Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

4 Minimalist Backpacks Designed to Tackle the Trail and the Streets

minimalist backpack
Typical camping backpacks look like camping backpacks, and urban commuter backpacks can look like something plucked out of a boardroom. What if you want a backpack that looks at home in both environments? Read on for our favorite minimalist backpacks designed to transition seamlessly from the trail to the streets.

Triple Aught Design Fast Pack Scout – $195-plus

Triple Aught Design Fast Pack Scout trail

San Francisco-based Triple Aught Design (TAD, if you’re in the know) has been crafting killer tactical gear long before “tactical” became a marketing buzzword. Every product in the lineup is designed to outlast you, including the pants, hoodies, and packs. At roughly two pounds with a 15-liter volume, the Fast Pack Scout is designed first and foremost as an ultra-compact, trail-ready gear bag. The MIL-SPEC Invista Cordura exterior is made from custom-designed nylon that’s rip- and tear-resistant. The look is slightly more trail than boardroom, but the streamlined exterior means it’s perfectly acceptable for tossing in your laptop and headphones en route to the office.

See It

OPPOSETHIS Invisible Backpack One – $220

OPPOSETHIS Invisible Backpack One navy person

When OPPOSETHIS set out to design the Invisible Backpack One, the goal was to create an ultra-streamlined EDC pack capable of carrying just about anything. The final product — brilliant and versatile in its simplicity — doesn’t disappoint. The clever trapezoidal design hides a wealth of storage compartments. The rear pocket is padded to ensure your tablet or laptop stays well protected. The bottom compartment sequesters other gear like a spare change of clothes. Smaller bits can be stashed in the dual side pockets for quick access. The entire affair is wrapped in a durable, waterproof polyester/nylon blend. Available in Black or Navy Blue

See It

Peak Design Everyday Backpack – $260

peak design everyday backpack

In recent years, Peak Design has made a name for themselves among photographers for their well-thought-out camera bags. The understated Everyday Backpack is designed to be your go-to everyday carry (EDC) bag, although there’s nothing “everyday” (read: ordinary) about it. The 20-liter bag is already well-sized, but capable of carrying even more with twin expandable pockets. The real win for those looking to get organized, however, is the FlexFold system. The clever series of dividers allows you to endlessly customize the interior to fit your personal brand of carry, whether you’re packing electronics, top-secret Kickstarter prototypes, or TPS reports. It also features hideaway straps and a 15-inch laptop sleeve, all wrapped in a 400D nylon canvas exterior that’s completely weatherproof.


Jack + Mulligan Welles Backpack – $365

jack and mulligan welles backpack

If you’re after a more organic look with plenty of versatility and most of the durability of its competitors above, Jack + Mulligan’s Welles Backpack is a worthy contender. The pack’s streamlined silhouette hides a 15-inch laptop sleeve, a zippered interior pocket, and two additional patch pockets inside. It’s all encased in soft, full-grain calfskin leather, with a padded back panel and shoulder straps for added comfort.

See It

Editors' Recommendations

Mike Richard
Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He's kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South…
Can’t get your hands on a Rolex? We may know why they’re so hard to come by
Everyone's favorite watch brand can be hard to source - here's why
Arm with Rolex Submariner on it

Whether you watch movies, listen to music, or read books, you have likely heard that Rolex watches are the pinnacle of stylish luxury in men's watches. Gorden Gecko sported a Rolex when he became the picture of wealth on Wall Street. Elvis Presley got one of only 100 Rolex King Midas watches for selling out the Houston Astrodome for six straight days. The brand has always been the gold standard in men's luxury.

However, that may not be the case any longer, as the brand seems to be losing its grip on the watch pyramid of superiority. 

Read more
Vans hiking boots: Introducing a warm-weather addition to the MTE collection
Check out these new hiking boots from Vans
Vans MTE warm weather hiking boot

Hey there adventure seekers, have you heard the news? Vans has just launched the UltraRange EXO Hi Gore-Tex Warm Weather MTE-2, the latest addition to its Made for the Elements (MTE) collection! The excitement surrounding this release is off the charts, and here’s why: This hiking boot is designed specifically for warm-weather adventures. How cool is that!

The Vans hiking shoes can stand up to the heat
With features like thermoregulation, moisture management, and traction, these new Vans hiking boots are a game changer.

Read more
Dior collaborates with Mystery Ranch and Cordura for its summer collection
Pick up these new bags for the summer from Dior
Dior backpack with flowers in it

Dior is one of the biggest names in all the fashion world. While Christian Dior was initially offered the role of designing for Phillipe et Gaston in Paris in 1946, he refused to design for someone else and instead decided to start a brand under his own name. That tenacity and belief in himself paid off for him as his brand became one of the most recognizable in the entire fashion world. Included in those recognizable products is the Dior bag.

On the other side of fashion is function. Mystery Ranch has led the way in providing backpacks for the men on the front lines of the battlefield, forest fires, or exploration. The company has had one focus since its inception: minimize the burden on your back so you can retain more power, more strength, and of course, more stamina. Whether a soldier, first responder, or explorer, its packs are designed to be as tough as you are.

Read more