The best backpacks for men are comfortable, well-pocketed, and protect what you need to carry, sure. But a bag also has to suit your lifestyle, whether that means a bag that’s tech-forward, a travel backpack that helps you sail through TSA, or a slim pack that lets you transition from work to workout without stuffing it to the gills. For some, the best backpack is one that has myriad compartments – including a laptop sleeve – while for others, the best backpack is stylish enough for the office but rugged enough to take on the trail. It’s also helpful if the bag’s design is intuitive to fill and access on the fly, so you’re not digging around the bottom for a pen or phone. A simple external water bottle sleeve helps with that too.
What we’re saying is the best backpack for you is a matter of personal preference. And that’s a good thing because there are more categories of men’s backpacks out there than ever before. So we’ve broken it down for you, highlighting the best backpacks for work, the best backpacks for travel, and the best everyday backpacks that do a little bit of everything (including store the many parenting items you need). So, whether you’re looking for a cool men’s backpack that wears well to the office, a ruggedized commuting backpack, or a backpack that excels at organizing all the stuff you need to carry on a weekend trip, there’s one here for you.
The Best Everyday Backpacks for Men
While not the backpack of choice if you’re hauling a ton of gear, we love this option from Solo because it packs down to nearly nil when not in use. After a trip to the market, unpack it from its own pouch and stuff its main compartment or exterior pocket and hit the road. It weighs just over a third of a pound.
A sleek look, magnetic closures, two-way zippers, and numerous pockets on its exterior, this is the Dark Knight of everyday carry backpacks. With 26 liters of capacity and a durable nylon exterior, this might not be the backpack you deserve, but it’s definitely the bag you’ll need.
There’s a reason the Kanken has been a Fjallraven staple since 1978: the bag nails the basics, plain and simple. It has a 16-liter capacity, four pockets (a large main compartment, two side pockets, and a front pocket), and is both dirt and water resistant. If you’re looking for a bag with a lot of extras, look elsewhere. But if you want a durable daily carry with a lot of style and no-frills, this is the one for you.
Versatility: That’s the Peak Design ethos. Granted, these bags are a favorite among working photographers and videographers, who value their ability to change layout with the quick tear. Three Velcro dividers, which divide the bag, adjust to make larger or smaller compartments, which each divider further subdivides those compartments into three smaller sections. The everyman can benefit from this same versatility and adaptability.
The Best Men’s Backpacks for Work and Commuting
Ideal for work or casual weekend adventures, this scaled-down 17-liter version of Herschel’s ubiquitous pack features the brand’s classic drawstring closure system as well as multiple padded compartments for keeping valuables safe. Nice touches like magnetic buckle-downs, padded straps, vented mesh, and an internet pocket with a headphone port add to its everyday appeal.
Does organization get your gears going? Then you’ll love this 27.3-liter ballistic nylon bag. It has elastic pen loops and headphone pockets as well as designated spaces to stow power banks, chargers, sunglasses, water bottles, and more. A padded sleeve coddles laptops up to 15.6-inches; lockable zipper pulls keep everything secure.
The Best Travel Backpacks for Men
Designed by a career airline pilot, ORRA is the ultimate in insider knowledge. Everything, from the position of its zippers to its compartment layout, is tailored to the needs of those who travel for a living. But the other half of its story is the environmental impact, as its fabric is made from recycled water bottles, its foam from an algae biomass, and even its hardware, from a durable (and easily recyclable) metal.
Do not let its sleek, minimalist exterior fool you; the Travel Pack 2 is down to get dirty. Its ballistic nylon exterior is incredibly durable, and its interior is full of pockets to keep everything organized while you’re on the road. While it’s not as comfortable as your favorite hiking pack, a frame sheet offers a surprising amount of support.
Osprey makes great packs. Period. This travel pack is made of durable ripstop nylon and features heavy-duty zippers to handle the rough-treatment of the road. Actually two packs in one, a smaller day pack with a laptop pad unzips from the main body so you can take it for side trips. A wraparound zipper opens the entire main compartment, while side panels ensure there are no dangling items if you happen to check the bag. Comes in three sizes.
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