You can choose from a variety of them. The front panel and assorted pockets are like a small traveling office space. Flaws but not dealbreakers After testing, we think it’s a great bag too. The Tom Bihn Aeronaut’s reputation for durability, adaptability, and a low-key aesthetic make it a favorite among many dedicated one-bag travelers. If you want a Tortuga and you don’t mind making some compromises, the Setout does carry just as much as the Outbreaker. Strap your tripod to the bottom, saddle up and go. We’ve narrowed down our specifications to the following list of features, ordered from most to least relevant. We ended up with a list of 60 candidates and then narrowed this list down to 22 finalists using the following criteria: capacity, compartment design, aesthetics, reviews, and reported comfort. It’s designed for both cycling and hiking, which is why it has thick shoulder straps, a mesh back, and a sternum strap for stability. There is a lot to love about it. A: The best cycling backpacks are made of water-resistant nylon, water-resistant tarpaulin or treated cotton duck fabric like is used on sails. Matt and HL both have other Timbuk2 backpacks as well, so we’ll have a variety of bags to review. A scaled-down version of the Farpoint, the Fairview’s shoulder straps are slightly lower, to keep the bag’s bulk more aligned with smaller torsos. It has a nice variety of compartment options. On both, the chest-strap clip is also equipped with a small security whistle that’s surprisingly loud. Sometimes all you need is a laptop and cellphone. This is super important when you’re cycling because you don’t want anything throwing off your balance. The Osprey Farpoint 40 is well made, easy to pack, and comfortable to carry over most mid-length distances—such as walking across a city for an afternoon. Osprey Porter 46: This is a slightly larger sibling of the Farpoint 40. Peak Design covers all of its bags with a lifetime warranty, which should alleviate most people’s concerns. We’re still confident in all our other picks. All of the main compartment zippers are protected by security loops, which you thread the zipper through at the end of its run. An actual waterproof cycling backpack is rare mostly because waterproof material adds both weight and cost. With thick shoulder straps, a sternum strap, and a waist strap, you can adjust this backpack to feel like it’s a part of you. “The more often you need to check a bag, the more often you need to hide away the straps,” Levy said. Most bags’ expanding mechanisms aren’t worth the extra zipper they’re built on, and they look about as attractive as a boiled ham splitting out of its plastic packaging. The Mother Lode is a good suitcase built around a basic (if slightly underwhelming) backpack. The computer pocket is simple to access, whether you’re wearing the bag or not, and it keeps the weight close to your back. This is a moment to center yourself, no matter how chaotic the journey. I know people who love to do this. But as with all investments, you need to decide if it makes sense for you. Inside there’s a watertight main compartment that’s hydration-sleeve compatible, a small zip pocket for your valuables and plenty of room for your laptop and other tech. But the Farpoint is in danger of becoming outpaced by bags with newer designs. Best of all, Cotopaxi backs its bags with a true lifetime warranty. The Timbuk2 Aviator Travel Backpack has an internal capacity of less than 30 liters and we think it's a great option for individuals who plan to check one bag, but still want to carry-on a few critical items that won't quite fit into the personal item. And it still feels larger than a normal daypack, but we think that’s a small compromise for being able to use one backpack as both your travel bag and your daily explorer. Main Results. That’s not to say it’s a bad bag. It’s lightweight, comfortable, and makes the best use of space with a bunch of cleverly designed pockets. I have a Timbuk2 backpack that I use for travel but needed a new backpack to use for work that was a little smaller. The Allpa’s front panel is made of a waterproof, TPU-coated 1000-denier polyester (a strong fabric covered in a flexible plastic coating), which means you can lay it on its back in a wet field or in gravel without worrying about moisture soaking through or jagged edges ripping the fabric. It doesn’t matter. They figure what you really need is a way to transport your suit since you’re probably not wearing it on your bike. It’s easy to remain more mobile when you’re not loaded down by heavy luggage and easier still to adjust your plans mid-trip. … The Allpa’s materials and construction are better. On the right side is a deep compartment, spacious enough for two large packing cubes or half a suitcase’s worth of clothes (which you access through a mesh zippered flap). Reviews for the real world. After three years of long-term testing this bag, we’re still surprised by how great it feels to put on when it’s fully packed. We did a lot of our own research to compare models of travel bags, but r/onebag moderator /u/-Nepherim created one of the best product-comparison spreadsheets we’ve seen. But if you’re particularly hard on your gear and still need to carry as much as possible, you might consider the Tortuga instead. Flaws but not dealbreakers Accessory pocket layout and design: Some people will love an accessory pocket that has a specific space for everything, while others may find that feature constricting and unadaptable. Peak Design also makes a line of ultralight packing cubes. The water-resistant tarpaulin and nylon shell will keep the rain at bay and the ultra-comfortable shoulder straps will provide trouble-free transport. The more-diminutive version is a decent choice for weekend travel or for minimalist travelers—but for this size, we prefer the space-saving profile of the Allpa. On longer bike rides, you might need more space to carry refreshments and other essential items. However, we think that for the price, you’re better off either spending more for the comfort of the Outbreaker or saving a little and opting for the more-accessible eBags TLS Mother Lode. 4.4 out of 5. Kit Dillon is a senior staff writer at Wirecutter. It features 1000D Cordura nylon and YKK zippers, and has a spacious design and decent shoulder straps. The years of design and consideration that Osprey has put into its line of hiking backpacks are quite evident in the Farpoint. Just as important, thanks to the adjustable torso length, shoulder straps, and waist-belt system (borrowed from hiking backpacks), the Outbreaker is the most adjustable bag we’ve tested three years in a row. SKU: 3972016. The strap design lets you easily wear this durable bag on your back or carry it in your hand while you’re on the move. Unlike in some other models, in the Allpa the laptop is situated against your back; this keeps the weight of the electronics closer to your body and adds a certain layer of security.