Functional or stylish? We’ve all had to make that decision before regarding what type of daypack we should get for our next big trip.
While deep down we know we should go for functional, the strong desire to still look good while traipsing through the airport duty free section often over-rides. What ultimately happens is sore shoulders from bad straps and frustration when you can’t find anything in your bag and have to unpack everything just to find your passport!
Luckily, those days are over with a huge range of both functional and stylish daypacks on the market. These daypacks can be used for all sorts of activities, from carry-ons to bags used for your daily commute. You can now look stylish while perfectly carry everything that you need while on the go.
It can be tricky to find a decent daypack though, so we’ve done the hard work for you and asked around to find the top functional & stylish daypacks currently on the market.
Top Functional & Stylish Daypacks
1. The North Face Vault
This one is for the slightly sportier folk. It is one of North Face’s slightly less rugged options. Featuring a FlexVent, suspension system with compression-moulded shoulder straps and a ventilated back pad. It also has a 15” laptop sleeve in the main compartment and comes in a variety of colours and patterns.
Buy on Amazon for $55
2. Chrome Mazer Vigil
Chrome bags are built for the road - from city streets to forests and mountains. The Chrome Mazer Vigil is a water-resistant urban expedition pack. It features a padded laptop sleeve fitting a 15" Macbook Pro, if you should feel like working in the woods or to bring it to your (coworking) office. You will also find hidden reflective attachment loops for any extra gear that you carry around. The adjustable ergo straps with EVA back panel make sure that you're comfortable when walking around. We liked the super long zip at the top and which goes all the way down to each side, which makes it very easy to access the inside of the bag. The Chrome Mazer Vigil also provides lots of little extra pockets, which offers extra useful storage space.
Buy on Amazon for $180 or on their website
3. Jansport Hatchet Backpack
This daypack comes in a variety of colours and patterns, from floral designs to two-tone colours. It fits up to 15” laptops and has a spacious interior with various compartments. The padded straps make it comfortable to carry for long periods of time.
Buy on Amazon for $60
4. Eastpak Austin Backpack
This daykpack can easily be used for both the office and exploring the great outdoors. It has a padded back and shoulders, making it really comfortable to wear for long periods of time. It has a drawstring close and buckle-strap for aesthetic purposes. The main compartment is roomy with a padded laptop sleeve and two side pockets. It comes in a variety of colours, including a few fun floral designs.
Buy on Amazon for $77
5. Sydney Paige Guidi
This stylish daypack has three external zip pockets and a spacious main compartment with large laptop fleece-lined padded sleeve. The main section has a drawstring and magnetic closure, and the back and shoulder straps are padded. What’s even more awesome about this daypack is that for every bag bought, a matching backpack will be filled with school supplies and donated to a child in need!
Buy on Amazon for $90
6. Herschel Supply Co. Little America Mid-Volume Backpack
This Herschel pack has a fleece lined laptop sleeve pocket, as well as ventilated mesh back padding, keeping you cool while on the go. The front magnetic buckles give it an old-fashioned rucksack feel, and this one also comes in various colours and designs (including the popular floral design). There aren’t as many compartments as some other bags, with only the main section and one outside pocket.
Buy on Amazon for $100
7. Sandqvist Harald Backpack
This Swedish daypack was designed to work well for both Nordic escapes and city galivanting – while still looking stylish. The interior laptop pocket will fit a 13” laptop and there is a big exterior pocket that will hold a decent amount of goodies to save you rummaging in the main compartment. It comes in petrol blue, blue, and black.
Buy on Amazon for $219
8. Fjallraven Kanken Laptop Backpack
This backpack features a funky square look and comes in a range of bright colours – don’t worry, they also have the generic black and grey if that’s more your vibe. There is a laptop sleeve in the main compartment, along with a document sleeve. On the outside there’s a small external pocket where you can store your other goodies.
Buy on Amazon for $115
9. Heimplanet Monolith Minimal Daypack
If you’re all about living the minimalist life then this daypack is for you. They come in either black, navy, or white. While it looks super basic from the outside, it’s not lacking any features. It is built from 500D Cordura and lined with water-resistant YKK zippers. Overall it can carry 18 litres, and can fit a 15” laptop in its internal sleeve.
Buy on Amazon for $120
10. Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L
For travelers that travel with a lot of equipment - this backpack was made for you! Not only is this backpack weatherproof and comfortable to wear, but its aesthetic versatility is hard to match. The expandable design offers storage to hold 2 DSLR camera bodies with 3-6 lenses. The padded laptop sleeve can hold laptops up to 16" and there are 3 Flexhold Dividers that can be used to protect drones, lenses and cameras. There are also many exterior and interior pockets to carry all of the other small things that you take with you.
Buy on Amazon for $289
Tips on how to find a good backpack
The quality of your backpack is a key component in determining the quality of your vacation. You could very easily get exhausted or hurt carrying the wrong backpack around, lose some of your valuables, or end up feeling out of place. Read through these pro tips to help you choose the right backpack:
Drop the stuff you will not need for the trip
If you are planning to carry excessive things on your trip, the chances of choosing a bag that is too big will increase. Regardless of the length of your business trip or vacation, there are things you can leave behind, like those extra pairs of shoes or bathrobes. With lesser luggage, you will be able to see travel backpack options and pick a duffel bag or travel backpack that will offer a practical solution, and that will be easy to carry.
What kind of trip are you taking?
Will you be walking on sandy beaches, trekking dirt roads, or making simple hops from plane to train or cab to the hotel? All these are crucial factors to consider while choosing a backpack. With this information, you will know whether you should carry a bag with wheels or sleeves. You may also have to determine whether you will need to use the bag as a pillow, or will either check it in or throw it in a pickup truck.
Ergonomic carrying options
Being able to carry your backpack comfortably is infinitely important, especially if you are traveling for an extended period, or your trip entails lots of hiking and walking. The right travel backpack lets you enjoy the advantage of carrying the load on your back so that your arms are free. Ensure the bag you choose makes it possible for you to venture out of your hotel room as often as you want without hurting your arms.
A good travel backpack should be durable and should be able to withstand harsh weather and the conditions of travel, such as being stashed in a car boot or on the roof of a vehicle. Also, ensure the backpack is waterproof to protect your belongings from the rain and moisture. Some bags come with tarps that you can throw over them in case of a massive downpour.
Traveling in a foreign country may predispose you to attacks by pickpockets and other unpleasant incidences in airports, bus stations, or even on the streets as you trek. Ensure the bag you pick has two zippers that you can lock together. Other bags come with a lockable mesh that you can wrap your bag with and tie to a larger object so that no one walks away with it.
A travel backpack is a perfect solution for you compared to other kinds of travel cases such as suitcases because they offer most of the features a traveler needs. A good backpack has smart features like compartments for sleeping bags and RFID protection. By selecting the most practical travel backpack, your trip becomes many times easier and more fun.
Travel tip shared by Bridget Langer for Travel Dudes