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9 Best Digital Nomad Luggage Pieces

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Looking for the best digital nomad luggage? Let me help! I’ve been living as a digital nomad for the last five years and have gone through my share of luggage.

While I started off with a backpack, I then transitioned to a suitcase and never looked back. In this guide, I’m sharing the most reliable backpacks and suitcases for digital nomads to use.

As a nomad, your luggage is one of the most important considerations since it’s holding all your important gear and belongings.

As you jet-set from one destination to another, the importance of reliable and practical luggage cannot be overstated.

Whether you prefer the ease of a suitcase or the versatility of a backpack, I’ve compiled this list of the best luggage for long-term travel, ensuring you travel smart and stress-free.

Overview: Digital nomad luggage

Best Digital Nomad BagsCarry-onWeightCapacity
Nomatic carry-on suitcase Yes7.46 lbs37L
AwayCarry-On flex suitcase Yes8.15 lbs39.8L (46.7L when expanded)
Coolife hard-shell carry-on suitcaseYes 6.38 lbs38L
Nomatic check-in bagNo12.32 lbs78L – 90L (expanded)
The Samsonite HyperFlexNo 10.4 lbs
The Venturesafe Anti-Theft packYes4.3 lbs45L
Nomatic 40L Travel bag Yes3.42 lbs40L
the Osprey Farpoint 40 backpackYes3.486 lbs40L
The Thule Landmark Travel BackpackNo4 lbs60L
Overview of the best luggage for long-term travel

Carry-on Digital Nomad Suitcases

In my opinion, carry-on luggage is the way to go for digital nomads. It’s convenient and will save you a lot of money in the long run by not having to pay baggage fees.

The only downside is that you have limitations in terms of size and weight stipulated by the airlines.

I’ve selected a few carry-on backpack and suitcase options for digital nomads. They are all highly rated and should more than cover your needs.

#1. Nomatic 37L Carry-on Suitcase

lora in thailand with nomatic carry-on suitcase, behind her is the ocean.

This Nomatic carry-on suitcase is what I switched to when I went from backpack to suitcase. It’s from Nomatic, a company that designs gear for digital nomads.

Like all their products, the carry-on suitcase is incredibly well designed, with every inch of space serving a purpose.

It uses a compression system with straps to pack down what you have in the suitcase.

I also use several Nomatic accessories (shoe bag, toiletry bag, and compression cube), which all fit perfectly in the bag and make it easy to pack.

The exterior is a hard shell durable polycarbonate case with a high-quality zipper. At the top, there’s a TSA-approved lock, so you can keep your belongings safe while you’re away from them.

The handle is a 3 stage aluminum handle that pulls up and down seamlessly, and the silent Hinomoto Wheels make it easy to take and twirl around anywhere you go. Unlike many suitcases I’ve had in the past, this move one moves seamlessly.

The Nomatic carry-on classic is designed for 3-5 days of travel, although I traveled the world full-time using it and a backpack for years.

Living out of a carrot does limit what you can buy abroad. I usually live in warm digital nomad destinations like Thailand and Mexico, which makes living out of a carry-on much more manageable as most of my clothes are lightweight.

There’s also the Nomatic carry-on pro, which has extra space for your electronics.

I keep mine separately in a backpack as I have several cameras, but if you only have a laptop, the pro carry-on may be a better option. The video below compares the two:

#2. Away Carry-On Flex

The AwayCarry-On flex suitcase is a top choice for digital nomads.

This hardshell suitcase is designed to adapt to your ever-changing travel needs, making layovers, extended stays, and souvenir shopping a breeze.

Say goodbye to packing struggles with the innovative Flex Feature. When you need extra space, simply unzip the Flex expansion to create an additional 2.25″ (6 cm) of room.

It’s the ideal solution for fitting in those last-minute items or treasured souvenirs acquired during your adventures, making this one of the best suitcases for long-term travel.

It fits the carry-on size requirements when not fully expanded, ensuring you can keep your essentials close and avoid baggage claim waits.

However, for longer journeys or when you need more room, fully flex the suitcase, and it seamlessly transforms into checked luggage. It’s the ultimate flexibility for any travel scenario.

Despite its adaptability, the Away Carry-On Flex doesn’t compromise on the features you love. Navigating busy airports and bustling streets is effortless with the Away Carry-On Flex’s 360° spinner wheels.

#3. Coolife Expandable Carry-on Suitcase

The Coolife hard-shell carry-on suitcase is an excellent option for digital nomad suitcases.

It’s lightweight, durable, and lockable, making this a great choice.

The best part – it’s less than 100 USD, making it significantly cheaper than other options. It also comes with a 2-year warranty. However, this is much less than other bags, which generally carry a lifetime warranty.

Like anything, you pay for what you get. And in my experience, paying more for a quality bag is worth it in the long term.

Checked suitcases for digital nomads

If you’re traveling through multiple seasons or want more space, here are the best check-in suitcases for digital nomads.

#4. Nomatic check-in travel bag

The Nomatic check-in bag is like the big brother of the Nomatic carry-on. It’s a similar design but with loads more space.

It uses a magnetic compression system that maximizes volume in a virtually indestructible case. It can fit 78L – 90L when it’s expanded, so combined with Nomatic accessories, you can fit an extensive wardrobe in here.

It has the same high-quality polycarbonate case, zips, and aluminum handles as the Nomatic carry-on, so this bag is built to last.

Nomatic also has fantastic customer service. I once sent a service request for my Nomatic backpack to fix a zipper, and they sent me a brand-new digital nomad bag!

#5. Samsonite Hyperflex

The Samsonite HyperFlex is a remarkable hardside spinner designed to adapt to every travel possibility while standing strong against the challenges of the road.

Crafted with 100% polypropylene, the Samsonite HyperFlex boasts extreme durability, ensuring it can endure the most rigorous adventures. Its modern linear texture adds a touch of contemporary style and reduces the visibility of scratches, keeping your suitcase looking pristine trip after trip.

Thanks to its four dual airflow spinner wheels, you can effortlessly glide your upright case in any direction, eliminating the strain and hassle of carrying heavy luggage.

Expandable by 1.5 inches, this suitcase offers additional packing capacity when you need to bring back more souvenirs or essentials. Embrace the freedom to pack without limitations.

Its multi-stage pull handle allows you to customize the height, offering a more comfortable experience tailored to your preference. Say goodbye to awkward pulling and hello to effortless maneuvering.

Carry on- travel backpacks for Digital Nomads

Here are a few options for the best carry-on digital nomad backpacks.

#6. Venturesafe EXP45 Anti-Theft Carry-On Travel Pack

The Venturesafe Anti-Theft pack is the ultimate security-smart carry-on pack for digital nomads. So if security is your main concern, look no further.

With five anti-theft features built-in, you can focus on exploring without worry. The book-style opening of the main compartment allows easy access to all your gear, while the interlocking zippers and stainless steel cable can be secured to the Roobar Locking System. This innovative system centralizes all zippers to one point, making it possible to lock the bag to a secure fixture, deterring potential thieves.

The Venturesafe® EXP45 is not just about security—it also caters to your comfort. The pack includes a 15-inch compatible laptop sleeve, ensuring your essential tech devices stay protected and easily accessible. The padded shoulder straps and waist strap offer extra support, and when not in use, they can be conveniently tucked away during transit

#7. Nomatic Travel Bag

lora wearing a digital nomad backpack

The Nomatic 40L Travel bag is the bag that I traveled with for many years in my backpacking days.

The Nomatic travel bag is perfect for those 3 – 7 day trips but can be used for more extended travel (I traveled the world full-time for years using this bag).

One of the best features of this bag is the ingenious strap system. Designed for ultimate comfort, this backpack’s adjustable straps are strategically placed to distribute the weight evenly, reducing strain on your shoulders and back. It’s the perfect solution for those long walks exploring new cities or trekking through the great outdoors.

The Nomatic 40L Travel Backpack is a master of organization. Equipped with many thoughtful compartments, you can easily keep your belongings tidy. From a dedicated laptop pocket to separate compartments for shoes and water bottles, everything has its place.

No need to worry about sudden rain showers or accidental spills, as the Nomatic 40L Travel Backpack features a water-resistant exterior, keeping your gear safe and dry during unexpected weather conditions. Now you can embrace any adventure, rain or shine, with peace of mind.

With more than 20 innovative features, it really is an excellent bag for digital nomads. It’s both durable and water resistant and is, of course, within airline size limits.

#8. Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack

Part of the Farpoint Family, the Osprey Farpoint 40 backpack is built to cater to the needs of fast-moving globetrotters, offering a perfect blend of practical travel functionality and serious backpacking features.

The fine-tunable torso adjustments, load-lifting LightWire frames, breathable harnesses and hip belts ensure you experience superior comfort during your adventures.

The internal organization is designed to keep your belongings neatly arranged and easily accessible. Whether you’re packing your whole kit or slimming down for excursions, the rugged compression straps ensure your carry remains tight and stable throughout your journey.

Sized to meet most domestic carry-on requirements, this backpack eliminates the need to wait at baggage claim and ensures your essentials are always within reach.

The Farpoint 40 features a quick-access zippered laptop/tablet sleeve that can safeguard devices up to 16 inches in size. Now you can keep your technology secure while staying connected on the go.

Checked digital nomad backpacks

When it comes to the best checked luggage for digital nomads, these are some of the best backpacks:

Osprey makes a larger backpack which is a solid option, along with the Thule landmark travel backpack:

#9. Thule Landmark Travel Backpack

The Thule Landmark Travel Backpack is one of the best nomad travel bags.

The SafeZone compartment shields your phone, sunglasses, and small valuables, providing peace of mind in unfamiliar areas. The Hidden CashStash pocket also keeps your passport and money discreetly secure, deterring potential thieves.

Thule takes security seriously, and the Landmark Travel Backpack incorporates innovative LoopLocks to secure zipper pulls to the bag, effectively deterring theft attempts. With this added protection, you can focus on exploring without worrying about your belongings.

Designed for your comfort, the Landmark Travel Backpack features contoured shoulder straps and a hip belt that tucks away when not in use. The built-in sternum strap whistle can be easily moved from the main backpack to the daypack, ensuring easy access to safety features.

The Landmark Backpack comes with a removable 20L add-on daypack, providing additional storage and convenience for your travels. It features a dedicated 15″ MacBook storage space, keeping your tech essentials protected and accessible.

With a combined packing space of 60L from the 40L main bag and 20L add-on daypack, the Thule Landmark Travel Backpack offers plenty of room for all your essentials. You can pack everything you need for your long-term travels and have it all easily accessible.

Best personal item bag: Nomad Lane Bento Bag

To go with your luggage, the Nomad Lane Bento Bag is the perfect personal item bag for jet-setting digital nomads.

The Nomad Lane Bento Bag opens down the middle like a suitcase, making packing and accessing your belongings a breeze. Say goodbye to rummaging through cluttered bags—stay organized and stress-free with this smartly designed personal item.

It comes with a toiletry pouch, tech organizer, and a detachable adjustable shoulder/cross-body strap, allowing you to personalize your packing and stay organized on the go.

The Bento Bag is crafted to fit perfectly under most standard US airline seats, offering the ideal solution for keeping your essentials within reach throughout your flight. Embrace hassle-free boarding and deplaning, and avoid the need for overhead bin space.

Protect your valuable tech gear with the Bento Bag’s padded laptop sleeve, designed to accommodate laptops up to 16 inches in size.

The Nomad Lane Bento Bag exudes sophistication with its premium LWG-certified leather handles, adding a touch of luxury to your travel experience. It’s the best travel bag for digital nomads!

Suitcase on luggage conveyor belt in the baggage claim at airport

Carry-on Luggage vs. Checked bags

The type of remote work you do will determine the size and type of bag or suitcase you require.

Some digital nomads only require a laptop and an internet connection to be able to work. However, others are not so lucky and will have to cart a lot of heavy gear.

If you often take planes, one of the most important considerations is whether or not to have carry-on bags or checked bags.

Let’s take a look at the two options and why choosing one of the other might be favorable.

Pros and cons of Carry-on Luggage

Carry-on luggage, also called hand luggage or cabin luggage, doesn’t need to be checked in at the airport.

You arrive with it, pass the all-clear at security, and take it onto the plane.

It never leaves you, except when it’s in the overhead storage locker above or under the seat in front of you.

There are several carry-on luggage pros, such as:

  • No need to check a bag which saves you time at the airport
  • No queue to get your bag at your destination, again saving you time
  • Flights are cheaper without a checked bag
  • No risk of lost luggage 
  • Your luggage is lighter and more compact
  • Less chance of your personal items getting damaged
  • It’s easier to move around
  • No risk of overpacking, as you don’t have the space

With everything in life, there are, unfortunately, a few cons with carry-on luggage:

  • There are many prohibited items that you can’t carry with you (fishing equipment, trekking poles, pocket knives)
  • There is a strict weight limit, usually around 7kgs (15 lbs), depending on the airline
  • Aside from the weight limits, there is a size limit on your luggage (to fit into the overhead locker)
  • You have to constantly carry your luggage with you throughout the airport, even after check-in
  • There is a limit to the amount of liquid you can take with you (100ml or 3.4 oz)
  • Some budget airlines charge for carry-on luggage 
  • You often have to fight for space with other passengers in the overhead lockers
  • Your clothing options will be limited, so it isn’t easy to pack for multiple seasons
  • You will have to do more laundry on your trip
  • No space for special items and souvenirs

Overall, only having a carry-on bag can be a great option for those digital nomads who don’t have a lot of gear, like to travel light, and are generally not traveling too far and wide for an extended period.

digital nomad with luggage in airport

Now let’s look at the pros and cons of checked luggage.

Pros and cons of Checked Bags

Checked bags refer to luggage stored in an airplane’s cargo hold, in the luggage hold of a bus, or overhead luggage stores on a train.

The plus side of taking hold bags on a bus or train is that you don’t have to pay for them (in my experience, at least).

An airplane is a different story, however.

Sometimes, a checked bag is the only option, especially when going away for long periods or if you’re traveling with specialized equipment.

Let’s look at the pros of checked bags first:

  • There are fewer restrictions on items when using checked bags
  • There are better weight allowances (most airlines give at least one 23 kg/50lb bag, while some, such as Emirates and Qatar, allow two)
  • Checked bags can be much larger
  • Once you check your bag in, you don’t have to carry it around the airport
  • You can pack a much larger wardrobe and cover all seasons
  • Laundry is not as much of a problem as you’ll have more clothes 
  • You can pack special items and souvenirs 

Once again, there are cons associated with checked luggage. These are as follows:

  • Checked baggage will cost you money, especially on budget airlines (expect to pay between $25 and $50 one way)
  • Checked luggage will also take more time (checking bags in, waiting for them afterward)
  • Your luggage could get lost by the airline
  • Your luggage could get damaged during loading, travel, and unloading
  • There’s the risk of over-packing
  • You can’t fly on standby 
  • It’s more challenging to move around with more luggage that is heavier 
digital nomad suitcase unpacked

Factors to consider when choosing your digital nomad luggage

Size and Capacity: Ensure the luggage meets your travel needs without being too bulky or cumbersome.

Weight: Opt for lightweight luggage to avoid excess baggage fees and make traveling more comfortable.

Organization Features: Look for luggage with multiple compartments, pockets, and organizers to keep your belongings neat and easily accessible.

Mobility: Choose luggage with smooth-rolling wheels or comfortable backpack straps for easy mobility, especially when navigating busy airports and streets.

Durability: Invest in luggage with durable materials and construction to withstand the rigors of frequent travel and different digital nomad destinations.

Security Features: Consider luggage with anti-theft features, lockable zippers, and RFID-blocking pockets to keep your valuables safe during your journeys.

Comfort: If choosing a backpack, ensure it has padded shoulder straps and a supportive back panel for comfortable carrying over extended periods.

TSA-Approved: Check if the luggage is TSA-approved for hassle-free security checks at airports.

Carry-On Compatibility: For ease and flexibility during air travel, ensure your luggage meets carry-on size restrictions for most airlines.

Tech-Friendly: Look for luggage with dedicated padded compartments to protect your tech devices like laptops or tablets.

Versatility: Consider if the luggage has convertible features, detachable daypacks, or additional attachments for increased flexibility and adaptability.

Weather Resistance: Choose luggage with weather-resistant materials to keep your belongings dry and safe in various weather conditions.

Style: Find luggage that matches your style and preference, making you feel confident and comfortable during your travels.

Budget: Set a budget and look for luggage options that offer the best value for your money without compromising on quality.

By considering these factors, you can choose the perfect digital nomad luggage that aligns with your travel style, destination, and individual needs, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable travel experience.

suitcase being packed with clothes, phone, and sunhat

Accessories for Digital Nomads

Here’s some extra digital nomad gear to pack with you.

  • An international plug adapter is an absolute must! It will ensure you can plug your devices into all power outlets around the world and stay charged!
  • A power bank – will ensure you aren’t without power, even in the most remote locations. 
  • A portable Wi-Fi router – this will keep you connected to the internet throughout your travels.
  • A USB stick/external hard drive – perfect for storing all your work and photos from your travels.
  • An extension cord – Sometimes a necessity when at a coffee shop where you don’t have a conveniently located plug
  • Packing cubes – ideal for saving space in your luggage. I love the compression ones by Nomatic.
  • Noise-canceling headphones a somewhat luxury item, they are great for planes, trains, and buses but also in noisy coffee shops (thank me later).
  • Laptop stand – I have no idea why it took so long to get one of these. It’s an affordable, lightweight accessory that will make a massive difference for your back.

Don’t forget digital nomad health insurance!

Did you know there is medical insurance MADE for digital nomads? SafetyWing is the travel insurance I use to protect myself abroad from unexpected medical expenses.

It’s only 45 USD a month and covers most of the world. It works on a subscription service, so you can stop and start it as needed – even once you’re abroad! You can read my full SafetyWing review here.

safetywing infographic explaining what's covered in their insurance policy

FAQ: Best luggage for digital nomads

How can I travel without a suitcase?

Traveling without a suitcase is possible by opting for a high-quality travel backpack with ample storage space and using compression packing cubes and minimalist packing to maximize space and organization.

Are there backpacks with dedicated compartments for tech devices like laptops and tablets?

Yes, many digital nomad backpacks offer padded sleeves or compartments designed to securely protect and store laptops, tablets, and other tech essentials.

Can I use carry-on-sized luggage for all my travels as a digital nomad?

While carry-on-sized luggage is most convenient, there may be instances when checked luggage is necessary, depending on the destination. That said, I traveled the world for years carry-on only.

Do digital nomad backpacks come with anti-theft features?

Many backpacks designed for digital nomads come with anti-theft features, such as lockable zippers, RFID-blocking pockets, and hidden compartments to secure your belongings.

Is a backpack or a suitcase better for digital nomads?

Backpacks offer better mobility and versatility for those who prefer to move around frequently and navigate through crowded places. Suitcases provide more structured packing and are ideal for travelers who prioritize organization and ease of rolling their luggage.

What is the best digital nomad luggage?

Some popular options include versatile backpacks with anti-theft features, expandable suitcases for extra packing space, and carry-on bags that meet airline size requirements.

Final thoughts: What is the best digital nomad luggage?

In the world of digital nomads, finding the perfect luggage is an essential aspect of a seamless travel experience.

Some popular options include versatile backpacks with anti-theft features, expandable suitcases for extra packing space, and carry-on bags that meet airline size requirements.

Remember, the best luggage for digital nomads depends on your travel style, destination, and personal preferences. Consider the features that matter most to you, and choose a suitcase or backpack that fits your unique needs.

For me, that’s the Nomatic carry-on classic!

As you set out on your nomadic adventures, trust in the quality and reliability of these luggage options. With the right luggage, you can focus on what truly matters—exploring new cultures, creating lasting memories, and embracing the freedom of life on the road.

Jumping into the digital nomad lifestyle? Check out these posts!

picture of yellow suitcase with overlay text that reads the best digital nomad luggage


  • Lora Pope

    Lora is a full-time digital nomad on a quest to visit every country in the world and pet as many dogs as she can along the way. Over the last 15 years, she has traveled to 70+ countries and six continents solo. She currently calls Puerto Vallarta, Mexico home and enjoys ending each day with sunset and tacos on the beach.

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  1. Dani Koffer says:

    The way you break down the essentials and share your personal insights is truly invaluable. From space-saving packing cubes to versatile clothing choices, you’ve covered it all. Your tips not only help us pack efficiently but also remind us of the freedom that comes with embracing a digital nomad lifestyle. Your passion for travel shines through every word, and it’s clear that you’ve mastered the art of traveling light yet fully prepared. Thanks for being our packing guru and guiding us on the path to exploring the world with ease and joy!