The 5 Best Backpacks For A 3-Day Trip (Pack Smart, Travel Light)

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If you’re in a hurry, the best backpack for a 3-day trip is Thule Landmark Travel Backpack 40L.

Do you want to avoid lugging around heavy suitcases and struggling with oversized bags during travels? It’s time to pack smart and travel light with the best backpacks for a 3-day trip. 

Whether planning a weekend getaway or a quick business trip, choosing the right backpack can make all the difference. Not only will it provide you with the convenience and comfort you need, but it will also ensure you have everything you need without weighing you down. 

In this article, we will explore the key factors to consider when selecting a backpack for a short trip, from size and weight to durability and functionality. 

We will also provide expert tips and recommendations to help you find the ideal backpack that meets your travel needs. 

So, let’s dive in and discover how you can pack smart and travel light on your next adventure!

5 Best Backpacks For A 3-Day Trip

Now that we’ve explored the key factors to consider when selecting a backpack for a 3-day trip, let’s highlight some recommended backpack options that meet these criteria.

Thule Landmark Travel Backpack 40L

Thule Landmark 40L Travel Pack, Obsidian
  • A conveniently-sized, carry-on adventure travel backpack
  • SafeZone compartment protects a phone, sunglasses and small valuables
  • Hidden CashStash pocket keeps a passport and money safe
  • Innovative LoopLocks secure zipper pulls to the bag to deter theft
  • 15″ MacBook and 12.9″ tablet storage

Last update on 2024-07-10 at 23:16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are looking for a backpack that combines organization and comfort for your adventure travel, the Thule Landmark Travel Backpack Men is the perfect choice.

This backpack has a suitcase-style opening and internal compression straps that allow you to easily pack and retrieve gear, knowing everything will stay securely in place. 

The backpack also has a large zippered side pocket that securely stores a water bottle and external lash points to attach a carabiner. The backpack is designed with the perfect balance of organization, comfort, and anti-theft features.

The innovative LoopLocks secure zipper pulls to the bag to deter theft, and the backpack has a built-in sternum strap whistle. The contoured shoulder straps and hip belt tuck away when not in use, making it easier to carry.

Overall, the Thule Landmark Travel Backpack is a great choice if you invest in a high-quality backpack for your adventure travels.


  • The SafeZone compartment protects your phone, sunglasses, and small valuables.
  • The CashStash pocket keeps your money and passport safe from pickpockets.
  • The backpack has gender-specific fits and a suspension system to carry the pack across countries and continents easily.


  • The backpack is quite expensive.
  • The backpack is not waterproof.
  • The backpack may not fit under the seat in front of you on planes.

Maelstrom 40-50L Carry on Backpack

Maelstrom 40-50L Carry on Backpack
  • 【Expandable Large capacity design】: laptop backpack standard size 19*12*9in inches (40L); expandable size 19*12*11in inches (50L). Travel bag has 3 large compartments, 2 laptop compartments (one for a 13-inch tablet and one for a 17-inch laptop respectively) and 13 storage pockets, ideal for 3-7 days of daily travel
  • 【External shoe bag design】 laptop bag has a waterproof foldable shoe bag, shoes can be put into it and hanging on the backpack. when you do not need to use, the shoes bag can be placed in a special storage compartment, does not occupy the capacity of the computer backpack, but also can isolate the odor

Last update on 2024-07-10 at 23:16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Maelstrom Travel Backpack is perfect for those who want a spacious backpack that can accommodate all their travel essentials. The backpack is waterproof and wear-resistant nylon fabric, making it durable and long-lasting. 

The backpack has an ergonomic design, with S-shaped shoulder straps that make it comfortable to carry for long periods. The backpack also has two padded handles on the top and sides for easy carrying.

The backpack also comes with two extra storage pockets, perfect for organizing your clothes when packing for a trip. The full mesh design makes items visible and easier to find. The backpack also comes with a toiletry bag for storing toiletries.

Overall, the Maelstrom Travel Backpack is a great investment for anyone who loves to travel and wants a backpack that can accommodate all their travel essentials.


  • Expandable design (40L to 50L) for 3-7 travel days.
  • Waterproof foldable shoe bag with odor-isolating compartment.
  • Ample storage with 13 pockets, two laptop compartments, and three large compartments.


  • Heavy at 4.18 pounds, not ideal for lightweight preferences.
  • Limited color options may appeal to some.
  • Not suitable for long-term travel due to limited space.

MATEIN Extra Large Travel Backpack

MATEIN Extra Large Travel Backpack
  • DIMENSIONS: The product dimensions applies to most 18 inch and up to 18.4 inch laptops. Ideal travel laptop backpack for men and women
  • MANY POCKETS & MULTI COMPARTMENT: The main compartment of our travel backpack can hold 18 inch laptop, binders folders, clothes and college items. Front compartment with pockets for mobile phone and keychain etc. Make accessories organized and easy to find. Special laptop rucksacks for commuter men women

Last update on 2024-07-10 at 23:16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This backpack is perfect for those who need a spacious and functional backpack for their travels. The many pockets and compartments make it easy to organize your belongings, and the USB charging port is a convenient feature that can come in handy when you’re on the go.

The backpack is also comfortable to wear, thanks to the breathable and adjustable lightweight fabric shoulder straps. However, some users may find the backpack too large for their needs, and the zippers on the backpack may not be as durable as some users would like.

Overall, if you’re looking for a reliable and spacious backpack for your 3-day trip, the MATEIN Extra Large Backpack is worth considering.


  • 15+ pockets for easy organization of travel essentials.
  • Convenient USB charging port for on-the-go phone charging.
  • Comfortable and breathable lightweight shoulder straps.


  • It may be too large for users wanting a smaller, compact backpack.
  • Zippers might need to meet some users’ durability expectations.
  • It is not ideal for outdoor activities like hiking or camping.

tomtoc Travel Backpack 40L

tomtoc Travel Backpack 40L
  • Large Capacity & Organized: 40L, Dimensions: 20.47 x13.39 x9.06 inch; Features 3 spacious compartments – the quick-access main compartment, tech storage and front pocket to organize your clothes, toiletries, books, and a 17” laptop, tablet and accessories for up to 4 days trip; The backpack offers dependable protection and multiple pockets for your travel essentials and keep you organized and ready to travel on the go.
  • Convenient Storage: You can reach the main compartment from the quick access front pocket for easy reach of your travel essentials on the go, and the main compartment can also be unzipped like a suitcase for easy packing and unpacking; The tech compartment can accommodate up to 17″ laptop and 12.9 inch iPad with accessories; Front pocket, top pocket and side pockets for easy access to glasses, documents and travel liquids, etc.

Last update on 2024-07-11 at 01:14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tomtoc Travel Backpack—a must-have companion for your travel! With its impressive 40L capacity and thoughtfully designed three spacious compartments, this backpack is an organizer’s dream, providing ample space for your clothes, toiletries, books, laptop, tablet, and accessories.

Never worry about rummaging through your bag again! The quick-access front pocket allows you to effortlessly reach your travel essentials on the go, while the main compartment unzips like a convenient suitcase, making packing and unpacking a breeze.

One of the backpack’s standout features is its TSA-friendly and flight-approved design, streamlining your airport experience easily. It’s crafted from durable recycled fabric and renowned YKK zippers, offering environmental consciousness and long-lasting reliability.

Now, let’s address a couple of considerations. For travelers who prefer to pack light, this backpack might appear bulky. However, rest assured that its comfort and organizational benefits make it well worth it.

Some users have found zippers a tad stiff initially, but they ease up with use, and the backpack’s overall quality more than compensates for this minor concern.

While a built-in rain cover would have been a nice addition, it’s a small trade-off considering the backpack’s numerous other advantages.

In conclusion, the Tomtoc Travel Backpack is an excellent investment for your 3-day journeys and beyond. Its impressive capacity, accessibility, and sturdiness make it a smart choice for frequent travelers.


  • 40L capacity with three compartments for organized storage.
  • Quick-access front pocket for on-the-go retrieval, main compartment like a suitcase.
  • TSA-friendly, durable recycled fabric and YKK zippers.


  • It may feel bulky for light packers.
  • Zippers might be initially stiff.

Osprey Women’s Fairview 40 Travel Backpack

Osprey Fairview 40L Women's Travel Backpack, Night Jungle Blue
243 Reviews
Osprey Fairview 40L Women’s Travel Backpack, Night Jungle Blue
  • Adjustable torso fit
  • Large panel zip access to main compartment
  • Dual front compression straps
  • The harness and hipbelt stow away for safekeeping while checked and deploy quickly for any path or trail

Last update on 2024-07-10 at 23:16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Osprey Women’s Fairview 40 Travel Backpack has a lightweight, streamlined design, perfect for seamless 3-day trips for a woman.

Packing and unpacking become a breeze with the large panel zip access to the main compartment and dual front compression straps. Plus, worry not about checking it in, as it meets carry-on size restrictions for most airlines.

Your electronics are safe with the lockable zipper access to the main compartment and the quick access zippered pocket leading to the padded laptop and tablet sleeve (capable of fitting most 16″ laptops), ensuring secure and organized travels.

While the laptop sleeve is nestled at the bottom, which may seem inconvenient initially, the backpack’s ample organization makes up for it. Though there are no external mesh pockets for water bottles, its compact design and travel-focused features offset this minor drawback.

To top it off, the Osprey Women’s Fairview 40 Travel Backpack comes with the assurance of Osprey’s All Mighty Guarantee, cementing its reliability and quality.

In summary, if you’re searching for a lightweight and compact backpack for your 3-day adventures, the Osprey Women’s Fairview 40 Travel Backpack is an excellent choice. It offers exceptional organization and travel-oriented features, making it a smart investment for the savvy traveler.


  • Lightweight and streamlined design, perfect for fast-moving globetrotters on 3-day trips.
  • Large panel zip access and dual front compression straps for easy packing and unpacking.
  • It meets carry-on size restrictions for most airlines, eliminating the need for checking it in.


  • The laptop sleeve at the bottom may need to be more convenient to access.
  • There are no external mesh pockets, making carrying water bottles less convenient.

6 Factors to Consider When Selecting A Backpack

Several important factors must be considered when selecting a backpack for your 3-day trip. These factors will help you find a backpack suitable for your travel needs and ensure you can pack efficiently and comfortably. Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors.

Backpack Size and Capacity: Determining the Right Size for Your Needs

The first and most crucial factor to consider when choosing a backpack is its size and capacity. The size of your backpack will depend on the duration of your trip and the amount of stuff you plan to carry. 

For a 3-day trip, a backpack with a capacity of around 30-40 liters should be sufficient. This site will allow you to pack all your essentials without overloading your backpack. 

Airlines often have size restrictions for carry-on luggage, so make sure your backpack meets their requirements if you plan to bring it on the plane.

Related: Best Backpacks For A 5-Day Trip.

Backpack Features and Design: Understanding the Different Types of Backpacks and Their Features

The next factor to consider is the features and design of the backpack. Various types of backpacks are available on the market, each with features and design elements. 

Some backpacks are designed for hiking or camping, while others are more suited for urban travel. Consider the purpose of your trip and the activities you plan to engage in when selecting a backpack. 

Look for features such as multiple compartments, padded straps, and waterproof materials to ensure that the backpack meets your needs and offers the necessary functionality.

Material and Durability: Choosing a Backpack That Will Withstand the Rigors of Travel

Durability is another crucial factor to consider when selecting a backpack. You want a backpack that can withstand the rigors of travel and last for multiple trips. 

Look for backpacks made from high-quality materials such as nylon or polyester, as these materials are known for their durability and water resistance. 

Additionally, consider the quality of the zippers, buckles, and stitching to ensure that the backpack will hold up well over time.

Investing in a durable backpack may cost more upfront, but it will save you money in the long run by avoiding the need for frequent replacements.

Related: The Best Backpacks For Weekend Trips.

Comfort and Fit: Ensuring Your Backpack Is Comfortable to Carry for Long Periods

Comfort is key when carrying a backpack for an extended period. Look for backpacks with padded shoulder straps and a breathable back panel to distribute the weight evenly and minimize strain on your shoulders and back. 

Adjustable straps and a hip belt are essential features that allow you to customize the fit and provide additional support. Before making a purchase, try on the backpack and walk around to ensure it feels comfortable and doesn’t cause discomfort or pain.

Organization and Accessibility: Evaluating the Backpack’s Compartments and Pockets

Having a well-organized backpack can make a significant difference in your travel experience. Look for backpacks with multiple compartments and pockets, allowing you to separate and access your belongings easily. 

Consider your packing style and the items you typically carry to determine the ideal organization system for your backpack. 

Additionally, having external pockets or side mesh pockets can be convenient for storing items you need quick access to, such as a water bottle or a passport.

Weight and Compactness: Finding a Lightweight and Compact Backpack for Easy Travel

When traveling light, every ounce matters. Look for backpacks that are lightweight and compact, as these will be easier to carry and maneuver. Avoid backpacks with excessive padding or unnecessary features that add unnecessary weight. 

Additionally, consider the packability of the backpack. Some backpacks come with compression straps or can be folded into a smaller size, making them easy to store when not in use. 

A lightweight and compact backpack will make your journey more comfortable and save you from potential overweight baggage fees.

How To Pack For 3-Day Trip (Tips and Tricks)

Now that you have found the perfect backpack for your 3-day trip let’s explore some packing tips and tricks to maximize space and efficiency.

1. Roll, Don’t Fold: Instead of folding your clothes, roll them tightly to save space and prevent wrinkles.

2. Use Packing Cubes: Packing cubes are an excellent way to keep your belongings organized and maximize space in your backpack. They also make it easier to find specific items without unpacking everything.

3. Wear Bulky Items: If you’re traveling with bulky items like a jacket or boots, wear them instead of packing them in your backpack to save space.

4. Pack Versatile Clothing: Opt for items that can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits, reducing the number of clothes you need to bring.

5. Utilize Every Inch: Fill every space in your backpack, such as shoes or gaps between items, with smaller items like socks or underwear.

6. Minimize Toiletries: Instead of packing full-size toiletries, transfer them into travel-sized containers or consider using solid toiletries to save space and comply with airline regulations.

By following these packing tips and tricks, you’ll be able to make the most of your backpack’s capacity and ensure that you have everything you need for your 3-day trip without overpacking.

Check out our related article about how to pack light for business travel, where you can travel ultra-light like the pilots and flight attendants.  


Selecting the perfect backpack for a hassle-free 3-day trip is essential for packing smart and traveling light. 

Consider factors such as size and capacity, features and design, material and durability, comfort and fit, organization and accessibility, weight and compactness when choosing a backpack. 

By evaluating these factors and following our recommended backpack options, you’ll be able to find the ideal backpack that meets your specific travel needs. Remember to utilize our packing tips and tricks to maximize space and efficiency in your backpack.

With the right backpack and a well-organized packing strategy, you’ll be ready to embark on your next adventure easily and comfortably. 

Happy travels!

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