How to Choose a Digital Nomad Backpack
When you're a digital nomad, travel isn't a vacation; it's your life.
Conventional luggage and travel backpacks designed for vacationers aren't ideal choices for a life that blends work with travel. You need luggage designed for the way YOU live.
Carry Your Whole Life
Your packing list doesn't stop at toiletries and clothing. A digital nomad backpack should carry the essentials for life on the road, as well as the tools to do your job.
Pack the absolute essentials--the things you cannot do without and would scramble to replace immediately if lost--in a travel backpack. Make sure the backpack qualifies as a carry on, because you don't want to entrust your precious laptop and core wardrobe to an airline. Your backpack should be roomy enough to carry what you need, but small enough to keep you feeling agile.
You should be able to pack the following in your digital nomad backpack:
- Core capsule wardrobe (tops and bottoms, plus socks and underwear)
- Mobile office (computer, headphones, chargers, mouse, etc)
- Documents (passport, yellow fever card, etc)
- A few extras (entertainment on the plane, things that keep you comfortable on the road).
If your packing list is longer, consider using a luggage system designed for digital nomads. You'll still want to pack the essentials in your digital nomad backpack, which will double as your daily work bag. Store everything else you own in a duffle. A duffle is more ideal than a rolling bag because it's lightweight and more agile (think: steep stairs up to an Airbnb or cobblestone streets), and you'll want something shaped like a trunk for maximum packing space.
Transition Quickly From Travel to Work
Digital nomad life has a unique luggage requirement that vacationers don't face: your backpack needs to double as a day-to-day work bag.
Some nomads address this challenge by packing a lightweight daypack inside of their luggage. This method is great for a two-week vacation, but it can be frustrating to carry an extra bag when you're traveling indefinitely. The most ideal scenario is a digital nomad backpack that serves as both a carry on AND a day-to-day bag.
If you choose a digital nomad backpack that transitions seamlessly, like the Homebase, there's no need for extra bags. When you arrive in a new city, simply remove your packing cube full of clothes and leave your electronics inside the backpack. You'll go from travel mode to work mode in a matter of seconds.
Built to Withstand Your Adventures
You're bound to be in a few stressful situations as a digital nomad. Some of those situations are tough to plan for, like getting robbed or stranded mid-layover due to a cancelled flight. It's easy, however, to avoid a luggage-based emergency by simply choosing highly functional luggage.
Make sure to prioritize weather resistance, as you'll undoubtedly find yourself lost in the middle of a drizzling city or stuck on a tuk-tuk in the rain at some point. Waterproof sailcloth, like the Homebase's fabric, is the best luggage material for weather resistance. Sailcloth is the most durable and the waterproof coatings last longer than traditional fabrics.
Nobody wants to deal with a broken zipper or ripped strap while in a remote corner of the world, so choosing a bag that prioritizes durability is crucial. The Homebase uses top-of-the-line YKK zippers and Duraflex buckles in addition to abrasion-resistant sailcloth, so you'll be able to travel without worrying about whether something will break.
After All of That, It Still Needs to be Lightweight
If you've been a digital nomad for a little while, packing light is one of your areas of expertise. Since you've learned how to travel minimally with just the items that work for you, it makes sense to find a bag that won't (literally) weigh you down.
Weight is important, but it's not the only thing that matters. Most ultralight bags sacrifice other areas of function (like ergonomics, weather resistance, and durability) to make the lightest bag possible. Your luggage is your constant companion on the road, and an ultralight bag is an unideal choice because of those sacrifices.
Instead, opt for a highly functional bag that is as lightweight as possible without making sacrifices. At just 2.3 pounds, the Homebase is a lightweight backpack that is still weather resistant and padded for comfort. It won't weigh you down, and it will keep your stuff (and your back) safe and happy.
The Best Digital Nomad Backpack
You can carry everything you need for life as a digital nomad in the Homebase backpack. Sweat-wicking Ariaprene padding will keep your shoulders comfortable, LiteSkin waterproof sailcloth will protect your stuff, and the included packing cube will make it easy to transition seamlessly from travel to work.
Read more about how we designed the Homebase to be the ideal backpack for digital nomads.