The Men's Lifestyle Destination

The Best Backpacks For Everyday Use

For the modern gentleman the backpack is the briefcase of the 21st Century, but what are the best backpacks for everyday use?

Last updated August 22nd, 2021
Words by Mr Francis Whitman
Photos by Twentieth Century Fox of Wall Street
Mens Filson Vintage Backpack Work And Travel Rucksack - The Best Backpacks For Everyday Use | SEIKK Magazine
Wall Street - Michael Douglas Business Style Gentleman - The Best Backpacks For Everyday Use | SEIKK Magazine

Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.

Mr Steve Jobs

The briefcase used to be the quintessential accessory of any discerning businessman, however today (unless you’re Gordon Gekko) the backpack will invariably be one of your most trusted everyday items. With comfort and functionality increasing lifestyle priorities, the 21st-century gent uses a small daysack for just about everything including their everyday commute – just throw it over your shoulders and you’re hands-free to cycle to work. We have picked out a handful of the best backpacks for everyday use, so whether you’re looking for a simple bag for all your everyday carry or you’re planning to telecommute to a secluded mountain cabin, these versatile men’s rucksacks and small backpacks should fit every budget and lifestyle.

Click the product names for a closer look, or use the link to shop all backpacks.

What are the best budget backpacks to buy right now?

Under £100

Osprey Daylight Backpack

Osprey packs are always a great lightweight luggage choice and the Daylite Travel is one of their most versatile and compact backpacks. Made from 210D Nylon Double Diamond Ripstop, Osprey‘s Daylite Travel backpack is the largest in the Daylight series and features handy travel organisation pockets for documents and passports with RFID blocking security construction. As well as an internal padded laptop and tablet sleeve, the main compartment is usefully expandable to give you an extra 6-litres of volume. The curved shoulder straps are thin but feature densely padded EVA for comfort and the back panel has deep air channels for superb breathability. The harness system includes an adjustable sternum strap and the functional backpack is finished with two water bottle pockets. The Daylite is compatible with larger Osprey travel packs as an attachable daypack.

Osprey Daylight Travel Backpack Review

  • Designer: Osprey
  • Capacity: 18L Backpack
  • Laptop size: 15-inch
  • Weight: 600g
  • Waterproof: Water-resistant
  • Our rating: ★★★★ (Best backpack for walkers)

Pros: An economical and versatile men’s outdoor backpack, backed by Osprey’s lifetime warranty. Really comfortable, has loads of interior organisation and a really handy zippered expansion feature (which adds an extra 6L of space).
Cons: Doesn’t come with a dedicated top handle and the compression straps can hinder access to the main compartment. Has a fairly mainstream outdoorsy vibe, but thankfully minimalistic.

Shop The Osprey Daylight Travel Backpack

Topo Designs Y-Pack Backpack

The Y-Pack is a Topo Designs twist on the traditional flap backpack from the 70s and 80s. This small rucksack with a ‘mountain modern’ aesthetic is big enough to hold essentials for a weekend trip or day hike and features a built-in laptop sleeve. The flap top is closed by a metal G-hook closure and the bag’s main compartment is secured by an inner drawstring. The Topo rucksack also features side water bottle pockets – keeping your liquids safely away from electricals – and a large zippered top flap pocket for small goods and carry items. The compact backpack is completed by mesh-backed backpack straps, a handy carry handle and a finished in robust red, navy, black or olive 1000D nylon fabric. The Y-Pack maintains the Denver-based brand’s commitment to balancing a “timeless look with modern functionality”.

Topo Designs Y-Pack Backpack Review

  • Designer: Topo Designs
  • Capacity: 17L Backpack
  • Laptop size: 15-inch
  • Weight: 520g
  • Waterproof: Water-resistant
  • Our rating: ★★★

Pros: An affordable and functional high-quality men’s bag for outdoor minimalists; a great combo for weekend getaways and city exploring.
Cons: If you need lots of pockets to separate gear, you could find the Y-Pack’s minimal retro design is not for you.

Shop The Topo Designs Y-Pack Backpack

Fjallraven Kanken Backpack

Created back in 1978 to help prevent back problems among Swedish school children the Kanken backpack by Fjallraven is a classic blend of style and function. Known for its versatility the Kanken backpack can be used for journeys to and from work or for trekking and travelling. The material the daysack is made out of is hard-wearing, lightweight Vinylon F fabric which is water-resistant and easy to wipe down. The main compartment has a large opening with a zip, which makes it easy to pack – however, the classic version doesn’t have a laptop sleeve. This compact rucksack also has two flat side pockets and a zipped pocket on the front, perfect for keeping your everyday carry keep close at hand. The foam cushion is pretty much the back panel which was quite a revolutionary feature back in the ’70s. Essentially, the Fjallraven Kanken is a small light backpack that is super simple, but has enough space for everything you need!

Fjallraven Kanken Backpack Review

  • Designer: Fjällräven
  • Capacity: 16L Backpack
  • Laptop size: 15-inch
  • Weight: 300g
  • Waterproof: Water-resistant
  • Our rating: ★★★(Best backpack for a budget)

Pros: Classic and versatile the Kanken is a great small day backpack for men, women or kids. A decent lightweight pack for everyday travel with a typically minimalistic Scandinavian design.
Cons: No laptop sleeve in the Kanken classic and straps are not padded, so not an ideal rucksack for long hikes. Overall the comfort is decent for a small backpack, but definitely not amazing.

Shop The Fjallraven Kanken Backpack

The North Face Jester Backpack

A sleek and sturdy sidekick for any hiker or tech-savvy commuter, The North Face Jester Backpack is a handy pack for daily life. The Jester contains a single large zippered compartment and cushioned laptop sleeve which can store other essentials, as well as a smaller zipped compartment for small everyday carry items. This large daypack has a FlexVent™ padded mesh back panel and a highly breathable lumbar for added comfort and breathability, in addition to flexible moulded shoulder straps. The latest men’s Jester backpack features an Updated front elastic bungee system for external storage as well as a reflective bike-light loop. Available in classic navy and TNF black as well as seasonal colourways this versatile outdoor rucksack will ensure your essentials remain accessible and in great condition all day long.

The North Face Jester Backpack Review

  • Designer: The North Face
  • Capacity: 26L Backpack
  • Laptop size: 15-inch
  • Weight: 740g
  • Waterproof: Water-resistant
  • Our rating: ★★★★

Pros: A budget pick for what you get; a clean study larger mens backpack that will handle a daily commute as well as some backcountry action with ease.
Cons: Not going to turn heads, but will get the job done.

Shop The North Face Jester Backpack

Carhartt Kickflip Backpack

If you are looking for a multipurpose daypack for your daily commute and weekends away then the Carhartt KickFlip Backpack is a good choice. Carhartt has been producing long-lasting, high-quality men’s workwear products for over 120 years and this Carhartt Work In Progress rucksack is no different. Featuring padded back and shoulder straps, two-way zip closure, skateboard ready buckle straps, front bungee cord, a mesh stash pocket and grab handle, the KickFlip pack also doubles as a skate carrier if required. Available in black, navy blue, cypress green and Carhartt’s signature hamilton brown colourways the KickFlip backpack oozes classic Carhartt style with durable water repellent 11 oz duck canvas, finished off with an iconic Carhartt patch.

Carhartt Kickflip Backpack Review

  • Designer: Carhartt WIP
  • Capacity: 24.8L Backpack
  • Laptop size: 15-inch
  • Weight: 650g
  • Waterproof: Water-resistant
  • Our rating: ★★★

Pros: Vintage skateboard styling makes this men’s backpack and essential for any skateboarder, biker or hiker cruising around town or the foothills.
Cons: Not super technical and lacking a laptop sleeve, which you would expect to find in a small daypack like this.

Shop The Carhartt Kickflip Backpack

What are the best designer backpacks to buy right now?

£100 to £200

Sandqvist Dante Backpack

Sandqvist bags are all about Nordic style, functionality and everyday use. The Dante Grand rucksack features a roll-top and interior zip-top design combined in a classic Sandqvist silhouette. This Sandqvist pack is produced using environmentally friendly and sustainable materials, the canvas made from organic cotton and recycled polyester, finished off with elegant vegetable-tanned leather detailing. The Dante Grand has a generous 18 Litre main compartment that can contain 21 Litres when fully unrolled. Inside the rucksack, there is a protective laptop or tablet sleeve which will take any device up to a 15″, while inner slip sleeves help keep smaller items well organised. On the exterior, the stylish men’s backpack also has a well placed small outer access zip pocket. This handy zip pocket is a great feature for those who like to keep their essentials in easy reach. The Sandqvist Dante comes in a spectrum of elegant colourways, there is black for the backpack traditionalists but also olive, navy and beige options that would be smart enough for most offices.

Sandqvist Dante Roll Top Backpack Review

  • Designer: Sandqvist
  • Capacity: 18-21L Backpack
  • Laptop size: 15-inch
  • Weight: 700g
  • Waterproof: Water-resistant
  • Our rating: ★★★

Pros: Functional and with a minimal yet stylish approach to design, this versatile men’s backpack is a great everyday companion.
Cons: Not particularly technical so better suited for the office commute and city breaks rather than backcountry excursions.

Shop The Sandqvist Dante Backpack

Cotopaxi Tarak Backpack

When your adventures take you to the mountains, the Cotopaxi Tarak is the only backpack you need. Designed primarily for multi-pitch climbers and backcountry skiers and equipped with a unique ice tool carry-system, the Tarak is a great ultralight, durable, and technically-loaded outdoor pack for thrill-seekers or just running around town. This Cotopaxi rucksack is equipped with a multitude of compression straps and lash points, a simple drawstring main compartment, zippered top lid, hydration sleeve, comfortable low profile shoulder straps, and a removable waist belt perfectly suited for day hiking and more. Each men’s Cotopaxi pack from the Del Día range is made by hand in the Philippines from repurposed nylon resulting in each rucksack’s completely unique colourway. Cotopaxi’s backpack design is minimal, no-frills and purpose-driven with the core climber and skier in mind and finished with Cotopaxi’s funky llama signature, of course.

Cotopaxi Tarak Backpack Review

  • Designer: Cotopaxi
  • Capacity: 20L Backpack
  • Laptop size: 15-inch
  • Weight: 562g
  • Waterproof: Water-resistant
  • Our rating: ★★★★ 

Pros: Light, comfortable, responsible and unique + lifetime warranty. A minimalist low-profile small lightweight backpack that’s great for hiking and skiing or just running around town.
Cons: Cotopaxi uses leftover fabric from other outdoor companies which means that each pack is a random cornucopia of colour. Not great if you don’t like surprises and no built-in laptop sleeve.

Shop The Cotopaxi Tarak Backpack

Master-Piece Link Backpack

Master-Piece makes some of the most stylish, functional and utilitarian backpacks around. The Link pack by Japanese bag maestros Master-Piece is constructed from a dense nylon twill fabric that is super durable and hard-wearing. Inside the bag, there is a spacious main compartment with internal dividers and sleeves to help items be organised and separated. On the exterior of the MasterPiece link backpack, there is an external sleeve compartment and two handy side sleeves for bottles or snacks. The backpack is accented with an eco cow leather handle and trim which is treated with vegetable tannin to bring out the natural colour of the leather. Designed for the daily commute or weekend excursions, the men’s Link rucksack has comfy padded shoulder straps with outdoor-inspired serrated edge details. The small daypack backpack is finished off with a statement carabiner fastening.

Master-Piece Link Series Backpack Review

  • Designer: Master-Piece
  • Capacity: 13L Backpack
  • Laptop size: 13-inch
  • Weight: 740g
  • Waterproof: Water-resistant
  • Our rating: ★★★

Pros: The Links Series features a functional design, superior craftsmanship, and fashion-friendly aesthetics. Master Piece is one of the most well-respected backpack brands for men to come out of Japan.
Cons: Lacks a padded laptop compartment which you would probably expect from a backpack like this and is not the roomiest.

Shop The Master-Piece Link Backpack

Millican Smith The Roll Backpack

Produced with sustainability in mind, the Millican Smith the Roll Pack is one of Millican’s best-selling bags and part of their recycled polyester “Mavericks” collection. Lightweight and minimal in appearance the Smith the Roll Pack is a modern twist on a classic / heritage roll-top backpack which comes in 15, 18, and 25L options and multiple colourways. Made with Millican’s paraffin wax coated “Bionic Canvas”, the Smith the Roll offers excellent weather resistance and durability for daily commutes as well as weekend adventures. This premium rucksack has a zipped, padded laptop pocket at the side of the pack for easy access, which is a really handy feature. The main compartment of the bag contains a deep cavity with organisation pockets, while the padded contoured shoulder straps, sternum strap, and hip belts and air mesh back system ensure comfortable carrying at all times. The men’s backpack is finished off with lightweight aluminium hardware and a signature G-hook closure.

Millican Smith The Roll Backpack Review

  • Designer: Millican
  • Capacity: 18L Backpack
  • Laptop size: 15-inch
  • Weight: 850g
  • Waterproof: Water-resistant
  • Our rating: ★★★★

Pros: It’s a really light, comfortable and well-vented men’s backpack thanks to the padding/mesh straps and the long air channel right through the middle of the bag.
Cons: The laptop compartment lacks padding and the internal lining looks thin and prone to wear.

Shop The Millican Smith The Roll Backpack

Arc’teryx Arro 16 Backpack

The Arc’teryx Arro backpack has been an icon for nearly two decades. With its sleek functional and modern styling, the Arro is constructed from durable CORDURA® nylon and equipped with lots of handy pockets and compartments. This men’s daypack is opened at the front rather than at the top by a tough WaterTight® zipper, allowing you to quickly find whichever contents you are looking for. Inside the Arc’teryx bag, there is a padded 13″ laptop sleeve as well as smaller organizational pockets for your important belongings and a bladder compartment with a hydration tube port. There is also a smaller secondary zip pocket on the back of the rucksack complete with drainage holes – great for separating toiletries or wet items from electricals and clothing. The essential backpack design is finished off with a ventilated back panel, comfortable padded shoulder straps, hip and sternum straps, plus a carry handle. We found the flared wings near the hips of the backpack and articulated rear padding to help hug the body really well, eliminating a lot of side-to-side pack motion whilst on the move. This multifunctional and compact Arcteryx backpack will fit the daily commute, a day trekking in the mountains and even some trail running.

Arc’teryx Arro 16 Backpack Review

  • Designer: Arc’teryx
  • Capacity: 16L Backpack
  • Laptop size: 13-inch (we were able to fit a 15-inch Macbook Pro)
  • Weight: 890g
  • Waterproof: Water-resistant
  • Our rating: ★★★★ (Best backpack for skiers)

Pros: Lots of useful details, excellent access and good adjustment options the men’s Arc’teryx Arro backpack is a stylish, high-performance, durable and lightweight all-rounder.
Cons: With a capacity of 16 litres this is a fairly small backpack, so if you like to carry a lot of gear you may struggle for space. The Sternum strap can be tricky to adjust and note that the Bladder is not included.

Shop The Arc’teryx Arro 16 Backpack

What are the best premium backpacks to buy right now?

Over £200

Filson Ranger Backpack

Inspired by rugged forestry backpacks, Filson’s Ranger rucksack is built to last and is a practical choice for everyday use or weekends away. Smart and stylish this ‘Made in USA’ Filson backpack is spacious enough to hold a laptop, a change of clothes and a wash bag. Constructed from durable heavyweight and abrasion-resistant cotton twill the Ranger rucksack features a traditional toggle-fastening drawstring, to keep your belongings secure, and a handy internal laptop sleeve. Whilst the oil finish water-resistant storm flap will ensure the contents of the bag stay dry in bad weather. The Filson Ranger is available in tan or olive colourways and is finished off with a padded back and adjustable shoulder straps for comfortable carrying, grab handle and elegant leather Filson patch.

Filson Ranger Backpack Review

  • Designer: Filson
  • Capacity: 23L Backpack
  • Laptop size: 15-inch
  • Weight: 710g
  • Waterproof: Water-resistant
  • Our rating: ★★★★

Pros: A timeless piece of kit that’s properly built to last. Filson offers a lifetime warranty on their bags and men’s backpacks, backed by their wonderful Restoration Department. So a practical and sustainable choice.
Cons: Not super technical, but very capable.

Shop The Filson Ranger Twill Backpack

Epperson Mountaineering Climb Pack

The Large Climb Pack is a timeless design from Epperson Mountaineering and is embued with genuine functionality. In 1973 Mr Mark Epperson founded Epperson Mountaineering in Montana to haul climbing rope. Styled in all olive, black, navy or retro colour block colourways, this ’70s looking pack is perfectly suited to weekend trekking or the daily commute. Available in two sizes 16L and 22.5L each men’s rucksack is hand made from heavy 1000 denier Cordura nylon fabric which is DWR-coated for water resistance. The men’s climb pack is secured by a climbing rated carabiner, climbing-spec drawcords and military-grade nylon webbing. With plenty of space to store the essentials, the Epperson Mountaineering climb backpack features four zippered or snap-closure side pockets for smaller EDC and a large seam-sealed interior compartment with an inner laptop sleeve. Adjustable padded, contoured shoulder straps and a daisy chain down the front of the bag to finish off the authentic design.

Epperson Mountaineering Climb Backpack Review

  • Designer: Epperson Mountaineering
  • Capacity: 22.5L Backpack
  • Laptop size: 15-inch
  • Weight: 790g
  • Waterproof: Water-resistant
  • Our rating: ★★★

Pros: Made in the USA from high-quality materials, the durable small to medium-sized Climb Pack has a timeless old-school aesthetic.
Cons: Not super technical, but tough enough to be chased down by a bear in the wilderness.

Shop The Epperson Mountaineering Climb Backpack

Visvim Cordura Backpack

Based between LA and Tokyo, visvim founder Mr Hiroki Nakamura is inspired by the needs of both lifestyles. Cut from tough CORDURA fabric, this luxury backpack was built for outdoor adventures but is equally at home on city commutes. The rucksack’s base is layered with faux leather, while the moulded padded back panel and shoulder straps make the pack is comfortable to wear. The hefty waterproof exterior zippers are made by Swiss brand RiRi, whilst 2 handy pre-curved elastic storage clips sit on the side of the pack which could hold items like a camera tripod. The backpack’s interior is equipped with a range of zipped and slip pockets including a neoprene-lined laptop compartment and fleece-lined audio-player pocket. The main compartment also features a three-quarter zip for easy packing and a side zipper for quick access. Technical gear and fashion rarely sit hand-in-hand, however, visvim’s attention to detail and production techniques ensure the men’s Cordura backpack is a genre-bending product.

Visvim Cordura Backpack Review

  • Designer: Visvim
  • Capacity: 20L Backpack
  • Laptop size: 15-inch
  • Weight: Unknown
  • Waterproof: Water-resistant
  • Our rating: ★★★★ (Best backpack for work)

Pros: A durable, functional and understated designer backpack that won’t call attention to its price tag, when travelling abroad or hiking remote trails.
Cons: When fully loaded the pack might benefit from a built-in frame and suspension systems, however for carrying moderate weight on day excursions this backpack is a good choice.

Shop The Visvim Cordura Backpack

Mystery Ranch 2 Day Assault Backpack

Whether you’re hiking, surviving your daily commute or heading away for the weekend, the Mystery Ranch 2 Day Assault military backpack will comfortably fit your gear. Perfect for travel or everyday carry the 2 Day Assault pack is fitted with dual water bottle pockets, dual front compression straps and military issue MOLLE webbing on both sides to suit your every need. The men’s Assault Pack is made from durable 500D Cordura fabric and comes in two sizes S/M (torso – 38-51 cm) and L/XL (torso – 43-61 cm) making it easy to find the perfect fit. The rucksack also features zippers with water repellent seams, a fully adjustable sternum strap, padded harness and removable waist belt for a comfortable carry. Generally, the Mystery Ranch backpack is a Swiss Army knife of a bag with a multitude of features and pockets to keep your kit well organised – the mesh pockets are particularly useful for storing small items. The rucksack also features a padded laptop sleeve with its own exterior zipper and internal tablet divider to ensure your tech is well protected and accessible on the move. Lastly, the brilliant three-zip design makes it super easy to find what you need quickly.

Mystery Ranch 2 Day Assault Backpack Review

  • Designer: Mystery Ranch
  • Capacity: 27L Backpack
  • Laptop size: 15-inch
  • Weight: 1400g
  • Waterproof: Water-resistant
  • Our rating: ★★★★★ (Best backpack for Special Ops)

Pros: A Swiss Army knife of a large day backpack; durable, ample storage and loads of pockets – plus super easy to access with the 3 zip front entry system. The pack also looks great with authentic military details and MOLLE webbing.
Cons: The external bottle storage compartments seem a little short for extra tall bottles.

Shop The Mystery Ranch 2 Day Assault Backpack

Brooks England Pickwick Backpack

The Pickwick from Brooks England is a top-loading rucksack with a roll-top closure and comes in 12 or 26-litre options (this review is based on the 12-litre pack). This artisan bike backpack is handmade in Italy and is available in several colours and materials including, classic black, dark brown or honey leather as well as brighter coated canvas options. At the top of the rucksack, there are two press studs that hold the edges of the main compartment together and make the roll at the top of the pack much neater. This Pickwick version features a premium vegetable-tanned leather finish, embossed leather accents, canvas straps and a metal hook closure on the roll-top main section. Internally there is a padded sleeve that fits a 13″ laptop along with zipped pouch pockets for smaller items. On the outside of the Brooks backpack, is a handy small zippered pocket on the back panel, providing a more theftproof compartment for essential everyday items like your wallet, phone and keys. Minimal and fairly basic in appearance this men’s Brooks England bag is finished with adjustable webbing straps and an unpadded leather back panel and comes with a detachable chest strap.

Brooks England Pickwick Leather Backpack Review

  • Designer: Brooks England
  • Capacity: 12-14L Backpack
  • Laptop size: 13-inch (or 15-inch on the 26L version)
  • Weight: 710g
  • Waterproof: Water-resistant
  • Our rating: ★★★★ 

Pros: Brooks England’s cycling bags are an elegant choice and can also be used for everything from weekends away to commuting or travelling by bike. This smaller leather version should age beautifully improving in appearance and comfort in time.
Cons: For such a premium backpack the closure feels a little insecure and there is an absence of padding for backcountry excursions. Not the most comfortable men’s cycling bag and if you carry quite a bit of gear you may want to size up.

Shop The Brooks England Pickwick Leather Backpack

Click ‘Shop Now’ to shop all Backpacks at SEIKK – The Men’s Lifestyle Destination.

FAQ’s

Backpacks vs Rucksacks

  • What is the difference between a backpack and a rucksack?

    As the name implies a ‘backpack‘ is a pack you carry on your back, has two shoulder straps and often a hip belt (which helps to transfer most of the weight to your hips). A rucksack is usually just a larger and more rugged style of backpack often used for camping, hiking or military operations. ‘Rucksack‘ is derived from the German word, ‘der rücken’, which means ‘the back’.

Backpack Use

  • What is the best travel backpack?

    The best travel backpack for you all boils down to your preferences. Generally, backpacks for travelling should be durable, versatile and lightweight. They should also offer flexibility and ideally be carry-on compliant bags, so with that in mind Osprey’s Daylight Travel Backpack would be an excellent economical choice. Alternatively, have a look at The North Face Base Camp Duffel Backpack which we love for its versatility and authentic looks.

  • What is the best work backpack?

    A backpack is a great bag for work and for getting to the office or college. A work backpack evenly distributes the load across your back and shoulders, keeps your laptop and essentials safe and frees up your hands to ride your bike or the tube. That said if you have the budget the Visvim Cordura Backpack would be a good choice or take a look at Sandqvist who always offer an elegant range of bags.

  • What is the best hiking backpack?

    Choosing the best backpack for trekking isn’t easy, but the most important factors when choosing a hiking backpack are comfort, weight and size. Osprey has a great collection of hiking rucksacks, but if you fancy something a bit more unique then try the Cotopaxi Tarak Backpack.

  • What is the best bike backpack?

    There are different kinds of bike backpacks for different types of riders. Things such as ride type, duration, weather conditions and bag aesthetics will affect which bike or cycling rucksacks are the best choice for you. Osprey, The North Face and Patagonia have some great options but for cycling to work or biking into town, we love the style and authenticity of the Brooks England Pickwick Leather Backpack.

  • What is the best ski backpack?

    Snowboard and ski backpacks should ideally be comfortable and equipped with a hip belt, sternum strap and range of adjusters to ensure the pack and the weight within stays firmly in place on your back. The North Face, Patagonia and even Cotopaxi have a great range of rucksacks for skiing, but we love Arc’teryx and the Arc’teryx Arro 16 Backpack in particular.

  • What is the best everyday backpack?

    A great all-rounder needs to balance function and design as a backpack isn’t just a bag, it’s a mobile base of sorts. You wouldn’t go far wrong choosing a backpack from Patagonia or The North Face. We love the more analogue Filson Ranger rucksack, but if you want to haul ass up a mountainside or weave through the city streets on a bike every single day, the Millican Smith the Roll Pack is terrific and versatile everyday backpack.

Backpack Design

  • What is the best minimalist backpack?

    Less is more – minimalist backpacks should be sleek in appearance yet utilitarian in nature. If black is your colour Porter-Yoshida and Co is a good place to look but we love the simplicity and elegance of the Brooks England Pickwick Leather Backpack.

  • What is the best retro backpack?

    The best vintage rucksacks masterfully combine simplicity with quality and functionality. Epperson Mountaineering and Topo Designs make some epic retro backpacks and roll tops, but we love the minimalism and authenticity of the Filson Ranger Twill Backpack.

  • What is the best leather backpack?

    Leather backpacks can be an investment but the best thing about them is that they will look great season after season. Look for a timeless design built from high materials from the likes of Bleu de Chauffe or Brooks England who have some great leather rucksacks, like the Pickwick Leather Backpack.

  • What is the best waterproof backpack?

    Waterproof backpacks can protect your contents from a tumble into a lake, whilst water-resistant backpacks should perform well in rainy conditions but might not stand up to an all-day downpour. If your looking for a waterproof rucksack then the Patagonia Black Hole Backpack would be a great choice, if the pack only needs to be water-resistant then the Arc’teryx Arro Backpack performs well in the wet.

  • What is the best military backpack?

    Designed for durability, expandability and modularity, tactical military backpacks are ready for anything. Mystery Ranch has been making for military spec packs for the Navy SEALs for decades, so their 2 Day Assault Backpack with MOLLE – Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment – is just an awesome pack.

  • What is the best tech backpack?

    Tech backpacks are designed to give your gadgets more protection and in some cases allow you to charge your devices on the go. For super techy bags, Incase is a good place to look but for a more designer all-rounder, we would pick the Visvim Cordura Backpack.

Backpack Size

  • What is the best small backpack?

    We characterise a small backpack as something that has around a 15-litre capacity and is designed to hold some essentials for a simple day trip. For its simplicity, price and style The Fjallraven Kanken Backpack is a gem of a small backpack but if you would something more technical then Osprey have a lot of choice around that size.

  • What is the best large backpack?

    We characterise a large backpack as something that has at least a 20-litre capacity and is designed to accommodate all the gear you need for a short trip or weekend away. What is the best large backpack for you will depend on your budget and intended use, however, we are big fans of the Mystery Ranch 2 Day Assault Backpack which can do just about everything.

Budget Backpack

  • What is the best budget backpack?

    Generally “you get what you pay for”, but if you looking for a good budget backpack you don’t want to pay for features you don’t need. The level of quality and features you get from Osprey packs for the price is excellent, however, we love the enduring design and simplicity of the Fjallraven Kanken Backpack.

Backpack Brand

  • What is the best backpack brand?

    There are a lot of excellent backpack brands out there specialising in different areas of the market. If you want a functional outdoorsy but understated backpack that won’t look too out of place in the office then The North Face or Osprey is a good place to look. If you are looking for something a bit more stylish and designer then we would probably go with Filson.

The Backpack

  • What is the best mens backpack?

    The best backpack really depends on your budget, your needs and your style. Generally, you can’t go wrong with Osprey, but if you’re James Bond then you might lean towards the Mystery Ranch 2 Day Assault Backpack. Who are we to disagree with 007!

Not sure backpacks are for you. Shop mens bags and briefcases.

Mr Francis Whitman is a writer, photographer and surfer. When he’s not embarking on adventures around the world, he calls the Georgian city of Bath his home.

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