Getting ready to travel — or packing at all — can be a stressful experience. For starters, you need to make sure you pack and plan everything that you’ll be using or require on a trip. If you pack a smartphone or tablet, you’ll also need a compatible charger. If you pack shoes, you’ll need to remember enough socks to get you by.
But there’s also the matter of travel limitations. If you’re flying, for instance, you have to adhere to various restrictions regarding how you package or bundle your toiletries, electronics, and even alternate goods. Not to mention, when you pass through security you have to pull all electronic devices from your bag, which is a huge hassle if you don’t have them in an easily accessible pocket or section.
So, you have to remember a ton of stuff. That’s where smart backpacks come into play.
You wouldn’t think so, but they often provide a variety of convenience features that are great for travel, and also help make your packing experience less stressful. A lot of them, for instance, include built-in portable power packs so you can charge your devices in a pinch. This is great if you forgot your wall charger or even an outlet adapter while in a foreign country.
Here are some of the best smart backpacks out there, and how they help improve the general travel experience.
Right off the bat you’ll be happy to hear that the TYLT smart backpack is TSA-friendly. It has a total of six different charging pockets — that’s right to charge various gadgets — and about 1,450 cubic inches of storage space.
The pockets are spaced in a way that no matter what you store, it will be easy to remove. That’s incredibly useful when you’re in airport security and trying to juggle removing gadgets, shoes, items in your pocket, and more.
TYLT also has a 10,400 mAh battery tucked inside, with 3 available USB ports. There’s an NFC tag in the shoulder strap, a laptop compartment (up to 15 inches), and a complete cable management system.
This thing will definitely make your packing or travel experience better.
Travel isn’t always about, well, conventional travel. You may be spending more time outside backpacking, camping or even doing something like biking or kayaking great distances. That’s where the Lifepack comes in handy.
It has a large power bank within that is juiced up via solar power. A panel on the front collects all the necessary energy to keep this thing active, and works the minute you step outside. Obviously, optimal charging conditions will apply — if it’s cloudy or something the panel will charge much more slowly.
It also includes built-in Bluetooth speakers you can use to play your favorite music, podcasts or audiobooks — even in the wild. A protective rain cover will ensure none of the electronic components nor anything you have stored within will get wet.
There are a few secret pockets and hidden compartments too, great for concealing your valuables and payment stuff like credit cards or cash.
Visiting a new city or place where you’ll be doing a lot of walking? All these smart backpacks sound great, but really you’ll prefer to have something that helps alleviate the load you’re carrying. The Sosoon backpack uses an innovative design to balance the weight of everything stored within, so much that it eliminates about 20 to 25 percent of the stress on your back and shoulders.
It also includes a USB port and built-in charging cable that you can plug into a portable power pack — though for this bag you’ll have to supply your own.
More importantly, it is tear-resistant, water-resistant and has some great anti-theft features like hidden compartments. To top it all off, it’s super affordable so it can definitely fit within a tight budget, unlike some of the other smart backpacks on the list.
4. ECEEN Hiking Daypack
The Lifepack is great for general outdoor activities and, well, living your life. The ECEEN Hiking Daypack, on the other hand, is definitely better suited to true outdoor activities like hiking, camping and long outdoor trips.
What makes it better? On top of a power bank that is chargeable via solar — foldable and removable 3.5 watt solar panels are included — it has multi-purpose LED lights built-in. You will never understand how much you need light — or maybe you do — until you’re out in the wilderness without some. Even just a little glow can be incredibly helpful in a pinch and this bag offers support right out of the box.
There are three lighting modes to choose from: low and high brightness, as well as an SOS/Emergency flashing mode.
Of course, the bag itself is durable, made of a cotton polyester and denim hybrid fabric. It looks great too and includes plenty of storage space for all your trail mix and spare socks.
5. XDDesign Bobby Anti-Theft Backpack
Finally, if you’re going for a sleek, attractive look above all then you’ll want to pick up the XDDesign Bobby anti-theft backpack. It includes an integrated USB charging port, although you’ll need to supply your own power bank. It also has a shock-proof storage system, and water repellent exterior fabric.
But the real draw here is the look. It has just a single, large compartment with the dividers all housed within. You do not open the bag from the front, in fact there are no zippers visible at all. There are three “adjustable angles” for opening the bag, so you can maneuver or position it how you see fit. You can pull it open at a 30 degree angle, 90 degree angle or lay it completely flat — referred to as a “180 degree angle” by XDDesign.
The shoulder straps illuminate and give off a nice glow at night too.
While this bag does look great and offer a lot of promising features, some reviewers have mentioned that the inner lining began to unravel or come apart. We say this not to deter you from getting one, simply to share the common experiences and maybe provide a tale of caution.
Get Your Travel On
Now that you’ve seen some of the best bags the market has to offer, it’s time to make your choice and head out on the open road — or open skies if you’re flying. Godspeed fellow travelers!