Shopping for a new backpack can often be an overwhelming task when it comes to the variety of options, accessories, brands, and features available today. Whether you’re looking for a simple everyday backpack for carrying essentials or a backpack that’s specially designed for certain uses, there are plenty of options on the market. We compiled a list of the best backpack brands based on size, style, durability, and functionality to help consumers make an informed decision when it comes to finding a new backpack that’s the perfect addition to any lifestyle.
In Short, Here Are Our Top Picks of the Best Backpack Brands
If you don’t have time to read summary for each recommendation, here’s the short answers:
For a brief summary and pros of each backpack brand recommendation, read below.
Best Wheeled Backpack: Samsonite
For backpacker users who are unable to carry a traditional backpack, the Samsonite Wheeled Backpack provides an ideal alternative. This backpack features a variety of organizational pockets, a padded laptop sleeve able to carry laptops up to 17 inches, and a headphone slot for hands free music listening. Users have the option of carrying this backpack on their shoulders or utilizing the wheels to protect their backs against damage from heavy luggage. The dimensions of this backpack are 8x14x21 inches, making it the ideal size for carry on travel while offering plenty of storage space and organizational pockets.
- Durable: Made of patented RipStop fabric, this backpack is easily able to withstand tears and rips caused by everyday wear and tear while traveling.
- Versatile: This backpack has a variety of carrying options including traditional, padded shoulder straps or optional in-line skate wheels and a collapsible carrying handle.
- Affordable: At just under $90, this Samsonite brand backpack is an affordable travel accessory that can be paid for in five monthly installments over time to give you wallet a break.
Best Laptop Backpack: RAINS
Designed with functionality in mind, the RAINS Backpack is one of the best options available when it comes to laptop backpacks. Offering a completely waterproof design tested to withstand pressure, this backpack gives users peace of mind when it comes to traveling with laptops and other electronics. The minimal design of this backpack features a large main compartment, a smaller zippered tablet pocket, and an additional easy access exterior pocket for smartphones.
- Minimalist Design: This casual backpack features a simple, sleek design and a 13 liter maximum capacity that makes it easy to carry laptops and other electronics without being weighed down.
- Waterproof: Tested to 8,000mm column pressure and featuring a unique AquaGuard coil zipper, this backpack is 100% waterproof to withstand even the most torrential rains.
- Easy Access: The magnetic closures on this backpack are strong enough to keep valuables secure, but also provide easy access to the main pocket for users who need quick access when on the go.
Best Anti-Theft Backpack: Pacsafe
Anti-theft backpacks are an important accessory for many avid travelers as they provide protection for important documents, electronics, and other valuable items. The Pacsafe Venturesafe EXP45 ECONYL Anti-theft Carry On Travel Pack provides ultimate safety and protection with features like multiple locking zippers, durable cut-resistant nylon, and optional locking cables. With a maximum 45 liter capacity, this anti-theft backpack can easily replace standard carry on bags and includes added organizational features like a padded laptop sleeve, external attachment points, internal attachments for keys and wallets, and easy access side pockets for water bottles or other useful items.
- Eco-friendly: In an effort to reduce ocean plastic, each backpack made by this company uses discarded fishnets and other recycled items in their designs so wearers know they are committed to protecting the environment when purchasing products.
- Comfortable: Internal and external compression straps help keep items secure and an adjustable padded hip belt, sternum strap, and padded shoulder carrying straps offer users unbeatable comfort while on the go.
- Warranty Protection: As a slightly more expensive backpack option, customers can ensure their purchase is protected by a 5 year warranty on all PacSafe products and a 2 year warranty on all accessories.
Best Packable Backpack: TOMULE
For people heading out on vacation looking for a simple and easy way to bring along a backpack for hiking or sightseeing that doesn’t take up too much space, the TOMULE Packable Backpack is the ideal travel accessory. With a compact design made of lightweight material, this backpack folds down to a size just slightly larger than the palm of your hand. While this compact design makes traveling a breeze, the maximum 40 liter capacity of this pack ensures users can bring along everything they need for day hiking, sightseeing, and more.
- Compact: When folded down for storage, this backpack measures in at just 6.6×8.2×1.9 inches making it the ideal travel accessory for users who need some extra storage space while on vacation.
- Affordable: Starting at just $26, this backpack is an affordable travel accessory that will end up paying for itself after just a few uses.
- Lightweight: Made of lightweight material and weighing less than a pound, this backpack won’t weigh down travelers who like to pack light for vacation.
Best Smart Backpacks: Voltaic
Each day, our society becomes more and more dependent on technology to keep us progressing towards the future. For tech savvy backpack wearers, smart backpacks featuring USB charging ports and anti-theft technology are a thing of the future, and the Voltaic Systems Array Solar Backpack is the ultimate smart backpacks. Featuring a large exterior solar panel, this backpack is ideal for on the go users looking to maximize efficiency while on the go.
- Safe for Travel: This backpack is the ideal carry-on item for workers on the go with enough storage space for plenty of supplies and enough power from the solar battery to keep gadgets charged during long flights.
- Waterproof: Electronics users understandably need to protect expensive, irreplaceable equipment from water damage and this backpack is 100% waterproof to provide ultimate protection when keeping electronics safe and dry.
- Compatibility: In addition to charging most standard laptops, this solar backpack is compatible with a number of devices including smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, and rechargeable batteries.
Best for School: JanSport
For generations, JanSport classic backpacks have been a popular option for school children as their spacious, durable design is ideal for the wear and tear at the hands of school age children. The classic design features two main compartment areas with a convenient laptop sleeve, two smaller pockets, and an organizational pocket for writing utensils and other small items. Additional side pockets provide ideal storage for water bottles and the fully padded carry straps and back provide optimal comfort and support for carrying heavy items like schoolbooks.
- Lifetime Warranty: This brand stands behind their products by offering consumers a lifetime warranty on their purchases, offering repairs and replacements for damaged products.
- Affordable: With their classic style backpacks starting at just $48, these backpacks are the ultimate budget-friendly school necessity. Often lasting for many years, this product will easily pay for itself over time.
- Durable: Coated in a special exterior polyester, this backpack is an industry leader when it comes to durability and water resistance.
Best for Athletes: Under Armour
For dedicated athletes, it’s important to have a backpack that works just as hard as you do.
As a leading brand in the sports industry, the Under Armour company knows just what athletes need when it comes to a backpack that meets all their needs and the UA Team Hustle 3.0 Backpack is just that. Featuring a highly water-resistant outer layer, coated abrasion-resistant bottom panel, and compact yet spacious design that’s perfect for athletes headed to the gym or practice. Additional side pockets comfortably fit two water bottles to keep athletes hydrated as well as a dedicated pocket for dirty clothes and shoes that keeps soiled items separated.
- Separate Compartments: This backpack features a separate bottom compartment measuring 23.7cm x 30.3cm that’s ideal for keeping soiled clothing and tennis shoes separate from other belongings.
- Affordable: At under $50, this backpack makes a great addition to any athlete’s wardrobe at a fraction of the price of most other sporting good company backpacks.
- Spacious: Although the UA Team Hustle 3.0 Backpack is lightweight and compact, it has a spacious interior featuring a 30 liter max capacity and dedicated laptop sleeve able to hold any computer up to 15 inches in length.
Best for Work: Lovevook
The Lovevook Stylish Book Bag Laptop Backpack is the perfect backpack for all professionals. Weighing in at just 1.5 pounds this lightweight backpack is ideal for commuters and features a USB charging port, dedicated laptop pocket, and three organizational compartments for carrying everyday necessities. This Lovevook backpack comes in a variety of colors including black, gray, blue, and pink as well as two different sizes to accommodate 15” or 17” laptops. Currently on sale for $37.99 on the manufacturers website, this laptop is ideal for budget-conscious shoppers.
- Lightweight: Weighing just 1.5 pounds, this backpack is about as lightweight as they come while still offering plenty of interior space for all of life’s daily essentials including laptops, water bottles, umbrellas, clothes, and more.
- Versatile: This Lovevook backpack features a variety of carrying options including padded shoulder straps, top handle, and rear luggage strap that can be applied to any luggage for a hand-free experience.
- Affordable: Currently on sale for just under $38, this backpack is ideal for professionals looking for a stylish, affordable option when it comes to organizing work essentials on a budget.
Best Budget-Friendly Backpack: Everest
For shoppers looking for a simple, mid-size backpack for any activity, the Everest Luggage Basic Backpack offers high quality at an affordable price. Available for less than $20, this backpack features a spacious main compartment with smaller outer pocket and an overall dimension of 11”x5”x15”, giving users plenty of room for whatever they need to carry. Available in dozens of different colors, shoppers have plenty of options to choose from knowing they will receive a quality product from a company that has been in business for over 30 years.
- Affordable: As the best budget-friendly backpack on this list, it’s no surprise that this is one of the most affordable options for a classic backpack that’s ideal for everyday use.
- Customizable: With over 25 available color options, this simple backpack allows shoppers to create a customizable addition to their wardrobe or choose a few to mix and match!
- High Quality: Shoppers won’t sacrifice quality for price when it comes to this brand. In business for over 30 years, Everest offers backpacks made with high quality polyester, hand woven seams, and a manufacturer’s warranty for consumers to protect their purchase.
Best for Photographers: Peak Design
For professional photographers looking for an organized, convenient way to protect valuable equipment, the Peak Design Everyday Backpack is an award winning product designed with professional photographers in mind. Now in its second generation, this waterproof backpack features separate compartments for laptops and camera equipment while the expandable side pockets are ideal for carrying tripods or water bottles safely. The newly added top latch makes access to equipment a breeze to make it easier than ever to capture some of life’s special moments.
- Eco-Friendly:Made from 100% recycled materials, shoppers can have peace of mind knowing that they are purchasing a product that is environmentally friendly while also being durable and long lasting.
- Spacious: With both a 20 liter and 30 liter maximum capacity option available, this backpack provides plenty of space and organization with expandable pockets, three internal dividers, and a variety of organizational features.
- Travel Friendly: With additional travel friendly features like a rear luggage strap that can easily be safely secured to any roller bag, versatile carrying straps including a top handle and briefcase strap, and optional travel accessories, this backpack can be safely and easily transported.
Best for Traveling: Aer
Although the ideal size and type of backpack used for traveling may be different for every person, one of the best options when it comes to travel backpacks is the Aer Travel Pack 3. This carry-on size backpack boasts multiple features that make it the ideal choice for travel including a lay flat packing option, spacious 35 liter capacity, and convenient quick access pockets for valuables.
- Added Security: With extra added security features like locking zippers and a hidden smart tag pocket design to hold AirTags or Tile trackers in the event that luggage is stolen or lost, this backpack has everything travelers need for peace of mind.
- Durable: This travel backpack is made from high quality, water-resistant nylon that is durable enough to withstand rips, scratches, or anything life throws your way while traveling while keeping your belongings safe and dry.
- Comfortable: Designed with comfort in mind, this backpack features plenty of travel friendly features like extra support and comfort with load lifters, a luggage strap that easily attaches to roll bags, and an optional hip support belt accessory for extra comfort.
Best Value for Money: Patagonia
At just under $80, this backpack has everything users know and love from the popular Patagonia brand. The Patagonia Arbor Linked Backpack is a rugged 25 liter backpack that’s ideal for everyday use. This backpack features a top, cinch style closure that provides easy access to contents in the main compartment as well as additional storage space if needed. Designed with functionality in mind, this backpack features a padded laptop storage compartment as well as convenient carrying options including tote handles and padded shoulder straps.
- Eco-Friendly: Eco-conscious customers can rest easy knowing that this backpack is made from 100% recycled materials with a non-fluoridated water repellent finish. Additionally, the company offers a trade-in program for customers looking to receive a credit towards new gear while ensuring their used items are put to good use.
- Fair Trade Certified: In addition to being constructed from recycled materials, this Patagonia backpack is also hand sewn by Fair Trade Certified laborers as part of the brand’s commitment to ethical practices that ensure a positive impact on employee’s lives.
- Lightweight: Weighing in at just one pound, this lightweight backpack allows users to pack as many belongings as they want without having to worry about being weighed down.
Best for Backpacking: Osprey
For backpacking enthusiasts, the Osprey Atmos AG 65 is one of the top contenders when it comes to comfort, style, and functionality. Outfitted with innovative AntiGravity suspension, backpackers can enjoy a weightless experience when walking for miles. Added ventilation features keep backpackers cool while three size options ranging from small to large offer users an appropriate fit. Additional accessories include waist belt pockets for convenient easy access to items, ice tool loops, and adjustable mesh side pockets for storing water bottles and other supplies.
If this one is not for you for whatever reason, you can always pick other good option by following this guide: how to chose a backpacking pack.
- 100% Vegan Design: As a company focusing on sustainability and environmentalism, all Osprey backpacks are made using 100% vegan materials to reduce environmental impact and carbon emissions associated with production of goods.
- Weatherproof: This backpack features a unique, integrated FlapJacket that provides additional water safety protection during inclement weather on the trail ensuring users keep their belongings dry and protected along their journey.
- Dedicated Design: As a leading company in backpacking design, the Osprey Atmos AG 65 has been designed with additional features in mind that prepare backpackers for every possible difficulty while on the trail.
Best for Hiking: North Face
For avid hikers, having a dependable backpack is paramount to having an enjoyable hike. With the North Face Basin 24 Backpack, hikers get everything they need with a unique weatherproof design, plenty of storage space, and a breathable back panel for optimum ventilation. With a maximum storage capacity of 24 liters, this backpack features a hydration sleeve, rain cover, exterior expandable water bottle pockets for easy access, and trekking pole attachment slots.
- Mid-Size: This mid-size backpack is the perfect accessory for day hiking or bringing along to hike during camping trips or other wilderness vacations. It is compact and lightweight enough to fit easily into luggage, but provides plenty of storage space and important hiking features.
- Weather Resistant: This hiking backpack features a water-repellent coating as well as an integrated rain cover that can easily be utilized to keep your belongings safe and dry along the trail.
- Durable: Made of durable recycled polyester and featuring additional bottom protection, this backpack easily holds up against wear and tear along the trail. The North Face company stands behind the durability of their products by offering a limited lifetime warranty.
Best Overall: Fjällräven
Arguably one of the most notable backpacks found when out in public, the Fjällräven Classic Kånken backpack has risen to fame as one of the most popular backpack brands around. With their customizable funky, modern design paired with unbeatable durability, this backpack is ideal for everyday use, travel, and more. For travel, it can easily hold all your travel essentials. This company offers excellence in design that helps users protect their backs against damage when carrying everyday necessities. Made entirely of Vinylon fabric, this backpack is durable and functional with added features like a removable seat cushion and easy one zip access to the main compartment.
- Customizable: Featuring a variety of color options, users are able to mix and match their ideal design for a customizable experience.
- Sustainable: While some of this company’s backpacks are made from recycled materials, all of their products are expertly crafted to provide long term wear that lasts for years, making them a sustainable option in terms of longevity and use over time.
- Easy to Wash: The durable Vinylon fabric of this backpack is easy to clean by simply placing the bag in lukewarm water and scrubbing with a soft brush to remove any stains or debris, while the quick dry technology offers a speedy drying process.
No matter what activity you’re participating in, there are plenty of options when it comes to durable, long lasting backpacks. Whether you’re an avid outdoor enthusiast looking for a backpack designed to carry everything you need, or simply looking for a backpack for all of life’s daily essentials, everyone can find the backpack that best suits their personal needs and unique personal style.