Looking for the best travel gadgets for backpackers?!  Have no fear traveler, I put together a list of the most useful and essential gadgets for backpacking out there.

Finding the best gadgets for backpacking isn’t always as obvious as you’d think it should be. You don’t realize you need these travel items and travel accessories until you find yourself in a situation where one or more of these backpack gadgets would be much needed.

Traveling is my passion and I’ve spent many of my younger years roaming the globe on a backpacker budget. Through my years of travel, I’ve learned how to pack or should I say what not to pack as my bag becomes lighter and lighter after every trip.

In fact, I now travel the world full time and live out of a Carry-on Roller Suitcase and Backpack/Camera Bag, I’ve learned that you don’t need much to backpack through Southeast Asia but you do need the best backpacking gadgets.

All the backpacking gadgets that I have listed below will be useful whether you’re backpacking Europe, Southeast Asia, Central America, South America or even Hawaii. These are the best gadgets for backpacking and they make for great gifts.

Best travel gadgets for backpackers

For full transparency, I have sprinkled some affiliate links in this post which gives me a small commission at no extra cost to you if you decided to make a purchase. As always, I would never recommend a product or service that I didn't truely believe in. If you find this post useful, you can also treat Jess to a cup coffee by clicking the icon on the bottom of the page. This will allow me to continue to create more content for you to enjoy ☕️. 

Travel Gear for backpackers

Best Backpacking Travel Gear

Okay, let’s get into all the juicy details of the best backpack gadgets for travelers, starting with the best backpacking travel gear. Having a quality bag to put all of your backpacker gadgets in makes a big difference. 

best travel backpack for backpacking

Osprey Fairview Backpack

Before we dive into all the best travel gadgets for backpackers having a sturdy, functional pack is a must. I have had many travel backpacks in my day and before I started carrying much more camera gear, the best backpacking pack I ever had was the Osprey Fairview.

The Osprey Fairview is small enough that it meets most airline carry on requirements, opens from the front and has a zip-off day pack. The day pack is my favorite feature and I use it on the regular. 

It is large enough that it fits my laptop, external hard drive, wallet/passport, charging cords, pashmina, socks and even snacks. At the time, my partner Joe carried our only camera so I didn’t need more room.

Having a day pack makes the actual act of traveling easier. You can wear the day pack with all of your important items on your back and carry the main pack as a duffle bag because the straps can get zipped away.

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Best Travel Pack for long haul flights
Hiking up Acatenango Volcano

Wandrd Prvke Travel/Camera Bag

The Wandrd Prvke Travel/Camera Bag is the bag that I currently carry and I’m happy to say that I finally found my forever travel bag to take around the world with me. I also roll around this bag if you’re curious.

This bag has everything I need in a backpack. It’s made by Wandrd and it can hold my camera equipment neatly and securely.

Plus I have plenty of room in the top to pack a small bag of extra clothes, small toiletries such as deodorant, sunscreen and makeup, a sweatshirt, book and a few other items.

I travel with the 31L and it’s the perfect size to fit underneath your seat or in the overhead bin on an airplane. It also looks classy so I can be hiking a volcano with it one day and sipping on champagne in first class the next. It goes with all occasions.

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Aloha sling one of the best long haul flight essentials
Bag to hold extra set of clothes for long haul flights
Mid pouch for toiletries on travel days

Aloha Bags

As a backpacker, staying organized is crucial and essential to your sanity. The Aloha Bags are awesome bags that come in a variety of different sizes, are water resistant and look cute.

I wear the Aloha Mini Hip Pack on the daily when I am traveling around a city, in an airport or on a bus. The hip pack isn’t bulky so I can fit it under a jacket and over a tee or just over my tank.

It’s fashionable and I like knowing that I have all my important items close to me. The last thing we want is to be in a foreign country with a lost passport.

I also use this large one for a small set of clothes in and I have this one that holds my sunscreen and deodorant. I pack both of these bags in my travel backpack.

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fold up back pack backpacker gadget

Fold Up Travel Day Pack

A day pack is necessary when you’re exploring a new city or hiking a new trail. You need something to keep your things in and it can’t be too bulky because you are backpacking.

A Fold Up Travel Day Pack is a perfect travel companion. It folds down into a bite sized nugget making it easy to carry around and you’ll use it all the time.

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dry bag for travel

Dry Bag

If you’re headed to a tropical destination, packing a Dry Bag will be used daily. Whether you’re floating down a river in an inner tube in Laos or  kayaking in a blue lagoon in the Philippines, a dry bag keeps your personal items dry and secure.

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Practical backpacker gadgets<br />

Practical Gadgets for Backpacking

This section is full of all the practical gadgets for backpackers that you didn’t know you needed until now.

Leak proof toiletry bottles for traveling

Leak Proof Toiletry Bottles

Ever open up your backpack just to see that your shampoo exploded all over the inside?! Transferring your liquid toiletries from the big bottles into these Leak Proof Toiletry Bottles will prevent leaks or spills.

They are also small enough to be TSA approved if you are carrying on your backpack.  These bottles work great for shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, hand sanitizer, body wash and more.

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Life straw water bottle
Collapsable Water Bottle

Reusable Water Bottle

A Collapsible Water Bottle is the perfect travel companion. It’s easy to travel with especially in airports as you can roll it up to conserve space making it easy to carry in your carry on and unroll once your out of security to fill it up inside the airport.

This way you’ll always have water on hand on the plane, train, bus or whatever type of transportation you are taking. It can easily attach to your bag for easy access, it is leak and spill proof and has a wide mouth easy for cleaning.

A Lifestraw Go Water Bottle is also a great water bottle for backpacking. You can filter water from the sink making it drinkable which is helpful in many countries. You can also filter water from a river if you are on a multi-day trek.

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Luggage lock a practical gadget for backpacker

Luggage Lock

Luggage locks are one of the best travel accessories for backpackers and are a necessity especially if you stay hostels or some sort of shared housing. You want to make sure that your backpack is secure and locked when you are out all day exploring.

A Luggage Lock also comes in handy when you store your bags behind a hotel desk after you’ve checked out if you have a later flight and want to explore some of the morning.

Get a luggage lock that uses a combination instead of a key so you don’t have to ever worry about loosing or having the key on you at all times.  These are some of the best travel locks for backpackers.  You can get a 4 pack of TSA approved luggage locks for under $20.

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Head lamps for hiking

Headlamp

On every backpacking trip I’ve taken, my Headlamp came in handy on more occasions than I can count. A headlamp is perfect for camping, hiking up a volcano in the dark to watch sunrise, trying to pack your bag in the dark in a hostel…you get the point.

A headlamp will be a life savor and it takes up little space in your bag. Whatever you do, don’t forget batteries! Most headlamps take AAA.

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Cellphone Kickstand

Cell Phone Ring Kickstand

This travel gadget is not only useful for a backpacker but it’s just useful in every day life.The ring is attached to the back of your cell phone or case.

The Cell Phone Ring Kickstand is designed for a good finger grip which is perfect for traveling on a busy subway in China or on a crowded bus which prevents the phone from slipping from your hands.

The ring can also be propped out making it a kickstand useful to watch Netflix on your phone once placed on a table or desk. You can also clip your phone to a carabiner on your backpack if you need to fill out forms or use both hands but still want your phone to be in site and on your person.

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Rainfly for your hiking pack

Rain Fly for Your Bag

You never know when you’ll get stuck in the rain.  A Rain Fly for your Bag is an easy backpacker gadget to hook onto the outside of your bag. It doesn’t take up much space but it’s a very useful item during the time it’s needed.

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portable umbrella for traveling

Portable Umbrella

A Portable Umbrella is one of the most essential travel gadgets for backpackers because on a backpacker budget you won’t want to spend the money to buy one when needed.

It’s nice to have when you get caught in a down pour…yes that happens – especially if you backpack through Southeast Asia during monsoon season.

This umbrella is ultra light and mini sized making it easy to carry around anywhere. It comes in multiple colors. I promise you’ll be happy you packed one.

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Sleep Mask

Sleep Mask

You never know when a Sleep Mask will come in handy, especially as a backpacker. If you are on a budget and renting a bed in a hostel you will have less privacy and it may be difficult to fall asleep.

Having a sleep mask is necessary as you can’t always control the lights of your bunk mate. A sleep mask blocks out all of the light around you creating an optimal sleep environment.

A sleep mask is also very useful on the plane and it doesn’t take up much room in your backpack. Spring for one made of memory foam.

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Gadgets for backpackers to stay organized

Travel Gadgets for Backpackers to Stay Organized

This section of best travel gadgets for backpackers is items that help keep you organized. I mentioned this earlier, but organization is key. These items are stylish, functional and make the act of traveling much more convenient. 

Packing Cubes gift idea for travel lovers

Compression Packing Cubes

This has to be one of the best travel gadgets for backpackers and all travelers in general. I don’t know why more people don’t know about packing cubes or maybe the secret’s caught on but, Packing Cubes are simply amazing!

They keep your clothes organized, pressed and folded.The compression packing cubes have a double zipper making them even smaller in size. Packing cubes work great in luggage but also with backpacks, especially if that backpack opens just from the top.

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Womens toiletry bag
Mid pouch for toiletries on travel days

Toiletry Bag

A Toiletry Bag is one of the best gadgets for backpacking because of one thing…communal showers. No more zip lock bags or whatever it is that you were using before.

This toiletry bag has a hook and you can hang it on the back of the shower door. There is a small pouch that zips off that is perfect for makeup as well as three large clear zippered compartments.

I personally use the small Aloha Bags as my toiletry bags. It’s stylish, water resistant and less bulky for taking with you around the world.

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Electronic cords case organizer

Electronic Cords Organizing Case

I’m sure you’re all too familiar with having a gazillion charging cords, I mean you need them for everything now-a-days. Having a case to keep your charging cords detangled and organized is necessary especially when you are backpacking.  

It’s easy to have all your cords in the same place so you’re not rifling around in your bag. This Electronics Cords Organizing Case is waterproof, can hold all your chargers, an external hard drive, extra batteries and more.  

Keep your cords untangled and organized in a nifty zip up pouch.  No more wasting time trying to find the right cord for the right device.  These are the best travel gadgets for backpackers, it keeps you organized, its compact and useful.

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Hat Clip for traveling

Hat Clip

This Hat Clip for travel is an awesome accessory to keep hooked on your backpack. I always have this hat clip on my bag. It’s very sturdy and useful when it’s needed. Plus, I like the way it looks.

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jewelry case travel gadget

Jewelry Case

A Jewelry Case is one of the best travel gadgets for backpackers because its nice to have a concealed safe case to keep your jewelry when you travel.

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Vitamin Pill Case

Vitamin Pill Case for Travel

A compact Vitamin Pill Case is another travel item to stay organized. I use this case to keep melatonin and other just in case pills. A necessary and functional backpacker gadget.

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Electronics for backpackers

Electronic Backpack Gadgets

This section of gadgets for backpacking is all the electronica gear that will make backpacking life way easier.

Power Bank charger a must have travel accessory

External Power Bank

Backpacking and long, uncomfortable bus rides go hand in hand.  A External Power Bank will be a savior because backpacking through a foreign country will leave you sitting in sum rural places that won’t have outlets. You will want your phone charged to keep you entertained.

This external power bank can power your cell for 5 or 6 times before it would run out of juice. Keep your devices charged so you don’t miss out of capturing the moment.

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Power Bank Solar Charger

Solar Panel Power Bank

The Solar Panel Power Bank is a nifty backpacking gadget for the outdoors and traveling. This is perfect for multi-day trekking and overnight backpacking trips in the mountains.

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Universal Adaptor GIft

Universal Adapter

Backpacking around the world means that you will be visiting different countries that have different power outlets. Having a Universal Adapter makes it possible to charge all of your devices without having to buy separate adapters for each country you visit.

This universal adapter is compatible with over 150 countries including popular backpacking spots like Europe and Asia. Plus it has 4 USB ports making it easy to charge multiple devices at once.

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best travel accessory of a long haul flight headphones

Noise Canceling Headphones

These Bose headphones are definitely an investment but worth every penny. They completely cancel out all the noise around you. Pair this with a sleep mask and you’ll be out like a light.

I first wore these on a flight when I was upgraded to first class and I immediately became a fan. I just knew I had to get a pair for myself.

I have sensitive ears and I wore these the entire flight. They are comfortable around your ears, has bluetooth and Alexa built in. This luxury backpacker item belongs on your Christmas list.

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Apple AirTags a top travel hack

Apple AirTags

Apple AirTags are not only great gadgets for backpackers but they are essential for long haul flights. I have Apple AirTags in my travel pack and my luggage just in case we have to put it on top of a bus or store it behind reception at a hotel.

With an AirTag, you’ll always know where your most valuable things are. And when you travel the world full time out of a suitcase, the most valuable things you own are being toted around with you.

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Bose speaker

Portable Speaker

Okay so this travel gadget isn’t a travel essential but more of a luxury because you never know when you might have to break into an impromptu dance party and having a Portable Speaker on hand only amplifies the experience.

This speaker is small, portable and can fit in your day pack or carry on luggage. I always travel with a portable Bose speaker and use it when  I’m getting ready in your hotel room, to watch Netflix, while I’m hiking, camping, you name it – I use it.

The speaker is water proof, has a battery life of 12 hours and has a wireless range of 30 feet.  This luxury backpacking gadget is worth the splurge.

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E reader

E-Reader

Backpacking can be very time consuming. There will be a lot of moments where you are sitting, waiting, and wishing for your bus to arrive or leave again.

A Kindle E-Reader are perfect travel accessories to help pass the time and makes it possible to travel with multiple different books and magazines. This Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader comes with up to 32 GB of storage and is waterproof.

This makes it easy to read while you’re lets say on the beach in Maui or laying by the pool. There is a built in light so you can read day or night, indoors or out. The best part is the battery life as lasts for weeks off of only one charge.

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Cool backpacker gadgets

Cool Backpacking Gadgets

Finally, what we all came to this article for, the cool backpacking gadgets. These nifty things were invented for the backpack in mind.

Travel Door Alarm

Travel Door Alarm

This is one of the coolest travel gadgets out there and traveling with a door alarm always gives you extra peace of mind. If you stay in a lot of Airbnb’s or hotels this is a must in my opinion especially if you’re a solo female traveler.

This Travel Door Alarm is easy to use and set up. Slide the piece with the two blades by holding them together and place them into the crack between the door and doorframe.

The other part connected by the cord loops around the door handle. Once you are done, set the alarm and voila! This alarm is compact and portable and weighs less than 2 ounces.

It can be used on a front door in an airbnb, a bedroom, hotel room and even in windows. The alarm when triggered sounds of a loud and attention grabbing high pitched sound that is loud enough to alert your neighbors, wake you from your sleep and/or deter thieves.

This travel item also has a built in LED flashlight which provides an additional security feature perfect when traveling, when you’re in an unfamiliar environment and when it’s dark.

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Utility Credit Card

Utility credit card

You never know when you could possibly get into a jam. A utility credit card that easily slides and fits into your wallet is the solution.

This Utility Credit Card is a multifunctional tool that can be a wrench, bottle opener, screwdriver, prybar, cord cutter, measuring & drafting tool, camping can opener and more.

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Portable fan

Handheld rechargeable Fan for the Iphone

You think this is a silly travel gadget until you’re stuck on a 12 hour bus ride from Laos to Cambodia with no A/C and a sweaty guy next to you who hasn’t showered in weeks. Having a portable, Handheld Fan is a guaranteed way to keep cool.

The small fan doubles as a backup power bank and flashlight. Plus, it is pocket-sized, lightweight making it easy to carry and use anywhere when traveling.

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Travel Hair Dryer

Nano Hair Dryer

Just because you’re backpacking, doesn’t mean you can’t style your hair. This Nano Hair Dryer is small, making it easy to throw in the bottle of your backpack.

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Travel Scarf

Infinity Scarf

The Zero Grid Infinity Scarf has hidden zipper pockets which serve as secret storage for a passport, ID, credit cards, cash, cellphone, and other valuables. This is perfect to wear around when you are traveling in a cooler place.

This cozy travel item converts to a blanket and you can wear it multiple ways including as a scarf, wrap, shawl or hoodie.

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Portable utensils for traveling

Portable Utensils

Portable Utensils come in handy when you least expect it. They are also handy when you’re in an Asian country and you don’t know how to use chopsticks.

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Inflatable Neck Pillow
Travel pillow

Travel Pillow

Finding adequate pillows while you’re traveling (especially on a backpacker budget) is a hard task to accomplish when you’re on the road.

This Inflatable Neck Pillow is ergonomically designed, perfect for both long bus rides or flights.  This Travel Pillow compresses down and is perfect for hostel beds, trains, planes, buses and more.

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Airplane in flight Mount

Universal Airplane in Flight Mount

The Universal Airplane in Flight Mount is a great travel accessory if you want to watch movies on an airplane or bus but don’t want to hold your phone the entire time.

It’s compact and light weight making it easy to take with you anywhere. You didn’t know you needed this backpacker gadget until now.

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Travel Clothesline

Travel Clothesline

A Travel Clothesline is a very useful travel accessory. This backpacker gadget is perfect for backpacking, traveling or camping. The suction cups on the end make it easy to attach to windows or shower stalls.

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Camera Gear | What’s in My Bag

I’ve since graduated from a backpacker to a full time working travel blogger so my setup has changed a little over the years. Below I’ll list all my favorite camera gear that I travel with.

If you’re just planning a backing packing trip through Thailand and aren’t trying to make a living off of your photographs and videos, you won’t need as much gear as me. I would absolutely bring a GoPro and accessories though.

I'm Jess Traveling in Ephesus Turkey
on top of a temple in Tikal Guatemala

Joe holds most of the camera equipment but I still hold my fair share, especially since now we travel with two full frame cameras, a drone and a gopro. Plus all the accessories.

Our Main Cameras – the Sony & the Canon. The Sony Alpha 7R V is the camera I carry around and is the newest addition to the family. We vlog with this camera and with the GoPro. We use this Mic.

Joe shoots with the Canon 5D Mark IV and carries several lenses. Joe shoots all the photography on this blog and he is working on setting up his print shop. We don’t travel light when it come to photography gear.

GoPro Creators Addition – Everyone knows that the GoPro is an awesome camera. I film a lot of our vlogs with the gopro. I’m outside a lot. The GoPro with the media housing allows me to film on top of a mountain and get good audio.

The media mod comes with a mic, wind buffer and light. It’s compact and less intrusive. This is a benefit if you vlog in foreign destinations like me.

Joby Gorillapod – This is the tripod that I have on the gopro. You can wrap it around poles and find a level spot on the ground when your outside. It’s lightweight and necessary for those time lapses.

DJI Mini Pro 3 – After loosing our first drone somewhere in the Albanian Alps, we replaced/upgraded to the Mini Pro III plus we have filters for the drone.

Electronic Cords Organizer – I love this thing. It keeps all my cords organized, theres a mesh pocket for extra memory cards and I can fit 4 external SAN Discos inside the case zipped up. I will never travel without this travel item again.

Peak Design Tripod – It’s lightweight and easy to travel with, among other things. We also have the Peak Design Clipwhich is perfect when we’re on the go or on a hike.

San Discs – After having several external hard drives malfunctions and almost loosing all of our data from the Balkans, we found replacements that are lightweight, smaller in size and much more reliable.

There’s no spinning disc inside the SAN Discs. They’re basically a giant memory card. This allows us to store all of our content like videos, raw format pictures and drone footage in one place and not have to worry about not enough memory or if it will break.

Memory Cards – The quality of your memory cards will affect the outcome of your footage.

Hiking boots on Acatenango Trail

More Travel Gear Guides

If you love all things travel, check out the guides below for gift ideas, must-have travel accessories, long haul flight essentials and how to travel on a budget.

33 Ways to Travel on a Budget –  33 ways to travel the world on a backpacker budget.

Must-Have Long Haul Essentials – Everything you need to pack and bring with you on a long haul economy flight to make it more comfortable and enjoyable.

20 Must-Have Travel Accessories – These travel accessories make traveling smoother and more comfortable.

35 Unique & Useful Travel Accessories – Check out the most unique and useful travel gadgets out there.

The Best Gifts for Travel Lovers – Thoughtful ideas on what to give the traveler in your life.

What’s in my Bag – A page full of my favorite products and tested travel gear. These are products that I swear by and have made my life so much better.

Final Thoughts on the Best Travel Backpack Gadgets

Those are the best travel gadgets for backpacking that will only enhance your travel experiences. If you found this article helpful, let fellow travelers know in the comments below 👇.

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Travel gadgets for backpackers with I'm Jess Traveling
Travel gadgets for backpackers with I'm Jess Traveling
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