The 10 Best Backpack Brands of 2021

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products and services; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown

Best Overall: The North Face

"Sporty, practical, and utilitarian."

Best for Hiking: Deuter

"Known for making some of the highest-quality mountaineering and hiking backpacks."

Best Design: Herschel Supply Co.

"Focused on crafting elegant, functional fashion that's more detail-focused."

Best Waterproof: Patagonia

"Its packs are designed to repel water with the utmost efficiency."

Best Value: BAGGU

"Makes unfussy, adorable, functional bags that are built to last."

Best Style: Fjallraven Kanken

"Their backpacks aren't just fashionable, but they're also functional."

Best for Laptops: Timbuk2

"The go-to brand for sturdy, functional bags to house your computer."

Best for Work: Dagne Dover

"Combines minimalistic aesthetics with efficient design."

Best for Travel: Tortuga

"Makes backpacks that are perfect for travelers."

Best for Running: Osprey

"Produces some of the industry’s most expertly-crafted packs."

Our Top Picks

01 of 10

Best Overall: The North Face

The North Face Men's Jester Backpack

Courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods

Sporty, practical, and utilitarian, The North Face delivers excellent backpacks for both everyday use and adventure travel. This massively popular outdoor brand got its start in 1966, and they’ve since been specializing in top-notch equipment like backpacks, tents, and sleeping gear, as well as outerwear, fleece, and footwear. And, if you’re just looking for a reliable, everyday bag to tote with everywhere you go, the brand’s backpack selection is stellar. Their bags have a staggering number of user-friendly features, like their FlexVent suspension system (with custom injection-molded shoulder straps and a padded mesh back panel), spacious storage compartments, and a bevy of innovative, lightweight designs. Basically, you’re all but guaranteed to find a design that perfectly suits your daily adventures.

02 of 10

Best for Hiking: Deuter

AC Lite 18 - Deuter USA

 Courtesy of Deuter

Every hiker knows the importance of carrying a good pack. Whether you’re plotting a multi-day adventure in the mountains or a mini-excursion on a trail near your house, a good backpack is key. Enter Deuter, a beloved pack brand that truly delivers the goods: lightweight design, true ergonomic comfort, plenty of streamlined storage space, and optimal body-hugging weight distribution. 

The company was founded in 1898 by Hans Deuter from Germany, who was supplying the Bavarian Mail with mailbags. In 1910, they expanded their line to include military backpacks. Today, Deuter is known for making some of the highest-quality mountaineering and hiking backpacks, and with their four-part hiking series — Speed Lite, Futura, Classic, and Trail — trekkers can pick which pack type best suits their needs for a fully customizable experience.

03 of 10

Best Design: Herschel Supply Co.

Berg Backpack | Cordura

 Courtesy of Herschel Supply Company

When small, impractically-designed backpacks just won't cut it, take a look at Herschel Supply Co. Founded in 2009, Herschel is a lifestyle bag company that’s focused on crafting elegant, functional fashion that’s less technical-looking and more detail-focused. They also invest heavily in innovation and sustainable practices — for example, their trademarked fabric, ApexKnit, is a woven fabric that significantly reduces the waste and energy it takes to create a bag. And when it comes to oversized bags and luggage, Herschel offers the best spacious designs with ample storage, yet don’t look or feel bulky. Think dual external water bottle pockets, an internal suspended pocket, a front storage pocket, and a clean, simple silhouette.

04 of 10

Best Waterproof: Patagonia

Patagonia Stormfront® Pack 30L

 Courtesy of Patagonia

A trusted and respected outdoor brand, Patagonia churns out only the highest-quality gear, and their waterproof backpacks are no exception. In addition to making bags that are highly durable, utilitarian, and have plenty of expandable storage, Patagonia's waterproof packs are designed to repel water with the utmost efficiency. Their waterproof line ranges from Waterproof Submersible (the highest level of waterproof protection) to Waterproof Non-Submersible to Water Resistant, with an array of backpacks, hip packs, and duffels available. 

The brand is also hyper-conscious about making eco-friendly apparel, and all of its products and business initiatives are designed with this approach in mind. Founder Yvon Chouinard has been committed to climate change activism since the company’s inception in the 70s, and today, Patagonia is part of 1% for the Planet, a collective of companies that’s pledged to donate 1 percent of their sales to environmental groups.

Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10

Best Value: BAGGU

BAGGU Women's Small Sport Backpack, Kelp, Green, Tan, One Size

 Courtesy of Amazon

When it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, BAGGU shines. This budget-friendly brand makes unfussy, adorable, functional bags that are built to withstand years of use. Mother-daughter duo Joan and Emily Sugihara co-founded BAGGU in 2007, with the initial idea to create a cute, reusable shopping bag that could also double as a tote. Now, the brand makes many different bags, all with the same goal in mind: to minimize waste and use sustainable materials to create sophisticated, well-designed bags that everyone can afford. The Standard BAGGU and canvas and basic totes are the most popular options, but there are dozens of other cool backpack designs to choose from.

06 of 10

Best Style: Fjallraven Kanken

Fjallraven Kanken Water-Resistant Backpack

Courtesy of Dillard's


A favorite among trendy jet setters, Fjallraven Kanken makes other upscale outdoor clothing and equipment, but it's better known for its iconic, Classic Kanken Backpack. There's no denying how stylish the backpacks are, with their sleek, compact design, durable fabric, well-padded straps, and boxy shape that doesn’t droop like traditional backpacks sometimes do. In other words, they aren't just fashionable, but they're also functional, which pretty much sums up the brand’s entire style. Fjallraven Kanken is a Swedish company that was founded in 1960 and today, it’s easily the biggest apparel company in Scandinavia, thanks to its timeless, ultra-durable products and steadfast commitment to sustainability efforts.

07 of 10

Best for Laptops: Timbuk2

Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Pack Deluxe

Courtesy of REI


Well-known for crafting high-quality laptop bags, Timbuk2 is the go-to brand if you’re looking for a sturdy, functional bag to house your computer. Its backpacks, briefcases, laptop sleeves, and other work-friendly bags boast all kinds of special features: a clean exterior, padded laptop sleeve, accessible storage compartments, and beautiful, durable base fabric, along with comfy straps. The brand started in a San Francisco garage in 1989, and since then, it has expanded into a global community of people who really love functional, tough-as-nails, classic gear. And, like most other backpack brands, Timbuk2 is committed to forward-thinking manufacturing and progressive, sustainability-minded initiatives, like their Timbuk2 Recycle Program, which encourages customers to repair and repurpose old bags. 

08 of 10

Best for Work: Dagne Dover

Dakota Large Backpack

 Courtesy of Revolve

If you’re on the hunt for an elegant (but still functional) bag for the workplace, look no further than Dagne Dover. Their gorgeous, eye-catching backpacks combine minimalistic aesthetics with efficient design while providing enough storage space for your everyday work essentials. Even more, the brand’s entire niche is career-friendly fashions — Dagne Dover is all about supporting the working woman via professional, thoughtfully-designed bags. This female-fronted brand just started in 2012, but they’re already globally known for their bags’ innovative organizational features and super-streamlined designs.

Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10

Best for Travel: Tortuga

TORTUGA Setout Travel Backpack - 45L Maximum-Sized Carry On Travel Backpack

 Courtesy of Amazon

When you’re on the go, Tortuga's got your back. The brand makes backpacks that are perfect for travelers, combining the efficient portability of a backpack with the storage capabilities of a large suitcase. The company, which started in 2009 after the founders went backpacking, specializes in travel backpacks that are high-quality and ethically produced. As a brand, Tortuga is passionate about travel and about streamlining the travel process, and this passion is evident in all of their gear.

10 of 10

Best for Running: Osprey

Osprey Packs Dyna 6 Women's Running Hydration Vest

 Courtesy of Amazon

Considering that Osprey has been exclusively making packs for the last 40 years, it’s no wonder that they’re the best of the best when it comes to running backpacks. The company was founded in 1974 in Santa Cruz, Calif., by Mike Pfotenhauer — and it remains a small, independently-owned venture, despite producing some of the industry’s most expertly-crafted packs. Whether you’re gearing up for a long-distance run or a quick jaunt around the block, an Osprey pack is bound to become your best new jogging buddy.

Was this page helpful?