What are the best backpack brands?
Well, the answer is kind of complicated.
Thing is, each brand has its niche- backpacks are being made to suit particular needs like hiking, everyday carry, camera carry, and even as fashion statements.
Also, identifying the ‘best’ brand involves personal taste, style, price, design, and comfort level that people consider before buying bags.
Plus, with so many choices on the market today, deciding on the best backpack brand can be a challenge.
But it’s not impossible.
There are some objective considerations in recommending the best backpack brands, such as the quality of materials used, warranty, design, price, positive ratings over the years, and of course, durability because everyone wants something that will last.
With all these in mind, I have carefully selected the bestselling, and popular backpack brands in 2023, with a sneak peek into their bios.
If you’re going to invest in a new backpack, make sure it’s from one of these brands!
Table of Contents
15 best backpack brands 2023
Here are the 15 best Backpack Brands in 202!
- Best Overall: Osprey
- Best backpack brand for hiking: Deuter
- Best backpack brand for work: Aer
- Best backpack brand for travel: Nomatic
- Best for carry-on travel: Tortuga
- Best value: North Face
- Best Design backpack brand: Herschel Supply Co.
- Best minimalist backpack brand: Troubadour Explorer
- Best backpack brands for college: Jansport
- Best Style backpack brand: Fjallraven
- Best laptop backpack brand: Timbuk2
- Most durable: Tom Bihn
- Best EDC: Bellroy
- Best backpack brand for Photographers: Peak Design
- Best sustainable backpack brand: Patagonia
Summary: The name of Osprey is a guarantee for durability and performance.
Like the other names on this best backpack brands list, Osprey needs no introduction.
An industry expert, the company has been producing high-quality backpacks and travel accessories since it was founded in 1974 by Mike Pfotenhauer.
That is over 45 years worth of experience in designing modern backpacks with today’s standards.
In fact, Osprey backpacks are some of the most durable and well-rated bags in the market with raving reviews from customers praising its years of hard service.
Perhaps the best thing about this brand is the variety of its offerings.
They come in different sizes, colors, and styles that will suit your needs, whether you’re hiking, snowboarding, running or you just need a bag to carry your laptop or books.
What we also love
Even better, Osprey is one of the best quality backpack brands you’ll be loving for a long time to come thanks to their All Mighty Guarantee.
Summary: There’s just no arguing with the ultra-durable, and comfortably designed backpacks from Deuter.
One of the most popular outdoor backpack brands in the game, Deuter backpacks are made for backpackers who love the great outdoors.
Be it hiking, backpacking, or traveling, this brand has a reputation for producing the highest quality backpacks that’ll give you your money’s worth.
There’s just no arguing with its ultra-durable, water-resistant materials, and the long lifespan of their offerings.
Founded in 1898 by Hans Deuter, the German company started by making mailbags for Bavarian Royal Mail, and now specializes in producing outdoor and sports backpacks, EDC daypacks, child carrier packs, and other outdoor equipment.
Even better, they also have bags specifically tailored for men, women, children and those with long backs.
What we also love
A lifetime warranty and commitment to the environment help make the brand an easy favorite, too.
Some of their notable lines include the AC Lite series, Speed Lite series, Futura series, and others.
Summary: Aer offers fashion and function in a contemporary package for professionals.
AER’s sleek, modern bags are designed for travelers and working professionals.
The San Francisco-based carry design company was founded in 2014 by Allen Choi and has since grown to be one of the top-rated best backpack brands for work.
They make functional and sleek bags as well as travel accessories with features that cater to the need of modern travelers.
Their bags usually have special compartments and pockets for your tech while serving the purpose you need – be it a work bag, gym pack, or travel backpack.
For example, the Fit Pack 2 is the go-to everyday carry pack for your basic work and gym gears while the sleek Travel Pack 2 can be used for business travels, weekend jaunts, and even as a daypack when compressed.
AER product lineups include backpacks, gym packs, duffel bags, totes, sling bags, and briefcases made for the urban setting.
What we also love
The best thing about their bag is that they are incredibly stylish, durable, functional, and loved by users.
Summary: Nomatic is an amalgamation of fashion and function.
Nomatic is a crowdfunded company based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and founded by two cousins- Jon Richards and Jacob Durham.
Since launching their first project on Kickstarter in 2014, and raising over $1.7 million in funding, they have since designed and launched over 10 successful products that inspire confidence for life on the move.
People just can’t get enough of this brand!
Their wide range of products includes bags, camera gear, luggage, travel, and everyday accessories.
Their bags are durable, stylish, and extremely elegant, which makes them perfect for all globetrotting purposes and everyday use.
What we also love
Nomatic ensures the money you spend on any of their bags will go far, which is why their offerings are backed by their lifetime warranty.
Meaning they’ll be repaired or replaced free of charge if they’re no longer in tip-top shape, you just have to provide proof of purchase.
Their reputation is even bolstered by the two- and three-year extended protection plan that covers all luggage pieces against accidental damages.
Summary: Tortuga makes carry-on backpacks with the functionality of a suitcase.
Tortuga is an American brand that produces travel-friendly backpacks for modern and digital nomads.
Established in 2009, they make backpacks that have the capacity of a suitcase, but with a lightweight build and an ergonomic weight distribution that makes the load easier to carry all day
The founders, Fred Perrotta and Jeremy Michael Cohen are both experienced travelers themselves who have in turn used their experiences and skills to create practical and versatile backpacks for travelers.
Devoted to creating versatile backpacks that work for the office and trips, they have produced three lines of the pack (medium, large and expandable-sized carry-on backpacks) as well as packing cubes and accessories that allow you to move around without needing to check your baggage.
Even better, these bags are made from waterproof material and have lots of smart organizational components for your tech, padded straps, removable hip belts, lockable YKK zippers, and many more features you’ll be thankful for.
You can learn more about the brand and their production process at https://blog.tortugabackpacks.com.
Summary: The North Face is a popular brand that is functional and practical for everyday use and even outdoor adventures.
The North Face has been making excellent everyday carry bags and outdoor gear since 1966.
Founded by Douglas Tompkins and Susie Tompkins, the American brand holds a top spot as one of the best backpack brands whose backpacks you can trust to last you for many, many years.
Even better, the brand makes an excellent everyday carry bags that are versatile enough for school, work, and even camping.
They also have heavy-duty frame backpacks and another outdoor carry, if that’s your preference.
Better still, the North Face’s backpack is very user-friendly with interesting features like FlexVent suspension system (with custom injection-molded shoulder straps and a padded mesh back panel), roomy storage, protected laptop sleeves, water bottle pockets, cinch cords, whistles, etc.
And you can rest assured that whatever price you pay for any of their quality products is worth it.
The Borealis, The Jester, The Surge, are just a couple of the many amazing backpacks designed and manufactured by the brand.
Also, some of their offerings have been made into my best-rated lists of best everyday backpacks, best backpacks with water bottle holders, and best backpacks for back pain.
What we also love
Also widely regarded as one of the most reliable and best backpack brands, majority of their backpack offerings come with a lifetime warranty.
If any of their bags develop manufacturing problems like broken buckles or ripped seams, the brand will repair or replace them for you.
Additionally, the North Face is committed to sustainability and hopes to be a 100% responsibly sourced in the nearest future.
Summary: The Herschel Supply Co. is known for its elegantly designed and detail-focused bags for work and play.
The Canadian-based brand is one of the best backpack brands with sleek and drool-worthy designs.
Founded by two brothers, Jamie and Lyndon Cormack in 2009, Herschel Supply Co.is dedicated to designing quality bags that are stylish, functional, and detail-focused while retaining that distinct American heritage.
Herschel has best-selling backpacks that are great for the office, classrooms, daily commutes, and other versatile options as well.
Their product collection includes backpacks, duffels, messengers, totes, apparel, and other travel accessories for adults and kids alike.
Even though the Classic Collection has been the company’s original and most popular; the brand has even been involved in collaborations with top brands like Star Wars, Coca-Cola, Disney, NBA and also has multiple collections like Orion, Eco, amongst others.
Best of all, these beautiful bags are available in different sizes and come with thoughtful features such as key clips, padded laptop pockets, water bottle pockets, and a clean, simple silhouette.
What we also love
Their backpacks are not only stylish but are also available in a variety of colors and designs, from cute graphic patterns to leather strapping and other unique designs.
Also, this brand is dedicated to sustainable practices and strives to leave a smaller footprint in the world.
Summary: Troubadour is the go-to brand for streamlined and practical bags.
The Troubadour brand is a real eye-catcher—its sleek, minimalistic designs make it one of the best backpack brands on the market.
Founded by Abel Samet and Samuel Bail in April 2013, this London-based luxury brand should be under your radar if clean lines, comfort, and durability are your style.
Troubadour (named after traveling minstrels of medieval times) make their bags from handmade materials like naturally tanned leather and eco-friendly materials.
Their bags are versatile too.
Their collection of luxury backpacks, briefcases, weekend and tote bags is water-resistant, lightweight, and stylish such that you can take to the office (very suave), the gym, casual outings, and even on day trips!
What we also love
Aside from the stylish minimalist aesthetics, troubadour bags are super functional and comfortable as well.
They come with interesting features like ergonomic shoulder straps, organized compartments, lightweight design, padded laptop sleeves, trolley sleeve to slide over your suitcase handle.
Best backpack brand for college: Jansport
Summary: Jansport is great for school students while being functional for other everyday activities.
For over 50 years, JanSport has been a popular choice among students, as well as backpackers interested in adult-friendly designs.
Jansport bags are known for their durability, storage, and impressive star ratings, and is one of the best backpack brands you can trust.
This popular brand is dedicated to making functional bags built to withstand the demands of heavy loads, both for everyday use and adventures.
Simplicity is a key feature of this brand.
Their backpacks spot features such as a laptop sleeve, water bottle pocket, internal organizer, a front pocket, lightweight designs, and a classic, simple look that is bound to match with everything you wear.
Also, you get to choose from tons of different fun colors, patterns, and designs styles that best suit your personality.
What we also love
To support the claim that their bag lasts regardless of how much you wear it, the brand places a lifetime warranty on their packs.
If your bag wears out or breaks, simply send it back for repair or replacement!
Best Style: Fjallraven
Summary: Fjallraven is the ideal fashion backpack brand for light treks, travels, and everyday commute.
If you are looking to upgrade your style, then the Fjallraven brand is the place to go.
You probably know about the iconic Kanken backpack that has more than 50 colors you can choose from, but that’s not all this brand has to offer.
Like the other best backpack brands on my list, the Fjallraven has designed stylish travel packs, laptop backpacks, hip packs, duffels, clothing items, totes – with reliability and quality in mind.
The best part is that it won’t break into the bank.
Unsurprisingly, the brand has found cult status among those who do not want to sacrifice style for functionality.
But how did this well-known Scandinavian outdoor apparel company come to be?
Well, let’s go down memory lane a bit, shall we?
In the early 1950s, a young Swedish adventurer, Ake Nordin, wasn’t satisfied with the clunky backpacks that existed at the time and decided to design his own.
And in 1978, Fjallraven was determined to solve the problem of back pain suffered by nearly 80% of Swedes. The result was the iconic Kanken, a bag that redistributed weight better than existing bags, spreading fully across the back comfortably.
Forty years later, Fjallraven has transformed into a global outdoor brand, from Sweden to Europe, North America, and beyond.
What we also love
At the core of Fjallraven lies a deep commitment to the natural world, as their eco-conscious ethics and attention to detail show.
Best laptop backpack brand: Timbuk2
Summary: Timbuk2 has become a style icon for urban professionals and tech enthusiasts.
For protective bags for your tech gear, Timbuk2 is one of the biggest names in the market, so it’s no surprise the brand has a line of top-notch laptop backpacks.
They began back in 1989, with a focus on quality bike messengers, and they have carried that through to the present day.
The San Francisco-based design company now has a slew of modern backpacks, briefcases, laptop sleeves, and other work-friendly bags for urban professionals.
All of their pieces are classics and functional, with special features like a clean exterior, padded laptop sleeve, accessible storage compartments, and beautiful, durable base fabric.
Amongst their bestsellers is the Authority Laptop Backpack that can fit even a behemoth 17-inch laptop.
They also make customizable bags, where you get to determine the color schemes, patterns, logos, or whatever else you need to express your fashion sense.
What we also love
And, like the other best backpack brands, Timbuk2 “Give A Damn” about the environment, and places a lifetime warranty on their backpacks, such that when your bag wears out or breaks, you can simply send it back for repair.
Most durable: Tom Bihn
Summary: Over the years, the Tom Bihn brand has been known for making high-quality bags with the best materials that stand the test of time.
You are probably familiar with the Tom Bihn brand which is reputed to be one of the most durable and best backpack brands in the industry.
The TB dream was conceived when a 10-year-old Tom made a bag for himself in his father’s garage workshop.
And since 1972, Tom Bihn has been producing sturdy, efficient, and comfortable travel bags, slings, backpacks, and briefcases that please their many customers.
In fact, the crew design and manufacture all the bags themselves in their Seattle factory to have control over the quality.
A member of the 1% For The Planet, they donate 1% of their gross sales to environmental non-profits groups working on sustainability, renewable energy, reforestation, and wildlife issues.
Aside from being a Certified B Corporation, they also offer a limited lifetime warranty on their products.
They will repair or replace free of charge any material or manufacturing issues. That being said, only true love lasts forever, but their bags will last for a long time.
A good example of one of their most durable backpacks is the Tom Bihn Brain bag.
Best EDC backpack brand: Bellroy
Summary: Bellroy is one of the best backpack brands that specifically stands out for quality, sustainability, and ease of use.
Aussie brand Bellroy typically produces durable backpacks that appeal to the minimalists and fashion-forward alike.
Bellroy was founded in 2010 by a group of four Australian designers namely Andrew Fallshaw, Hadrien Monloup, Lina Calabria, and Matthew Fallshaw.
Whether you’re traveling or commuting to your favorite coffee shop, Bellroy bags gives you both the convenience and durability you need in a bag.
Aside from backpacks, the brand also produces beautiful carry accessories including ultra-slim wallets, laptop bags, cross-body bags, pouches, phone cases, and key covers with attractive leather detailing in the design.
Made with ethically-sourced quality materials (eco-tanned leather, recycled fabrics, or plant-based materials), their offerings have a mature, streamlined appeal that works in both casual and professional environments alike.
Pair that with being environmentally sustainable and B Corporation certified, and you’ve got one helluva brand, doing so much right.
By the way, I reviewed the Bellroy Transit Backpack and found it was a total steal.
You can find their products on the Bellroy website, Huckberry, Amazon, Zalora, amongst others.
Summary: Peak Design creates functional camera bags that are also versatile for other purposes.
Peak Design is a San Francisco-based product design company that makes quality carry solutions for photographers, creatives, tech-nerds, commuters, and adventurers.
The brand was born in 2010 when the founder, Peter Dering quit his construction job to design smart bags that can comfortably carry essential camera gears.
One of the fastest-growing and best backpack brands in the photography industry, they have lots of specially designed camera bags that can also be adapted for everyday carry and even for travel.
An environmentally sustainable company, Peak Design products are carbon neutral even as the company is Climate Neutral certified.
Also, they co-founded a nonprofit (Climate Neutral) to help businesses measure, reduce, and offset the entirety of their carbon emissions generated by making and delivering their products.
In addition, they are also B Corporation certified, and a member of the 1% For The Planet membership in which they give 1% of their revenue to environmental nonprofits.
Peak Design’s line of product collections includes everyday & travel bags, bag accessories, camera kits, tripods, and recently, phone case accessories.
Even better, their bags come with features you’d love– clean silhouette, minimal dangling straps, smart organization, waterproof shell, and protections for all of your tech gears.
Best sustainable backpack brand: Patagonia
Summary: Patagonia is known and loved for durability, strength, and sustainability.
Patagonia is extremely well known, and for good reasons.
They produce high-quality and long-lasting products and outdoor gear backed with their Ironclad lifetime guarantee.
Even better, these products are made with high-quality products and with social and environmental concerns in mind, as Patagonia strives to be one of the best sustainable backpack brands.
You can see this through how their products are made, the use of recycled fabrics, and in their core values “to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
This is why they are honest about their materials, sourcing, supply chain, and working conditions in their overseas factories.
What we also love
Patagonia even encourages customers to repair, recycle and buy used gear through their worn and wear program, instead of always buying new products.
This is done to encourage people to consume less material goods in general and help reduce impacts on the environment.
It’s therefore not surprising that the brand has grown to be one of the most reliable and best backpack brands in the industry.
Patagonia’s lineup ranges from backpacks to totes, and slings and duffels, available in different sizes and colors.
Among their most popular offering is the Black Hole collection of bags and duffels that are known for their strength and durability.
Buyer’s Guide: what to look for in the best backpack brands
When looking for the best backpack brands in 2022, here are some important factors you need to consider before making a final decision.
Like I said earlier, most brands have a niche they focus on and excel at like hiking, everyday carry, camera bags, etc.
As a result, it does make sense to go for the brand that has tons of well-loved and highly rated backpacks in that particular category.
For example, Deuter is known for making very durable outdoor backpacks for hiking, camping, mountaineering, and more, while a brand like AER strictly makes sleek bags for the office, gym pack, and travel.
A major defining feature of the best backpack brands is making quality backpacks with durable materials that’ll be able to protect your items and withstand the demands of constant use.
You also have to pay attention to brands that make bags with durable zippers like YKK zippers; bags with ergonomic features, and bags that have reinforced stitching, especially in high-stress areas like the seam, shoulder straps, and bottom of the bag.
It won’t do to shell out money to buy a bag that won’t last.
Hence, the purpose of this review- a recommendation of well-rated, good quality, and reliable backpack brands that will serve you well.
Design and style
The best backpack brands make bags with a wide variety of styles, designs, and colors. Brands like Tumbuk2 can even customize your backpack with the color schemes, patterns, logos, or whatever design you want.
A backpack is something you’ll likely have for a long time.
And as such, it makes sense that the one you go for has a stylish design while meeting your preferences in terms of color, shape, look, and design.
Warranty and Return policy
When looking for the best backpack brands, it’s always good to check for any return option or a trial period so that if the purchase is not what is expected then there will be some form of refund available.
Another important thing to look for in the best backpack brands is a warranty.
Any backpack with a recurring issue, or even just one costly repair can quickly add up to a hefty repair bill. You wouldn’t want that.
A warranty provides added assurance for the product you are buying.
It also means that if anything goes wrong, some years down the line (or upon first use), your purchase is covered by a functioning guarantee from the manufacturer or retailer alike!
My advice is you go for a brand with a lifetime warranty or at least, a three-year warranty because this will save you a lot of money should you encounter unforeseen issues with your backpack.
The good news is that most, if not all the brands in this review all come with a solid limited lifetime warranty.
A guide to EDC backpack’s durability & materials selection by Derrick Ferrell
The Definitive Guide that You Never Wanted: Shoulder Straps by Pangolinswithpacks.com
The Definitive Guide that You Never Wanted: Environmental Sustainability in Backpacks by Pangolinswithpacks.com
9 Tips To Buy A Quality Backpack by realmenstyle.com
Buying from the best backpacks brands is all about peace of mind for you, the customer.
Finding the right backpack from a reputable company that makes durable backpacks, preferably with a lifetime warranty in case of damages or repairs, will save you a lot of money should you encounter unforeseen issues with your bag.
In this review of best backpack brands, I included only trusted and well-rated brands with solid warranty policy to help nudge you in the right direction of where to invest your money if you want something that’ll last.
Let me know in the comment section your experience with any of these brands.
I’d love to hear from you.
Also, be sure to check out my detailed guide on the best carryon luggage in 2022.
This article is not sponsored in any way by any company. These backpacks have been independently selected by myself and my team. And the only thing I receive is a small commission from our affiliate program if you buy any of them through the links and buttons on this page. It doesn’t cost you a penny. But it really helps me out as this money goes to paying for maintaining the website, editing software, my time, team and everything else that goes into preparing this post.
9 thoughts on “15 Best Backpack Brands You Can Trust for Great Quality, Longevity & Style”
Hi Femi, very extensive article on backpack brands! Of all that you mention I only know a few.
I know North Face from skiing in the past, because they had really good clothes back then. And I know of Fjallraven but have never owned anything from that brand.
Nowadays I mostly love Patagonia. I know, they are a bit pricier than the rest but they have such a keen eye for not only their own green behaviour but also for everyone’s in the whole chain.
Thanks for all the information. 🙂
Some of these are really dope and attractive – I’m drawn to a few of the North Face ones.
However, which one of these (or perhaps something else entirely) you’d recommend for a good gym backpack?
It’s been a while since I’ve replaced my old wrecked bag I use to carry a pair of hoop shoes and a ball.
Hey Julius, thank you for your question.
A brand I would recommend for good gym backpack is AER and Under Armour.
AER if you want a sleek everyday bag that you can also take to the office. Their Active Collection includes backpacks, duffels, slings, shoulder bags that boast of modern designs, as well as a separated shoe compartments so that your gym wears do not get mixed up with your work essentials.
But if you want something more rugged for the gym, I recommend something from Under Armour.
The Under Armour Contain Duo MD Backpack Duffle for instance, can work both as a backpack and as a duffel bag. So, you can use it for everyday/gym use and for those longer trips where you have to pack a few more items, you can carry it with the removable strap included!
If you want more recommendation of specific backpacks, you can check out my 15 best backpacks with shoe compartment review.
If you have any more question or clarification, don’t hesitate to ask.
I really like the sound of Deuter. Backpacks that are fitted for people with longer backs, and environmentally friendly. That is probably a hit with many people. I was just talking to a friend about going hiking and the Deuter backpack seems like a good choice for that.
The other ones also look great, of course, but Osprey and Deuter are probably the best for hiking, right?
Hello Christine! Thank you for comment.
Yes, Osprey and Deuter are the best for hiking on this list. They are both reputable outdoor brands with many offerings for hiking, backpacking, and other outdoor activities.
So if you were to go for one of their backpacks, you can trust it to serve you well, and their lifetime warranty is an added bonus.
Hi Femi, thank you for sharing such an extensive review of best backpack brands. While I’ve heard of the more popular ones such as North Face I learnt a lot about other brands. My favourite has to be Osprey as they have such a wide range. I also like Aer as they cater for everyday use and not just travellers.
It’s good to that North Face is committed to providing sustainable products. Finally, I have to say Timbuk2 would be my choice for laptop bags. Not many companies give lifetime warranties, and getting your bag repaired if it breaks is a definite plus.
This article reminded me of when I came from South Africa to the UK with only a backpack on my back. I don’t know why, but back then we believed that is the best way to go about it, which I now fully disagree with and I will never rely on a backpack ever again when travelling internationally, as the suitcase with wheels is a much better proposition. The backpack absolutely killed me lol. I am of course referring to a big backpack here, or should I rather say rucksack?
If I go hiking, then of course the backpack makes a whole lot of sense, as no way I can wheel a suitcase around on wheels in the mountains lol. Or am I confusing the term backpack with rucksack now? Does a rucksack perhaps refer to the bigger kind of backpacks when going hiking etc?
I’m sorry to hear about the headache you experienced travelling with a backpack. A big backpack that isn’t designed or properly padded to carry heavy loads could be very uncomfortable.
You should however know that there are good backpacks like the Nomatic Travel Pack and the Tortuga Setout Laptop Backpack you can comfortably travel with as a carry-on.
And yes, backpacks are better for hiking.
And concerning your question on whether a rucksack refers to the bigger kind of backpack for hiking, you are quite correct.
The two terms are often used interchangeably, so it’s very easy to understand your confusion. But there is a difference between backpack and rucksack
For one, backpacks are typically smaller and more lightweight than rucksacks. A rucksack, on the other hand, is larger and can be used for carrying heavier items such as camping gear.
You will also find that rucksacks don’t typically come with a zippered closure, either. Instead, like backpacks, rucksacks are often either tied shut at the top or cinched closed with a buckled top lid on top.
Additionally, rucksacks usually have more compartments and pockets, sometimes more than backpacks, and the belts are sometimes designed to hold a much more substantial amount of weight than a backpack.
I hope this has answered your question Schalk.
Hi Wole, So a bit of everything here. I would say that I do like to travel light. Just because when I go away usually will be for 3-4 days or something as I have my own businesses to run. I think I like the look of the Patagonia bag – enough room for clothes, a laptop and a few books. I can imagine it might be a problem with the under 10KG weight at the airport for hand luggage but honestly, as soon as I can afford it I do want to go away for a longer period. Maybe from one country to another or something. The Bellroy backpack I think looks good looks a decent size and very portable. Thanks for sharing;