Backpacks

The Best Backpacks for Onebag Travel and EDC

Whether you’re going on a family trip or traveling solo through another country, a good travel bag can go a long way. But airline baggage fees can add up in a hurry, and while rolling luggage is great for finding your way through airports they’re not so practical once you get to your destination. A beautiful beach or scenic cobblestone street can easily turn into a struggle if you’re rolling around a giant suitcase.

Which is why if you’re going to be traveling, it might be a good idea to look into getting one bag that can do it all. The idea behind onebag travel is to find one bag that fits what you need, is comfortable to carry, and doesn’t need to be checked. That way you can hop off the plane ready to explore. Onebag travel isn’t a new concept and it takes a bit of practice to get it right, but there are plenty of great bags that make it a little easier to get started. In this guide we’ll look at some great options you should check out whether you’re a frequent flyer, first-time adventurer, or looking to travel the world with nothing but a backpack.

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The North Face Kaban Laptop Backpack

Sometimes getting through your morning commute can feel like a mountain to climb. If there's one thing to make it easier, it's a great backpack to keep your essentials ready and organized. With tons of outdoor gear expertise, it's no surprise The North Face knows how to make a bag for all your urban adventures, too. The Kaban backpack has the right features, materials, and organization for urban EDC whether you're biking to work, hustling between classes, or just exploring the city.

One of the most important qualities of an EDC bag is ease of access when you're on the go. The 26L Kaban makes getting to your gear quick with a U-shaped, top-loading design. The front compartment opens to reveal a contrasting interior with mesh stash pockets near the top of the bag, perfect for cables and chargers. On the back of the outermost panel is a zippered mesh pocket for added storage. A typical admin panel stores pens, your phone, and other small items. A soft fleece lining makes this the perfect place to store your tablet or other delicate tech, too.

While the front compartment is a top loader, the 3/4 zip allows you to unzip it enough to access it from the side, making gear at the bottom of the compartment easier to reach. Another small pocket accessible from the other side is perfect for your frequently used gear, as you can draw the bag under your arm and reach in from the top without having to take the bag off.

You're free to load the spacious main compartment as you see fit, as it doesn't have any internal pockets in the way. It's perfect for books, a change of clothes, packing cubes, and so on. And if you don't need to load the main compartment, keeping it empty leaves the bag nice and slim for a low profile carry. Behind the main section is a dedicated laptop compartment that accommodates up to 15” laptops, complete with a pull tab to make retrieving your computer easier.

Thoughtful details round out the bag, like its side water bottle pockets, water resistant exterior fabric, and ventilated back panel designed for comfort, sweat wicking and optimal airflow. Lastly, an adjustable sternum strap and adjustable shoulder straps let you dial in the fit for a secure, high-riding pack that carries comfortably when cycling or under load. You can pick one up in your choice of muted, street-ready colors or opt for outdoor-inspired high-vis options at the link below.

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Deal Alert: 60% Off Timbuk2 Blink Pack (Was $119, Now $48)

It can be hard to find a discreet EDC backpack for your laptop, especially with so many of them trying to look conspicuously hip and cool for the tech crowd. Sometimes it's better to keep it stylish and low key, especially if you'll be traveling or commuting with all your essentials in tow. If you've been keeping your eyes peeled for an outstanding bag that doesn't stand out, check out the Timbuk2 Blink Pack. It's a low-profile EDC laptop bag that'll carry your valuables safely and discreetly.

There's no loud branding or overbuilt tech design on the Blink Pack. It doesn't scream laptop bag, but it is by no means a boring or ugly piece of kit. It has an attractive minimalist aesthetic that fits well in today's urban environment. This design features a durable 420D ripstop nylon exterior for excellent water and abrasion resistance. The ripstop comes in neutral colors like black and grey-blue for a subtle texture and slight sheen without drawing too much attention.

The dedicated padded laptop pouch in the rear of the bag fits up to a standard 15 inch computer. The main compartment is a clamshell design that fully opens to lay flat, making it easy to load and unload gear. Internal organizers help you keep your gear in order and easy to find, while your most-used items can go its quick access outer zip compartment. To reduce bulk, especially when size is limited, the bag also features compression straps to make things more compact. The bag makes good use of its 24L capacity for traveling and everyday carry alike. The Blink Pack doesn't skimp on comfort when it's loaded up, either. The pack panel is air mesh ventilated for extra padding and comfort in the heat. It also has a removable sternum strap for support and stability.

With the Timbuk2 Blink Pack you finally get a capable laptop bag that's discreet enough to take with you on the go. Pick one up at the link below and make it a part of your own adventures.

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Pricing shown reflects deal pricing accurate at the time of publication and may have changed since.

Maxpedition Entity 21

Far too often, tactical backpacks for EDC make you stand out like a sore thumb. That's because they're designed with battlefield use in mind, not everyday situations. Anything that brings unwanted attention to you and your gear can be a potential risk. If you've been looking for a discreet tactical EDC backpack, the Maxpedition Entity 21 is for you. Its attractive design doesn't feel out of place, but it's still a tactical bag through and through.

The low-profile minimal design of the Entity 21 is something you don't expect to see on a tactical bag. The bag features an urban gray color scheme and muted branding to keep things low-profile. It's still built tough enough to stand with the rest of the tactical packs out there with its weather-resistant, PU-coated 500D Kodra fabric exterior. Beefy YKK zippers as well as reinforced seams and straps ensure the bag lasts through everyday wear and tear.

True to its name, the Entity 21 provides 21 liters of storage space in total. Its main compartment opens up like a clamshell for easy access to your gear. It also includes a dedicated padded pouch for a small tablet. For added security while travelling, the main compartment is compatible with TSA locks. It also has a magnetic closure that helps keep your gear inside even if you forget to zip the bag up. For further organization, the flap space on the sides work well with your small items. There's also a dedicated space for concealed carry that's accessible from both sides. If you don't carry concealed, you can use the compartment to store your valuables and important identity documents as well.

To the uninitiated, the Entity 21 might look like a regular backpack. And for some of you, that's exactly what you want. Check out this new discreet tactical pack at the link below.

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Venque Amsterdam Pack

Chances are the main tools that you consider to be a part of your EDC can all fit in your pocket, but for plenty of people that’s only the beginning. If you commute to class or to work everyday, your EDC can extend to notebooks, textbooks, a laptop, charging cables, etc. to name a few. That’s when having a good bag comes in handy. The new Amsterdam backpack by Venque wasn’t made for tactical use in the field or for two week treks through the mountains, it's specifically for the commuter who prioritizes organization, comfort, and a quality build.

The first thing you’ll notice is the sleek, minimal design that makes this pack stand out from the rest. It's covered in Venque's specially formulated, high-density Quanta fabric that, along with the leather trim and YKK zippers, not only looks good but will also keep your gear safe even in bad weather thanks to its water resistance and durability. If you’re going to carrying a backpack with you everyday, you also want it to be comfortable. That’s why the Amsterdam pack comes with ergonomic straps that contour to the natural shape of your body. There’s also a sturdy top handle for when you find yourself squeezing into packed subways or buses and need to carry it by hand.

The Amsterdam doesn’t offer much in terms of pockets, with only a small zippered one on the front to complement the main compartment. But that doesn’t mean that it’s lacking in organization. Instead, the bag has a removable organizer that fits a 15-inch laptop along with plenty of other smaller essentials like pens, pencils, and cables. It’ll keep your gear organized and accessible during the week. And once the weekend comes around, you can easily remove the organizer to make more space in the main compartment for whatever you need to get some R&R when you're not working.

If you’re in the market for a new everyday pack or just want something that’s a little more versatile than the one you’re currently rocking make sure to check out the Amsterdam pack by Venque. It comes in either gray or black with the option of black or brown leather trim, so whatever your style is you’re sure to find the perfect match.

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This is a sponsored post presented by Venque.

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5.11 Tactical Dart Pack

5.11 Tactical as an EDC brand needs no introduction nor proof of their reliability. From commuters wanting mil-spec quality in their daily bag to servicemen and women relying on a rugged pack in hairy situations, 5.11's packs have shown their mettle time and time again. But for some people, their stylings lean more towards tactical utility than urban minimalism. So with the Dart Pack, 5.11 takes a step in a sleek direction, with a design that that adds modern form on top of their signature function.

If you're familiar with 5.11's flagship designs, you're probably expecting a full array of MOLLE webbing all over the bag. The Dart Pack instead goes for an understated yet robust 420D nylon exterior with a simple logo on an otherwise minimal design. You'll find more tactical touches on the bag's shoulder straps, which come with the webbing and adjustable sternum strap found on other 5.11 packs. The rear of the pack comes with vented padding for comfort, while the shoulder straps are “free” on loops instead of attached to fixed points on the bag.

On the inside is where you'll find the biggest difference if you're used to the brand's other backpacks. Instead of few pockets and an open main compartment, you get more options to organize your gear, including a drop-fleece lined pocket and more webbing to strap in your EDC. The angled zip main compartment itself has about 20 liters of capacity, while a secondary pocket can double as a hydration compartment. Both of them are also compatible with a PE board that comes with a padded laptop sleeve, elastic pocket, and more webbing for pens and other essentials.

This isn't the 5.11 Tactical backpack you're looking for, but it could be more than expected from an EDC backpack. Pick one up from Amazon at the link below.

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DSPTCH Travel Pack

When pockets aren’t enough, a day pack would be your usual go-to. But what do you do when you’re packing more than a day’s worth of gear? Not all EDC packs have the durability and features to pull double duty as a travel bag for those longer trips. DSPTCH’s new Travel Pack is one sleek solution for urban EDCers and modern travelers, designed to make packing heavier loads and carrying them on your back easier than ever.

The 30L Travel Pack is the perfect size to fit a few days worth of clothing as well as your tech gadgets. Its main compartment is large enough to fit your clothes, but you'll also get a dedicated compartment on the bottom for keeping shoes or dirty clothes separate. You’ll also get a padded laptop compartment along the rigid back panel, which both protects your device from damage and gives structure to the bag no matter how full or empty it is.

Then there’s all the different ways you can carry it. Convenient side handles let you carry the pack briefcase style when space is limited, but the most unique feature of this bag is its dedicated, multi-functional hip belt. When worn around your hips, it does a great job of distributing the load during those long treks by foot. Anchoring the straps to the middle of the bag lets you secure it to the handle of your rolling luggage for breezing through airports. Reversing the belt turns it into a compression strap to not only make it easier for you to stuff the bag into an overhead compartment when flying, but it also prevents the bag from looking like a turtle shell when fully packed.

The Travel Pack is no slouch when it comes to organization either, with plenty of pockets to help you stay organized even in the most hectic of itineraries. The main compartment offers two mesh pockets for smaller essentials, with easy access to the larger one thanks to YKK zippers on the outside of the pack. Perfect if you need to get to your headphones and don't want to unpack your entire bag. Dual side pockets are perfect for water bottles, but can also hold smaller essentials like battery packs and passports thanks to a zippered closure. Of course, the Travel Pack features a made-in-the-USA, weather- and abrasion resistant nylon construction to be your travel companion for the long haul.

You don’t have to be a backpacker to know how useful a sturdy hip belt can be, and having a dual purpose one in a modern EDC bag is unique to this pack. If you’re looking for a low-key and flexible way to carry your gear on your next trip the DSPTCH Travel Pack checks all the boxes. Hit up the link below to pick one up for yourself.

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Nitecore BP20 Backpack

When you see the name Nitecore, you probably think of their high quality EDC flashlights. They've earned their place in many EDCs with their long history and large catalog of lights for both tactical and everyday use. More recently, they've taken their utilitarian and feature-driven approach to lights and put it into their first backpack, the BP20. From top to bottom it's got well-thought out features designed to make it the most useful backpack in—and carrying—your EDC.

At its core the BP20 comes with the features expected from a modern tactical backpack. Teflon-coated 1000D nylon gives it a rugged build and abrasion resistance while a full suite of straps and clasps let you adjust the backpack for a streamlined and comfortable carry. A 20L main compartment takes care of your larger gear, while dual front pockets organize your smaller essentials. On the tactical front there's MOLLE webbing galore, including a detachable/adjustable front panel to accommodate expansion pouches, helmets, or can even be used as a scabbard. This panel flips out or down depending on how you need to use it.

Other features add expansion and convenience to the BP20, like a padded inner compartment for your laptop and a built-in clip for hanging hydration bladders and reservoirs. There's also a packable rain cover to complete the pack's waterproofing when the weather is worse than expected. This set of features make the bag good for both urban EDC and outdoor or service use when you have a variety of loadouts and environments the bag will be used in.

The BP20's packed with features, all configurable and fully at your disposal. Pick one up from Amazon at the link below.

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Reader's Choice: 5 Bags EDCers Want

Last week our team put together a list of bags that came out this past year that we'd love to get our hands on.  After sharing our picks, we took to the comments and social media to see what you, the readers, were excited about too. In this guide we've listed the bags you've chosen, and we hope it gives you even more great bags to pick from as the year comes to a close.

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Outlier Ultrahigh Quadzip Review

Review

Even if you can cram everything you'd ever need in your EDC pack, it's only useful if it's easy to get to at a moment's notice. Most traditional backpack designs make more sense for simply lugging gear from point A to point B, while crossbody slings and messenger bags make for a more nimble EDC that's always ready. But one backpack aims to turn that preconception on its head. The Outlier Ultrahigh Quadzip is a truly unique pack from its design to its construction, made from a material that's ounce for ounce stronger than steel. We got a chance to give you a closer look at this pack courtesy of the technical menswear experts at Outlier for this review.

SOG TOC 20 Backpack

When looking at tactical backpacks, you expect certain things. MOLLE webbing on the front. An admin pocket for organizing smaller essentials. Adjustable straps, and high-quality materials and construction. So how does a tactical bag set itself apart from the rest? SOG have their answer with the TOC 20 backpack. It's got all the features you want and expect from a rugged pack, with upgrades in all the right places and features you didn't even know you needed.

Right off the bat, the TOC 20 covers all the bases for a tough EDC backpack. Padded shoulder straps and rigid suspension make it comfortable to carry, even when filled to the bag's 20L capacity. A sternum strap with whistle doubles as a stabilizer and emergency tool. For tackling the weather the TOC 20 is built from polyurethane-coated Kodra 500D nylon for extra durability and water resistance.

But organization and expansion is where the TOC 20 shines. Up top is an impact-resistant admin panel with internal pockets for your smaller gear. Laser-cut Hypalon MOLLE panels cover the bag's front exterior, a lower profile version of the usual nylon webbing. The bag's front pocket and main compartment also come with internal organization to let you keep things in the right place. A pass-through side access laptop compartment lets you pull out your computer from either side while doubling up for hydration duty when needed. And for expansion, nylon MOLLE webbing on the bottom, webbing lash points, and Hypalon zinger tabs on the shoulder straps let you attach additional equipment as needed.

The SOG TOC 20 covers everything you need from a tactical backpack and possibly even more. Pick one up from SOG direct in the color of your choice at the link below.

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This is a sponsored post presented by SOG.

Direct Action Dragon Egg Mk II Tactical Backpack

As the world moves and changes, so do your needs. And when it comes to gear you rely on every day, you can't afford to be stuck doing the same old thing to keep up. Direct Action aren't ones to shy away from change, so they've hatched a new version of their Dragon Egg backpack. It keeps all the elements that make it an excellent tactical daypack, while improving accessibility with redesigned pockets.

The Dragon Egg is a 25-liter backpack that's built for the modern EDCer, hitting all the right beats for both urban and tactical needs. Three zippered pockets include a large main compartment with an internal hydration sleeve and mesh pocket, a rear padded pocket for comms or a 15” laptop or smaller, and a front admin pocket with internal organization for your loose essentials. New to the Mk II are side pockets which fit narrower items and can expand to fit modern water bottles. Finally, a soft velour-lined pocket lets you safely carry a pair of glasses or your phone. The backpack is made from 500D Cordura nylon treated with a water-resistant coating for use during any weather or activity.

Expansion and customization is where the Dragon Egg gets beastly. On its front is a laser-cut webbing system compatible with MOLLE and PALS that give you modular expansion without adding an extra layer of bulk. Pairing this with daisy-chain webbing that runs along both sides of the front panel widens your carry options even more, letting you attach carabiners or extra gear. The Dragon Egg's shape makes it more comfortable to use when worn with belt kits or ballistic vests, and its adjustable shoulder straps and ventilation system let you carry the pack with ease for even the longest operations.

The Direct Action Dragon Egg Mk II is a modern backpack for modern needs. Pick one up in your choice of color or camouflage at the link below.

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