Best Travel Accessories for Backpackers
- Backpacks & accessories for backpackers
- Backpacker shoes
- Backpacker packing products
- Backpacker accessories for hostels
- Backpacker electronics accessories
- Backpacker tech accessories
- Hiking and camping accessories for backpackers
- Accessories for transit (travel days)
- Backpacker travel clothes
- How did I decide which backpacker accessories to include?
Years of traveling the world taught me that to be good at backpacking, you have to focus on the most functional products to take with you, and you’ve gotta pack light.
From China and Cambodia to Ecuador and Panama, I’ve traveled with only a 50-liter backpack and a 25-liter daypack, containing everything I’ve needed. I’ve trekked mountain passes, camped at volcanoes, stayed in more hostels than I can count and had infinite “quintessential backpacker experiences,” with some products that helped me out.
What are the best backpacker things to consider for your backpacking trips this year? Check out this thoughtful list of my favorites, so that you can pack up and get ready to go!
Backpacks & accessories for backpackers
Backpacker backpacks have to survive being thrown on and off long-distance buses, being washed after a long trip and having zippers that won’t break!
These days for backpacking travels, I use a large supportive travel backpack, a smaller daypack to wear on my front and a belt bag or fanny pack, for having my essentials and valuables on hand. For more suggestions in addition to the below, check out my list of best backpacks as well as the best fanny packs for travel.
Shop my backpack picks
I like the Deuter Aircontact Core 45 + 10 SL Pack because it’s comfortable even when you load it with a lot of weight. It’s ergonomic back panel and straps are best in class, and it’s a superior quality backpack that’ll last for years.
I’ve written at length about the best travel shoes, and of course, it comes down to where you’re heading. For a trip that’ll involve hiking, trekking or other ways to work out during a trip, I have to have sturdy boots in my backpack. For a backpacking bender in the tropics, cue the sandals.
For a few ideas on shoes I can’t live without for a backpacking trip, see this short list.
Shop my backpacking shoe picks
Backpacker packing products
Over the years, I’ve perfected my packing as a backpacker. You’ve got to have packing products that help compress your things, keep your dry stuff separate from your wet stuff and maybe even something for washing clothes when a laundry service isn’t available!
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I used to use Ziploc bags for my backpacking toiletries, and that wasn’t the greatest idea. Peak Design is one of our favorite travel brands and makes a functional and minimalist toiletries bag that’ll last for decades. The material wipes clean and the pockets have pull-out linings.
Backpacker accessories for hostels
I’ve become an expert hostel-style backpacker through the years, and there are a few things in my backpacker packing list that are essential when staying in hostels. Aside from the products to peruse below, remember to keep in mind my best tips for staying in hostels like a pro.
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Backpacker electronics accessories
In my early days, like 2010-2013, I traveled with a basic cell phone, a local SIM chip and an iPod. Seriously! Now though, tech is invaluable when backpacking. Here are the latest and greatest backpacker finds for tech must-haves.
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Having a VPN in places like China helped me communicate with friends and family back home — it was totally indispensable. See why you need a VPN for travel before getting a VPN like ExpressVPN for watching your favorite shows on your phone while you’re away, if they’re blocked in some parts of the world.
Backpacker tech accessories
A few of the tech gadgets below make backpacking a little bit more of a breeze, from backup batteries to outlet adapters.
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Hiking and camping accessories for backpackers
While I’m not necessarily a camping expert nor a hiking expert, I like my backpacking journeys to include getting close to nature. Here are some handy, and fun, gadgets to pick for your backpacking gear.
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You know I swear by a trusty leakproof water bottle as a classic travel accessory for hiking, road trips, travel days, long flights and more! I don’t travel without my Lululemon travel water bottle nowadays.
I’ve saved myself by always traveling with some first aid stuff: Band-aids, gauze pads and a few types of medicines. If you want to check all the boxes, a travel-sized first aid kit that comes in a zippered “adventure bag” is a solid find.
Accessories for transit (travel days)
I’ve spent hours on overnight buses and long-distance trains as a backpacker. A few comfy things can make the travel more of a pleasure! Check out these finds, as well as our lists of the best travel accessories for long flights and accessories for road trips.
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Travel insurance helps with backpacking trips overall, and certainly helps with transit mishaps like trip protection, trip cancellation, trip interruption, rental car damage and luggage loss or theft. I suggest exploring your options for insurance while backpacking!
Backpacker travel clothes
With clothes to bring backpacking, I’ve always prioritized clothes that do well with sweating, whether for hot climates or just feeling clammy (ew) after long flights or layovers. Aside from that, I’ve learned about pants that help prevent theft as well as jackets that compress for packing light!
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The first time I traveled with a packable down jacket was my trip to Bolivia. Being able to take out an entire layer that packs up so small is valuable, in my opinion! Check my Jack Wolfskin Packable Down jacket review.
How did I decide which backpacker accessories to include?
I’ll be frank: I’m a backpacker, not a hiking and camping expert. By “backpacking,” I mean I “backpacked” Southeast Asia, East Asia, South America, Central America, Europe and some of Africa with my backpack(s) and on a shoestring budget.
On my backpacking trips, I’ve stayed in hostels, taken part in a big hike or trek or two, taken long-haul trains, overnight buses and did some camping here and there. Most of the time, I travel in a backpacker style for authentic experiences, and being able to get up close and personal with cultures in incredible destinations.
Therefore, my backpacker gear recommendations, like my list of products for female travelers, are the things that make your trip possible. Getting ear plugs for sleeping in hostels let me get better sleep during travel. Having a good water bottle meant saving money (and plastic) and being able to fill up my thermos from the water cooler at my accommodation.
My trusty backpacks have survived lots of travel on different continents, weather conditions, transit delays and under-bus compartments. My daypacks have taken me out in amazing cities and have stored my camera, my Lonely Planet guidebooks and an extra sweater. I also have tried and tested a wide array of travel brands, which back my articles like the best travel shirts for women.
Is this list complete? Far from it! There are so many things in my packing list that I can’t even fit into this list, so for that, I would urge you to check out the rest of our gear section and list of the best travel accessories.
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