A backpack is every traveler’s most important companion, yet these travel essentials have significantly evolved over the years. Today, rucksacks have a super durable construction to protect your belongings from everything from rain to theft. Some also have high-tech features such as the ability to charge your phone!
So, what is a smart backpack, why do you need one, and how do you find the best smart backpack for your next trip? Here we will answer all that and more.
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What Is A Smart Backpack?
A smart backpack is essentially a high-tech bag with an intelligent design. Smart packs were designed for anyone who travels with laptops, tablets, cameras, or other gadgets. Therefore, they first became popular amongst business travelers and digital nomads. However, in 2021, most people travel with devices, so smart backpacks for travel are certainly here to stay.
The features of each smart backpack will vary, but most utilize weather-resistant material and anti-theft technology. In addition, many can charge your smartphone and laptop via a USB charging port, and some even feature solar panels to generate power wherever you are. Other features include hydration packs, built-in headphone ports, and battery packs.
What To Look For When Buying A Smart Backpack
Of course, when looking for a smart backpack, the ones with the most high-tech features will catch your eye. However, there are a few other things to look out for to ensure the one you choose is the best smart backpack for your needs.
Generally speaking, smart backpacks will use higher-quality materials and have a more robust, tear-resistant construction than standard rucksacks.
Also, look for one with a breathable padded back to prevent any damage to your electronics or moisture buildup inside.
If you’re traveling with expensive gadgets, a water-resistant backpack is essential. However, you will also want to protect them from humidity and the harsh rays of the sun.
The best smart backpacks for travel will protect your valuables in all weather conditions, including getting caught in a tropical rainstorm.
Most smart backpacks will have intelligent design functions like double zippers, hidden pockets, and metal wire locks. Some even go a step further with built-in RFID protection.
This advanced technology prevents thieves from stealing your personal information from your credit card or passport using an RFID scanner.
Weight And Size
Most of these advanced backpacks are the size of a small day pack, around 20-25L. However, the best smart backpacks for travel will have an opening zipper to increase capacity further.
Also, keep in mind that the more features it has, the bulkier and heavier it is likely to be. So, if you’re going to be hiking with your smart backpack, check its weight and dimensions before purchasing.
Best Smart Backpacks
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best smart backpacks available these days. Here’s a quick overview.
- Best All-rounder: KOPACK Waterproof Anti Theft Backpack With USB Charging Port
- Best Smart Backpack For Capacity: Swissdigital Terabyte Backpack
- Best Smart Backpack For Theft Protection: Fintie Anti-theft Travel Backpack
- Best High-tech Smart Backpack: Voltaic Systems Array Rapid Solar Backpack
- Most Functional Smart Backpack: CoolBELL Travel Backpack
1. KOPACK Waterproof Anti Theft Backpack With USB Charging Port
This sleek, smart backpack has everything you could need from a day pack and is an affordable price too! The KOPACK has a clean, minimalist design with no outer pockets or compartments, keeping all your belongings safe in the main space. The zipper is also entirely hidden.
Inside there are different sized compartments and holders, including one for your laptop, phone, and even pen holders. In addition, there is an external USB port on the side of the bag that gives convenient charging as you don’t need to open up your bag to connect your phone. Instead, join the inner cable to your power bank, then you can plug your charging cable into the external USB port for on-the-go power.
The KOPACK is made from strong, water-resistant, and anti-scratch material. There is also a built-in rain cover in the bottom slot that you can use in heavy downpours. It weighs 1.94 lbs and measures 11.8 x 17.7 x 5.5 inches, so it is big enough to hold any standard 15.6-inch laptop.
This impressive backpack that charges your phone is also TSA friendly, allowing you a swift transition through airport security. Furthermore, it is shockproof to prevent any accidental impact damage while on the plane.
2. Swissdigital Terabyte Water-Resistant Large Backpack
Suppose you love the idea of a smart backpack, but you want a big enough bag for weekend trips. In that case, the large capacity Terabyte bag by Swissdigital is for you. It has 15 independent pockets of different sizes, allowing you to organize and pack all your items. It also has side elastic net pockets to hold bulkier things like umbrellas and water bottles.
The clever design of the bag allows you to pack clothes in the middle compartment and then store your laptop in the separate padded laptop compartment at the back. There are also two smaller front compartments for all your travel essentials and inner zip pockets for your passport, credit cards, keys, etc.
Other features of this extra-large backpack are a USB charging port, RFID protection pocket, and airflow design. It is made from a durable, water-resistant 1680D polyester exterior and a high-density 210D nylon lining. It’s also TSA friendly as you can quickly unzip and unfold it up to 180 degrees. It measures 12.2 x 7.8 x 18.5 inches and weighs 2.80 lbs.
3. Fintie Anti-Theft Travel Backpack
Suppose you’re traveling through a dangerous country, dodgy neighborhood, or taking overnight trains. If so, having a smart backpack like the Fintie anti-theft travel backpack will keep your valuables safe and your mind at ease.
This smart backpack features an RFID blocking pocket to prevent thieves from obtaining your personal information via an RFID scanner. It also has a durable TSA accepted combination lock to stop any unauthorized person from opening your bag.
Other features include an external USB port, reflective stripes to keep you safe at night, and side and top pockets for additional storage. Plus, thanks to the water-resistant jacquard thick nylon and waterproof zipper, the backpack will keep your valuables safe if you are out in the rain. It measures 17.7 x 11.8 x 5.9 inches and weighs 2.51 pounds.
4. Voltaic Systems Array Rapid Solar Backpack
If you’re hiking, camping, or staying off the grid, you may want to invest in a solar-powered backpack like this one from Voltaic Systems. It’s not cheap, but it allows you to generate energy and power to charge your devices even when there is no sun. To do this, it utilizes high-performance solar panels made from industry-leading monocrystalline solar cells.
The solid solar cells in the panels combined with the 24,000mAh integrated battery pack soak up enough solar energy to charge your devices, even in cloudy or rainy conditions. As a result, the power bank can safely charge most laptops in 6 hours and most smartphones in 1 hour or less.
The solar panels are built into rugged yet lightweight and UV-resistant fabric to withstand the rigorous use of traveling. In addition, Voltaic Systems provide a two-year warranty on the solar panels and one year on the battery pack. The material is also eco-friendly as it is manufactured from recycled PET (soda bottles).
This high-tech backpack measures 19 x 7 x 11 inches and gives 25L of storage. It has a dedicated padded laptop sleeve, plus many other pockets, including two large side pockets. Although this is undoubtedly the best smart backpack for remote locations, the only downside is that it is relatively heavy at 5.4 lbs.
5. CoolBELL Travel Backpack With Insulated Compartment & USB Port
I love the CoolBELL travel backpack as it has the unique feature of an insulated compartment at the bottom to keep your cold food and drinks cool or your hot meals warm. The roomy compartment is made from easy-to-clean aluminum foil and is large enough for two or three lunch boxes. Therefore, the CoolBELL is, without a doubt, the best smart backpack for camping and hiking trips.
This travel backpack also features an external USB port and headphone cable hole. In the main compartment, there is a laptop sleeve with thick padding. There is also a slim front compartment with two phone/purse size holders.
Another unique feature is the hidden net pocket. You can pull this out to store dirty clothes or trainers, a clever way of keeping them separate from your clean clothes. The CoolBell backpack weighs 16.57 x 10.67 x 4.92 inches and measures 16.57 x 10.67 x 4.92 inches. The insulated compartment measures 12.6 x 7 x 6.7 inches.
If this is your first time learning about smart backpacks for travel, I’m sure you’re itching to get your hands on one. Whether you’re after a backpack that charges your phone, keeps your lunch cool, or generates power on your camping trips, you’ll find what you need with these five best smart backpacks.
Not sure what type of backpacks you need? Take a look at our backpack buying guide.