sleeve for your laptop. While small, you can pack more than expected.


  • Ventilated with mesh-covered back panel,
  • External hydration bladder pocket,
  • Multi-function interior sleeve,
  • Well insulated to keep beverages cold,
  • Smooth zippers with large pulls,
  • Straps are well padded and breathable


  • The crosspiece on the neck digs into the spine

6. Pacsafe Venturesafe GII Anti Theft Backpack

Pacsafe Venturesafe GII Anti Theft Backpack
Price: 💲💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Capacity: 25 Liters
Weight: 2.1 Pounds (0.9 kg)
Size: 19.7 x 11.4 x 7.9 Inches (50 x 29 x 20.1 cm)

The small rucksack is ideal for international travel with its anti-theft system. Not only do the zippers provide security, but the fabric itself is also cut-proof. You will find the RFID blocking pocket great for placing your wallet inside to prevent identity theft.


  • Anti-theft design with securable zippers,
  • Adjustable and removable hip belt,
  • Fitted with padded laptop sleeve,
  • The bag is easy to put on or take off,
  • Comfortably fits a 13-inch laptop,
  • Water bottle holder on the side


  • The straps don’t adjust well for a small framed body hanging too loose

7. Simple Wanderer Modern Backpack

Simple Wanderer Modern Backpack
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Capacity: 25 Liters
Weight: 1.8 Pounds (0.8 kg)
Size: 19 x 12 x 7 Inches (48.3 x 30.5 x 17.8 cm)

With the 25l capacity of this best small travel backpack, it is perfect for traveling abroad or to work. Designed with exterior side pockets for bottles and great to have when hiking. With the water-resistant design, you can take it out in the rain without concern that your gear will get wet.


  • Separate cushioned zippered laptop and tablet compartment,
  • Travel strap for attaching to a suitcase handle,
  • Exterior sleeves to fit modern bottles up to 22 0z,
  • Holds shape without anything inside,
  • Affordable price,
  • Simple yet stylish


  • The chest strap can get uncomfortable for women

8. Sinotron Packable Lightweight Backpack

Sinotron Packable Lightweight Backpack
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Capacity: 22 Liters
Weight: 0.7 Pounds (0.3 kg)
Size: 16.5 x 11 x 7 Inches (41.9 x 27.9 x 17.8 cm)
Material: Nylon
Wheels: No
Water Resistant: Yes
Waterproof: No

Sinotron Lightweight Backpack makes an excellent buy for hikers looking for a budget hiking backpack for short hikes. It is also a lightweight pack that only weighs 0.7 pounds, which is also a good size for teenagers and kids to use. The pack is also easy to store when not in use as it can fold into the size of a booklet.

The Sinotron features a 22L capacity with a main section, two side pockets, and an internal pocket for valuables. The main compartment can accommodate a 14-inch laptop, which gives you versatility for use. It features an ergonomic design with adjustable mesh shoulder straps for comfort and breathability.


  • Folds up into a small size when not used,
  • Lightweight with 22L capacity,
  • Added pockets on front and side,
  • Breathable mesh shoulder straps for comfort,
  • Water-resistant nylon fabric construction,
  • Durable and reliable metal zippers,
  • Machine washable, easy to open and use


  • The front pocket lacks a zipper closure; hence easy to pickpocket

9. TETON Sports Oasis1100

TETON Sports Oasis1100
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Capacity: 2 Liters
Weight: 2 Pounds (0.9 kg)
Size: 18.5 x 10 x 7 Inches (47 x 25.4 x 17.8 cm)
Wheels: No
Water Resistant: Yes

The TETON Sports Oasis 1100 is a complete hydration set that features a hydration pack and a 2L bladder as a package, and it is also the premium option on my list. The backpack has an 18L capacity suitable for day hikes, and it features 600D ripstop polyester fabric with a polyurethane coating for water-resistance. It is also available in a wide variety of attractive colors for everyone. The hydration pack features adjustable shoulder straps and a waist belt to fit all body types, although some male users have noted that the waist strap does not wear comfortably. On the upside, the backpack is comfortable for day-long excursions with padded shoulder straps and the back panel with air mesh covering. The hydration bladder features a 2-inch wide screw cap opening that allows you to put in ice cubes. It may be as easy to clean as the Osprey bladder with this opening, but it lets you fill water almost to the brim. It comes with a kink-free drinking tube and a pull/push bite valve. Overall, the Teton Sports Oasis hydration combo may be an excellent bargain for a first-time buyer. If you need to upgrade to a 3L bladder, the pack is compatible with hydration bladders from other brands such as Camelbak.


  • Combination set of daypack and 2L hydration water bladder,
  • Multiple pockets and bungee cord system for organization,
  • Offers customizable straps and waistbelt for comfort to fit all frames,
  • Features a ripstop 600D coated nylon fabric construction,
  • Two side elastic water bottle holders


  • Larger build men and women might want to check the straps length to see if fitting
  • The bladder may leak from the screw cap so better to test it before using


We went through most of the small backpacks available today and considered what people who used them are saying about these compact backpacks. We also looked closely at their pricing and specs to find that Osprey Daypack Daylite Plus is the overall best small backpack out there.

However, HIKPRO Hiking Backpack is a very good affordable alternative for those who want to get one of the budget compact backpacks.

For those who need the absolute best of the best, regardless of the price, Stubble&Co Roll Top Mini Backpack is the premium pick.

Questions and Answers About Small Backpacks

What is considered a small backpack?

The majority of packs you find are between 10L and up to 85L, offering you a vast range of sizes. Anything smaller than 25 litres of volume is typically considered a small backpack.

How do I choose the best small backpack?

Choosing a small travel backpack comes down to your individual needs. However, here are some factors to consider when investing in your next rucksack
Your budget,
Weather-resistance (Very Important),
Capacity and dimensions(especially important when flying),
Ease of use and to customize it according to your needs,
Opinions of those who used it before.

What size should be the best small travel backpack?

An ideal backpack for traveling should havve a capacity of 15L to 25L and considered a daypack . This size works well to keep your camera, water bottles, some food, wallet, passport, etc.

What volume should my city backpack be?

The volume is anything between 17L to 25L to fit your laptop with other items needed for the day.

What’s the best small backpack for hiking?

When choosing a hiking backpack packed with items, your hips need to support the weight. For this reason, it helps to pick a pack with a hip belt to accommodate your hip size. . Furthermore, it needs to have a pocket for a hydration bladder or water bottles and, most importantly, enough space inside for emergency supplies bug out bag). Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack is the best hiking small backpack out there.

Can I take two backpacks as a carry-on?

Usually, you can take two rucksacks on a plane as long as one is considered carry-on luggage, and the other one is small enough to be a personal carry-on item. The baggage needs to fulfill the airline’s specified size restriction to fit in the overhead bin or the space under the seat. Please check with your airline.