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The 25 Best Backpacks for Everyday Use

Great backpacks for every budget and lifestyle.

best backpacks
Gear Patrol

With a few notable exceptions (lawyers and bankers, mainly), a 21st-century businessperson doesn’t have to wear a suit to conduct business, especially now. That means you don’t necessarily have to carry a briefcase. With comfort and functionality as priorities, lots of people now use backpacks for their everyday commute — just throw it over your shoulders and you’re hands-free for a coffee, a handshake or holding on while the bus creeps forward. The backpacks below cover the spectrum of possible uses, so whether you’re looking for a simple vessel for getting from A to B with the day’s goods or you plan to telecommute to a secluded bungalow on the beach, these backpacks are up for the task.

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Best Overall Backpack
Classic Backpack Compact

Capacity: 16L
Fabric: Recycled nylon

This 16L zip-top pack strikes a chord between minimalist design and maximalist features. Though it comes in a variety of durable fabrics, this olive version is made with Bellroy's recycled nylon material. It features a slew of compartments, cleverly hidden throughout including a water-resistant top pocket for your phone and other small electronics. The main compartment is filled with several padded dividers as well as a separate mesh pocket.

Best Affordable Backpack
Right Pack Backpack

Capacity: 31L
Fabric: 915 Denier Cordura, sued

eIt doesn't get much simpler than this. Tough Cordura fabric coupled with Jansport's iconic suede bottom give it a long-lasting appeal, physically and aesthetically. It comes with two outer pockets for quick-access items and a single roomy main compartment complete with a padded laptop sleeve big enough for a 15-inch laptop.

Best Upgrade Backpack
R6 Arkiv Modular Systems
Mission Workshop

Capacity: 20L-40L
Fabric: Cordura, waxed canvas

Mission Workshop’s Arkiv Backpack is a modular system that’s customizable to your heart’s desire. It comes in a range of fabrics from Cordura to waxed canvas, each of which is waterproof. The range of modules includes packs for laptops and other electronics, all of which can be added or detached as needed.

Under $100
Tote Pack
The North Face

Capacity: 14.5L
Fabric: 600D Recycled Polyester

This simple 31.5L bag exudes a vintage aesthetic with leather detailing and barrel-style outer pockets for water bottles. Your items are easily accessed thanks to the panel-loading design, but if you want to grab your laptop quickly from its padded sleeve, there's also a dedicated top-loading zipper. It also includes generous padding at the back and shoulders along with tough webbing fabric for the top handle, daisy chaining and bike light loop.

In & Out Backpack
Mystery Ranch

Capacity: 19L
Fabric: 100D Cordura Mini Rip fabric

The 19L In & Out bag is cut from incredibly durable 100D Cordura mini rip fabric. It features plenty of easily accessible outer pockets including a hydration reservoir pocket which includes ports for a drinking tube. And, this daypack can even be stuffed down into its own mesh pocket.

Field Bag
End Clothing

Capacity: 16L
Fabric: Polyurethane, polyester

Though it’s well-known for its waterproof outerwear, Rains also makes a range of water-repellent bags perfect for inclement weather. This minimalist bag has a padded laptop sleeve and an external zip pocket, and the material blend is inspired by the Danish brand’s classic raincoats.

$100 to $200
Black Hole Pack 25L

Capacity: 20L
Fabric: 70D recycled ripstop nylon

Patagonia’s Black Hole series of bags and duffels are known for their strength and durability. This 25L front-loading backpack uses recycled nylon ripstop and features comfortable padding at the straps and back. 

Rover Leather Pack
Topo Designs

Capacity: 20L
Fabric: Ballistic nylon, leather

Made in America, this bag features a ballistic nylon body and pull-up leather bottom. A flip top and drawcord opening secure the main compartment, which can house a 15-inch laptop, and zip pockets adorn the front and top flap.

Nylon Duffle Backpack

Capacity: 21.4L
Fabric: 1680D Cordura ballistic nylon

Part backpack, part duffel bag, Aer’s hybrid bag excels in either mode thanks to its front-loading easy-access compartment and side handles. Not only can it fit laptops up to 15.6 inches, it can stash a pair of size 13 sneakers. Plus, it's water resistant.

Stone Backpack

Capacity: 25L
Fabric: 18-ounce cotton twill

Made in San Francisco, this simple flip pack secure your goods without the need of a drawstring closure. The bag is cut from 18-ounce cotton twill, features a military-grade “G” hook closure, includes an internal laptop sleeve and has a double-layered bottom for durability.


Capacity: 18L
Fabric: 500D Cordura nylon with DWR coating

DSPTCH’s slim and technical take on the bookbag builds upon classic book bags using a modern sensibility. It features padded compartments for your laptop and tablets, mesh interior pockets, easily accessible yet secure magnetic outer pockets and it’s all made in the USA.

Upcycled Archie Backpack

Capacity: 13L
Fabric: Upcycled polyester

Sealand’s Upcycled Archie Backpack is made from pre-consumer polyester waste. It has adjustable, sporty straps and internal slots for organizing your EDC.

$200 to $400
Pickwick Backpack
Brooks England

Capacity: 21L
Fabric: Waxed canvas

If you can’t stand zippers, get the Pickwick backpack. It features a water-resistant canvas exterior, a roll-top closure design and webbed nylon shoulder straps. An ideal bag for the bike commuter with a classic sense of style.

Climb Pack
Epperson Mountaineering

Capacity: 22.5L
Fabric: DWR-coated 1000D Cordura nylon

Epperson’s mountain climbing pack is made in the USA using a tough and lightweight Cordura nylon. It comes with a bevy of durable features like military-grade webbing, sealed seams and bar tack reinforcements. And, you can still haul your laptop inside, hiking or just hanging out.

Waxed Canvas Backpack
Winter Session

Capacity: 18L
Fabric: 20-ounce waxed canvas, vegetable-tanned leather

Made in Denver, Colorado, Winter Session’s Waxed Canvas Backpack is as burly as they come, utilizing a seriously heavy 20 ounce cotton canvas that’s been waxed to make it water-resistant. It features enough room for a day’s load and comes with vegetable-tanned leather and brass hardware, ensuring that it ages well.

Slick Series Ballistic Backpack
End Clothing

Capacity: 15L
Fabric: Resin-coated nylon

This rubber-like fabric is built from German resin and Italian polyester. Made in Japan, the design features an asymmetrical zip pocket, leather detailing, padded shoulder straps and Cordura backing.

Woody Backpack
Bleu de Chauffe

Capacity: 35L
Fabric: Cotton canvas, vegetable-tanned leather

Bleu de Chauffe makes all of its bags and leather goods in its French atelier wtih high precision. Its Woody backpack features burly cotton canvas paired with thick vegetable-tanned leather. The large main compartment is finished with seam binding for durability and includes a removable zip pouch.

Classic Ruck Sack
Loyal Stricklin

Capacity: 21L (rolled), 29L (unrolled)
Fabric: Waxed cotton twill, Horween Chromexcel leather

Made in Tennessee, Loyal Stricklin’s Ryder Ruck takes after vintage ruck sacks and features heavy duty water-resistant waxed twill combined with full-grain Chromexcel leather from the famed Horween tannery. It comes with roll-top entry, two outer pockets and a spacious main compartment.

Logo-Print Backpack
Snow Peak

Capacity: 44L
Fabric: Polyester, TPU coating

Snow Peak's simple roll-top backpack offers considerable space for all of your essentials, a zip-front pocket for items you need access to, and a protective TPU coating that keeps the bag, and everything in it, dry.

Tin Cloth Backpack

Capacity: 17L
Fabric: 14 ounce oil finish tin cloth, 10.5 ounce dry finish Tin Cloth

Made from a combination of oil finish and dry finish Tin Cloth, this rugged bag features bridle leather straps and brass hardware. The main compartment is lined with nylon and comes with a removable compartment pocket. For easy access, the bag also includes a convenient side zip for smaller items. And, the padded quilted back makes it a comfortable wear.

Over $400
Day Pack
Porter-Yoshida & Co.

Capacity: 19L
Fabric: Nylon

The Tanker Daypack takes cues from classic school bags, but elevates everything just a little bit. (OK, actually, a lot.) It's functional, for sure, but also one of the better looking everyday backpacks on the market.  

M/S Backpack

Capacity: 17L
Fabric: Cotton canvas, full-grain leather

First introduced in 2011, Mismo's high-end backpack streamlined the designs of vintage backpacks while keeping their upgraded materials. It's made with brass hardware, vegetable-tanned leather and a tough and water-resistant cotton-blend canvas which was originally developed for the Italian army. It features a fold-over design which can be rolled or unfurled for more carry capacity and is easily adjusted using the brass d-rings.

Butterfly Backpack
Kika NY

Capacity: 13.5L
Fabric: Vegetable-tanned leather

Made in Brooklyn, this top-loading zip-up bag is made with vegetable-tanned Italian leather and antique brass. It’s inspired by vintage money bags and opens up like a butterfly for easy access to its main compartment which includes an interior laptop pocket, a large zippered pocket and a small zippered pocket on the back panel for securing your wallet or phone.

Cordura 20L Backpack

Capacity: 20L
Fabric: Cordura nylon

This Japanese-made 20L bag reference classic ’70s daypacks. Made from durable Cordura nylon, it features a suede bottom, padded back, waterproof zippers and internal laptop sleeve.

Black Leather Backpack

Capacity: 16L
Fabric: Tumbled, vegetable-tanned leather

This backpack is cut from vegetable-tanned leather and includes solid-brass YKK zippers. Interior pockets organize valuables, pens, and keys, while a larger pocket is designed to carry a laptop or tablet. This bag is made in New England and comes with a lifetime guarantee.

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