Looking for some backpack recommendations to use as an everyday bag to carry laptop, notebooks, and misc items. Nice to have would be to use for travel as well but don't want it to be too bulky. Found a post here from 4 years ago but nothing recently.
I love how this question elicits the most responses on here.
I FEEL VERY STRONG EMOTIONS ABOUT MY BACKPACK.
Glad this place still has a decent amount of humans (not just bots)... wasn't sure.
Makes me feel a little better, that I'm obviously not the only guy with a backpack fetish ...
Am I the only cheap person here? $300 for a bag?!?! I like my $15 one.
I justify it considering my backpack is with me 80%+ of my awake life. Depends what you need it for :)
Topo Designs Y-Pack
Seconding. I have the first version of this bag (with one strap instead of two) that I bought in 2015 - it's been to several countries and on a lot of commutes and is still holding up wonderfully.
thanks, just ordered one!
I really enjoy my Chrome Industries Bravo 2.0. Waterproof and sleek with a good amount of organization. It's also nice that it's the murdered out version for extra hip points.
Same, mine's in BLKCHRM
Fjallraven Raven 20
Peak Design Everyday backpack (20L) in black. Rigid, waterproof exterior is good for when my mile+ walks to work in SF get a bit rainy. And of course on the weekends I put the internal dividers in, put my camera and some lenses in there, strap on my tripod to the external straps and am ready to go for a shoot outdoors.
I have a few others for travel (small daypack, larger goruck for clothes, etc) that I mention here https://paulstamatiou.com/photos/gear/#bags but the Peak bag gets the most use.
I love this brand but the Everyday Backpack was too pointy on the sides for communities always getting in people's way. Wish they would revisit this backpack.
Cote & Ciel makes some sexy bags—I picked up the Isar a while back and love it. It's like a traditional backpack with a duffel bag attached to it.
I recently bought the 'Original Bobby' by XD Design. It's pretty solid and minimal for carrying a laptop, tablet + accessoires. Not much space for anything extra like a water bottle, the pockets inside are too shallow, so things fall out of them often.
I have the same one, no regrets so far :D
I have one of these too! Love mine. Like you said there's not too much space but I don't need loads. Laptop, charger, notepad, pens... can fit an item or two of clothing in there too!
I upgraded to one of Mission Workshop's waxed canvas Fitzroy bags a couple months back and I love it. It's waterproof like all their bags, but the canvas exterior gives it a more natural feel. There's a big laptop sleeve built in with a sheet of carbon fiber to add some protection. All their bags are wonderfully designed for bike commuting, although I could see myself using this one regardless. For travel, I've already used this bag a couple times for long weekend trips and found it spacious enough to avoid bringing another carry-on. The price tag is a bit high, but consider that these are U.S. made and guaranteed for life. Link
I've been using this for 3 years now. I've had no complaints with it whatsoever. The only issue is it doesn't have a bottle insert on the side.
Love this bag. Very slim yet versatile.
Out of all the backpacks posted I like this one the most. The least amount of cross-embroidered straps and stuff on the back. It's clean and has a pleasant texture that can withstand a bit of dirt.
Goruck GR1 21L- https://www.goruck.com/gr1/
I was looking for a backpack recently which I could use for work and gym. I found the Fit Pack 2 by AER awesome. It has completely separate sections for your work equipment like laptop, mouse, notepad, pens etc, your clothes and change of shoes. The separation means that if you have slightly sweaty gym gear, your notepad won't start soaking up the sweat and if you have dusty shoes, your change of clothing stays clean.
AER Fit Pack 2https://www.aersf.com/fit-pack-2-gray
Mission Workshop Fitzroy. It's amazing and this might be the best purchase I ever made. It's super comfortable, looks great, it's water-resistant (I live and the Netherlands so I cycle a lot, sometimes in the rain. I'm never worried about my laptop.), durable, has a lifetime warranty and it's design just makes sense. I highly recommend it. I love cycling with it, I love traveling with it, heck even doing groceries is great because it can expand it's capacity thanks to the clever usage of belts to close the backpack.
If I ever lose it I won't even consider buying anything else - it's just a perfect match for me.
I have a whole collection of backpacks, ranging from a massive 5.11 Rush 72, down to a tiny IKEA FÖRENKLA. The latter is my daily driver and has been for almost two years. It's a tiny 12L backpack that fits everything you need for the commute to work or for a short trip. It just nails the basics in a way that my other backpacks haven't been able to match and despite my best efforts to find a replacement for it, I just haven't found anything that is as practical.
Is it waterproof? No but I've used it almost everyday for the last two years, through rain and snow, and everything was nice and dry upon arrival.
Will it protect your laptop from a fall? Maybe. Haven't really tried :)
Does it cost less than €20 / $23? Heck yeah it does!
I LOVE Ikea backpacks. I've been using the discontinued UPPTACKA for about five years now.
Bought it, loved it, bought another and haven't needed to swap them out yet. Plus the orange colour is lovely in person. It's become my signature colour!
I got the PKG Brighton a few months ago, and it's been great.
At first, I was skeptical of the top loader without as much segmented areas as my previous backpack, but it packs so much easier and can pack a lot more than any backpack I've ever had.
I'm an athlete as well, training in the morning and evening. In addition to my laptop, notebook and a few other work items, I often have my swim gear, work clothes (with change of shoes), lunch and a water bottle all squeezed in there.
Recently purchased this from DSPTCH and have been traveling with it for the past month or so. It's capable of being a second carry on item, fits a 15 in MacBook Pro, and is extremely comfortable.
GoRuck GR1. It's the most durable, quality backpack I've ever owned.
Do you have the 21L or 26L?
I have the 21L. It's the perfect size.
Cote et Ciel Rhine, an absolutely awesome slim backpack for my daily commute.
What an absolutely beautiful brand. Almost every other backpack mentioned here lacks some refinement to my taste. This is a whole other category of amazing. Thank you for this!
Their newest season looks even better than the old models. Super satisfied with the build quality.
That’s great to know! Price points seem fair too. I’m convinced to try!
You should be making descent money to see their price point as fair..
I love Cote et Ciel but I found them made of very thick canvas for the international fabric and a bit too heavy for my likely. Do you know if they've got any better?
I have the Rhine in Coated Canvas. It almost feels like leather. Extremely sturdy for sure and proven waterproof for me. Cote et Ciel backpacks in general are kind of massive and monolithic looking. It doesn’t stop with the fabric - the zippers are massive too and the adjustment straps are as thick as they can possibly can.
I have the Klettersack from Topo Designs and use it every day with my laptop as well as sporting gear. I have also taken it on trips (sightseeing as well as really have rain). I can’t recommend it enough – be sure to check it out and look into some reviews https://topodesigns.com/products/klettersack
https://www.wandrd.com/products/prvke Been using this bag for roughly ~6 months. Nicely sized, very compact and comfortable to wear. I'm able to fit 15" Macbook Pro, iPad, Sony a7III, 24-70mm lens, DJI Mavic Pro, Remote and several accessories comfortably with a lot of additional room to spare.
Thule EnRoute - for many years now
My everyday pack is the Eastpak Out of Office.
I have the Pop Quiz from Herschel Supply Co. Lots of pockets to put stuff and a big laptop sleeve. I've used it every day for the last 2 years and it's help up really well.
I use the Yukon by Head Porter. I've used it for about two years now and I love that it's on the smaller size but still easily holds a laptop, books, notebooks with no issues. It's very minimal and comfortable to carry and I love that it doesn't use a fold closure or look too much like a hiking backpack. Also the bag is very water resistant which comes in hand a lot as I live Seattle.
Brenthaven Collins Convertible since March 2014, still going strong.
Qwstion.com have very nice backpacks. Swiss design
All the ads following me now are for backpacks. ://///////
Better this than shit you don't care about ;)
Roadrunner Medium Rolltop. Has lasted 4 years of 15-30k miles a year commuting every day in rain or shine, with occasional trips as a carryon. Carries normal work supplies, but I've also carried frozen turkeys, booze, and an odd loaf of bread on the way home. Applied some fresh waterproof earlier this year, but the thing is pretty indestructible.
Also, this is the best roll top buckle system I've used. Clasps are finicky, zippers unzip, and most tension based system let go, but this doesn't.
Great! I`m gonna try. :)
I used to have Brenthaven Slim backpack. Its a Seattle based company and has lifetime warranty on their products. Unfortunately I got bored looking at the backpack for 2 years, gave it to my cousin.
Fits Macbook Pro 15, Wacom tablet, iPad 10", some notepads, trackpad, and few letter size / A4 documents. Don't expect this to hold thick textbooks.
This is the same backpack the DeviantArt(DA) used to sell with their branding on it 7 years ago. Found one image online.
I miss this backpack looks so neat and slim I want it back :'( DA versions looks too grungy and cheap though.
A very utilitarian Marmont backpack. It has straps that help keep it small even when its full of stuff.
I use an Incase ICON Slim 95% of the time. It holds basically everything I need to without being bulky, and looks pretty good to boot.
I also have a 20L Oakley rucksack-style backpack that I use when I'm lucky enough to be traveling without a laptop :)
I've had the same bag for well over 10 years, the Chrome Industries' Citizen. These bags come with a lifetime warranty and are very well crafted. Got a rubber lining so its rain proof. Perfect for daily bike commute :
I roll with a Crumpler - The Barney Rustle Blanket.
Probably one of the best bags I've ever owned, the thing has been everywhere with me and has held up perfectly for god knows how long now. Cheap and super durable. All the materials are really high quality, and the straps/main buckle are dive equipment items and are tough as buggery.
Previously on DN: https://www.designernews.co/stories/21633
Still using the goruck 5+ years later ( http://vivekgani.com/articles/backpack-comparison-goruck-gr1-vs-5-11-rush-12/ ), it's been my daily carry, grocery getter, and travel luggage the whole time. Still impressed that you can just hang the bag by the zipper while loaded with things and it handles it fine.
Trying to open my mind to find something a bit more ergonomic/lighter if I switch to a smaller laptop. Maybe a Minaal, or get a cycling bag like a north st., or maybe a smaller goruck with some field pockets to strap outside when travelling.
topo designs daypack (previous generation)
I'm currently using a Tamarao backpack from Capra Leather. In my opinion the most beautiful backpack I've ever stumbled upon. Usability is only okay (not waterproff, only one big compartment, zippers sometimes get stuck), but it' so beautiful!! ;)
I cant get enough of my CHROME Bravo 2.0 - best bag i have used to date
Patagonia Black Hole 25L
My current is All Saints neylon Pasadena Rucksack with soft filler, because it protect laptop and other stuff by default.
I use Peak Design - Everyday Backpack. Beautiful design, very flexible, and super durable. I carry my camera, go pros, MacBook, tripod and more. https://www.peakdesign.com/product/bags/everyday-backpack
Had it for 2 months already and love it more and more each time I find different use for it. I think it's one of the best designed backpacks out there if not the best...
Just bought the all day backpack from a local Barcelona brand: http://www.fugacargo.com/product/alldaypacked-negro
I was looking at other backpacks (some of them posted here) but some of them were too big for my daily commute. Things I carry around: macbook pro 15' 2017, AIAIAI headphones, mb charger, Basquiat sunglasses (need in Barcelona), card holder, apartment keys, iphone, airpods.
I rock the Everyday Backpack from Peak Design. Its a truly remarkable piece of engineering. Its sleek and minimal for the daily carry and then it surprises the hell out of you when its time to load it up. Awesome protection for all your gear, lockable zippers for when you're traveling, and super easy to get in and out of. Everyday Back Pack
topo designs commuter brief with stowable backpack straps
Mine is a Pinqponq Cubik - A good utilitarian backpack for remote working. Aside the modern look, it's made out of recyclable pet bottles, which makes it even cooler. Definitely recommend it :)
I was tired of those big brands, those backpacks that lasted like 6-16 months at most, always some tiny bits or strings loose here or there or even whole handles going off. Then I did some proper research and bought myself an EVERKI backpack. Great usability and durability. 2 years of hard work and still like new. I highly recommend this brand.
Douchebags Hugger 30l . It is great for traveling https://douchebags.com/hugger-30l
Currently rocking one of these. SO much room :)
I love my Mono backpack from Monocase.com. I’ve had it for over 5 years and it’s bulletproof. What’s cool is it has a pop off feature that can still carry your laptop and some other things while leaving the rest behind. So you get the best of both, a small low profile rig or a big one that has room for all your crap. I travel a lot and live out of this pack using it every day and somehow there is no sign of wear and tear. Downside is it’s not inexpensive but given that it has outlasted any other pack I’ve had, I think it’s worth it.
Muji backpack. Simple, collapsible, has side pocket and secret zipper behind the back.
Shinola computer brief after many many years with a Timbuk2. It's a real beauty. But I guess its not really a backpack.
I have been through many backpacks but none that provided something that was suitable for commuting on the train without being too bulky.
At the moment I'm using this backpack by Able Carry https://www.ablecarry.com/
It's got just enough pockets, looks great, is lightweight and has some places to attach water bottles etc to the side.
I just got the Bold Banana, i think it’s a dutch brand. You can customize some elements. Not made for a lot of stuff but the bag stays quit flat and clean when it’s full. Just google Bold Banana.
Backed and bought second edition, great quality and usability ; ) boundarysupply
I've been using the Timbuk2 Command as my daily bag. Contents: 15" MBP, notebook, tablet. I'm happy with it. Lots of padding, breathable mesh back, can be tossed around without pilling. I've traveled with it and it easily fits under an airplane seat.
I use Mountain Hardwear-Cole Haan Collaboration backpack:
And when I feel like messenger bag I use ONA The Union Street
Timbuk2 Tuck Acid (acid-coloured side zipper to access laptop compartment). It's light, and fits MBP 15, and because it's a roll-top, I can fit a s#itload of stuff in it. Highly recommended :)
This one looks really nice! Unfortunately not that easy to get your hands on one in Europe :|
I actually am in Europe and bought this via Wardow.com
I have the Wandrd PRVKE 31 liter https://www.wandrd.com/products/prvke This bag is great quality, practically waterproof, and very comfortable to carry for long periods of time. I can fit my 15" MacBook Pro, a decent amount of camera gear using the camera insert (also has a side opening for quick access), and the roll top allows you to pack a day or two worth of clothes for a quick weekend trip. This bag was made to travel.
I was just considering to buy this bag as they've been re-targeting with a lot of ads.
I'm pretty sold now on reading your review! Was wondering how do you find them on your shoulders?
They are very comfortable on your shoulders. I have traveled with them, walking through airports fully loaded and didn't have any shoulder pain. There is also a sternum strap to help with support, and you can buy the hip belt attachments for even more support. Definitely recommend this bag.
My daily backpack that I use for commuting to work when I only carry essentials.
This is my other daily backpack that I use when going to the gym before or after work. This daypack is also big enough for a weekend away.
The GR2 is great for longer trips. I used it to travel around Japan for 3 weeks. And the best thing is, it is still a carry-on backpack.
Debating between the GR1 21L and 26L. Thoughts on using the 26L as an every day bag even if I'm not carrying things for the gym?
The Arcteryx Brize 25 had become my unexpectedly beloved everyday carry pack. It's tall and thin, not at all bulky. Makes you realize how most other packs are designed to be "dumpy" — that is, unnecessarily wide, kind of flopping on the back.
The bottle holders on the sizes are perfect (can pull drinks out without taking pack off), and it easily holds 13" MacBook Pro + 10.5" iPad + Kindle + notebook + papers + chargers, etc. Weight distribution is great. Outer styling is super minimalist. It's just a solid, solid pack.
Lenovo Thinkpad Professional backpack!
Rocking this backpack as my main one now: Gods Ghost Anti-theft backup
Everyday Backpack by Peak Design. I use it as my daily driver, hiking, traveling. It is so versatile that I would not swap it to anything else.
If I need a smaller bag, I use Sling by Peak Design.
Feeling pretty old fashioned, but I am rocking a Thule EnRoute Blur 23L the last four years. Will not miss this neat thing!
I've also had mine for years: EnRoute Strut Daypack https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thule-TESD115K-EnRoute-Daypack-MacBook/dp/B007Z4YEFQ
nice question! this is actual for too. Thanks for this questions. A lot useful answers
Been using a Rains 'Runner' for about 3 years now. Lots of space, there's no way any water is coming in when it's raining so my macbook's safe, made out of strong material so it basically still looks as good as the day I bought it. However, it is really big though so I'm looking for something new aswel. I kinda want a Visvim E-Cat but they're super expensive so I'm still looking around.