Pack and Play with the Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L

Everyone’s got their way of packing: toss everything in and sort it out later, roll everything up, fold instead of roll, or use packing cubes. I’m not here to convince you that any way is the right one, but I will say that packing cubes make it far easier for me on the road, and I travel a lot.

Packing cubes will only get you so far, though, if you don’t have a great case or pack in which to carry them. That’s why the Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L has gotten my attention lately.

If you’re only going to take one bag on your travels, this is the one to take. Made from sleek, weatherproof 100-percent recycled 400D nylon canvas, the pack looks great no matter where you’re going—city or country. While at 35L it meets international carry-on requirements, the pack also collapses to a 30L daypack, and expands to a 45L gear hauler.

The pack lets you access your gear from the top, side, front, and back. The main compartment is divided by a zippered mesh sleeve, and there are tons of internal and external pockets—including a dedicated organization panel, padded laptop pocked, and a quick-stash top pocket. Tuck away the shoulder straps and hip belt easily, and you can check the bag, if you need to.

Designed to go with the Travel Backpack (but sold separately) are a handful of packing tools that fit neatly into the pack: small packing cube, medium packing cube, shoe pouch, wash pouch (dopp kit), tech pouch (for electronics essentials), and camera pouch (for photo/video gear). There’s also a rain fly, to keep the weather off your bag.

The Travel Backpack 45L comes in black and sage. It’s available for pre-order (to be shipped beginning November 20) and lists for $299.95 on the Peak Design site. Customize your travel pack with the packing tools, also on the Peak Design site, and if you get the Travel Backpack and any two (or more) of the packing tools, a 10-percent discount will be applied at check out.

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Jill Robinson is a freelance writer who lives in a small California beach town near the big wave surf spot, Mavericks. She divides her time between writing about travel, running a kayak business and trying to wring awe-inspiring adventure out of every day. Her articles have been featured in the AFAR, National Geographic Traveler, Outside, the San Francisco Chronicle, and more. Catch up with her adventures on and IG/Twitter at dangerjr.