A good backpack should do more than look good (although that’s undoubtedly a requirement). A good backpack should fit comfortably on your back, be large enough to hold your belongings, and be durable enough to last for many years, if not a lifetime.
Alison Watta, a hiking and backpacking guide, recommends purchasing backpacks with mesh pockets on the sides. It’s important to have certain things in your bag, like water and snacks. Price is also a consideration.
According to travel writer Stewart Gold, travelers often choose backpacks based on their low cost or style. Choosing a pack on either or both of these criteria is likely to leave you with an unreliable or uncomfortable pack.
Top 5 Bestseller Backpack
One thing is for certain: whether you’re shopping for a rugged backpack for hiking, a helpful and stylish work bag, or a cross-country travel backpack, one of these brands is sure to be your new backpack soulmate.
Top 10 Best Backpack Reviews
Best Overall: The North Face
- BOREALIS CLASSIC. This 28L backpack is specifically designed for women with easy-to-access pockets, an overhauled suspension system and front elastic bungee system. The main compartment has a padded fleece-lined 15" laptop sleeve to protect your computer.
- FLEX VENT TECHNOLOGY. The FlexVent suspension system features a flexible yoke built from custom injection-molded shoulder straps, a padded mesh back panel and a breathable lumbar panel for comfortable, ventilated support.
- TOTAL ORGANIZATION. Two extended mesh water bottle pockets double as multi-use pockets. The front compartment has an extra padded tablet sleeve and zip pockets. An external fleece-lined pocket stores small items or electronics.
The North Face makes superb backpacks for everyday use and adventure travel that are sporty, practical, and utilitarian. Founded in 1966, this brand specializes in top-notch outdoor equipment like backpacks, tents, and sleeping bags as well as outerwear, fleece, and footwear. The brand’s backpack selection is also great if you’re looking for a reliable everyday bag to carry everywhere you go.
There are a number of user-friendly features in their bags, including their FlexVent suspension system (with custom injection-molded shoulder straps and a padded mesh back panel), ample storage compartments, and a variety of innovative, lightweight designs. Basically, you’ll find a design that’s perfect for your everyday adventures.
- Great shoulder support
- Range of interior compartments
- Amazing warranty
- Can feel top-heavy
BAGGU Drawstring Backpack
- Portable Backpack - Ideal for Everyday Essentials with Adjustable Straps
- Drawstring Closure
- Eco-Friendly - Made from 100% Cotton Canvas (65% Recycled)
When it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, BAGGU excels. A budget-friendly brand that offers simple, cute, and functional bags that will last for years to come.
Emily and Joan Sugihara, mother-daughter duo, founded BAGGU in 2007 with the idea of creating a cute, reusable shopping bag that could also serve as a tote.
Currently, the company makes a range of bags with the same goal in mind: minimizing waste and using sustainable materials to create well-designed, affordable bags. There are dozens of cool backpack designs to choose from, but the Standard BAGGU and canvas and basic totes are most popular.
- Sustainably made
- Fun designs
- Minimal interior pockets
TIMBUK2 Authority Laptop Backpack
- THE AUTHORITY PACK: A supremely organized monster of a work pack, optimized for your daily commute
- KEEP IT ORGANIZED: Interior pocket fits most 15" to 17" laptops; Internal organizer for pens, phones, and other small stuff; Large main compartment for books, jacket, and other carry-on essentials; Side stretch pocket for water bottle
- CLEVER EXTRAS: Rear access to laptop pocket keeps your device protected while giving more space in the main compartment for other stuff; Bottom compression straps for cinching; Grab handle for easy lifting; In-pocket key keeper; Reflective tape under compression straps; Reflective zipper pulls; Side neoprene pocket
Timbuk2 is well-known for crafting high-quality laptop bags, so you can rely on them to keep your computer safe and secure. Work-friendly bags like backpacks, briefcases, laptop sleeves and other bags from this company have all kinds of special features: a clean exterior, padded laptop sleeve, accessible storage compartments, and a piece of the gorgeous, durable base fabric.
Also, the straps are comfortable. As with many brands, Timbuk2 is committed to forward-thinking manufacturing and progressive, sustainable initiatives, like their Timbuk2 recycling program, which encourages customers to repair or even repurpose old bags.
- Waterproof laptop panel
- Repair and recycling program
Deuter Unisex Adult’s Speed Lite 20 Hiking Backpack
- ENGINEERED WITH INNOVATION - Deuter's Speed Lite packs bring together all around versatility and advanced ergonomics to deliver optimal comfort and performance through anatomically-sound construction; Padded AirMesh shoulder straps, a height-adjustable chest strap and removable hip belt give you total control over fit; Compression straps double up for ski, pole, or ice axe attachment
- LIGHTEN UP - A flexible, tensioned Delrin U-shaped frame provides stability without weighing you down; The U-frame teams up with the Speed Lite's unique V-cut profile to create a compact carry system with an optimal load center making this 1lb 3 oz (0.54kg) pack ideal for fast-paced endurance sports, alpine day hikes, or as a summit backpack for mountaineering
- FEATURES & FUNCTIONALITY - The Speed Lite's features provide everything you need and nothing you don't: specialized compartments for your 3-liter hydration system, valuables, and wet gear or clothing; mesh side pockets for snacks or water bottles; mesh front pocket for gloves, skins, etc.; 3M reflectors for visibility; reinforced pull loops on zippers; even a SOS-Label with life-saving tips in case something goes wrong
The importance of carrying a good pack is well known to hikers. Whether you’re planning a multi-day trip to the mountains or a small outing on a trail near your house. This beloved brand delivers the goods: lightweight design, true ergonomic comfort, plenty of streamlined storage space, and body-hugging weight distribution.
It was founded in 1898 by Hans Deuter from Germany, who was supplying mailbags to the Bavarian Post. With a range of options, trekkers can choose the pack type that best suits their needs for a fully customizable experience. Deuter is known for making some of the best mountaineering and hiking backpacks today.
- Can filter by activity
- Select bags offer women’s sizing
Herschel Little America Laptop Backpack
- HERSCHEL COLLECTION: Click on our brand logo at the top of the page to explore the full collection from Herschel Supply.
- DURABLE DESIGN: A timeless silhouette inspired by the classic mountaineering style. Sturdy polyester and nylon fabric, made for all adventures. Signature striped liner, drawcord closure and magnet-fastened straps with metal pin buckles. Finished with Herschel’s classic woven label. Spacious, versatile and tech-friendly, the Herschel Little America is suited for both your everyday commutes and your airplane carry-ons.
- MEN/WOMEN/UNISEX: The Herschel Little America Backpack was made for everyone. Use it for your commute, the school week, a business trip, or a weekend adventure.
Check out Herschel Supply Co. if small, impractically-designed backpacks just don’t cut it. Herschel, a lifestyle bag company founded in 2009, focuses on crafting elegant, functional fashion that is less technical-looking and more detail-oriented.
When it comes to oversized bags and luggage, Herschel offers the best designs that offer plenty of storage without looking bulky. Dual external water bottle pockets, a suspended internal pocket, front storage, and a clean, simple silhouette.
- Wide range of sizes
- Laptop compartments can be small
Patagonia Atom Sling 8L
With a reputation for producing high-quality outdoor gear, Patagonia’s waterproof backpacks are no exception. The waterproof packs from Patagonia are not only highly durable, utilitarian, and have plenty of expandable storage, but they also repel water effectively.
With a variety of backpacks, hip packs, and duffels available, their waterproof line consists of Waterproof Submersible (the highest level of waterproof protection), Waterproof Non-Submersible, and Water Resistant.
Moreover, the brand is extremely conscious of making eco-friendly apparel, and all of its business initiatives are designed with this in mind. As part of 1% for the Planet, Patagonia pledges to donate 1 percent of sales to environmental groups.
- Packs for all activities
- Fit can run small
LIGHT FLIGHT Laptop Backpacks Fits
- LARGE CAPACITY - Laptop backpack designed with separate compartment fits up to 15.6'' notebook. Large main compartment roomy for daily necessities, such as A4 folders, magazines, tablet, chargers, power bank and clothes.
- CONVENIENT POCKETS - Front zippered pocket allows you to put your small items in an organized manner. Backside hidden pocket to keep your phone or other valuable items. Side pockets for water bottle or umbrella.
- EASY CHARGE - You can charge the phone via the side pocket’s hole so that you don’t need to take the power bank all the time. Just keep up your phone and be on the go.
Dagne Dover is the perfect bag if you’re seeking an elegant (but still functional) bag for work. With their gorgeous, eye-catching backpacks, you can combine minimalistic aesthetics with efficient design while having enough space for your everyday work essentials.
Even more, the brand’s entire niche is career-friendly fashions–Dagne Dover supports the working woman with professional, thoughtfully-designed bags. The female-led brand started in 2012, but they are already recognized for their bags’ innovative organizational features and super-streamlined designs.
- Interior organization
- The exterior can be hand washed
- A limited number of styles
TUMI Voyageur Carson Laptop Backpack
- EXTERNAL FEATURES: Double-zip entry to main compartment, double-zip entry to front U-zip pocket, zip entry to laptop compartment, front straight pocket with locking zipper pull, side zip pocket, side zip water-resistant water bottle pocket, quick-access phone pocket with magnetic snap, leather top handle, monogrammable detachable leather dangler/key ring, Add-a-Bag sleeve, padded adjustable shoulder straps
- INTERNAL FEATURES: Laptop compartment (15"); tablet pocket; 1 large open pocket; 2 open pockets; zip pocket with TUMI tracer; card pocket; pen pocket
- MATERIALS: Nylon
A name like Tumi is well known in the travel industry and for good reason. I like their suitcases because they are durable, stylish, and sleek without too many bells and whistles. The brand’s backpacks are also amazing, so it’s not surprising.
In addition to the laptop compartment, there is tons of internal organization so that smaller items don’t get lost. A material like ballistic nylon will stand the test of time, whether you are on the road or on your way to work. Tumi Tracer also allows you to locate your bag in the event it goes missing.
- Deep pockets
- Quality material
- Limited colors
Osprey Farpoint 55 Men’s Travel Backpack
- Large, lockable U-zip duffel-style access to main compartment - 55L total volume
- Detachable daypack with designated laptop and tablet sleeve and scratch-free stash pocket
- Stowaway backpanel, shoulder straps and hipbelt with zippered rear flap for protection when checking
Due to the fact that Osprey has been making backpacks exclusively for almost 50 years, it’s no wonder they’re the best when it comes to running backpacks.
Mike Pfotenhauer founded the company in 1974 in Santa Cruz, Calif., and it remains a small, independent business, despite producing some of the best packs in the industry. Whether you’re packing up for a long-distance run or a quick jaunt around the block, an Osprey pack is your new best friend on the trail.
- Made with recycled materials
- Suspension system
- Fit quiz
- Limited style options
Fjallraven Kanken Mini Classic Backpack
- ICONIC: Meet the mini version of our classic Kanken. Same design, smaller size. Stash everyday essentials in the main zippered compartment, front zippered pocket, and two open side pockets.
- PRACTICAL: Meet the material: Vinylon F. It has a weird name but it's dirt-resistant, water-resistant, and wipes clean.
- FUNCTIONAL: Two-way zipper with rain flap for protection. Long adjustable shoulder straps. Dual top snap handles for quick carry. Reflective logo.
Fjallraven makes other outdoor clothing and equipment, but its Kanken backpack is better known among trendy jet setters. With their sleek, compact design, durable fabric, well-padded straps, and boxy shape that does not droop like traditional backpacks, these backpacks are no doubt stylish.
This means they are not only fashionable but also functional, which pretty much sums up the brand’s entire style. The Swedish company Fjallraven was founded in 1960, and it’s today easily one of the biggest apparel companies in Scandinavia thanks to its timeless, ultra-durable products and commitment to sustainability.
- Bold colors
- Convertible straps
- Little internal organization
What to Consider When Choosing Backpack
Each person’s budget is different, of course. Fortunately, the brands on this list cover a wide range of price points. In general, BAGGU’s backpacks are half the price of similar-quality backpacks from other companies.
On the other end of the spectrum, Dagne Dover offers a line of bags that are pricey but oh-so-worth-it. As with anything else, you get what you pay for when it comes to a good backpack.
Durability is the name of the game when it comes to materials. Not one that will easily stain or fall apart after only a few outdoor excursions are what you should look for in a backpack.
Leather (or vegan leather), nylon, and canvas are among the best backpack materials. Some brands (such as Fjallraven and Patagonia) use recycled materials to make their backpacks, which is something that consumers need to consider these days.
When you are searching for the right backpack, a solid warranty is essential. Sometimes, even the most well-known brands have products that malfunction or fail in some way. The best backpacks will come with at least a three-year warranty (though most reputable brands will offer lifetime warranties).
How should you clean a backpack?
The way you clean your backpack will depend on the material you should always consult the care instructions first. Leather backpacks, for instance, should be professionally cleaned; fabric backpacks, on the other hand, can usually be hand-washed or machine-washed.
The first step in cleaning your backpack is to empty it completely, then run a vacuum nozzle along the seams to remove any hardcore debris. To clean the interior and exterior of the bathtub or sink, fill it with warm water and use a mild soap. While some backpacks can be washed in the washing machine, it’s vital to check the instructions on how to wash your bag before doing so.
How should backpacks fit?
Backpacks should fit your back comfortably and feel comfortable, not too bulky or poky. However, when it comes to backpack size, that depends entirely on the way you plan to use it. For example, if you are looking for a backpack or hiking bag, you will want to make sure the hip belt fits directly on your hip bones.
Or just underneath your hip bones if you have slim hips. Furthermore, your shoulder straps should begin at the curve of your back (not too low down your back). Before trying on packs, it’s a good idea to measure your torso length to ensure that they fit you perfectly.
What are some must-have design features to be on the lookout for?
For the purpose of your backpack, make sure it has the appropriate storage. Considering buying a good backpack for work? In addition to a padded laptop sleeve for your computer, your bag should also have compartments for your keys, phone, and other essentials.
When choosing a backpack for hiking, make sure it has hip belt pockets, front pockets, and, if you plan to use it overnight, a sleeping bag compartment. Also important is ventilation (in the form of mesh back panels). A quality zipper and waterproof properties are also important design features.
Our hearts belong to The North Face (view at The North Face) when it comes to sheer functionality and utilitarian style. This popular outdoor brand consistently produces backpacks with easy-access pockets, breathable back panels, and removable waist belts, among other essential features.