girl looking onto the city of Montreal with her backpack and a leather jacket on

The 8 Best Travel Day Bags For Every Occasion

We all know that not all travel day bags are created equal.

From the look, to build, colors/sizes, and purpose.

You may need one to do them all, and you may want one specific backpack such as for hiking, and another one for taking Instagram photos of you facing a monument or a breathtaking view of the city.

Hey, no judgment!

There are different travel day bags for every occasion, and if you’re in search of one to fit your travel needs and purpose, then you’ve stumbled onto the right post!

Let’s check out the different occasions that you may run into while traveling, and some of your best options for the best travel day bags for each occasion.

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And also, don’t forget to check out my list of Travel Day Bag Essentials Checklist – the list with all the essentials you don’t want to pack up and leave your Airbnb without for a day of activities.

Yours for free.

Ok, let’s get onto the travel day bags!

A day in the city travel day bags (stylish)

Imagine it’s the first morning of the first full day of your trip.

You’re excited, well-rested, and so ready to start exploring the city you’re visiting after a long-haul flight and months of anticipation – you’re here!

But, what kind of backpack does one get if they want one that matches the majority of their outfits?

This will vary from everyone’s style, which is why I am going to show you some of the ones I would recommend based on the minimalistic look of the backpack (somewhat universal and adaptable to your personal style) that is sure to be more on the stylish, aesthetically pleasing-side.

Kanken Backpack

kanken travel day bag

I just have to mention the Kanken backpack because thIs backpack has been my favorite bag to take with me on my trips for the last 3 years, or so. I have the medium size (there’s a smaller one) and the dimensions of this size are 14 in. x 11 in.

The spaciousness for the size it is and the overall look and flexibility to combine with different outfits, have to be some of the key reasons why I personally love traveling with this backpack.

It’s also water-resistant, you can fit a laptop or iPad in there, a water bottle on the side pocket (or a collapsable umbrella like I pack sometimes) which makes this backpack even more favorable and easy to use as a travel day bag or carry-on/personal item.

Read more: 18 SUPER Useful Things To Pack For Your Next Trip

Open Story Commuter Backpack

open story travel day bag

Target is also offering some really aesthetically pleasing travel day bags with the brand Open Story.

Maybe you have seen these bags on your trips to Target in the last year, which is when I noticed this line of really cute, quality, travel bags, suitcases, wallets, and more travel accessories.

This is their commuter bag, which I think is a good size for the purposes of a day of exploring your destination.

The dimensions of this backpack are 16in. x 12in. with an internal capacity of 19 liters. It’s water-resistant, durable, and big enough to fit in a 15 in. laptop!

It also comes at a lower price point if you’re looking for something within a budget and still really cute.

Peace-of-mind and anti-theft travel day bags

Though we like to think that we are immune to pickpocketing, losing our things in crowds of people, and getting scammed while traveling, a travel day bag that has a concealed zipper, the hard-to-puncture fabric, and RFID material, is sometimes the best bet!

Below, I’ll show you some of what I like to call “peace of mind” travel day bags!

Citysafe CX Anti-Theft Convertible Backpack

citysafe cx anti theft travel day bag

Ok, we love a good convertible travel day bag like this one that works as both a crossbody and backpack, yes!

The Citysafe CX Anti-Theft convertible backpack is not only flexible but also made of RFID materials that are composed of special, strong material that is “anti-slash” and so much more!

The bag also comes with security hooks to hook onto a chair or table in case you find yourself in a busy and crowded cafe, as well as special locking zippers to keep your belongings even safer.

It’s also water repellent. The dimensions are 13.4 x 10.2 x 4.7 inches and it’s 8 liters.

You can definitely rest assured that your items will be safe with this bag!

XD Design Elle Fashion Anti-Theft Backpack

Elle Fashion Anti-Theft travel day bag

Another amazing option to keep all your belongings safe while you’re traveling and exploring is this travel day bag by XD Design, which as you can see, has such a sleek, modern look.

Looks aside, some of the amazing features are a concealed zipper that goes around the backpack and is opened from the back, it’s also composed of sturdy, cut-resistant material that is also waterproof, lightweight, with compartments, and so much more!

This bag really does not play when it comes to the safety of your items, so this is definitely a no-brainer if that is what you’re looking for.

The size of this particular bag is  8.8 x 4.7 x 11.6 inches.

Sturdy and practical day bag for outdoor activities

So we have the stylish travel day bag and the peace of mind bag, but what about the one for a rugged outdoor activity?

One with sturdiness, built for the weather, that is both spacious and light for all your needs while exploring the nature scene wherever you are – well, I got you!

Check out below some of my picks for the best travel day bags for hiking!

REI Co-op Ruckpack 18 Recycled Daypack

REI travel day bag

Taking the trails with a good backpack is like taking a good suitcase on a flight – it’s beyond necessary and comfortable.

What I love about this travel day bag by REI for hiking is the size, as it’s lightweight, that it’s made of recyclable materials, comfortable, secure, and has an access port for a water tube!

The dimensions are 18 x 11 x 6 inches and 18 liters, so a little bigger than the other bags, but when you’re hiking, you want something a bit more sizeable to be able to take and carry all your belongings and essentials when you’re trekking all the natural beauty around!

Speaking of carrying essentials and packing them in your day bags, I have created a FREE Travel Day Bag Essentials Checklist with items that I always travel with, and specifically pack in my day bag – from exploring a city to hiking and walking trails abroad.

These are items that I recommend everyone carry, no matter the situation and occasion. Leave me your name and email below and I’ll send it right over!


The North Face Isabella Backpack

the north face isabella travel day bag

This backpack is AMAZING! My sister has this backpack and claims how much she loves it.

It’s truly lightweight, it’s sleek and slim yet fits all of the essentials you’d need while hiking. It has different compartments all around, making it easy to access all your things, so it’s very practical and functional for hiking trips.

I especially love how it looks on, as my sister is petite, and this backpack doesn’t look disproportionately large on her. It’s slim, it doesn’t stick out obnoxiously – it’s really a great option.

The bag’s dimensions are a 17-liter capacity, and its measurements are 11.5″ X 8.25″ X 19″.

Really, it’s super comfortable and very recommended as your next hiking travel day bag!

Laptop and other electronics travel day bags

Whether you’re a digital nomad, you’re on a work trip, or you’re finishing up some work at that cute cafe below your Airbnb – you’re going to need to get yourself a backpack that not only has additional sleeve compartments but also has a sturdy body to hold and protect your precious electronics!

I don’t joke around when it comes to my own electronics, so a backpack like the following are ones that I definitely consider and recommend to you if you’re looking for those.

Lo and Sons The Beacon Day Bag

lo and sons the beacon travel day bag

I’m a fan of sleek, slim, travel day bags (maybe you can tell at this point) that don’t have all these hoops and loops and look complicated or like they get caught on everything (I know you’ve seen them being sported at the airport).

Can we agree that when we are out and about whether it’s at the airport, or out walking in a city of the world, we don’t want something that is going to give us a hard time maneuvering?

Especially when it comes to laptops, we want something strong, of quality, with a soft interior, and with security overall.

That’s why I really love this Lo and Sons backpack, as it’s all of this and more.

Lo and Sons is a top-quality brand, with style, ease, and functionality.

It’s what we all subconsciously want in any type of luggage (they have some really cute luggage by the way!) but especially with this laptop bag.

The Beacon day bag is designed to carry a 13” Apple MacBook Air and/or MacBook Pro laptop (2019 and above) and tablets.

It also features a variety of small pockets on the exterior, and it’s made of eco-friendly materials, vegan leather, and designed with comfort in mind.

It’s really all that and a bag of chips. This will be my next travel day bag?

The size of this particular backpack is 10.5″ x 14″ with a 4.5″ depth.


Herschel Travel Daypack

Herschel travel day bag

Herschel is out here with this sleek, clean, practical, and extremely efficient backpack designed specifically for carrying your laptop and other electronics safely.

It has two compartments to organize your electronics, and it also comes with a helpful trolley sleeve to plop on top of your suitcase when you’re going from security to your gate. This is definitely a backpack that is ready for a day at the local cafe near your Airbnb working away, or catching a flight to your next destination.

Either way, we love an adaptable backpack that is ready to go when you are, like this one.

The size of this backpack is 16.75″(H) x 11.5″(W) and is 20 liters.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it gave you some good ideas as far as backpacks that could really serve the purpose that you’re looking for.

Sometimes we are looking to take the bare minimum, so picking out the right backpack that will be adaptable to all the situations and occasions you’ll encounter on your trip, is the best bet.

Leave me a comment below letting me know what your ride or die backpack is, and/or what is one item you always carry in it!

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