I have always been a backpack guy. Since junior high when I got my first backpack I have loved the ability to carry gear with ease anywhere I go. While I have tried many backpacks over the years I have begun to build up a handful of bags I use for different occasions. Much like some collect purses, I collect backpacks. The below are some of the bags I currently use for those scenarios that I want to change things up a bit, or want to rotate through a few bags!
This bag is first and foremost quite large. This bag has been my go to for a weekender bag, a camping trip, a flight where I don’t want to pack a carryon as well, and came in handy when moving. Coming in at $260 this backpack has a 30L capacity with organization built in. There is a dedicated work compartment, organizational pockets all around and then a huge main portion that fits all of the larger gear or clothing. I wish I could find a complaint about this bag but I truly cannot. This bag is absolutely wonderful and is one I recommend to anyone looking for a larger bag.
For those looking for daily backpack size, this 20L bag is a wonderful option. This has been a great bag for me for running to the office, and carrying gear when I’m on the road. This bag is about half the price of the Max, coming in just under $130. Personally, I love how light this bag is and how simple it is. I have also learned to love the built-in organization on the inside, allowing me to keep my gear tidy and not just thrown in a bag.
As a gadget lover, I immediately loved this backpack. With a price tag of $160 and capacity of 17.5L, this bag is a Swiss Army knife. While the organization inside for gear is great, what blew me away were a handful of features that I was thrilled to see so beautifully designed. First, there is a charging pad area built into the top of the bag. An add on turns the backpack into a wireless charging center by simply placing your phone on the top. Where most bags round this off, Hex designed to flatten it out and make the top of the backpack functional. Second, this bag has a built-in water resistant rain fly. The bag itself is antimicrobial and water resistant, however Hex chose to take it a step further. This rain fly pulls out of the bottom of the bag and covers the entire bag in one single fabric allowing for optimal rain protection in the worst rains. Third, while most bags utilize water bottle pockets on the sides, Hex turned one side into a felt lined phone holder pocket. All in all, this is a super cool, functional, and fun backpack.
I remember the first time I saw this headline come across my newsfeed, I thought it was a joke. There is no way a backpack could fold down and still be of quality. Man was I wrong. This bag will set you back $90, however it does one thing better than any other bag I have found… it collapses. While that sounds simple, what this bag does is go from something that can be packed away in another backpack, or suitcase, to a full size, functional, no missing pieces bag with ease. The bag while fully expanded has organization, comfortable straps, solid support and great design. Additionally, to add to the functionality, it is built to be compatible with a water bladder for any hiking trips. This bag is a staple now for me for any trip I go on that I have a suitcase, or when I bring a bigger backpack. I’ll bring this one as well so I can have a smaller bag to carry my iPad Pro and some chargers in without needing to carry a huge bag all day.
The Incase A.R.C. Daypack is a great middle ground of all the above mentioned bags. This Eco-friendly bag is just under 20L and costs about $130. Designed for the creative, I have found this bag to have a surprising number of pockets and internal organization. This bag is perfect for those slightly longer or more gadget needed days, but not quite needing that 30L bag. This bag has been perfect for carrying musical gear, adapters, camera gear, tech for a weekend away and a full presentation worth of materials. If you are looking for a middle ground that works wonderfully, check out this Daypack. The one thing I wish was that some of the organizational pockets on the inside were a little bigger, but beyond that small nuance, I truly love this bag.