Backpacks aren’t just for schoolboys or the guy who likes to spend several months hiking the Pacific Crest Trail anymore. Things have changed a lot since those days. There are now a ton of brands out there making quality backpacks that are stylish enough to fit into every aspect of a grown man’s life—from work to play (read: these aren’t backpacks that are made to hold your math book).
We’ve searched high and low, compiling a list of the 20 best everyday backpacks for adults. Packs that will carefully transport your laptop to and from the office, your gear to your weekend trip on the lake with your buddies, and everything in between. Whether you’re looking to spend $40 or $400, we’ve got you covered with selections from every price range.
JanSport Right Pack
You may have donned a JanSport back in your high school days (that, or an Eastpak), but there’s a reason why your mom steered you towards the JanSports when you were back-to-school shopping: they’re durable as hell. Available in a variety of colors and patterns, this lightweight pack is a great starter bag, and at $40, you’ll never regret making that purchase.
Herschel Supply Co. City Backpack
Over the last few years, the Vancouver-based Herschel Supply Co. has exploded—everyone is wearing their backpacks, and for good reason. Their colors and patterns are fun and stylish, and their prices are a steal. This City Backpack is the definition of a “grown up” backpack—its shape reads as more work bag than backpack, with an adjustable leather strap down the middle and a slim profile. The top handle will allow you to easily carry it off your shoulders, which you should do if you’re around your boss or if you’re on a crowded train (do NOT be the guy on a crowded subway who keeps his backpack on—everyone hates that guy).
Penfield Vance City Pack
Penfield has been creating quality outerwear since it was established in Massachusetts in 1975, and the Vance City Pack takes the brand’s rugged mountaineering style and classes it up a bit. Blending leather and nylon, a slim profile, and containing a padded laptop sleeve, it’s the ultimate bag to bring to work on a Friday and head right into your weekend away once 5pm rolls around.
Herschel Supply Co. Crown Backpack
The Crown Backpack is one that Herschel is known for—its unique oval shape makes it stand out from other backpacks people are carting around. The Crown is available in a rainbow of colors and patterns, and it features a 15” laptop sleeve pocket, making it the perfect bag to carry to work, or take to the coffee shop on Sunday morning, when you’re begrudgingly catching up on work emails.
Burton Tinder Pack
Burton’s roots are decidedly planted in the snow—considering that the company’s founder, Jake Burton Carpenter is hailed as the inventor of snowboarding. The company was founded by Carpenter in Vermont in the late 1970s, selling snowboards and other snowboarding gear, and since then, the company has expanded to create more lifestyle gear that’s not necessarily for shredding powder, like this Tinder pack. Shaped like a vintage rucksack, the pack is made with a variety of fabrics—the top flap has an easy-to-access accessories pocket and the interior features a padded laptop compartment.
Fjallraven Kanken Daypack
Fjallraven (which means “arctic fox” in Swedish) was founded in Sweden in 1960, and since then, its been making durable, functional bags like the Kanken Daypack. First introduced in 1978, it’s one of the brand’s most recognizable offerings, regardless of what color you choose. The Kanken evenly distributes weight allowing for reduced back pain and is made from Vinylon F, which is durable, water resistant fabric that softens with age. It’s a good thing, too, because this bag is gonna stick around forever.
Stone + Cloth Benson Backpack
Hovering in the space between work bag and weekend bag, Stone & Cloth’s Benson backpack is perfect for any weekend getaways you have planned. It’ll comfortably store your vacation clothes and has a padded laptop sleeve for those annoying vacation mornings you have to bang out a few emails. An added bonus to owning this backpack is this: a portion of the proceeds from its purchase go to a non-profit based in Africa.
Patagonia Arbor Backpack
Patagonia has been a trusted name in outdoor gear for years, so you won’t ever regret buying this Arbor backpack. It’s made from durable recycled fabric and has multiple interior pockets for accessories and your tech gear. It’ll be just as good for a weekend in the city as it would be for a weekend in the woods.
Saturdays NYC Hannes Backpack
Saturdays NYC’s low-profile Hannes backpack will quickly become your favorite thing on your work commute (aside from your iced coffee). Made out of a combination of nylon and leather, it has a large front pocket for your accessories (phone, wallet, keys, etc), and a large interior pocket that can house your work stuff and your gym clothes so you can sneak in some exercise on the way home from work.
Topo Designs Rover Pack
Colorado-based Topo Designs knows a thing or two about creating quality outdoor gear, and the Rover pack is exactly that—quality. With its fun color combination, classic silhouette, multiple pockets, and mesh-backed shoulder straps to reduce sweating, this will be your favorite travel bag, whether you’re spending a weekend in the woods, or a week-long jaunt in Paris.
Aer Duffel Pack
San Francisco-based Aer had a desire to make a quality gym bag that could double as a work bag, and the brand’s Duffel Pack accomplishes this goal—and then some. The pack features three separate compartments—a waterproof main compartment to house gym clothes, a ventilated shoe pocket, and a dedicated pocket that will house your computer, tablet, notebook, and anything else you need to get the job done.
Traveling for work isn’t typically on the top of anyone’s list for fun activities, but Dsptch’s Daypack will help ease the pain. The all-back backpack (made from water-repelling ballistic nylon) is made for work travel, with designated laptop and tablet pockets and a built-in cord management system.
Fjallraven Rucksack No. 21
Another quality offering from Fjallraven, this rucksack might not be the one you take to work, but it will definitely become your new favorite weekender bag or airplane carry-on. Crafted from durable, water-resistant waxed fabric and natural leather, it features a padded bottom to keep your breakable stuff unbroken, and a removable seat pad so you’ll be comfortable while your buddies are sitting on the bare ground.
Filson Tin Cloth Backpack
Seattle-based Filson is a true American heritage brand, making outdoor gear since the late 1800s (the guys from the Klondike Gold Rush were outfitted in Filson gear). The Tin Cloth backpack could be out of the Gold Rush era—with its rugged, water repellant tin cloth and adjustable Bridle leather straps. The back is padded and quilted, and the top features storm flap to ensure your gear won’t get wet if rain rolls in.
Mission Workshop VX Sanction Rucksack
A new(ish), San Francisco-based brand, Mission Workshop seeks to make handmade goods for people in motion, which is why the VX Sanction rucksack might be the most durable bag you’ll ever owned. The bag is made with VX Cordura ripstop material that’s backed with a PET waterproof membrane, meaning that it will handle literally anything you throw at it and still look great. The bag has six—count ‘em—six interior and exterior pockets, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Jack Spade Cargo Backpack
This slimmed-down, minimalist backpack is another one that would be perfect for your work commute (available in gray, black, or turquoise), with multiple exterior pockets for your accessories and a mesh back that will ensure that you won’t arrive to work with a sweat-soaked shirt.
GORUCK GR2 Backpack
If there’s anyone who knows about hauling gear on their backs, its people who have served in the military. That’s why GORUCK backpacks are so high quality—because the company was founded by military vets. The GR2 is made with Special Forces-grade materials (the laptop compartment is made out of bombproof materials), so it’s safe to say that it’ll stand up to whatever activities you’ve got planned for it.
Rag & Bone Derby Backpack
NYC-based Rag & Bone is known for injecting a little rock ‘n’ roll attitude to everyday items, whether it’s a t-shirt or a backpack, like the Derby. Made from durable canvas with brown suede and leather accents, it has a ton of interior pockets that will keep your stuff organized as you go from point A to point B.
Lexdray Vienna Pack
Lexdray is relatively new to the bag game, but its offerings are impressive. The gray-and-black bag is made from water-resistant fabric, with military-grade hardware, and a dizzying amount of pockets (6 exterior, 3 interior), including designated laptop and tablet slots, making it the perfect work trip bag.
Hard Graft Old School Laptop Rucksack
If you’re going to spend nearly $700 on a backpack, it better be a quality one, and you can rest assured that nothing made by London-based Hard Graft is anything less than amazing. Made from premium vegetable-tanned Italian leather, it’s a backpack that’s truly for grown ups. You’ll get tons of compliments. Trust.