If you bear your laptop with you to work or school, a backpack is the best way to carry it. A backpack is much ergonomic than a messenger bag, ability to holding more of what you need than a briefcase, and more stylish than a rolling bag. This site staffer took 44 backpacks on buses, trains, cars, and planes (and into TSA lines) to locate the best laptop backpacks for commuting.

though each person has their own criteria for what makes a perfect backpack, every bag we propose holds a laptop and its power supply, remains secure to wear for an entire commute, and looks stylish (though tastes vary).

We have backpacks that are huge for riding on tight subway cars or biking in downpours. For ultra-prepared tech wranglers and for people who want a black hole. Then, for the fashion-forward, who want something small and super fashionable or leather and luxe. For road warriors who fly repeatedly, and for fitness-minded folks who bring their gym gear to work.


Campground turned commuter: Topo Rover Pack

Campground turned commuter: Topo Rover Pack
this is for those :A practical city commuter who appreciates a mountain artistic.

Topo Rover Pack1

Why it’s great: The Topo Rover Pack combines a campground artistic (in colours ranging from flashy to subdued) with a practical design perfect for subway commutes.

Its main pocket is essentially a large bucket, with a divider for your laptop, that can expand to accommodate a great deal of stuff: notebooks, books, chargers, lunch containers, headphones. Once it’s full, you can cinch it closed and then fastened it from the top.

The outside of the bag features two zippered pockets, one in the wave top and one on the front of the bag; both are big enough to fit a portable charger, a snack, few cables, and a Kindle.

The bag also has two flexible side pockets for water bottles, perfectly sized for Zojirushi travel mugs and Hydro Flask water bottles.

The bag itself is extraordinarily light, at under 2 pounds, and it has cushy padded shoulder straps. That means that even when you’ve overflowing it with your work essentials, it’s still supremely relaxing to wear.

And its fabric is water-resistant, so if you get caught in a drizzle, you can rest secure that your gear will stay dry. Staff writer Thorin Klosowski, who has had a Topo Rover Pack for six years, said that it’s still in brilliant shape and looks new despite heavy use.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The pockets on the front of the Topo Rover Pack, outside of the key bucket, are a little small. Ideally, they would be large enough to accommodate a small book so that you wouldn’t have to unbuckle, uncinch, and rummage during the interior just to access something to read during your substitute.

This isn’t a problem if you use a Kindle or spend your travel listening to podcasts or looking at your phone.

Topo Rover Pack2
Some of my colleagues and I love the bright, bold doorways of the Topo Rover Pack (we tested navy/red). I couldn’t help but smile each time I caught a view of my expression off a dirt-caked subway window. Others create patterns tackily and childish. “It’d make more sense in a Gymboree store than on someone’s back,” said staff writer Justin Krajeski. Frankly, I don’t see a problem with this. But if you do, consider one of the bag’s neutral color options or one of our more minimalist picks.

—Daniel Varghese, associate staff write

  • Dimensions: 18 by 12 by 3 inches
  • Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Water bottle holders: 2
  • Warranty: Lifetime guarantee against defects in supplies and workmanship
  • Maximum laptop size: 15 inches
  • Colours: olive/navy, forest/kelly, natural/black, navy/red, navy, turquoise/clay, ballistic black, royal/black, silver/charcoal.

For holding all your tech and keeping it controlled: eBags Professional Slim

eBags Professional Slim

this is for those: If you’re living the dongle life or have the pressure to carry every piece of tech with you on your back, the eBags expert Slim Laptop Backpack does more than hold everything—this pack keeps stuff planned and available for you when you need it.

eBags Professional Slim1

Why it’s grand: This bag holds and organizes a remarkable amount of gear without bulging or becoming disorganized. And though some people don’t like its techie aesthetic, its ultra-functional association is great if you carry many small things and want each of them to have a dedicated spot.

During my tough, I carted a 13-inch MacBook Pro and its charger, a 9.7-inch iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard, a memo pad, a Sony? 5100 mirrorless camera with the kit lens, lens filters, a Seagate transportable hard drive, an SD card, two USB-to-Lightning cables, a Micro-USB cable, a USB-A–to–USB-C adapter, the Jackery Bolt battery pack, my keys, a Zojirushi travel mug, and irregularly a small Ziploc container.

Loaded down with gear, the Professional Slim was relaxing, even when I lugged it around Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center during a four-day robotics rivalry.

The wide shoulder straps and back padding dispersed the weight well, and the large ventilation channel in the back panel did an honest job of fending off the inevitable back sweat.

The main pocket has a sleeve suitable for a laptop up to 17 inches, and the bag has a divide tablet pocket that you access from the top.

But the real secretarial strength lies in the front pocket, which has an arrangement of storage options and serves as a built-in cable planner on the front of your bag.

The pocket hinges sideways—“like opening the refrigerator,” as one of our testing-panel participants put it—so you don’t have to dig down into the bowels of the bag to access all of the cords, adapters, or small fiddly bits that you carry with you to make your technology work.

The bag also has an AC-adapter pocket at the bottom by a detachable “crush-proof” case that’s just about the perfect size for my camera, lens filters, and a spare lens. though I wouldn’t call it uncrushable, I felt secure throwing my camera in there.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The Professional Slim leans into the tech artistic a bit harder than other backpacks we tested, and it is one of the heaviest bags we tried—more than 3 pounds when blank.

Paired with its rigid body, this weight makes it inopportune to take along if I have to carry only a few things; in those situations, I find myself attainment for a knapsack-like bag or a briefcase.

This bag is large, and its tall, lane layout may not fit well on some people’s backs. Our testing panel didn’t have any complaints, but we were able to test the fit on only a few changed body types, so your mileage may vary.

Also, the interior lining of the bag I tested (the heathered graphite colour option) was a lively shade of orange, which made small black gadgets easier to locate. I liked it, but to some people, it was too garish.

If you don’t wish for the inside of your bag to be as bright and orange as a Big Buck Hunter arcade cabinet, try the true navy or brushed indigo colour, each of which has a more retained light blue interior.

—James Austin updates writer

  • Dimensions: 19.5 by 14 by 7 inches
  • Weight: 3 pounds, 7 ounces
  • Water bottle holders: one
  • Warranty: lifetime alongside defects in material and workmanship
  • Maximum laptop size: 17 inches
  • Colours: solid black, brushed indigo, heathered graphite, sage green, true navy

Also believe: Aer Day Pack

Aer Day Pack

this is for those: Anyone who doesn’t want to be so clearly techie but still wants some of the advantages of a tech backpack, or who doesn’t have quite like a lot of small stuff to carry around.

Aer Day Pack1
Why it’s great: The Aer Day Pack offers a surprising amount of association in its few pockets, all within a stylish, nondescript profile.

It handled my laptop, my charger, my iPad, and everything else I required on a day-to-day basis, but a fair amount of my stuff ended up getting thrown in and mixed up at the bottom of the key pockets.

The material of the Day Pack feels sturdier than that of the eBags Professional Slim. Aer bills the front panel as being water-resistant, and in my trying water beaded on it.

The material also did a fair job of observance out any rainwater that got past my umbrella on my walks to and from the subway.

The pack pairs just as well with jeans and a T-shirt as it does with slacks and a button-up, making it useful for both weekend trips and workday treks.

The wide, almost S-shaped straps kept the bag from lively around too much while I walked (or occasionally ran to catch a train), and plenty of plush stuffing on the straps and back panel kept the weight from digging into my shoulders or higher back.

And you can have it in any colour you wish as long as you want black.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The front panel of this bag, a 900D polyester cloth with a polyurethane coating, was polarizing. Some testers (myself included) thinking it added a bit of texture and depth to a design that was otherwise very simple. Others hated the shimmery look and thought that it was cheap fabric masquerading as a premium feature or that it was pointlessly flashy or bougie.

The Day Pack has a water bottle container, but it’s on the inside of the laptop pocket—which maintains the bag’s simple silhouette—and I found it maddening to have to unzip my bag to get my morning coffee. (I also wouldn’t trust anything less dependably leakproof than my Zojirushi mug in there.)

Aer Day Pack2

It would also be nice if the bag came in at least a few other colour options since we can’t all be super-stylish tech goths.

—James Austin updates writer

  • Dimensions: 18 by 13.5 by 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 2 pounds, 9 ounces
  • Water bottle holders: one
  • Warranty: practical lifetime for supplies and workmanship
  • Maximum laptop size: 15 inches
  • Colors: black

Also believe: Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe

Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe

this is for those: People who want a bag that’s rugged enough that they can pitch it under the bench at a softball game and not agonize about it or its contents getting trashed, but still stylish sufficient that it fits in all but the most formal of offices.

We hardened the Deluxe version of this bag for this guide, but if a rubberized bottom and a tough outer material aren’t vital to you, the regular Authority Laptop Backpack should work fine and is typically slightly cheaper.

Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe2

Why it’s great: Whereas the eBags Professional Slim prioritizes pure functionality and association, and the Aer Day Pack has less internal organization but offers a slick artistic the Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe keeps things organized and secluded with a tougher, 1,200-denier polyester exterior that keeps looking good even after you unintentionally drop the bag on a muddy street.

Its exterior fabric feels textured and tough lacking being overly abrasive, and I had little trouble cleaning off clay and mud from after-work softball games. The straps feel well made—stiff and healthy—yet still comfortable, even without as a lot padding as on the other bags’ straps.

The front managerial pocket is spartan compared with those of the other bags I tried, with a large zipper pouch, two open pockets, and two pen slots, but it’s laid out well sufficient that all of my gear found a place.

I found the two separate exterior zipper pockets on the front helpful for smaller things that I wanted to access regularly, such as my keys, my exterior battery pack, and my SD card.

It also has two main storage pockets, one with a sleeve suitable for a memo pad or a tablet with more space for bulkier items, and the other a dedicated laptop pocket at the very back.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The tablet/memo-pad sleeve was exceptionally narrow and stiff, which made getting stuff in and out hard at times—and although the front pocket had a large zipper opening, two pieces of elastic fabric-friendly halfway down limited how wide it could open.

Also, the buckles on the bottom, ostensibly to expand and agreement the storage space of the middle pocket as needed didn’t seem to do much.

—James Austin, updates writer

  • Dimensions: 18 by 15 by 3.5 inches
  • Weight: 2 pounds, 10 ounces
  • Water bottle holders: one
  • Warranty: lifetime on supplies and workmanship
  • Maximum laptop size: 17 inches
  • Colors: titanium, black

A small and stylish wear-to-work bag: Rains Backpack Mini

A small and stylish wear-to-work bag: Rains Backpack Mini

Who this is for: Someone who doesn’t need to pack much more beyond a small laptop, a light sweater, and a juicy novel—someone who cares about style and wants a bag that’s small, fashionable, and functional.

A small and stylish wear-to-work bag: Rains Backpack Mini 1
Why it’s great: If you’re going to be wearing a backpack to work every day, it needs to be fashionable but even more so functional—comfortable, smartly organized, and easy to commute with.

The Rains Backpack Mini balances those seemingly opposed qualities in a slim package. It’s gorgeous: Sleek, minimalist lines keep it from veering into ostentatiousness, and still, the pastel-hued colour options feel professional.

Unlike some of the other bags we careful (such as the too-casual Herschel), this Rains model looks good over business-casual office wear but also completely cute thrown over a pair of denim overalls (which is how I wore it the week of an apartment move after unintentionally packing up every other article of clothing I owned).

The days I carried it for testing, I even arriving a few compliments from strangers—an unheard-of event on the otherwise aloof streets of New York. The Rains bag’s smart organization and petite size create it ideal for commuting.

A back zippered section strongly holds a phone and transit pass for easy access during rush hour, and its small, flat shape means it won’t cause you to bump into a grumpy passageway rider who will certainly not be assuaged by your genuine “Ope! Sorry!” When the train is too crowded for backpacks (or when the aforementioned subway grump makes a comment), you can clutch the bag by its comfortable top handle.

The Rains doesn’t have a gap for much, but its laptop pouch and inner zippered pocket—ideal for your laptop and phone chargers—keep your basics organized, with room for a few extra items if needed.

If you tend to lose umbrellas and overlook to check the weather before stumbling out of your place behind for work (not that I know anything about that), the waterproofing on the Rains is a reward from the subway gods.

I tested this feature unintentionally when walking from my preferred coffee shop through a brief lightning storm, and the Rains, true to its name, reserved everything in the bag totally dry. In addition to weather security, the bag’s mixture of magnetic flap snaps and a carabiner closure makes it tough for someone to reach in and steal your laptop.

A small and stylish wear-to-work bag: Rains Backpack Mini2

Updates writer Jordan Bowman, who has been using the Rains Backpack small as a daily commute bag for around six months, said that it at rest looks good and that the waterproofing has supposed up well during significant downpours.
Finally, it’s one of the most reasonable small backpacks we tested, and it comes with an honest, two-year warranty.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The thin straps on the Rains Backpack small are part of what makes it look so smooth and professional, but that design also means that it’s not as relaxing as other bags with thicker straps.

Still, since the bag can’t fit too much anyway (it can hold a laptop of only 13 inches), your shoulders will be secure from strain unless you’re satisfying it up with sand (which we don’t recommend, at least until 10bestsales publishes its “The Best Backpacks for Transporting Rock and Mineral Particulates” guide).

Jordan, shimmering on his six months of use, complete this, saying the straps “sometimes burrow into my sides, but I’m prepared to deal with a slight annoyance for a sleek and well-designed bag.” Also, though we adore the waterproof polyurethane-polyester blend for guarding alongside surprise rainstorms, we can see it getting balmy on a hot day. We’ll continue to test the bag during the summer and update this guide with our findings.

—Dorie Chevlen updates writer

  • Dimensions: 17 by 10.5 by 4 inches
  • Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Water bottle holders: none
  • Warranty: two-year warranty plus 30 days to go back
  • Maximum laptop size: 13 inches
  • Colors: black, light gray, lavender, mint green

Also believe: Matt & Nat Alex

Matt & Nat Alex

this is for those: Someone seeking a little backpack who likes the look of vegan leather and a more usual backpack shape than the Rains offers, as well as thicker straps to account for a larger ability.

Matt & Nat Alex1
Why it’s great: Matt & Nat’s Alex backpack is made from elastic vegan leather, comes in a Crayola-box range of colour options, and can hold a bit more than the Rains Backpack Mini.

However the Rains is waterproof, offers twice the warranty, looks just as attractive to us, and classically costs only two-thirds as much, making it the better option for most people.

Still, if aesthetics are your main concern in a commuting backpack, and you don’t love the seem of the Rains, it’s hard to beat the handsome Matt & Nat. Whereas some backpacks intimidate to make wearers look adolescent, this one is all business, from its classic outline and exposed zipper to its metal strap rings.

The two bags have the same interior organization, but the slightly bigger Matt & Nat can carry a bit extra than the Rains—you could maybe fit in a lunch in addition to a laptop, book, and sweater—but as a consequence, this bag is better.

Matt & Nat Alex3

Like the Rains bag, the Matt & Nat has a stylish against-the-back zipper for you to securely access keys or a shipment pass, and its thick, adjustable straps felt relaxing on my shoulders, even when I accidentally took the express train uptown and ended up draining it while schlepping back home (if you’re going to go full Macaulay Culkin, get lost in New York in style, I say).

Flaws but not deal breakers

The Matt & Nat is a small piece boxier than the Rains, which could be tricky on crowded train cars, though at least its handle is big and relaxing should you have to hold it near your legs.

And this is a small issue, but you could simply scratch your laptop against the bag’s metal zipper as you set it into its pocket; for most testers, the scratching sound hardly registered, but as someone with a particular aversion to metal scraping sounds (a fork beside my tooth would probably kill me), I found it literally cringe-inducing. besides, Matt & Nat’s vegan leather can get sweaty alongside the back on hot summer days, according to staff members who have used the company’s bags before.

—Dorie Chevlen updates writer

  • Dimensions: 15 by 11 by 3.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Water bottle holders: none
  • Warranty: one-year restricted warranty
  • Maximum laptop size: 13 inches
  • Colors: black, lily, pomegranate, slate, pine

A subtly fashion-forward, modest backpack: ISM The Backpack

A subtly fashion-forward, modest backpack: ISM The Backpack

this is for those: Someone who values a relaxing, attractive bag with lots of storage and wants it to look extra stylish, subtle, and refined than most other backpacks.

A subtly fashion-forward, modest backpack: ISM The Backpack2

Why it’s great: ISM’s The Backpack is a grand choice if you want a stylish, sophisticated backpack that’s relaxing to wear for a long time and has enough storage for a long day of work (notably more storage than in little fashionable bags like the Rains).

It fits a variety of body sizes and looks a cut above all my co-workers tested (in my opinion), thanks to its full-grain leather bottom.

The ISM (pronounced “-ism”) Backpack is a sleek, demure-looking bag, by understated leather flourishes providing a subtle contrast to its main nylon construction.

Its leather bottom and trim particulars make it suitable for attending important meetings at the office, or for impressing your date so methodically that they forget you were late to dinner because of said meeting.

The ISM bag is relaxing to wear on your back for long periods of time. The mesh padding on its arms and back is plush, and I had no issue tiring the backpack for a cumulative 10 hours while testing.

Riding on subways, to come for coffee, shopping at a vintage vinyl record outpost in Soho—we’ve done it all jointly, the ISM and I. And I never felt like it was overheating my back.

A subtly fashion-forward, modest backpack: ISM The Backpack3

It has enough storage space to cover you in the main situations. I counted six pockets and two main section areas, including a laptop sleeve for a 15-inch laptop. Most other backpacks I tested didn’t supply as much room as the ISM for storing notebooks and folders.

The ISM pack provides a teeny leather flap on the right side, where you can pass during a phone charger from the inside of the bag.

ISM offers a lifetime warranty that applies to developed defects in the bag’s materials. I couldn’t find a warranty this extended for any of the other stylish backpacks I tested; a few, like the AllSaints Ridge Rucksack, offer only a farcical 14-day come back window.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

At its common price of $235, ISM’s The Backpack is expensive, so I suggest this bag only to those who care deeply about appearances.

The lifetime warranty makes this costly pill a touch easier to swallow compared by other fashionable bags like those from AllSaints and Saturdays, which have a worthless two-week return policy.

The ISM pack also lacks side pockets, except if you’re carrying a bag for style, it’s better to keep away from any situation where a week-old plastic water bottle might be lodged in its side.

—Justin Krajeski, staff writer

  • Dimensions: 18 by 13.5 by 5 inches
  • Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Water bottle holders: none
  • Warranty: lifetime (built-up defects only)
  • Maximum laptop size: 15 inches
  • Colors: black with black accents, black with gold accents

Also believe: Knomo Albion

Knomo Albion

this is for those: Anyone who wants to wear a fashionable backpack to make a declaration, and who would prefer a backpack with one compartment to one with extra pockets.

Knomo Albion2
Why it’s great: If you’re a smart dresser and you aren’t afraid of a little—or a lot of—leather, the Knomo Albion makes for a refined pick that’s more relaxing than any other stylish backpack I tested, except for ISM’s The Backpack.

The Knomo has barely one main storage compartment to the ISM’s two, so it isn’t as handy, and it has a shorter warranty: ISM covers you for its bag’s lifetime, while Knomo’s warranty on the Albion lasts barely two years.

But the Albion is made entirely of full-grain, eco-friendly skin (the company uses 100 percent recycled water during the tanning process), and thanks to the mesh stuffing on its back and its straps, this Knomo bag is virtually as comfortable as the ISM bag to carry around from home to office.

The Knomo Albion is an attractive option obtainable in black or brown, but its leather exterior makes it a greatly less modest-looking choice than the ISM: This is the laptop backpack you buy as you’re not afraid of your backpack being more luxurious and extra decadent than anything else you’re wearing.

Knomo Albion3

Throughout a testing era of about two weeks, I used the Knomo Albion for around 10 hours and found no subject with its comfort. The mesh padding on the back and the double-padded bear straps make it comfortable to throw over your back and carry around town while you’re heading out on an adventure. I never had any trouble with overheating as I used it.

The Albion has one big backpack section with six pockets, including a sleeve for a 15-inch laptop. This plan is a step down from what you get with the ISM bag, which offers two compartments. at rest, everything stays nicely organized within the Albion, and you can easily fit a variety of garnishing in there.

If you have fewer things to carry, or if you don’t desire to have to go searching through two separate compartments to locate a late library book, this may be the better backpack for you. Overall, there’s just less to be anxious about.

Knomo London offers a two-year warranty for the Albion bag to covers any defects in materials and workmanship. though that is a solid warranty period, it pales in comparison to ISM’s lifetime warranty on its bag.

Flaws but not deal breakers

As I’ve mentioned, the Knomo bag has now one backpack compartment, which may sense limiting. Like the ISM, it doesn’t have any side pockets, but I don’t think you’ll miss those but you’re buying for style more than for usefulness (or even if you value style and utility in equal measure). It’s also fairly expensive, at $200, but it’s worth that price tag.

—Justin Krajeski, staff writer

  • Dimensions: 16 by 14 by 4.3 inches
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Water bottle holders: none
  • Warranty: 2yrs
  • Maximum laptop size: 15 inches
  • Colors: brown, black

A polished gym bag: Thule Vea Backpack 25L

A polished gym bag: Thule Vea Backpack 25L

this is for those: A fashionable commuter who stops off at the gym, or a corporate softball game, on their way home from work—or anyone who wants to pack a change of clothes for the day.

A polished gym bag: Thule Vea Backpack 25L2
Why it’s great: A good gym bag keeps your gym gear divide from everything else you commute with and is large and well organized enough that it can hold both sets of items with no being uncomfortable.

The Thule Vea Backpack 25L feels a bit similar to Hermione Granger’s charmed handbag from Harry Potter and the deadly Hallows—even after I had packed it full with my laptop, notebooks, a paperback, a laptop charger, an exterior power adapter, a water bottle, shorts, a T-shirt, clean underwear, socks, and running shoes, it maintained an advanced shape that didn’t make me stand out. Plus, it at rest had room for even more stuff.

A polished gym bag: Thule Vea Backpack 25L3
A commuter’s gym bag wants to carry all of your gym and office supplies but also allows you to divide and organize them.

You do not want sticky socks touching your work computer! The Thule Vea makes that organization simple. Its back area contains a laptop sleeve, a tablet sleeve, a zippered section for cables and other small items, and an interior area for books and notebooks.

You be capable of stuff your clothes and a water bottle in the main front pocket and put your shoes in a divided zippered compartment at the bottom of the bag, which shares space by the main pocket. Any incidentals, such as keys or a Kindle, that you require quick access to can go into the zippered pouch to folds over and buckles to the top of the bag. essentially it’s gym stuff in the front, a party (work) in the back.

as wearing this bag between my commutes to the office, the yoga studio, the gym, and my apartment, I never felt like I was delivery that much. The bag spread weight consistently across my back. And its pads are cushioned sufficient that I didn’t feel like they were digging into my shoulders.

Flaws but not deal breakers

The Vea is a slight big, an unfortunate result of how much a bag that transitions among the gym and office must be able to hold. That would be a bigger matter if we didn’t like the shape of the Via, which evokes the extended, trapezoidal bucket bags that bike commuters most usually use.

And unlike other Thule bags, the Vea comes in only one colour—a murky grey that elicited sundry reactions from other staffers.

I think the colour is fine, although I wish Thule had more options. We also wish that the Via had an exterior water bottle pocket so you could access a beverage easily while commuting and that it had waterproof or water-resistant exterior fabric.

—Daniel Varghese, associate staff writer

  • Dimensions: 19 by 14 by 15 inches
  • Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Water bottle holders: none
  • Warranty: restricted lifetime warranty
  • Maximum laptop size: 15 inches
  • Colors: grey

Also believe: The North Face Pivoter

The North Face Pivoter

this is for those: Someone who needs a bag that can go from work to the gym but wants to spend less than $100, doesn’t have great feet and is okay with a bag that has a style midway among what they might have worn to college and what they’d get on a day hike.

The North Face Pivoter2
Why it’s great: The North Face Pivoter Backpack is a laptop backpack so as to you can use as a gym bag too, as extended as you’re willing to make some compromises.

The bag features one main compartment, which includes a sleeve to contain devices and notebooks up to 13 inches wide, and two supplementary zippered areas.

Unlike the Thule Vea, the Pivoter doesn’t have a devoted shoe compartment, and neither of its two zippered areas was fairly large enough for my men’s size 12½ shoes (although the pocket in the very front offered a roomy fit for a co-worker’s women’s size 9 shoes), consequently, I wrapped them in a plastic bag and packed them in the major compartment.

Then I was able to set my shorts, a T-shirt, and socks in the front supplementary compartment (with my keys and portable charger in the interior zippered section) and to tuck my Kindle and laptop charger into the middle additional area.

The bag also features two exterior flexible side pockets that can expand to accommodate a thick 1-litre Nalgene water bottle or tighten to safe a thinner Zojirushi insulated coffee mug.

The North Face Pivoter3

Thanks to the thick, easy shoulder straps and a padded back panel with an air vent down the middle, I barely noticed the Pivoter on my back as I dodged pedestrians on my way to the office in the city.

And even although the overall design of the bag is a bit bland, we welcome the fact that the bag comes in many dissimilar colourways.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

As I mentioned, if you have big feet, the Pivoter doesn’t give you a great way to divide your shoes from the rest of your belongings. Its comfort and ability make up for that limitation, but we think the Thule Vea is much easier to pack in spite of shoe size. Additionally, you’d be hard-pressed to discover someone who would claim the Pivoter looks professional, still in a more relaxed office.

Some color combinations seem a small less casual than others, but none can conquer the fact that the design of the Pivoter is a bit juvenile. The bag’s polyester fabric is also not waterproof or even water-resistant.

—Daniel Varghese, associate staff writer

  • Dimensions: 20 by 12 by 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Water bottle holders: two
  • Warranty: lifetime guarantee alongside defects in materials and workmanship
  • Maximum laptop size: 13 inches
  • Colors: black camo, gray/fiery red, blue bandana print, khaki camo/beige, heather gray/black, black, gull blue/teal, gray/tin, blue/purple, pink/plum, tin/gray

A black-hole backpack for delivery everything: Patagonia Arbor Classic Pack 25L

A black-hole backpack for delivery everything: Patagonia Arbor Classic Pack 25L

this is for those: Someone who wants to transport all they could possibly need for the day—but doesn’t desire to lose space or to limit what they can carry due to inside dividers or organization.

A black-hole backpack for delivery everything: Patagonia Arbor Classic Pack 25L2

Why it’s great: With only the bare minimum of interior organization, the Patagonia Arbor Classic can just as effortlessly hold the ingredients for a dinner party or a weekend’s worth of clothes. It offers a manageable size that you can effortlessly compact on the days when you’re not lugging the kitchen sink roughly.

I tested many backpacks that promised a like capacity (about 25 liters) and found that they were frequently configured in a way—typically, with a multitude of internal dividers—that really reduced their usable capacity.

For example, the Arcteryx Granville’s thin zippered opening prohibited me from stuffing in larger stuff such as a bag of climbing gear or laying a large Tupperware down flush among the bottom.

The Arbor Classic posed no such issue. through my testing in Cambodia, it comfortably supposed my travel pillow, two paperbacks, my laptop and charger, a rain jacket, my cell phone and charger, snacks, and a large bottle of water. Even when it was fully packed, I was able to easily pull out my laptop or slide it back in.

A black-hole backpack for delivery everything: Patagonia Arbor Classic Pack 25L4
Back home, I’ve taken the Arbor common walking, biking, and riding on buses and trains. The padded straps were relaxing and easy to adjust, even when the backpack and all my stuff weighed over 20 pounds.

In addition to its supermassive black-hole main partition, the Arbor Classic has a laptop sleeve and two deep pockets; one great for keys, pens, makeup, and a phone on the front of the bag, and one within the flap large enough for a thick paperback.

And one of my beloved features of the Arbor Classic is that when you’re delivering a light load, you can tighten the drawstring and flap straps to decrease the bag’s footprint.

It’s not the most sophisticated bag to look at: Its relaxed retro-schoolbag looks pass muster in casual San Francisco but might appear out of place in a cocktail bar.

But this impression may be connected to the beige colour we tested; the new black and navy versions appear more professional and won’t show stains as easily.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The Arbor typically doesn’t have a water bottle pocket. Although it offers plenty of space inside to stash a bottle if you have one, that isn’t as convenient.

The want for of pockets, in general, helps the Arbor Classic keep its black-hole quality, but a small zippered inside pocket would be a practical addition for keeping items such as a passport or a couple of headphones safe and easy to find.

as I was in Cambodia, a man on a motorcycle grabbed my shoulder bag and troop off (with me still attached). When the bag strap broke, I was terrified to the ground and my arm was badly sprained. After the injury, I had no problem getting the Arbor typical on and off, but I found that the drawstring and buckles were fastidious; squeezing the buckle open hurt my arm, and I never set up a good way to negotiate the drawstring one-handed. A bag with a zipper may be more suitable for anyone who has trouble using their hands or arms, whether since of an injury or disability.

—Korrena Bailie, senior editor

  • Dimensions: 20 by 12 by 9 inches
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Water bottle holders: none
  • Warranty: lifetime guarantee if you’re not content with your item or it doesn’t perform to your satisfaction; wear and tear injure will be repaired for a charge
  • Maximum laptop size: 15 inches
  • Colors: black, navy with brown trim, khaki with teal trim, gray with green trim, purple with teal trim, brown with khaki trim, teal with gray trim

Bombproof bag for bike commuters: Chrome Urban Ex Rolltop 28L Backpack

Bombproof bag for bike commuters: Chrome Urban Ex Rolltop 28L Backpack

Who this is for: but you ride your bike to work, you require a backpack that’s sturdy and durable, relaxing, and big enough to hold all your gear. Unlike other commuters—who can get away with carrying simply a laptop and a few other work essentials—bike commuters require ample space for a helmet, a bike lock, a water bottle, a raincoat and pants, a modify of clothes, toiletries, and more.

Bombproof bag for bike commuters: Chrome Urban Ex Rolltop 28L Backpack2
Why it’s great: After spending 10 hours researching the finest backpacks for bike commuting, we spent a total of six hours testing the top contenders, counting weighing them on a digital scale, filling them full of gear and biking around Central Park, and having a board of five 10bestsales staffers examines and opine on each one. Of the eight backpacks we experienced, Chrome’s Urban Ex Rolltop 28L Backpack was the clear favourite.

It’s fully waterproof, it has a rocky exterior, and it fits 28 litres’ worth of gear—the bag is big sufficient to carry everything a bike commuter needs but not so large that it’s uncontrollable.

It has a rolltop closure that allows you to simply expand the main compartment when you need to cram in lots of gear, or still to shrink it for lighter loads. In addition to its padded laptop file, which is big enough to fit a 15-inch MacBook Pro, it has another interior pocket with slots for a phone and a couple of pens plus a key ring, as well as a useful and watertight zip-up pocket on the top.

Bombproof bag for bike commuters: Chrome Urban Ex Rolltop 28L Backpack4

The Urban Ex Rolltop is widely available, comparatively affordable, and covered by a limited lifetime warranty. It has adaptable buckles across the chest to keep the pack safe while you’re riding, as well as MOLLE loops on the outside to clip on a helmet, a U-lock, a light, and other garnish.

You should attach extra reflectors and lights for riding at night, but the meditative strips on the Urban Ex Rolltop are more substantial than those on some other bags we tested—which is significant for visibility during golden-hour and early-morning rides.

The back and shoulder straps of the Urban Ex Rolltop are easy and well padded, plus they have mesh and built-in slits for ventilation. And dual handles on the top and sides build the bag easy to grab and carry.

The Urban Ex Rolltop is also obtainable in an 18-litre version, which is smaller than both the version we experienced and the Timbuk2 Prospect. While we didn’t test it, we’re confident in its quality, although it might be a bit small for some bike commuters.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The Urban Ex Rolltop is the largest bike-appropriate model we tested, and though we think its large size is necessary for the job it’s meant to do, it might be too bulky for a few people, especially more casual commuters.

It also has a somewhat less intuitive closure than those of other bags we tested—you have to roll up the top and band the ends down with buckles on the side—but we found it easy enough to manoeuvre after a little try. Lastly, the Urban Ex Rolltop doesn’t have a designated spot for a water bottle, but it does offer ample room for one in its cavernous main compartment.

—Sarah Witman, associate staff writer

  • Dimensions: 24 by 16.5 by 7 inches
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Water bottle holders: none
  • Warranty: lifetime
  • Maximum laptop size: 15-inch MacBook Pro
  • Colors: black, khaki, red

Also believe: Timbuk2 Custom Prospect

Timbuk2 Custom Prospect

this is for those: Most people in our panel test supposed the Chrome Urban Ex Rolltop was much too big and utilitarian for their desires. If you have a short, leisurely bike journey and don’t need to carry lots of gear, go with the Timbuk2 Custom Prospect.

Timbuk2 Custom Prospect3
Why it’s great: Like our top pick for bike commuters, the Timbuk2 Custom view Laptop Backpack meets all of our major requirements. It has a restricted lifetime warranty, offering peace of mind on a purchase that will require to withstand a lot of wear and tear.

Its rolltop closure allows you to enlarge the main compartment or make it smaller, depending on how much gear you’re carrying.

The version we experienced had both waterproof panelling and an internal plastic liner, ensuring that our laptop and our other vital office supplies stayed dry.

The chest straps are simple to adjust and buckle, keeping the pack securely attached to your torso as you’re riding or walking. And reflective information on the straps helps with visibility, keeping you safe during low-light rides.

The Custom Prospect has a sleek external and a slim profile that some people might like more than the Urban Ex Rolltop’s hefty, industrial-chic look. Plus, it has water-bottle pockets on also side, whereas the Urban Ex Rolltop has none.

As for ventilation, this Timbuk2 bag has mesh on the shoulder straps and back as the Chrome bag has it just on the straps, though the geometric padding on the back of the Chrome bag motionless offers plenty of breathabilities.

Timbuk2 Custom Prospect7

The Custom Prospect is also a bit more prepared than the Urban Ex Rolltop. It has padded, Velcro-latched slots for a 15-inch laptop and a tablet or notebook inside, with external access during a zipper at the top of its back panel.

Plus, a zip-up pocket and two other cloth slots inside the main compartment can hold other accessories such as a phone, a power bank, pens, and charging cables.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The Custom view doesn’t have loops to hold a helmet or U-lock, but you can make do by clipping your garnish into the straps on top.

Also, as on our top pick, the closure is a small fiddly—you have to fold the top over once, Velcro it, and then buckle the straps—but handling so as to take only a couple of seconds.

One of the biggest drawbacks of the Custom Prospect is that it takes a few weeks to ship as you have to get it custom-made (since Timbuk2 bags are not normally waterproof).

This wait is a main bummer, but the bag is ultimately worth the wait for most people since the waterproofing keeps laptops and other important work-related items protected from the rain.

Also, Timbuk2 doesn’t let takings of custom-made bags, though the company still covers them under its warranty. at last, although this backpack can fit a 15-inch MacBook Pro, a water bottle, a sweatshirt, and little other small items, you’ll need extra space if you desire to pack a change of clothes.

But if you’re a casual bike commuter—and if you abhorrence the bulky, industrial seem of the Chrome Urban Ex Rolltop—the Timbuk2 Custom Prospect is the better option for you.

—Sarah Witman, associate staff writer

  • Dimensions: 22 by 11 by 5 inches
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Water bottle holders: 2
  • Warranty: lifetime
  • Maximum laptop size: 15-inch MacBook Pro
  • Colors: black, army green, charcoal, beige

A road warrior’s rucksack: Fjällräven Räven 28 Backpack

A road warrior’s rucksack: Fjällräven Räven 28 Backpack

this is for those: Check out this bag if you require one that has enough space for an overnight business trip and sufficient organization for you to grab things quickly in a TSA line, plus a structure and fashion that’ll still look good when you show up at the office after a red-eye.

A road warrior’s rucksack: Fjällräven Räven 28 Backpack3

Why it’s great: The durable Fjällräven Räven 28 Backpack has a water-resistant external and a plethora of pockets, and it’s extremely relaxing to wear. Interior and exterior organization spots are overflowing and convenient, including a pair of outside water bottle pockets that are equally handy as holsters for travel documents such as a boarding pass or the form of a habit.

It’ll fit neatly below your seat as an individual item, yet it has the room for a 15-inch laptop, your business gear, a change of clothes or two, and a couple of slim shoes or flats.

In our tests we simply zipped a laptop in and out of the bag as in a TSA line, saving precious seconds and avoiding glares from fellow travellers.

The laptop compartment has an open area and a second pocket for organizing documents, tucking in a binder, or asset a tablet for in-flight entertainment.

The zippered middle pocket is roomy sufficient for a change of clothes, shoes, and a toiletry kit, so you don’t have to drive those items out of the way to get to your laptop.

The other prepared pockets on the front of the bag can help you prioritize access to pens, business cards, adapters, and cables, which would or else roll around in the main compartment.

The Räven 28 is made of a durable poly-cotton blend, and it has honest water resistance when you purchase it. If you require more protection, you can have the bag waxed like a storm coat.

The bag is not as boxy as the Fjällräven Kånken seen in schoolyards all over, and it has much less obvious branding. You can acquire one in a businesslike black or a slightly extra interesting navy blue, but the company has nine other colour choices to well a multitude of personal tastes.

A road warrior’s rucksack: Fjällräven Räven 28 Backpack2
Flaws but not dealbreakers

While the Räven 28 fit our 5-foot-6 reviewer completely, it was a bit large for another tester, who is 5-foot-1.
Both water bottle pockets are sewn securely to the sides of the bag. This design ensures that they won’t look flabby while they’re empty, but it also means that your bottles may have a snug fit.

A completely loaded bag’s interior space may avoid you from fitting bottles in the pockets. On the other hand, a less-than-full bag means that 1-litre or bigger bottles will fit fine.

Unlike on the Briggs & Riley bag (read more below), the Räven’s external has no hidden RFID-safe pockets, but the zippered fifth pocket on the top of this bag is handy for speedily storing earbuds, phones, sunglasses, and other items you might not want in your pockets while you’re going during security.

—Joel Santo Domingo, senior staff writer

  • Dimensions: 19 by 13 by 9 inches
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Water bottle holders: two
  • Warranty: lifetime, but doesn’t contain accidental damage
  • Maximum laptop size: 15 inches, with room
  • Colors: dusk, storm, redwood, black, navy, dark olive, blue ridge, deep blue, dandelion, super grey, chestnut

Also believe: Briggs & Riley Kinzie Street Slim Expandable Backpack

Briggs & Riley Kinzie Street Slim Expandable Backpack

this is for those: Folks who are constantly on the move among home and some distant meeting—and who desire a bag with more style and panache, and are willing to pay over double the cost of the Fjällräven Räven 28.

Briggs & Riley Kinzie Street Slim Expandable Backpack2

Why it’s great: The Briggs & Riley Kinzie Street Slim stretchy Backpack looks at home in a professional office—but it looks still better at the five-star resort stay you’ve earned by all your points.

It offers excellent association for a compact daily commute bag, and it expands to hold a modify of clothes for overnight trips. It also has a lifetime warranty that covers even unintentional damage.

Although it’s typically three times the price of the Fjällräven Räven 28, for someone who travels continually and needs a bag that looks extremely professional, it’s worth that cost for its advanced business-appropriate style, its excellent construction, its travel-specific amenities, and a warranty so as to well cover it even if it gets run over by a baggage cart at the airport.

Briggs & Riley Kinzie Street Slim Expandable Backpack3
Briggs & Riley’s Kinzie Street slim backpack looks similar to a portfolio bag with two shoulder straps. The flap cover has magnets to remain in place, so it’s easier to undo than covers with buckles and straps. The thinly textured fabric and the soft leather accents on the top handle and flap feel luxurious.

An integrated strap on the back of the bag is planned to slip over the telescoping handle on a rolling suitcase.

We were talented to run through a hallway with the backpack secured to the suitcase, a nice contrast to having it flopping all over the place like a usual laptop case immediately hanging on the carry-on by its top strap. It’s a welcome feature on those occasions while you’re rushing to make a tight connection between flights.

The laptop pocket has sufficient space to swallow a 15-inch laptop. We suspect that some 17-inch laptops will fit as well since we had inches of room around the Dell XPS 15 we used as a gauge.

Removing the laptop from the case in a TSA line was simple. After we moved the magnetic flap aside, the zippers were between the smoothest to open during our tests.

You can expand the middle chamber by unzipping around its external to free another few inches of space—enough for a change of clothes.

This compartment has a padded tablet pocket so as to fit our 15-inch laptop snugly, so it is possible to carry two full-size laptops in the bag. That same middle chamber is packed with pockets to organize business cards and credit cards, pens, digital styluses, power adapters, and cables.

There are two other pockets of note. The front zippered pocket is useful for dumping everything on your person, such as your keys, wallet, and phone, right previous to you’re virtually frisked by a millimetre-wave scanner in the TSA line.

The other pocket is an RFID-shielded zippered pocket on the rear face of the bag. The pocket stays hidden as you have both shoulder straps on, and it’s large sufficient to hold credit cards, a family’s passports, or any other documents you require to keep secure but accessible.

Like the Räven 28, the Kinzie Street thin backpack fit our 5-foot-6 tester almost completely, with no bunching or awkward pressure on the shoulder straps. It fit a small better than the Räven for our 5-foot-1 tester, particularly in its compact form.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

Though you can carry a change of clothes and your laptop in this bag, it will be too filled if you also need to carry a binder or shoes. The Fjällräven Räven 28 is a better option for holding thicker items such as sneakers. No water bottle pocket, moreover.

Briggs & Riley Kinzie Street has a lifetime warranty to covers even accidental damage, but that also means it has a high purchase price, typically a $180 premium over the Fjällräven Räven 28.

—Joel Santo Domingo, senior staff writer

  • Dimensions: 17 by 12.5 by 3.5 to 6 inches (expandable)
  • Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Water bottle holders: none
  • Warranty: lifetime, with accidental damage
  • Maximum laptop size: 15 inches, but some 17-inch laptops could easily fit
  • Colors: gray, navy

laptop backpacks are for those

Laptop Backpacks for travel 2019

If you commute with your laptop, a backpack is a mainly convenient and ergonomic way to carry your computer, your cables, and everything else you require for the day.

Unlike briefcases, messenger bags, or totes, backpacks spread the weight of your gear crossways both your shoulders, which is more comfortable and improved for your back over the course of a long day.

How we picked and tested

Laptop Backpacks for travel

Each of our testers approached their exact backpacks with a different list of requirements—but common to them all was that the bags they considered required to be comfortable, stylish, able to hold at least a 13-inch laptop (and some much larger), and constructed of durable components.

Each writer then further pointed their testing list by taking into account factors such as style, size, warranty, availability, and cost.

The testers then evaluated the bags for comfort, ease of access, and design by commuting through public transit networks in New York City and San Francisco, biking during Central Park, hazarding TSA check-in lines, and travelling through the streets of Cambodia.

We then brought in the little finalist bags from these tests for group evaluation to get a broader base of feedback on their fashion and how they fit on more people.

The competition

Slim bags for commuters

We really liked the easy Everlane Nylon Commuter Backpack, which hit the sweet spot of being large sufficient to carry everything we needed but also small sufficient to wrangle on crowded public transportation.

Unfortunately, during the procedure of our writing this guide, the bag went out of stock, and Everlane customer bear told us: “Right now, we don’t have any plans to restock it.”

We liked the seem of the Bellroy Classic Backpack Plus and appreciated its plethora of managerial elements. This bag is chock-full of secret zippered compartments and mesh areas intended to hold specific daily-commute items.

But we set up that its height (we measured it at about 4 inches longer than the Everlane Nylon Commuter) made it a bit uncomfortable to wear. We also consider that considering the bag’s size, it was weird to have no natural place for a second water bottle or travel mug.

A previous pick, the Everlane Modern Snap Backpack remains a favourite among Wirecutter staff members but presents a little challenge for use as a commuter bag.

though its main pocket (with a laptop sleeve) is likely large sufficient to accommodate everything you’d need for work, its namesake snap closures are a tiny tough to open and close while you’re in motion; if you need to access a little during your commute, it’s much easier to use a zipper or a usually designed buckle. We also originate that the water bottle pockets were a bit harder to stuff than those on the Everlane Nylon Commuter and the Topo Rover Pack.

—Daniel Varghese, associate staff writer

Tech bags

A former pick, the Incase Icon Backpack has a burly organizational structure and comfortable padding. But the pack felt too tall and thin on our tester’s back, and some of the interior pockets were hard to see way down at the bottom of the bag. as well, the two bulbous hip pockets on the side, while very useful for things you may desire easy access to (such as keys or ID cards), look odd.

Timbuk2’s Division Laptop Backpack has various fans at 10bestsales, as it’s a compact bag with a surprising amount of arrangement and organizational options.

But the way it arranges its interior pockets—on the front flap of the front compartment—weighs down the flap and made it a harass for us when we opened and closed the bag while it was a lot loaded.

The Evergoods Civic Panel Loader 24L looked promising, except its lack of organizational options, stiff zippers, and sky-high price tag compared by the cost of our picks made it less appealing. Its added open space and various access arrangements might make it more helpful as a backpack carry-on rather than as a backpack you’d use every day.

—James Austin, updates writer

Small and stylish bags

The Bellroy Slim Backpack was relaxing on our backs, and its foldover aesthetic is cute, but despite its name, we didn’t locate it slim enough to make sense for a simple work commute, nor large sufficient to accommodate an overnight trip. It felt a bit clunky, and it’s one interior pocket didn’t seem adequate to organize the volume of stuff it could store.

We thinking the Herschel Nova Backpack Mid-Volume was comfortable, and its canvas material felt extra breathable than most, but its wide straps and extended front pocket also made it seem more juvenile than other bags we considered. It would look large on a college campus but not so much on Wall Street.

Like 80 percent of the guys I convene on Hinge, I had high expectations of the Sandqvist Alva based on its online description and photos, and I was consequently all the more disappointed when it didn’t live up to them (though at least the backpack never told me my sister was hot).

There’s no doubt it’s fashionable, but the rough cotton canvas acted as a magnet for sweater fuzz, subway particulates, and the random detritus of city living, and its drawstring closure was irritating to deal with—it left the bag’s tassels awkwardly dangling from the front.

—Dorie Chevlen updates writer

Fancy backpacks

though both the AllSaints Ridge Rucksack and the Saturdays Hannes Backpack are relaxing and good-looking bags, both offer only a 14-day warranty, which means you’ll have to choose within two weeks whether you want to stick among them for a couple of years or longer.

They too have fewer compartments and pockets than our top picks for storing your miscellaneous accessories; ISM’s The Backpack and Knomo’s Albion are both comfy, fashionable bags that offer much more in terms of organization, and they have good warranties.

The Bellroy Classic Backpack is relaxing and cute, and it has a three-year warranty, but it has just one compartment and offers fewer pockets than our picks in this category do.

The Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe and the Timbuk2 Division Laptop Backpack are together sturdy backpacks that offer lots of main areas and pockets all through for storing your belongings; they also come with lifetime warranties. But in our panel testing alongside the rest of our more refined options, they suffered for their artistic (or lack thereof).

The Authority and Division look like bags you’d take out on the road and take no shame in abusing. That’s why we recommend the Authority backpack for people looking for a rough backpack that can stand some mistreatment: Think to hitchhike outside Seattle.

—Justin Krajeski, staff writer

Gym bags

The Aer Duffel Pack 2 and Aer Fit Pack 2 stay two of our favourite gym backpacks. Their grown-up, minimalist artistic caught our attention in previous years, particularly since Aer backed that up with a tough waterproof exterior, tons of managerial features, and a lifetime warranty.

But every person who experienced the egg-shaped Aer bags in 2019 found the aesthetic a little bit too aggressive.

More vital, those testers thought the bags were a bit more awkward to wear and to pack than the Thule Vea Backpack 25L, in spite of the Aer designs’ more padded shoulder straps.

If you require something waterproof or prefer the Aer aesthetic, we think you’d be completely fine with one of these bags, especially the less imposing Aer Fit Pack 2.

though we like the clean aesthetics of the compact Lululemon City Adventurer Backpack 17L, we think it’s a slightly too small for most commuters.

The bag features a laptop pocket (which can fit only a laptop and perhaps a very slim folder), a separate compartment for shoes (which was too little for my men’s size 12½ sneakers), and a short main compartment among two zippered pouches (an elastic one for a water bottle and a zippered one for small cables).

I set up that once I had put a 13-inch computer, a small pair of sneakers, an insulated travel mug, and workout clothes in the bag, it didn’t actually have any room for my laptop charger, my portable phone charger, or a paperback to read on the subway. The Thule Vea Backpack 25L is a much-improved option.

We were underwhelmed by the managerial options the Nike Vapor Power 2.0 offered. The bag has two zippered compartments: The primary one is meant for your laptop and other work supplies, as the other is for your workout gear.

The workout-gear pouch, which Nike refers to as a shoe compartment, is a bit uncomfortable to pack with shoes because the zipper runs upright from one side.

And once you’ve wedged in the shoes, you’re still supposed to insert your unclean clothes. This might not be a huge deal—using The North Face’s Pivoter might also need some compromises—except for the fact that the main pocket of the Nike bag lacks any organizational features besides a laptop sleeve. We favour The North Face’s pocket design, which includes an additional pocket and a zippered section.

—Daniel Varghese, associate staff writer

Black-hole backpacks

The brawny Patagonia Black Hole Pack 25L had extra organization (read: interior pockets) than the company’s Arbor Classic, as fine as plenty of interior space, and its weather-resistant coating stand up to a mid-afternoon rainstorm in Cambodia. yet, its brawniness was also its downfall as a commuter bag: Unlike with the Arbor Classic, you can’t actually reduce the footprint of this bag, no matter what’s inside.

And I set up that it was a challengingly large backpack to travel with on a bus—it was too bulky to sit among my feet on the floor, so I often ended up resting it on my legs.

The Arc’teryx Granville 20 Backpack was one of the most relaxing backpacks I tested; I rode 3 miles through San Francisco with it (filled with about 20 pounds of stuff). still, it couldn’t deliver as the black-hole backpack of my dreams, as the opening at the top of the bag (which mysteriously had a zipper under the flap) was smaller in circumference than the bag itself, which right away limited how much I could stuff in there. Plus, it’s not a simple bag to open or close in a hurry.

We had high hopes for the futuristic-looking Alchemy tools 30 Litre Office Pack, and it delivered on some fronts. The waxed material on the front of the bag means that you right away skip that awkward brand-new phase and go straight to looking weathered, which may be your jam.

The characteristic magnetic catch, which you open by twisting clockwise and pulling, could restore the fidget spinner as your new favourite way to hypnotically waste time.

though, the bag’s spaciousness, despite the advertised 30-litre capacity, was harshly curtailed by two major issues: The bag had too many internal pockets and dividers and was long and slender, so I set up it challenging and sometimes impossible to neatly stash bulky Tupperwares and like-sized items at the bottom.

—Korrena Bailie, senior editor

Bombproof bike bags

After some opening testing, we ruled out the Helly Hansen Stockholm Backpack. It has a two-year warranty, in contrast to others, which have lifetime warranties, and the equipment seemed flimsy, plasticky, and less durable than those of other bags we tested.

We also eliminated Ortlieb’s Commuter Daypack City and Commuter Daypack Urban for having flimsy, thin fabric and tricky closure hooks.

We knocked the Thule Paramount 24L (a former pick for this category) off our list for its lack of waterproofing.

After our hands-on tough in Central Park, we determined that the Thule Pack ‘n Pedal Commuter Backpack—although relaxing to wear while riding—was fussy to use and looked too sporty for this category.

Mission Workshop’s The Sanction is made of a thick, rough material that makes it a bit painful to wear. Plus, it’s expensive and small (only 20 litres, our bare-minimum capacity), and it doesn’t offer great in the way of organization or reflectivity. So we dismissed it too.

—Sarah Witman, associate staff write

Road warriors’ rucksacks

We required to see if a 10-litre bag like the Osprey Arcane Small Day Pack could work as an undersea personal item.

I signify, more legroom is better, right? Although it easily swallowed our 13- and 14-inch test laptops, you’d have to choose among carrying work-related items or a change of clothes, not both. Also, its backpack straps bunched at our shoulders, and its look made it too small and uncomfortable to be a constant companion.

The Thule Backpack 17L was a good everyday gym and work bag, but if you’re planning on taking your bag on a trip, you might as well upgrade to the Backpack 25L, so you can pack both a modify of clothes and shoes.

The Thule EnRoute Backpack 18L roughly made our list as a road warrior’s rucksack runner-up thanks to its simple laptop access, its stretchy mesh bottle pocket, and its crush-resistant sunglasses/phone pocket.

But its great branding and multiple reflectors made it seem better suited as a bicyclists’ commute bag rather than one you might want to bring among the airport and a business meeting.

The Moshi Hexa Lightweight Backpack had good safety features such as a hidden RFID-shielded document pocket and a lockable front compartment. still, its main compartment was more of a giant maw than an easily organized space, and its longish Velcro tie-down strap just got in the way in the TSA line.

—Joel Santo Domingo, senior staff writer