The best everyday backpacks serve as a compact home away from home. Inside are all your everyday essentials—everything you need to stay on the move from morning ‘til evening.
But the best everyday carry backpacks are not just functional and practical. They’re also designed to look sleek and stylish and to enhance your workwear, whether that’s a traditional suit or casual attire.
Whether you bike to work or simply require a hands-free carry item to allow you to grab a coffee on your morning commute, you need a comfortable, durable, and trendy EDC backpack to accompany you from the am to the pm.
The best everyday backpacks make your life easier. They have plenty of pockets, compartments, and other features to organise your belongings and create a friction-free flow to your day. They’ll allow you to rise to any challenge that the world throws at you.
Here are the best everyday backpacks that have your back—if you know what we mean.
The best everyday carry backpacks of 2020
|1||Nomatic Backpack||Best overall|
|2||Tom Ford||Best high-end|
|3||Under Armour Hustle 4||Best value|
|4||Aer Fit Pack 2||Best all-black|
|5||Heimplanet Original||Best minimalist|
|6||Matein||Best tech bag|
|7||Hugo Boss Crosstown||Best designer|
|8||Arc’teryx Arro 22||Best modern|
|9||Herschel Heritage||Best for school|
|10||Brooks England Pickwick||Best for work|
|11||Bellroy Classic Plus||Best for weekend|
|12||Osprey Quasar 28||Best for travel|
|13||SwissGear ScanSmart||Best for commuting|
|14||Nomatic McKinnon||Best for camera|
|15||Eagle Creek Wayfinder||Best carry-on|
|16||Venture Pal||Most lightweight|
|17||Mystery Ranch Urban Assault||Most rugged|
|18||Patagonia Arbor Grande||Best waterproof|
|19||Under Armour Hustle 5||Best for the gym|
|20||Brooks England Piccadilly||Best leather|
|21||Herschel Little America||Best timeless style|
|22||AmazonBasics Classic||Best budget|
Check our special EDC backpack buyers’ guide after the list to see exactly what you should pay attention to before purchasing an everyday carry bag.
Nomatic Backpack: Best overall EDC backpack
The Nomatic Backpack is hands down the best everyday backpack out there. It steals the show in all the major categories: durability, useful features, and style appeal.
The best part of the Nomatic Backpack? The pending strap system. This allows you to seamlessly transition from backpack to briefcase in a matter of minutes. Head to the office with your bag on your back for optimum speed and comfort. Just before your meeting, transform your EDC backpack into a briefcase for a more professional look.
The bag is a slim but totally adequate 20 litres. It can also expand to 24 litres on days when you also need your gym kit or a change of clothes for your Friday night date.
Inside, you’ve got the all-important laptop sleeve. There’s also a sunglasses case so you always have your shades handy.
Hidden pockets and RFID storage keep your cards protected from theft. There’s also a retractable key leash, plus magnetic water bottle pockets so you can stay hydrated with minimum hassle.
All in all, this is one super functional rucksack, which—with its boxy black profile—also looks effortlessly cool on your back.
Best for: a feature-heavy backpack certain to make your life easier.
Size: 20 to 24L (15.5 x 11.5 x 1.5 inches) Material: Waterproof tarpaulin Available colours: Black
Tom Ford Full-Grain Leather: Best high-end backpack
While your average backpack might be practical and sensible, it can also be a bit boring.
At the other end of the spectrum, you have this Tom Ford Everyday Backpack. Proof—if you needed it—that rucksacks aren’t just for school kids and students.
If your usual messenger bag is in need of replacing, and you fancy making a sartorial statement on your daily commute, this backpack is sure to draw some admiring glances. The high quality of both the materials and construction are obvious to even the least fashion-savvy observer.
Crafted in Italy from a rich and soft full-grain leather, this thoroughly grown-up and sophisticated Tom Ford backpack just screams deluxe, with a chunky gold-tone zipper in opulent high-contrast to the jet-black body.
The interior is big enough to fit all your essentials: phone, wallet, laptop, or tablet. Pair with a smart jacket and trendy sneakers and you can turn even the most boring working day into something special.
Best for: those with a taste for life’s finer things.
Size: 16.1 x 11.8 inches Material: Full-grain leather Available colours: Black
Under Armour Hustle 4 Backpack: Best value
If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly everyday backpack, this functional and high-performance Hustle 4.0 Backpack from Under Armour could be the one. As the name suggests, it’s the ideal backpack for your daily hustle.
UA Storm technology makes this rucksack capable of battling all the elements. A next-level water-resistant finish will keep all your electricals and documents dry, no matter how bad the weather gets, while HeatGear fabric straps will keep your body cool so you can arrive at the office sleek and sweat-free.
As well as the laptop sleeve, you’ve got pockets on the front, a laundry or shoe pocket at the bottom—ideal for storing trainers for a lunch break workout—and two side pockets for water bottles.
This backpack comes in a whole range of colours. Our favourites include the academy blue and silver combination and the more classic black. But you’re the boss. Have a browse and see what appeals.
Best for: a wallet-friendly everyday backpack that can survive the most gruelling of workdays.
Size: 25L (19.3 x 13 x 9.5 inches) Material: Water-resistant polyester and elastane with textile lining Available colours: A range including blue, grey, and green
Aer Fit Pack 2: Best all-black backpack
Commuting is never fun. Whether it’s fighting for a seat on the train or queuing for a coffee in a crowded cafe, you’d always rather be back in bed. But with Aer’s Fit Pack 2 backpack accompanying you on your morning mission, it will suddenly feel a whole lot easier.
This has to be one of the most versatile everyday backpacks on our list. In simple and sophisticated black, it can be worn with any workwear, whether that’s a classic suit or a casual shirt and chinos, over a jacket in winter, or with a t-shirt in summer.
The Fit Pack 2 provides ample storage space without being at all bulky. You’ll have no problem fitting in gym and work essentials. There’s a quick-access top pocket where you can store your ID or phone charger for minimum faffing. A padded mesh back panel is comfortable and breathable.
Best for: unfussy practicality with a low-key aesthetic.
Size: 18.8L (18.5 x 12.5 x 8 inches) Material: Water-resistant Cordura ballistic nylon Available colours: Black, navy, and grey
Heimplanet Original: Best minimalist
Research has shown that our commutes are longer than they’ve ever been—around 30 minutes each way. Anything you can do to make this daily chore more manageable is worth it.
One good place to start is with a comfortable and high-performance everyday backpack that can carry all your essentials without putting stress on your back. The best backpacks, like the Heimplanet Original, are unfussy and straightforward. They do everything that you require from a rucksack—and do so in a no-nonsense way that’s perfect for minimalists.
The Heimplanet Original has a simple and clean aesthetic. The internal compartment can fit laptops up to 15 inches. There are also two rows of MOLLE webbing so you can put in additional pouches for further organisation.
Whether you just need to transport your laptop and lunchbox around the city, or want something durable and hard-wearing for outdoor adventures at the weekends, this is the backpack for you. No matter how demanding your day, this backpack—one of the best daily backpacks on the market—will take a load off your shoulders.
Best for: the minimalist commuter seeking a striped-back-to-basics aesthetic.
Size: 18L (18.9 x 5.91 x 12.6 inches) Material: Cordura nylon Available colours: Black, blue, and grey
Matein Travel Laptop Backpack: Best tech bag
If you’re looking for a practical and unfussy everyday backpack that can store all your tech gear, from laptops and tablets to cables and chargers, then take a look at this rucksack by Matein.
This feature-heavy backpack has heaps of storage space, including front pockets for stashing pens, notebooks, cards, and other assorted knick-knacks. There’s also an anti-theft safe pocket on the back for your most valuable items and a USB port so you can charge as you walk.
There’s a grab-and-go handle for speedy exits and the back is padded and ventilated for optimum support. The luggage strap means it can slide on top of a suitcase for easy carrying when travelling.
Whether you’re a student needing something super functional to carry around campus, or an avid techie with lots of gadgets to transport to and from the office, this everyday backpack will quickly become your new best friend.
Best for: for keeping all your tech organised and secure.
Size: 18 x 12 x 7.8 inches Material: Water-resistant polyester Available colours: Grey
Hugo Boss Crosstown Leather Backpack: Best luxury designer EDC backpack
You can’t judge a book by its front cover but you can judge a man’s by his backpack—in our opinion at least. So send out all the right signals with this Crosstown Leather Backpack by Hugo Boss.
This Hugo Boss backpack is a high-end everyday backpack that wouldn’t look out of place in the front row of Paris Fashion Week.
On the smaller end of the spectrum, but still bigger than a sling bag, this luxury everyday carry backpack is an ideal choice for those who only need to transport the essentials: phone, laptop, charger, and perhaps a water bottle.
The full-grain leather is supple and tactile while the padded mesh back provides additional comfort. The straps are adjustable so you can modify as necessary. We recommend teaming with one of the best men’s wallets. Because why stop at one stylish accessory when you can have two?
Keep your head in the fashion game with this exclusive rucksack that will look as good on the way to work in the morning as it does walking into the cocktail bar at happy hour.
Best for: lovers of luxury who are seeking a high-end but practical everyday carry.
Size: 40 cm x 30 cm x 16 cm Material: Full-grain leather Available colours: Black
Arc’teryx Arro 22: Best modern design
If you’re worried rucksacks are more the remit of happy campers than stylish and streetwise urban adventurers, the Arc’teryx Arro 22 is here to prove you wrong.
This ultra edgy and modern backpack will carry you firmly into the 21st century with a fashion-forward aesthetic that’s interesting without being too ostentatious.
The shape is ergonomic and streamlined, fitting all the features into one easy-to-carry package for you to slip on and whizz off around the city. It can fit a standard 15-inch laptop, and, to ensure maximum comfort, you’ve got dual-density shoulder straps, a hip belt, and a thermoformed back panel.
The bag also features a key clip to save you from rummaging around and a water bladder compartment and hose clip so you can stay hydrated as you race through the day.
Best for: a cool and contemporary everyday carry backpack.
Size: 22L (24 x 16 x 7 inches) Material: Cordura nylon Available colours: Black, blue, grey, and green
Herschel Heritage Backpack: Best for school
A reliable backpack is a campus essential. Between lectures and the library, you need something sturdy and dependable on your back. The best student-friendly backpacks are those that are affordable and hard-wearing. The Herschel Heritage is a great example.
Herschel creates good-quality and functional backpacks for the ‘everyday traveller.’ Those always on the go, from dawn till dusk, who need a trustworthy companion to haul textbooks and laptops around for them.
This backpack is strong and durable, able to survive a fair bit of abuse and bad weather. Inside, there’s the brand’s signature striped cotton lining as well as plenty of space for your computer, papers, folders, and even some spare clothes. All without looking overstuffed and bulky from the outside.
It’s simple and straightforward with no fussy extraneous features. It does what it needs to do and does it well.
Best for: students seeking something cool and campus-friendly.
Size: 18 x 12.25 x 5.5 inches Material: Heavyweight cotton canvas Available colours: A wide range including black, brown, and blue
Brooks England Pickwick Leather Backpack: Best for work
The Pickwick Backpack by Brooks England is a unique and eye-catching bag. This creative solution to the question of everyday carry items certainly scores plenty of points on the style factor.
With no exterior pockets cluttering up the exterior and an unusual roll-top opening, the bag instantly conveys effortless elegance. It’s crafted in Italy from long-lasting perforated leather and, at 26 litres, there’s ample space to fit a laptop and any other essentials.
Cyclists will be happy to hear that the bag also features reflective backing to provide high visibility when you’re out biking at night.
This is the ideal work backpack—even if you work from home. Spacious, functional, and hard-wearing, it would make a super stylish addition to a suit. And on casual Fridays, it will look fab with a summer shirt or bomber jacket.
Best for: an EDC backpack and those who cycle to work.
Size: between 21L and 26L (48 x 31 x 15 cm) Material: Perforated leather Available colours: Black
Bellroy Classic Plus: Best backpack for the weekend
At the weekend, you’re likely to need a practical carry item to transport your kit around the city or out in the countryside, meeting friends for brunch, or heading off for a hike.
This smart black backpack by Bellroy is destined to become your casual wear accessory of choice. Team with jeans and a fresh white t-shirt and you’re good to go. And capture the best of laid-back downtown style with the addition of a pair of top-quality headphones.
Of course, a backpack shouldn’t just look good. It should feel good too. This one fulfils all comfort requirements with a contoured panel to allow your back to breath and a sternum strap for added support.
One of the best all-purpose backpacks, Bellroy’s classic rucksack is super durable with YKK zippers—widely considered the best available. It’s also made from water-resistant polyester and leather.
Best for: action-loving individuals who are always ready for the weekend.
Size: 22L (20 x 12.2 x 11.8 inches) Material: Water-resistant polyester and leather Available colours: A wide range including black, green, and charcoal
Osprey Quasar 28 Backpack: Best for travel
Got a major case of wanderlust? Always dreaming of your next adventure? Then you need a dependable backpack to complement the thrill of the open road. Osprey’s innovative designs combine the highest quality materials with an intuitive understanding of what looks cool. The Osprey’s Quasar could be the travel buddy you’ve been waiting for.
Inside you’ll find a padded laptop and tablet sleeve—because no modern-day traveller goes anywhere without their gadgets. Stretch mesh side pockets allow for easy access to water bottles, suncream, and other traveller essentials.
And you can use the front stretch bungee to transport your jacket or bike helmet.
It’s not just for outdoor adventures either. The Quasar looks just as good on city streets as it does on dirt trails.
Check out our rundown of the best travel backpacks for more inspiration.
Best for: jetsetters eager to hit the road with a reliable travel companion.
Size: 28L (19.5 x 13 x 10 inches) Material: Nylon Available colours: A wide range including black, green, and blue
SwissGear ScanSmart: Best backpack for commuting
While we all dream of quitting the rat race and taking early retirement, for most of us, commuting to work is an inescapable daily reality. So why not invest in an accessory that makes this chore more enjoyable?
SwissGear’s ScanSmart backpack has all the features necessary to help you stay ahead. It’s one of the top city backpacks, a great commuting rucksack, and one of the best EDC backpacks available.
On the train and realise you forgot to reply to an email? Slip out your laptop from the easy access compartment and get typing. Reading the newspaper and some exciting opportunity catches your eye? Grab a pen from the front pocket and circle it there and then.
Need a sip of water? There’s a bottle compartment. Starting to rain? There’s an umbrella compartment.
Heading off on a business trip? ScanSmart lay-flat technology allows you to speed through TSA checkpoints without having to remove your laptop.
This is easily one of the best urban backpacks on our list. Made of 1200D ballistic polyester, it can survive heavy use and abuse, and has the potential to make your commute one of the best parts of your day.
Best for: making your commute smoother and more efficient.
Size: 31L (18.5 x 13.5 x 9 inches) Material: Polyester Available colours: Black
Nomatic McKinnon: Best camera backpack
Are you a professional photographer, ever ready to get that award-winning snap? Or just someone who loves taking photographs, whether of gritty cityscapes or remote wilderness?
Then you need a camera backpack like Nomatic’s McKinnon that can transport all the equipment you need to secure those magazine-worthy pics.
The backpack holds 35 litres but can expand to up to 42 litres. Not only will you be able to store everything from various lenses to a tripod but you can even fit in a change of clothes. Just in case that waterfall photoshoot doesn’t quite go to plan.
You’ve also got laptop and tablet storage space so you can upload your photos as soon as possible and start editing. And there’s quick side access for those moments when you’re suddenly face-to-face with a Nat Geo style photo opp. Check our guide on the best camera backpacks of the year to see other options if this one doesn’t match your needs.
Best for: anyone who’s happiest with a camera in their hands.
Size: 35 to 42L (22 x 13.5 x 9 inches) Available colours: Black
Eagle Creek Wayfinder: Best carry-on backpack
You manage to find a super cheap last-minute deal on a flight. But they want to charge you almost the same again for checked baggage. Nightmare.
Why not leave the suitcase at home and just take carry-on luggage? Save money and enjoy the thrill of travelling light with just the Eagle Creek Wayfinder Backpack on your back.
The backpack features a spacious main compartment for clothes, a 17-inch laptop compartment, a fleece-lined pocket for your sunglasses, side pockets for your water bottles, and hidden pockets for valuables. There’s even a pass-through top clip so you can charge your phone on the go.
One of the best everyday carry backpacks, it’s also ideal for a business trip. Avoid the queues at the barrage carousel by going carry-on only with the Eagle Creek Wayfinder.
Our favourite part? It’s been made using sustainable and recycled materials harvested from landfills. Because eco-friendly is the only label really worth vying after.
Best for: minimalists who like to travel light.
Size: 30L (13 x 19 x 5.25 inches) Material: Dual-diamond ripstop and poly-recycled PVB Available colours: A wide range including black, blue, and charcoal
Venture Pal Backpack: Most lightweight
Wouldn’t it be great to have a rucksack that can pack away? Especially if you live in a tiny studio apartment where storage space is in limited supply.
The Venture Pal is one of the most lightweight backpacks on our list, coming in at only 0.3 kg. What’s more, while 40 litres in size, it can be easily folded into its own pocket for storage.
Despite being lightweight, the rucksack is far from flimsy. It’s made of tear and water-resistant nylon with heavy-duty metal zippers. It’s also been reinforced at all the major stress points.
This backpack is an essential for any outdoor adventurer. It would also be great for those who travel infrequently and don’t want to take up valuable cupboard space with a large and bulky rucksack.
Best for: saving space both at home and on holiday.
Size: 40L (12.5 x 6.3 x 19.3 inches) Material: Waterproof BPA free nylon Available colours: A wide range including navy, green, and black
Mystery Ranch Urban Assault: Most rugged
For the amateur survivalists among you, you need a military-grade backpack that can withstand the most gruelling of conditions. Sure, it’s unlikely you’ll be wearing it into battle any time soon but morning commutes can feel a bit like mortal combat sometimes.
Mystery Ranch’s Urban Assault backpack was inspired by military assault rucksacks. The design is pared-back and clean. We love the coyote colour in particular, which brings to mind old-school soldier uniforms.
Of course, what makes this a military-inspired backpack is not the colour. It’s the specs. And this feature-heavy rucksack is just as durable and dependable as you’d imagine from a rucksack modelled after those used by the armed forces.
The premium materials have all been field-tested. 500D Cordura and YKK zippers ensure maximum durability and, inside, you’ve got a built-in laptop and tablet sleeve. The bag’s 3-zip design allows for rapid access to any items needed.
Just add a tactical watch and you’re ready for Operation Daily Commute.
Best for: a military-inspired rucksack to help you complete your daily missions.
Size: 21L (20.25 x 10 x 8.74 inches) Material: 500D Cordura Available colours: A wide range including coyote, blue, and black
Patagonia Arbor Grande Backpack: Best waterproof
Patagonia is synonymous with the best outdoor clothing and accessories, including modern men’s backpacks. Backpacks that are designed to be so long-lasting that you’ll never have to replace them. Who wouldn’t be a fan of that?
What’s so special about the Arbor Grande backpack in particular? Firstly, this backpack emerges as an easy victor when it comes to water-proof rucksacks. The 100% recycled polyester has a water-repellent DWR finish that will keep all your belongings safe and dry whatever the weather.
Beyond that, you’ve got comfortable ergonomic padded shoulder straps. There’s a drawstring top with an additional buckle fastening and, inside, a laptop sleeve where you can also put a hydration reservoir for hitting the trails. Aesthetically, it’s elegant and old-school in all the right ways.
Sure, you think you’re just going to the office. But what happens if something comes up and suddenly you’re on the highway, heading west, to go camping? It could happen. Patagonia’s Arbor Grande will make sure you’re prepared.
For more outdoor adventure rucksacks, check out our rundown of the best tactical backpacks.
Best for: lovers of the great outdoors who won’t be put off by a bit of rain.
Size: 28L (21 x 11 x 6 inches) Material: Canvas polyester with water-repellent finish Available colours: Black
Under Armour Hustle 5: Best gym backpack
Even if you’re an avid gym-goer who needs little encouragement to jump on that treadmill, you’ll appreciate a great gym backpack that’s been designed especially to help you beat those personal bests.
A breathable padded back panel means you won’t start sweating until absolutely necessary. It can also hold a laptop so you can head straight to the gym from work. Plus there’s a shoe pocket for your trainers.
You never thought it was possible but this Under Armour backpack might just get you lacing up your trainers and setting off to the gym with a smile on your face.
Best for: fitness fans seeking an athlete-inspired backpack to accompany them on workouts.
Size: 29L (20.1 x 12.6 x 6.3 inches) Material: Water-resistant polyester Available colours: A wide range including black, grey, and white
Brooks England Piccadilly Backpack: Best leather backpack
This leather backpack by Brooks England is one of the most stylish and classically elegant backpacks on our list. For anyone looking for a luxury carry item to transport their essentials around town, your search ends here.
Brooks England are pioneers in the world of quality bicycle gear, so you can depend on them to create durable and hard-wearing accessories. Even if you prefer travelling on two feet to two wheels, you can be sure this bag will last a long time—and look good in the process.
You’ve got adjustable shoulder straps and a buckle to tighten around the chest for added security and to distribute weight. There’s also an internal zipped pouch for valuables.
Whether your day involves commuting to the office by bus, or jumping in your Bugatti and heading to the spa, you need a bag that makes your feel on top of life. This sleek leather offering is the kind of bag to inspire confidence and positivity, even on the gloomiest of Monday mornings.
Best for: looking as good from the back as you do from the front.
Size: 12L (15.9 x 8.7 x 4.1 inches) Material: Vegetable tanned leather Available colours: Brown
Herschel Little America Backpack: Best timeless style
For a look that will never go out of style, check out Herschel’s Little America backpack. Inspired by classic mountaineering backpacks, it nails old-school cool and is perfect for pairing with bleached jeans and retro-style sneakers.
The Herschel Little America is the ideal accessory for the contemporary commuter. Sling over your shoulder and you’ll be hands-free, ready to grab coffees, search for door passes, or grab a bunch of flowers for your partner on the way home.
Inside, there’s ample space for all your needs. Laptop, textbooks, important documents, passport if you plan to travel, notebook for when creativity strikes. All and any must-have gear that you need to carry around on a daily basis. Because who knows where the day may take you.
We’re fans of the indigo denim for vintage appeal or the khaki green for military flavour.
Best for: an iconic backpack with timeless style.
Size: 23.5L (10 x 10.75 x 16 inches) Material: Polyester and nylon Available colours: A wide range including indigo, green, and brown
AmazonBasics Classic School Backpack: Best budget
You slept through your alarm, couldn’t find your keys, and now you’ve missed your train. Mornings can be stressful. But getting through it all is a little easier if you’ve got a reliable backpack accompanying you out the door. This good-looking backpack from Amazon is the ideal budget workbag.
It’s generous in size—whether it’s carrying your lunch or laptop. A front pocket is ideal for stashing pencils and keys. There are also two Velcro side pockets where you can store a water bottle or anything else you might need in a hurry. The back and shoulders are padded for comfortable cushioning.
Aesthetically, we like the preppy style of this backpack. It’s classic and clean—no-frills and no-nonsense. We recommend black or navy for versatility.
When it comes to accessible prices, this one’s a top contender. With a price-tag like that, you really can’t go wrong.
Best for: a budget-friendly backpack to help you juggle the demands of daily life.
Size: 12.2 x 6 x 15.8 inches Available colours: A wide range including red, blue, and black
Gucci Monogrammed Backpack: Most expensive
The best men’s backpacks aren’t just workhorses. They’re accessories that can make or break an outfit. The most stylish men’s backpacks can lend your look a bit of functional edginess and create that intriguing man on a mission vibe.
This luxury monogrammed backpack by Gucci is exactly what we mean. With the iconic interlocking double Gs of the Gucci logo stamped all over, this rucksack offers wearers the ultimate fashion-focused daily companion.
Style-wise, this backpack certainly carries the day. Canvas, sleek black leather, and red and navy webbing straps make up the luxury exterior. The colours scheme is understated but the high-quality and fashion appeal of this backpack will hardly fly under the radar.
Swing this over your shoulder, pause for a quick spritz of one of the best men’s colognes, and you’ll be flying out the door. The question is not are you ready for life—but rather, is life ready for you?
Best for: looking catwalk-ready as you go about your day.
Size: 17.3 x 13.4 x 2.8 inches Material: Coated-canvas and calf leather Available colours: Black and grey
Buyers guide: how to choose an everyday carry backpack
When it comes to buying an everyday carry backpack, there are a few things to consider and different models to suit different needs.
Firstly, think about what you’re going to be carrying with you on a typical day. Keys, phone, and wallet are the basics. But you might also want to pack things that could come in useful in unforeseen circumstances.
A basic first aid kit, for example, or a flashlight. What about a spare pair of socks in case it rains? Sunglasses are a no brainer too. Although you should avoid over-packing your bag as this can cause the seams to fail.
Make a list of the gear you need every day—then think about size. Backpacks are measured in inches and litres. Opt for the smallest bag that can still fit all your items. 20 to 24 litres will be plenty for most people.
Padded straps and a padded back panel ensure optimum comfort. A contoured pack distributes the weight so it doesn’t all rest on your shoulders and creates a space between your back and the bag, allowing air to pass through so you don’t get sweaty.
Durability is key. An everyday carry backpack is an investment and should last you a long time. Look for brands with a commitment to high-quality materials and construction.
As for colours and style, versatility is the name of the game. Something you can wear every day, no matter your outfit. Minimalist, sleek, and contemporary is the way to go.
Finally, in terms of features, you want to pay attention to the following:
- Shoulder straps – the wider the straps, the more comfortable the bag. Look for straps that are hard-wearing and not liable to split.
- Padding – this will make your bag more comfortable to carry around for extended periods of time.
- Chest and waist straps – by distributing weight, these lessen the load. They also make it easier to run with your bag if necessary.
- Laptop sleeve – most modern-day commuters will need to bring their laptop with them at some point. Make sure you can store yours inside your backpack safely and securely.
- Elasticated side pockets – these are useful for storing things you want quick and easy access to.
- Water-repellent coating – it doesn’t have to be completely waterproof but it should be able to survive an accidental coffee spill, for example. Although if you cycle to work, you’ll want something able to withstand the elements.
- Pockets – the more, the better. Pockets and compartments are ideal for organising and helping to keep your journey friction-free.
- Zips – look for corrosion-resistant zips, especially if you live somewhere coastal where the air is salty.
- Slash-resistant – can it withstand being cut by penknives? It’s an unlikely scenario but it’s best to be prepared.
- Hidden pockets – you can put your valuables such as your phone and passport in these pockets—ideal if you plan to take your EDC travelling with you.
EDC backpack: Frequently asked questions
What you choose to carry in your everyday carry backpack will depend on your needs and lifestyle. Many people will need to carry their laptop, keys, a water bottle, perhaps deodorant, snacks for staying energised on the go, pens and pencils, headphones, and a phone charger.
The best brand for backpacks is Nomatic. Nomatic makes the best everyday carry backpacks. Their rucksacks are feature-heavy, durable, and stylish, perfect for both commuting in the city and trekking out in the wilderness.
Patagonia makes hard-wearing backpacks that are designed to last a lifetime. With their commitment to sustainable practices, the brand also has an ‘Ironclad Guarantee,’ which means you can send your backpack in for repair, or even return, for free.
The Pickwick Backpack by Brooks England is a stylish and functional backpack that would look great with a suit or casual business wear. It’s the ideal commuting backpack and was especially designed for cyclists with reflective backing to ensure nighttime visibility.