The modern backpack is anything like that of yester years. When you’re looking for a pack for everyday use, hiking, or travel, you’ll want one that’s functional and cool. And that’s what we’re all about. We’ll help you pick the best backpack to suit your preferences.

If you’re looking for an everyday-use backpack, it’s best to go for one that’s commuter-friendly with built-in organization. On the other hand, a good travel backpack should be a good fit for your back with the capacity to carry your essentials.

After hours of research, we narrowed down the ten best backpacks on the market. Here are the options we feel are great for most people.

Best Backpacks Reviewed

The North Face Jester School Laptop Backpack is as comfy on the shoulders of a tech-savvy as it is on the urban hiker. With its primary material being 600D polyester, this backpack is tough and durable. The Jester has perhaps the most comfortable shoulder straps with foam padding. The back panel is also well-cushioned for additional comfort. 

When it comes to organization, you have various compartments, including a padded laptop sleeve. The sleeve can accommodate a laptop up to 15 inches wide. We like that it stands independently and can carry a decent load. Nonetheless, it lacks a hip strap, so you won’t do well with a heavy load of more than 12 pounds.

The North Face Jester is ready to join you on commutes, evening hikes, and any escapade on the trail. You’ll like that the shoulder straps don’t dig into your shoulders, and there’s a sternum strap and a loop on each side to adjust the straps easily. Not to mention the water bottle pockets that are a staple for backpackers. 

We, however, did not like the SPS zippers since they open a little too easily. Nevertheless, you’ll appreciate the small loops on the shoulder strap to carry extra accessories and the tiny reflective left loop so you can be seen at night. Overall, the North Face Jester is a simple everyday backpack whose condition will remain excellent for a long time.

Are you looking for a performance-oriented backpack that will last for years? Consider the Filson Dryden Backpack. This model is made of 1000D Cordura Nylon, the industry’s leading heavy-duty material. It also includes nylon webbing, nylon liner, and bridle leather accents.

This backpack is made for functionality. It has compartments for all your stuff. Everything is a quick grab, from cables to books, magazines, pens, papers, and two laptops. You can even toss in a sweater or an extra pair of shoes, which remains well-arranged. Its capacity rating is 25.5 liters, but it doesn’t look small.

Another feature to look forward to is the padded and ventilated shoulder strap with micro adjustability. It has two external water bottle holders that sit flush with its minimalistic style. In addition, there’s a ventilation sleeve on the bottom, which is handy for stashing dirty laundry.

The Dryden combines functionality as a tech bag and a commuter, business, or travel bag. It will fit in overhead compartments and will attach to luggage for travel. Hence, the Filson Dryden backpack is for you if you’re looking for a well-made bag that’s heavy on features but minimalistic on looks. 

The best backpack you may buy for your laptop is the Fjällräven. This backpack from the Kanken line is popular for a good reason. It’s functional but tough and great for venturing into the outdoors. This hip backpack comes in different colors for all ages and genders. 

The Fjällräven’s boxy design and oversized handles make for an everyday backpack that will serve as your laptop bag and a functional tote for business travel. It can fit a 15-inch laptop and has a 16-liter capacity that is perfect for carrying alongside luggage. Moreover, it is suitable as a carry-on that will fit in overhead compartments or underneath an airplane seat.

The Fjällräven laptop version allows for fast slipping and grabbing of your laptop. The laptop compartment is padded and located at the back, hence the convenience. You’ll like the wide handles, which will give your shoulders a break. 

There’s not much going on the main compartment. You may have to invest in pouches and cubes for organization since it’s basically a box where you throw everything inside.

The clamshell-style opening means you’ll never search for anything since all your stuff is in full view. In addition, the oversized zipper goes all the way to the base. It carries comfortably, which you want in a versatile laptop backpack.

The Patagonia Black Hole is a daypack that boasts great versatility. This model has a stylish, sporty look for casual and rugged outdoor use. It comes with abrasion-resistant polyester ripstop fabric, roomy main compartments, and a waterproof DWR finish. The sustainable approach means it will protect your gear while being durable for years.

The trusty YKK zippers on the Black Hole are a welcome feature since they will hold up against a full pack and frequent use. Not to mention, all its buckles and adjusters work smoothly every time. The shoulder straps are also padded to ensure they don’t dig in when the pack is full. Besides, it has a sternum strap for additional stability.

Looking at the storage and pockets, the Patagonia Black Hole features a small pocket on top of the main compartment for loading small items. You’ll find it spacious enough for your gear, especially if you’re using it to commute to and from work. Furthermore, it’s a top-loader for fast grabbing of items. There’s a laptop sleeve for a 15-inch laptop, although it lacks additional padding, so it’s better for a hydration reservoir than your laptop.

There are two water bottle holders, a smaller sleeve for a tablet, and a zippered mesh pocket for organizing small tech accessories like cables and chargers. The Black Hole fits flush on most people’s backs; hence it will not bounce up and down.

Patagonia Black Hole is reliable through rain and rugged terrain. It holds its shape and carries well for everyday use and short backpacking adventures.

Tom Bihn Synik 22 is for anyone who wants a backpack with a clamshell opening and an integrated laptop compartment. You can access this compartment from the bag’s side or the top. The most outstanding feature of the Tom Bihn Synik is its edgeless straps that conform to your shoulders. The straps are so comfortable that most people forget they are carrying this pack.

The Synik 22 has a luggage handle pass-through slot, which is an improvement over its predecessor, the Synapse. This backpack will slide over your luggage’s handle. It is convenient and makes it easy to lift it from rolling luggage. 

Synik also has a removable internal frame to keep the bag’s shape. The bag will look good even when it’s not fully loaded. Moreover, it suspends a laptop inside while giving it a strong barrier between the rolling luggage and the laptop.

The Tom Bihn Synik has five exterior pockets for all small items and accessories. There’s a place for everything, from keys to sunscreen, hand lotion, phone, charger, and other items. The best thing is that this pack’s pockets don’t intrude on another. If you pack one pocket, it won’t take up the room of another.

Synik’s interior opens in a clamshell design. It’s pretty easy to pack stuff. The YKK zippers include a water-resistant lining to protect your items. You’ll find the laptop sleeve for a 13-inch laptop, but it uses a soft, foamy cushioning. There’s also an additional elastic sleeve to separate items. This everyday carry also has a removable sternum and waist strap.

The Synik 22 is a pack that will see lots of use. This carry is a good consideration if you’re in the market for a sleek backpack for a 13-inch laptop and more add-ons.

Lululemon Everyday backpack 2.0 23L is for the casual wearer. It will carry all your essentials and keep everything organized. This backpack has a 23-liter capacity with a padded laptop pocket to fit a 16-inch laptop. An additional exterior water bottle pouch for easy access on the go or at the gym.

Our favorite features from the Lululemon Everyday backpack 2.0 include its troll-friendly sleeve to secure it to your luggage handle. In addition, it has a streamlined look so you can tote it around, plus the padded back panel softens the load on your back.

The Lululemon Everyday 2.0 is made from 100% recycled polyester. Since it’s a material that does not stretch, there’s not much wiggle for adding extra stuff. With this in mind, you’ll want a water bottle that fits the space allocated. We, however, like that the backpack is water repellant, and the chunky YKK zippers are hard to break into.

You’ll like the Lululemon Everyday 2.0 if you want a reliable backpack for work, travel, or college. It’s large, sleek, and a must-have for on the move.

L.L. Bean Comfort Carry Laptop Pack is a spacious carry for school. It is a versatile option with a medium size for high school kids. The pack has a 30L capacity, so you can also grab it if you’re a one-bag traveler. While it has lots of storage, this backpack is ergonomic with a rigid back panel, breathable mesh straps, and airflow.

This laptop backpack has a 420D ripstop nylon and a 300D ripstop nylon body. The bottom boasts 1000D nylon construction for extra durability. You’ll like the additional padding on the laptop compartment that accommodates laptops up to 15 inches.

With the L.L. Bean Comfort Carry, you can place binders and large books without risking damage to either. We also like that the back panel is also padded. Plus, you can easily tuck away a sternum and a belt strap. It can carry heavy loads thanks to the belt strap that helps to manage the load.

The stretch water bottle sleeve can accommodate 32-ounce bottles. We lik Bean Comfort’s interior organization as it has a panel for different items such as diaries, pens, and other accessories. It’s the best option when you want a roomy backpack that is not cumbersome with a heavy load.

Looking for an all-in-one backpack? The Everlane ReNew Transit Backpack ticks all the right boxes for a lightweight, functional, and durable backpack. It keeps your possessions organized and safe. This pack is so stylish that you’ll want to take it to the office, business travel, daily commute, and all automobiles. 

The Everlane ReNew is thoughtfully designed with a roomy main pocket, padded laptop pocket on the exterior, small exterior pockets, some extra slip pockets, and two water bottle pockets, one on the exterior and another on the interior. These pockets are effortless to organize because every pocket has a purpose.

This backpack is made from 100% recycled polyester. Its dyes are also sustainably sourced to keep to a small footprint. Luckily, this backpack is stylish and modern, so you’ll look chic in whichever outfit you choose to pair it with. Every feature, like the zippers, shoulder straps, and buckles, are all well-made to handle daily use.

Everlane Renew Transit makes for a great versatile backpack. It’s the perfect size for both men and women, and you have plenty of room for your belongings. Its sophisticated design makes it a bag you’ll want to take everywhere. 

If you’re finding it hard to find a backpack that fits in with your outdoor lifestyle, you will like the Rains Mountaineer backpack. This carry is home in the rainforest as it is in the trails. It features a 30L capacity, a padded laptop sleeve, and a few easily accessible zip pockets. The exterior comes with an elastic cord for external storage.

The Rains Mountaineering backpack has woven and padded shoulder straps that you can adjust for a perfect fit. The mesh water bottle holder leaves something to be designed since it’s not as durable as the other features on this backpack.

This backpack is strong with a clean look. It has a 100% polyester body with a polyurethane coating. The lining is also 100% polyester. The pack is water repellant, including the zippers to withstand moisture and direct water splashes. As for the fit, it comes with an adjustable chest strap.

The Rains Mountaineering backpack is ideal for hiking and hitting the trails for short trips since it has a comfortable carry system and maintains a minimalist look while being spacious.

Timbuk2 Tuck Pack is redesigned with plenty of exterior and internal pockets for versatile utility.

This backpack has a 20L capacity. It has a construction from lightweight, durable polyester. The pack sits comfortably on the back, although it’s not the most cushioned on the backside. Thanks to the polyester fabric, you’ll never worry about your belongings getting wet. It can stand up against moderate rain, but we can’t recommend carrying electronics in heavy rainfall.

Timbuk2 Tuck Pack has style, exceptional capacity, and thoughtful functionality. It is ideal for everyday use, work, college, and the outdoors.

Best Backpack Buying Guide

You wouldn’t want to bring the wrong backpack to a trip, hike, class, or work. If you’re unsure which backpack to pick, there are a few features to remember.

Construction Materials

You will need durable and hardwearing materials if you’ll be using the backpack every day or for the outdoors. The most common materials are Cordura, denim, polyester, canvas, nylon, and cotton. These materials have advantages and disadvantages, and it helps to find a backpack with a material that suits your needs.

Backpack Capacity

Most everyday packs offer a 20 – 30L capacity. This is enough room for essential workbooks, notebooks, and accessories; however, if you’re taking your backpack for a weekend trip, a 30 – 50L capacity if you’re going to pack light. If you’re taking long trips for up to seven days, a 50 – 75L pack is ideal, and a 60 – 80L pack for trips longer than a week.

Comfort Features

You cannot underestimate the importance of padded shoulder straps. In addition, a padded hip belt will come in handy for stability and comfort if you have a cumbersome backpack. Models that come with extra straps offer additional functionality.


To avoid the sweaty back syndrome, you may consider a backpack with a suspended mesh panel. Ventilation channels are also essential to drive away heat from the back, especially in the summer.


You may want lots of pockets or a minimalist design, but how you organize your pack is essential. Backpacks with internal compartments are great for work, and those with a clamshell opening design provide easy organization when packing for a trip.

The North Face Jester has great features for life on the move. It combines thoughtful organization, durable materials, and decent capacity for a comfortable carry. 

North Face Jester ticks these boxes if you’re out for a well-cushioned, classic-style backpack. You can count on the top-notch design and classy styling befitting an everyday carry.

Special Mentions

These backpacks did not make it to our top ten best options. Still, there are great features about them with only a few drawbacks. Hence, they are good considerations while searching for a reliable backpack.

Patagonia Refugio 26L Day Pack: This backpack is designed for daily use as it sits flush with the body. There’s also lots of ventilation for added comfort. The drawback of this backpack is that the pockets are not independent, so they take up space from each other.

Herschel Heritage Backpack: This model is just right if you want a minimalist backpack. However, with faux leather construction, it will not last long in excellent condition.

July Carry All Backpack Series 2: Although in a minimal design, this backpack can fit a 16-inch laptop. We do feel the shoulder straps could be too wide for a petite person, and it is not as lightweight for the size.

Herschel Classic Backpack: This XL backpack can go on airlines with decent capacity for a weekend trip. Nonetheless, it only has two extra pockets, so organization is not simple without additional pouches. 

Cropped Oluwasegun

Loise Wambui is a freelancer and sub-editor, a graduate with a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) degree. Born in Beachwood, she has over 10 years of experience under her belt and is one of our top writers for all-around content. From sous vide cookers to stock pots, smartwatches, and even pet feeders. Loise has a keen eye for detail and spends a lot of her time providing expert recommendations in these areas for Top Ten Reviews. So, if you’re wondering which stock pot is best to whip a thanksgiving or whether a productivity tool can really help you improve your work quality, Loise is the one to ask. When not working, she loves reading, traveling, and trying out new recipes.

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