Need a new backpack but you can’t afford to spend more than $50? Well, then you’re certainly in the right place! In this detailed review, we will show you only the best backpacks under $50 you can buy!
And you will see a lot of different types of packs, so you can easily find the perfect one for you. Whether you need a durable bag for hikes or a classic laptop backpack, we’ve got you covered!
At A Glance: Best Backpacks Under $50
So, scroll down to find the best affordable backpack for you!
Best Backpack Overall
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Best Backpack For Travel
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Best Laptop Backpack
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Best Outdoor Backpack
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Best Tactical Backpack
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The Daylite pack by Osprey is easily one of the best bags you can buy when looking for backpacks under $50. It is made from 210D nylon fabric, for excellent durability and helping make it water-resistant. The material has a really good tear and abrasion resistance, so this pack can easily survive years of daily use.
It’s very comfortable to carry, thanks to the mesh-covered backpanel with slotted foam. It feels soft against your body, while the breathable mesh keeps you cool and dry even in really hot weather. Additionally, the pack features both a sternum strap and a (removable) hip belt, so you can easily get the perfect fit.
There are three compartments total on the Osprey Daylite. The main compartment is the largest, and it features a wide opening for easy access to its contents. The front compartment is much smaller, and it has a couple of slip pockets inside, as well as a key clip, for easy organization of the smaller stuff.
And there’s also a hidden compartment behind the backpanel, which is designed to hold a hydration bladder. This is a very convenient feature that makes the Daylite even more versatile – not only is it suitable for day-to-day adventures and travel, but it also makes a pretty good outdoor backpack.
This pack has two stretchy side pockets that can easily hold water bottles of all sizes. There are also compression straps on the sides that will help stabilize the load of the pack, especially when it is not at full capacity. And you can also use this to keep bigger and bulkier stuff in the side pockets – the compression strap will easily hold a tripod in place here.
By the way, be sure to check out the Daylite Plus as well if you want a roomier pack. It’s often discounted, so you might just be able to grab it for under $50!
The Hynes Eagle backpack is without a doubt the best travel option for backpacks under $50. It has a capacity of 40 liters, which is more than most carry-on suitcases have. This means that you will actually be able to pack more in this bag while staying perfectly organized.
That’s an amazing advantage that backpacks have over traditional suitcases – the abundance of internal and external compartments lets you find a dedicated spot for everything, as opposed to being limited to just two sides of a suitcase.
This bag is made from water-repellant polyester, which means it’s reasonably water-resistant. It also has a pretty good tear and abrasion resistance, although it is not as durable as nylon. Nylon bags tend to be more expensive, and they’re not so easy to find in a backpack under $50.
Also, one reason why nylon fabric is the better choice is its water resistance even without extra coating – a feature you already have on the Hynes Eagle backpack.
However, it won’t be the most comfortable backpack to carry, especially because of the large capacity. The backpanel and harness are padded, but only the adjustable shoulder straps are covered with breathable mesh.
However, you do get a sternum strap and a hip belt, which will help transfer the load away from your shoulders and back. So, at least you won’t feel the entire weight of the bag, even if you might be a bit sweaty.
There are three external compartments on this pack. The main compartment is the roomiest, and it features internal compression straps and pockets. Then there’s the large front compartment, with sleeves for your laptop, tablet, and enough room for the most important accessories.
Last but not least, the smaller front compartment features organization panels for the items you want easily accessible – phone, wallet, passport, etc. In addition to all that, this travel backpack also features an expandable side pocket (great for water bottles), stowable, padded shoulder straps, and external compression straps.
The Nubily pack is an excellent choice if you are primarily looking for a laptop backpack under $50. This can easily hold even the thickest 17” devices, and it retails for about $30. There is even an option that can hold laptops up to 18.4”, but that one is a bit pricier – it’s still under $50 though!
This backpack is actually really versatile, thanks to the variety of compartments and pockets. The actual laptop compartment is TSA friendly, which makes the Nubily a really good option for travel as well. Especially since it has a capacity of 40 liters, which is what you usually get from a standard carry-on bag.
The pack is made from water-resistant polyester, and it features reinforced stitches for improved durability. It might not be the toughest laptop backpack out there, but it certainly is the best bag you can get at such an affordable price point.
And it’s very comfortable to wear, thanks to the thick padding and breathable mesh on the harness and backpanel. This side of the backpack also features a convenient luggage strap, a hidden pocket in the lower half of the backpanel, and a tiny zippered pocket on one of the shoulder straps.
In addition to that, the backpack has another four zippered pockets on the front. And the spacious main compartment can fit all of your EDC items, or even enough clothes for a weekend away. There are also two stretchy side pockets that can hold water bottles, as well as side compression straps that will help stabilize the load.
If you’re looking for a high-capacity hiking backpack under $50, you’ll be glad to know that there are some really great options for less than $50. One of those is the Loowoko pack; a ripstop nylon fabric backpack with a capacity of 50 liters.
This bag features a very comfortable harness with thick padding and breathable mesh all around. The hip belt is also very comfortable, and it will hug your waist nicely so that you don’t feel the actual weight of the backpack. This is a very handy feature, considering that the bag can hold up to 88 lbs of gear.
Thanks to the variety of different compartments, you should have no issues keeping all of your gear organized. The pack even has a dedicated shoe compartment, in addition to the spacious main compartment and an abundance of external pockets.
On top of that, there are also lots of external attachment points for all your bulkier gear. The side compression straps can easily hold sleeping pads and sleeping bags, but also other bulky items. There are even dedicated attachment points for hiking poles, as well as multiple webbing straps that allow you to attach a carabiner.
Additionally, the backpack also features stretchy side pockets that can easily hold water bottles and the top-loading main compartment that has more than enough space for your most important gear. The exterior of the backpack is water-resistant, but you will also get a rain cover that guarantees all your stuff stays dry even in really heavy rain.
If you’re looking for a rugged EDC backpack, the Monoki Military pack is an excellent option. This multi-functional backpack is made from rugged 900D oxford and nylon, for excellent performance even in really harsh conditions. It has a water-resistant exterior that will protect the contents in light rain, but it is not entirely waterproof so try to find shelter in heavy downpours.
This backpack features multiple MOLLE panels on the front and sides of the bag, for easy attachment of bulky items. You even get a couple of attachment points on the adjustable shoulder straps, for stuff that you want to have handy at all times.
And you can easily organize all the usual EDC stuff inside the two main compartments of the bag. They are both extra roomy, with internal pockets and sleeves for your laptop and tablet. In addition to that, the bag also has two zippered front pockets, for easy organization of all your smaller EDC items.
This pack features compression straps on the sides and the bottom, which help stabilize the load, but also let you attach even more stuff to the exterior of the bag.
The Monoki tactical survival backpack will be very comfortable to wear, thanks to the padded and ventilated backpanel and harness. Your back will be able to breathe, which means no sweating even during really hot days. And the hip belt and sternum strap will transfer the load away from your shoulders so that you don’t actually feel the weight of the backpack.
Another thing worth mentioning is that this pack features a hidden sleeve behind the backpanel. It’s a great spot for a hydration bladder because of the easy access you have to it, but also just for items, you want to keep extra secure.
The Ambor backpack is a great affordable option for you who need a 17” laptop backpack. This pack can fit even the bulkiest devices in the dedicated TSA-friendly compartment. And it is carry-on sized, so it’s also one of the best travel backpacks under $50 to get.
One thing I really love about this backpack is the backpanel. With thick padding and breathable mesh all over it, the Ambor backpack will be very comfortable to wear regardless of the temperature outside. There’s also a sternum strap that will hold the adjustable shoulder straps in place, and help keep the load away from your torso.
Additionally, this backpack features an anti-theft design, which is really great for travel bags. The dual zipper opening of the main compartment allows you to lock the zippers so that no one can open the bag without the appropriate key. And there are side compression straps that go over these zippers, which protects the bag from sneaky thieves even more.
The main compartment of the pack is very roomy, and it features a large zippered pocket inside. The laptop compartment in the back has dedicated sleeves for your laptop and tablet, and it unzips to lie flat, for speedy passing through TSA checkpoints. The bag also features a dedicated compartment for your wet clothes, as well as a special shoe compartment.
And on top of all that, there are also several hidden pockets on the bag – some are on the front panel, and one is cleverly integrated into the backpanel. They’re great for stuff you want to have handy at all times, especially because the zippers are hidden and others won’t even notice that the pockets exist – let alone that you put your wallet in there.
The AmazonBasics backpack is a good option if you’re looking for a laptop backpack. It has a dedicated computer sleeve that can fit even thick 17” laptops, so you will be able to take your device anywhere. And with multiple internal and external pockets, you can also organize all of your cables, chargers, and other must-have items.
This backpack features thick padding in the backpanel and shoulder straps, so it will be quite comfortable to wear. Especially since there are also ventilated inserts, which allow your body to breathe. However, it does not have a sternum strap or a hip belt, which might be an issue considering just how heavy it can get when full.
There’s no information on the exact capacity of the backpack, but judging by its size and amount of compartments, I’d say that it is more than enough for everyday use.
The pack has a roomy main compartment, a computer compartment, two zippered pockets on the front panel, and two side water bottle pockets. There’s also a scratch-free zippered pocket at the top, which is great for your sunglasses or phone.
In addition to all that, the AmazonBasics pack also features side compression straps that let you cinch in the bag when it is not filled to capacity. This helps stabilize the load and makes it more comfortable to move around with the backpack.
This is a very versatile bag, which can handle both everyday use and the occasional outdoor adventure. If that’s exactly what you were looking to get, then this might just be the bag for you! And it retails for some $30, so it’s well under the $50 budget!
If you want a proper outdoor backpack with a large capacity, the R Horse pack is an excellent option. It retails for some $40, which is a really good deal for a 70-liter backpack. It has an internal aluminum frame that helps keep it stable at all loads and ensures that you are comfortable while you’re wearing the bag.
The thick padding in the harness and backpanel also goes a long way towards making you comfy, as do the hip belt and sternum strap. The latter two features help transfer the load of the pack onto your hips so that you don’t actually feel the entire weight of the bag.
In addition to that, both the harness and the backpanel are covered with breathable mesh, for great ventilation during hot and sweaty days.
The backpack is made from 600D ripstop and oxford canvas, for excellent durability in rugged conditions. That’s actually what makes it a great outdoor backpack; it will be able to withstand frequent use in rugged conditions, which is exactly what you want out of a large-capacity hiking backpack.
The exterior of the pack has decent water repellency, and it will protect the items inside from light rain. But it won’t do much in heavy downpours, which is why you also get a rain cover with this backpack.
In terms of different pockets and compartments, this is really similar to other backpacking packs. It has a large top-loading main compartment, stretchy side pockets, a dedicated sleeping bag compartment at the bottom, zippered hip belt pockets, and a variety of external attachment points. Overall, it’s definitely one of the best rugged outdoor backpacks you can buy for under $50!
The High Sierra Loop backpack is a great option if you want something affordable, functional, and versatile. This backpack is great for most people because it can be a travel bag, an EDC bag, and even an outdoor pack – with so many different features, it’s suitable for pretty much anything you can think of.
This pack has a total of three compartments and a small zippered pocket. It also features two stretchy side pockets that are great for water bottles, but even for bulkier items. There are compression straps just above the pockets, which will keep any long and bulky items secure.
In addition to that, the Loop backpack also features two pairs of compression straps on the bottom front. You can use these to attach extra gear to the backpack (like a sleeping pad), or just to stabilize the load even further. Plus, there’s even a carabiner attachment point on the front panel, which lets you carry even more bulky gear.
The backpanel and S-shaped shoulder straps feature thick padding for excellent carrying comfort, but only in mild weather. There’s no breathable mesh on the backpanel to ensure that you won’t sweat when it gets really hot outside, and that’s pretty much the only downside of the backpack.
It is also worth noting that the main compartment of the backpack has multiple internal pockets and sleeves, including dedicated storage for a tablet. It does not have a laptop sleeve, but it is roomy enough to fit a laptop inside one of the two larger compartments.
The Pans backpack is a great option if you’re looking to get a versatile tactical pack. The rugged exterior of this bag is suitable for any outdoor adventure, while the multiple pockets and compartments allow for easy organization of all your belongings. This is not just a great outdoor backpack; it’s also a good option for travel, EDC items, and even just commute.
And it is a comfortable backpack to wear for long periods of time. The backpanel is padded, and you can’t actually feel any of the items inside poking you in the back. In addition to that, it features a hip belt and a sternum strap that transfer the load of the bag onto your hips, for even better comfort. But it lacks breathable mesh, so you might get a bit sweaty when it is very hot outside.
This is a three-day tactical backpack with a maximum capacity of 64 liters. That is the capacity of the expanded backpack; the non-expanded capacity of the pack is 39 liters, which is still plenty for short trips and overnight stays.
That’s actually what makes this pack a great option for travel – it has the capacity of an average carry-on, and you can expand it to be as big as a medium suitcase. Additionally, the pack also has MOLLE panels, compression straps, and extra attachment points, so you can attach all the bulky stuff to the exterior. And that’s what makes it an awesome outdoor bag.
It has four compartments total, which is equipped with internal pockets and sleeves for easy organization of all your EDC items. This includes dedicating sleeves for a laptop, tablet, smartphone, wallet, and pen organizers, among others.
I showed you ten awesome affordable backpacks, but they are all very different. That’s because I wanted to include something for everyone, whether they were looking for a laptop bag or a rugged tactical backpack.
If you’re not entirely sure how to choose the perfect backpack for you, I’m here to help! Below you will find the most important things to consider, in order to get an affordable backpack that’s perfectly suited for your needs.
We already know your budget, but we have no idea what kind of backpack you’re looking for! A classic EDC pack or a sturdy bag to take on camping and hiking trips? Maybe something for high school instead?
The good news is that there are more than enough options above, no matter what type of backpack you’re looking for. I included everything, from lightweight daypacks to 40-liter carry on backpacks. The only thing you need to do is choose a backpack that seems like a great fit for you.
And that is going to depend on what you’re getting the backpack for, as well as what you normally put in one. If it’s for backpacking or hiking, I highly recommend that you stick with the outdoor packs featured above. These bags are usually really pricey, and it wasn’t so easy to find packs under $50 worth featuring.
On the other hand, if you want an everyday pack, then you should look for something that is suitable for your EDC items, and particularly that is large enough to fit your laptop.
In case you’re mostly looking for a travel backpack, make sure you’re okay with all of its features. I’ve included several carry-on packs above, but they differ in terms of external pockets, size of compartments, and overall capacity.
Try to find a backpack that is just the right size for you. Don’t go for something that is too small or too big, because you won’t wind up using it often enough. Even if it seems like a good idea to get a really big backpack, there’s really no point in buying it you usually need just 10-15 liters of capacity.
It is also important to make sure that the backpack has enough separate compartments for everything you usually carry. If you’re used to having both your laptop and tablet in a backpack, then you should look for a bag that has sleeves for both.
With laptop backpacks, it’s also important that you find a bag that can fit your device. All of the laptop packs I featured here can fit standard 15” devices, while some can fit even the bulkiest 17” computers.
If you want to get an outdoor backpack, make sure that it has enough external attachment points for all the gear you carry on your hikes and camping trips.
You can see the exact dimensions and capacities of most backpacks featured in this review in the product infoboxes, so be sure to check those before you actually buy anything.
Especially if you have your eye on one of the larger outdoor packs – these are much bigger than standard backpacks, so it’s smart to cross-reference their dimensions against your own body. That way you can be certain that the bag will actually fit you properly.
Just because you’re shopping on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t get a really good backpack. Big brands will often have sales, and you will be able to snatch a superb Osprey or CamelBak bag for $50 – if you see an opportunity like this, don’t pass on it. The value for money is the best there is since these packs are designed to last a lifetime.
Additionally, big brands will often discount some of their best-sellers when they decide to redesign a backpack and introduce a whole new version of it. You’ll be able to get the old version for a bargain, without missing out on too many features.
The North Face and Osprey are two brands to look at if you stumble upon a sale. Their backpacks are always top-notch, in terms of performance, quality and durability. But they tend to cost an arm and a leg (especially Osprey packs), which is why we recommend scouring the internet for deals.
Still not sure which backpack is the best option for you? Then go with one of our top three picks – just choose the style of the backpack that suits you most!
Osprey Daylite is the best backpack you can get if you want a classic commute backpack. It is made from premium materials and backed by the brand’s lifetime guarantee. There are a lot of things to love about this backpack like the durable construction, comfortable back panel, and spacious compartments.
You can use this pack for whatever you want – the carry-on size makes it a good option for travel, while the rugged exterior and hydration sleeve means you can take it on short outdoor adventures.
In case you need an affordable travel backpack, you can’t go wrong with the Hynes Eagle bag. It has a capacity of 40 liters, which is as much as you get in any carry-on luggage.
But it has much better organizational features than a standard suitcase – multiple compartments, external and internal pockets, and compression straps that let you dictate the size. Plus, this bag has both a sternum strap and a hip belt, for ultimate carrying comfort.
The Loowoko backpack is the best hiking/climbing backpack you can get for less than $50. If you want a rugged outdoor backpack that can carry everything you might need on multi-day expeditions, this is the best bag for you.
With a total capacity of 50 liters and various external attachment points, this will easily fit all the gear you could need on your adventures. And the adjustable harness features thick padding and excellent ventilation, so you don’t even feel the load of the backpack.
Head over to Amazon to see the (low) prices of all these awesome backpacks! And go check out our related posts, for more ideas on awesome bags you can get.