We’ve rounded up 11 options that are expertly-designed to anticipate all your everyday needs.
Backpacks are arguably the best way to carry everything you need on a daily basis. Setting aside the risk of looking more like a teenager and less like a full-grown adult, I’ve always opted for a backpack when it comes to an everyday bag -- especially when it comes to work, exercising, and travel. They’re comfortable, better for your body, and more versatile.
Fortunately, you’re not stuck with your highschool Jansport anymore -- there are tons of professional and stylish backpack options that go beyond just looking good. Ahead, we’ve rounded up 11 options that are expertly-designed to anticipate all your everyday needs.
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One of the most comfortable and brilliantly designed backpacks we’ve ever used, all of Dagne Dover’s bags are equal parts chic and practical -- but the Dakota is a cult-fave for a reason. The medium size, which is available in a range of neutral and brighter colors, is the perfect size for everyday use. The laptop sleeve fits most 13-inch laptops - including Apple’s MacBook Air -, features a luggage-handle sleeve, and comes with a shoe and dust bag. The unique neoprene material is 100% vegan and water-resistant.
Perfectly described by its name, Lululemon’s Everyday Backpack is something you’ll find yourself using all the time and for different activities. Whether it’s your school, work-gym, or travel bag -- this has all the functionality you’d need for just about any scenario. The exterior padded pocket (which is large enough to fit a 16-inch laptop), trolley sleeve, and exterior water bottle pocket are all useful travel-friendly features, while the various external and internal pockets are perfect for all your essentials.
Fjallraven’s iconic backpack has been popular for years, and for good reason. Not only is its unique shape and assortment of color options a lot of fun, but the bag is made from a super durable material. Additionally, its angular shape lends itself perfectly to organization, particularly of folders and notebooks. The material -- referred to as Vinylon F by the brand -- is water and dirt resistant, in addition to being easy to wipe clean, and the top snap handles allow for different carrying options.
This backpack can fit a deceptively large amount of stuff -- don’t let its slim silhouette fool you! Perfect for travels both near and far, it features an exterior laptop pocket in addition to zippered exterior pockets and interior organizational pockets. It’s made from 100% recycled polyester, which reviewers note looks and wears well. One unique feature that we love? The top flap, which has its own zippered pocket, boasts a magnetic closure that’s convenient -- and that delivers a chic, modern look.
If you’re on the hunt for a sleek backpack with everything you need sans the bells and whistles, Away’s water-resistant nylon backpack is just as good as its luggage. The design features a 15-inch padded laptop pocket, a spacious front zipper, and of course -- a trolley sleeve for travel. While it’s large enough to fit a laptop, it’s definitely more compact than some other options on this list, making it an ideal choice for minimalists.
If you like to pack and carry a lot on a daily basis, this sleek option from Monos is bound to be your new go-to. The main compartment opens fully and can lay flat, which makes packing and unpacking incredibly fast and easy. All the while, there are still enough internal pockets for organization, and no need to search around for your laptop -- the backpack has a dedicated compartment on the back of the bag that’ll fit up to a 15-inch computer. Our favorite feature is the QuickSnap Modular Kit System, which is a great tool for keeping your essentials separate, particularly if you’re traveling and just want to keep what you absolutely need on you.
If backpacks are typically too casual for your everyday style, this gorgeous leather backpack might be just what you need. Made from a luxurious Italian pebbled leather and constructed in a family-owned factory outside of Pisa, this elegant bag is available in two sizes, both of which feature a built-in interior sleeve for either a 13-inch or 16-inch laptop. The large patch pockets on the front of the bag look chic, but are also perfect for storing your phone and any other essentials. The back straps, which have been widened based on feedback from previous iterations, are comfortable and adjustable with seven different notches. And of course, the top strap allows you to carry the backpack as a purse by hand, or over your shoulder.
Looking for a statement backpack that’s still chic and minimal? This rucksack-style option is made from an extremely lightweight, water-resistant nylon material that gives the whole bag a fashion-forward look. It can fit a 13-inch laptop and is a great option for travelers, boasting a luggage sleeve and a hidden passport pocket. Another useful detail is the interior pocket designed just for a power bank, so you can charge up on the go. While it doesn’t include an actual battery pack, we recommend an option like the TKTK.
When it comes to practicality, durability, and function, we can’t recommend this Osprey backpack enough. It’s well-designed for essentially any everyday need, sporting a padded laptop sleeve, bungee compression, two mesh water bottle pockets, and of course, ample internal organization. It’s sleek enough for the office, while still perfectly sporty for more athletic and outdoorsy activities.
For those in need of a versatile bag option for the office, this convertible bag boasts all the comfort of a backpack with office-appropriateness of a briefcase You can wear it as a traditional backpack, remove the straps and utilize the non-slip briefcase handle, or attach the messenger strap -- for a total of three different carrying options. There are tons of compartments for organization, waterproof zippers, and it can hold up to a 15-inch laptop. And for those who like to stop at the gym on their way to or from the office, the anti-odor interior lining is a welcome and thoughtful detail.
Many folks prefer a drawstring and buckle closure on backpacks, which can feel more secure or reliable than a standard zipper. This option from Topo Designs is a perfect everyday size, with reviewers citing that it works great as a day-hike pack, a personal carry-on item, and as a coffee shop laptop bag. It’s made from a lightweight yet durable recycled nylon material, and includes useful features like expandable side pockets that are perfect for larger water bottles. Additionally, it boasts a laptop sleeve and an exterior front pocket for any essentials you need to keep easily accessible. It’s also available in some of the greatest color combos we’ve ever seen on a backpack. The zinfandel and botanic green option features gorgeous yet masculine jewel tones, while the navy and red colorway, which sports tan buckle closures, is both classic and statement-making.
Prices are accurate and items in stock at time of publishing.
Noelle Ike is a freelance writer based in New York City covering style, beauty, home, and food and drink.