Review: This Viral Amazon Travel Backpack Fits Everything A Carry-On Would

This Amazon travel backpack is a frugal traveler's dream.

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Remember the days when it didn’t cost an arm and a leg to bring carry-on luggage on a flight? Nowadays, you’re either extremely strategic with a personal item or you drop a bundle on extra luggage. And for those of us who are chronic overpackers, settling for one over the other isn’t worth the headache that ensues. I discovered the solution to traveling with a personal item and it comes in the form of this Amazon travel backpack. 

My friend brought the Amazon Coowoz travel backpack on a girls’ trip to Miami last year. I looked around in disbelief, trying to see where her carry-on luggage was. She assured me that everything she needed for the four-day trip was in that backpack. And she was right. 

What is the Amazon travel backpack? 


We Tried It

Coowoz Travel Backpack

The travel backpack is a lightweight, waterproof travel bag with compartments for clothing, shoes, laptops and more. It's TikTok-viral and can fit as a personal item on most major airlines.

The viral Amazon travel backpack has captured the hearts of frugal travelers everywhere. Travel writers and influencers on TikTok post careful games of packing Tetris, showing just how handy it is for vacation. From the outside, it looks like a standard backpack. But it’s actually an incredible space-saving pouch that holds more than meets the eye.  

Made of waterproof and durable polyester, the backpack is sturdy and withstands bumps on a flight or road trip. It has several (more like many) pockets for storage and safekeeping and comes in more than a dozen colors. It physically feels a bit bulky and more suitable for a camping trip, but once it’s packed, it’s a great space saver.  

Amazon travel backpack features 

Open empty bagAndrea Carrillo/

The best part of the Amazon Coowoz travel backpack is all of its hidden storage. Instead of a half-zip opening like a traditional backpack, this one opens up from end to end, as if you’re unzipping a suitcase. The main compartment fits packing cubes and reveals more compartments for laptops, electronics or travel accessories.  

A wet bag, made of high-density, water-resistant material, keeps dirty or wet clothes separate. At the bottom of the backpack is a section for shoes, keeping them away from clean clothes. A power bank fits in the lining of the bag to connect and charge your phone. Plus, an anti-theft pocket at the back keeps valuables safe. 

The backpack comes in three sizes: large-simple, large and expandable large. It sounds a little confusing, but it’s essentially a small, medium and large system. When empty, all three weigh less than three pounds and align with the personal item dimension requirements of 7 out of 10 major airlines.  

How I tested it 

Side to Side of two travel backpacksAndrea Carrillo/

For longer, farther trips, I usually travel with my Beis Mini Weekender and a hard shell rolling carry-on. On a recent trip to Florida, however, I didn’t want to spend an extra $160(!) on a carry-on with a budget airline. Even with packing cubes and Beis’s extra storage compartment, I still had to stuff some things in a friend’s checked bag—making me wonder if it would’ve been more worth it to just pay for the extra luggage.

To be fair, my hard shell rolling luggage does fit quite a bit. And if I have the extra spending money, I’m happy to splurge. But to give the Amazon travel backpack a fair shot, I strategically laid out everything I’d usually pack in my rolling carry-on for a week-long trip and started to fit it in the backpack. 


I fit two maxi dresses, two pajama sets, three tops, shorts, a workout set and two bathing suits in a medium compressible packing cube. My toiletries fit in a large toiletry bag I got on Amazon and my makeup in another. I usually travel with a hairdryer and flat iron, but only packed the latter for space purposes.

My laptop, Kobo Libra 2, chargers, wallet and glasses fit in the inner storage with a pair of slippers in the bottom compartment. As a rule of thumb, I wear my bulkiest items during travel, including sneakers, jeans and a chunky cardigan. 

Bags opened side by sideAndrea Carrillo/


After making sure everything was zipped and secure, I realized that I still had empty pockets and wiggle room for more items if I wanted to. The backpack didn’t look bulky or overstuffed at all. I repacked everything into my rolling carry-on to compare (without having to use a packing cube) and wasn’t pressed for room in either bag. A win for personal item travelers, especially on budget airlines!

I suppose with a carry-on, I’d be able to bring another personal item. But the Coowoz backpack has a theft-proof pocket for a passport or wallet, water bottle pockets and other hidden pockets for little goods that I’d otherwise pack in a purse. Plus, I’m sure there’d be room for a purse inside as well. 

The only problem is the shoe storage compartment. While it does technically fit a pair of sneakers or boots, it takes away from the main storage. A pair of sandals or slippers work best there (which isn’t too bad if you follow the “wear your heaviest items while traveling” rule). And if you stuff the backpack too tight, you risk tearing the fabric or not being able to use the extra pockets. Packing cubes and organization hacks are your best friend here!

For now, United, Southwest, Delta and American Airlines don’t charge for carry-on luggage. But if you’re a frugal traveler like me, take advantage of this affordable Coowoz option. 


  • Travel backpack with tons of storage and pockets 
  • Separate shoe storage 
  • Fits the personal item dimensions on 7 out of 10 major airlines 
  • Affordable price point 
  • Back padding makes it comfortable to carry 
  • Fits a week’s worth of items if you’re a careful packer


  • If you’re packing chunky shoes, you have to pack around them in the main compartment, which can get clunky 
  • Overpacking can affect the seams and material


What is the best size backpack for airline travel?  

If you’re traveling with a backpack, it will probably count as a personal item. Most airlines require a personal item to be smaller than 18 inches long and 14 inches wide. If you’re using it as a carry-on, most airlines require it to be smaller than 22 inches long and 14 inches wide.  

What size backpack will fit under a plane seat? 

This depends on which airline you’re flying with. But most standard backpacks will fit under a plane seat.  

What other reviewers had to say 

“I bought it as my main carry-on for work flights (only carrying a purse in addition), and I STUFFED it,” writes five-star reviewer Allison B. “I used packing cubes and packed 3.5 days of professional clothing (skirts, tops, dresses), underwear, socks, a bra, pajamas, my quart toiletry bag and random other things.” She also added a laptop, office supplies, other tech gadgets and two pairs of shoes. “The backpack was very comfortable to carry around, and it fit both into the overhead bins and under the airline seat in front of me.” 

“I had to take a lot of weekend trips earlier this year and the carry-on fees were really starting to add up so I purchased this backpack and solved my fee issues!” says verified purchaser Karen H. “It has a built-in charging spot and fully unzips so you can lay it open when packing, not try to stuff things into a backpack that only opens halfway. There are also several more pockets for personal items. A bottle holder on the side and even a padded spot for your laptop or iPad. If you take weekend jaunts this is the backpack you want!”  

“Took this one to Guatemala for a week last fall with my son. It’s deceptively roomy and has a LOT of pockets which is always a requirement for me,” raves five-star reviewer Matt. “Excellent, sturdy material that didn’t let water in when it rained. My 7th-grade son now uses it for school because it’s deep enough for his binders, but not so deep that it looks like he’s carrying a carry-on around.” 

Product comparison 

When compared side by side, the Coowoz and rolling carry-on bags technically fit the same items. You just need to be more calculated and deliberate with the Coowoz. Packing cubes, toiletry bags and organization tools are necessary to make the most of its space. It really comes down to your budget and packing needs. If a capsule wardrobe is feasible on your vacation, try the Coowoz. 

Other travel backpacks offer compact packing too. But the Coowoz maximizes space and hidden compartments to secure everything in place. And for a price of less than $40, it’s truly the most cost-effective option. 

Final verdict 

For any weekend trip or penny-pinching vacation, the Coowoz travel backpack is totally worth the hype. I can fit just about everything I need for a few days (I’d say up to a week at most) and not have to worry about hidden fees, size limits or lost luggage. It fits underneath most airplane seats or even in my lap in the car. The back padding is comfortable and my back thanks me for it! 

While this probably won’t be my first choice on a longer vacation, it’s a spacious packing solution for weekends (even long ones). Be careful of packing it too tight—it’s not indestructible after all. But for the price of this cheap luggage, you really can’t go wrong. 

Where to buy the Amazon travel backpack 

Get the viral Amazon travel backpack, you guessed it, on Amazon. It comes in three sizes and various colorways (all under $45). Consider this pack your new travel buddy!


We Tried It

Coowoz Travel Backpack

The travel backpack is a lightweight, waterproof travel bag with compartments for clothing, shoes, laptops and more. It's TikTok-viral and can fit as a personal item on most major airlines.

Andrea Carrillo
As Associate Shopping Editor at Reader's Digest, Andrea is a lifestyle writer covering all things e-commerce. She has covered streetwear, sustainability and culture for a variety of publications. When she's not on deadline, you can find her reading, collecting vintage fashion and furthering her goal of visiting every country in South America.