In reality, backpacks are just tote bags, but much more ergonomic. They've been ruthlessly maligned as the symbol of youth and immaturity, and yet, brands continue to produce them in droves.
The current iteration of the backpack comes in many forms, but they all remain similar in inherent design: a bag with a large opening, two straps and a closure. But that design takes shape in many different forms, functions, and fabrics, but it stays humble to its original design.
Dagne Dover's unique neoprene fabric gives the Dakota Backpack its charm. There's a little give in the stretchy scuba material, along with a large main compartment with hidden zipper pockets for valuables.
The Nomatic Backpack is the origami of backpacks. With top access, side access, and a front access that folds out flat, it's perfect for anyone that wants to be The Most Organized. It's sleek and compact and doesn't sacrifice style when adding space.
Away's simplistic Backpack is lean and uncomplicated, with a deep appreciation for storage organization (and working in concert with other Away products). It features three separate compartments for all your junk, with slim pockets and padded straps.
While other bags just have the ability to connect to an external battery, Ridge takes it one step further and allows you to purchase one directly from them to be included with their Commuter Backpack. That means you don't need to worry about remembering to plug your battery into your bag, it'll already be there when you need it.
The TSA-approved Venture 2 from ThisIsGround isn't just pretty to look at. Each bag comes equipped with a Tile tracker, so you never have to worry about losing your luggage during your travels. The front pocket has sleeves for everything from your phone to any wire you could possibly need to take on your trip.
Bric's Torino Men's Medium Business Backpack is a beautiful leather bag that has 14 interior and 7 exterior pockets, with one of those pockets folding out to easily secure your laptop. On the exterior, there is a USB A and C connection to attach a battery pack so you can charge on the go.
Taking a page from the minimal trend, the Mansure Gavriel backpack is both beauty and brawn. Yes, it's been seen everywhere and on everyone, but it's beautiful and there's really no denying it. The red color (called Flamma) is one that you can use all year.
With a more masculine sihouette, the Montblanc Extreme Rucksack is how you take a common commuter bag and make it beautiful. With black aluminum hardware, textured leather, and multiple large compartments, it's a city person's organizational dream.
Tumbled leather, antiqued hardware, what more could you ask for? This Frye bag is paired down but looks like a bag you'd find in your parents' attic or hidden behind old fanny packs and band tees at a thrift store. It's perfectly disheveled, aka my ideal aesthetic.
Timbuk2 may be known for their luggage prowess, but their Tuck Bag is a bit on the more adventurous side. The roll-top bag is streamlined and effective in keeping your stuff safe while you're out riding bikes, climbing mountains, or just trekking uptown.
Everlane's Modern Snap Backpack is a little more involved than their other bags, but it gives you an outdoorsy- edge that makes you feel like you're not just sitting on the C train crawling through the Canal street station during rush hour. It's pretty to look at and easy to fill, with a drawstring and double-snap closure.
The aesthetic that Rains continues to stick to is minimalist with an edge, and this backpack doesn't disappoint. Its sleek, waterproofed canvas outer means commuting with it in any weather is a breeze and it has a dedicated laptop pocket, plus a hidden pocket at the back for valuables like wallets or passports.