The 5 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 5 Best Musician’s Backpacks (2023)
Let’s compare these in more detail.
1. Thule Crossover 32L
This highly durable and versatile backpack should meet 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 that provides secure storage for delicate equipment. It is lockable and can be removed for extra space. Other compartments include a padded, zippered one for a laptop and a roomy main compartment for bulky items.
|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 other necessities. Water bottles can be kept inside pockets while perforated shoulder straps and padded back panels make carrying very easy.
2. Matein Travel Backpack
The Matein backpack offers great value for money. Despite its sleek dimensions, it has multiple compartments that can hold a variety of gear.
- 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 and lightweight. A padded back and breathable, adjustable straps make it easy to carry.
3. Vic Firth VICPACK
The Vic Firth Vicpack is designed especially for drummers and has a detachable stick bag capable of holding 12 sticks.
- 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 buy.
|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. Pelican ProGear S100
The Pelican ProGear S100 is a top-loader with 25 Liter main storage for diverse equipment, including a laptop compartment. It also has a built-in watertight crush-proof case, along with expandable storage at the bottom.
- Large main compartment
- Comfortable to carry
- Fast access
- Shoulder straps tend to break
- Durability could be better
It is extremely comfortable to carry, thanks to the soft rubber handle, load compression straps, and lumber pad with ergonomic ventilated back. A chest clip and removable hip belt further ensure user comfort.
|Bonus features||Lumber pad with ventilated back|
The fast access design makes taking it through airport security a breeze and the backpack can be conveniently stored under the seat.
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, 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 easily access your equipment.
Why is a Backpack for Musicians important?
Travel is a big part of a musician’s life, naturally packing is essential. If you are a professional or even semi-professional, then you have to be prepared to transport your gear for gigs, recordings, celebrations, and other events.
If you are planning to go on tour, then you must plan on being able to take your equipment with you, safely and conveniently. Even amateur musicians must be ready to take the instrument to classes or rehearsal studios. Of course, mobility is also important and a backpack provides just that.
Backpacks are a great way to carry your gear, especially if your instrument is small enough to be portable. Even if your instrument is large, you will be able to take some essentials, such as drum sticks with you. Naturally, a hard case is also good but they are more difficult to carry.
Since most backpacks are ergonomically designed to spread the weight, you can transport heavy loads without straining your back. They are also usually well-padded and offer a degree of protection for your expensive instrument. Backpacks also have a variety of compartments, so you can have all your essential gear, such as headphones, laptop, iPads, wallet, batteries, and water bottle, close at hand.
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.
This should serve your needs, allowing you to take along a small instrument, laptop, headphones, cables, and other necessary equipment. However, if you play a large instrument, you may have to get a larger backpack. For something like a guitar, you will have to choose a specialized backpack.
You should try to buy a backpack that is made of 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 build 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 them 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.