Backpacks aren’t only en vogue because of their chic designs and cool constructions. Sporting a two-strap is practical, too. By evenly distributing weight on your shoulders, it helps take pressure off your spine, so you’re not left with stiff shoulders or a sore neck. Some bags even offer a hip strap so your lower half carries the load. To find your perfect fit — whether you trek with a lot of tech, just want to lug your post-work gym clothes or you’re aiming to reach new peaks — we rounded up eight of the best backpacks. Strap in and head out for a more comfortable journey.
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8 Backpacks to Take to the Office, Gym and Beyond
1. Best for Everyday Wear: Duluth Trading Lifetime Canvas Backpack ($90)
Stylish enough to wear to the office yet durable enough to take on the road, this Duluth bag will be your favorite travel partner. With eight pockets, including those for credit cards and a padded laptop sleeve, it stores all your essentials while still letting you easily retrieve them. It also has a reinforced leather bottom and two water bottle side pockets so it can withstand the great outdoors.
2. Best for Techies: Trakk High Tech Backpacks ($80)
This waterproof and shockproof backpack will protect all your gear, even in unpredictable weather. It offers a waist strap, multiple pockets to stash your laptop or headphones and a USB port so you can charge your phone (or other electronics) on the go. And for those late nights at the office or the gym, it even has an LED light on the back to keep you safe as you travel. (Bonus: It’s nearly 50% off!)
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3. Best for Staying Organized: The North Face Women’s Access 22L ($250)
It might have a hefty price tag, but this structured bag is well worth it for all its perks. The main compartment pops open at the touch of a button (no more messing with zippers when you’re in a rush!) and features fleece-lined pockets to protect your devices. Inside those smaller pockets, you’ll also find straps that allow you to pull out your belongings in a cinch. Better yet, it stands up on its own and has extra soft and snug padding for your back.
4. Best for Frequent Fliers: Eagle Creek Converge Backpack ($119)
When you’re jet setting and don’t feel like carrying a heavy pack, this option from Eagle Creek boasts a back panel that lets you securely slip it onto your rolling suitcase. The moisture-wicking straps and backside also keep you dry if you start to heat up while making moves. Multiple pockets, a full zipper, as well as top and side handles also let you stash and carry your stuff with ease.
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5. Best for Studio Goers: Lululemon All Set Convertible Backpack ($118)
Perfect for those who like a side of versatility with their atheisure, this bag easily converts from shoulder tote to two-strap pack. It also has tons of pockets to organize all your belongings, including one for your sweaty post-exercise gear, an internal water bottle holder and smaller external sleeves for your keys, wallet, phone and more. It looks super chic and sits up on its own, too.
6. Best for Active Weekends: Eddie Bauer Bygone 30 Pack ($119)
Featuring easy-access front pockets, an adjustable waist strap, sleeves to stash H2O and a breathable back panel, you get everything you need in this Eddie Bauer bag. (That means the room to carry a weekend’s worth of necessities, too.) The main zipper also allows you to stack your belongings, making it easier to retrieve whatever you put on top.
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7. Best for Long Hikes: REI Co-Op Ruckpack 40 Pack ($139)
A few key features make this a must-have for hitting the trails. First, the lightly padded shoulder straps and waistbelt (which you can remove if you’re not carrying much) offer comfort, while a packable rain layer will keep your gear dry. You also get trekking pole attachments, a strap buckle that doubles as a whistle and a full-zip closure for easy packing and unpacking. What’s more, it’s roomy enough to bring belongings for a few days.
8. Best for Climbing: Camelbak Sundowner LR 22 ($160)
Known for their hydration packs, this Camelbak system does not disappoint in terms of durability and functionality. (In fact, the brand is so confident in their products, this has a lifetime guarantee.) The stand-out feature is it’s lumbar reservoir, which means you carry your water on your hips (not your shoulders), offering more stability and less strain as you scale peaks. You’re also able to stretch the pack if you take off layers as you reach the top of your trek, and you can stash snacks in your front hip pockets for easy snacking as you go.
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