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The 15 Best EDC Backpacks in 2020

Jonathan Tayag
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The 15 Best EDC Backpacks in 2020

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When it comes to efficiently hauling your gear on a daily basis, nothing gets the job done quite like a good EDC backpack. The best everyday carry backpacks typically feature plenty of storage, thoughtful organization, durable materials, and an ergonomic design to make carrying heavier loads comfortable and easy.  With the right EDC backpack, you can have one bag to cover most of your needs, whether you’re using it as a travel pack, a laptop backpack for college, or a bug out bag for emergencies. In this buying guide, we’ll help you pick the right bag for your EDC by highlighting 15 of the best everyday carry backpacks. Whether you want a tough-as-nails tactical backpack, a laptop backpack for your tech or mobile office, an outdoors-ready hiking backpack, or a feature-rich commuter backpack for carrying around town, we’ve got you covered with these picks.

Bellroy Classic Backpack Plus

Bellroy Classic Backpack Plus

Purchase
Key Features
Water-resistant YKK zippers
15" dedicated laptop storage
Hidden quick-access pocket
Specifications
Capacity
22L
Weight
1 kg
Materials
Recycled poly blend
EDC Rating


Price
$$$$
Bellroy’s Classic Backpack Plus is well-suited for everyday commuters with a comfortable 22L of internal storage space and a dedicated laptop compartment that can fit up to a 15" computer. The exterior of the bag is made of water-resistant Venture-weave polyester, finished with leather accents and touch points. That water-resistance is further enhanced with the durable YKK Aquaguard zippers that help keep the rain out even under extended downpours. Because the bag is available in a plethora of colorways, you can pick adesign that suits your style. The low-profile minimal aesthetic of the backpack helps you blend in when you’re in a crowd for discreet travel.
Peak Design Everyday Zip 15L Backpack

Peak Design Everyday Zip 15L Backpack

Purchase
Key Features
270 degree UltraZip access
FlexFold dividers for internal configuration
Lifetime warranty
Specifications
Capacity
15L
Weight
2.51 lbs
Materials
400/900D DWR-impregnated recycled nylon material
EDC Rating


Price
$$$$
Peak Design’s Everyday Zip is an extremely minimal and low-profile travel backpack. Its 100% recycled 400D weatherproof construction features a single 270-degree zipper. The 3/4 zipper allows for full access to the internals of the bag when you need it, as well as easy side access that can come in handy if a camera is part of your carry. The fact that the interior of the backpack is configurable with FlexFold dividers and that the bag itself is well-padded against damage makes this a great laptop backpack and drone photography backpack too. Last but not least, its dedicated computer sleeve accommodates up to a 15“ device, making it an excellent backpack for college too.
Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 24 Backpack

Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 24 Backpack

Purchase
Key Features
Fixed harness
Rip-zip easy access with Velcro
Fits up to a 15" laptop
Specifications
Capacity
15L
Weight
2.3 lbs
Materials
330 Robic fabric
EDC Rating


Price
$$$
With the Rip Ruck series, Mystery Ranch used inspiration from their military bags to design a commuter-friendly EDC travel backpack. True to its name, the Rip Ruck 24 benefits from no-fuss, quick access to the main compartments as well as the two external organization pockets with a quick pull to “rip” the zippers open. There’s also low-profile PALS webbing on the exterior in case you want to attach other gear to the bag, but the whole ensemble works better without the added bulk. The backpack has a floating padded sleeve with Velcro closure that’ll fit up to a 15" laptop and there’s also an additional document sleeve that keeps your travel documents safe and easy to access when you’re going from point A to point B.
Hazard 4 Pillbox Backpack

Hazard 4 Pillbox Backpack

Purchase
Key Features
Fits up to a 16" laptop
Thermo-molded foam exterior for rigidity
Hardpoints on exterior for expansion
Specifications
Capacity
29.5L
Weight
5 lbs 2.5 oz
Materials
Invista 1000D CORDURA fabric
EDC Rating


Price
$$$
The Hazard 4 Pillbox camera backpack was designed to keep expensive optics like camera lenses safe, but the molded foam shell’s semi-rigid structure allows for extra protection for whatever you choose to put inside. The unique look of the backpack is an added plus as well. The interior is lined with Velcro to allow for further configurability, which is especially useful if you use smaller pouches to organize your gear when you travel.
GORUCK GR1 21L USA Backpack

GORUCK GR1 21L USA Backpack

Purchase
Key Features
Lifetime guarantee
Made in the USA
Up to 16" laptop
Specifications
Capacity
21L
Weight
2.9 lbs
Materials
1000D CORDURA nylon
EDC Rating


Just released
Price
$$$$
The GR1 remains a popular pick as one of the best tactical backpacks in the community for its proven bombproof durability, made in the USA quality, and lifetime guarantee. While the hydration compartment can fit a 3L water bladder, it also lets the GR1 pull double duty as a laptop backpack. If you really pack this bag to its limits, the extra-padded shoulder straps make hauling heavier loads more comfortable.
Aer Day Pack 2 Backpack

Aer Day Pack 2 Backpack

Purchase
Key Features
Luggage passthrough
Holds up to a 15" laptop
Duraflex hardware and YKK zippers
Specifications
Capacity
14.8L
Weight
2.9 lbs
Materials
1680D ballistic nylon
EDC Rating


Just released
Price
$$$
Aer recently re-designed their work-focused bag collection, and their new Day Pack 2 incorporates feedback-driven design changes to its organization and layout. It uses new and improved materials for the interior, a redesigned laptop compartment, and the addition of a water bottle pocket from the original version, while the more streamlined, compact, and structured upright design remains the same for easy loading and unloading when you set it down to get down to business.
Recycled Firefighter “The Chief“ Backpack

Recycled Firefighter “The Chief“ Backpack

Purchase
Key Features
Fits up to a 15" laptop in dedicated laptop sleeve
550 paracord zipper pulls
Lay flat design
Specifications
Capacity
21L
Weight
N/A
Materials
1000D CORDURA nylon, YKK zippers, recycled firefighter clothing
EDC Rating


Price
$$$$
If you’re tired of your EDC travel backpack failing on you, you should check out a bag like Recycled Firefighter’s “The Chief” backpack. It’s made of 1000D CORDURA fabric, military-grade webbing, and recycled fabric by hand here in the US. The disaster-proof durability of the bag extends to the zippers as well. While other bags sport YKK zippers they are rarely as big as the #10 zips on this bag, making them extremely well-suited for heavy duty applications and frequent opening and closing when you life a life away from home all the time.
Able Carry Daily Backpack

Able Carry Daily Backpack

Purchase
Key Features
Fits up to a 16" MacBook Pro
Zipper stows for TSA-compatible locking
Sternum strap
Specifications
Capacity
20L
Weight
2.1 lbs
Materials
X-Pac or 1000D CORDURA nylon
EDC Rating


Price
$$$
True to its name the Able Carry Daily is a compact backpack made for comfortable and convenient carry of your EDC on your back. Its use of X-Pac fabric makes it lightweight for its size and features at just 0.9 kg and 20L of space, but of course if you load up a 16" MacBook Pro into the mix it will weigh things down a bit. The key leash built into the front pocket of the bag is great if you lose your keys from your pockets frequently. They’re especially nice if you’re trying to keep a set of keys you don’t normally carry safe like when you’re renting a house far from home. There isn’t a full-on frame built into the bag but the strap system adds some rigidity to the bag especially when it isn’t filled to the brim and that helps prevent against small items flopping around as you run to make your next deadline.
NutSac RuckSac Backpack

NutSac RuckSac Backpack

Purchase
Key Features
Lifetime guarantee
Side zipper access
Internal laptop sleeve up to 15" computer
Specifications
Capacity
19 x 13 x 5 inches
Weight
3.5 lbs
Materials
Waxed canvas and full-grain leather
EDC Rating


Price
$$$$
If you’re looking for classic styling out of your “onebag” travel backpack, not much can beat the timeless heritage look of the classy waxed canvas and full-grain leather on the NutSac RuckSac. Like the classic rucksacks of old that this bag is based upon, the RuckSac keeps water out with thick canvas impregnated with wax and a flip-top design that keeps the rain out as well. That flip top can be secured with the leather and brass hardware, and that helps keep items from falling out when you’re on the move.
Black Ember Citadel R2 Minimal Backpack

Black Ember Citadel R2 Minimal Backpack

Purchase
Key Features
IPX6 rated waterproof
15" laptop compartment
Further configurable for photographers if you opt for the DSLR setup
Specifications
Capacity
25L
Weight
3 lbs
Materials
800D microhex three layer waterproof textile
EDC Rating


Price
$$$$
The Citadel R2 is a community favorite pack that’s highly configurable (especially if you’re a photographer) but its base minimalist configuration lets you maximize the space and configure it how you wish. This waterproof backpack provdies a full 25 liters of immersion-safe storage thanks to the microhex 800D three-layer textile that’s laser cut to shape and sealed against intrusion from moisture and the elements to an IPX6 rating. The blacked-out design keeps things low-profile and the lack of loud external webbing and hook-and-loop areas that tactical bags have let you run discreet in foreign places.
Topo Designs Daypack Backpack

Topo Designs Daypack Backpack

Purchase
Key Features
15" internal laptop sleeve
Contoured padded shoulder straps
Made in the USA
Specifications
Capacity
21.6L
Weight
1.85 lbs
Materials
1050/1000/420D CORDURA, Horween leather
EDC Rating


Price
$$$
The mix of heritage natural leather and modern 1000D CORDURA fabric makes the Topo Designs Daypack a great choice for travel EDC. Its low-profile, yet colorful design allows this bag to look aesthetically beautiful but not necessarily "too nice" making you a target from people looking to mug people who look unfamiliar with the locale. The large external access zip area is great for small quick access items like documents and other travel essentials, and you can fit up to 21.6L of gear into the main compartment. There’s two side access water bottle pockets for your hydration needs on the go, and for especially adventurous excursions there’s even an ice axe loop built in for when the temperatures get low and you find yourself at high altitude trying to climb.
EVERGOODS CPL24L V2 Backpack

EVERGOODS CPL24L V2 Backpack

Purchase
Key Features
Fits up to 17" laptop
Full suspension harness
Top and side carry handles
Specifications
Capacity
24L
Weight
2.9 lbs
Materials
420D HT nylon lining
EDC Rating


Just released
Price
$$$$
The EVERGOODS CPL (short for Civic Panel Loader) was designed to be a capable travel backpack for everyday commuting during the workweek, with technical materials and outdoor-ready features that make it suitable as a hiking backpack for weekend warriors. It offers easy access on the go with a large amount of storage areas and easy loading and unloading of all your gear and clothes when you have more time. The full suspension design of the backpack also makes it an extremely comfortable bag to carry even when it’s filled to its full 24L capacity. And since the bag weighs 2.9 lbs unloaded, the bag itself doesn’t contribute much to the maximum carry-on weight when that’s a consideration you need when you’re flying internationally.
DSPTCH Daypack Backpack

DSPTCH Daypack Backpack

Purchase
Key Features
15" laptop compartment, additional space for 10-13" tablet
Internal water bottle pockets
Mesh internal zip pocket for loose items
Specifications
Capacity
22L
Weight
2 lbs 12 oz
Materials
1680D ballistic nylon, DWR coated
EDC Rating


Just released
Price
$$$$
The DSPTCH Daypack features super-durable 1680D ballistic nylon fabric, which is far more abrasion-resistant (and water-resistant) than your standard off-the-shelf backpack. This means it’s well more than capable to stand up to daily cuts and scrapes during your commute, and it serves it well too when you opt to take this bag out with you when you’re traveling far from home. The mil-spec webbing lets you configure the bag further with additional pouches, and DSPTCH makes a dedicated set of them that fit will with the overall aesthetic design of the bag. The DSPTCH Daypack fits up to a 15" laptop and there’s also a 10-13" tablet sleeve with loop cord management, making this a great option if you carry more than one electronic device everyday.
5.11 Tactical TAC Essential Pack 25L Backpack

5.11 Tactical TAC Essential Pack 25L Backpack

Purchase
Key Features
Compatible with 5.11’s RUSH line of add-ons
External low profile side web MOLLE
Quick release yoke shoulder strap
Specifications
Capacity
25L
Weight
1.8 lbs
Materials
1050D nylon
EDC Rating


Just released
Price
$$
5.11 Tactical has earned their reputation in the everyday carry community for their excellent tactical backpacks, but their TAC Essential Pack pares things down the the essentials. This tactical backpack takes a more low-profile approach, with a discreet design to help you blend in with the crowd and not draw unwanted attention. Similar to their RUSH series of bags, the TAC Essential features 25 liters of space and a super-padded yoke system that makes carrying gear comfortable even through a full day’s use. There is PALS/MOLLE webbing on the sides of the item, but they’re more blended in than with other tactical backpacks, so only you have to know they aren’t just there for decoration.
LBT 20L G2 Go Pack Backpack

LBT 20L G2 Go Pack Backpack

Purchase
Key Features
Tablet / laptop storage area fits up to 13" laptop
Adjustable padded shoulder straps with sternum strap
Mesh storage area for small items
Specifications
Capacity
16 x 12 x 5 inches
Weight
1.1 lbs
Materials
500D nylon
EDC Rating


Price
$$$
As per its name, this is designed as a "go pack" but all the storage and durability that mission requires also makes it great for travel. At just 1.1 lbs fully unloaded thanks to its 500D construction, this is a lightweight yet spacious bag that’s still durable enough for all-day carry, and the two compartment areas let you separate gear and clothing as needed. If you prefer more outward military styling, the bag comes in multiple service camo colorways, but there’s also more low-profile grey and solid black for discretion in public.

#lbt #511-tactical #dsptch #evergoods #topo-designs #black-ember #nutsac #able-carry #recycled-firefighter #aer #goruck #hazard-4 #mystery-ranch #peak-design #bellroy #bags-pouches #backpacks #buying-guides #testing #edc-backpack #best-man-edc-comb #good-everyday-backpack see all



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Discussion (5 total)

No love for the Maxpedition Lithvore?
Brady Shields ·
No Vertx option? Really?
Damien Lowe ·
I have a huge collection of backpacks and I keep coming back to Kriega, only because everything else seems very mild. They're built like a parachute harness. I have the R20 and R30 and all 3 variants of their slings (keeps my options open :) )
Matthew Brady ·
I think the mountain hardware Folsom Pack should have made the list!
1 more comments