The Best Carry-On Backpacks of 2024

By: JEREMY SCOTT FOSTER | Pulished on 2024-01-29

13. Mission Workshop Radian: Best Modular Carry-On Backpack

The Best Carry-On Backpacks of 2024-Trip Advise

The Radian is a modular, adjustable and customizable powerhouse of a backpack that can be fine-tuned to fit just about any adventure you have in mind.


I am truly blown away by just how much you can adjust this bag to suit your own personal style. The roll top can be used with or without the velcro and with or without the Duraflex strap. Or just unzip the entire front panel and pack it like a suitcase—your style, your choice.


The harness system continues this trend by being incredibly plush, fully adjustable and allowing for a removable expedition waist-belt for serious adventuring. You additionally have the option to fold up and store the entire harness system behind a stretch back panel, which is absolutely perfect for a smaller, snag-free bag to throw in the overhead bins.

The inside of this backpack is a straightforward cavern, with minimal additional pockets, though you do have a few organizational pockets on the underside of the main zippered flap and a massive laptop sleeve that can fit larger, 17″ computers. You can also purchase Arkiv accessories: separate pockets, packing cubes, folios, and sleeves that can be attached to any of the four exterior points. You could also just buy some aftermarket packing cubes too, if you prefer.


All these features are wrapped up in an ultra-durable Cordura or HT500 Textile that can handle the traveling punches and are weatherproof to boot. Easily making this beast—literally, this thing is almost five pounds — a modular lover’s best travel backpack for carry-on.


  • Rolltop backpack
  • 4 exterior attachment points for Mission Workshop’s Arkiv accessories
  • Entire harness system can be zipped up and stored for easy loading in airplane bins
  • Very adjustable and comfortable harness system Large laptop compartment


  • Wider than most bags on the list
  • Very heavy
  • Expensive

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