While typically thought of as carry gear for travel, trekking, or school, backpacks have become an increasingly common way for modern men to lug around their day-to-day essentials. And with their growing popularity, more and more brands and designers are creating a greater variety of backpack sizes and styles. Which is great for anyone with particular fashion tastes or a desire to match their method of carry to the things they intend to haul within it.
The most notable benefit to the expanded diversity of backpacks in the world of everyday carry, however, is probably the range of affordable well-constructed bags. Whether you are looking for something super inexpensive or on the exceedingly high-end of the spectrum, chances are someone’s already made what you want and you just have to find it. The following 20 bags are our selection for the best everyday backpacks for men available now.
JanSport Right Pack
JanSport is probably the most widely recognizable backpack brand out there – and for good reason. They are exceedingly affordable and, while they aren’t made of the highest quality materials available, their construction is more than reliable enough for the price you pay. You won’t find a dozen different item-specific compartments, but it won’t cost you an arm and a leg, either.
Carhartt Legacy Classic Work Pack
At a shockingly low price, these packs from legendary work apparel brand Carhartt are a pretty incredible value. Between the brand’s classic styling, to the bags’ 1200 denier polyester construction, to their dedicated padded laptop pocket and tablet sleeve, these bags offer up a lot in the way of features and quality without asking for you to empty your pockets.
The North Face Vault
Though they are perhaps more well known for outdoorsy equipment, the North Face offers some very good less-ruggedized options – including their Vault backpack. Great for the daily commuter, these bags feature a polyester construction, FlexVent suspension system with compression-molded shoulder straps and a ventilated back pad, and a floating padded 15″ laptop sleeve within the main compartment. And, for increased visibility, it is adorned with 360 degrees of reflective tabs and webbing.
Herschel Supply Co. Nelson
Externally, this Hershel pack is a cleanly and classically styled bag. But the inside features the brand’s signature striped lining for a little added flair, as well as a padded fleece-lined laptop or tablet sleeve that’ll keep your electronic devices safe and sound. If you don’t need something with all the bells and whistles, but you still want a bit of refinement, this is the backpack for you.
Fjallraven Kanken Laptop Backpack
An updated take on Fjallraven’s classic Kanken bag, this nylon-constructed backpack features the addition of a padded laptop pocket on the back of the main compartment, as well as a document sleeve, and a smaller external pocket in which you can stash any small items that you want quick access to, such as pens, a flashlight, a multi-tool or otherwise. And the webbed top handles and shoulder straps ensure that you can carry this pack in comfort.
Tom Bihn Daylight Backpack
With an approach that focuses both on a minimalist design and extremely sturdy quality, this American-made Daylight backpack by Tom Bihn features an exterior made from either 400D Halcyon/420D ripstop nylon or 1000D Cordura and an interior lining of either ripstop or HT Parapack nylon. Though the carry features of these bags are fairly simple, the materials out of which they are constructed are advanced and very durable.
United By Blue Rift Backpack
Taking design cues from the classic backpacks we all grew up with, United By Blue’s Rift is one of the best bang for your buck offerings on the entire list. Constructed from 100% recycled polyester with DWR finish, the water-repellant backpack offers up 25 liters of storage capacity along with several additional storage compartments and a dedicated 3.75” water bottle sleeve for outdoor excursions. UBB is also dedicated to conservation, removing a pound of trash from the ocean and waterways around the world with each product sold.
Heimplanet Monolith Minimal Daypack
If minimalism is the name of your game, the Heimplanet has got your back – literally. After establishing a name for themselves designing some of the coolest tents on the market, the brand plunged headfirst into the world of outdoor and EDC backpacks – and it’s safe to say they’re crushed it. Don’t let its minimal design fool you, this thing is chock-full of features. It’s built from 500D Cordura, and lined with water-resistant YKK zippers to help keep Mother Nature at bay. Opening up the large main compartment reveals a MOLLE organizational grid and integrated 15” laptop sleeve, along with 18 liters of storage to haul whatever else you might have on you.
Bramble USA-Made Daypack
Don’t let the fact that this is called a “daypack” fool you. While it will serve you well on short day hikes, it’s just as comfortable as a daily commuter backpack for the urban dweller. Each top-load bag comes with 18 liters of storage, 1.5-liter water bottle pocket, sternum and removable waist belt, and space for a hydration sleeve. And every time Bramble sells one of these USA-made bags, they donate 5% sales to protecting the beautiful coastline of the Pacific Northwest.
Aer Fit Pack 2
The San Francisco based crew at Aer designs some of our favorite backpacks on the market, and the brand’s entry level option (the Fit Pack 2), shows exactly why. Designed specifically for the urban dweller, this streamlined pack features just under 19 liters of storage, offering plenty of room for your EDC gear, laptop, and even an isolated shoe compartment perfect for gym junkies. And you’ll rest easy knowing all of that gear is protected within the confines of the bag’s ultra durable, water-resistant 1680D Cordura nylon shell.
Made in the USA to military specifications, this backpack by MIS (which stands for ‘Make It Simple’) offers up a tremendous amount of quality in an uncomplicated package. The exterior is made from water-resistant urethane coated 1000D nylon and features PALS webbing and a self-repairing YKK zipper. The interior has a padded 15″ laptop pouch and a small internal mesh zippered pocket for easy access and organization of smaller items. And the 18 liters of interior space is plenty large enough for most people’s everyday carry, without being overly cumbersome.
Patagonia Arbor Pack
From Patagonia, another company who specializes in hiking style gear, this Arbor pack is a much more day-to-day friendly bag. Though it is styled similarly to a mountaineering rucksack, this recycled polyester bag is less cumbersome and toned-down, but still offers up an impressive 26 liters of storage. It also features a laptop sleeve that doubles as an insulated hydration reservoir – should you decide to take this bag out on the trails.
Mystery Ranch Urban Assault Pack
Armed with the mantra of “built for the mission,” few brands rival Mystery Ranch when it comes to building packs that are designed to take a beating – and their aptly titled Urban Assault Pack falls right in line with that notion. It’s Constructed from ultra durable 500D Cordura and thanks to its easy-access 3-zip closure system, internal laptop sleeve, mesh lined lid pouch and dual zippered accessory pockets, this dynamic backpack is just at home in the concrete jungle as it is in the backcountry.
Topo Designs Rover Pack
Looking to hit that sweet spot between too much and too little, Topo Designs has offered up this, their Rover Pack. And, from the looks of things, they nailed it. With a water-resistant 100D Cordura exterior, two exterior zipper pockets, a laptop sleeve, and two side pockets for carrying extra gear (perhaps a flask?), this bag will meet your needs both in the city and the countryside.
Aer Duffel Pack 2
One of the most comprehensive bags on the market, Aer’s Duffel Pack 2 features twin easy-access pockets for small gear and items, a large main compartment with a padded 15″ laptop sleeve, and a ventilated shoe compartment (in case you want to haul some workout sneakers along with your normal stuff). And, weighing in at just 2 pounds, this moisture-resistant bag is made from ultra durable 1680D ballistic nylon and offers 24 liters of internal carry space.
Alchemy Equipment Minimalist Daypack
Though it may seem counter-intuitive, a minimalist pack design does not necessarily mean sacrificing features. Rather, as is the case with this one from Alchemy Equipment, it means intertwining a number of essential functions without overdoing it with a bunch of extraneous materials or superfluous aesthetic choices. This bag (which has a 20 liter carry capacity) offers a spacious main compartment, with an internal 15″ laptop pocket, and a secondary external pocket, with a waterproof YKK zipper for smaller items. And the durable base is made from 3x polyurethane coated 900D Kodra material.
While there are several minimalist everyday carry backpacks found throughout this list, there are few that are also made in the USA. Designed and built in their San Francisco headquarters, Arktype’s Dashpack is crafted from 1680D DWR ballistic nylon, and is equipped with YKK AquaGuard water-repellent zippers, 550 paracord zipper pulls, dual external water bottle pockets, and mil-spec exterior webbing to expand your carry options. Lined with 210D double-walled ripstop nylon, the backpack’s interior features multiple padded laptop compartments, and a mesh tablet for your 10-inch tablet.
DSPTCH Gym/Work Pack
This 25 liter bag is a compartmentalized pack that can fit everything from your workspace electronics to your gym shoes and everything in-between. From a padded laptop sleeve, a ventilated shoe pocket, and a Fidlock closure exterior pocket, this bag ensures that you can carry everything you need from when you leave your house until you get home and you can do so in an organized fashion.
Mystery Ranch Kletterworks Flip Bag
Based on a bag that was originally designed for scaling mountainsides, this overhauled version of the Kletterworks Flip Bag is a more streamlined and modernized version. Between its 1000D Cordura and 1680 ballistic nylon exterior, 23 liter capacity interior (which includes a padded internal laptop sleeve), and heirloom leather label and zipper tags, this USA-made bag occupies the more rugged side of the day-to-day backpack realm.
Mission Workshop VX Sanction Rucksack
Featuring their proprietary Arkiv closure system, a construction of 1000D VX Cordura ripstop and a PET waterproof membrane, and 20 liters of storage, this flip-top style bag from Mission Workshop is made in the USA and comes with a lifetime warranty. And the six pockets, which includes an up-to 15″ Macbook pro-sized pouch, are more than enough for a well-organized comprehensive set of gear.
Defy Bucktown Backpack
Named for the Bucktown neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois – the same city in which Defy hand-crafts each of these bags and their home – this bag’s exterior is built from ultra-tough Martexin original waxed canvas. And the interior – which features two large compartments and a padded 17″ Macbook-sized sleeve – is lined with 1000D Cordura, making its insides tougher than many bag’s outsides. And the small details, like the 2″ seatbelt handle and water-resistant YKK zippers, really bring this bag together as an outstanding everyday pack.
Goruck’s flagship piece of gear and still their most popular, the GR1 is tough enough to sustain through use in a warzone, but plenty refined for everyday use. Made in the USA from Special Forces-grade materials and featuring the brand’s lifetime guarantee, this pack is a pretty incredible offering. In fact, Goruck boasts that the back compartment, which can fit up to a 15″ laptop, is bombproof. That alone makes this 21 liter bag worth a second glance.
Colfax Design Works SDP_01
An incredibly expansive bag, this USA-made 21 liter Standard Issue Daypack features A.M.C.S. (which stands for Advanced Modular Cargo System), giving it the ability to evolve based upon your individual carry needs. In conjunction, the standard features include a weatherproof Cordura construction, Mil-Spec webbing and components, an anti-microbial Airmesh back panel, and weatherproof YKK zippers – to name a few. And don’t think this is strictly a tactical bag, because inside it has a dedicated laptop/document pouch and a valuables pocket (for anything you might want to hide away).
Able Archer Rucksack
A more style-forward tactical rucksack, this Able Archer backpack’s exterior is crafted from Mil-spec water-resistant canvas and the interior is lined with nylon – with the exception of the 15″ laptop pocket, which is lined with neoprene and features a waterproof zipper. It also has several other both internal and external compartments for everything from your passport to camera equipment or otherwise. So whether you’re looking to bug out or hunker down this bag is a pretty slick piece of equipment with which to do it.
Filson Journeyman Backpack
A company that’s been around since 1897 doesn’t last this long by mistake. And that’s evident in the products that Filson creates – this backpack included. Designed to be functional, stylish, and comfortable for wear, this rugged twill and oil finished tin cloth exterior bag, which has a poly/cotton interior lining, has a large main compartment with a sleeve that fits up to a 16″ wide laptop or tablet, an interior zippered pocket, and two interior dividers. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Lexdray Ibiza Pack
Don’t be fooled into thinking that because this bag was designed with touring DJs in mind, it’s unworthy. Because it is a superb bag for any professional looking to carry around their technology and daily gear in both style and safety. In fact, there’s enough room in the compartmental spaces within this 27 liter bag for a 17″ laptop, an iPad, hard drives, headphones, power cords, and more. And if the military grade hardware and ultra weather-resistant fabrics aren’t enough to convince you of this bag’s worth, it also features five small feet along its base – so, every time you set it down, you can count on it staying upright.
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