Best Weekend Backpacks for Under $200

I love to travel, and weekend trips are by far the easiest way to squeeze in a good getaway. Without the hassle of international travel, a weekend backpack is all I need for a three to four-day trip. Want to travel with just a backpack too? Then you may want to look at these weekend backpacks.

What is a Weekend Backpack?

Weekend backpacks are backpacks that are meant for short duration travel, with enough space to fit your belongings. You can bring a weekend backpack with you as a carry-on, and use it as a daypack when you’ve arrived at our destination.

In short: a weekend backpack is your luggage but with convenience and comfort of a backpack.

How to Choose a Good Weekend Backpack?

In order to buy the best backpack for your needs, you need to know the following:

  1. How much space do you need? How much are you carrying?
  2. What type of activity will you be doing on your trip?
  3. What features do you need to have in a weekend travel backpack?

How Much Space Do You Need in a Weekend Travel Backpack?

Let’s talk about size, for a minute. Before you purchase a backpack for the weekend, you want to make sure you’re getting the right size for how much you’re packing.

Backpacks come in small, medium, and large sizes. In volume, these backpacks measure out to be roughly 20-30 L (small), 25-35 L (medium/large), 40-46+ (large). Hiking backpack sizes can go up to 70 L in volume, however, you want to stay below 46 L, and I’ll explain why later.

So, what size is right for you?

For a three-day trip, a small, 25-30 L backpack will suffice. For reference, you’ll be able to pack two to three pairs of clothing, your toiletries, and maybe an extra pair of shoes.

On a four-day trip, a medium to large, 30-45 L backpack is the better choice. You’ll have more room to pack, including up to four days worth of clothing, toiletries, additional accessories, snacks, and two light pairs of shoes.

What about those big, 46-55+L hiking backpacks? Won’t I have more space for packing?

Yes, they are more spacious but they aren’t always the best choice for traveling.

First, you have to keep in mind that if you’re traveling by plane, your carry-on item must be within TSA restrictions. That means it can’t go over 22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches (56 cm x 35 cm x 22cm), for most U.S. airlines. Some airlines have even stricter rules and will ask you to check your bag if it’s too big to fit overhead.

To avoid this, you want to stay in the 40L or less range, just so that you don’t risk having to check your bag.

Now, let’s say that you’re not flying, and you’re going on a road trip instead. Still, you want to avoid buying 46 L or bigger, and here’s why. When it comes to big backpacks, people tend to overpack. And when backpacks are fully packed, they get heavy. If you plan on doing a lot of walking with a backpack, there’s no way your shoulders and back will survive

That said, if you plan on doing a lot of walking, there’s no way your shoulders and back will survive with a heavy backpack.

It’s best to just restrict yourself by packing a smaller backpack, and compromise where you can.

Now that you have a good idea of what backpack size you need, let’s move on to the backpacks!

Weekend Travel Backpacks that are Under $200

Below I have listed the best weekend backpacks for under $200, each perfect for different kinds of activity.

They are all within TSA carry-on dimensions, and each of them has unique features that make them great for traveling.

Best Weekend Backpacks for Hiking, Backpacking & Camping

For those of you going on an adventure for the weekend, these tough backpacks are just what you’re looking for.

1. Osprey Farpoint 40

The Osprey Fairpoint 40 is a travel favorite for many people. With its comfort padding and lightweight design, it’s a great backpack for those who want some travel options.

  • Price: $160
  • Stowaway back panel
  • Padded haul handles
  • Frame suspension
  • Hipbelt
  • Sternum strap and whistle
  • Lockable zippers
  • 40 L capacity

2. REI Vagabond Tour 40 Pack

  • Price: $119
  • Padded hip belt
  • Inner compression straps
  • Sternum strap
  • Zipper back panel
  • Lockable zippers
  • 40 L capacity

3. North Face Overhaul 40

  • Price: $159
  • Stowable shoulder straps
  • Bottom zipper pocket for storing shoes
  • Hipbelt
  • Sternum strap
  • Padded shoulder straps and back panel
  • 40 L capacity

Best Weekend Backpacks for Traveling Business Professionals

If you are taking a weekend trip for work, then these professional backpacks are just what you need.

1. Ogio Renegade RSS

  • Price: $149
  • Protected laptop compartment 15″
  • Padded shoulder straps and back panel
  • Ergonomic shoulder straps and sternum strap
  • Hard shell sunglass compartment
  • 29 L capacity

2. Everki Titan

Out of all the backpacks mentioned here, the Everki Titan backpack has the biggest laptop capacity of 18.4.” It’s no wonder that many traveling workers choose this backpack as their go-to.

  • Price: $199
  • Padded exterior laptop compartment 18.4″
  • Ergonomic strap system
  • Padded mesh back panel
  • Weather cover included
  • Accessories pouch included
  • 40 L capacity

3. High Sierra Access Backpack

  • Price: $120
  • Padded laptop compartment 17″
  • Tuck-away rain cover
  • Padded shoulder strap and back panel
  • Sternum strap
  • Side compression straps
  • 44 L capacity

Best Weekend Travel Backpacks for Sightseeing and City Traveling

This backpack style is perfect for a low-maintenance type of trip, where you’ll have access to basic amenities.

1. Just Porter Sable Rucksack Backpack

The sable rucksack black backpack is one of the nicer weekend travel backpacks that I’ve seen. It doesn’t have many pockets, considering the size of the backpack, but I wouldn’t be fooled by that. It’s spacious and the compression straps make it the perfect weekend rucksack backpack for anyone.

  • Price: $199
  • Waterproof exterior
  • Exterior padded laptop compartment 16″
  • Padded shoulder straps and back panel
  • Magnetic sternum strap buckle
  • Side compression straps
  • 30 L capacity

2. Timbuk2 Uptown

  • Price: $119
  • Exterior padded laptop compartment 15″
  • Padded back panel
  • Compression straps
  • Sternum strap
  • 30 L capacity

3. Thule Crossover 32 L Backpack

  • Price: $129
  • Padded laptop compartment 15″
  • Compartment for sunglasses
  • Compression straps
  • Padded shoulder straps and back panel
  • 32 L capacity

That’s all I have for now. Keep an eye out, as I may be making some changes in the nearby future. I’m always on the lookout for durable backpacks, and I’ll let you know what new ones I add to the list.

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