Topo Designs daypack review: a Male model wearing the Topo daypack
Credit: Topo Designs

Our Verdict

4.5/5
If you’re looking for a daypack with a vintage style, solid construction, and a modern look with leather accents, you’ll love the Topo Designs daypack.

Pros

  • Durable

The construction and the quality of the bag is superb courtesy of durable materials and zippers used.

  • Water resistant

The bag repels water if exposed to a drizzle or sustains a spill.

  • Beautiful vintage design

There are colorful designs as well as very laid-back minimal options to suit your preferred style.

  • Thoughtful details

The interior of the bag is so bright so you can easily find your items, the bag can stand on its own and also comes with different loops to attach extra gear.

  • Comfortable straps

The padded mesh straps make for a comfortable wear.

  • Lightweight

The bag is light, slim and easy to navigate with, even in busy places.

  • Slim profile

Unless you overstuff the bag, it looks slim and cute against the back.

  • Lifetime warranty

The bag comes with a lifetime warranty so you’re guaranteed to have the best experience and peace of mind as you carry your bag everywhere.

Cons

  • Laptop sleeve isn’t padded

The 15-inch laptop sleeve in the main compartment is not cushioned at the bottom.

  • Back panel is not ventilated

The panel has no mesh whatsoever to allow for airflow on long wears.

  • Front pocket is not flexible

If you put smaller items in here, it won’t be easy getting them out because the pocket is not wide and has no organizer.

  • Small water bottle pockets

There are complaints that the pockets can’t hold most bottle sizes.

  • No sternum/chest strap

The bag doesn’t come with these straps to make heavy loads less uncomfortable.

Pros

  • Durable

The construction and the quality are superb courtesy of durable materials and zippers used in the bag.

  • Water resistant

The bag can repel water if exposed to a drizzle or sustains a spill.

  • Beautiful vintage design

There are colorful designs as well as very laid-back minimal options to suit your preferred style.

  • Thoughtful details

The interior of the bag is so bright so you can easily find your items, the bag can stand on its own and comes with different loops to attach extra gear.

  • Comfortable straps

The padded mesh straps make for a comfortable wear.

  • Lightweight

The bag is light, slim and easy to navigate with, even in busy places.

  • Slim profile

Unless you overstuff the bag, it looks slim and cute against the back.

  • Lifetime warranty

The bag comes with a lifetime warranty so you’re guaranteed to have the best experience and peace of mind as you carry your bag everywhere.

Cons

  • Laptop sleeve isn’t padded

The 15-inch laptop sleeve in the main compartment is not cushioned at the bottom.

  • Back panel is not ventilated

The panel has no mesh whatsoever to allow for airflow on long wears.

  • Front pocket is not flexible

If you put smaller items in here, it won’t be easy getting them out because the pocket is not wide and has no organizer.

  • Small water bottle pockets

There are complaints that the pockets can’t hold most bottle sizes.

  • No sternum/chest strap

The bag doesn’t come with these straps to make heavy loads less uncomfortable.

Topo Designs Daypack Review

If you lead a lifestyle that requires frequent travel or daily commuting, a functional and well-made daypack is a great investment. 

And the makers of the Topo Designs daypack would have you believe this pack fits that bill. 

Indeed, Topo Designs daypack is a simple yet versatile everyday bag with an iconic heritage look.

But is it right for you?

Topo Designs Daypack Review: Topo Designs Daypack side view
Credit: Topo Designs

In this Topo Designs daypack review, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at the bag, examining its features to see where the backpack excels or fails. 

Ready to see if this retro styled bag is worth your money?

Let’s dive in.

Topo Designs in a snapshot

Topo Designs daypack review: a Male model wearing the Topo daypack
Credit: Topo Designs

Topo Designs is a Colorado-based brand with a focus on simple and timeless outdoor designs.

Topo Designs were founded in 2008 by two friends, Jedd Rose and Mark Hansen, who had the vision to create functional, durable, and beautiful products that resembled classic outdoor gear.

In a basement in Fort Colins, Colorado, Jedd designed and crafted their dream backpack while Mark worked on the logistics to build a company in accordance with their values.

The brand offers a wide range of products ranging from backpacks to apparels and accessories backed with a lifetime warranty and repair program.

Table of Contents

Design & Quality

Topo Designs Daypack Review: Topo Designs Daypacks Original
Credit: Topo Designs

The Topo Designs daypack has a laid-back and vintage vibe with leather details that appeal to college students, and that adults can use for work without compromising professionalism.

Quality assured, it is made in the United States and with very high-quality materials that can survive whatever you throw at it while giving you value for your money.  

Topo Designs Daypack Review: Topo Designs leather Daypacks
Credit: Topo Designs

The Topo Designs backpack also comes in a wide array of colors and style to suit your personal preferences. Some designs are available with natural leather at the base, some are minimal and unassuming in design with no frills whatsoever, while others are unique in color combination.

It is these variations and options that have endeared many to the brand because you get to select the perfect color and design that match your style.

Materials & Construction

Topo Designs Daypack Review: Topo Designs Daypack front and back view
Credit: Topo Designs

The Topo Designs daypack comes in 4 different variations of design and style, that all feature leather lash tab located at the upper right-hand corner of the bag.

Some version (Daypack Leather and the Daypack Heritage Canvas) have reinforced leather section at the bottom of the pack while others (the Daypack Original & the Daypack Covert Camo) do not.

You’ll also like that the bag is available in different colors and designs, including a very subdued black that minimalists would love. So, whether you like things plain or are a big fan of popping bags, Topo has got you covered.

For material, the Topo Designs daypack is constructed with thick durable 1000D Cordura nylon while the interior is made from strong 420D nylon pack cloth liner.

These materials are designed for heavy-duty use and are more than up to the challenge of  urban commute, hitting the trails or pretty much anything you put it through.

Topo Designs Daypack Review: Topo Designs Daypack with features highlighted
Credit: Topo Designs

The premium YKK zippers add a nice aesthetics detail to the bag even as it’s functional. The zipper pulls are large with bright colored paracord that allow for easy grip.

Even better, the bag is water resistant and is made entirely in the United States so you’re assured of top-notch quality.

With the Topo backpack, you won’t be overwhelmed by tons of pockets or a crazy array of straps that can end up dangling or snagging on things. Instead, you’ll find thoughtful considerations- a bright yellow interior lining that makes it easier to see what’s inside, with big red colored zipper pulls and six nylon loops located in different parts of the bag to which you can attach extra gear.

Fit & Comfort

Topo Designs Daypack Review: Topo Designs Daypack
Credit: Topo Designs

In my view, the Topo daypack is just above average as far as convenience and carrying comfort is concerned.

There will be times when you may have to wear the bag for long periods at a time, but with no chest nor waist strap, it becomes difficult to distribute the weight around your back, particularly when it is fully loaded. 

The lack of an airflow mesh in the back panel, means poor ventilation for your back which does not bore well under the hot sun.

Topo Designs Daypack Review: Topo Designs Daypack back view
Credit: Topo Designs

Padded back panel

Perhaps to make up for these shortfalls, the back panel is padded to avoid items with sharp edges poking at you.

What’s more, not only are the shoulder straps padded, they come with airflow mesh to for good ventilation. Moreover, they come with D-Rings to which you can attach other accessories.

Storage & Organization

Topo Designs Daypack Review: Topo Designs Daypack basic features
Credit: Topo Designs

The Topo Designs daypack is a stylish yet functional 26.1L daypacks ideal for individuals who pack light more often than not.

Attachment Points

There are many loops and tabs located on different parts of the bag where you can attach smaller accessories, such as the leather lash tab where you can attach a tripod or a carabiner.

Topo Designs Daypack Review: Topo Designs Daypack attachment loop
Credit: Topo Designs

Front zippered pocket

In front of the bag is a large external pocket with slanted zippers design where you can dump your frequently used essentials like a novel, power bank, a passport, keys, a novel, phone, etc. It features a bright interior so you can see everything that in there.   

However, this pocket lacks organization, especially for smaller items and is only great for flat items as bulky ones would make for a tight fit.

Side Water bottle pockets

A major complaint by users in my research of the Topo Designs daypack review relates to how the the water pockets on the sides of the bag are not big nor stretchy to accommodate relatively bigger bottles. 

Topo Designs Daypack Review: Topo Designs Daypack side water bottle pocket
Credit: Topo Designs

Main compartment

Lined with high-visibility pack cloth, the interior is very bright and smooth which is great for seeing what’s in your pack in low light situations.
I know how frustrating it can be to blindly dig around again and again for an item you need so urgently, but that won’t be the case here.

Laptop sleeve

In the main compartment is an internal sleeve can fit up to 15-inch laptop. You should however note that there is no padding at the bottom to protect your device from accidental drops.  

Internal organization panel

Inside the main compartment is an organizer that features a zippered pocket, two open-top pockets, and pen slots for smaller necessities.

Topo Designs Daypack Review: Topo Designs Daypack inside compartment
Credit: Topo Designs

As you may have noticed, these pockets are flat and so not the best option for bulky items. If you however want more organization, you may have to opt for packing cubes or pouches.

If you need a bag to carry a laptop, books, sweater, and snacks to and from work, you can’t go wrong with this bag. But if you tend to carry tons of items, this is not the bag for you.

All in all, his 21.6L bag makes the perfect daypack for your day’s essentials with a very simple and straightforward organization.

Price

The Topo Designs daypack is not cheap. 

But most importantly, the design and material construction of the bag you choose determines the actual price of the products.

On browsing through the Topo Design website, you’ll see up to four variants of the bag – Daypack Original, Daypack Leather, Daypack Covert Transitional Camo and the Daypack Heritage Canvas.

Each unique bag comes with its own unique price tag, meaning they all don’t come at the same price. For instance, the Heritage Canvas is the most expensive, the last time I checked.  

So be sure to check the price after you’ve selected your preferred choice.

Warranty – MAP Guarantee

To stand behind their products quality and durability, Topo Designs offers a lifetime warranty.

The warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship.

It doesn’t however cover any damage caused by neglect, improper care, accident, or normal wear and tear.

You can learn more about it here. 

Users Thoughts/Reviews

Based on customer reviews, you can’t go wrong with the Topo daypack, especially in term of durability.

Users appreciate the high quality and workmanship of the bag that make it able to withstand the daily demands of commute, school, work and even short trips.

Other reviews commented on how beautiful the backpack is while others appreciate its slim profile and simple organization.

However, there are few negative reviews too, which is one of the reasons why I have written this Topo Design daypack review, so you’ll be in the know.

Some customers were slightly disappointed with the lack of storage space and comfort. The water bottle holders are so tight that you can barely fit a regular sized plastic water bottle coupled with the lack of padding on laptop sleeve.

I’d however advise you use pouches or packing cubes if you want better organization and also consider a laptop sleeve for better protection. 

Overall, based on reviews, the Topo Design daypack is a solid and versatile bag you can bank on.

Alternative to consider: Herschel Little America Backpack

Topo Designs Daypack Review: Herschel Little America backpack
Credit: Herschel Supply Co.

The Little America backpack is similar in style and design to the Topo Designs Daypack and therefore makes for a good alternative.  

The bag is made with 100% polyester construction, the black straps are nicely done, and has amazing color options and styles for the varied taste.

Also, the pack is very comfortable and comes with a limited lifetime warranty to ensure you get the bang for your buck. 

I recommend the Little American bag for its spacious capacity and its innovative floating 15″ laptop sleeve to keep your device safe from accidental drops – a feature that’s is lacking in the Topo Designs daypack. 

Curious? Here’s a detailed review of the Herschel Little America backpack so you can get a better picture of what the bag offers.

Final Thoughts

The Topo Designs daypack is a simple and vintage-looking stylish bag that’s great for anyone who is looking for a versatile pack but not concerned with the bells and whistles.

Based on my Topo Designs daypack review research, I can say this 21.6L pack has the features I look for in an EDC: laptop sleeve, comfortable straps, bottle holders, exterior attachment points, and a high-quality construction that makes me confident that this backpack will last for many years to come.

Versatile too, I like that it works well when you have to transition from school, to work, to travel or the hike.

It however has its compromises. Organizational pockets and compartments are minimal. Also, it’s not the most comfortable pack out there and lacks sternum strap and mesh padding on the back panel.

Overall, the fact that this bag is durable, is handmade in the USA and is backed by a lifetime warranty are just a cherry on top.

What’s your thought of this review of the Topo Designs daypack? Let’s continue the conversation in the comment section.  

By the way, if you are passionate about eco-friendly backpacks that are just as reliable, well-made and versatile for any occasion, you’ll love my detailed review on the 10 Best Ecofriendly backpacks.  

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.  

5 thoughts on “Topo Designs Daypack Review | A Beautiful Daypack With Grit And Style”

  1. I always carry a backpack while hiking with my kids, so it’s helpful seeing all the options that are out there. This is my first introduction to Topo Designs, but I always appreciate finding and supporting new small businesses.

    I really like that Topo Designs daypacks are made in the US and have a lifetime warranty. A little pricey, but a lot of times, you get what you pay for!

    Do you have any suggestions for a hiking backpack that has more compartments? They come in handy when hiking with kids!

    Reply
  2. Hey Femi,

    This looks like a very stylish backpack that I could use for when travelling back home to see my family and friends. I don’t have a lot of bags and the ones I use are falling apart. This looks like a very robust, spacious and reliable backpack. I can see why it isn’t cheap and as you say, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles. Which is a good thing in my opinion.

    Thank you for sharing this and keep up the great work.

    All the best,

    Tom

    Reply
  3. Thanks for this post and review on Topo daypacks.

    I am in need of a new daypack and was researching my options. I have been using a briefcase but always use to use a back pack and want to go back to using one as it is much easier to carry around.
    I like that the top are Vintage stylish looking bags and also they appear to be of great quality and I notice they have a padded spot to put my laptop.

    Think this is the bag I will be picking up. Thanks again.

    Cheers

    Reply
  4. Hi Femi,

    Topo daypack is a truly versatile product thanks for recommending it!
    Its vintage stylish look with a bright design, florescent lining, the creation of an outdoorsy aesthetic backpack, and retro look with modern construction, functionality draws all attention towards it.

    Its great to have so many options in topo backpack with a design perfectly manufactured, travel friendly, spacious, durable, and mostly impressed by its lifetime warranty.

    Thanks,
    Cheers!

    Reply

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