Whether you consider yourself a backpacker, a weekend getaway-er, Safari backpacker or an exotic destination volunteer, you need a good safari backpack.
A safari backpack that stores your most essential belongings. In accordance with your travelling purpose, you will either need your safari backpack to have a sturdy hip belt, a water reservoir, or a detachable daypack. You will also want it to be lightweight, have plenty of features, and not cost you a fortune.
These requirements might seem to be unreachable, but this is not the case – the outdoor gear developing companies have long understood the demand and are thus able to meet (and possibly even exceed) it. Here are the best Backpacks for your Tanzania Safari
In A Hurry: Here Is Editor’s Choice
Nomatic 40L Travel Bag: The Nomatic 40L Travel bag was designed for longer trips. The travel bag is a combination of some of the best features from the backpack, duffel bag, and general luggage. View on Amazon.com ➜
1. Osprey Porter 46: Overall Best Safari Backpack
The Osprey Porter 46 is an impressive gear-hauling safari backpack. Osprey also calls it a deluxe duffel, because it can be carried by its side or top handles, and features D rings to clip an optional shoulder strap. The modularity ensures you get your gear where it needs to go with minimal effort.
It’s extremely easy to pack and organize — an excellent feature when you’re the lucky one who gets searched at the security checkpoint. It’s comfortable, though too boxy and bulky for your next backpacking adventure, and is optimized for the casual traveller and frequent flyer. It’s not as ideal for the business traveller due to the bright colours and outdoorsy look. Otherwise, it’s a versatile, comfortable safari backpack, and the fair price point won it our coveted Best Buy Award.
2. Osprey Farpoint 40
The Osprey Farpoint 40 is a super popular entry-level backpack. If backpacking came with a (literal) starter pack, then this would be (in) it. Since then, I also travelled with many other backpacks. I now realize some of its aspects make the Farpoint 40 not exactly flawless. Though when I went back to using it on a recent trip, I also remembered what I love so much about it.
The Farpoint 40 is a lightweight backpack ideal for budget travellers. It’s comfortable to wear, inexpensive, and you can take it as carry-on luggage on flights. Whether this backpack is totally suitable for your needs I think depends on where you’re going.
3. Peak Design Travel Backpack
The Peak Design safari backpack is the perfect balance of aesthetics and function for business travellers or weekend warriors. It is simplistic yet feature-rich, and every little nook and cranny is created with a purpose.
The pack’s durable and structured body makes it the perfect choice for those travelling with camera gear, but if that’s not your thing, it can also tackle your weekend getaway needs with ease! From the effortless stowaway harness system to the easy access side zippers, it is clear that Peak Design made this pack with ease of use in mind.
Due to its rigid structure, there is a finite amount of room, so we would not recommend trying to backpack across Europe with it, but its sleek design, ultimate comfort, and well thought out features won our hearts and our Editors’ Choice Award.
4. Dinictis 40L Carry on Backpack
The Dinictis Travel Pack was designed to fit the needs of the modern one-bag urban traveller. While this bag can hold a good amount of stuff, the Travel Pack 2 isn’t a huge bag. For reference, the Travel Pack is a 33L backpack and the “maximum legal carry-on” size is around 40L. The Travel Pack will let you zip through security lines, skip the baggage claim, and navigate busy streets.
Given its 40L size, we’d say this backpack is best for short trips or for people who want to carry a well-designed backpack in addition to their suitcase. That said, smart packers could use the Dinictis Travel Pack as their only piece of luggage but it will force you to pack light.
But overall the Dinictis Travel Pack has a lot of smart organizational features and stylish design choices. It’s sleek, streamlined, and blends in well to an urban environment — which really fits our aesthetics. It’s also made from heavy-duty 1680D Cordura ballistic nylon so it will take a beating.
5. Osprey Farpoint Trek 55
The world at your feet. The Farpoint Trek 55 is the perfect backpack for wanderlust wanderers and travel-backpackers. The Farpoint Trek is equipped with an adjustable trampoline suspended mesh back system providing ultimate ventilation when hiking in warmer climes.
It also boasts the Farpoint’s signature suitcase-style opening for easy packing and access. While in transit you can deploy the Aircover to protect your pack as it makes its way to the hold luggage. The Aircover will then convert to a rain cover ensuring your gear stays dry while wearing the pack.
The Farpoint Trek also comes equipped with hidden security pockets, lockable zippers, removable sleeping pad straps and twin zippered hip belt pockets; Features that are ideal for adventurous backpacking.
6. Salkan Backpacker
Salkin is a new kid on the block but rather than follow in the footsteps of giants, they’ve chosen to beat their own path. The Backpacker isn’t about being the lightest, most cost-effective backpack on the market. Instead, it’s designed with looks and efficiency in mind.
The Backpacker is actually the combination of Salkan’s first two bags; The Mainpack and The Daypack. As stand-alone packs, each one is great. However, the main pack and the Daypack also work flawlessly together to meet all your travel needs.
The 20-litre Daypack easily attaches to the Mainpack, giving you extra storage for long term travel but is easily removable for when you want a smaller standalone bag for day trips. Both bags are made of an unusual material that feels much more like canvas than the usual ripstop nylon that modern packs are made from. This is what gives the bags their classic style!
7. Standard Luggage Co. Carry-On
Canadian manufacturer Standard Luggage Co. has designed a new carry-on back that has some interesting distinguishing features (not to mention an attractive price). I recently put it to the test on a trip to Spain and found it to be a fantastic backpack.
International travel once meant carrying big backpacks or suitcases packed with every possible item. But things are quite different nowadays. Travellers have definitely learned the art of packing light, aiming for increased mobility but no doubt also looking to save on airline fees associated with checked-in luggage.
The Standard Luggage Carry-On is one of those backpacks that, in a sense, payback for itself — as you’ll be able to travel conveniently without paying extra for hold luggage.
8. Cotopaxi Allpa 42
Despite its bulkiness, the Cotopaxi Allpa 42L Travel Pack offers a ton of space and some interesting organization for a one-bag safari backpack.
With its signature, Cotopaxi look and a massive amount of storage space, the Cotopaxi Allpa 42L could be a solid contender for your next one-bag travel backpack. The Utah-based brand designed this pack to be carry-on compatible, “ultra hardy,” and have more space for longer trips compared to its 35L and 28L versions.
A couple of members from our team have been testing the Allpa 42L for the last month in Michigan, Minnesota, and Kentucky—so we’ve had plenty of time to get a feel for this backpack and how it functions in different adventures and travel situations.
9. Nomatic 40L Travel Bag
The Nomatic 40L Travel bag was designed for longer trips. The travel bag is a combination of some of the best features from the backpack, duffel bag, and general luggage. The idea behind creating this is to create the ultimate travel bag to help you spend less time fussing around with your luggage and more time on the good stuff.
You can use the Nomatic Travel Bag as a duffle bag as well as a Backpack! How amazing is that? and also it uses the same strap system so that when you are using it as a duffle bag the backpack straps are snug and vice versa. The only con is that the straps are on the back so you are holding the bag horizontally which for someone tiny like me might be a little weird as the bag can’t be held touching the body.
10. GORUCK GR2
We can’t think of a better Carry On bag to travel the world with. The GR2 fits everything you need, blends in to anywhere you go and can be customised with modules to most configurations you desire. If you’re an OneBag convert, the GR2 lets you carry on everything, yet still present in front of a client or fancy hotel lobby.
This is not a cheap pack, but when you consider that the price includes a commitment to keep the bag in service almost no matter what you get up to, for life, it starts to feel like great value. The GR2 is a large pack, which better suits a larger wearer. However, it also has several smaller stablemates (including the cult GR1) if you don’t need to survive out of your bag for quite as long.
The GR2 backpack comes in two sizes. Both are carry on compliant, so the right size for you will depend mainly on your height. The smaller backpack fits best on people who are under 5’8”, while the larger pack is best suited for taller people.
11. Bellroy Transit Backpack
Backpacks have been part of Bellroy’s core offerings for a while, but the Transit Backpack 28 L is their first dedicated travel bag and was released in late 2019. It’s been widely reviewed in many places already so we’ll do our best to add our unique insights and not be too repetitive.
28 L capacity (also available in Plus size at 38 L), Dedicated top-loading laptop compartment, with suspended sleeve and internal top mesh pocket
Clamshell/panel-loading main compartment with two internal zipped pockets on the front panel, and elastic compression straps
Small, top, external quick-access pocket-sized for glasses
Front, vertical slash pocket with an internal key leash, slip pocket, and pen slots
Dual-zippered side pockets, which can fit small to medium-sized water bottles.
12. TIMBUK2 Authority Laptop Backpack
When life gets hectic (when is it not?) having one backpack to serve a variety of purposes is awesome so you can just pack it and go. One such backpack is the Timbukt2 Authority which I have to say is one of my favourites.
In case you have never come across them before, Timbukt2 has been producing badass, high-quality safari backpacks for decades now all from their base in Seattle. Tough as granite and full of unique organizational features, the Timbukt2 has been the perfect backpack for day hikes, minimalist travel, and general everyday use.
13. Tortuga Outbreaker Travel Backpack 35L
Tortuga was created by travellers for travellers. Fred and Jeremy created the original Tortuga backpack after being disappointed with traditional hiking backpacks while travelling around Europe. They set out to create their perfect backpack and have since grown into a company of nine people who truly understand the needs of urban travellers.
The Outbreaker is one of the few backpacks we’ve found that meets all of our requirements for the long term and digital nomad travel.
The Outbreaker 45L is the maximum carry-on size that most airlines allow. The rectangular design maximises the amount you can take on a plane and makes it easy to pack, especially if you use packing cubes like us. It’s very spacious and easily fits all of Simon’s stuff including his extensive electronics collection.
14. Eagle Creek Wayfinder Backpack 40L
The Eagle Creek Wayfinder is a well made, durable, and relatively comfortable safari backpack. It was clearly designed to be versatile, useful for airlines and daily commuters alike, but we find the feature set to be so broadly focused that it was often a mismatch for our uses.
The bag certainly is functional, but it is particularly challenging to stay organized. Some of the pockets are difficult or cumbersome to access, tucked into tight spaces, or placed too low in the bag. That said, if you need something affordable for a lot of scenarios, this one could be a decent fit.
Despite being categorized as an “Everyday Backpack” on the Eagle Creek site, this carry-on compliant 40L pack has all the marks of a one bag travel backpack.
Travelling on safari brings with it countless obstacles and situations that you need to be prepared for and having the right safari Backpack with you can help you to be ready, and to best enjoy your trip. Luckily, there are a lot of great safari Backpacks out there to meet almost any requirements, and to help you decide what exactly you need, here’s our guide to buying the best products on the market.