Stylish Backpacks for War Zones, Big City Jungles and the Wilderness

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We found 15 cool backpacks for men that will turn you into a backpack enthusiast.

There are items that never go out of fashion—even with the advancement of time and technology—the backpack being one such item. While new inventions, such as suitcases with wheels, may lighten your burden, they are impractical both in the big city jungle where navigating people’s feet becomes a problem and the actual jungle where there are no pavements. Other handheld bags may look nice, but they, too, soon become unpractical if you have to carry them for any length of time. Finding cool backpacks for men for the office, travel and working out should be easy.

Thankfully, as the backpack has retained its popularity, cool backpacks for men have been designed by world class brands and designers. Gone are the days when every backpack looked like it was made for the gym, or for school kids. Today you find epically cool backpacks for men that are so sleek they fit right into corporate settings and so well designed even the self-proclaimed designer geeks (think ad agency staff) are wearing them. We’ve listed some of the best designed—whether most practical or most fashionable (usually both)—backpacks on the market today.

 

The Bellroy Transit Backpack

As the name implies, this gem was designed for travel. Separate pockets for your phone, laptop and passport makes both passport control and getting through security a breeze. There’s also a side pocket for a water bottle (remember to throw that out before you get to security) and a padded one for your shades (great for those of you who need to be able to quickly hide from the paparazzi, or your mother-in-law). The main section of the bag is big enough to pack a pair of shoes and a couple of changes of clothes. If in doubt as to how to pack for your next trip, there’s a video on their website showing you the ropes. As for comfort, the padded shoulder straps and the contoured foam back panel fit multiple body shapes.

The look of the backpack is fairly neutral—it’s made of water-resistant woven fabric, made from recycled plastic bottles—possibly a bit on the sporty side, but sleek enough to fit in at the office.

Buy $239

Fit Pack 2 by Aer

This backpack comes with a ventilated shoe compartment. We just had to put that first. How epic is that for the gym rats among us? Or those of us who prefer to run/bike to work and then change our shoes? Keeping the shoes away from your precious laptop is made easy by the Fit Pack which has a separate padded pocket for a laptop, another pocket for your diary and a zip-up mesh net compartment [1] for wires and such. There’s also an easy access top pocket for small valuables and a larger space to store a change of clothes, a packed lunch, or whatever else you may want to carry.

Made with a 900D eco-dyed polyester exterior, these cool backpacks for men are both stylish and practical. They will definitively prevent you from looking like a fumbling idiot when searching for your phone, or change.

Buy $135

The Citadel R2 Kit by Black Ember—Impressive Is an Understatement

Made in California, this backpack is sleek, minimal and designed to handle whatever you might want to put it through. Waterproof three-layer fabric and T6, aircraft-grade anodized aluminum + laser etched hardware makes this backpack unique. Not only that, it comes with theft deterrent closure, a concealed documents pocket, as well as easy access pockets. It has several internal pockets for a laptop, a cellphone and anything else you might want to carry with you. In fact, it has a mag lock divider protective tablet sleeve, five fast access internal pockets and two zipper storage pockets. It opens 360 degrees, making it a clamshell pack with easy access to all your belongings.
You can buy a separate modular DSLR case that fits inside as well.

Impressive doesn’t even begin to describe this design. These cool backpacks for men are also uber practical. We’d happily take one with us while navigating the streets of any big city.

Buy $225

Quick Pack 18L by RYU—Great When Getting Sweaty

This Bluesign certified (meaning it’s created using responsible and sustainable manufacturing of textiles) backpack is made with a Polygiene™ liner  (recycled silver), which helps inhibit the growth of bacteria. In short, if wearing it while running, biking or navigating an overflowing public transport system and sweating like a pig (how very impolite of you!), it will keep smelling like a daisy, even if you don’t. It also comes with shoulder straps lined with breathable mesh fabric to help keep you cool. Internal foam shell further keeps the bag’s shape no matter the size of what you’re carrying.

As most cool backpacks for men do, it comes with a padded laptop compartment and an internal mesh zipper pocket to keep small items securely in place. It also has a two-zipper drop-front-opening for easy access.

Buy $190

Goruck GR1—Bomb Proof Your Laptop

Built for cities, war zones and traveling the world (and the wild), this backpack was is super durable and comes in two sizes: 21 and 26 liters. With a lifetime guarantee, this is, quite literally, an investment for life.

It has a bomb proof laptop department. No kidding. The special forces have used this backpack. It also comes with a false bottom (to protect your laptop, not to use for smuggling in case you may have wondered), extra padded straps, a hydration port (you can pop your hydration bladder in there—the hose can be fed through an exit port), silent zippers, hard plastic frame sheet and several smaller compartments. It has three rows of external and internal MOLLE webbing to let you customize it how you want. It’s rain proof, so your valuables remain safe if, say, traveling to Seattle. The GR1 is one of the coolest men’s backpacks on the market, much thanks to its durability and its rugged look that lends a certain je ne sais quoi to your travel style.

Buy $265

The Able Archer Rucksack

With a drawstring design, this rucksack looks a tad different from the previous ones on this list. Waterproof and with dual side entries and two main compartments within, it’s a practical backpack. Especially, as it comes with a laptop compartment and two hidden stash pockets at the waist, as well as a passport pocket. It also has several mesh pockets inside for small accessories. Made out of waterproof canvas, this rucksack certainly is a practical travel companion, whether you’re traveling the world, or biking to work.

Buy $350

F155 Clapton by Freitag—An Arty Bag for Cyclists

Made in Switzerland, this backpack looks as tough as it is. Made with recycled truck materials (to be precise: used truck tarpaulins, used car seat belts and recycled PET), it comes with a water-repellent fold’n’rolltop closing and reflectors that make you visible when walking or biking in the dark (while running and skipping too, but you get the idea…). The bright colors are sure to have others notice you in full daylight too.

It has what they call docking sites (attachment loops), so you can attach a helmet, u-lock and key fob (or, why not: a Swiss army knife? Sorry, we couldn’t resist). It has a zippered quick access outside compartment and an inside compartment for your laptop.
Developed by two graphic designers, this bag was made for biking around town with your art materials (or whatever else you like to carry around) in a safe place as you navigate the streets. 3D mesh padding on back and shoulder straps will further keep you as cool as possible while working up a sweat.

Buy $365

The Fraction by Mission Workshop—Cool Backpacks for Men in the Big City

When we say this bag comes with compartments, we are serious about the statement. The compartments also happen to be waterproof. You can easily carry notepads, a laptop a tablet and your phone, all neatly tucked in their own compartment. Materials are military spec, meaning your gear is safe. The Fraction is also “guaranteed forever,” meaning it’s on the list of backpacks that are an investment for life.
With an old-school fold top design, it’s a cool rucksack with a streetwear feel to it.

Buy $190

Smith The Roll Pack by Millican—Minimalist Modern Design with a Vintage Feel

This roll top canvas backpack has the kind of minimalist design that makes it simplistically cool. Made from only a few panels of weatherproof Bionic® Canvas (65% recycled and 30% stronger than regular canvas) it comes with a vintage look. Possibly due to the color palette and canvas material, which reminds us of Fjällräven backpacks.

Thanks to the roll top design, you can pack as much, or as little, as you like and still have a stylish backpack on your back. It comes complete with an easy access 15” laptop compartment, a hidden key pocket, a bike light attachment and a hidden reflector.
Among the cool backpacks for men, this is a design gem.

Buy $140

Bernt by Sandqvist—Swedish Simplicity

Made with Cordura® EcoMade polyester and leather patch details, this is yet another eco-friendly backpack that can handle the outdoors. With a quick access 13” laptop compartment, it’s not for those who prefer a big screen, but it comes with two outer bottle slip pockets, one larger outer zipper[2]  pocket and two inner mesh pockets. It also comes with metal attachment loops, so you can attach whatever you may need to your shoulder straps. Bernt is simply a stylish, Swedish designed backpack for men that has an iconic schoolboy look to it.

Buy $195

Stone Backpack V2 by Joshuvela—Cool Fabrics Galore

Made in San Francisco, the Joshuvela Stone Backpack V2 is a simple, yet stylish backpack with a bit of a rough edge. You can choose the between recycled sailcloth, waxed nylon and cobalt waxed with details in leather (with the option of one vegan leather).
With two side pockets (bottle holders) and two internal pockets in addition to a laptop sleeve (15”) and the main compartment, it’s a no fuss backpack with a great design.

Buy $170

The Slicks Packs—Your Cabin Bag Reinvented

This is a unique backpack that comes with various additions, such as a shirt cover, laundry bag, suit cover and wash bag, in addition to a rain cover. Packing up to 30 liters, yet measuring only 32x52x20cm, this backpack is your new favorite travel companion.
You can easily convert it to a briefcase by removing the back straps. Naturally it comes with a laptop compartment. It’s a cool backpack for men who want their travel packing to be faster and don’t want to wheel about a bag at the airport. The design is sporty and it looks—no pun intended—like a backpack.

Buy $239

Urban Ex Rolltop by Chrome Industries—Big City Fashion Style

Chrome describes this backpack as a “commuter urban dry bag” and it certainly has that street style vibe, while oozing of high quality and style at the same time. Built with lightweight Knurled Welded construction, it’s 100% waterproof. It comes with a watertight quick access compartment for things like keys, as well as internal pockets for better organization and outer attachment loops for…you guessed it: things you want to attach.

The shoulder harnesses have been constructed especially for cyclists who need extra comfort, but works just as well for pedestrians, joggers, skaters and skiers (should you happen to live in Montana). An EVA back panel also adds to the comfort angle. These are some cool backpacks for men on the go, in other words.

Buy $140

Rolltop Rucksack by Rains—A Unique Waterproof Backpack

This ultra stylish roll top rucksack by Rains was designed with cycling in mind. Waterproof with a side-access laptop compartment and an easy access front zipper pocket, it comes with adjustable shoulder straps, a chest strap and a padded back. Made from Rains’ signature waterproof fabric, it has a rubbery texture and consists of 50% polyurethane, 50% polyester. The ideal cool backpacks for men who bike through rainy streets (sorry Angelenos, it’s not for you).

Buy $125

LOAC by Octopus—If You Like Latex and Leather

LOAC is a modern interpretation of a roll top backpack—it comes with a classy side fastening, which gives it a different, more classy, look. The waterproof fabric has a glossy look—somewhere between leather and latex. It has waterproof and airtight seams, can handle up to 30 liters, has an ergonomic support system and is—according to Octopus—mega durable.

Buy $120

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