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Ask HN: Do you carry a backpack? Which one?
69 points by nerflad on Jan 10, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 135 comments

I have a GoRuck GR1 that was an insane gift to myself for 3 years sober. One of my most prized possessions.


Congrats! Cool bag -- GoRuck is based in my hometown. Honestly had no idea they were shipping bags all over the world.

I live in Washington, DC and I've seen at least five of them here.

Congrats on the sobriety!

Loved the design and it really looks that it could last a lifetime in any conditions.

Even though I never intend to go rucking (learned what it is just now) and I imagine all this americanism drives the price up, I will keep this on the radar for a time when I have more money :)

Nice looking bag. Which size do you have?

I have the 21L bag. I think it's a great size. Makes a great travel bag.

Same, picked up a 26L GR1 this year and it's been wonderful.

Have you done a GoRuck challenge yet? If not, nows the time!

Congrats! The bag looks great and I love the flag patch.

GoRuck is cool, does their gear have a warranty? For stuff like this, I try to find something with a lifetime warranty.

Yeah they have a lifetime warranty.

I have a Tom Bihn Synapse 25 (https://www.tombihn.com/collections/backpacks/products/synap...). I'm very happy with it. Seems like it will last a lifetime. The pockets are well organized and usable.

Cons: it's expensive.

+1 for Tom Bihn.

I have the Western Flyer travel bag (the lightweight Halcyon variant, not ballistic nylon) rather than a backpack: https://www.tombihn.com/collections/travel-bags/products/wes...

A present for myself when I scored my first big internship in college. It was amazingly handy when I was in school, and after school when I was traveling a lot for work. Now that I'm not traveling as much and only really take my laptop and a notepad on my daily commute, it's a bit oversized for my needs. But I still love it and use it every day (even with the empty space in it).

The ability to switch between backpack format and messenger bag format is my single most favorite feature. It seems like a gimmick, but there are certain situations or environments where one format is superior or more appropriate than the other, and being able to switch in 30 seconds is really useful in those cases.

I'm harsh on my daily drivers like bags and shoes, and am used to them wearing out quickly because of that. But this bag is still as good as new after 5+ years of being mishandled. Will definitely splurge for another Tom Bihn when I decide to get a more appropriate bag for my current work style/needs.

I've had the same Tom Binh Brain Bag backpack for about 15 years and I love it. Wearing it right now in fact. I also have an insert accessory for organizing papers, pens, etc. and a padded laptop protector.

Related, I carry a Synapse 19 daily and freaking love it. Best backpack I've ever bought, and will probably carry it for the next long while.

A Mission Workshop Vandal

It fits everything I could possibly need for travel and it's comfortable enough to use most places I go. Works fantastic for going grocery shopping. Finish is amazing and it's by far the most durable pack I've ever had. Pricy, but absolutely worth it.


I got a Peak Design everyday backpack Ash 20L.

It's a good backpack and I'm happy with it. It's a bit different from regular backpacks and the sweet spot is really people carrying tech around.

If you need a backpack for clothes and large books etc I'd get the 30L or maybe another backpack altogether.

Also I think it's kinda of expensive for what it is.


I have the 30L charcoal Peak Design bag. It is a bit on the pricey side but worth it in my opinion. As a laptop/camera bag I am very happy with it. I bring my camera and a couple of lenses everywhere--ideal for my use. I like the look of it too.

You might like this subreddit https://www.reddit.com/r/onebag/ (and the related subreddits on the sidebar.

I used this LL Bean quad pack [0], but in green. It had good back support and was sturdier than most. Also, LL Bean has a lifetime return policy if you are ever unsatisfied [1].

I now carry this Patagonia Refugio 28L [2]. Smaller, less heavier, and more suited to my needs than the previous backpack.

[0] http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/513705?nav=ftlink

[1] http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/91558?feat=816-CL1&page=quad-...

[2] https://imgur.com/a/SZTsc

The Côte & Ciel Isar Rucksack. Perfect for daily carry and short trips. The laptop compartment can fit a 15in Macbook Pro and the main compartment can hold a couple changes of clothes and toiletries. Still looks brand new after a couple years of use.


Another vote for the Goruck GR-1.


It's been through three rucks and has been my daily partner for three years now.

As a bike commuting New Yorker, I'm frequently carrying my whole life around plus laptop, and it's been perfect. It looks as new as the day I purchased it.

A truly buy it for life item.

Last year, I decided I wanted an age appropriate backpack and got a Piquadro: http://www.piquadro.com/us/bags-backpacs-briefcases/laptop-b...

Not as rugged as some of the other models discussed here, but very stylish IMHO.

Perhaps a little unusual for a programmer, but I hate techy clothing/accessories. I use a http://www.filson.com/rucksack.html. $350 now, but I paid ~$200 when I bought it--8 years ago. Even after all this time, it's still beautiful and rugged. I'll probably get another 8 years out of it.

I spent 6 months as a "digital nomad" in Europe living out of this bag: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PAD435A/ref=oh_aui_deta...

I love it. It's great.

Did you keep a blog/write at all about being your experiences as a "digital nomad"?

I generally prefer privacy over blog posts, but I do plan to do a few write ups.

That looks like a good size for extended travel. Congrats on not going with a giant expedition pack!

(And this strapped on to your front as well, which is sadly a much more popular choice)

I like this. Would it fit and protect a 15 inch MacBook Pro?

The bag is literally two pockets, so it's up to you how to pack your laptop.

I put my MacBook Air in this case [0] (which also fits MBP) and then put the case in the bag. When I'm flying, I put the case in the "middle" of the bag and surround it with clothes on either side. This makes it easy to unzip the bag, pop the laptop out of the case for security screening, then put it right back in the case after security without disturbing the packed clothes.

[0] https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DN6TSVA/ref=oh_aui_deta...

I've been carrying around this everlane modern snapback for years and love it. https://www.everlane.com/collections/mens-backpacks-bags

I love this $30 backpack I randomly found at Ikea of all places: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20313571/

It's simple. No overt branding (that can't be seam-ripped out quite easily). Lots of pockets and chambers and expandability. And perhaps most significantly, only $30.

I've considered buying a backup backpack since they're so cheap and also since backpacks aren't likely to be a mainstay product category for Ikea.

I love cheap things that are good.

I have a minaal daybag. https://www.minaal.com/collections/your-future-gear/products...

Laptop pocket, which fits my 15" macbook and an ipad no problem. Also is roomy enough for a small drybag for the gym.

Its accessory infrastructure is nice and thought out well. has a handle and a strap so you can carry it as a briefcase or a messenger bag, and the backpack straps zip out of the way when you want to do that

Also, customer service is top notch.

Wow, that's almost exactly what I'm looking for! A bit spendy, but seems worth it.

I carry a Tom Bihn Synapse 25. This bag seems like it never runs out of room, and I couldn't be happier.

Mission Workshop Vandal [0]

I've had a number of bags, backpacks. I think this is my last. I've had North Face Recon's (the older models are much higher quality), Osprey, Timbuk2 (before they got popular), Waterfield Muzetto, Waterfield Cargo.

I think I'm content and this is my last one.

[0] https://missionworkshop.com/collections/backpacks/products/t...

I'd been using a Tom Bihn briefcase (not sure they make the model anymore), which I really liked except that the floppiness of it made it hard to get things in and out of. It eventually started to crunch my shoulder on trips, too.

A few months ago, though, I switched back to a backpack: the Cannae Legion Elite Day Pack (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01C05CRI0). It's a little much around the edges (there's a LOT of MOLLE on there!), and I'm still figuring out the best use for the helmet flap, although I think it'll work well for a jacket when traveling. Lots of pluses, though: the laptop slot perfectly fits my 15" MBP, and the interior is large and roomy with just enough straps and pockets to fit the few small items I have so they don't rattle around and just enough open space to let the rest of my stuff fit without having to play Tetris to get something in or out. There's a small zipper pocket on the upper flap that fits headphones and other important small items, too, and the design of the pack means I can just open the top and slide things in and out without impedance, or open it a lot wider for packing.

I love my Osprey Stratos 26l [1]

I use it for my daily bike commute, as well as for hiking, skiing and as day pack for traveling. It combines (almost) all of the features I'm looking for in a daypack:

Mesh ventilation keeps my back dry when riding my bike in summer. Phone, key and wallet fit in the waist strap pockets for fast reach. Rain cover keeps my stuff dry for the occasional downpour. 26l is large enough to fit in a 11" MacBook and basic climbing gear, small enough to not be bulky. CamelPak fits in to keep me hydrated when in the mountains.

The only feature I miss is being able to remove the waist straps, if I so wish. Larger backpacks, e.g. from Deuter, support this.

If I would use my backpack solely for bike commuting, I'd buy a Deuter Giga Bike [2]

[1] http://www.ospreyeurope.com/gb_en/hiking/stratos-series/stra... [2] http://www.deuter.com/US/us/bike/giga-bike-80444.html

I have a Stratos 24 (medium I think).

I second the removable waist straps. This would change the character of the backpack entirely.

I've been using it for about 5 years now, and it's a great backpack, but the straps drive me nuts. They are great when on a bike, but they get in the way a lot in other situations.

The other thing is that the vent on the back makes the main compartment a bit difficult to store things in. The back isn't flat, so the main compartment is kind of curved. The back panel is basically a really flat peak, like the roof of a house. I like to keep things in the top pockets, but they make it really hard to get stuff out of the main pocket once they get a bit of stuff in them.

Also, the side pockets don't work particularly well with water bottles. They are tilted a bit toward the wearer, and I've found that this tends to cause them to eject water bottles if you are leaning forward at all while running/jogging/riding a bike.

It looks like bag has been substantially redesigned in the past 5 years though, so they may have fixed these issues.

On the plus side, the bag is very durable, and it is very comfortable when using the straps. The integrated rain cover is nice if you are using it as a commuting bag, since I'd never consciously pack my own rain cover.

The venting on the back does help keep a bit cool, but it's not enough to prevent my back from getting all sweaty if I wear it on a hotter day. It's nice if you want a frame in a small backpack, but I'd avoid it myself next time because it makes the backpack pretty large for a given amount of storage, adds weight, and makes the main compartment harder to use.

I bought mine less than a year ago. The main compartment is still curved, I can imagine the 24l version to be too small. Any laptop larger than 12" might get an issue also in the 26l version.

I have a similar experience with water bottles: a typical 1 litre aluminium bottle (e.g. Sigg) hardly fits in the side pocket, so it's always a struggle to squeeze it. Once it's in the pocket, though, the risk of falling out is nil :)

I've been using booq's previous Daypack for almost three years now (http://sm.pcmag.com/pcmag_uk/news/b/booq-mamba/booq-mamba-da...).

I bought the current model but I'm not very happy with it, so I'm still using the old one.

Northface Recon, bought it outta highschool in 2010, and its still going strong, it sees daily use with a 15incomp/notebooks/books/chargers. I've taken it camping as well. Cant complain.

On a side note, i was in a class where the subject of backpacks came up with the girl next to me, I noted to her that everyone adjacent from her had the model bag. Tried and Tested. :)

My everyday carry is the daypack from an Osprey Farpoint 70:


Nice laptop sleeve, roomy main area, a couple pockets, it behaves exactly like a day pack should, I never notice it's part of a set.

When I travel, the main pack is my luggage. Three continents and a dozen countries, it's a great bag. The way the day pack can attach either to the back of the main pack or clip to the front for a chest carry is fantastic. Build quality is completely solid. Last set of travel gear I ever expect to purchase.

Edited to add: the way the straps on the main pack can be zipped up into a panel to make the outside shape sleek and duffel-like is a godsend when the main pack goes under a bus or gets checked on an airline. It even has a side handle that gets a lot of use for lifting and carrying. Really well thought-out design.

I received a Everki Titan https://www.amazon.com/Everki-Checkpoint-Friendly-18-4-Inch-... from a friend of mine after he no longer needed a backback which could hold a 17"+ laptop. I use it as my mobile office for PC repair. Surface Pro 3, tools, cables, adapters, flash drives, and a Canon PIXMA iP100 for printing invoices.

Everki stopped making it a few years ago and have replaced it with the Beacon https://www.amazon.com/Everki-Backpack-Console-18-Inch-EKP11... which I'm considering seeing as how my bag is finally starting to fall apart.

Or maybe I'll go big and get the GoRuck GR1 that was suggested in this thread :)


Bought my first one in 2007 and the zipper only gave out last year. Bought the current version soon thereafter.

I ride the bus and I love the side pockets that give me easy access to my pass. I pack a laptop, two books on average and a lunch. There are all kinds of isolated compartments for things like legal documents, battery packs, and e-readers without opening the main two compartments. The laptop has its own compartment. There's little pocket on the very top for your phone.

I don't think this bag can compete with others when it comes to storage space, but it will take the best of them when it comes to user experience. The placement of some of these pockets/ compartments is very well thought out.

I had a similar model and the zipper broke as well due to putting shoes in the main compartment. It was just barely too small. I did like the bag, but definitely only good if you intend to carry a few things around.

I've carried a FAST Pack Litespeed from TAD Gear[1] almost everyday for the past 3 years. Before that I was mostly using various larger backpacks and a Timbuk2 messenger. The Litespeed has held up really nicely. I use it for both work and whenever I go hiking or camping. It nicely fits my MacBook Pro 13" and my daily things.

My main concerns with purchasing it were the price, I believe I paid $245 plus an additional $60 for the OP1 pouch[2] to go along with it, which I find quite expensive. Another concern was whether it would look too "tacticool" but I can say that in all black and without a bunch of patches all over it I think it just looks like a normal backpack. I was also originally concerned with the weight, its quite heavy empty, but after having used it for years I can say it isn't an issue at all. The padding on both the back area and the straps, combined with a design that seems to fit my body perfectly along with good adjustability, results in it being extremely conformable carrying even heavy loads (40-50lbs) over long periods of time (7-8 hours). Overall, its just a great backpack.

I've also used some of the larger Osprey[3] camping packs and those have been great too but are too big for my everyday needs.

GoRuck[4] and Mystery Ranch[5] make great packs as well.






TAD makes nice stuff, but I think pretty much everyone will immediately recognize that as a tactical style backback, even if it's black.

However, if you don't care then there's nothing wrong with it. My normal backpack finally wore out, so I've been carrying my Mystery Ranch Assault Pack to work.

I'll probably find something a little more civilian looking, but until then it's a great backpack.

You're right, I probably should have just said its not too tactical for my taste. It definitely won't be suited for everyone's style though.

I wouldn't mind getting a more minimalist backpack but I've gotten so used to the comfort my current one offers. Many of the more stylish backpacks I see don't seem particularly well made or durable and the strap systems don't seem nearly as comfortable.

Just bought an Osprey Flapjack this week (https://www.amazon.com/Osprey-Mens-FlapJack-Backpack-Black/d...) and I'm very impressed. It's pretty compact, holds a laptop and a few notebooks very snugly, but still has various pockets for pens, chargers, wallet, phone, sunglasses and other small stuff.

As a Mainer I have been using LL Bean bags of various types all my life, and have several which are great, but they tend to be roomy "bookbags" and it made me nervous that my laptop and things were flopping back and forth in that big space. I'll still use the LL Bean bags for hiking, the gym, and so on.

I have a couple of backpacks. My recent favorite has been the Qwstion Simple Bag: http://www.qwstion.com/en/bags/simple-bag-washed-black.html

It is not fancy - just literally a bag with two almost stringy straps. No fancy compartments except a small pocket type thing inside and a small zip-up pocket outside. The straps also double as a drawstring to close it. I like it because it expands easily to fit everything I need - laptop + charger, synth, gym clothes, lunch, whatever. The strap is also attached in such a way as to let you easily switch carry mode - eg it can quickly go from a backpack to a tote bag.

I have a timbuk2 classic messenger large. For work it holds a 15" laptop easily plus charger, lunch etc.

I also walk alot, and use it for errands. I often fit a weeks worth of groceries in there. Have brought it traveling etc. I've had it since 08 and still in good condition.

Used to carry a backpack, but picked up the Thule Gauntlet[1] just over a year ago now, and it's terrific. High quality water resistance. Super minimal design that keeps things light and easy to pack. Favorite part is the hard shell that does a great job of protecting my stuff from daily abuse. Comes in 13" and 15". I carry around my laptop, charger, small notebook and pen, hardware wallet, and extra USB wall charger. Have plenty of room to spare.

[1] http://www.bestbuy.com/site/thule-gauntlet-attache-case-for-...

What's good and light for a bike but will still protect my precious laptop if I get hit by a car (again)? I can deal with breaking my arm more than disintegrating my laptop.

For walking around, I am disappointed that so many backpacks are so damned heavy!

Here is one I recently bought from Amazon Basics ($29.99)


- Large multi-compartment backpack with a padded sleeve for laptops

- Holds up to 15.6 inch laptop and some ultra-slim 17 inch laptop

- Mesh water bottle pockets at side

- Organizational compartments for pens, keys, and cell phone Internal Dimensions: 12" x 4.5" x 17.5" (LxWxH); External dimensions: 15" x 7" x 19" (LxWxH)

- Large multi-compartment backpack with a padded sleeve for laptops

- Mesh water bottle pockets at side

- Organizational compartments for pens, keys, and cell phone

I have a booq[1] (not this specific model, my model is older has it is black/red but this is very similar) and I've been extremely happy with it. I bought it like 4-5 years ago, it has served me extremely well, I used it extensively for 3.5 years for nearly everything imaginable under all weather conditions. It was a great product, deserved every penny.

[1] https://www.booqbags.com/collections/macbook-laptop-backpack...

I've been using the same Axio backpack for the last ~15 years. When I bought it, they gave lifetime guarantee. It still holds perfectly well after all this time, nothing broken. My MacBook Pro 15" fits well into this backpack by the way.

I wonder if they still create backpacks of the same quality with lifetime guarantee. Could be bad for business :)

My backpack looks quite a bit like this one: http://www.digitalrendezvous.net/2008/06/08/urban-roaming/

SwissGear Valve for the past 3 1/2 years. Got it for $30 from a Newegg Flash deal. It's held up surprisingly well and it fits everything I need without being ridiculously bulky: 15" MBP, ATH-M40x in hard shell case, iPad, stylus, spiral notebook, dot grid notebook, tiny travel router, battery charger, extra AA batteries, and my external trackpad + keyboard when I need them.


I got 3 backpacks.

One large one which I bought for Scouting almost 25 years ago. It still works. I don't know what brand it is. It cost about 150 EUR.

I got two smaller ones. Both can easily hold a 2-3 kg MBP, and a lot more. Ones an Eastpak with lifelong warranty. It cost nearly 100 EUR. Another ones a ThinkPad backpad from around 2007 or so, also cost similar price. Both are awesome. The only disadvantage the ThinkPad one has, it screams 'I contain a laptop' ie. 'rob me!' My gf uses the ThinkPad one.

I bought an e-reader raecently cause I CBA to carry large books around anymore.

I've been using an older version of the Swiss Gear Pegasus backpack (the one with the side pockets that stick out [0]) daily for the past ~12 years. I don't know WTF they made this thing out of, but it refuses to fall apart. Interior volume is slightly too small for a weekend trip, but it's more than adequate for going to/from work.

[0]: http://www.staples.com/SwissGear-Pegasus-Laptop-Backpack-Bla...

I don't use my Swissgear backpack anymore [1], but I actually did wear mine out and sent them a friendly email and they sent me a brand new one, free of charge, and I got to keep the old one, too. Customer. for. life.

I currently use a GORUCK GR1 and it is bombproof. It is my work and play backpack. I drag it through literally mud and over rocks on weekend climbs/hikes/trail runs, wash and dry it in front of a fan in time for the work week. But I do wish it had more affordable organizational options.

1. Because I often have to climb through tight places for work, and the Swissgear was pretty bulky and didn't compress well.

Timbuk2 Classic Messenger bag


- Compartment for laptop

- Loads of room for chargers and Macbook Pro dongles :-)

- Lots of zippy bits and stretchy cargo nets for sorting stuff

I find the messenger bag config is better for my back. I always used to wear a backpack with the strap on one shoulder, and it was definitely affecting my back & shoulders. This is much better and pretty comfortable, and I carry a ton of stuff in my bag.

I have an Osprey Metron 25, which is great for commuting by bicycle.

Their lifelong warranty is excellent. They sent me a new waist strap, free of charge, after I had lost the original one. They also sent me new buckles a couple of times. Of course quality could be better -- why do these buckles keep breaking? But communication with their repair shop was always excellent. The guy quickly managed to find fitting straps and buckles despite the backpack being out of production. Probably they discontinued the pack because of its flawed design that leads to broken buckles.

Was using a Tom Bihn Brain Bag. I recently moved to an eBags Professional Slim - it's incredibly versatile and organized. (tablet compartment, pocket for files, zippered organization, crush resistant compartment for charger, stow one or both shoulder straps, luggage handle passthrough both horizontal and vertical, etc)


I carry the Jansport Night Owl. Jansport isn't a fancy company anymore but their bags are still "buy it for life" and very good quality. In particular this bag has really nice pockets for my laptop and ipad and I've taken it on weeklong trips to conferences as my only luggage (ymmv, I am able to get by on very little).

Link: http://www.jansport.com/shop/en/jansport-us/night-owl-t70g

I'm currently interchanging daily between the Waterfield Vitesse and smaller Waterfield Cycling Musette.


Great for subway commuting, and great for casual situations too. Both bags give me good options to fit my 13" and 15" MBPs. No lifetime warranty, but they're well built.

I do have a GoRuck that I use when I need something more robust.

I've got a Thule Covert DSLR backpack and it's the bomb. Seriously if anyone is in the market for a backpack with dedicated space for a camera I can't recommend it highly enough.

I like this - the issue I have with a lot of dedicated camera bags is that is screams "steal me! I have a lot of expensive things in here!".

This bag doesn't do that (~covert~ gives that away I guess but still!)

I have problems with my back and I tend to overload my backpacks which is a bad combination. So I use a backpack big enough for everyday purposes but small enough to prevent overloading. It is waterproof and has an extra "pocket" for notebooks. It can also be worn together with a suit or coat.

[0] https://www.blackleaf.com/de-DE/Levis-Commuter-Flapover-Ruck...

After buying a lot of backpacks, I settled on the 5.11 12 hour RUSH as a good compromise in size. It is just large enough for my Dell XPS 13, or probably most 11-12 inch laptops. Plus it has a lot of organizational features and flexibility. I can take all of the organizing pouches out of the bag and attach them to the outside of the backpack if I need extra space.


I carry a "SteeSeries" gaming backpack, made by PORT [0], it is huge, and could fit my large laptop, tablet, books, large earphones and clothes with no problem.

The build quality is above average, but for the price it is great.


I have the Lenovo Y Gaming Armored Backpack B8270. Why? It fits any laptop and has a properly padded separation just for my laptop. Water resistant, which is a big plus in London. http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/itemdetails/GX40L16533/460/D97E...

I use a Victorinox backpack.

Spacious, water-resistant, separate laptop compartment with plenty of padding.

Can't find the exact model since I purchased it a while ago, but this one comes close:


Been using the same bag for 4 years. Still looks like its brand new.


Special things I found 1. Lot of compartments 2. Shock absorbers at bottom part to protect laptop 3. Color highlighting and design

Thule Paramount! (29L) - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MHNPQ16/ ($115)

Flap-top with side-access zippers. Carries my 15" rMBP in a padded pocket, has a decent selection of mesh pockets, rubber hooks for attaching a bicycle rear-light, and fits under an airplane seat.

Alienware Orion 17.3-Inch Backpack https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001GI5CSA

I got it mid 2011 when I got my Alienware M11X.

Best backpack I've owned in my life PERIOD

It's still going strong.

Would highly recommend.

I don't use it to carry my laptop though....

That is relegated to an old school thinkpad laptop bag. This thing must be 10+ years old now and still in great condition.

The Côte & Ciel Isar Rucksack.

I've been using this daily, traveling abroad and short commutes for the last 3 years and still looks like new and even been complimented by the design which is weird for a backpack.


I started with a Port Designs backpack offered by the company I work for and I cannot imagine living without it.

This is the most comfortable bag I ever had and I can carry my 10" tablet and 15" laptop easily.


An old 30 litre Alpkit bag that now seems discontinued, similar to this:


I have a large Grid-It inside so smaller items don't get lost:


YNOT medium Gulper (made in Canada)

Can fit a lot of stuff in this and has very few straps and zippers. The liner is great - I can keep my wet rain gear separate from the stuff in the main bag. I use it for daily use and travel.



I carry a boreas bolinas around most days. It works. It's a bit overbuilt for going to and from the office but super comfy when I have to walk across town with a laptop.

I've been using a SnigelDesign Specialist Small for a couple of years now. Very high quality, insulated bottom, PALS webbing for adding more pouches.

Using it every day.


I use a Chrome Soyuz for its water resistant laptop pocket and tough construction. Unfortunately Chrome no longer manufactures this bag. https://www.amazon.com/chrome-2011-soyuz-laptop-black/dp/b00...

I have this bag and absolutely hate it. All of the compartments other than the laptop sleeve are precisely sized to be as useless as possible. It's also ridiculously heavy for its tiny volume.

Just out of curiosity... how do you pack yours? I've tried repeatedly to get used to this bag, and I just can't find a way to use it that works for me. The main compartment is so tight that any sort of jacket or sweater gets wrinkled instantly. God help you if you ever want to throw in a sandwich that isn't in a steel box.

I put my laptop and all cords plus maybe my phone in the water proof pocket. The front zip pocket I reserve for bandaids, money, and maybe a notebook. I put small stuff in the front pockets such as earbuds or mice. Inside I pack a jacket, external hdd, soylent, platypus water bottle, and other large items.

I used to have one and felt the same way. Other than a laptop and a t-shirt you aren't getting much in there yet it's still a medium-sized bag. The most frustrating thing is that the mouth of the bag is smaller than the compartment, it's like working on a ship in a bottle.

Looks cool though.

I have something like the Ogio Renegade RSS[0]. I'm not sure the exact model but it looks like that one. I received it for free from my last job and it is amazing. The best backpack I've ever had.

[0] http://ogio.com/backpacks/renegade-rss

Approx 7 years ago I bought a cheap no-name backpack in a supermarket. I needed it for a short journey and thought that I trash it after that trip. It turned to be so good, that now I use it everyday, also during walks and cycling.

It's still in good shape, I just had have the zippers fixed. I guess fixing was more expansive than backpack. :)

I had a GORUCK GR1 (26L) until my car was broken into.

I'm now bagless, and looking for a replacement.

The Tom Bihn Synapse 25 is at the top of my list.

Get the Synapse and with the cache on rails accessory for your laptop. It's an amazing bag.

I have used various Marmot bags for quite some time. My current Marmot bag is: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01B0VY4G8/ref=oh_aui_sear...

Berghaus 24/7 pack: http://www.berghaus.com/twentyfourseven%2B-30-rucksack/42142...

Bought a new hiking ruck/daysack so this one is now my daily laptop bag / carry on for travelling.

I use an ARC'TERYX ARRO 22 for years. Water proof. Good for carrying a laptop.


I use a backpack on an almost daily basis. I currently use the Aer duffel pack. I won't try to sell you on it except to say that I am happy with the bag. Here is the product page.


I have several backpacks, none really suited well for my job. I need to carry my laptop through security checkpoints every day. Wish I could find a pack that was minimal (few compartments, zippers, latches and other trimmings). Basically I would like a backpack that can hold a laptop and not much else.

I carry the Fjallraven Kanken backpack variant with the laptop sleeve.

These are pretty good bags. They seem to have become ubiquitous in Vancouver.


Been using the Patagonia Chacabuco for a long time now. But it's a bit unruly. Now I'm using the Timbuk2 Q - http://goo.gl/rLxToZ

Slimmer, much more manageable. Course all I throw in there is a Dell XPS 13 and a book.

I'm happy with my Chacabuco/32L and can't even remember how long ago I bought it.

Use it for: - city use, - "pack dad" use (carry extra jackets for my children), - day hikes, - carry on bag - ski bag (carry stuff on downhill ski trips)

Have thought about trying to do an UL overnight backpack trip with it for kicks.

Have taken it back once to Patagonia for free repairs, and another time for a free replacement of some plastic gizmo that fell off.

Nit picking: - The elastic shockcord doesn't work right for me - it seems more cosmetic and doesn't really cover the rare use case of wanting to, say, quickly strap on some sandals on the back and know they don't fall off (they did..).

I've used the shockcord netting to hold my bike lock... But then, I've found that the Chacabuco was not my bike bag of choice after a couple trips. Replaced it with a hand-me-down CamelPack for exploration and panniers for daily commutes.

Black Star Bags in Portland, Oregon makes the best backpacks I have ever seen.

They custom-made one for me for my laptop, external monitor, cables and peripherals, cannabis paraphernalia, etc.

They were really, truly awesome. If you live anywhere near Portland (or even if you don't), they're worth checking out.

I've been using my Timbuk2 messenger for about four years now and it's bomb proof. It's been through every type of weather, and on every trip I've taken.

The only complaint I have is that it wants to fall forward instead of sitting up rigid/straight.

It could be the weight distribution inside your bag or the strap might be a little loose? I use a Timbuk2 and don't have the same problem as you. The last one I bought I learned they're only "water resistant" even though I've taken mine in downpouring rain and everything stayed dry.

Have a Swiss from work.

Also have another laptop bag that I've replaced 3 times in 10 years - at no additional cost. Definitely never paid attention to the warranty before.

Also have an Eddie Bauer backpack that I got at Target 10 years ago. Still going strong (not used for laptop)/

I have a Trager backpack. I've had it for about 14 years -- originally purchased it to carry all of the pages I was photocopying for my psychology classes. It has outlasted a number of other backpacks that I've picked up over the years.

Yes, I have an OGIO backpack and recently bough a second one for my partner. They are durable (looks like new after 4 years of cycling commute under British weather!), practical and they look nice enough.

It feels like they will last a lifetime.

I got a RiutBag, which has no outer zips. It's pretty neat. It's well made and sturdy, and holds more than you'd expect.


The only backpack I own is this:


Fits what I need into it.

Chromebags, they've been on my back for over ten years now, and I still own and use the three I've bought over the years. The only drawback is that they never wear out, so you have no real excuse to change!!

Have you ever looked into Mission Workshop bags as well?

I was pretty set on a Chrome Bag, but I stumbled upon Mission's bags (iirc they are founded by the same people)

They're all great though!

I use a 5.11 Rush 24 Backpack, very useful, so strong. http://www.511tactical.com/rush-24-backpack.html

mandarina duck, i cant find the link on their website, perhaps it's a fake as i bought this in china or perhaps it's a regional backpack. i carry both a macbook air 11 and macbook pro 13, i can put all my cables, dongles, and other stuff with ease, sometimes i carry my ipad mini 2. the build quality is great, straps are well padded, the aesthetics are great, italian designed, waterproof, has pockets on both sides so that you can put water bottles. i own a lot of backpacks, but this is my favorite. post here if you want me to add a pic somewhere

this one is on my "to get someday" list:


or possibly this:


p.s. one of the reason I like them because of their 'ethos':


sea to summit ultra-sil day pack

68g, 20L, silnylon


Possibly my favourite of my many backpacks. It scrunches up to the size of a clementine, making it an ideal secondary bag to keep in one's main bag when travelling. It can be worn under a jacket to inconspicuously carry a laptop in areas with pickpockets.

Goruck GR1 for everyday, goruck GR2 when I travel on airplanes.


I have a Pro Limit backpack for 10 years. The same backpack. I'll replace it soon. It has some scratches, but it is really good for the age.

I carry an LL Bean Commuter Ballistic. Has some really great organization features along with being able to handle 2 15" MBPs with ease.

This is pretty much perfect. I looked at like 50 bags and this one's the one I wanted. Unfortunately, they just discontinued it.

Here are list of backpacks mentioned with price and link to Amazon

GoRuck GR1 $128 http://amzn.to/2ies4lj

The Frye Logan $332 http://amzn.to/2j98jLJ

Lenovo GX40L16533 Y $69 http://amzn.to/2j9dXgF

Peak Design backpack $289 http://amzn.to/2ilwPrN

Patagonia Refugio 28L $125 http://amzn.to/2jl0Ar9

Ibagbar Canvas Backpack $36 http://amzn.to/2j8hkUL

Osprey Strato $105 http://amzn.to/2j9k2tm

Deute $119 Giga Bike http://amzn.to/2j9ggQW

JanSport Hatchet Backpack $69 http://amzn.to/2j9kNms

Thule Covert DSLR Rolltop $194 http://amzn.to/2j9djQs

Filson Rucksack $350 http://amzn.to/2ilNNWH

Cannae Legion Elite Day Pack $140 http://amzn.to/2j2qr7j

Cote & Ciel $435 http://amzn.to/2jx7f0D

Alienware Orion $70 http://amzn.to/2j9lrQO

Timbuk2 messenger $69 http://amzn.to/2jl2QPc

Ogio Renegade RSS $149 http://amzn.to/2j9nHYt

FAST Pack Litespeed from TAD $149 http://amzn.to/2j9gqYG

Northface Recon $89 http://amzn.to/2ii3ZVJ

Everki Titan $169 http://amzn.to/2j9ulxX

Victorinox backpack $120 http://amzn.to/2jx4tZp

Currently a cheap Held MC backpack. I doubt that it will last for long, but there are some good ideas here what to look for next.

Switched out my backpack to a briefcase from linjer.co. It's really clean, functional, and the leather is aging really well.

Tom Bihn Synapse 25 with their Cache on Rails accessory for my laptop. Made in the US with quality materials and workmanship.

An eastpack shoulder bag, enough space to carry a book for the commute and a water bottle during summer.

i've got a berghaus dart 40 backpack that i've had for at least 15 years. it still gets use at least one a week to lug groceries. it's starting to fall apart but probably has a few years left in it.

A North Face Hot Shot I got at goodwill for $20

Various Jansports. Lifetime repair warranty

Osprey Daylite for daily use.

For travel, I use carry-on packs that would allow for, say, a 2-week trip to Europe or SE Asia.

1. Osprey Farpoint 40. All-around favorite. It does everything well, although having slightly less volume. I don't mind because it overpacks well and helps keep total weight in check. Give me a 45L pack and I tend to overpack it and push carry-on limits. Great straps, good suspension, good hip belt (but not quite as good as Tortuga and certainly not better than the MEI).

2. Tortuga Pack v2 (v3 out now, but think v2 was much better). Until the Farpoint, this was my clear favorite for me. Very comfortable. Not flashy or good-looking, but really effective. v3 is considerably heavier and looks very nice (maybe too nice). I don't want my pack to look like I bought it from a Prada store. I prefer the rugged utility look of Osprey. Best at having quick-access pockets.

3. PacSafe VentureSafe 45L. If you're going somewhere where there is no safe in your room or you worry about pack slashers, this is the pack. Its basically like carrying an emergency safe that will protect valuables while you're out of your room. Not as supportive as Osprey or Tortuga, though (weaker straps, no suspension, and weak hip belt). Really good pack in every way but a little lacking in comfort and quick-access pockets.

4. Minaal v1. I hate saying anything bad about this company because I love upstart companies like Minaal and Tortuga. The pack is better IMO than the Patagonia Headway for comfort and support, but its not very stiff. You have to pack it carefully. Put a tablet in the back when overpacked, and you'll worry the tablet is bending. I don't use mine anymore. Totally ineffective hip belt BTW.

5. I've tried Patagonia's Headway carry-on and the Tom Bihn Aeronaut. While they are nice packs, they don't distribute weight very well and can become uncomfortable pretty quickly. No suspension. Weak straps and hip belts. I wouldn't want to walk long distances with them. Bought both and returned them.

6. Haven't tried the GoRuck, but I understand they're quite heavy (good materials, well-built). I don't see better storage options than the Osprey. People love them, however. Or at least, they seem to love the company. I place a premium on added weight, so I probably won't ever buy one.

7. I have an MEI Voyageur, and its without a doubt the most cushioned pack I've used, but its so close to exceeding carry-on limits, you risk overpacking it and having it checked. And if you underpack it, the pack tends to sag and support diminishes. I don't use it anymore.

8. Timbuk2 Aviator. This pack is so close to excellence. Unfortunately, way too small for me (35L or something), but its a good stiff pack, good straps, good pockets, and extremely well-built. All makes for a very comfortable pack. If this pack was, say, 42L, it would be a very close competitor to #1 and #2.

Samsonite Vizair

Briggs and Riley.

Best ever.

The Frye Logan [0]

Very expensive (~$450) but looks great and is extremely well made, I plan to carry it for many years to come.

[0] http://www.thefryecompany.com/logan-backpack/d/42724

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