Amazon's top-selling backpack is only $16— here's why travelers love it

Whether you’re an avid traveler, enjoy the great outdoors or you’re just in search of a versatile backpack, you’re going to love the Gonex 35L Lightweight Packable Backpack.

The $16 pack — which weighs less than 1 pound — is quickly becoming an Amazon bestseller. Verified buyers say the nylon pack is lightweight, roomy, sturdy, durable and versatile for anyone on the go. “Perfect! This backpack was way better than I expected! It is very well made and was very sturdy, and the zippers were of great quality and easy to use, not those cheap zippers that you have to struggle with to open and close with hardware that feels like they’re going to snap off at any given pull! The size was perfect. Not too big and not too small. A decent count of pockets and compartments as to not add to the bulk but with enough to separate your stuff. And the folding down into a little pack is super easy!” raves one reviewer.

The Gonex backpack is made from tear and water-resistant nylon and folds down into a small 9.8 x 7.9-inch pouch, yet boasts features like two inside dividers and an internal mesh zip pocket. On the outside, the foldable bag has an upper zip pocket, two side mesh pockets, a chest strap with a whistle and mesh shoulder straps. “I like its versatility, it’s durable in the rain, and I like the fact that you can transform it into a compact purse-like handbag,” notes another fan.

One price-conscious customer who is pleased with the value writes, “I examine backpacks in every store that carries them. I can say, without a doubt, that the quality/price ratio for this bag has been unmatched in any store I’ve entered. In fact, I’ve yet to see a bag of this build and weight for less than $50 (clearance prices) anywhere.”

Gonex 35L Lightweight Packable Backpack. (Photo: Amazon)

Many travelers who have purchased the Gonex backpack on Amazon use it for everything from cruises to family trips. “My wife and I just got back from an 11-day trip that included a 7-day cruise that visited five ports. This bag got us through a rainforest, more beaches than I can count, and days on the boat. It held up great, and we stuffed it full almost every day,” explains a reviewer. “Honestly one of the best purchases we made for the trip. This bag will travel with us for a long time to come.”

Another writes, “We have a few heavy, padded hiking backpacks by expensive, name-brand companies. They’re too bulky, though, for travel or quick trips with the kids. This has been perfect. I’m so glad we had this on our last road trip- it came in handy for packing umbrellas, jackets and cameras for the mass-transit urban-exploring leg of our trip, as well as water, snacks, first-aid when we went hiking and sunblock, hats and bags of shells when we hit the beach. When we didn’t need it, it folded up to fit in my big “go bag” in the front seat. Since then, it’s been great for trips to the zoo and other little day-trips.”

Gonex 35L Lightweight Packable Backpack. (Photo: Amazon)

Avid outdoor adventure-seekers are also fans: “Hiked Yosemite and Grand Canyon with this bag — PERFECT!” raves one reviewer. “This backpack is amazing. Stores super tiny but unzips to a perfect comfy bag for hiking. Good amount of pockets and sides fit a large Nalgene or Yeti. The shoulder straps gave cushion. The back is pretty thin but you just place your jacket strategically, and you are good to go. Fit trail guide, snacks, camera, car keys, jacket, kids hoodie, two oversized water bottles, cell phone, and small binoculars with room to spare.”

Another adds, “I searched for three weeks to find a 35L, packable day pack to use when not packing my regular, primary backpack and am thrilled with the Gonex pack. It’s the only one with a chest strap that was packable and lightweight and has a small whistle on the chest strap. All the pockets are good sized, and I like the thickness of the straps.”

One fishing enthusiast notes how spacious the pack is, writing, “It held a pair of men’s Caddis Neoprene waders, rolled up nicely, a pair of Cabela’s clunkiest felt-soled wading shoes, my fishing vest, and a few various and sundry bits of tackle, which allowed for a very nice pace both to and from my destination with nothing in my hands but a fishing rod and reel. I barely noticed the pack. I could have put more in the various pockets. There was still room for a water bottle along with one of two small tackle boxes, or perhaps some lunch, though not a feast.”

Gonex 35L Packable Backpack

Gonex 35L Lightweight Packable Backpack. (Photo: Amazon)

Shop it: $16,

Other fans of the versatile backpack include pet owners who love to spend time outside with Fido. “I take my two Great Danes to the dog park almost every day during nice weather and always have to carry plenty of things: plenty of poop bags, a gallon of water, a large water bowl, treats, balls, frisbee’s, etc. all the while juggling two large dogs that are just aching to meet their friends,” explains a reviewer. “With this backpack, I will have both hands free for the dogs and all the things I will need. The bonus with this bag is that there are a couple of zippered pockets, which will be ideal for carrying my stuff: keys, cell phone, and bug spray. And with the side mesh bags, a water bottle for myself or maybe I can slip the ‘ball thrower’ in or secure it with the straps. I do like that there is a sternum strap, which will take the pressure off my shoulders from the weight of a gallon of water.”

At $16 the Gonex 35L Packable Backpack is a versatile essential at a great value. “I’m quite impressed with this bag. I had bought a competitor backpack for my wife which she loves but doesn’t hold a candle to this one,” explains a happy customer. “I am very pleased with this purchase and can recommend it to anyone.”

Shop it: Gonex 35L Packable Backpack, available in five colors, $16,

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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