Backpacks are one of the most important items to have while traveling, getting from place to place, and carrying supplies. The best men’s backpacks provide decent durability, functionality, and value. And it must be easy on your back, too (literally and figuratively) with your hands free.
If you are planning a trip, it can be a daunting task. Whether it’s a fun, quick getaway, a long business commitment, or something in between, a versatile travel backpack is vital in minimizing travel chaos. It needs to be easy to carry, spacious enough for all the essentials, but accommodating for space limitations, and it should also provide organizational help. In fact, simplifying packing could make or break your vacation preparedness. A study reveals one in five people admit they always forget to pack something when leaving for a vacation.
Staying organized is important for everyone’s peace of mind. Whether you are a student or working professional, papers and necessities can get scrambled in the chaos and wastes time when you can’t find what you need. In fact, a new study shows the average worker needs to search for documents or other information 35 times per week, or about seven times each day.
Eliminate some of that stress and discombobulation with a backpack! It’s sometimes easy to get lost in numerous options on the market that claim to be high-quality. StudyFinds has made the task easier for you by listing the best men’s backpacks after reviewing 10 expert websites. Do you already have a favorite that’s not listed? Please share it with us in the comments below.
The List: Best Men’s Backpacks, According to Experts
GQ thinks this is the best budget backpack and adds, “Sometimes you want to secure the bag without dropping one. Enter the Dawson, a medium-sized classic backpack from the carry-on whizzes at Herschel. Its dual pocket design is reminiscent of some of the best fanny packs on the market right now (spoiler alert: Herschel makes a great one too), sans the hoary associations and with a ton more storage space. Don’t let the sub-$100 price fool you: it comes kitted out with the same specs as its pricier counterparts, and then some. Practically speaking, that means drawcord closures, magnet-fastened straps, a front pocket organizer bigger than most NYC apartments, and a fleece-lined laptop sleeve so your computer stays cozy. More of a visual consumer? Just take a gander at its unassuming good looks. Go ahead, judge a bag by its cover. For less than a Benjamin, you can afford to.”
Backpack Beasts loves its many features: “This pack is loaded with functional details, from the front pockets for easy access to essentials to back padding that provides extra comfort. Just like all other Herschel backpacks, this pack has the signature striped fabric liner.”
“Herschel has been doing its thing (and by “its thing,” I mean putting up numbers in the backpack game) for a minute now, and the brand’s hard-earned industry credibility is nothing to scoff at. It should be one of the first places you check any time you’re in the market for an upgrade,” writes Esquire.
Pack Holder says this design’s innovative features are well-executed: “a travel bag that’s pleasant to use whether you’re lugging camera gear, clothes, or tech goodies for that digital nomad lifestyle. However, 45 liters might be a bit too much for some, and we were definitely curious to see it in a smaller form. Thus, here we are with the Travel Backpack 30L. It’s the same backpack for the most part; a bit shrunken down, a few revisions here and there, but still classic Peak Design all throughout. You get solid materials, a clever harness system, a spacious interior, diverse pockets for organization—really everything you’d want on a travel backpack.”
“Sizable, sleek, and hidden with features in all the right places, Peak Design’s Travel Backpack is the ultimate airport bag. Thanks to its shell design and theft-proof zippers (you can clip the zipper loops into each other for an interlocking hold), the chances of someone pickpocketing you in a crowd is significantly lowered,” says Men’s Health. “It takes a second to get used to opening up the main compartment, but when you realize how much easier it is to lay out your gear you’ll be happy with the adjustment.”
“It’s a sharp-looking bag, and its quality is evident through stitches and materials. You won’t look like a ‘budget backpacker’ wearing the pack, and you can comfortably carry it in most environments. An excellent pocket layout offers organization without consuming the bag’s roomy interior. That roomy interior works with Peak Design’s packing & camera cubes that lock to interior loops. It’s an intelligent system, but it does require further investment in an already expensive travel backpack,” writes The World Pursuit.
GQ thinks that this is the best heavy-duty backpack. “If ‘heavy-duty’ calls to mind the type of extra-bulky luggage that looks like it could double as an impromptu shield, relax: Filson’s journeyman backpack is compact enough to help you rethink your associations with the term. The American brand is famous (and famously beloved) for its durable, oil-finished tin cloth canvas, which it puts to use here in tandem with an industrial-strength twill to keep all your precious belongings impeccably dry. Its unassuming good looks feel consistent with the label’s ever-popular briefcases, but the the padded, moleskin-lined shoulder straps and reinforced panelling make a strong argument for its superiority. Basically, it’s like Superman in his Clark Kent disguise—and would probably look just as good in skintight spandex.”
“The Journeyman Backpack by Filson is made using ‘Tin Cloth’, a unique proprietary fabric made by saturated a tightly-woven cotton canvas with paraffin wax. The result is a backpack that is both incredibly sturdy and waterproof enough you can stride confidently through even the heaviest rain,” writes Werd. “The backpack features a back panel made of twill that will reduce chafing/rubbing and prevent heavy sweating. It even gives the backpack some structure so it’s easier to pack and will prevent shoulder/lower back strain. It’s got a dedicated sleeve for a 15” laptop, multiple interior pockets for organizing your EDC gear, and ample space for everything you could want to carry to work, on holiday, or out camping.”
“Filson’s awesome Journeyman Backpack is the ideal example of versatile functionality. It boasts a impressive capacity and carries your load comfortably on the trail or on the job. With a design that’s clean and uncluttered, without unnecessary bells and whistles, the Journeyman just goes about its business in a quiet, workmanlike way,” adds The Coolector.
4. GORUCK GR1
HiConsumption considers this one as one of the best even though it’s been around for longer than others. “Along with its military-inspired styling and construction, including MOLLE webbing and a ballistic nylon exterior, this backpack also has a removable frame sheet, plenty of organization, and more. Plus, it’s TSA compliant, making it great for travel, and made in the USA.”
“The GR1 by GoRuck took the ultra-durability of the packs used by U.S. Special Forces and blended in a modern, chic vibe that makes it at home everywhere from Times Square to the Santa Monica Pier to the streets of Baghdad,” adds Werd. “The laptop compartment is ‘bombproof’, with a hard plastic frame that shields your electronics (and your back) all day long. However, if you want to trim down the weight, the frame can be removed to make the backpack divinely lightweight. Take it anywhere and everywhere—you’ll always be glad you have it.”
“For a bigger pack with a beefier warranty, definitely checkout the GoRuck GR1. Coming in two sizes, 21 liters and 26 liters, the GR1 is capable of holding all of your essentials inside of its tough interior. The warranty that protects the GR1 is incredibly generous. Covered by the GoRuck Scars Lifetime Warranty, you can send it back to GoRuck for repair for practically any reason. And if GoRuck can’t fix it, they’ll replace your pack free of charge,” points out Axwell.
HiConsumption adds this backpack to its list and states, “San Fransisco-based baggage specialist Aer is known for its characteristically minimalist backpacks, but the brand outdid even itself with the launch of the City Pack. While it’s a touch smaller than some of our other options at just 14L, it’s packed to the gills with organizational provisions. What’s more, the City Pack comes with some pretty handy features, including a built-in AirTag pocket and a soft-lined top pocket, as well as a contoured back panel and an integrated luggage pass-through.”
“If you’re in need of a smaller pack, don’t sleep on the AER City Pack. The 14 liter interior is lined with interior zippered pockets to make organization incredibly easy. And while the shoulder straps aren’t as beefy as the GR1, the contoured back panel of the pack curves to the shape of your back for comfortable all-day carry,” adds Axwell. “Something that makes the City Pack unique is that it is designed with a specific ‘smart tracker’ pocket. This allows you to insert a small tracker like AirTags, Tile Trackers, or even the Chipolo Tracker. Having a GPS tracker on board will ensure that your backpack is within arm’s reach, no matter what.”
“Sling this bad boy over your shoulder on your next day out in the city—whether for work or pleasure—and you’ll be ready for anything. Its profile is beautifully streamlined so it doesn’t stick out while riding public transit or navigating crowds, and it weighs just 2.5 pounds so it won’t drag on your shoulders after a full day of sightseeing and exploring. Made of 160-denier Cordura ballistic nylon, it’s tough as nails but still looks elegant and practical,” explains Werd.
You might also be interested in:
- Men’s Health
- Pack Hacker
- Backpack Beasts
- The World Pursuit
- The Coolector
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.