If you're anything like me, you're always leaving something behind. Whether it's a toothbrush or your wallet, packing for a trip is always a nightmare for me. But it doesn't have to be. Learn about all the great apps backpackers use that you definitely should too!
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Packing is a sizeable chore for every traveler. You have to draw up a list of items to take on your trip, shop for what's missing, and have a checklist of what's packed in which bag. More importantly, it's important to pack smart!
We've previously covered the best travel guide apps you can download that'll help you before and during your trip, so if you're looking for tools to make your journey smoother, check them out!
Before you even go on your trip, big nightmare travelers usually loathe is packing for your trip. It's never a real trip unless you don't leave something behind.
You don't want to haul too much and end up paying baggage fees at the airport. At the same time, you don't want to forget essential items and end up regretting not bringing them throughout the trip. Thankfully, there are packing apps for all sorts of travelers, from nitpickers to lousy packers.
Here's our list of best packing apps for backpackers! Whether you want to create your own list from scratch or prefer an auto-generated, customizable pack list, our choices have got you covered. These apps can help you pack both light and smart, saving you a lot of hassle!
Best for Beginners - PackPoint
PackPoint is one of the most popular packing list apps out there. Users love it because PackPoint's full of essential features without making things too complicated. The app is easy to navigate with a simple and attractive UI, and anyone can use it.
You have to indicate the gender at the start, and PackPoint will create all your lists based on it. For this reason, PackPoint is only ideal for personal use or solo travelers.
The packing app generates lists based on the travel destination, duration, type of trip, activities, and laundry facilities. PackPoint also considers the forecasted weather.
There's both the free and paid version, the latter costing $2.99 per year. The premium version offers TripIt integration, Evernote synch to access lists across all your devices, and the ability to customize both activities and items. Read our detailed PackPoint review to know more!
- Easy to use
- Available both on Android and iOS
- Free (although the paid version offers more beneficial features)
- Only for single-person use
- Limited activities in the free version
Best for those in charge - Packing Pro
Here's an app to help already-overwhelmed parents with the tiresome task of packing! Packing Pro is a feature-rich packing app that helps you draw up packing lists for every family member in a matter of minutes. From grandma's meds to baby's pacifier, you can tackle them all! Even solo travelers who like to plan everything to the dot will love it.
With its extensive catalog of over 800 items, Packing Pro will automatically create lists with the specific details you enter. These details include the number of adults (male and female separately), number of children, trip duration, weather, food preparation, clothing preferences, etc. There are also sample lists designed for a variety of trips.
The great news is that all packing lists are fully customizable. You can denote each item's weight, owner, importance, bag, and even value (that comes in handy when claiming travel insurance!). You can also change the theme, font, layout, and colors of the list for easy identification.
- Well-detailed and convenient
- Best packing app for family
- Fully customizable and perfect for perfectionists!
- Alerts to remind to-buy items and to-do tasks
- Only for iOS
- Can look be a bit complicated at first
- No free version (Pack Pro costs $2.99)
Best for the ultra-organizer - Easy Pack
Easy Pack allows you to generate a travel packing list based on various factors. These factors include but are not limited to destinations, activities you will be engaging in, mode(s) of travel, and people (or pets) you are going with. It's great for digital nomads who have no set duration for their trip!
We like to note that Easy Pack identifies packing lists as "bags." It makes it easier to know how much and what exactly can you can stuff in the duffel bags you own. You can also have to-do and to-buy lists.
It's also great for people loaded with activities throughout the day. Besides offering packing lists for your trips, the packing app lets you create lists for shopping, gym, swimming, meetings, and other activities.
You can either use the templates or create a list from the start. It has a catalog of over 600 items. You can even reuse your old lists by editing them according to your requirements, and easy Pack lets you create unlimited lists free of charge!
- Unlimited lists
- Free (ad-free!)
- Pack lists for a variety of day-to-day activities
- To-do and to-buy lists
- Limited in features
- Only for Android devices
Best for the DIY Enthusiasts - PackTeo
If you like creating your own packing lists manually, PackTeo might be the best option for you. You can simply type each item or pick items from a general catalog and create a list. There's also the option of adding items using the generator or readymade lists. Add as many categories you want under each list and move/remove/edit items at your free will.
One notable feature of this packing list for vacation app is the ability to include the quantity and weight of items. You might already be aware that knowing the weight of your baggage can save you a lot of hassle at the airport. You can denote the baggage allowance and keep track of the importance of things to pack accordingly. The app also goes further and allows you to assign items to each bag.
Like other great packing apps, PackTeo will help you generate packing lists based on many specifications, such as destination, weather, type, mode of transport, accommodation, gender, more! What's even better is that you can also create shopping lists and to-do lists with PackTeo.
- User-friendly interface
- Free (paid version without ads is available)
- Easily customizable
- Only for Android
Best for the Globetrotters & Digital Nomads - Packr
Suppose you are a backpacker or a digital nomad heading on a multi-destination trip. In that case, Packr is the best packing app for you. Being an intuitive app, Packr generates packing checklists based on the destination, duration (start and end dates for the weather forecast), trip type, accommodation, transportation, and activities.
This pack app is also intuitive. It monitors how you arrange packing lists and provides valuable suggestions in the future. You can set the quantity for each item as well. You can use the multiple-traveler mode to generate pack lists for the whole team or family and share it with others. Read our guide on backpacking with kids for helpful travel tips!
The one-off paid version ($2.99) helps you add multiple destinations and generate packing lists accordingly. You can customize these checklists or create your list. It's one of the best packing apps that provide handy tips on what to take based on the location, which is excellent for novice travelers.
Packr can also synchronize with TripIt to access your trip details and create packing lists, making things even more convenient
Should I use TripIt too? You can read our review on TripIt here.
- Easy to use
- Multi-destination packing lists
- Ideal for families
- Multi-destination is available only for the paid version
- Limited in features
- Only for iOS
Best for the ultralight backpackers- OneBag
For travelers who like to pack light and smart, OneBag might be the best packing list app! It's very straightforward and streamlined, being equipped with the basic features you need in a pack list app. You can create your own customized list based on the type of trip, divide the items into categories, and record which bag contains what.
You can record all your essential items in the personal inventory and choose what you need when you create a new packing list. Interestingly, the app lets you record the weight of each item, so you can pack according to the baggage allowance. You can also adjust the weight at the end as you get a trip summary denoting the total packed weight by bag and category. It makes adding or removing items much easier!
Users can save their past trips in the Pro version and have readymade templates for future use. Because of the weight feature, we think it's handy for hikers and ultralight backpackers.
- Easy and simple to use
- Weight feature
- Limited features
- Doesn't auto-generate pack lists
- Only available for Android
Best for the busybodies - PackKing
PackKing is another travel checklist app that generates lists focused on the details, considering the duration of the trip, gender of the packer, transportation of choice, weather, and more. The list of activities is pretty extensive compared to others. You can, of course, add custom items to the list and have multiple packing lists for various trips. But, you can't make a list out of scratch or have readymade templates.
You have the option of viewing your packing lists by category, topics, and luggage type (main luggage, carry-on, toiletry bag, and on-person). You can also have a shopping list created out of your pack list. This way, if you need to buy a suitcase or any other travel essentials, it's easier to remember.
While the free version serves the purpose pretty well, the paid version enables unlimited packing lists, reusing old lists, exporting lists, and an ad-free experience. It costs $3.99 per year.
- Available for both Android and iOS
- Easy to use
- Can't delete multiple items at once
- Limited lists in the free version
- A lot of ads (free version)
Best for the hiking enthusiasts - TrekPack
Forgetting something important for your wilderness trips can put you in uncomfortable situations. TrekPack is a must-have for outdoor enthusiasts or frequent hikers. Compared to the best packing apps, TrekPack is more extensive in helping you take the right gear for hikes, treks, and camping trips.
TrekPack will generate checklists for your trips based on the destination, terrain conditions, accommodation, cooking facilities, style of travel (ultralight, standard, or comfortable), and weight of your backpack. You can also create custom lists, and the app will also provide recommendations on what to take. The items are categorized under hiking, clothing, cooking, hygiene, emergency, etc.
You can take pictures of your items, specify their weight and purchase date, add a description, and specify where they go in the backpack (inside or outside). The weight calculator will keep track of your backpack's base weight, pack weight, and total weight. Users can also share their packing lists with their fellow hikers.
- Weight features help you optimize packing
- Available only for Android
For the back-to-basics - Packing List Checklist
If you need an old-school, minimally-designed packing list app, here it is! Packing List Checklist doesn't have advanced features to brag about but does the job nevertheless. It doesn't generate pack lists, and instead, you have to create them manually. The good thing here is you don't have to spend time deleting stuff from a premade list!
The packing app for iPhone has an extensive catalog of travel essentials, under 24 categories. All you have to do is scroll through them and pick the items you need along with the quantity of each.
You can, of course, create your list from the beginning by adding new items and categorizing them. Users can also create to-do lists and set reminders on essentials for the packing app to notify you. Ideally, it's best for those who like planning and packing but need a tool to keep track of it! You don't have to be tech-savvy to use this.
The free version has most of the features but adding quantities, setting alerts, and syncing with iCloud is only available on the paid version. It's a one-off payment of $2.99. You can export lists and share them on various platforms.
- Alert feature is handy if you tend to forget things
- Lack of features
- Only for iOS
For the traditional planners - PackLight for Backpacking
You have to create your gear inventory in PackLight for Backpacking app as it neither has a database of items nor a feature to auto-generate pack lists. But, this free packing list app is excellent for ultralight backpackers, hikers, and campers because it lets you record items with their weight.
So, as you might have gathered already, the mechanism is simple. You create your packing lists under existing or customized categories. You can give a title to each list and add a note with additional details. You can also view your total weight on the list, organized by categories, at the end of your list. This way, you can determine where to cut back or add.
If you have been using Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel for your outdoor activities and travel packing list, PackLight is definitely a better alternative. With a few more features, PackLight could be a great iOS alternative to TrekPack, that's only available for Android at present.
- Weight feature
- Very few features
For the all-in-one travel planners - Pilot
Now that you have got your packing task sorted, what's next? There's a lot involved when planning a trip, and this is why you need a trip planner as flexible, feature-rich, and interesting as Pilot!
We've built Pilot for backpackers, students, and every other traveler who likes wandering in groups! Having your plans and group chats scattered across different platforms sounds horrible. This is why Pilot helps you keep everything in one place. Bring everyone and everything together with our social travel planner. Try it, and you'll love it!