When you’re in the market for a new bag, there are several factors you should look out for. Most important of which is durability. We stuff our bags into tight corners and cramped overhead bins, throw them on the floor, and load it with all the things we squeeze in it. More than the design and the brand, a durable bag is essential and the one thing every traveler must-have is a trusty backpack.
At A Glance: Our Top Picks
A backpack is probably the most versatile travel bag there is. You can take it on a weekend trip or as an additional bag for longer trips. Out of the many types of backpacks you can find, the canvas is a popular choice. It has a retro look plus it’s a very sturdy and reliable material. It’s also easy to wash canvas bags if it gets too worn out.
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Fjallraven has long been a trusted brand for the outdoorsy set. The Rucksack No. 21 is a great all-around bag. It features a padded bottom to protect all your stuff. You can also use the removable seat pad if you plan to chill on the grass or camp out in the forest.
There are several slip pockets on the exterior. Inside you’ll find a zip pocket and slip pockets for organization. It can hold a laptop in a padded compartment plus another pocket for a thermos. It closes up with a drawstring with a fold-over flap with a magnetic closure.
The waxed canvas gives you a very durable rucksack. The straps are made of natural leather and age nicely with use.
The Rucksack No. 21 comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large. It’s hard to find flaws in this well-made bag, but it’s taller than it is wide. The large bag becomes a bit more challenging to take stuff out from. Since the bag only opens from the top, the large bag tends to be a bit too deep.
If you’re looking for a backpack that can take the great outdoors, this is it. The Gootium 21101 Backpack is a heavy-duty rucksack with the looks to go with it.
This 100% pure cotton canvas backpack is fitted with just as durable metal fastenings for an overall rugged look. Its garment wash gives it a vintage feel and, even though it looks a little masculine, it still fits both men and women very well.
There are several storage spaces on both the exterior and interior of the bag, including zippered compartments and slip pockets. A 17-inch laptop can also fit in the padded laptop compartment. The bag closes with a drawstring and covered by a flap with magnetic snap closures. The trims are top-grain leather for a classier finish.
One big drawback is the lack of reinforcement. The bag is lightweight, but there is no support at the bottom of the bag. While the bag won’t break easily, the lack of a bottom pad means less stability for the items inside. Hardbound books or items with sharp corners will poke through the bag.
This is another canvas backpack that tips its hat to the old-school leather and canvas style that Herschel made so famous.
The stylish canvas & leather backpack fits up to a 15.6-inch laptop in a dedicated laptop sleeve in the back of the main compartment. The main compartment opens with a double zip to fold and make it easier to access. Inside there are specific spots for your everyday items: water bottle, umbrella, pens, and paper. As well as a dedicated phone pocket on the inside of the front.
There is also a slash-proof anti-theft front pocket and an earphone hole for those of us who have not moved to AirPods just yet.
Vaschy has added stylish leather accents all over this bag, from the handles, strap holders, and zipper tabs to the laptop compartment velcro securing tab.
You can’t talk about backpacks and not have anything from Herschel Supply Co. on the list. There are several styles to choose from, but nothing beats the classic. The Herschel Supply Co. Heritage Backpack is a classic design that will never go out of style.
The backpack is very simple but extremely well-built. This canvas bag features an exterior zippered pocket and a laptop compartment inside. There is a small slip pocket as well, and that’s about it in terms of organization.
While there seems to be a lack of features, Herschel bags are always very reliable, sturdy, and easy to take care of. You can opt for classic black and neutral tones or go for brighter colors and patterns with this backpack.
Utility, functionality, and design come together with the Wowbox 15.6 Inch Laptop Canvas Backpack. Coming in seven neutral colors, this bag is great for men and women for school, work, and travel.
The rugged-wash heavy canvas fabric body can definitely take a bit of beating wherever you decide to use it. It’s also very soft to the touch and the seamless stitching gives it a very sleek look. The bag is accented by leather pulls attached to the zippers and buckles leather straps that close with a magnetic clasp.
The main compartment opens via drawstring. The interior has wall pockets and zip pockets for smaller items. The exterior features four zippered compartments for more storage and organization. For more valuable items, there is an anti-theft zipper back panel to store wallets or phones.
The giant interior space has a Velcro padded compartment that can hold a 15.6-inch laptop (but there’s also a slightly bigger version for 17-inch laptops). However, this compartment is more ideal for thinner laptops. The length technically measures 15 (or 17) inches, but bulky laptops will be a very tight fit in this compartment.
Backpacks come in all sizes. Getting the right size for your needs is important for backpacks. Because they have no internal frames, an under-packed backpack will slack and droop, while an overpacked backpack will be unstable.
Most travelers now bring their laptops or tablets along during travels. While the backpack name may claim laptop compartments of certain sizes, they’re not always very accurate. Consider the size of your own laptop and maybe upgrade to a bigger size if you have bulky machines.
Some backpacks are simple, some are meant to carry more than you need. The point of a backpack is to have most of your stuff conveniently on your back and keep you hands-free. Make sure you have enough storage that you can easily access and not have to spill out all of your items just to find a pen.
Backpacks are very versatile and can be used almost anywhere. However, some styles and designs are better for specific occasions.
Working ladies will definitely love the Tumi Sinclair Odell Convertible Backpack. It looks very professional in the office and stylish enough for a night out in town. As a bonus, it’s a very functional backpack that can serve as a carry-on for travels.
A great outdoor backpack is
For a bring-anywhere-place-anything kind of backpack, the Wowbox Canvas Backpack is your top choice. A classic design with storage for everything you can carry on your back, this backpack functions well on your daily commute or on a hike.
Already made up your mind? Click through to Amazon to purchase your next best backpack.