The 7 Best Musician’s Backpacks (2023) – Travel and Tour with Ease
Musicians, especially professional ones, must be prepared to go on tour and travel to practice sessions, recordings, and gigs. A musician’s backpack is essential in order to safely take your expensive instruments with you whenever you need to.
Fortunately, there are plenty of great backpacks that are capable of meeting diverse requirements and storage needs. Here are the best backpacks that provide convenience, ease of use, and protection for your equipment.
My top pick is the Thule Crossover 32L backpack. Although it is not the cheapest, it offers excellent value as it is extremely versatile and provides secure storage for fragile items. It is also durable and well-made.
My second pick is the Matein Travel Backpack. It is extremely affordable, but despite its low price, it offers large compartments, is easy to carry, and even includes a USB charging port.
- The 7 Best Musician’s Backpacks (2023)
- 1. Thule Crossover 32L
- 2. Matein Travel Backpack
- 3. Vic Firth VICPACK
- 4. Troubadour Apex 2.0
- 5. Rockville Travel Backpack
- 6. SwissGear 1900 Scansmart
- 7. Odyssey Backspin 2 Digital Gear Backpack
- Why is a Backpack for Musicians important?
- What size and material is the best for a Musician’s Backpack?
- What brand makes the best Musician’s Backpacks?
- What to look for in a Musician’s Backpack when buying?
The 7 Best Musician’s Backpacks (2023)
Let’s compare these in more detail.
1. Thule Crossover 32L
Thule Crossover 32L is a highly durable and versatile backpack that fulfills the needs of most musicians. Built from waterproof Dolby nylon, it is lightweight while offering solid protection. With breathable airflow, this is the optimal and overall best choice.
- Many different compartments for various uses
- Durable, lightweight, and water-resistant
- Comfortable and easy to carry
- Can be difficult to fit a lock on the zipper eyes
- No bands to tuck excess straps
It includes a heat-molded, crush-proof Safezone compartment with a lockable and removable design that provides secure storage for delicate equipment. Plus, it features a padded and zippered compartment for a laptop and a roomy main compartment for bulky items like DJ controllers.
|Bonus features||Crush-proof Safezone compartment;|
Additional storage is provided by a zippered compartment at the bottom for smaller accessories and another space for cords and small gear. Water bottles can be kept inside pockets, while perforated shoulder straps and padded back panels make carrying very easy. Overall, it is a versatile backpack that can serve you for a long time.
2. Matein Travel Backpack
The Matein backpack shines with its great value-for-money ratio. Despite its sleek dimensions, it has multiple compartments that can hold a variety of gear. Plus, it is a highly comfortable backpack with a padded and breathable design.
- Great value for money
- Durable and comfortable to carry
- USB charging port
- The bottom is not very padded
The large main compartment can carry a variety of bulky items, while a separate compartment provides storage for laptops and tablets. Additional items can be kept in the front compartment, while valuables can be safely stored in the anti-theft back pocket. You can also fit in other items in the mesh side pockets.
|Bonus features||USB charging port;|
This backpack includes a USB charging port, making it easy to keep your phone or tablet charged. Made of water-resistant fabric, it is durable as well as lightweight. With the padded back and breathable, adjustable straps, the backpack provides great comfort.
3. Vic Firth VICPACK
The Vic Firth Vicpack is designed especially for drummers and has a detachable stick bag capable of holding 12 sticks. It is a heavy-duty backpack with large compartments as well as a padded design for extra protection.
- Detachable stick bag
- Great for drummers
- Heavy-duty, large compartments
- A bit pricey
Made in the USA, the backpack features water-resistant nylon to keep your equipment dry. It can withstand rough use as it has heavy-duty zippers and a strong, durable build. Apart from being a bit pricey and the fact that the zippers could be of better quality, this is a pretty good option.
|Bonus features||Detachable stick bag;|
It is capable of handling all your storage needs as it also has two full-zip compartments, one of which includes a removable laptop insert. The compartments are padded to give added protection for your gear.
4. Troubadour Apex 2.0
The Troubadour Apex 2.0 is a pro-grade laptop backpack with ample storage, side-pocket bottle holders, and a plethora of internal pockets. You also have the ‘Compact’ version if you want something even more portable and travel-friendly.
- Travel-friendly, lightweight, yet durable design
- Made from responsibly sourced materials
- Sleek aesthetics
- Tight and narrow computer sleeve
The Apex 2.0 is made from repurposed materials and is quite durable and safe for your equipment. The waterproof and aesthetic design greatly add to its value, and the breathable back panel and ergonomic padded shoulder straps make it comfortable to wear.
|Material||Repurposed Poly Fabrics, 100% vegan|
|Bonus features||Trolley sleeve;|
Breathable back panel;
All in all, the Apex 2.0 is a pro-grade backpack for musicians that will cost some extra bucks but brings value to the table. With a durable lifecycle, ample storage and compartments, and aesthetic/waterproof design, this backpack is a top choice.
5. Rockville Travel Backpack
The Rockville Travel Backpack offers great value for money as it is convenient, despite its low price. Perfect for traveling musicians and music producers, it is padded to provide protection for valuable gear. It’s especially convenient for DJs, among the best DJ backpacks.
- Low price
- Large pockets
- Dedicated compartments with interior dividers
- Not the most durable
It has plenty of pockets and dedicated compartments for various items, including dedicated compartments like a laptop sleeve for laptops, laptop stands, and headphones. The compartments have elastic bands and padded interior dividers, so you can keep your stuff conveniently organized.
|Bonus features||Dedicated compartments for laptops and headphones;|
Padded shoulder straps and back make carrying heavy gear a breeze. Large front and side pockets allow you to access your equipment easily.
6. SwissGear 1900 Scansmart
The SwissGear Travel Gear 1900 backpack is a budget-friendly option with some notable features. It offers decent storage, with compartments for essentials like keys, pens, and laptops up to 17 inches. The padded laptop storage is a standout feature, ensuring your devices stay protected during travel. Plus, it’s comfortable to wear, making it a practical choice.
- Comfortable design
- Multiple pockets
- Laptop and tablet protection
- A bit pricey
- Little short on the storage side
In terms of storage, the Travel Gear 1900 includes two primary compartments. The front pocket, located towards the bottom, is perfect for stashing small essentials like keys, pens, business cards, and compact chargers. Additionally, there’s a handy small storage area on the top of the bag, ideal for items such as sunglasses, your phone, or your wallet.
|Bonus features||Dedicated compartments for laptops and headphones;|
Airflow back padding;
Padded shoulder straps;
Regarding comfort, the Travel Gear 1900 doesn’t disappoint. It’s designed with the wearer’s comfort as a priority, making it a hassle-free backpack to carry.
In summary, SwissGear Travel Gear 1900 offers a practical and comfortable option for musicians in need of a reliable backpack. Its storage capabilities, though not extensive, cater to essential items, and it excels in providing comfort during wear.
7. Odyssey Backspin 2 Digital Gear Backpack
Odyssey, renowned for its hard-shell cases designed to safeguard DJ equipment during tours, brings its expertise to the Backspin 2. This spacious backpack is tailored for DJs, accommodating a laptop, controller, folding laptop stand, and even a dedicated headphone compartment.
- Many pockets and extra dedicated compartments
- Fully-padded sturdy design
- Great build quality
- Not the most comfortable shoulder straps
While it may appear bulkier, the size serves a purpose. The backpack can comfortably house equipment like the Traktor S2 and similar-sized DJ controllers. Notably, the main compartment fully opens, facilitating neat and hassle-free packing. The interior’s contrasting color scheme enhances visibility in dimly lit environments, such as DJ booths or green rooms.
|Bonus features||Bottom feet for stability;|
Dedicated headphone-laptop-laptop stand;
Easy access design;
The Odyssey Digital Gear Backpack exhibits meticulous attention to detail, including side pockets sized to hold standard water bottles—a thoughtful touch appreciated by touring DJs. Despite being quite pricey, its superior build quality makes this backpack a worthwhile investment for DJs constantly on the road.
It presents a convenient solution for all-in-one DJs needing to transport more than just a laptop from one show to another.
Why is a Backpack for Musicians important?
Carrying your musical gear and instruments safely and conveniently is a top priority for both professional and semi-professional musicians. Whether you’re heading out on tour, going to recording sessions, performing at celebrations, or simply attending classes and rehearsals, the right backpack can be a game-changer.
Portability: Backpacks offer excellent mobility, making it easier to transport your gear wherever you need to go. Even if your instrument is large, a backpack can still accommodate essentials like drumsticks or smaller instruments.
Ergonomic Design: Most backpacks are ergonomically designed to distribute weight evenly across your back and shoulders. This feature allows you to carry heavy loads without straining your back, ensuring you arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and ready to perform.
Protection: Many backpacks come with padding or built-in protection features to safeguard your valuable instruments. This added layer of defense helps shield your gear from bumps, shocks, and other potential hazards during transit.
Organized Storage: Backpacks often feature multiple compartments and pockets, providing a convenient way to keep all your essential gear organized and easily accessible. From headphones and laptops to iPads, wallets, batteries, and water bottles, everything you need can be within arm’s reach.
What size and material is the best for a Musician’s Backpack?
The best size for the backpack will ultimately depend on your requirements. For most musicians, a 25-liter backpack with added storage for accessories should be adequate. Remember to pay attention to the holders as well.
A 25-liter backpack allows you to carry a small instrument, laptop, headphones, cables, and other necessary equipment. However, if you play a large instrument, you may need a larger backpack. For something like a guitar, you will have to choose a specialized backpack.
Try to find a sturdy backpack, preferably from a water-resistant material, as it offers better protection for your expensive gear. Also, make sure that it is strong and durable. Backpacks made from a nylon mix are a good choice, although there are ones made from a proprietary material that you can also consider.
What brand makes the best Musician’s Backpacks?
There are many reputed brands that musicians can turn to when choosing a backpack. Pelican makes many backpacks that offer great protection for expensive gear. Rockville is another well-known brand that offers high-quality backpacks that combine study builds with thoughtful, convenient features.
Vic Firth is a renowned maker of quality backpacks. They have considerable experience, and their backpacks are built to withstand rough use while offering convenience and ease of access thanks to their logical design and unique features.
What to look for in a Musician’s Backpack when buying?
Your backpack is one of the most important things you will take with you on the road, so you should choose one carefully to ensure that you have the equipment you need close at hand and can conveniently access it when required. You should also check that your backpack has extra padding to protect your expensive gear.
The size of your backpack will depend on how much gear you want to take with you and the size of the instrument that you are playing. Make sure that the backpack you buy has adequate storage to cover all your needs. If you are constantly using your backpack, you should also ensure that your backpack can withstand rough use.
Many backpacks have special features that will make your trips easier. These include USB charging ports, additional sleeves for a laptop, a tuner, a microphone, cymbals, and mesh pockets for water bottles. Backpacks that have padded shoulder straps and lumbar support will allow you to carry heavy stuff without straining your back.
Whether you are a professional or amateur musician, you will need to carry your equipment with you to different venues. Invest in a good backpack that meets your needs and offers solid protection for your expensive gear while being comfortable on your back.
My top recommendation is the Thule Crossover 32L backpack, which has the sturdy construction to withstand the wear and tear of daily use while offering convenience and accessibility.
For those who don’t want to spend that much money, I suggest the Matein Travel Backpack which has multiple compartments and even includes a USB charging port.