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As briefcases go out of style, we’re seeing a return of our favorite bag for men: the humble backpack. The best backpacks for men marry style and convenience, and they’re excellent for travel, college students or heading to the office.
Handy for far more than just carrying around books in your grade school days, the best backpacks are among some of the most useful men’s accessories ever invented. Unlike sling bags that don’t evenly distribute weight, backpacks even displace the weight on both shoulders, allowing you to carry stuff without compromising your back, as most modern backpacks are designed to offer really comfortable and cushioned shoulder straps.
When choosing the right backpack for you, it’s important to consider style, capacity (usually measured in liters), the number of compartments, reviews, and price. And if you need a backpack for a specific purpose, such as securely transporting your work or school laptop, it’s important to find a design that’s up for the task. Most backpacks now come with a laptop sleeve that’s tucked away so it won’t interfere with the other items you need to store.
Whether you’re looking for a dedicated laptop backpack, a backpack for day hikes, a backpack for commuting, or a backpack for the gym, we’ve got you covered with these handsome options for any activity. With vibrant colorways, handy features, and plenty of storage space, these backpacks will help you get to wherever your travels take you — and will take you there in style.
1. The Backpack by Day Owl
After testing out this bag from up-and-coming brand Day Owl, we are really and truly obsessed. In addition to a glowing review, we named it the best backpack of the year in The 2021 Man, our end-of-year product awards. What makes this backpack so special? It’s so comfortable and distributes weight so well that it almost feels like magic. On top of that, it’s got pockets on pockets on pockets. And with a cool minimalist vibe and stylish neutral colors — not to mention a very reasonable $150 price tag — it’s the clear winner among the best backpacks for men this year.
2. Nike Heritage Eugene Backpack
If you’re looking for a backpack that is just as durable as the option above, but at a cheaper price, then you’ll find this Nike Eugene bag suitable to your needs. The backpack is a great carrying bag to store your electronics and personal items. It comes with two compartments: the main one is good for textbooks, while the second company features an internal padded sleeve for your laptop or tablet. The backpack comes in two colors: black and pink.
Read More: The Best Backpacks for College Students
3. Topo Designs Rover Backpack
The Colorado-based Topo Designs has its roots in outdoor gear, which makes all of their packs ready-made to hit the mountain, slope, airport, and classroom in equal measure. The Rover is the brand’s classic day bag that’s constructed with versatility in mind, featuring a tough nylon exterior for extended use, an internal laptop sleeve, a spacious interior compartment, and a zipper front pocket for quick access. With a variety of visually striking patterns, there are all sorts of options to fit your personal stylish preference. You’ll happily reach for the Rover time and time again, knowing you can count on it to satisfy all of your needs.
4. Carhartt Trade Backpack
Sitting at the intersection of affordability and elegance is this striking backpack from Carhartt. It’s constructed of a tough, water-repellent canvas that will come in handy if you ever find yourself stuck in a rainstorm. The backpack is comfortable to wear around as it comes with adjustable padded straps allowing you to distribute its weight.
5. Monos Metro Backpack
“This backpack changed the way I carry my things for the better,” says our e-commerce editor Tyler Schoeber. He received this backpack as a gift a few weeks back from Monos, and ever since, he’s been obsessed. The backpack has a number of pockets for keeping your stuff both safe and properly placed. For real, there are so many pockets that you’re going to have to think a little extra about where exactly to place your laptop. There is also an extra steal-proof yet removable dopp kitt that sits on the exterior as an added bonus.
Read More: The Best Work Bags for Professional Men
6. Calpak Glenroe Backpack
BEST FOR TRAVEL
If you’re someone who loves to travel and you need a good backpack on your back, this Calpak Glenroe Backpack may be calling your name. This bag is designed with utilitarian details, making it durable and long-lasting. It also comes equipped with laptop and tablet sleeves, as well as tons of pocket organization, which is more than enough space for travel or everyday needs.
7. YETI Crossroads 27L Backpack
BEST NEW RELEASE
The new YETI Crossroads line is a brand-new effort from your favorite cooler brand that finally places them on the map in terms of travel gear. Yeah, they have released a few backpacks and portable coolers in the past before, but this time they’re focusing on making travel easier in this new world we’re living in. YETI’s 27L Backpack is one of the best picks from the new line. It’s made from 700D, water and abrasion-resistant TuffSkin Nylon to keep everything inside safe from outdoor issues and a ton of room for whatever it is you’re packing on vacations far and wide.
8. Lululemon Everyday Backpack 2.0
BEST FOR COLLEGE
College students in need of an all-purpose backpack that can conveniently hold a variety of textbooks and a laptop will find The Everyday Backpack a helpful solution. With plenty of storage room and a comfortable set of straps, it’s great for campus strolls. Plus, it’s made of a water repellent fabric and features a water bottle pocket for easier access to stay hydrated.
9. Maxtop Deep Storage Laptop Backpack
BEST LAPTOP BAG
Have you been looking for the perfect laptop bag with plenty of storage? Then go for the Maxtop Deep Storage Backpack. At just $24, the affordably priced bag will carry around your tech gadgets with ease and style. The bag is designed to hold a laptop up to 15.6 inches, and it still has space to store your books, clothes, etc. What makes the bag even better is that it comes equipped with a USB charging port to charge your phone, tablet, or computer in times of need.
10. JanSport Superbreak Backpack
Those in love with color and style, this backpack may be what you’re looking for. JanSport’s classic style backpack — otherwise known as the Superbreak — more than likely evokes feelings of nostalgia from your days of grade school. It comes in fourteen different colors and has extra padded shoulder straps for a day’s long comfort.
11. Matein Travel Backpack
BEST FOR COMMUTING
Whether you’re heading to the office on a bike, bus, or public transport, you’re going to want a backpack that will protect and safely carry your essential things. Luckily, the Matein Travel Backpack does just that. The carrying bag is equipped with several anti-theft features like a separate laptop compartment that’s close to your back. It also has anti-theft pockets to store valuable personal items while on your commute.
12. Samsonite Classic Leather Slim Backpack
BEST LEATHER BACKPACK
If you’re on the lookout for a premium leather bag that is durable and fairly priced, then opt for this backpack from Samsonite. This classically styled backpack is spacious and sophisticated, making it the perfect bag for professionals. It has plenty of space for fitting two laptops, work documents, and even a hoodie for when you get cold in the office. The straps feature air mesh panels for maximum comfort. It even has a smart sleeve that will come in handy and make it easier to travel through the airport.
13. Rains Rucksack
BEST WATERPROOF BACKPACK
Do you always find yourself getting caught up in bad weather? Well, you can keep all of your valuables dry with this waterproof backpack from Rains. The rucksack backpack is constructed with polyurethane fabric making it a great option on a rainy day. This minimalistic bag offers plenty of interior space (its capacity is 11 liters) and a dedicated laptop sleeve.
14. MCM Medium Stark Visetos Coated Canvas Backpack
If you love splurging on designer brands, then you’ll love this studded canvas backpack from MCM. The coated canvas bag is designed with shiny pyramid studs and has stamped MCM logos all over. It’s the ultimate bag to make a fashion statement in. For anyone who isn’t a fan of the cognac color, you can buy the bag in black too.
15. Fjallraven Kanken Water Resistant Backpack
Featuring a Scandinavian design, the Fjallraven Kanken Backpack is the ultimate carrying bag for trendy teens and adults. The classic backpack is known for its style and durability. The bag has a contemporary silhouette and is made with vinylon material to stay dry against water. There are also adjustable straps that come with the bag for max comfort.
16. TETON Sports Explorer Internal Frame Backpack
BEST FOR HIKING
If you’re looking for an affordably priced backpack that can hold all your equipment on a camping trip, then you’ll find this Teton Sports Explorer Internal Frame Backpack a hit. This is not your average men’s backpack, as it holds up to 65 liters of anything. It comes equipped with large separate compartments for the strategic packing of essentials. The bag also features waist and shoulder straps built to ease the load on your back as you incline on your hike.