Whether you’re a writer, photographer, or someone with a long commute to work every day, backpacks are the most efficient way to carry a full day’s worth of gear without having to fuss with annoying rolling bags or messenger bags that wreck your shoulder. They’re also a huge commodity, with thousands of tech backpacks to choose from; ranging from plain empty bags to more specialized options with dividers, pouches, and pockets galore. These are the best backpacks that cater specifically to tech.
Carry your gadgets efficiently with these tech backpacks
Peak Design makes one of the most instantly recognizable backpacks around. The San Francisco-based company makes bags that put an equal focus on both aesthetics and functionality. The result is a bag that many of us on the Android Central team use every day. The Everyday Backpack V2 is available in 20L and 30L configurations to accommodate different body types and carry needs.
The design is the same on either size bag, and starts with a magnetic latch on the top flap that allows for quick access, and helps keep others out. That flap, along with the rest of the excellent backpack, is protected by a hydrophobic coating that keeps water away from your electronics. There are four metal bars along the front that you can attach the magnetic latch onto to adjust the storage capacity of the bag, doubling as a security measure that keeps passersby from easily getting into your bag.
Inside, there are several adjustable dividers that you can rearrange to fit your belongings perfectly, and the bag opens from the sides for easy access. The Everyday Backpack V2 is also covered in hidden compartments and expandable pockets that can hold everything from water bottles to small tripods. Peak Design even makes its own travel tripod that’s specifically designed to fit in the Everyday Backpack’s side pockets.
Compared to the original Everyday Backpack, the V2 brings with it a rounder, sleeker design with more flexible mesh compartments and smoother zippers that shouldn’t break nearly as often. The straps have also been upgraded with considerably better padding, and new magnets keep the luggage passthrough and straps tidy when not in use.
The Everyday Backpack V2 isn’t cheap by any means. But if you do a lot of travel and you need a durable bag that can hold up to regular use and adapt to your ever-changing carry load, it’s a worthwhile investment.
Not looking to spend hundreds of dollars on a mere backpack? Matein is here to meet your humble demands. The Matein Travel Laptop Backpack 17 Inch costs less than $50 and still manages to provide quite a lot in its cheerfully cheap bag. You can open up the flap at angles between 90 and 180 degrees to fit your gadgets and accessories in there easily. It has plenty of compartments, pockets, dividers, and even a USB port. To add to that, it looks rather handsome and modern too.
Matein generously includes a 17-inch laptop/Chromebook sleeve to stow away your portable computer. There are a few hidden pockets here and there, but not much else in terms of theft protection measures. The entire tech backpack is resistant to water, but Matein doesn’t vouch for it to hold out against heavy rainfall. Bottom line is, don’t live dangerously and drench this backpack.
You can grab the Matein Travel Laptop Backpack 17 Inch in gray, black, or yellow. In terms of sizes, however, there’s only the one 17-inch model. If you plan on travelling with your tech, the Matein Backpack is quite useful as it’s TSA approved. This also means that it will fit inside those tiny airplane storage cubbies perfectly. Folding the bag open at a wide angle of up to 180 degrees also makes for a quick bag check at the airport security.
Perhaps the most attractive quality of all is the Matein tech backpack’s price. It is the most affordable bag on this list, and definitely the most budget-friendly tech backpack out there period. The Matein Travel Laptop Backpack 17 Inch provides a nearly bare bones experience, with some user-oriented features sprinkled here and there for good measure. We have no qualms in naming it our favorite affordable tech backpack.
Lowepro is one of the largest brands in camera bags, and the ProTactic is one of the company’s flagship offerings with a heavy priority on camera storage. The front unzips to reveal one massive compartment, with plenty of rearrangeable dividers to fit your exact payload. You can also unzip the top of the back for quick access to your most important gear (say, your camera body or some over-ear headphones), and there’s room in the back for a 15-inch laptop.
There are other convenient features like an included tech organizing pouch, additional compartments for essential items like SD cards, and breathable mesh padding to keep your back cool and comfortable. The ProTactic BP 450 AW II is clearly meant to sustain quite a heavy load without straining your shoulders too much.
The ProTactic BP 450 AW II is considerably cheaper than the Peak Design Everyday Backpack v2, and could be a better bag for some users. It’s not as cheap as the Matein bag, but you do get a whole lot more for your hard-earned money. Think of it as a mid-range tech backpack. Much like a mid-range Android phone meets you halfway between the flagship experience and a mid-tier price, this mid-range bag brings you plenty of upper-tier features at an agreeable price.
Should you decide to go with Lowepro’s tech bag to carry your gear, you’ll benefit even more by buying into the brand’s ‘ecosystem’. The company makes loads of companion accessories and add-ons to help you lug around even more stuff, if needs be. These additional modular upgrades fit with the backpack as they are designed to pair well with the Lowepro ProTactic BP 450 AW II and other bags from the brand.
Fjallraven is a Swedish brand that has made a name for itself by prioritizing sustainable materials in its products. In line with that vision, the Fjallraven Foldsack No. 1 backpack is made of recycled and eco-friendly materials. The Swedish bag maker calls the stuff this backpack is made of ‘G-1000 HeavyDuty’. It’s a highly durable substance that can withstand water and wind, plus it lasts for years and years.
The Fjallraven Foldsack No. 1 is a 16L tech backpack with buttons at the opening that pop open to make room for even more gear. You can fit a decent laptop that measures up to 15 inches inside. There are also compartments for your keys and other small tidbits inside. Externally, you’ll find an extremely large zipped pocket to stow away any more items that you want within your hand’s reach.
Fjallraven’s green backpack is designed to be comfortable as well as voluminous. Both the bag’s shoulder straps and its back panel is heavily padded to cushion the heavy carry load you’ll bear while wearing it. In terms of security, you don’t get clever mechanisms. However, the Foldsack No. 1 does have dual straps on the front that run down from the flap, tightly holding your backpack shut. If unfriendly hands wander into your tech bag, you’ll surely feel the tug.
You can grab this eco-friendly tech backpack from Fjallraven for a lot lesser than anything from Peak Design or Lowepro. The Foldsack No. 1 may not offer numerous dividers or water bottle pouches, but it does bring a lot to the table. This lightweight bag looks fantastic, it has room for very many things on the inside, and it is long-lasting by design.
The Nomatic Travel Pack is a gorgeous backpack that can expand from 20L to 30L, giving you the best of both worlds between small size and large storage capacity. With a quick unzip, the Travel Pack can go from a lightweight day bag for quick trips downtown to a travel-ready bag that can fit several days’ worth of supplies with ease.
Along with storage expansion and great looks, the Travel Pack also features a laptop compartment that easily folds out to expedite TSA encounters, along with a protected pocket for tablets. There’s a mesh dividing wall inside the bag for separating items, and the Travel Pack even supports compression packing cubes for storing things like small articles of clothing.
You won’t find any other color options, but we think the ashy hue looks fantastic as is. From a functional perspective, the NOMATIC Travel Pack leaves nothing to be desired. Your only complain about this elegant load carrying solution could be the cost, which is staggeringly high.
If you’re not planning on upgrading your tech backpack for a long, long time after this purchase, it’s a worthwhile investment. The NOMATIC Travel Pack fits nicely on an airplane and it has more than enough space to fit a 15-inch laptop, keys, phones, cameras, and just about anything else you’d carry in a tech bag.
TIMBUK2 has a wide range of backpacks at just about any price point, and the Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe offers a beautiful blend of affordability, style, and functionality. It’s a reasonably slim bag with a variety of color options that, like many of the other packs in this list, is loaded with pockets large and small for organizing your things, including an expandable side pocket on the outside to hold a water bottle.
For added comfort, the TIMBUK2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe includes sternum straps that can be tucked back into the shoulder straps when you’re not using them, along with a mesh back panel to help keep your back and shirt dry. Best of all, the Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe holds laptops as large as 17 inches, because — surprise! — not everyone owns a MacBook.
There’s also a spot for stowing away your keys while you’re out, and compression straps at the bottom of the bag let you tote around a large jacket, blanket, or, well, whatever else fits. Impressively, this brilliant tech backpack from TIMBUK2 is made entirely of recycled materials. The brand puts its money where its mouth is by providing a lifetime warranty for all of its products.
TIMBUK2’s warranty is fantastic, allowing you to return the 28L Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe if falls short in any way due to defect. In compliance with this policy, the company will also repair your tech backpack for you.
Herschel Supply Co. is based out of Vancouver and focuses on creating timeless pieces that never go out of style. The Herschel Little America Backpack comes in three different sizes, but the one that’s best suited as a tech carryall is the Classic 25L variant. This lovely bag comes in over a dozen different colorways, but our favorite is the classic black option with brown saddles.
While the Herschel Little America Backpack Classic does miss out on water resistance, you get a generous amount of storage space. The backpack’s straps are fastened magnetically, the back panel features a breathable mesh, and the shoulder straps are super comfy thanks to the soft padding. It is constructed with nylon and polyester, making it sturdy. You can fit a 15-inch laptop inside, and there’s a built-in compartment to store it too.
There’s a mid-sized pocket on the outside, but you won’t find side pockets to store your water bottle. Hershel lined the insides of the Little America Backpack with fleece to keep your tech gadgets and accessories damage free. After some fiddling around, you’ll find a few hidden compartments to secure your personal effects too.
The combination of drawstrings, straps, and buckles on the Herschel Little America Backpack Classic do a good job of warding off attempted thievery. Happily, this 25L tech backpack carries an attractive price tag, making up for its humble shortcomings here and there.
The best tech backpack based on trial and experience
Any of the backpacks in this list will serve you well, but if we had to choose, the Peak Design Everyday Backpack V2 remains at the top of our recommendations for best backpacks. Nearly half a dozen people on the Android Central team already use or have used the Everyday Backpack because it’s such a versatile bag, and works equally well as a camera bag or a light day pack.
For me, the collapsible dividers have been incredibly useful, since I can adjust the sub-dividers on the fly without having to remove and reposition the Velcro walls, allowing me to safely stow away small lenses during travel and access them quickly when needed. The newly padded straps also make it dramatically more comfortable than the previous generation, which is especially nice when you’re carrying loads of heavy gear.
There’s no getting around that it’s an expensive backpack, but that money is going toward a bag that you won’t need to replace for years to come. If you’re someone who uses their backpack a lot, and especially if you’re a photographer or videographer who needs precise organization and quick access to their gear, the Peak Design Everyday Backpack V2 is an investment well worth making.