Best Everyday Carry Backpack review: The Day Owl backpack on a female model
Credit: Day Owl

You don’t need me to tell you the important role backpacks play when you are on the move. Or for that matter, the importance of finding the very best everyday carry backpacks for that purpose.

The trouble is – with so many options on the market, it can be hard seeing the wood from the trees. 

They all make the same promises – like how the bag holds everything and looks sharp while doing it.

But how many of them actually deliver? Well, we’ve done the research and we have the results.

Today I’m going to share with you reviews of 20 best everyday carry backpacks so that you can hopefully find an option that suits you. 

Best Everyday Carry Backpack review: A collection of everyday carry backpacks

Depending on what is most important to you, you find options based on price, style, activity, organization, etc.

And while these are some of the very best EDC backpacks on the market today, I also cover their shortcomings so that you can make an informed decision when buying any of these packs.

Ready? Let’s go.

Table of Contents

A quick rundown of the best everyday backpacks

Backpacks similar to Nordace Siena: Day Owl backpack
Credit: Day Owl

Just go further down and read an in-depth review of each of the backpacks.

Best Overall: Day Owl backpack

Backpacks similar to Nordace Siena: Day Owl backpack
Credit: Day Owl

Summary: Streamlined and ecofriendly, this is one cute and functional pack that you can use for pretty much anything you want!

If you are interested in a versatile everyday carry backpack with a minimalist appeal, the Day Owl backpack has a clean-cut style that blends in well in any setting.

Water and abrasion resistant as well, it has a total of ‘5 sneaky pockets’, a dedicated laptop compartment, and a 21L capacity for all your everyday necessities. 

What we also love   

More impressively, it’s an eco-groovy backpack with features such as a luggage sleeve, carryon sized, and a free repair for life warranty. 

What’s not great  

The pack doesn’t have a false bottom for laptop protection against sudden drop impact nor a USB port to charge your smart device on the go. 

Best EDC Backpack For Work – AER Day Pack 2

Best Everyday Carry Backpack review: AER Day Pack 2
Credit: AER

Summary: An urbane and dependable companion with insane organization, it works in both casual and professional environments. 

Thanks to its sleek and clean vibe, this 14.8L bag is perfect for everything from running to meetings to commuting to the office.

It features a padded and suspended 16″ laptop sleeve, document/tablet sleeves, an expandable water bottle pocket and an organizational pocket with slots for smaller items.

Built with durable 1680D Cordura ballistic nylon, YKK zippers and Duraflex hardware, you can expect this bag to serve you faithfully through years of intense use.

What we also love

It also features a self-standing design, padded straps, breathable back panel, a nice sternum strap with an impressive lifetime warranty.

What’s not so great

Although a great contender in our list of the best everyday carry backpacks, this bag is only available in one color (black). 

Best EDC Backpack For The Minimalist – RAINS Field Bag

Best Everyday Carry Backpack review: RAINS Field bag
Credit: RAINS

Summary: A beautiful and functional everyday carry backpack with a minimalist style.

The Rains Field Bag has a super stylish minimalist aesthetics and simple organization that makes it fits seamlessly into all environments which is why it made it onto our  best everyday carry backpacks category. 

It’s made of a woven polyester combined with a thick polyurethane coating that gives it a water resistant and matte finish.

It spots a 16L compartment with a padded 13-inch laptop sleeve, and a front pocket for smaller items like your keys, wallet, hand sanitizers, Airpods, etc.

What’s not great

While the back panel is reasonably padded, it doesn’t have any air mesh for ventilation. Also, the laptop sleeve isn’t suspended, so you might want to use a laptop case for extra protection.

Best EDC Backpack For Techies – Incase Icon Backpack

Best Everyday Carry Backpack review: Incase Icon Backpack
Credit: Incase

Summary: A modern carry with the best protection and optimal organization for all your tech and daily essentials.  

With a dedicated and well-padded felt compartment that fits a 15-inch laptop and a separate tablet compartment to avoid stacking it with your laptop, this sleek bag is great for your tech.

Your expensive devices are also protected from scratches and bumps, thanks to a super soft faux fur and a slightly suspended and padded bottom. 

What we also love

This 17L bag is constructed with a durable DWR 840D nylon and comes with a power bank pocket so you can charge on the go.

What’s not so great

There’s no single water bottle pocket on the side, and the color options are limited.

Best EDC Backpack For Women – Knomo Beauchamp Backpack

Best Everyday Carry Backpack review: Knomo Beauchamp Backpack
Credit: Knomo

Summary: The Knomo Beauchamp Backpack keeps contents in your bag organized while maintaining a chic and compact silhouette.

If you need a feminine and functional backpack for all bits and pieces, this 16.5-liter bag offers smart organization for just about everything, be it your tech, documents and other work supplies.

To seal the deal, it features a water-repellent exterior, a well-padded 15.6” laptop compartment, and a luggage strap for hitching a ride on your wheelie suitcase.

What we also love

Specially designed for women, it’s comfortable to wear courtesy of a padded back and S-shaped straps and is stylish to boot!

What’s not so great

While it’ll keep your belonging dry during some light rain, it won’t do much in heavier downpours.

Best EDC backpack For Men – Tom Bihn Brain

Best Everyday Carry Backpack review: Tom Bihn Brain Bag
Credit: Tom Bihn

Summary: A spacious and sturdy everyday carry backpack that you can rely on.

The Tom Bihn Brain bag is a high-quality and heavy-duty bag every man should consider having in his arsenal.

At 36L capacity, you’ll love the enormous space (two main compartments, four pockets and 9 O-rings), and organizations this bag affords, even for your tech.

What we also like

Designed with the finest materials with a lifetime guarantee, there’s also a TSA-friendly laptop compartment so you can breeze through airport security.

What’s not so great:

There’s no false bottom to protect your laptop from hard impacts in case you inadvertently drop the bag.

But you can buy Tom Bihn’s thick-foam padded laptop sleeve accessory (or Cache as it’s referred to on their website) for added protection. 

Best EDC backpack For Kids – Herschel Heritage Youth Backpack

Best Everyday Carry Backpack review: Herschel Heritage Youth backpack
Credit: Herschel Supply Co.

Summary: Well-made, practical and of course, kids friendly.

Designed for kids to youth, the Heritage Youth lineup has three size options to fit different age groups, and is great for school-day organization, and everyday use.

There’s one main compartment with a padded 13” laptop sleeve, a front pocket and side pockets to hold water bottles.

What we also love

Plus, it features padded straps and back, a removable sternum strap for support and a variety of fun prints and colors, so your kids can select what suits their personality.

What’s not great

While the back panel is reasonably padded, it doesn’t have any air mesh for ventilation.

Best EDC Backpack For Students – The North Face Recon

Best Everyday Carry Backpack review: North Face Recon Backpack
Credit: The North Face

Summary: Tuck your laptop- and every other thing you could possibly need for class, outdoor adventures or short trips- in the ever-practical North Face Recon backpack.  

The North Face Recon backpack is made of a 600D polyester material and water-resistant exterior that helps shrug off daily abuse while staying lightweight at 1.6 lbs. only.

At 30L, it’s spacious with three separate compartments, a dedicated protective 15” laptop compartment, and several pockets for books, gadgets, water bottles, a change of clothes, with room to spare for other items.

What we also love

Incredibly comfy thanks to its FlexVent™ suspension system and padded back panel as well as sternum strap and a removable waist belt.

What’s not great

Due to its shape, the bottom is slanted so it falls over or slides down constantly when you try to load and unload it.

Best EDC Backpack For Photographers – Peak Design Everyday Backpack

Best Everyday Carry Backpack review: Peak Design Everyday backpack
Credit: Peak Design

Summary: A sturdy tech bag for your camera, laptop, tablet, and other everyday accessories.

If your ideal best everyday carry backpack is a camera backpack that doubles as a flexible EDC carry, you’ll like the Peak Design Everyday backpack.

Specifically designed for transporting your camera and related photo gear, the Peak Design Everyday Pack gives the needed protection you want for your fragile devices and photography equipment.

Aside from keeping your precious camera and kits safe and snug, there’s a protective laptop sleeve that you can adjust to fit any size of your gear -be it a 15-inch or a 13-inch device -along with pockets for tablets and documents.

Designed with the finest materials, inside the bag are 3 FlexFold dividers to keep gear organized, protected, and not bunched at the bottom of your bag.

What we also love

Not to mention that it’s made of 100% recycled plasticis water resistant with a lifetime warranty and looks good such that you won’t mind being seen with it. 

What’s not so great

It’s especially great for people who carry their camera around a lot but it doesn’t really do much for the casual user looking for a carry backpack for regular use.

For one thing, when you remove the dividers to fit regular items, the space isn’t big enough to accommodate all EDC essentials like spare clothing, lunch, notebooks or anything you pick up during the day.

Best EDC backpack For Gym – AER Fit Pack 2

Best Everyday Carry Backpack review: AER Fit Pack 2
Credit: AER

Summary: The AER Fit Pack 2 is perfect for one who transits between an office setting and the gym.

Perhaps the finest thing about the AER Fit Pack is how it helps you keep your office essential separate from gym and day to day use.  

Not to mention how a small looking bag can hold quite a lot ranging from a pair of sneakers, a 15.6” laptop, an iPad, a few magazines, headphone, charger, a change of clothes and related items. 

Constructed from different sturdy materials depending on the colorway you go for; the Day Pack 2 has a water-resistant exterior and AquaGuard YKK zippers.

What we also love

You’ll find this lite pack a snug fit against your back thanks to its decently padded mesh back panel with handy straps and sternum straps,

What’s not so great

There are 4 zipper tracks with pulls that easily get in the way of each other. Since they are close to each other, they sometimes overlap and can cut your ease of access especially when you’re trying to locate a particular pocket quickly.    

Best EDC Backpack For Travel – Tortuga Setout Laptop Backpack

Best Everyday Carry Backpack review: Tortuga Setout Laptop backpack
Credit: Tortuga

Summary: A durable and comfortable pack tailored for the modern traveler.  

If traveling light is your thing, or you are looking for one of the best everyday carry backpacks with enough space, the Tortuga Setout backpack is your guy.

Made with a 900D polyester with a water-resistant coating and YKK zippers, it has a clean design without any distracting straps.

This 25L one-bag travel solution is stuffed with features: a protected 15” laptop compartment, sternum strap & waist belt, and contoured back panel with padded straps for all day comfort.

What we also love

Its simple design and streamlined look make this look more like a backpack and not a travel bag (and that’s a good thing).

What’s not great

You may find yourself constantly opening the wrong pocket by mistake because the front, laptop and main compartments all have the same zips that are very close together. 

Best EDC Backpack For Outdoor adventures – Patagonia Black Hole

Best Everyday Carry Backpack review: Patagonia Black Hole backpack
Credit: Patagonia

Summary: The Black Hole backpack combines versatile styling with outdoor functionality, offering a bag that can works for EDC, outdoor and travel. 

Patagonia is known for their durable outdoor gear, and the sustainable Black Hole is no exception. 

Made with 100% recycled body fabric, lining and webbing that’s bluesign® approved, it’s also water resistant, so you won’t have to worry when faced with the elements.

It’s also equipped with a padded 15-inch laptop sleeve, and is thankfully crafted with padded shoulder straps and a fully adjustable harness to keep your shoulders happy throughout your hike.

What we also love

One of the best everyday carry backpacks to love and use for years to come, the Black Hole comes with lifetime warranties and repair program.

What’s not great

The price tag is quite steep.

Most stylish EDC Backpack – ISM backpack

Best Everyday Carry Backpack review: ISM Backpack
Credit: ISM

Summary: The ISM Backpack is a super stylish and well-designed bag that will fit your EDC and much more.

If you’re big on looks and quality, this head-turning ISM backpack is made from first-rate grain leather and water-resistant nylon with lovely leather trim details.

The addition of a separate laptop compartment, AguaGuard YKK zippers, breathable back panel and a luggage sleeve makes the backpack functional to daily use. 

What’s we also love

Also, it comes in two sizes (17.2L and 10.8L), has a discreet side flap to charge your electronic on the go, and is backed by a lifetime warranty.

What’s not great

It doesn’t come with any external water bottle pocket. 

Most durable EDC Backpack – Goruck GR1 USA/ SLICK Huckberry Edition

Best Everyday Carry Backpack review: Goruck GR1 USA OR GRI 1000D SLICK (Huckberry Edition)
Credit: GORUCK/Huckberry

Summary: Designed for the city, trips and even warzones, the GoRuck GR I is the   kind of everyday carry backpack that might just last forever. 

Streamlined and made of military grade 1000D Cordura with bombproof tactical DNA, there’s no denying that this waterproof bag is built for the wild as well as for urban settings.

In fact, there are many pockets and MOLLE attachments webbings with a bombproof laptop compartment so you can better organize all your EDC.

What’s more?

The GR1 is available in two sizes (21L or 26L) and in two styles: the one with the three rows of MOLLE on the bottom and sides for clipping and stashing, and a “Slick” Huckberry edition that’s much more minimalist and unfussy.  

What we also love

It’s a high-quality US-made pack with smooth YKK zippers, Molle attachments, rainproof exterior and extra padded straps.

What’s not great

Lacks external water bottle pockets and is pricey.   Some people have also complained that it may not be the most comfortable backpack.

Best Luxe EDC Backpack – Nomatic Travel Backpack