If you’re sick and tired of buying a new backpack every couple of months, you’re probably not purchasing quality bags in the first place. And if you’re ready to make that change, you are definitely in the right place!
This detailed review features ten of the most durable backpacks money can buy. I’ll show you some excellent packs for hiking, school, work, everyday life, and travel. And most of the packs you see here are pretty versatile, so you would be able to use the one bag you get for multiple purposes.
At A Glance: Our Favorite Durable Backpacks
I’ve also included a guide at the bottom of the page, which should help you figure out what features are key for durability in backpacks. So, read on to find the best durable backpack for you!
Most Versatile Backpack
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Best Hydration Backpack
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Best Large Capacity Backpack
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Best Everyday Backpack
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Most Durable Laptop Backpack
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MOST DURABLE BACKPACK FOR WORK
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MOST DURABLE BACKPACK FOR SCHOOL
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The Nebula backpack from Osprey is one of the brand’s best and most versatile options you can get your hands on. With a roomy laptop sleeve that’s perfect for 17” devices and sturdy water-resistant construction, it’s the backpack you can truly take anywhere.
The bag has multiple spacious compartments including one with an organizer panel. There are also lots of smaller open and closed pockets throughout those compartments, so you definitely have enough space for all the gear you want to put in the backpack.
And the laptop compartment is actually TSA-approved, which makes the bag a great option for travel – you’ll get through checkpoints fast, without actually having to take out your computer.
On top of that, because of the spacious capacity and sturdy exterior, this bag is also a pretty good option for hikes. At least for people who don’t really go hiking too often, but want a backpack that could work for that in case they decided to try something more adventurous.
The stretchy side pockets are perfect for large water bottles, while the front shove-it pocket works wonderfully for storing a spare layer of clothing or any bulky gear that you don’t want to put in one of the roomy compartments.
This backpack also has a very comfortable backpanel that will keep you dry even in really hot weather. The sternum strap and hip belt help transfer the load of the bag away from your shoulders so that you’re still comfortable even when the bag is at full capacity.
On top of all that, the Nebula pack is made from durable nylon, which has great water resistance without any additional coating. And it’s covered by Osprey’s lifetime warranty, meaning that the brand will cover any repairs, and even send you a brand new bag if they can’t fix something on it.
If you just want a simple hydration backpack for hikes, the CamelBak Arete is a great option for you. CamelBak is actually really popular for the durability of their bags – in fact, some of their backpacks are used by military personnel, precisely because they are tough and abrasion-resistant. And if it’s durable enough for the military, it’s durable enough for us!
This is a small backpack with a total capacity of 18 liters. It fits a 1.5-liter hydration bladder, and the rest of the bag is gear capacity – if you’re looking for something versatile that could also hold a laptop, it’s not the bag for you. The Arete is specifically designed as a hydration bag for light hikes and performs best when used in those circumstances.
This is a very thin backpack, and it doesn’t actually feature any mesh in the backpanel. But that’s okay – with packs that are as small and lightweight as this one, you will hardly sweat so much that you need excellent ventilation from the bag.
The shoulder straps are ventilated though, and they have attachments that let you secure the hydration hose on one of them. There’s also a sternum strap that will keep them in place and help with transferring the load off your back.
Additionally, this durable backpack features external zippered pockets for the smaller gear you want more easily accessible, as well as multiple external attachment points. There’s a daisy chain webbing on the front panel and on the shoulder straps, so you can easily attach the bulkier gear to the exterior of this bag.
The CamelBak Arete comes with the brand’s lifetime warranty, which covers all manufacturing defects.
In case you’re looking for a large capacity bag that is suitable for camping, climbing, or even backpacking, the Gregory Baltoro is an excellent choice. The exterior of the bag is made from high-density nylon, which has excellent tear and abrasion resistance.
And that’s actually one of the things that makes the bag a great option for various outdoor adventures – no matter what you put it through, it will come out unscathed.
The exterior of the bag also has really good water resistance, so you can be certain that the gear inside will stay dry in some light rain. And you also get a rain cover with the backpack, which will protect your gear even in heavy downpours.
The Baltoro is a top-loading backpack, but you have access to the gear from multiple sides. There’s a zipper on the front panel that exposes the entire main compartment, and there’s even a zipper at the bottom, which gives you access to even those items that are usually extremely difficult to reach.
This is one of my favorite things about this pack since it allows you to focus on the important stuff, as opposed to the more trivial things like the order you’re packing in.
This pack also has several zippered external pockets, as well as a couple of open pockets on the sides. It even features hip belt pockets with waterproof zippers, for the protection of those items you want easily accessible at all times.
The Gregory backpack is equipped with a ridiculously comfortable harness. It is made from pre-curved EVA foam, and everything about it is adjustable, from the height of the harness to the length of the shoulder straps. It will be super easy to get it to fit your body perfectly, which will in turn ensure that you’re always comfortable, regardless of how heavy the backpack is.
Gregory gives a lifetime guarantee on all of their products, which is surprisingly rather extensive. It doesn’t cover things like normal wear and tear and abusive treatment of the gear, but they will repair the bag even because of stuff that’s not covered by their warranty. And that’s a great indicator of how sturdy and durable their bags are designed to be.
The Urban Assault backpack is another great option for people who need a sturdy everyday pack. It is inspired by military backpacks in both the exterior design and overall construction, so you should expect quite a lot from this bag. And you will not be disappointed.
The main fabric of the backpack is 500D Cordura, which has excellent tear and abrasion resistance. On top of that, this backpack actually features three waterproof YKK zippers, which basically guarantee that the items inside it will stay dry no matter what. Especially when you couple the AquaGuard zippers with the water-resistant fabric.
This backpack features a padded and ventilated backpanel with adjustable shoulder straps. The harness height is fixed, but it is not a really big backpack so that shouldn’t be an issue. It comes with a sternum strap, but you don’t get a hip belt with the bag, which might be a downside for some people.
The main compartment is the star of the Urban Assault backpack. It features three zipper opening, which allows you to expose the entire main compartment – this is great because it means everything inside will be easily accessible, and you don’t have to rummage through your bag to find something. Especially since the interior of the bag features multiple zippered pockets, as well as laptop and tablet sleeves.
There’s also an external zippered pocket on the top cover, for those items you want to have more easily accessible. But bear in mind that’s the only external pocket you get – this durable backpack doesn’t feature any stretchy side pockets, which is a shame.
It does have daisy chain webbing though, at both the bottom of the bag and the shoulder straps. This is pretty cool because it makes the backpack a decent option for hikes as well – at least for people who aren’t avid hikers that are hitting the trails every single weekend.
Ogio is another great brand that makes high-quality backpacks and the Renegade is their best-selling laptop backpack ever. It is made from 600D Polyester with several integrated foam panels that will keep the contents of the bag protected. The foam also improves the overall impact and shock resistance of the pack, which ultimately means better durability.
This heavy-duty backpack has a dedicated laptop compartment that can fit all 15.6” laptops and some thinner 17” devices. That compartment is fully padded, and it features RSS (reactive suspension system), which basically hugs your laptop from all sides to protect it if you were to drop the backpack.
Another reason why this bag is so popular with people who need a laptop backpack is the abundance of storage for all the smaller accessories. It features three compartments with internal organizer panels, so you will definitely have enough room for everything you could possibly want to carry along with your laptop.
In addition to that, this backpack also features a roomy main compartment that can hold books, clothes, or virtually anything you want. This even makes the Renegade a pretty versatile backpack – considering just how tough and durable it is, there’s no doubt in my mind this will be your new go-to backpack, whether you’re heading to work or going on a quick trip.
You will also love how comfortable this thing is when you are wearing it. It has a HUB (hybrid unibody backpanel), which is a fancy way of saying that the entire back system features thick padding, as well as breathable mesh in strategic places. There’s also a convenient sternum strap that helps you ensure those shoulder straps stay in place.
This backpack also has a crush-proof TechVault pocket, an extra zippered pocket on one of the shoulder straps, and two zippered pockets on each side. And it comes with Ogio’s limited lifetime warranty, which covers any manufacturing defects and material malfunctions.
Pacsafe makes anti-theft backpacks that give a whole new meaning to durability. Most of their backpacks are actually made from slash-resistant fabric that is partially made from steel mesh – if you want a bag that could survive pretty much anything, one of Pacsafe’s anti-theft backpacks is probably the best option for you.
I’ll focus on the Venturesafe backpack here – it’s an excellent travel backpack, perfect for people who need a new carry-on bag.
And when I say slash-resistant, I mean that the exterior of the bag is designed so that someone can’t cut through it with a knife. This pretty much means that the fabric is indestructible – if a knife can’t harm it, then it’s virtually impossible to accidentally tear up the material.
Other anti-theft features of this backpack include puncture-resistant zippers, Roobar anti-theft locks that are pretty much impossible to pick, and interlocking zipper pullers. If you want to be certain that your expensive gear is safe, the Venturesafe is a great backpack for you.
The bag has a main compartment that opens up suitcase-style, with elastic cross-straps inside that are supposed to keep your clothes in place. It’s a very spacious compartment, and it can easily fit enough clothes for a weekend trip. On top of that, this backpack also features a smaller front compartment with an organizer panel and a laptop sleeve, as well as two open side pockets.
You don’t get any zippered external pockets, but that’s part of the whole anti-theft design. You do get a very comfortable backpanel though, which is both padded and ventilated. And the backpack even features a sternum strap and a padded hip belt, for ultimate carrying comfort.
Pacsafe gives you a five-year warranty on the bag, which sounds really good, but it’s actually not. They only cover manufacturing defects, and not any damage inflicted on the bag by an airline or during normal wear and tear.
The Crossover 2 backpack from Thule is a great option if you primarily want a travel backpack. It’s a big bag with a total capacity of 30 liters, so it’s really good for weekends away and overnight trips.
This backpack has a spacious main compartment and a dedicated laptop pocket in the back that’s not quite TSA-friendly, but it is very secure. It features SafeEdge construction with thick padding around the compartment, in order to ensure your computer stays protected no matter what.
There’s also a smaller front compartment with an organizer panel inside, which has enough pockets for all the smaller accessories you want to keep organized and easily accessible. And perhaps the most interesting feature of this backpack is the crush-resistant SafeZone pocket that will keep your sunglasses and phone safe even if a boulder rolls onto the bag.
On top of all that, the Crossover backpack also features zippered side pockets that can hold water bottles, passports, wallets, and pretty much whatever you want, as well as a convenient luggage sleeve in the back. Both the backpanel and shoulder straps are heavily padded and ventilated, ensuring premium carrying comfort.
One thing that’s important to note is that this backpack is very rigid out of the box. Everything about it is stiff, and it will take some time to break in the tough materials.
Also, it doesn’t have a sternum strap or a hip belt, which is a downside considering the large size and capacity of the bag. Don’t be fooled by its sleek exterior – this is a big bag that’s nearly 19” tall, which is as much as some carry-on suitcases!
The pack is covered by a limited lifetime warranty, which covers all manufacturing defects. If anything malfunctions on the bag, they will repair it for free, and if they can’t repair it they will send you a brand new bag.
The Daylite Plus is one of Osprey’s best everyday backpacks. It is made from durable Nylon, and it has pretty good water resistance even without any extra coating on the exterior of the backpack.
One of the best things about this pack is that it’s compatible with many other Osprey backpacks. You can attach the Daylite to bigger hiking bags so that you have a small detachable daypack wherever you go. And you’ll also have additional 20 liters of capacity, so you’ll really be able to pack everything you could possibly need in the bags.
The Daylite Plus boasts an internal laptop sleeve as well as an external hydration sleeve, which is what makes it one of the most versatile everyday backpacks. You could go straight from work on a hike and you wouldn’t even need to switch bags.
This backpack also boasts a comfortable backpanel with lots of padding and breathable mesh. You get a sternum strap as well as a removable hip belt, allowing you to properly secure it to your body so that you don’t even feel the weight of the pack on your shoulders.
This durable backpack from Osprey features two roomy main compartments and two stretchy side pockets. It also has a front shove-it pocket that’s secured to the backpack body with compression straps, as well as an extra zippered pocket on the front panel.
The total capacity of the bag is 20 liters, which should be enough for your everyday necessities. And thanks to the variety of different pockets, it will be pretty easy to stay organized.
Osprey gives a lifetime warranty on this bag, which covers all manufacturing defects and repairs. And in case they can’t repair something on your bag, you will get a new one free of charge.
Fjallraven Kanken Classic is one of the most durable backpacks in existence. And not only because its design has been able to survive for decades, but because this is the backpack that you will most likely pass on to your children.
The Kanken is a very simple backpack, without any fancy features. As such, it’s definitely not a great bag for everyone – if you’re looking for padded hip belts and multiple compartments with organizational panels, this isn’t the bag for you. But if you want a backpack that can survive pretty much anything, the Kanken is worth considering.
It’s also a bag that’s really popular with high school and college students and young adults in general. Its retro design is somehow incredibly cool in the 21st century, but it’s definitely not the most durable thing about the backpack. That would be the sturdy Vinylon-F fabric, which has excellent water and tear resistance.
This backpack features a single main compartment with an internal sleeve that will fit most 13” laptops. You actually get a foam pad in the sleeve – it’s there to make carrying the backpack more comfortable, but Fjallraven also wants you to use it to make sitting on those nasty chairs in school a bit more enjoyable.
The Kanken also features a smaller front pocket, as well as two open pockets on the sides. Its shoulder straps are rather thin and they’re not padded, but they do feature an ergonomic X design that feels very comfortable. And the pack also features two tote grab handles at the top, so you can carry it in one hand if you want.
This backpack is also pretty versatile, in terms of what you can use it for. It’s durable enough to survive travel, hikes, camping trips, and everyday life. But we can’t deny that it’s pretty pricey for what it is – a simple backpack intended for school students. However, if you’re focused solely on durability, this is easily one of the best backpacks for you.
If you want an excellent carry-on backpack, the Timbuk2 Wander is a really good option for you. It is made from a water-resistant 420D ripstop with lots of thick padding in the backpanel. Also, it’s a convertible backpack that you can wear like a duffel bag, making it a versatile, multi-purpose bag.
The Wander backpack has a total capacity of 40 liters, which is as much as you get in most carry-on suitcases. It is a carry-on-sized bag, so it’s perfect for people who are ready to switch out their bulky suitcases for more convenient backpacks.
The main compartment of this bag is very spacious, with internal tie-down straps and several pockets for organization. You can easily fit enough clothes inside the bag for some shorter trips, and you’ll have much better organizational features than you would in a traditional suitcase. Especially with all the different external pockets.
This Timbuk2 convertible backpack features a dedicated shoe pocket, a smaller top pocket for items you want easily accessible, and a pretty big zippered pocket on the cover of the main compartment. There’s an additional zippered pocket on the front panel of the bag, while the actual front panel doubles as a luggage sleeve.
The back system is padded throughout, and it features adjustable stowaway shoulder straps. My only problem with the bag is that you don’t get a sternum strap or a hip belt – considering that the Wander can get pretty heavy at max capacity, it’s not going to be the most comfortable bag to carry on your back. But you always have the option of carrying it like a duffel, if you get too uncomfortable.
Timbuk2 includes a lifetime warranty on all of their bags, which covers any defects in craftsmanship or materials. Obviously, they won’t cover normal wear and tear or cosmetic damage that doesn’t actually impact the functionality of the bag, but if a buckle breaks or the backpack rips, they will fix it for you free of charge.
All durable backpacks have one thing in common – they are made from sturdy materials that are resistant to tears and abrasions. So, the best way to make sure you are getting a durable backpack is to look at the materials that it’s made from.
The most durable materials for backpacks are nylon, TPU, and reinforced polyester. All of these materials have excellent tear-resistant, and most are also water-resistant as well. Additionally, I’ve also shown you some excellent anti-theft backpacks that feature even tougher fabrics that are reinforced with steel mesh – those are the best when it comes to construction quality.
But it’s not just about the fabric – you also need to look at the seams, the quality of the zippers, and the padding of the bag. You could have a backpack that’s made from extremely tough fabric, but it’s useless if there’s no padding anywhere. It won’t feel comfortable to wear, and the items inside won’t stay protected.
Padding is especially important for laptop compartments of everyday and travel backpacks, as it ensures that the computer sleeve stays impact and shock-resistant.
I’ve tried my best to make this as easy for you as possible – you don’t have to wonder if any of the packs in this review are made from good, quality materials. They are all top-of-the-line and they are all extremely durable – the only thing you have to do is choose a backpack that looks like a good fit for you and your needs.
Are you looking for a hiking backpack, a laptop backpack, a travel backpack, or something else? In order to find the best durable backpack for yourself, you should have a pretty good idea of what you want to use it for.
And if you’re not certain or you want a bag that you can use for all of the above, then look for something versatile. I did include several bags that can go from the metro to the mountains, and which have adjustable and multi-functional features like a laptop sleeve that also works as a hydration bladder compartment.
If you know exactly what you want to use the bag for, then look for purpose-specific features that will make your life easier. If you’re looking to get a backpack for hiking, then you should try to find a bag with external attachment points, water and stain-resistant exterior, and enough capacity for all your hiking gear.
In case your main priority is a laptop bag, then focus on features like organizational panels for all the smaller accessories, a sleeve that’s big enough for your device, and preferably some anti-theft features as well.
And don’t worry about durability too much because all of the bags featured in this review are extremely tough and long-lasting.
One of the easiest ways to tell if a backpack is durable is to look at the length of the warranty. Brands that are confident they are selling you high-quality stuff have no issues backing up their products with an extensive warranty.
In fact, some brands like Osprey will back up their bags with lifetime warranties, meaning that if a bag malfunctions in any way even after you’ve abused it for decades, they will gladly send you a replacement one. And that’s easily the best value for money you could hope for, considering that it rarely gets better than a ‘buy it and own it for life’ kind of deal.
If you can’t find a bag you like among Osprey’s range of products, you likely won’t end up with a true lifetime warranty on your bag. But you can still get two, three maybe even five years of warranty depending on the exact bag and brand you go with.
Just be sure to read the fine print first and check what other people are saying about customer service. If a lot of people are praising a particular brand for honoring its warranty, then it’s probably a safe bet.
This can depend on quite a few things, most importantly how the material was manipulated and layered, but generally speaking, it’s nylon. The thicker the material the longer it will last, so look for instances of Cordura and Ballistic nylon with a lot of deniers.
Again, I have to emphasize that the durability of a material depends on its treatment during production. High-quality polyester that is treated for improved durability and tear resistance is better quality than cheap nylon without any additional treatment.
A good backpack should last you a couple of years at the very least, but that’s a very general time frame. It depends on the type and quality of the backpack, as well as how often you use it and when. In other words, don’t expect a cheap everyday backpack to be just as durable as a premium hiking backpack.
I have to mention that some brands offer a lifetime warranty on their backpacks, meaning that they will send you a new backpack once your old one gets torn. They’re the best option for people who want to buy a backpack for life.
Of course, it is. If you’re worried about looking professional, just know that you can pick up a backpack that’s as sleek and business-like as a briefcase. But you’ll have more space in your bag and both hands-free, unlike your colleague who is actually carrying a briefcase.
You should spend as much money as you can afford without breaking the bank. You can get some truly amazing bags in the $100-200 range, which will last you for life. This is the best price range for smaller backpacks; large-capacity bags for travel and backpacking are often much more expensive. Well, the good ones are, and you should spend $150-350 on such a backpack.
Can’t choose just one backpack? It’s okay – go with one of our three favorites depending on what exactly you need, and you won’t have any regrets!
If you’re looking to get a durable backpack that’s versatile, go with the Osprey Nebula. That’s what I did and I have zero regrets about getting that pack – it’s definitely the best bag to get if you want a pack that you can use for everything.
The durable and water-resistant exterior is suitable for all environments, while the spacious interior guarantees you plenty of space whether you’re packing the bag for a flight or a camping trip. And it feels very comfortable on your body, thanks to the thick padding, breathable mesh, and both the sternum strap and waist belt.
In case you want a large-capacity backpack for backpacking and climbing, you should go for the Gregory Baltoro. The massive capacity of the bag means you’ll be able to pack everything you need in the bag, and you’ll be able to access it all easily regardless of where you put it.
This top-loading pack lets you access the main compartment through the front panel and the bottom, which is amazing. It also has a back system that is thoroughly adjustable, ensuring that everyone can make this backpack fit well for the most comfortable carrying experience.
When it comes to every day and laptop backpacks, I honestly had a hard time picking just one. But I have to go with the Ogio Renegade RSS – this beast of the pack is absolutely amazing if you’re primarily interested in using it for electronics. The laptop sleeve is padded all around for the ultimate protection of your device, and there’s even a crush-proof pocket for your smaller valuables.
Plus, with three compartments that have organizer panels and four additional external pockets, you will have a dedicated spot for every single accessory, from your charger to an SD card.
All of the packs featured in this review are exceptionally durable, and they all come with really good warranties. Head over to Amazon to see their prices if you’ve figured out which one is perfect for you.
And if you want to see even more great durable backpacks, be sure to check out our related posts!