9 Important Things to Consider When Choosing a Backpack for Business Travel

In a sense, frequent business travelers are like backpackers. They spend a lot of time on the go and live out of a suitcase for several weeks or months in any given year. Sometimes, it can get overwhelming because you never know what bag to carry and how much to take.

If this is your life, you probably understand the importance of a good travel bag more than anyone else around you. The ideal bag will change your life by helping you wade through airports, hotels and client sites effortlessly. Stay with us to see our tips for choosing the best business travel backpack

Best Backpack for Business Travel

A good business backpack will distribute weight evenly through your body

What does this even mean? This means when you’re shopping for a good business backpack for your frequent business travels, look for one that does not put too much strain on your shoulders and neck.

  • A good business travel bag will have sturdy hip belts with padding to transfer some weight from the shoulders to your hips
  • The backpack’s shape should ideally be square or rectangular
  • The width of your bag must not exceed your shoulders.
  • The backpack’s shoulder straps must be strong but soft so that it does not rub against your skin and cut through it.

Your backpack should double as a suitcase

Frequent business travelers, sales executives and traveling consultants should invest in a good front-loading backpack that can double as a suitcase if necessary

Front loading backpacks are backpacks that open in front instead of the top. They have zips that go all the way around and open like a suitcase.

When your backpack opens at the front, everything you need is at your fingertips and you are not forced to unpack everything to get to the items at the bottom. It is a much better way to pack for someone who is constantly on the move.

Your business backpack should ideally be a carry-on bag

Almost all major airlines have set limitations when it comes to the weight and dimensions of cabin bags.

If your business travel bag is a carry-on backpack, you can navigate airports quickly and easily without any hassle.

The size of the backpack should not be over 45 linear inches which means that the length, width and height of your backpack together should not add up to more that 45 inches.

The standard size for most airlines is 22” x 14” x 9”.

Most airlines also have a weight restriction for carry-on bags which is around 15 to 22lbs. If you buy a bag that is over 4.5lbs for your travels, you will probably not be able to pack everything you need.

Your business backpack must accommodate your laptop

If you’re a business traveler, you should be able to accommodate your laptop in your backpack.

Consider buying a backpack that comes with a laptop sleeve or pouch to protect your laptop. This way, you can avoid carting an extra laptop bag around. Everything you need can just go into your carry-on bag.

Laptop sleeves are cushiony cases to protect your laptop from external damage like dust, bumps and inclement weather.

A backpack with hideaway straps is nice to have

Frequent business travelers often find themselves having to land at an airport and head straight to a meeting.

In such cases, it would be nice to have a business backpack with hideaway straps to make it look like a suitcase.

Consider a backpack with expandable zippers

Some backpacks come with expandable zippers that expand the bag to allow you to carry more,

This will allow you to pack more when necessary or even bring back gifts and souvenirs from your trip.

Favor Internal Frame Backpacks over External Frames

Internal frame backpacks are more appropriate for business travelers as they look more professional if you have to lug it along to a client meeting.

Internal frame backpacks usually have one big internal compartment and one or two external compartments for smaller items like headphones, phones, chargers and travel documents.

In contrast, external frame backpacks have several small external compartments making them look like backpacker bags.

Internal frame backpacks are better for your spine health whereas external frame backpacks can carry more.

Choose a backpack with water-resistant material

Business travelers often find themselves at the mercy of inclement weather. Imagine landing in Chicago on a rainy day without a water-resistant bag!

If your backpack is made of water-resistant material, it will protect your business suits and other things even in bad weather. Many travel backpacks also come with an extra rain cover to protect electronics like phones and laptops

There is No Substitute for Backpack Quality

Remember that the quality of your backpack matters just as much as all its features. Spend an extra buck or two to get a high-quality back that will last for a long time.

When you’re running from city to city to cope with the demands of your job, you will need a highly durable travel bag that will not tear or break easily.

Your business backpack should be able to weather everything about the way you live your life at least for a few years.

Having a backpack that combines leisure with business travel-friendly components is often hard to find. There are many things to keep in mind when doing your research such as size, comfort and ability to compartmentalize your laptop, notebooks and writing material. Luckily, there are indeed options for you to choose from. Make sure you take a preliminary inventory of what things you will be travelling with so that when you’re ready to make your business bag purchase, you can envision where each item can go. 


When shopping for a business travel backpack, consider factors such as weight distribution, sturdy hip belts, a suitable shape, capacity for a laptop, hideaway straps, expandable zippers, internal frame, water-resistant material, and quality. Taking the time to find a bag that checks all these boxes will save you from future headaches and make your business travels easier.

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