Backpacks have come a long way from the JanSports we lugged around in high school and dumped into our lockers. The modern backpack is used for everything from travel to work to just toting around your tech. Plus, we’re parents and as such, we need a backpack that’s a tad more complex to survive the beating it’ll take in daily life as you load it up with wipes, snacks, water bottles, phones, sunscreen, and the various other supplies all of us drag around.
A backpack should have a few basic features.
- Simple access to your tech is a must, because there’s nothing worse than fumbling through your bag in search of a cord or phone.
- It should fit comfortably, and be easy to take off and put on.
- Plus, it should like cool, like something an adult (you) would carry around.
- Durable fabric and construction are mandatory since the last thing you need is a zipper breaking or a hole popping up.
- Lastly, it should have enough room to store everything you need either for a day in the city, or a quick getaway vacation.
Here are the best backpacks for any situation life throws your way.
Best Men’s Backpacks for Work
This scaled-down version of Herschel's ubiquitous pack puts the flap-over-drawstring construction and magnetic brown leather straps in a pack that isn't quite so cumbersome.
The red-and-white-striped lining is a Herschel trademark that also makes stuff stand out from your pack. Padded straps and back padding with air mesh work together to keep you from getting sore and sweating when you’re wearing this pack around town. The laptop pocket fits 15-inch laptops. And there’s a handy internal media pocket with headphone port.
If you prefer something more classic from a tried-and-true brand, you won't go wrong with this backpack from Samsonite.
A solid if not groundbreaking backpack, this one nevertheless is well-made enough to last basically forever. It’s made of rugged ballistic nylon with leather details, plus it has a 14 inch laptop sleeve, and a key fob and multiple pockets for organization.
This is the backpack for the organizational addict: It has elastic pen loops, elastic slips for headphones, plus pockets for power banks, chargers, sunglasses, and your mandatory reusable water bottle.
This backpack fits most 15.6 inch laptops. It’s made from a 1600D ballistic nylon outer fabric, has YKK lockable zipper pulls, a fully lined interior, metal hardware, and tons of padding. Not to mention enough pockets to store just about everything you own.
One of the coolest-looking packs out there is also incredibly versatile, offering immediate access to individual parts of the bag or everything at once.
When you open the three-way zippers of this backpack, you have access to interior side pouches that will hold your electronics, a padded laptop sleeve, and other organizational spots inside. The suspension system offers superb stabilization and the packs overall low profile means ease moving through crowds.
Best Travel Backpacks for Men
A perfect bag for a frequent business traveler with numerous features not found in other bags, and the ability to customize it with a plethora of optional features (laundry bag, shirt organizer, vacuum compression bags) you can order after you have it.
This is basically the perfect carry-on travel backpack thanks to its internal, zippered laptop sleeve, waterproof kiss-lock zippers, and RFID pocket. There are numerous compartments and zippered pouches offering you the ability to give everything a spot. It’s large enough to pack for a long weekend trip, yet small enough that carrying it will not be burdensome. The exterior is waterproof, the straps pack away simply to check, and it will fit in a plane overhead compartment. The mesh divider separates clothes from your tech, and there’s a charging cable pass through to all major pockets.
You'll be shocked by the sheer amount of stuff you can squeeze into this bag, including your laptop.
This backpack converts into a suitcase, should a need arise. It features a water bottle pocket, two main compartments with numerous organizational compartments and a fold-down shelf for splitting the main compartment in half. There’s a zippered mesh panel inside main compartment that’s perfect for holding your gadgets and phone. And there’s a removable, adjustable sternum strap.
This pack is made in Colorado from mostly upcycled items (bike tires, street signs, and tent materials), so it is environmentally friendly and highly functional. Hip and sternum belts make it perfect for bike and train commuters.
Due to its construction, the backpack will shed moisture easily. The large roll-top closure further seals off the main compartments to make sure everything arrives safe and sound. It has a large exterior pocket to toss items into and there are several reflective elements incorporated into the design to make sure motorists see you at night. At 24 liters, it’s large enough for an overnight trip if necessary.
A fantastic travel pack that’s just the right size. It has a detachable day pack that can easily hold your laptop when in transit. It's also large enough to fit whatever items you will need once you arrive and start exploring.
Durable ripstop nylon construction and the heavy-duty zippers on this backpack mean it can handle any abuse tossed its way. The hip belt stows away simply and the wraparound side panels ensure that there are no dangling items if you check the bag for a flight. The main compartment is easily accessed by a wraparound zipper that opens the entire main compartment. It comes in three sizes.
Best Everyday Backpacks for Men
If we could, we'd buy this sleek yet tough backpack in every damn color and never stop carrying it around.
Not only does this backpack look totally dope, but it has an expandable design that gives you 20L of storage to hold a full-frame DSLR camera body and multiple lenses. But if you’d rather use it tote around non-camera gear, go for it. It has a laptop sleeve that fits 16 inch laptops. It has three flex-fold dividers. It’s made of a waterproof 400D nylon canvas shell and has a slew of interior pockets, too.
As the name indicates, this is a stellar yet stylish workhorse backpack to tote along every day.
You can wipe this backpack clean, and it’s resistant to dirt. It’s got one main zippered compartment, a front zippered pocket, and two open side pockets. But wait, you also get a seating pad if you need to pop a squat, and a two-way zipper with a rain flap for weather protection.
The two big selling points of this bag are the price and the crossbody style, ideal if you're traveling light.
It’s a lightweight, stylish bag you can grab for a quick outing. It has room for a camera, tablet or a small laptop computer and a hidden anti-theft pocket and an external bottle holder.
This is an affordable lightweight travel pack that offers great suspension with a plethora of storage spots to allow you to separate items when in transit for better organization.
Its ventilation system is excellent, which means no sweaty backs after working your way through a city to your location. The hip belt and shoulder straps on this backpack are nicely padded for a comfortable ride. It has enough space that you can use it for longer trips. The front stash pocket is perfect for tossing a jacket when the temps rise. It even has a spot to stash hiking poles if you did want to use it for a camping trip. The waistbelt comes off for when you want to check it on flights.
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