If you are finding yourself facing this unfortunate circumstance, please keep in mind that this is most likely just a temporary setback, and it will get better. During these difficult times, it’s important to be as well equipped as possible, that’s why owning a reliable backpack should be high on your priorities.
Considering the situation, I made sure none of these bags were over $40. This price accounts for the fact that the backpacks are made of high-quality materials and have ample space to store essential items.
The simple thought that all of your life can fit inside one bag might seem daunting first, but when you think about it, there are only a few things that humans require for survival. The most important being food, water, toiletries, and a change of clothes. You can easily add on as per your needs.
The articles below are our recommendations for living on the go.
Best Backpack for Homeless
Marchway Tactical Molle Hydration Backpack
This backpack might seem a little too army-style, but as their clothes are specifically designed for camouflage, this tactical bag will perform the same function and keep your valuables safe from robbers.
At a glance, it might seem bulky, but it has a compact form to fit right over your back. With about 20 inches in length, it has ample storage space, despite the streamlined manufacturing.
The backpack comes with three straps: two of the thick ones will go around your shoulders, which can be adjusted according to a suitable length, and the third strap will go around your waist for maximum support.
The bag has three pockets. The main pocket can hold a 3-liter water bottle, while the other two are for clothing and other essentials. The bag is also water repellant and has a mesh allowing the air to pass through.
Mothybot Hydration Pack
The purpose of owning a hydration backpack is to not have to rely on disposable bottles or have to purchase a secondary flask. These can be filled from any cooler, and the insulated space inside the bag will keep the bottle hot or cold for at least 4 hours.
However, naming it as an insulated bladder seems like a poor choice of words. Maybe they did so due to the bottle’s shape. Also, do not fret; this compartment is leak-proof in case of any spillages.
Besides the bottle pocket, there are three other compartments for storage purposes. These can hold non-perishable food items, spare shoes, and even your wallet. The straps will lie comfortably on your shoulders, and the size of the pack is not too large to cause a hindrance in carrying.
WoneNice Outdoor Sport Daypack
A company with the word “nice” in its name already creates the expectation that their products will be at least nice. Now, this is a backpack with an ample amount of storage.
You can store 50-liters worth of items inside. Liters here does not refer to a liquid, just an overall volumetric capacity. You will have one main compartment where you can keep more substantial items such as cooking utensils, and two zipped pockets for smaller accessories. There are also mesh side-pockets for keeping bottles.
The material of this pack is sturdy. It will protect against tears and scratches while still maintaining airflow through it. Even though the bag itself is waterproof, there is an additional rain cover provided to keep all of your belongings moisture-free.
TETON Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack
You might be thinking why a sports bag might be appropriate for your situation. Generally, kits designed for physical activities such as hiking and cycling, are more lightweight and durable.
Those features are essential if you are going to be spending time outdoors. You do not want the added weight of a bag, nor tearing to occur due to the items inside.
Besides having an 18-liter capacity for storage, this backpack also comes with a 2-liter hydration bladder. The bottle even has a large opening for effective cleaning. You will be excited to learn that this bag is available in a series of colors.
In hindsight, the color may not even be on the list of essential features, but you can pick one that would cheer you up whenever you see it.
Outlander Packable Daypack
Instead of thinking of yourself as homeless, rebrand it into calling yourself an outlander. You were meant to spend this journey in the wilderness. For the said journey, this pack will be your sidekick.
This backpack comes with a fun feature: it can be folded into an inner pocket, which you can zip closed. When you unfold, viola, back into a bag. This bag is a bag for itself as well.
Despite the pack having a volume of 35-liters, it is surprisingly lightweight. There are many pockets, small and large ones, for anything you need to place inside. It even comes with a carabiner in case you need to attach the bag to something.
Finally, you know how zipper flaps get stuck in places, Outlander has omitted them for your ease.
Venture Pal Backpack
I think everyone needs a pal when they are out of their safe zone. This friend does not need to be a living being; it can be any object that will be by your side. Such an item can be this venture pal backpack.
With 40 liters of capacity and multiple pockets, you can easily organize your possessions. There is a separator included for the main compartment in case you are meticulous about placement.
There are specific stress points present in a bag. These are the spots where tears commonly occur, such as shoulder straps that break due to added pressure. Venture Pal has kept this aspect in mind and reinforced trouble spots.
The bottom of the bag also has a double layer, so your goods do not spill out.
SHARKMOUTH Hiking Pack
If you look closely at their logo, it does resemble the jagged teeth of a shark’s mouth. With 20 liters of volume, it is more than enough to keep essential items.
The back compartment contains a water bladder that will be insulated. Then there is a small quick-access pocket for items you would need at hand, such as your phone or a lighter. There is also the main compartment for larger items.
Finally, there is a mesh pocket for small essential objects. These could include energy bars or a swiss knife. Since the pack itself is made of nylon, it is also water-resistant.
Ubon Camping Backpack
Another positive way to think of your circumstances is to consider it as an extended camping trip. You are under the stars every night, with hopefully a fire to keep you warm.
The main compartment of this camping backpack has enough room for a sleeping bag and comes with a divider if you want to place shoes or clothes on top.
Along with the shoulder straps, there is an additional hip strap for the backpack to be completely secure. It also comes with a small pouch which can either be used as additional storage for toiletries or fold your pack in.
Loowoko Hiking Backpack
Similar to camping, hiking also requires hard-wearing backpacks, which are consequently also suited to your needs. This pack comes with eight adjustable straps.
These are also multi-purpose as along with fortifying the bag, you can also use them to tether a sleeping pad. If you happen to encounter some heavy rainfall and can not find shelter in time, the bag has a rain cover that will shield your items.
The bag has a volume of 50 liters, and to offset the weight from the additional capacity, there is sponge lining throughout the thick straps. You also do not need to worry about the backpack making your back sweaty, as it is made from a breathable material that will keep you dry.
Water Buffalo Hydration Pack Backpack
True to its name, the color scheme of this bag resembles a buffalo. You will even find that their logo is in the shape of a buffalo. As being outside required very good hydration, this pack has a 2-liter insulated bladder.
Once filled, the water will retain its coolness for up to 5 hours. The bladder has a tube attached from which you can drink water without removing the whole bottle from inside the bag.
For extra comfort, the straps are padded so that they do not dig into your shoulders. Despite adding in a blanket, food bars, or a map, the pack will still feel non-existent on your back.
If you happen to run into some rain or mud splashes, they will slide right off without damaging your belongings.
Best Backpack for Homeless Buying Guide
Due to the delicate nature of being without a home, this backpack will be akin to your home. It will carry everything you need throughout this phase. Besides storage, you will also need to factor in water resistance, durability, and comfort.
Keep the following pointers in mind when you are selecting a backpack:
Here, you need to keep three factors in mind: water penetration, breathability, and sturdiness. Preferably, go for a nylon-based pack. Even if the bag is not completely waterproof, it should at least let liquids runoff.
Considering you have a cloth bag, there is a high chance if you are spending your days outside, you will encounter rain. Your cloth bag will soak through, which will, in turn, soak all of your belongings inside the pack. Nylon gives this protection of keeping your possessions dry in the rainy season.
There is also the factor of airflow. You do not constantly want moisture on your back; hence the material of the backpack should also contain some mesh to avoid any sweat and discomfort.
Finally, nylon is durable. Try tearing it with your hands. It will be quite fruitless. Cloth, on the other hand, tears easily. When you are placing your life inside a bag, you do not want holes to form, and those items falling out.
I could have suggested backpacks that are more than 70 liters. I did not do that for two reasons.
Firstly, if you have to frequently move around and keep your bag with you at all times, it will be a hassle to carry around such a weight. This way, you also will not be tempted to keep items that are not essential.
Secondly, larger bags come at a higher cost. I wanted this list to be as affordable as possible. Fifty liters and under also have ample space, without weighing you down.
You are going to be carrying this bag around to every place you go. You do not want shoulder straps that would press down on your skin; hence they should be padded.
They should also be adjustable so you can position them wherever the strain is least. Any hip or waist straps should be similarly padded for ease of carrying.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a hydration bladder necessary?
A wide selection of bags includes an insulated bottle. These typically carry 2-3 liters of water, which will be kept at an adequate temperature. You would not need to be in search of water filters continually, and your reliance on plastic bottles will decrease.
Most bladders also come attached to a tube. You can hydrate yourself through the pipe without taking the bottle out of your pack.
Should you buy a suitcase or a backpack?
This would mostly depend on your preference, but suitcases are harder to carry. It would be troublesome carrying a large suitcase in one hand, plus you would have to open up the whole case to get out one item.
With a backpack, you can keep essential things inside easily accessible compartments.
How do I ensure the safety of my backpack?
If your bag has two or three compartments, make sure one or more of the compartments have two zippers. These two zippers can be locked together, and you can securely keep valuable items inside that lock.
This lock can be external, which will halt the movement of the zippers in opposite directions, or at times is a built-in feature.