The Best Laptop Backpacks

A backpack is the most comfortable way to carry your laptop, books, and anything else you need for the day, whether you’re going to work or school. A backpack is more comfortable to wear than a messenger bag, holds more than a briefcase, and is more fashionable than a rolling bag. To find the best laptop backpacks for commuting, we tested 53 backpacks on buses, trains, cars, bikes, and planes.

Although everyone’s definition of a perfect backpack is different, all of the bags we recommend can fit a laptop and its power supply, are comfortable to wear for an entire commute, and are stylish. We have backpacks that are ideal for people who are on the move. ride on tightly crowded buses and train cars or bike in downpours, for ultra-organized tech wranglers and there’s a main compartment for those who want one. black hole, for the fashion-conscious and those seeking something unique small and super stylish, for road warriors who fly regularly, and for fitness-minded folks who bring their gym gear to work.

Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe is the best laptop backpack for tech organization.

Our pick for best laptop backpack for tech organization, the Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe.
Photo: Sarah Kobos

Our pick

It holds a lot of technology and is subjected to a lot of abuse.

It’s made of durable materials and can withstand a beating on your commute. The Timbuk2 Authority Deluxe bag holds and organizes all of your workday essentials.

Who it’s for: Furthermore, its appearance is appropriate for an office setting. If you plan to carry a lot of tech and your main concern is keeping it all organized and safe, this is a great bag with a lot of space.

Why it’s great: The Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe Even more importantly, slinging it over your shoulder is a pleasurable experience. It has a tough polyester exterior that protects it from bumps and bruises as you carry it to and from the office, and it comes with a lifetime defect warranty. Holds and organizes a significant amount of gear without bulging or appearing aggressively techy.

I carried a 13-inch MacBook Pro and its charger for two weeks. iPad, a planner, a notepad, a keyboard, my keys, a Nintendo Switch Lite (and charger), various cables, two power banks, a Skooba Design Cable Stable DLX full of other small appliances, and a travel mug That’s a lot of tech for a single bag.) (I understand.) Timbuk2 Authority Deluxe inside

I couldn’t travel far because of quarantine orders for the rest of 2020, but I did spend hours wearing the backpack while walking around my neighborhood to get a feel for how it distributed weight. The bag was comfortable and easy to carry even with all of that stuffed inside.

Even when it was filled with tech for your work day, the Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack was comfortable to wear and transport.Photo: Sarah Kobos

My walks were always enjoyable thanks to the bag’s sturdy padded straps and back panel. The pack’s fit was stable and comfortable thanks to a removable sternum strap that connected the two shoulder straps, as well as an air-mesh ventilated back panel that kept back sweat at bay.

Because of the Timbuk2 Authority Deluxe’s large number of pockets and compartments, I was able to organize everything I needed to carry into specific areas, making it easy to find what I needed. A large zipper pouch, two open pockets, and two pen slots are among the storage options in the front compartment. I found the two exterior zipper pockets on the front to be useful for smaller items that I needed to access frequently, such as my external battery pack and an SD card. On the back, there’s a luggage pass-through that connects to the handle of a carry-on, which is a nice touch. The back compartment, as well as the main pocket in the bag’s central compartment, can hold a memo pad or a laptop up to 17 inches.

Timbuk2 also sells the simpler Authority Laptop BackpackIt’s also about a half-inch shorter and wider. , which is a good bag with similar dimensions but lacks the Deluxe version’s extra-comfy padded straps and padded back panel.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Although the Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe can comfortably hold a variety of tech gear, it lacks the capacity of other bags in this category, such as the Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe. eBags Pro Slim Laptop Backpack.

Dimensions: 18.9 inches by 11.8 inches by 5.1 inchesWeight: 2.6 poundsWater-bottle holders: oneWarranty: lifetime against defects in material and workmanshipMaximum laptop size: 17 inchesColors: navy blue, black, dark gray, gray, tan

Topo Rover Pack is the best retro-inspired commuter laptop backpack.

The Topo Rover Pack, shown with navy blue and red outside fabric and light tan buckles and straps.
Photo: Michael Murtaugh

Our pick

A flashy commuter bag

The pocket design of this eye-catching bag allows you to separate your work essentials from the books and beverages you consume on your commute.

Who it’s for: If you’re a practical city commuter who appreciates a mountain aesthetic, the Rover Pack is for you.

Why it’s great: The Topo Rover Pack Two expandable side pockets, perfectly sized for a smartphone, are also included in the bag. Its main pocket is a large bucket with a divider for your laptop that can easily expand to fit a variety of items—notebooks, chargers, books, lunch containers, and headphones. The bag’s outside zippered pockets were large enough to hold a portable charger, a snack, some cables, and a Kindle during testing. The Rover Pack cinches shut with a buckle-down flap to keep the top fully covered for security. combines a camp aesthetic (in colors ranging from bright to muted) with a functional design that’s ideal for subway rides. Zojirushi travel mug and a Hydro Flask water bottle.

The pack is very light, and the shoulder straps are padded and cushy, so it will be extremely comfortable even after you’ve packed it with all of your work essentials. Its fabric is also water resistant, so you can rest assured that your gear will stay dry if you get caught in a downpour. Despite heavy use, Wirecutter editor Thorin Klosowski says his Topo Rover Pack is still in excellent condition and looks brand new.

The Rover Pack’s campy aesthetic is divisive—but undeniably entertaining. Plus, for snobs like this guide’s author, Topo offers an all-black option.Photo: Michael Murtaugh

Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Topo Rover Pack’s front pockets are a little on the small side. A backpack’s outside pocket should ideally be large enough to fit a small book, so you don’t have to unbuckle, uncinch, and rummage through the interior to find something to read on your commute. However, if you prefer to read on your Kindle or listen to a podcast, this will not be an issue.

Although our tester—and some of our colleagues—liked the Topo Rover Pack’s bright, bold color options (we first tested it in navy and red), the colors may be a little too loud for everyone’s tastes. If you prefer a more subdued look, the Rover Pack is available in a few more subdued colors.

Dimensions: 18 by 12 by 3 inchesWeight: 1.6 poundsWater-bottle holders: twoWarranty: lifetime against defects in materials and workmanshipMaximum laptop size: 15 inchesColors: natural/black, navy/red, navy, turquoise/clay, ballistic black, royal/black, silver/charcoal

Fjällräven Räven 28 Backpack is the best laptop backpack for travel.

The Fjällräven Räven 28 backpack.
Photo: Michael Murtaugh

Our pick

A plane commuter’s laptop bag

The Fjällräven Räven 28 backpack may appear to be simple, but it has all the organization you’ll need while rushing to catch your next flight out of town.

Buying Options

Who it’s for: This bag has enough room for an overnight business trip and enough organization to grab items quickly in a TSA line, as well as a structure and style that will still look good when you arrive at the office after a red-eye flight.

Why it’s great: The Fjällräven Räven 28 BackpackIt’s tough, water-resistant, and packed with pockets, but most importantly, it’s comfortable to wear for a long day on the road. It has a pair of external water-bottle pockets that can double as holsters for travel documents like a boarding pass or a customs form, and its internals are well-organized. It’s big enough for a 15-inch laptop, business gear, a change of clothes, and a pair of slim shoes, and it fits neatly underneath your seat while you’re traveling.

In a previous version of this guide, Wirecutter senior staff writer Joel Santo Domingo wrote, “In our tests, we easily zipped a laptop in and out of the bag while in a TSA line, saving precious seconds and avoiding glares from fellow travelers.” “The laptop compartment has a large open area and a second pocket for organizing documents, tucking in a binder, or holding a tablet for in-flight entertainment,” says the manufacturer.

The Fjällräven Räven 28 has enough space for a change of clothes and a quick trip out of town.Photo: Michael Murtaugh

Pens, business cards, adapters, and cables that would otherwise roll around in the main compartment are easily accessible in the other organized pockets on the front of the bag. The middle zippered pocket has enough room for a change of clothes, shoes, and a toiletry kit, so you won’t have to push them out of the way to get to your laptop.

The Räven 28 is made of a tough poly-cotton blend that’s also water-resistant. You can have the bag waxed like a storm coat if you need more protection.

This bag is not as boxy as the Fjällräven Kånken, and there’s a lot less branding on it. The company offers nine other color options to suit a variety of personal tastes, including a businesslike black and a slightly more interesting navy blue.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Räven 28 was perfect for our 5-foot-6 and taller reviewers, but it was a little big for one of our 5-foot-1 testers.

Both pockets for water bottles are sewn close to the bag’s sides. This design prevents them from looking flabby when they’re empty, but it also means that your bottles may be a tight fit; a fully loaded bag may even bulge enough to prevent bottles from fitting into the pockets.

Dimensions: 19 by 13 by 9 inchesWeight: 2.2 poundsWater-bottle holders: twoWarranty: lifetime (does not include accidental damage)Maximum laptop size: 15 inches, with roomColors: blue ridge, deep blue, dandelion, super grey, chestnut, dusk, storm, redwood, black, navy, dark olive, blue ridge, deep blue, dandelion, super grey, chestnut

Best small, stylish laptop backpack: Rains Backpack Mini

The Rains Mini backpack, shown in black.
Photo: Michael Murtaugh

Our pick

A stylish backpack for the minimalist commuter

The Rains is small and stylish, with sleek lines and a flat-to-the-body shape—but it’s only for the most minimalist of commuters, as its thin straps make it uncomfortable to wear with heavy loads.

Buying Options

Who it’s for: If all you need to bring is a small laptop, a juicy novel, and a light sweater, the stylish and slim Rains Backpack Mini is a good choice.

Why it’s great: The clean, simple lines of the If you’re going to wear your backpack every day, it should be stylish, but it should also be functional, comfortable, and well-organized. Rains Backpack Mini This backpack is equally at home with business-casual office attire as it is with a pair of denim overalls. Keep things professional, but it also comes in a variety of fun colors, from subtle to bold.

The Rains Mini is a cute, waterproof, and distinctive option if you’re traveling light.Photo: Michael Murtaugh

It has a zippered section to keep your phone and transit pass secure, and its small, flat shape makes it less likely to collide with someone while sprinting to catch a train. The Rains bag combines smart organization with a small size, which is ideal for a commute. You can slide it off your back and hold it by its top handle when the train is too crowded for backpacks.

The magnetic flap snaps and carabiner closure on the Rains bag make it difficult for thieves and nosy friends to gain access to your bag when you’re not looking. The Rains doesn’t have much room inside, but its laptop pouch and inner zippered pocket will keep your essentials organized (like your laptop and phone chargers), with room for a few more small items if needed.

Finally, the Rains is one of the most affordable small backpacks we tested, with a reasonable two-year warranty. The Rains backpack’s waterproofing is also a plus. During thunderstorms, two testers used the Rains on a regular basis, and the bag always kept their belongings dry.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: However, because the bag can’t hold a large load in the first place, your shoulders will be spared the strain. Jordan Bowman, a six-month Rains user, said the straps occasionally burrowed into his sides, but he didn’t mind because the bag was so sleek and well designed. The Rains Backpack Mini’s thin straps make it less comfortable than other bags with thicker straps.

Dimensions: 17 by 10.5 by 4 inchesWeight: 1.6 poundsWater-bottle holders: noneWarranty: two years; 30 days to returnMaximum laptop size: 13 inchesColors: black, light gray, lavender, mint green

Best gym laptop backpack: Lo & Sons The Hakuba

Our pick for the best gym laptop backpack, the Lo & Sons The Hakuba, shown with a water bottle in its side compartment.
Photo: Sarah Kobos

Our pick

A stylish bag to hold all of your work and workout essentials.

Lo & Sons’ Hakuba is easy to organize and carry, with separate sections for your shoes, gym clothes, laptop, and files.

Buying Options

Who it’s for: The Hakuba makes it simple to pack a change of clothes and shoes for the day if you’re a stylish commuter who goes to the gym before or after work.

Why it’s great: A polished gym bag should be large and well organized enough to hold a change of clothes and shoes, keep dirty items separate from office supplies, and look good enough that you won’t be embarrassed to bring it to work.

The Hakuba by Lo & SonsIt has a 15-inch external laptop pocket that allows you to keep your computer separate from your dirty gym clothes. The Hakuba maintains its shape even while doing all of this. does everything: So don’t stress about what you’re packing or how you’re packing. You can pull out the insert and use the entire space if you need to carry something particularly large. The Hakuba has pockets for notepads and books at the top of its main compartment, and a shoe compartment underneath.

The Hakuba was long enough to cover our tester’s back, but it also held everything we needed to get to the gym before work.Photo: Sarah Kobos

Two zippered pockets on the top of the bag are perfect for storing small items like your wallet, keys, lip balm, and headphones. It has two side pockets that can be unzipped to accommodate a 32-ounce water bottle. The Hakuba’s back sleeve can also be used to attach to most suitcase handles.

The Hakuba comes with Lo & Sons’s one-year warrantyIf your bag has outlived its one-year warranty, Lo & Sons recommends contacting the company with the details. , which protects you from product flaws and damage.

I ran for 312 miles with this bag on my back and never felt like I was carrying too much. The bag evenly distributed my weight across my back, and its pads were cushioned enough to never dig into my shoulders.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: We liked the long, trapezoidal shape, but it might not be right for you. The Hakuba is large, and at around 3 pounds, it’s also quite heavy—but a backpack that holds work and gym gear needs to be large.

Dimensions: 21.5 by 13 by 7.8 inchesWeight: 2.8 lbs. with insert; 2.4 lbs. without insertWater-bottle holders: twoWarranty: one yearMaximum laptop size: 15 inchesColors: black

For carrying anything and everything, the best laptop backpack is: Arbor Classic Pack 25L Patagonia Patagonia Arbor Classic Pack 25L Patagonia Patagonia Arbor

The Patagonia Arbor Classic shown in a light tan color.
Photo: Michael Murtaugh

Our pick

Minimal organization, maximum flexibility

It has a retro look that is charming but lacks polish. The Arbor Classic has a lot of space, but it’s a little disorganized on the inside.

Who it’s for: If you need to carry a lot of stuff throughout the day but don’t want to be restricted by internal dividers or organization, this bag is a good option.

Why it’s great: The Patagonia Arbor Classic Pack 25L The bag shrinks to a more manageable size when you’re not lugging the kitchen sink around. It has no internal organization, so it could just as easily hold ingredients for a dinner party as it could a weekend’s worth of clothes.

Korrena Bailie of Wirecutter found that the Patagonia comfortably held a travel pillow, two paperbacks, her laptop and charger, a rain jacket, her cell phone and charger, snacks, and a large bottle of water while testing it in Cambodia. On walks, bike rides, buses, and trains, the Arbor Classic performed admirably. “I was able to easily pull out my laptop and slide it back in even when it was fully stuffed,” she said. Even when the bag is loaded with more than 20 pounds, the padded straps are comfortable and easy to adjust.

The Patagonia Arbor Classic prioritizes storage and simplicity over all else.Photo: Michael Murtaugh

The Arbor Classic has a laptop sleeve and two deep zippered pockets (one on the front for keys, the other on the inside flap for a thick paperback book) in addition to its large main compartment. It closes with a drawstring, so all you have to do to reduce the bag’s footprint when carrying a lighter load is tighten the drawstring and flag straps.

Korrena also mentioned that the bag’s casual retro-schoolbag look would be acceptable in a classroom setting. casual San FranciscoHowever, it would be out of place in a cocktail bar. We tried the beige color, but it also comes in a few darker shades that might work better in different situations.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: A small zippered internal pocket would also be useful for keeping items like a passport or a pair of headphones safe and accessible. Although there isn’t a water-bottle pocket on the Arbor Classic, there is plenty of room inside to stow a bottle.

A bag with a zipper will be more convenient if you have trouble using your hands or arms due to an injury or limited mobility. Korrena discovered that using the drawstring and buckles was difficult after she injured her arm—squeezing the buckle open hurt her arm, and she was never able to negotiate the drawstring one-handed.

Dimensions: 20 by 12 by 9 inchesWeight: 1.3 poundsWater-bottle holders: noneWarranty: if you are dissatisfied with your item or it does not perform as expected; deterioration due to normal wear and tear Guaranteed for life repaired for a chargeMaximum laptop size: 15 inchesColors: Teal with gray trim, black, navy with brown trim, khaki with teal trim, gray with green trim, purple with teal trim, brown with khaki trim

Chrome Urban Ex Rolltop 28L Backpack is the best laptop backpack for biking.

Photo: Michael Murtaugh

Our pick

A robust carry-all

Chrome’s Urban Ex Rolltop features convenient loops for hanging a helmet or U-lock, as well as plenty of room in the main compartment for a laptop, a change of clothes, and other essentials.

Buying Options

Buy from REI

May be out of stock

*The price was $140 at the time of publication.

Who it’s for: It should also be large enough to hold all of your belongings, including a helmet, a bike lock, a water bottle, a raincoat, and pants. If you commute by bike, you’ll need a backpack that’s both sturdy and comfortable.

Why it’s great: The Chrome Urban Ex Rolltop 28L BackpackIt also has two internal pockets: one with a padded laptop sleeve that fits a 15-inch MacBook Pro, and another with slots for a phone and a few pens, as well as a key ring. On the top, there’s a watertight zip-up pocket. is fully waterproof, has a tough exterior, and has a capacity of 28 liters. The main compartment’s roll-top closure allows you to easily expand it when you need to fit a lot of gear in or shrink it for lighter loads. Sarah Witman, a Wirecutter staff writer and tester, said, “The bag is big enough to carry everything a bike commuter needs but not so big that it’s unmanageable.”

The Chrome Urban Ex Rolltop is ideal for bike commuters thanks to its large capacity and convenient attachment points.Photo: Michael Murtaugh

It also has MOLLE loops on the outside to clip on a helmet, a U-lock, a light, or other biking accessories, as well as adjustable buckles across the chest to keep the pack secure while riding. The Urban Ex Rolltop is easy to find, reasonably priced, and comes with a limited lifetime warranty. Although extra reflectors and lights are recommended for nighttime riding, the reflective strips on the Urban Ex Rolltop are thicker than those on some of the other bags we tested (which is important for visibility during golden hour and early morning rides).

The bag is easy to grab and carry thanks to the dual handles on the top and side. When it comes to comfort, the Urban Ex Rolltop’s back and shoulders are plush and well padded, with mesh and built-in slits for ventilation.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: And, while we think its large size is a plus, some people, particularly casual commuters, may find it too bulky. The Urban Ex Rolltop is the largest of the eight bike-friendly models we tested. Finally, there is no designated spot for a water bottle on the Urban Ex Rolltop. In comparison to the other bags we tested, this one has a slightly less intuitive closure, requiring you to roll up the top and secure the ends with side buckles.

Dimensions: 24 by 16.5 by 7 inchesWeight: 2.5 poundsWater-bottle holders: noneWarranty: lifetimeMaximum laptop size: 15-inch MacBook ProColors: black, khaki, red

How we picked and tested

A selection of bags tested in our review of the best laptop backpacks.
Photo: Michael Murtaugh

A backpack is the most convenient and ergonomic way to carry your laptop, cables, and everything else you need for the day if you commute with your laptop. In contrast to briefcases, messenger bags, or totes, backpacks distribute the weight of your belongings across both shoulders, making them more comfortable and beneficial to your back over the course of the day.

We’ve tested over 50 backpacks since the beginning of this guide, including stylish packs and long-term travel bags, as well as those for organizing your tech, commuting, going to the gym, carrying a lot of stuff, and biking. We had different requirements for each category, but we were looking for bags that were comfortable, attractive, durable, and could hold a 13-inch (or larger) laptop throughout our testing.

A person wearing the Patagonia backpack while standing in front of a waterfall with their back towards the camera.
We really did take these bags everywhere.Photo: Korrena Bailie

Our testers then put the bags through their paces by commuting on public transportation in New York City and San Francisco, biking through Central Park, navigating TSA checkpoint lines, and traveling through Cambodia’s streets. We narrowed down our options by looking at things like appearance, size, warranty, availability, and price. The finalist bags from these tests were then brought in for group evaluation in order to get a broader base of feedback on their style and how they fit on more people.

Other good laptop backpacks

If you need to carry the equivalent of an entire office’s worth of gadgets in your bag, but want something more understated and stylish than the Timbuk2 Authority Deluxe, we love the Aer Day Pack 2.. The high-sheen front panel, on the other hand, is a divisive design that not everyone likes. Despite its many pockets and organizational features, the Day Pack 2 has a minimalist exterior that makes it appear less techy.

If you’re a photographer who needs to get your camera without taking off your backpack, the 20-liter bag is the way to go. Peak Design Everyday Backpack Ziphas an unusual opening system that allows you to access a camera while the bag is still on your body. The feature is useful for those who are constantly fiddling with their camera equipment, but it is unnecessary for the majority of people.

If you want a clean-looking backpack and don’t mind fiddling with it to open and close it, this is the bag for you. Everlane Modern Snap Backpackis a favorite of the Wirecutter’s staff. The main pocket (with a laptop sleeve) is large enough to hold everything you need for work, but the snap closures are difficult to use while moving.

If you need something waterproof or prefer the look of Aer to that of other brands, other gym backpacks, we love the Aer Duffel Pack 2 and Aer Fit Pack 2, though we must admit that their minimalism is aggressive. Aer offers a tough waterproof exterior, a plethora of organizational features, and a lifetime warranty to back up their good looks.

We love the if you have a short, leisurely bike commute and don’t need to carry a lot of gear. Timbuk2 Custom Prospect Laptop Backpack.. Our pack, which was made with waterproof fabric, held up well in the rain, was comfortable to wear, and was well-organized. It didn’t have the same impact as the previous one. Chrome Urban Ex RolltopHowever, if you’re a light packer, this bag is a good choice.

The competition

Tech bags

Timbuk2’s Division Laptop BackpackIt’s a small bag with a surprising amount of structure and organizational options, according to Wirecutter. When the bag is full, however, the internal pockets on the front flap make it difficult to open and close.

Many of the tech bags we tested cost more than $140, which is five times the price of the average bag. Matein Travel Laptop BackpackUnfortunately, the fabric was scratchy and cheap, the bag was unsightly, and we were concerned about its ability to withstand abuse. .. We figured it was only fair to try this bag because it had 14,000 positive reviews on Amazon at the time of our research.

The eBags Pro Slim Laptop BackpackThis is a remodeled version of a previous pick that we tested in spring 2020. This design zips open on the top and one side only, leaving the other side permanently closed, and the water-bottle pocket was too small for a decent-sized bottle.

Fancy backpacks

The Bellroy Classic BackpackIt’s stylish and comfortable, and it comes with a three-year warranty. However, it only has one compartment and fewer pockets than our stylish picks.

Slim bags for commuters

We liked the look of the Bellroy Classic Backpack PlusHowever, we found its tall height to be unsettling. and found its plethora of organizational elements to be very useful. This bag is jam-packed with hidden zippered compartments and mesh pockets for specific daily commute items.

Road-warrior rucksacks

We were curious to see if a 10-liter bag, similar to the Osprey Arcane Small Day Pack Despite the fact that it easily swallowed our 13- and 14-inch test laptops, you’d have to choose between carrying work-related items and a change of clothes. Its backpack straps also bunched at our shoulders, and its size and appearance made it too small and awkward to carry around all day. Could be used as a personal item under the seat.

The Thule Vea Backpack 17L ‘The’ is a good gym and work bag, but if you’re going on a trip, you’ll want something bigger. Thule EnRoute Backpack 18LBecause of its easy laptop access, stretchy mesh bottle pocket, and crush-resistant sunglasses/phone pocket, it almost made our list as a road-warrior rucksack runner-up. However, with its large branding and multiple reflectors, it seemed more suited to being a commuter bag for bicyclists than one you’d bring from the airport to a business meeting.

The Moshi Hexa Backpack The main compartment, on the other hand, was more of a maw than a well-organized space, and the long Velcro tie-down strap just got in the way in the TSA line. A hidden RFID-blocking document pocket and a lockable front compartment were among the security features.

Small and fashionable bags

We thought the Herschel Nova Backpack Mid-Volume However, its wide straps and extended front pocket gave it a more juvenile appearance than the other bags we looked at. On a college campus, it would look great, but not so much on Wall Street. Its canvas material felt more breathable than most, and it was comfortable.

We had high expectations for the expensive Sandqvist AlvaIt’s undeniably fashionable, but the rough cotton canvas acted as a magnet for sweater fuzz, subway particulates, and other urban messes. based on its online description and photos, but when we tried it in person, we were disappointed. Its drawstring closure was also inconvenient.

Gym bags

Although the AmazonBasics Sport Laptop Backpack Save money for the bigger one. Although it is inexpensive and has a convenient shoe storage pocket, it lacks the capacity of the majority of the other gym laptop backpacks we tested. Lo & Sons Hakuba instead.

The Lululemon City Adventurer Backpack 17LMost commuters will find it too small. A laptop pocket, a short main compartment with two zippered pouches, and a separate compartment for smaller shoes (men’s size 1212 sneakers would not fit) are all included in the bag. We struggled to fit a laptop charger or a paperback into the bag once it was full.

The Public Rec Pro Pack Plushas a luggage-strap handle in case you need to go to the airport from the gym, as well as a bunch of useful, organizational pockets for pens and a passport. And if the side pocket was larger, it could hold a wider range of water bottles of various sizes. Its shoulder straps, however, were too thin, causing strain on our shoulders.

We wanted to test the Ares BackpackThe Ares website is also riddled with spelling and technical errors, which raised red flags, and when we looked for the bag’s warranty, it led us to a page where we couldn’t find it. Our order, however, was never delivered. a blank pageAres hasn’t updated in over a year, it appears. There were also reports of low-quality materials and dissatisfied customers on Reddit.

Black-hole backpacks

The brawny Patagonia Black Hole Pack 25LIt had more interior pockets and space than the company’s Arbor Classic, and its weather-resistant coating withstood a mid-afternoon rainstorm in Cambodia. However, unlike the Arbor Classic, the Black Hole bag’s brawniness was also its downfall as a commuter bag: no matter what’s inside, you can’t really reduce the bag’s bulky footprint.

The Arc’teryx Granville 20 BackpackOur tester rode 3 miles through San Francisco with it, making it one of the most comfortable backpacks we tried. However, it fell short of our expectations as a black-hole backpack because the opening at the top of the bag was smaller in circumference than the bag itself, limiting the amount of stuff we could fit inside.

Super-tough bike bags

After some preliminary testing, we ruled out the Helly Hansen Stockholm BackpackIt only has a two-year warranty, as opposed to lifetime warranties on other products. .. Furthermore, the materials appeared to be flimsy, plasticky, and less durable than those of the other bags we tested.

We also eliminated Ortlieb’s Commuter Daypack City and Commuter Daypack Urban because of the thin, flimsy fabric and fiddly closure hooks

We knocked the Thule Paramount Backpack 24L off our list for its lack of waterproofing.

After hands-on testing, we determined that the Thule Pack ’n Pedal Commuter Backpack 24L was difficult to use and appeared to be too sporty for this category

Mission Workshop’s The SanctionIt’s made of a thick, rough material that’s a little unsettling to wear. It’s also pricey, only holds 20 liters, and doesn’t provide much in the way of organization.

About your guide

Justin Krajeski

Justin Krajeski

He previously worked at Wirecutter, where he wrote about technology. He’s an expert in the field of carrying. Justin Krajeski is a Wirecutter staff writer who covers everyday carry. Every day, he transports items.