A backpack used to be considered a back-to-school staple for campuses and classrooms, but now backpacks come into good use far beyond school campus. Cool backpacks abound, and they are practically everywhere you look. The best backpacks are designed to get you from A-to-Z efficiently and without missing a beat, but they can and do serve a greater purpose beyond that. Not only can they function well in carrying your load, but they can also up your style game and complete the ultimate work week look.
There's a backpack to suit every taste and style, and some of the best backpacks can go everywhere from the office to a day hike to a weekend jaunt around the city. And make no mistake, these backpacks are not like the ones you used in elementary school! Instead, these backpacks are all grown up these days, featuring premium materials like leather and canvas. For a new and surprisingly stylish way to haul your gear, these are our favorite backpack picks.
Florsheim Orazio Canvas and Leather Backpack
If you want a backpack that delivers the kind of style and durability you need on a daily basis, then this handsome backpack may have everything you're looking for. Florsheim's Orazio has a convenient exterior pocket, a spacious interior pocket, and even an interior zip compartment for your notebook computer and case. This backpack is pretty much as useful and dependable as it gets, and the canvas and leather accents make this backpack look extra chic.
Fjallraven Kanken 15-Inch Laptop Backpack
Best for your notebook
Fjallraven’s aptly named backpack is the one to buy if you need a cool backpack for your laptop. It’s also made with a moisture-repelling fabric, and it comes with a built-in seat pad for comfortable sitting and studying on the go. The full front zip opening makes this backpack incredibly versatile: you can load from the top and the front. And with a removable seat pad, it even has your back(side) when you're out in the wilderness and need a soft landing.
RAINS Mini Waterproof Backpack
Sometimes, keeping things sleek and toned down is as crucial for your accessories as it is for your outfit. To pair up an all-black outfit or an olive field coat with the right backpack, get this sharp monochrome number from Rains.
Under Armour Roland Backpack
Best for the gym
Haul your gym gear and other everyday wardrobe essentials to that workout session in style with this sleek option from Under Armour. UA's Storm technology ensures a highly protective and water-resistant finish, its soft-lined and padded laptop sleeve can fit up to a 15-inch notebook computer, and its side pocket is perfect to slip your water bottle into.
STM Dux Backpack 16L
Best in versatility
Let's face it: Life can throw plenty of surprises our way. No matter how your plans for the weekend change, where you suddenly have to go after work, or wherever else you're heading next, STM's Dux Backpack is here for you. The ComfortCarry™ ergonomic dual-foam shoulder straps and padded EVA foam back panel make this backpack quite easy to carry, the abundance of pockets inside and out mean you can carry a whole lot with this one bag, and PassPort™ luggage passthrough on the back panel makes this a great backpack for traveling.
Monos Metro Backpack
Best for travel
Though many backpacks do come in handy on trips, this is one backpack you may actually look forward to carrying. Monos' effortless style truly shines through in its Metro Backpack, which is available in multiple colors in nylon and vegan leather. Not only is it water-resistant outside, and not only does it abound in convenient pockets inside, but it even comes with Monos' signature QuickSnap™ Modular Kit that can be detached and re-attached to any and all Monos Metro bags! So next time you pack all your essentials in one place, make it the QuickSnap™ Modular Kit for the easiest transfer among your Monos bags.
Topo Designs Rover Pack Premium
Best for the great outdoors
Topo Designs makes all of its gear with the great outdoors in mind, and this remarkably durable backpack is no exception to the rule. Don't let the sleek look fool you: It's intricately crafted with a TPE coated ripstop base and 1000D nylon cinch top upper for maximum durability. And with internal and external laptop sleeves, a generously sized main interior compartment, a quilted ballistic back panel, and its use of nylon with high abrasion resistance, this backpack is perfect for whatever adventure you embark upon next - whether it's out in the country or deep in the city.
Samsonite Classic Leather Slim Backpack
Best for professionals
Samsonite gets all the details right here, from your choice of elegantly shaded cognac or black leather to the compact and very useful design. This is an ideal backpack for professionals and globetrotters in equal measure. With a large main compartment, front panels for more organization, and an air mesh back panel and straps, this backpack works great in the office and on the go.
Herschel Supply Pop Quiz Backpack
Best in value
Trekking around town or campus? Get ready for that next quiz or coffee shop work session with the compact, nicely prized Herschel Supply backpack. It’s the signature style you know and love from Herschel, and you can get it for under 100 dollars.
Tumi Bradner Backpack
Best in luxury
As always, Tumi turns out the ultimate in bags and cases. That certainly rings true for their Bradner Backpack, which has a remarkable abundance in pockets and compartments to fit your notebook, your essentials, and many more items while looking incredibly sleek. If money is no object, you might as well go for the best to stuff all your precious objects into.
It's hard to give that distinction to any one brand name. It really helps to shop around and to pay close attention to detail. Or if you're really pressed for time, you can always stop here and let us take care of a lot of the work for you!
Nylon tends to be the most common material for backpacks, though it's possible to find sturdy backpacks made with cotton and/or linen canvas.
Expect a good-quality backpack to weigh at least a full pound, and it may very well weigh a bit more depending on how many bells and whistles you want inside and out.
Really, it's best to find a cubby hole or a set of hooks by your front door to make it as easy as possible to grab it on your way out.
Again, it depends on what you're looking for. If you want a fashionable backpack from a top fashion house, expect to pay several hundred dollars (at least). If you're not really into designer labels, you may occasionally find a good deal for under 100 dollars. For the most part, expect to find plenty of good quality backpacks in the 100 to 200 dollar range.
If you need more help figuring out what you need for your next trip, check out our guide for packing beer and wine in your luggage, the best shoes to slip into your suitcase, our ultimate travel essentials checklist, and these handy tips to avoid the worst mistakes for a road trip. Wherever you head next, we hope you'll have everything you need to make your trip one to remember (for all the right reasons!).
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