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What are the best cheap backpacks right now? What is the best inexpensive backpack for your needs? How to choose a new backpack, and what to take into account when buying one?

These are some of the questions you will find answers to in this article.

If you are using a backpack often, a quality backpack is what I highly recommend you to invest in. But, of course, sometimes it’s just isn’t an option. But having a small budget doesn’t mean that you have to choose only from low quality backpacks. There are plenty of good quality cheap everyday backpacks and carry on backpacks for travel.

Read on to find the best cheap backpack for your needs.

Best Cheap Backpacks: Comparison

Here they are – some of the best cheap backpacks available right now.

Scroll down to read about each of them.

For all the options, latest price and user reviews check them out on Amazon – just click on the image of the backpack!

Matein ***28 LBest OverallCheck the price!
ModokerApprox. 15 LBest OverallCheck the price!
PUMA Contender25 LBest OverallCheck the price!
Everest Basic14 LBest BasicCheck the price!
Cabin Max Metz44 LBest Carry OnCheck the price!
OutdoorMaster ***50 LBest HikingCheck the price!
Outlander20 L & 33 LBest PackableCheck the price!
Bago25 LBest PackableCheck the price!
*** - our favorites

How to Choose a Cheap Backpack

What is the best cheap backpack for your needs?

How to choose a new and inexpensive backpack? What to take into account?

1. Backpack Type

Before buying a new backpack for yourself, you need to decide what kind of backpack do you need.

There are several types of backpacks you can choose from.

The most popular options are:

  • everyday backpacks,
  • travel backpacks,
  • hiking backpacks,
  • basic daypacks,
  • laptop backpacks,
  • and lightweight packable daypacks.

In this article you’ll find some of the most popular backpack types.

If you are looking for a basic backpack for everyday use, check out the Everest Basic backpack.

Matein laptop backpack is perfect for commute and business travel.

Cabin Max Metz is the best cheap carry on backpack for international travel.

Looking for a hiking backpack that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? The OutdoorMaster hiking backpack is one of the best cheap hiking backpacks out there.

2. Capacity and Size

How much stuff do you usually carry with you?

If it’s a lot, look for large capacity backpacks. If, not so much – choose a smaller bag.

When buying a new backpack, you should pay attention to the overall dimensions.

Almost all of the backpacks I have reviewed in this article are carry on friendly, if that’s what you are looking for. This means that you are allowed to take these backpacks on board. Some airlines have very strict carry on rules and allow only a small personal item. Some of the backpacks from this list are small enough to be used for this purpose.

Man sitting on a rock

3. Compartments and Pockets

Do you have a lot of small items that get lost?

In this case, the best backpack for you is one with plenty of small pockets to keep your things organized.

Do you carry a laptop and electronics? Then choose a backpack with padded pockets and padded laptop compartment / sleeve. Also, you’ll need a few pockets to keep your smaller electronics and cables organized. Check if that particular backpack has an organizational panel / pocket. Or get yourself an electronic organizer, or at least a cable organizer.

And packing cubes for your clothes, travel makeup bag – for makeup, travel toiletry bag – for toiletries, travel underwear organizer – for your underwear. Yes, there are a lot of different travel organizers, that make life easier.

For me it’s very important to have plenty of small and big pockets, so I can keep my stuff organized during my trip.

It is good two have two large compartments, or – one spacious main compartment and one laptop compartment. So, that you can keep your laptop separated from the rest of your stuff.

In addition, it’s nice to have a couple of small pockets and at least one side pocket for a water bottle.

Things to Pay Attention to When Buying a Cheap Backpack

When buying a cheap product you need to pay extra attention to some of its most important features.

Cheap backpacks are made in large quantities, and are constructed of cheaper materials.

As a consequence, the quality may be compromised.

It’s not necessary the case will all the cheap backpacks, but still I would recommend you to pay attention to certain features.

Read the reviews carefully and find out if:

  • The seams are strong;
  • The zippers and other hardware are durable;
  • The material is durable;
  • The backpack is water resistant;
  • The shoulder straps are durable and won’t come out after a few weeks’ use.
  • There’s at least some padding on the back panel and shoulder straps.

A woman with a backpack

Best Cheap Backpacks: Reviews

Best Overall

1. Matein Travel Laptop Backpack Review

The Matein travel laptop backpack is a functional and spacious backpack perfect for college, commute and travel.

And it’s one of the best cheap backpacks you can buy now.

It’s spacious enough to hold a laptop and a few smaller electronic devices, as well as some clothes and other essentials.

The Matein backpack features plenty of compartments and pockets that will help you stay organized no matter where you go.

There are:

  • Front zippered for the items you need easy access to;
  • Front zippered side pocket;
  • Front zippered compartment with small pockets for your phone, pens and other small items;
  • Roomy main compartment;
  • Laptop compartment at the back (up to 15.6” / 17” laptop);
  • Rear hidden, padded pocket;
  • 2 side mesh pockets.

The backpack features a USB port with a built-in charging cable for convenient charging. Connect your powerbank to the cable inside the backpack, and your USB cable with the phone / tablet to the port outside of the pack.

There’s a luggage strap at the back which allows you to attach the backpack to the handle of your suitcase.

The Matein backpack is made of sturdy materials, and has a padded and ventilated back panel which is lined with moisture wicking mesh fabric.

Size: 28 L.


  • For 15” laptop: 18” x 12″ x 7.8” (46 x 30.5 x 20 cm);
  • For 17” laptop: 19″ x 13.75″ x 7.8” (48.3 x 35 x 20 cm).

Weight: 1.58 lbs (717 grams).

2. Modoker Vintage Backpack Review

Modoker backpack is a stylish, inexpensive and durable backpack perfect for commute and business travel.

It is made of durable 600D Nylon Fabric and has a timeless design. Vegan leather trim gives it a smart and classy look.

There’s a total of 5 pockets: a roomy main compartment with a padded sleeve for a laptop (up to up to 15.6”), front compartment for books and electronics, front zipper pocket for accessories and other small items, and 2 side pockets for water bottle or umbrellas.

Just like the Matein backpack, also the Modoker vintage backpack features a USB charging port and a built-in cable. Connect your powerbank to the cable and charge your phone on the go.

Size: approx. 15 L.

Dimensions: 15.80” x 11.8” x 6.8” (40.1 x 30 x 17.2 cm).

Weight: 1.4 lbs (635 grams).

3. PUMA Contender Backpack Review

This sporty-looking Puma backpack is ideal for day trips, travel and everyday use.

The backpack is simple but functional, and one of the best cheap backpacks, if you don’t mind the sporty look.

It is made of durable material and has several pockets.

There’s the roomy main compartment, two spacious front pockets, one zippered pocket at the top and two mesh side pockets.

One of the two front pockets has additional inner pockets for cables and accessories.

The main compartment has a sleeve at the back. It can be used for storing notebooks or a laptop. As it isn’t padded, keep your laptop in its protective case.

The shoulder straps and back panel are lightly padded and lined with moisture wicking mesh fabric.

Size: 25 L.

Dimensions: 18.5” x 12” x 5.9” (47 x 30.5 x 15 cm).

Weight: 1.16 lbs (526 grams).

Best Cheap Basic Backpack

4. Everest Basic Medium Backpack Review

The Everest Basic backpack is a great cheap backpack for everyday use.

It is popular due to its simple and timeless design.

The Everest Basic backpack is made of durable and moisture resistant 600 Denier Polyester.

It has a spacious main compartment with double zipper closure, and a front zippered pocket for easy access.

The backpack can hold a 13” laptop with a room to spare for your everyday essentials.

Unfortunately, the back is only lightly padded, and there is no padding at the bottom of the pack. So you have to put your laptop and other electronics in their own protective cases first. The straps also don’t have much padding either. But if you don’t carry heavy stuff in the backpack, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

As the backpack is not too large, it is also suitable for children.

The Everest Basic backpack is available in a multitude of colors.

Price depends on the color of the backpack.

Size: 14 L.

Dimensions: 15.35” x 11” x 5.12” (39 x 28 x 13 cm).

Weight: 0.75 lbs (340 grams).

Best Cheap Carry On Backpack

5. Cabin Max Metz Backpack Review

The Cabin Max Metz is a simple and cheap travel backpack.

It’s a perfect choice for those who travel once or twice a year.

It’s great for those who love to travel but don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a backpack. The backpack is definitely bang for the buck. It’s sturdy, well-made and spacious, as well as it comes in several fun colors that will appeal to ladies.

For a backpack this cheap it’s surprisingly organized.

It has multiple compartments and pockets that will keep your stuff neatly arranged.

The front compartment is great for electronics, documents and small items. The lid of the front compartment has a large mesh pocket. And the compartment itself consists of various small mesh and non-mesh pockets.

There’s a zippered quick access pocket for boarding passes and other small stuff at the front of the backpack.

The main compartment is really spacious. It unzips all the way down, making it easier to pack and unpack the bag. Just unzip it all the way down, and you have access to all the stuff in the compartment. No need to dig through all the content.

The Cabin Max Metz features 4 outer compression straps, padded shoulder straps and a padded back panel. There’s a heavy duty handle on top. The bag is made of 600D polyester which is durable and somewhat water resistant.

The bag is surprisingly lightweight for its size.

Unfortunately, The Cabin Max Metz backpack doesn’t have a hip-belt, so it’s not really designed for hiking and long walks.

Although the Cabin Max Metz is the “perfectly sized carry on”, check with your preferred airline before buying.

Few airlines may consider it too big for carry on.

Size: 44 liter.

Dimensions: 22” x 14” x 9” (56 x 35.6 x 23 cm).

Weight: 1.5 lbs (0.7 kg).

Best Cheap Hiking Backpack

6. OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack Review

The OutdoorMaster hiking backpack is one of the best cheap hiking backpacks out there.

This backpack is versatile. Not only it can be used on a hiking trip, but also taken on a vacation, business trip or backpacking trip.

The backpack is very functional and features plenty of pockets:

  • Spacious main compartment with a laptop sleeve;
  • Front compartment with additional interior pockets;
  • Open front pocket perfect for storing jacket or rain gear;
  • Front zippered pocket;
  • 2 mesh side pockets;
  • 2 zippered pockets on a hip belt.

The OutdoorMaster backpack features padded shoulder straps and ventilated back panel. There’s a padded hip belt and a sternum strap. The backpack comes with a rain cover.

This cheap pack features several attachment points, just like all the best hiking backpacks. You can attach a tent and a sleeping bag to the outside of the backpack, and go on more serious hikes.

The OutdoorMaster backpack is rather roomy. It will easily gear for a 2 or 3 week hike like Annapurna Circuit or Everest Base Camp, where you don’t need to be self supported (you don’t need to carry tent and food).

If you don’t pack the backpack too full, you can bring it on board as carry on luggage.

Size: 50 liter.

Dimensions: 22.8” x 14” x 8.6” (57.9 x 35.6 x 21.8 cm).

Weight: 2.6 lbs (1.2 kg).

Best Cheap Packable Backpack

7. Outlander Packable Daypack Review

The Outlander daypack is super lightweight and compact backpack.

You can fold and and pack it into itself. It is the best backpack for a day trip to the city or beach. Fold it into the built-in pouch (which also is a zippered inner pocket) and throw it in your luggage. Unpack and use it when you have reached your destination.

Just like regular day packs, the Outlander daypack has several pockets and compartments. There is a roomy main compartment, two front zippered pockets for small accessories, one internal zippered security pocket and two side pockets for water bottles or umbrellas.

The backpack is made of rip and water-resistant nylon fabric.

The stress points are reinforced with bar tacking for increased durability.

As the backpack’s back panel and shoulder straps aren’t well padded, it’s not the best backpack for long hikes and carrying heavy stuff. But it is great as a day pack for all your essentials and as a backpack for your excess baggage at the end of your trip.

Size: 20 L and 33 L.


  • 20 L: 16.92″ x 10.63″ x 7.08″ (43 x 27 x 18 cm);
  • 33 L: 19″ x 13″ x 8.2″ (48.3 x 33 x 20.8 cm);
  • Folded: About 6.29″ x 5.90″ x 2″ (16 x 15 x 5 cm).

Weight: 0.5 lbs (227 grams).

8. Bago Packable Daypack Review

The Bago backpack is a very lightweight and compact packable daypack.

It can be packed into a built-in pouch which doubles as an inner zip pocket.

The backpack is made of durable water and tear resistant Honeycomb Polyester fabric.

In the product description it is mentioned that the daypack is waterproof. I wouldn’t say that. It is water resistant, but not waterproof. It can withstand light rain, but I wouldn’t recommend exposing it to wet environment and heavy rains.

The Bago packable daypack has multiple compartments and pockets:

  • Roomy main compartment;
  • Mesh front pocket — perfect for storing your jacket;
  • 2 mesh side pockets;
  • External zippered front pocket;
  • Inner zip pocket which is also a storage pouch for the backpack.

Just like any other packable daypack, the Bago daypack is the perfect solution for your excess baggage. To avoid excess baggage charges, unfold the packable daypack and use it as a carry on or extra bag to store excess baggage.

Unfortunately, the mesh shoulder straps and back panel aren’t padded at all. This means that you can’t really carry anything too heavy, as it won’t feel too comfortable on your back. But this backpack is great as a day pack for all your essentials and as a backpack for your excess baggage at the end of your trip.

Size: 25 L.

Dimensions: 16.5” x 11.8” x 7.1” (42 x 30 x 18 cm).

Weight: 0.7 lbs (318 grams).

What backpack do you use for traveling? What is the best cheap backpack you have tried or used?

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