Are you searching for the best minimalist backpack to travel the world, to use on daily basis or for a weekend trip? Here you will find the best minimalist backpacks and daypack for women’s and men. From ultralight backpacking gear and the lightest backpack you will ever set your eyes on, to women’s hiking backpack. And from an amazing minimalist tactical backpack to the a beautiful looking modern design backpack. Here you will find your best minimalist backpack whether you travel to Europe, Asia, the Americas, Australia or Africa.
The best minimalist travel backpack
Packing light while backpacking is ideal. It’s easy to carry all your stuff with you, you don’t lose things easily anymore and you actually wear all the clothes that you’ve packed. In the hope that more people will stress less about packing and more about packing essentials when they travel, I figured it’s about time to talk you through the best minimalist backpacks. From the top ultralight backpacks, to a minimalist waterproof backpack. And from the nicest minimalist black backpack to the best minimalist laptop backpack. It’s all in here. Including the size, the liters and the weight of the good backpacks.
All of these backpacks can be used as a carry-on as they’re 40 liters and below. And every backpack has several colours that you can choose from, so if red is not your colour, maybe black or blue is the perfect colour for your ultralight carry on backpack.
Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links, click for more information here.
The best minimalist backpack for women
There are a few back pack brands that create the best minimalist backpacks for women, which you will see below. What I notice is that there is constantly one brand that stands out in the sea among all the other brands and that is Osprey. Osprey is one of the most durable backpack brands that you can find out there. They make backpacks specially for both men and women, but have completely different models for either gender. Because of that, traveling with just a backpack has become easier for both men and women as the backpacks are perfectly fitted for every bodytype. There are a few other backpack brands that I also adore, which you will discover as you read on.
Osprey Packs Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack
This Osprey backpack is the Farpoint. I’ve used this one several times as well and have been pleasantly surprised with the fit. While I thought that the backpack and straps would be uncomfortable, as it’s not the typical backpack, it’s everything but. Every time I’m also very surprised with how much stuff you can pack in this backpack. That makes the Osprey Farpoint a perfect backpack for a long trip.
At 40 liters this backpack is the perfect minimalist backpack for women who love to travel and save some bucks. The reason? With 40 liters this backpack is the maximum carry-on size for European airlines, including for budget airlines such as Transavia and Easyjet. Another thing that I like about this backpack is that you can open the front panel like a suitcase instead of top loading.
Weight: 3,17 lbs / 1,44 kg
Size: 22 x 14 x 9 inches / 54 x 35 x 23 cm
This backpack from Kelty is a great lightweight backpack for women, as it only weighs 0,9 kg / 2 lbs. For when you’re a minimalist that is backpacking Europe or whatever continent, you will love this backpack. The downside is that this minimalist travel backpack is top loading and doesn’t have an entire front panel that opens like a suitcase. But there is a solution for this. And that is called packing cubes. They save me every time.
Not only is this backpack pretty affordable for one of the best ultralight backpacks for women, but it has plenty of pockets as well. If you need a slim profile backpack, then you’ll absolutely love this minimalist backpack as it’s not a bulky bag and has a very well-padded hip belt.
Weight: 2 lbs / 0,9 kg
Size: 23 x 14 x 12 inches / 58,4 x 35,6 x 30,5
Eagle Creek Women’s Water Resistant Backpack
This Eagle Creek backpack is as organized as the Osprey Farpoint backpack. You can open this backpack as well like a suitcase, but it already has several compartments. So if you’re a fan of keeping your stuff organized as much as possible then packing cubes in combination with this backpack will be perfect for you.
The backpack is of really good quality, however the straps are a little rough, but easy adjustable. There’s even a laptop section in this piece of minimalist luggage. If you’re planning on taking a laptop (up to 17 inch) when traveling, then this Eagle Creek is a great minimalist laptop backpack as well.
Weight: 3,8 lbs /1,59 kg
Size: 21.5 x 13.75 x 8 / 55 x35 x 20 cm
The best minimalist mens backpack
There are plenty of the best mens backpacks out there, however not that many that actually fit the strict restrictions of carry-on travelling. Most of the best backpacks for men are way too long to even be considered carry-on size. And if you want to find a good minimalist backpack for men, key is minimalist, then it has to fit within the airline restrictions. So here you have it, the best carry on backpacks for men.
Osprey Packs Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack
One of the best minimalist backpacks for men is actually the Osprey Farpoint as well. As I’ve said before,I’ve used this one several times as well and have been pleasantly surprised with this backpack. Not only can you open the front panel like a suitcase, it’s the maximum carry-on size for (budget) airlines throughout Europe.
There are several colours of this Farpoint, so if you’re not into the blueish colour, then there will be another colour for you. Whether you’re first trying out how to pack your travel backpack as a minimalist, or if you’re travelling for a full year with a carry-on, this Farpoint will be your best mate.
Weight: 3,17 lbs / 1,44 kg
Size: 22 x 14 x 9 inches / 54 x 35 x 23 cm
WITZMAN Men Travel Backpack Canvas Rucksack Vintage Duffel Bag
This backpack is more of a duffel bag and backpack in one. So if you like to change the way your luggage looks and if you don’t always want to carry a rucksack or backpack on your back, then you’ll like this one. Not only is this a stylish minimalist backpack for men (and can also be used by women of course), but it’s a very durable and sturdy backpack that easily fits the overhead compartment.
Weight: 3,24 lbs / 1,47 kg
Size: 21 x 13 x 7,5 inches / 53 x 33 x 19
Litres: If anyone is good in math, help a girl out! They didn’t include the liters anywhere. However, I know that for a fact that this minimalist backpack fits in the overhead compartment.
The best minimalist daypack
Discover the best backpack for everyday use that can also be used as a carry on. As well as the best Scandinavian design backpack and great options for when you’re searching for a minimalist canvas backpack.
Burton Tinder Backpack
I’m sorry in advance for the name. Just, don’t pay attention to that. Instead, focus on the design. Much better, right? The fit, in combination with the design make this the best everyday backpack and one that you will happily carry on your back. The quality of Burton backpacks is incredibly good. As the company is confident and aware of the fact, they offer a lifetime warranty.
The outside material is water-resistant, but the inside has some very very water-resistant material. However, keep in mind that this is water-resistant and not water proof. This minimalist backpack can be used for both men and women and is very comfortable. I have no problems taking this bad boy on a day around town, a weekend in another city or out hiking. This Tinder backpack from Burton comes in various colours.
Weight: 1,36 lbs / 0,6 kg
Size: 20 x 13 x 6 inches / 50 x 33 x 15
This backpack is one of the best minimalist backpacks out there. If you’re looking for a great sturdy and comfortable minimalist backpack, that is also water-resistant and has waterproof zippers, then you’ve found your beast. Not only does this backpack look really sleek, you can even expand the backpack from a 20L bag to a 34L. You backpacking dreams will come true.
And that’s not all. The backpack has reflective printed ink, which makes you visible at night. So your back will be in a great shape, your stuff stays dry and there’s a lifetime guarantee. So if there would be something wrong with this nice backpack, then you’ll always get the customer service that you deserve. The only downside of this bag is that it’s pretty heavy for a backpack of this size.
Weight: 3 lbs / 1,6 kg
Size: 18,5 x 12 x 5 inches / 47 x 30 x 12,7 cm
Litres: 20L – 34L
The Friendly Swede City Backpack
If you’re searching for a great ultralight waterproof travel backpack then you’re in for a treat. Now, they explicitly state that this backpack is not really designed to be a camping or hiking backpack as it’s designed for the city life. However, this dry bag backpack will be absolutely perfect if you’re traveling to cities where it’s often rainy (hello Amsterdam), etc. but prefer your stuff to be dry. Which is always.
Not only does this bag save your life during the rainy weather, but there’s a lot of space in this bag. Besides the space, another major plus is the weight with 1.5 lbs / 0,68 kg. It’s not an incredibly cheap ultralight backpack, but it’s definitely not expensive either.
Weight: 1.5 lbs / 0,68 kg
Size: 19 x11.4 x 5.1 inches / 48 x 28,9 x 12,9 cm
BAGSMART Laptop Backpack Weekender
Anyone in need of a great minimalist laptop backpack? No? Just me? Cool. What I love about this backpack is that it’s made of water-repellent, tear-resistant and anti-scratch polyester. This protects your laptop against a sudden death by rain. Sometimes you have to bring your laptop when you’re travelling, that’s just the way it is. Then you better keep it protected in a nice looking bag.
Another great thing about this backpack is the fact this is not a top loading bag. While at first it might seem this way, there are actually zippers at the back of the bag that can open all the way around. Which makes it twenty times easier to search through your stuff.
Weight: 3,5 lbs / 1,6 kg
Size: 16 x 11 x 5.5 inches / 40 x 27 x 13
Litres: Anyone with great mathematics skills, give me a hand here.
Fjallraven – Kanken Backpack for Everyday
This is one of the best lightweight backpacks or rucksack for women and men out there. Not only can you fold the Fjallraven backpack pretty easily, but it’s a very stylish minimalist backpack or rucksack as well. The backpack itself is very light, and no matter what size Fjallraven you have, you will always be surprised with the amount of stuff that fits in there. Somehow this backpack seems like a black hole. Everything fits in there. The only difference is that you’ll actually easily get stuff out of there in comparison to a black hole.
So, for the women or men who prefer to go ultralight when they’re backpacking but also want to look great with a classy minimalist rucksack, then Fjallraven is an absolute dream. It’s also water-resistant, which is an extra plus.
You can find more Fjallraven backpacks here.
Weight: 1,1 lbs / 0,49 kg
Size: 16,9 x 11,8 x 7,1 inches / 43 x 30 x 18 cm
Herschel Little America Backpack-Navy
Herschel is a very famous backpack brand nowadays, but with a good reason. In my opinion they make some of the best minimalist travel backpacks out there. You can use this backpack for your travels, as a daypack or whenever you please. It always comes in handy as this minimalist backpack has lots of space.
This backpack comes with a padded and fleece lined laptop sleeve and has contoured shoulder straps and air mesh back padding. This makes your backpack fit you like a glove. What I especially like about this backpack is that it has the drawstring closure, as well as magnetic straps. This makes it very easy for you get put stuff in and out of your backpack, but definitely not easy for pickpockets or thief’s to steal your belongings from your bag.
Weight: 1,5 lbs / 0,68 kg
Size: 19,5 x 11,25 x 7 inches / 49,5 x 29 x 17,8 cm
Best Minimalist Backpack for Hiking
Most of these minimalist backpacks for hikers can be used as daypacks as well. Here you will find everything from the best light hiking unisex backpack to some great womens hiking backpacks. As well as the best ultra lightweight backpack for hiking or for travelling.
Osprey Packs Daylite Plus Daypack
The first thing that surprises me with this Osprey daypack is the amount of pockets it has. Now, from this picture it doesn’t seem like a lot, but trust me when I tell you that you’ll be surprised. There’s even a special compartment for a drinking bag, but that can also be used for a laptop.
This bag is a great ultralight day backpack as it’s very light at 0,5 kg, sturdy build and has plenty of pockets for you to put all your stuff. This ultralight travel backpack is absolutely perfect for a long weekend away, a hike or, if you mastered the art of packing light, a week away.
Weight: 1.19 lbs / 0,5 kg
Size: 18 x 10 x 9 inches / 45 x 25 x 22 cm
Osprey Packs Tempest 9 Women’s Backpack
And we’re back with another Osprey backpack. This is a super lightweight backpack that is perfect for your hiking adventures, or to explore a city. This bag fits everything that you need and has a very comfortable waist band. No to mention that somehow there fits more into this little bag than you think. Which makes it definitely one the best minimalist daypack that there is.
This item is perfect if you’re looking for ultralight backpacking gear. Besides it being sturdy, it’s also very comfortable. You don’t feel this ultralight backpack pulling on your back, or anything like that. It just becomes a piece of you.
Weight: 1,55 lbs / 0,7 kg
Size: 19 x 12 x 4 inches / 48 x 30 x 10
Osprey Packs Sirrus Women’s Backpack
Yet another Osprey daypack. One of the things I love about this minimalist travel backpack is that it also comes with a raincover and that the mesh panel on the back really works. If you’re a fan of hiking, or am planning on wearing a backpack during the warm, sunny days, then I can definitely recommend you this backpack. Your back will stay cool during the hot days because of the amazing mesh panel and won’t stuck to your back.
Also, the side pockets can fit a lot of stuff as they’re made of very stretchy material. The only downside of this backpack is that the hip belt pockets don’t always fit that much. For instance, when you want to fit a smartphone in there, there’s a big chance that this won’t fit. But otherwise than this, this is one of the nice hiking backpacks that you should give a chance.
Weight: 2,56 lbs / 1.1 kg
Size: 19 x 12 x 12 inches / 48 x 30 x 30
WildHorn Outfitters Highpoint Packable Backpack
When you’re searching for a one of the best lightweight rucksacks for backpacking or hiking, then you’re in for a treat. Not only is it very lightweight, but it’s very cheap, there are lot of pockets for storage and it’s a very durable minimalist backpack. You can even fold it up in a small carry pouch of 22 x 16,5 x 3 cm (9 x 6,5 x 1,5 inches). And you can use this minimalist backpack as a carry-on on airplanes.
The downside of this backpack is the fact that there is no frame or whatsoever. I mean, you can fold it up so small that it’s impossible to include one. That also means that if you’re planning on wearing this backpack for a long time it can get uncomfortable. But, this depends on your back and your own preference. If you want to use this as a super ultralight backpacking pack for weekend/ one week long trips or day hikes, then I think you’ll be completely fine. And this is definitely the lightest backpacking backpack you can find out there.
Weight: 0,85 lbs / 0,388 kg
Size: Compressed: 22 x 16,5 x 3 cm (9 x 6,5 x 1,5 inches), the other size depends on how much you fit in there as this is a backpack / daypack without a frame
Aqua Quest Himal Backpack – 100% Waterproof Dry Bag
Are you in need of a waterproof minimalist backpack, daypack or hiking backpack? Then this one is a winner. Not only is this hiking backpack completely waterproof, but it’s also a very lightweight hiking pack, not to mention cheap. You can put lots of stuff in this waterproof backpack, so it’s great for travelling. It also has one main compartment, so there are no dividers or anything of that sort. Which is great if you want to put lots of things, but can sometimes be difficult to find your stuff.
The only thing that I find not useful about this bag, is that the main compartment is waterproof but the external pouch is not. And there is not a carrier pouch for your water containers.
Weight: 1,1 lbs / 0,498 kg
Size: Size when packed: 11 x 7 x 2.5 inches. Compressed: 11 x 4 x 1.5 inches / 27 x 17 x 6 cm. Compressed 27 x 10 x 3 cm
I hope that this article was useful for you. If you want to know what shoes to wear to Europe I can recommend you to read this other post I wrote. And for the best travel gifts for your friends, family or other half I made the perfect gift guide for travellers here. Are you travelling to The Netherlands soon and want to know how you can explore the local side of Amsterdam in 2 days? Check the article here.
And you are also looking for great day trips from Amsterdam, but without the tourists? I can definitely recommend you to go to Naarden, Hoorn, Schoorl or Nijmegen. Last, but not least, discover the best travel apps for Amsterdam and The Netherlands here. Thank you for reading! Share this post!