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People love using backpacks as bags. It is frequently used to transport various items around the world. Office workers and students who undertake a variety of duties can use backpack bags. The most widespread applications for a backpack bag are for transporting books, business documents, laptops, and other personal items. It has also been extensively used for personal tasks like moving to a new location. Your decision when looking for a backpack bag will depend on your preferences and spending limit. In addition, due to their greater versatility, backpack bags can also be used as party favours.
Best Bang for the Buck
The North Face Borealis
In our category of laptop bags, The North Face Borealis is praised for its outstanding value. This pack would make a terrific daily book bag and is a very flexible alternative for school, work, and travel. It's a fantastic commuting bag, and our test subjects liked riding their bikes around town with it on. The extras you pick up while doing errands on the way home will fit in its 28-liter capacity. To keep your life organised, it contains a dedicated laptop area and other easy-access pockets. This backpack seems sporty enough to use on the weekends or after work to hit the trails. Its extreme toughness and water resistance only increase this pack's adaptability.
Although we don't mind this pack's outdoorsy appearance and think it's great for hiking, some people might prefer a more fashionable bag for taking a laptop to work or school. However, we believe that for the price, this is a fantastic option to carry a laptop and so much more.
Our Favorite Classic School Bag
JanSport Big Student
In our assessment of the Best Budget Backpacks, the JanSport Big Student stands out for its timeless design and exceptional value. This traditional school bag offers a large capacity for holding bulky textbooks, lunches, exercise gear, and other daily necessities. It is simple to keep your things organised and locate that calculator, mobile phone, or vehicle keys thanks to the extra zipped pockets and distinct storage areas. Although this bag is made with students in mind, commuters, travellers, and parents on the move will also love it for its size, style, and adaptability.
Although we like the Big Student's traditional look, it is lacking a designated cushioned laptop storage area, which is a feature seen on many contemporary styles. In one of its primary storage sections, this bag can comfortably store the majority of computers, although some more cushioning and protection would be excellent. Overall, this bag offers great value and is among our all-time top picks for students.
Best Simple and Affordable Daypack
REI Co-op Flash 22
In our study of the Best Daypacks, the dependable REI Co-op Flash 22 stands out for its affordability. This minimalist daypack is not only lightweight and surprisingly comfy, but also quite adaptable. We were astonished by its ultra-lightweight pack's ability to carry stuff. It contains an ice axe strap, side pockets for water bottles, and a lightweight frame made of cushioning foam. It doesn't have many other functions, but that's often all we need from a daypack. The Flash has been around for almost ten years, and the most recent iteration is the gold standard for cheap, lightweight daypacks. This pack has even been used while jogging. The lightweight construction also allows it perform well enough for going rapidly on the path, despite some bouncing.
The Flash 22 isn't the most robust pack available since it just has one layer of lightweight fabric. If you do encounter wear, the ripstop nylon used in its construction is strong and simple to repair. We don't anticipate a pack this light to be good for carrying really big stuff. This is an excellent option if you're searching for a reasonably priced pack that can be used for daypacking when camping, hiking, commuting, or travelling. This pack comes in a variety of sizes and colours.
Carhartt Medium Pack + 3 Can Insulated Cooler
The Carhartt Medium Pack is a great option for bringing on hikes, beach vacations, fishing expeditions, or wherever else you would want to enjoy a cold beverage while on the road since it comes with a three-can insulated cooler. It includes comfortable cushioned mesh panels on the back and shoulder straps and is constructed of the very strong and water-resistant material Cordura.
The Carhartt Medium Pack is ideal for work or school thanks to features like a fleece-lined eyeglasses compartment, a 15-inch laptop sleeve, and an elastic pocket for a tablet.
Patagonia Arbor Lid Pack 28L
Thanks to its very low weight, the Patagonia Arbor Lid Pack is equally prepared for foreign trips, outdoor experiences, and everyday commuting. That implies that even when the bag is completely loaded, you won't feel its weight.
The bag is manufactured from recycled nylon and polyester and is water- and abrasion-resistant in design. The inside offers a sizable inner area and a cushioned 15-inch laptop sleeve, which is essentially a need for any useful backpack.
There is ample room for all of your belongings in the 28 litre capacity, but if you need to pack something in particularly tightly, the top-loading lid and flexible nylon material make it simple.
Dagne Dover Dakota Neoprene Backpack
One of the most popular backpacks among the Insider Reviews staff members is the Dagne Dover Dakota Neoprene Backpack. Thanks to its eight colour and three size possibilities, it's a great carrier. The backpack's water-resistant, hand-washable, quick-dry neoprene material is ideal for excursions to the gym, commuting to work, and day hikes equally. Your laptop may be kept inside a pocket, and there is even a bag to fit an additional pair of shoes. According to Dagne Dover, this work-life balance bag is insulated and effectively distributes weight to provide comfort to its elegant design.
Best Overall, Runner-Up: Osprey
Osprey was founded in 1974 as a backpack company, in contrast to Patagonia, which started off making climbing and mountaineering equipment before expanding into packs and baggage. While Osprey began manufacturing gear three hours north on California's coast in Santa Cruz, Patagonia began producing gear in Ventura. The company's founder Mike Pfotenhauer, his business partner, and wife Diane Wren relocated it to southwest Colorado, where it hired a group of Navajo women as its first skilled sewers. The company is still in Cortez and is continuing on its legacy of innovation and modern business methods. Osprey manufactures high-quality packs for almost every travel and outdoor activity, which is something we adore. We like that Osprey takes sustainability and environmentally friendly methods into account and just unveiled the Talon Earth 22, their most environmentally friendly pack to date. Also anticipated is its first trekking collection specifically designed for plus-size consumers.
Best for Hiking: Deuter
Deuter has produced goods as a result of its love of mountain activities. The firm only concentrates on backpacks and bags, which is a specialised strategy that guarantees each item is made with the finest attention to detail. For people who are new to backpacking, options vary from reliable all-purpose packs to lightweight daypacks, adventure packs with the largest capacity, and backpacks designed expressly for activities like trail running, skiing, and climbing. Deuter is well known for making durable backpacks, similar to Patagonia. You have access to a lifetime repair service with yours, and if the pack is considered beyond repair, you will be given a replacement at no additional charge. The company is dedicated to upholding ethical standards and follows bluesign guidelines for consumer, worker, and environmental protection.
Best for Versatility: Tropicfeel
Tropicfeel is a modern company dedicated to promoting mindful travel that was established in 2017. Therefore, their backpack models provide the utmost adaptability and are as suited for daily usage at home, at school, or in the city as they are on the path. There are four models available for selection. Three (Hive, Shell, and Nest) increase their capacity by using add-ons and clever organisers. For instance, The Nest may be utilised as a 30-liter adventure backpack or a 16-liter daypack. You may save money and the environment by not having to buy a different bag for every occasion thanks to its daily adjustment feature. In addition, Tropicfeel is certified as Climate Neutral, which means that all carbon emissions are offset, and all of the nylon and polyester they use are recycled to, respectively. The sole disadvantage? You won't get the same lifetime guarantee that more reputable manufacturers provide.
Best Waterproof: Rains
You may require a backpack that is completely waterproof if you reside in an area where it rains often. Rains, an outerwear lifestyle company, offers a variety of packs made of a specifically produced PU fabric that is free of PFC and PVC as the ideal option. Similar to the apparel line, the company's bags have top-notch utility and a fashionable, unisex urban look. There are many different designs to choose from, including flap-top cargo bags with many exterior compartments and carabiner fastenings and roll-top rucksacks that close with a buckle. The intended uses of the packets are equally varied. Choose the Mountaineer Bag for your next outdoor expedition because of its roomy main compartment, compression straps, and outside bungee system, or the stylish Backpack Micro for a day in the city because of its internal laptop pocket and covert external phone pocket.
Best Sustainable: Terra Thread
While the majority of the companies on our list have made a commitment to sustainability, ethical bag and backpack company Terra Thread is known for it. The firm supports reforestation and renewable energy programmes to offset carbon emissions, making it completely carbon neutral. In a Fair Trade Certified facility that ensures competitive wages and secure working conditions for its employees, all goods are made from Fairtrade organic cotton. The business has earned B Corp certification, demonstrating that it upholds the highest standards for social and environmental responsibility. There are three different backpack designs available in big, medium, and small sizes. The two bigger packs come with a laptop compartment and two water bottle sleeves, and they are all constructed of heavy-duty cotton canvas and include an outside pocket with a zipper. Choose from a range of vibrant colours and adorable designs.
Best Style: Troubadour
Two friends' quest for a bag that is sophisticated enough for the boardroom, tough enough for outdoor usage, and fashionable enough for an urban retreat led to the creation of Troubadour. A range of bags, including backpacks, are now available from the company, all of which have a sleek, sophisticated style with the tagline "luxury but not loud, timeless yet twenty-first century." Backpacks come in a variety of stylish designs and sizes and are offered in traditional hues like navy, black, and khaki.
Others have contrasting gold zippers that stand out on their own. Some have hidden zippers for a seamless appearance. The backpacks are as stylish as they are practical, making the most use of lightweight materials and waterproof textiles. Be prepared to find useful pockets, cushioned laptop portions, permeable back panels, and comfy shoulder straps. Materials include leather that has been obtained responsibly and repurposed plastic.
Best Lightweight: Hyperlite
The emphasis of Hyperlite is on ultralight expeditions and the skill of minimising the base weight of your kit so that you have the stamina to go further, faster, and longer. The company provides everything from tents and clothing to sleeping pads and backpacks, with a focus on providing products for professional hikers and expeditionists. To assist you in selecting the right one, each backpack type is given a list of suggested applications and optimal locations.
Options range from the Ice Pack to the Northrim, which is excellent for canyoneering and trekking (perfect for alpine climbing). Lower-volume daypacks are also available for impromptu treks and peak-bagging excursions. For the ideal balance of lightness and durability, all versions are composed of lightweight Dyneema Composite Fabric. Feature options vary from external mesh pockets to ice axe loops, depending on your preference.
Best for Photographers: Lowepro
If you like taking pictures, you are aware of how important it is to safeguard your gear when travelling. For more than 50 years, Lowepro has produced backpacks for those who love taking pictures. To guarantee top performance, all goods are laboratory tested and created with assistance from photographers. There are over 60 different backpack types available, with variations to fit any configuration—including hard-sided backpacks for drone pilots.
Features include detachable camera compartments, adjustable divider systems, armoured protection, and various access points—so you never lose a photo while fumbling to get your camera out of the bag. Other features include built-in weather resistance and entirely waterproof coverings. Separate interior organisers and modular enclosures are now available from Lowepro for even more customization. A limited warranty covers manufacturing or material flaws for the duration that you possess the bag.
Best for Durability: GORUCK
The original purpose of GORUCK, which was founded by a pair with experience in both the Special Forces and the CIA, was to develop a knapsack that could endure the most extreme circumstances. The brand, which now touts itself as the maker of "the world's toughest gear," has a wide selection of backpacks ideal for anything from international travel to rucking (the practise of training with a weight on your back). A waxing procedure that has been used for more than gives duck canvas, which is used in the majority of packs, even more strength and water resistance. Heavy-duty shoulder straps include additional cushioning, and YKK zippers have pulls made of durable parachute rope. For extra security, many also have a Bombproof Laptop Compartment with a fake bottom. All goods are backed by the Scars Lifetime Guarantee of the company.