Our Verdict

4.7/5

A great backpack with sophisticated design and eco-friendly materials, this is one of those packs that you can use for pretty much anything you want.

That is if you don’t mind the triple digit price tag it comes with.

Our Verdict

4.7/5
Welcome to our Day Owl Backpack review.
A great backpack with sophisticated design and eco-friendly materials, this is one of those packs that you can use for pretty much anything you want.

That is if you don’t mind the triple digit price tag it comes with.

Our Verdict

4.7/5
Welcome to our Day Owl Backpack review.
A great backpack with sophisticated design and eco-friendly materials, this is one of those packs that you can use for pretty much anything you want.

That is if you don’t mind the triple digit price tag it comes with. .
Day Owl backpack review: feature
Credit: Day Owl
Day Owl backpack review: feature
Credit: Day Owl

Pros

  • Stylish design

Smart and minimalistic, every aspect of this bag’s design screams sophistication.

  • Ethical production process

The company use recyclable materials in their production of the bag in such a way that eliminate environmental waste.

  • Smart organization

It’s spacious with the right number of pockets – perfect for school, travel or busy commuters.

  • Hidden water bottle pocket

You have a water-resistant hidden pocket where you can stash your water/wine bottle, wet umbrella, you name it.

  • Dedicated laptop compartment

A separate laptop zip compartment is padded, and lined with fleece to protect the electronics inside.

  • Color options

You have beautiful 6 colors to choose from, including olive green, charcoal black, etc.

  • Trolley sleeve

There’s a pass-through strap to attach your rolling suitcase and travel in convenience.

  • Free repair for life

The warranty is such that, if anything goes wrong you can always contact the company for repairs.

Cons

  • Laptop compartment lacks suspension system

Since the pack doesn’t have a false bottom, your laptop isn’t protected from hard surface impacts.

  • Quite pricey

It comes with a triple-digit price tag and so isn’t a cheap bag.

Pros

  • Durable

Having the indestructible trademark of a Tom Bihn bag, the Brain bag is a reliable bag that’ll last you for a long time.

  • Efficient storage

Aside the different pockets in front, it has two main compartments that you can expand to accommodate more items, even up to two or more laptop.

  • Organization

There are tons of easy access pockets, O-rings, clips and separate add-ons to enable you have optimal organization of your items.

  • Versatile

When this bag grows on you, you can use it as an everyday bag, travel go, and literally every other thing.

  • Water-resistant

The bag is water resistant with flaps that cover the zips from taking in water.

  • Comfortable

Even when you stuff the bag full, it still comfortable to wear on your back and doesn’t feel ungainly or unwieldy.

Cons

  • Doesn’t look good

A major drawback, this bag won’t get you compliments because of its somewhat busy and laid-back exterior.

  • Extra accessories required

If you want to get the most out of the bag, it’s advisable you purchase extra accessories, which translates to extra cost for you.

  • Lacks false bottom to protect your laptop

Unless you buy the extra laptop cache from Tom Bihn, your gear isn’t protected from drops.

Day Owl Backpack Review

Interested in the Day Owl backpack?

Awesome – here’s a detailed review of the pack so you can learn everything about it.

Day Owl backpack review: Day Owl collection

What is it made of?  

Does it have all the necessary features of an everyday backpack?

Is it worth the triple digit price tag?

In this Day Owl backpack review, we’re going to find out!

Let’s go.

Day Owl in a Snapshot

A Kickstarter funded company, the Day Owl is a sustainable brand that makes backpacks and travel accessories for today’s modern carry.

Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA, the brand is a certified BCorp that believes in using sustainably sourced materials and ethical labor practices of its employers.

In a partnership with First Mile since 2011, the brand focuses on sourcing materials from a supply chain that has fair working condition for laborers in underdeveloped countries like Haiti, Taiwan while also being  environmentally sustainable.

Now let’s dig into a detailed Day Owl backpack review.

Day Owl backpack review: Twitter image
Credit Twitter

Table of Contents

Design & Quality

Day Owl backpack review: Day Owl front view
Credit: Day Owl

Cute yet functional, this eco-groovy backpack is perfect for everything from school to outdoor activities.

A travel companion also, this carry-on sized bag has a minimalistic design that blends in well in any setting as well as a luggage sleeve you can attach to your roller for a smooth transit.

All the 5 external pockets are hidden so the bag has a clean and streamlined exterior.

And the inside is deceptively roomy, making this the perfect bag for the busy student, harried commuters or whimsical traveler. 

It even has a cushioned sleeve for your laptop.

Wait, there’s more.

The Day Owl pack also comes in 6 different colors of Olive green, Nickel grey, Deep navy, Pale Pink, Charcoal black and Moss green so you can really match your style.

Day Owl backpack review: Day Owl color collection
Credit: Day Owl

Materials & Construction

Day Owl backpack review: Day Owl front and back view
Credit: Day Owl

One great thing about this bag is that it is recyclable and made from ethically sourced materials- 100% post-consumer plastic bottles, leather and metal.  

The backpack itself is made out of First Mile wax canvas. First Mile focuses on sourcing materials from a supply chain that has fair working condition and is environmentally sustainable.

Other materials used include LWG certified leather and 100% recycled polyester lining and trim.  

Plus it’s water resistant as well – so your precious items would stay dry if caught in a slight drizzle.

Abrasion and stain resistant as well, it has a total of ‘5 sneaky pockets’ and a 21L capacity for all your everyday necessities. 

Day Owl backpack review: Day Owl features

And it’s also an amazing travel backpack. This small carryon sized bag also has luggage sleeve you can attach to your rolling suitcase.

You can easily fit all the in-transport necessities, and even clothing for a couple of days for that overnight or short weekend cruise.

You can expect to use this bag for a long period of time but if it were to get ruined, Day Owl would repair the bag, at no cost to you.

Fit & Comfort

Day Owl backpack review: Day Owl on a model
Credit: Day Owl

Ideally, an everyday backpack needs to be comfortable, especially if you’ll be wearing it every single day.
The good news is that the Day Owl pack is a pretty comfortable bag.

While the straps are not heavily padded, they are comfortable since the bag isn’t big nor heavy.

Don’t you just hate it when you have to deal with dangling straps that won’t stop getting hung on something!

Zero dangle and tangle, these straps are ergonomically shaped, such that you can go hiking or take the bus with this bag.

Day Owl backpack review: A female model holding a Day Owl backpack

Lightweight too, at 2.8lbs, it’s not heavy, even when fully loaded and makes for a comfortable fit for people with big or small torso.

The leather top handle comes with a clasp to hold the two handles together and also makes for a comfortable carry.

From the minimalist design, chimney hidden pocket, and no-slack straps, you can tell Day Owl wanted to keep this bag as simple and clean as possible.

Storage & Organization

Day Owl backpack review: Storage compartment

At 21 liters, this bag is just the right size for a laptop, large books and an extra set of clothes!

What I really fancy is how all the pockets and compartments are hidden, thus giving the bag this clean and minimalist profile on the outside. 

Top pocket: On the top is a quick access fleeced line small pocket where you can stash your go to items like your sunglasses, phone, air pods, or any item you don’t want accidentally scratched. 

Front panel pocket: This pocket is quite spacious and can fit items like your wallet, headphone, sunglasses or a book.

Chimney pocket: You also get a hidden chimney pocket where you can put your water bottle, a wine bottle or a wet umbrella.

The great thing about this pocket is that it is hidden, so your bottle doesn’t fall out every time you bend over.  

Water repellent too, it’s lined with neoprene to prevent any spills or leaks from entering the bag.

Sadly though, the space here cuts into the main compartment of the bag, so you may want to keep that in mind if you’ll be packing a lot.

Day Owl backpack review: Day Owl laptop compartment

Side pocket: On the opposite side of the water bottle pocket is a hidden flat pocket that you can just slip in your phone, a bar of chocolate (yum), keys, passport or any small item.

Padded laptop pocket: Located on the back is a dedicated zippered and well-padded laptop compartment.

It can fit your 16-inch laptop, books or whatever item you wanna keep there.

Keep in mind however that it doesn’t have a false bottom to protect your laptop from hard impacts or nasty drops

By the way, if you prefer a backpack with much better protection for your laptop, check out my post on the best laptop backpacks.  

Main compartment: It opens clamshell style so you can have full access into every aspect of the bag.

Inside, you find two simple slip pockets and an attachment webbing in which you can attach your keys.

Now the internal space is fully lined and is spacious so you can cram in your clothes or other bulker items.

You can also use packing cubes, if you intend to travel with the bag.

Day Owl backpack review: Day Owl main compartment
Credit: Day Owl

Price

Here’s the thing – the Day Owl backpack isn’t cheap.

But if you can afford it, you get to use it for so many uses and for many years.

Plus you have the opportunity of paying in 4 interest-free installments!

Remember, you get a free repair for life!

However, if you’re on a really tight budget, you can go for a cheaper one like the North Face Borealis Backpack.

Warranty

Day Owl backpack review: Day Owl warranty

Day Owl offers a free repairs for life!

This is an awesome dedication to the product and to sustainable practices, which goes to show the brand is very confident in their bag to offer such a claim.

Repairs every 2 weeks would just be too much stress for everyone involved, right?

It’s an amazing warranty as it’s a good indication that you’ll be carrying your cute little bag about for a long, long time.

You can learn more about it here.

Users Thoughts/Reviews

Day Owl backpack review: Day Owl

How does it rate in this Day Owl backpack review?

I rated it 4.8 out of 5, because it performs very well in certain aspects and lagged behind in a few other.

Lots of users were impressed with just how durable and luxe this backpack feels.

While others wouldn’t stop gushing about all the secret pockets and spacious compartment, despite its deceptive small look.

And of course, the promise of repairs for life and sustainable practices.

But a very few others were less than enthusiastic with the lack of false bottom in the laptop compartment.

If this is a feature you’re particular about, then this bag is probably not for you.

Another qualm is with the price point. It’s quite expensive especially if you’re on a budget.

Overall, users were mostly impressed with their purchase and the Day Owl backpack is not also classy and professional, but also rugged and sturdy enough to wear anytime!

Alternative to consider: Day Owl Backpack (Small)

Day Owl backpack review: Day Owl front view

The Day Owl backpack 16L is an exact replica of the 21L pack.

Same features and construction, the main difference is in the capacity- 16L instead of 21L.

Another is in the dimension and weight of the bag.

It’s lighter at just 2lbs and packed with 5 pockets so you know you can stay well organized wherever you go.

If you’re looking for the perfect cute little bag that you can take just about anywhere, this is it!

Check it out here.

Final Thoughts

The Day Owl backpack is a recyclable product that makes a positive impact on our environment. 

But that’s not the only reason I love this pack. I’m also impressed by how versatile it is.

A spacious compartment with hidden pockets here and there, this is a pack you can use for almost everything, ranging from school, work, travel, daily commute, and even to outdoor activities.

I rated it a 4.8 out of 5 in this Day Owl backpack review due to its high price and lack of false bottom in the laptop compartment.

Determining if this bag is worth your money is an individual thing really.

However, for a pack that is designed to be a very versatile for various purposes, I think it’s worth your buck.  

Related: Also a sustainable backpack, check out my detailed review of the the Everlane ReNew Transit Backpack.


This article is not sponsored in any way by any company. This backpack 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.
  

19 thoughts on “Day Owl Backpack Review | The perfect eco-friendly everyday backpack?”

  1. I haven’t tried it, so my rating isn’t backed by experience, but by the looks of it I would give it 5 stars. This looks wonderful!

    1) I love great design – obviously there has gone a lot of bright thinking into the design;
    2) I adore sustainability – there is such a huge amount of creativity growing from the wish of doing things a different way;
    3) Designing new techniques; trying to solve the problems caused by polluting, indifferent, waste producing companies; this usually isn’t backed-up by a lot of support from grants. It’s a pity that conscious people are paying the price, but that’s the way we allow our society to be. So I wouldn’t regard a high price for this product as a con of the product itself. 🙂

    Reply
    • Hey Hannie,

      Welcome back and thanks for your thoughts. The Day Owl backpack certainly ticks the boxes in all the places you have highlighted.

      Plus, I appreciate the point you made about the premium price point, and the likely reason behind it which I find to be perfectly plausible.

      Thank you.
      Femi

      Reply
  2. I love travelling and seeing your website with good travel gear like the day owl backpack is awesome for my adventures.
    I love this bag as you can have different colors however the problem is I can not use it since it does not protect the laptop which is something that I use daily and when I travel.
    Thank for the review. Do you know any bag which can be helpful for laptop travellers.

    Reply
    • Hi Thabo and thanks for leaving a comment:)

      Yes there are quite a few options you can consider. These include but is not limited to the following backpacks – AER Day Pack 2, Incase Icon Backpack, Peak Design Everyday Backpack V2, Herschel Little America etc.

      All these options have laptop compartments with padded or false bottoms, meaning that the risk of damage to your machine in the event of accidentally dropping your pack onto a hard surface is minuscule.

      Hope that’s helpful.

      Happy to discuss.
      Cheers
      Femi

      Reply
  3. Excellent Day Owl backpack review. All the information you need if you are interested in buying is listed very clearly.
    Given the price, it is obvious that those who have a little more money can afford it.
    But considering all the pros, it is worth its price.
    And I agree with you that it is also of great value that the Day Owl backpack is a recyclable product that makes a positive impact on our environment.
    Friendly greeting,
    Nina

    Reply
    • Thanks for your kind remarks and for sharing your observations Nina:)

      I very much agree with you that brands like Day Owl are a force for good – they are meeting not just a travel problem but leading the way in simultaneously producing eco-friendly offerings that hopefully will compel other brands to follow suit.

      Cheers
      Femi

      Reply
  4. What I really like about this backpack is its simplistic look, the recycled materials that are used to make it, and the many hidden compartments.
    I would just prefer to have a padded bottom for my laptop, to keep it safer, in case I drop it. The price is indeed a little steep, but if you get life time repairs I think that the investment is returned to you in the long run, so it will be worth it. I, would like to get a backpack that lasts instead of having to replace it every now and then.

    Reply
    • Hey Christine,

      Thanks again for making time to comment on my post.

      I think the lifetime repairs do put the premium price into perspective indeed. Plus it helps with environmental sustainability, something that is very dear to the brand.

      Cheers
      Femi

      Reply
  5. Hey Fami, thanks for sharing this review. I’ve learned about Day Owl backpacks just recently and decided to do research, so as usual, your site is was the place to go. Once again, you’ve done an amazing job reviewing this backpack.

    It looks cool and all, and it has a lot of great features. However, just like the last one I commented, this one does not have thicker protection at the bottom which is important to me because my laptop would be the main cargo all the time.

    Any suggestions when it comes to the best backpacks for laptops? I mean, they+re all good in this sense, but I’m looking for something with a reinforced bottom.

    Reply
  6. A lovely honest review of the Day Owl Backpack. It was well worth the read and despite the price it has tempted me to consider buying the Backpack.

    The design and colours are really good. Whilst not being flamboyant, you do get colour options that can suit your wardrobe and your style. Functionally it is excellent, being a great size and I love the fact that the Day Owl Backpack is water resistant.

    The sticking point is the price! But in this situation you do get you pay for! The advantage is that the colours etc will not go out of fashion so the Day Owl Backpack could be a useful accessory for quite a few years.

    Thanks a great review!

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment, Lawrence.

      Yes, the variety of colors are the other thing going well for the Day Owl backpack. For a relatively upcoming brand to be able to offer 6 colorways is commendable as it does take a lot of capital.

      Cheers
      Femi

      Reply
  7. Hi Femi. Thanks for this thorough backpack review. I really, really like the idea behind Day Owl backpacks. The eco-friendly recycle-approach is something that really resonates with me, and the designs are really slick! I like it! The show-stopper for me personal, though, is the non-suspended laptop compartment, as I take my macbook whereever I go. What is your backpack recommendation if I told you that the suspended laptop compartment plus being “green” were my two top priorities? Cheers, Chris

    Reply
    • Hey Chris,

      Thanks for your comment.

      The Bellroy Transit Backpack is one that comes off the top my head – it’s eco-friendly, stylish and offers full protection for your macbook (up to 15 inch).

      You can check out my detailed review of it here.

      Cheers
      Femi

      Reply
  8. This was the best review I have seen on the Day Owl backpack. My friend told me to check them out after I asked her what bag she likes. Though I trust her recommendations, I wanted to research it some more and I am happy I found this review.

    I am quite impressed at all of the features and I love the hidden pockets design. I also love Day Owl is using recyclable materials in the construction of their bags. Both environmentally friendly and sourcing materials from fair working condition companies is a big plus.

    Though I do have a slight concern with no suspension for the laptop compartment and no false-bottom (will just have to be careful), all of the other features are spot on. Plus the lifetime free repair is amazing and all in all, for everything you are getting, the price doesn’t seem too bad.

    This Day Owl backpack may not be 100% perfect but when you want quality all around go anywhere bag that is simple looking yet stylish, I can see spending a little more than usual. Thank you for this review. I am going to order one as a late Christmas gift to myself. I am impressed!

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comprehensive comment Robert.

      The Day Owl backpack does have a lot going for it indeed. There’s also the fact that they source their materials from a supply chain that has a fair working condition. So the relatively premium price tag is justifiable notwithstanding some of the drawbacks.

      Cheers
      Femi

      Reply
    • Thanks for your comprehensive comment Robert.

      The Day Owl backpack does have a lot going for it indeed. There’s also the fact that they source their materials from a supply chain that has a fair working condition. So the relatively premium price tag is justifiable notwithstanding some of the drawbacks.

      Cheers
      Femi

      Reply

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