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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 offer 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 essential to find a design that’s up for the task. Most backpacks now come with a laptop sleeve 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 this season. 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 unique? 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 relaxed 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 Utility Speed Training Backpack
If you’re looking for a backpack just as durable as the option above but at a lower price, you’ll find this Nike Utility Speed Training Backpack suitable to your needs. The backpack is a great carrying bag to store your electronics and personal items. It comes with one large compartment for clothes, your laptop and textbooks as well as cargo pockets for whatever else you need to bring. The backpack comes in two colors: black and blue.
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 its packs ready-mades 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. Various visually striking patterns allow 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 Legacy Classic Work Backpack
This striking backpack from Carhartt is at the intersection of affordability and elegance. It’s constructed of a rugged, water-repellent canvas that will come in handy if you ever find yourself stuck in a rainstorm. The backpack is comfortable to wear as it comes with adjustable padded straps allowing you to distribute its weight. It can fit whatever you need to bring, too, like your laptop, a change of clothes, shoes and more.
5. Monos Metro Backpack
“This backpack changed how I carry my things for the better,” says our e-commerce editor Tyler Schoeber. He received this backpack a few weeks back from Monos, and he’s been obsessed ever since. The backpack has several pockets to keep your stuff safe and properly placed. For real, there are so many pockets that you’ll have to think a little extra about where exactly to place your laptop. Also, an extra steal-proof yet removable Dopp kit sits on the exterior as a bonus.
Read More: The Best Work Bags for Professional Men
6. Calpak Luka Laptop Backpack
BEST FOR TRAVEL
If you’re someone who loves to travel and you need a good backpack on your back, this Calpak Luka Laptop Backpack may be calling your name. This bag is designed with utilitarian details, making it durable and long-lasting. It also comes equipped with a laptop compartment, the main compartment, and tons of pocket organization, which is more than enough space for travel or everyday needs. Topped off with hidden zippers and a luggage trolley sleeve for stress-free travel.
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 regarding travel gear. Yeah, they have released a few backpacks and portable coolers 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 needing 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 excellent 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. Herschel Supply Co. x The Simpsons Classic Backpack
The collab of the summer just launched from Herschel Supply Co. and none other than The Simpsons. And, to keep it accurate, this is one of the coolest collaborations we’ve ever seen. Period. This backpack features the classic Herschel Supply Co. backpack design — a massive interior space, a large interior pocket for keeping all of your valuables and, of course, a front zip pocket for keeping smaller items. All across the back, you’ll see none other than Bart Simpson skating the day away atop a black coloration. Through this collaboration, you can catch the rest of the Simpson family on fanny packs, hats and more. See the entire Herschel Supply Co. x The Simpsons collection now.
10. 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 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.
11. JanSport Superbreak Backpack
For 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 in grade school. It comes in 14 different colors and has extra padded shoulder straps for a day’s long comfort.
12. Matein Travel Backpack
BEST FOR COMMUTING
Whether you’re heading to the office on a bike, bus, or public transport, you will want a backpack that will protect and safely carry your essentials. Luckily, the Matein Travel Backpack does just that. The carrying bag has several anti-theft features, like a separate laptop compartment close to your back. It also has anti-theft pockets to store valuable personal items while on your commute.
13. Samsonite Classic Leather Slim Backpack
BEST LEATHER BACKPACK
If you’re looking for a premium leather bag that is durable and reasonably 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 when you get cold in the office. The straps feature air mesh panels for maximum comfort. It has a smart sleeve that will come in handy and make it easier to travel through the airport.
14. Rains Rucksack
BEST WATERPROOF BACKPACK
Do you constantly find yourself getting caught up in bad weather? This waterproof backpack from Rains lets you keep all of your valuables dry. 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.
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.