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13 Backpacks That Will Make You Rethink Your Go-To Bag

Your shoulders will thank you.

Tyler Joe

One thing you would not have heard me say five years ago is, "Where can I get a cool backpack?" But as I get older and somehow accumulate more crap in my bag, backpacks have become the ideal choice for a hassle-free schlep across town. Ahead, the best picks for every occasion—from the gym to the office—that will make you reconsider grabbing your tote the next time you walk out the door.

Best for the Gym
City Adventurer Backpack 17L

Once you realize that this chrome backpack has an interior water bottle pocket, plus enough room for a change of clothes and sneakers, you'll wonder how you ever made the office-to-gym commute carrying anything else.

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Best for Minimalists
The Dipped Zip Backpack

Everlane's waterproof backpack is equipped with a pocket to slip your laptop into, so you can also head straight to your workout from the office. The difference? It's a gym bag that doesn't actually look like a gym bag, so it can double as a weekender.

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Most Functional
Knit Backpack

This super chic Adidas by Stella McCartney knit backpack has a zip compartment underneath its main area to keep your sweaty clothes separated from your clean ones. 

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Most Affordable
Waterproof Nylon Backpack

Normally you can spot a waterproof backpack from a mile away, but Amazon's bestselling nylon backpack is a stylish gamechanger, ensuring your laptop won't get soaked during those mid-afternoon showers. It's also super affordable.

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The Transport Rucksack

Behold: a vegan leather bag that can be carried by the handle, worn over both shoulders, or slung over one arm without any worry that you're going to rip the straps. It has enough room to fit your entire life—laptop, tampons, lipstick, and all—and comes in black if you plan to keep it at the front of your closet year-round.

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Best for the Weekend
Leather Backpack

Blink and you'll almost mistake this backpack for a classic bucket bag. If you can afford to splurge a little, this soft leather silhouette is sturdy, beautiful, and has an easily accessible pocket to slip your phone into so it doesn't drown in your receipts.

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Best for Travel
The Backpack
Away Travel

This unisex minimal knapsack screams, "Take me everywhere" with its padded shoulder straps and large interior. It's ideal for any travel environment, from the Hamptons to the Carolinas.

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Best for Smaller Items
Frye Ilana Small Backpack
Frye Urban Outfitters

A mini backpack fit for all-play-no-work weekends whether you're heading to brunch with girlfriends or having a picnic in the park. 

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Most Versatile
Caraa x Athleta Convertible Backpack

Meredith Blake, is that you? This black mini canvas backpack is perfect to schlep around during shopping trips or grocery runs without sacrificing your style.

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Best for the 'Gram

STATE's Kane backpack comes in every color you could possibly imagine, equipped with an interior padded laptop sleeve that will fit a 13-inch laptop and a water bottle pocket on the exterior so you can stay hydrated. (Seriously, go take a sip of water now.) 

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Most Stylish
Metro Backpack
MZ Wallace

The quilted pattern on this MZ Wallace bag lets you pull off a cooler vibe in laid-back work environments without looking like you're heading to Coachella.

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Most Non-Backpack-Looking
Convertible Tote Backpack
NOTABAG Nordstrom

This convertible canvas tote/backpack hybrid doesn't immediately look like a backpack, which is exactly the point. It can be worn on your arm if you're heading to a meeting or on your back if you're holding your coffee in one hand and answering emails in the other.

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Best to Throw Sh*t Into
The Backpack

One reviewer said this Beis backpack was her favorite birthday present to herself, so that's really all you need to know. 


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