With so many options to choose from these days, backpacks have become ubiquitous. From hiking and backpacking to stylish urban commuting, almost every man has one. Or several. Available in various sizes and shapes, with innovative functionalities and plenty of ways to keep your things organized inside, backpacks these days come with all the frills and thrills you may or may not want. While that is a bliss for most people, for us minimalists out there it’s a curse. For us, less is more.
Given the myriad of choices on the market today, we’ve decided to handpick several of the best minimalist backpacks available today. Most of them are for simple daily urban commuting, but that doesn’t mean they can’t meet many other purposes. Because we know this is no easy task, we’ve looked for the best no frills packs with a clean, simple design that gets the job done without standing in your way.
Here is our pick for every day carry (EDC): the 10 best minimalist backpacks for men, ordered by what in our opinion are the best design and features, and not by price.
10. Heimplanet Monolith Minimal Daypack – $120
The first on our list is the Heimplanet Monolith Minimal Daypack, with a superb minimalist design at its heart and plenty of functionality behind it. The pack is made from 500D Cordura, making it very durable.
The backpack provides enough organization features including three lower pockets with PU coated and water resistant YKK zippers, and a MOLLE grid on the interior to keep all the items organized inside no matter the situation. With 19″ x 12.6″ x 5.9″, the bag even fits a 15″ laptop all the while being stylish enough for any occasion and without losing its utilitarian value. The price tag is within decent limits, reaching $120.
9. AER Fit Pack 2 – $135
After the success with their first Fit Pack, AER have come up with a new one, the Fit Pack 2, which aims to be the work/gym bag for commuters. And it seems to be what they preach. The bag has plenty of interior space for organization, with a nice section made specifically for storing EDC gear, a laptop sleeve and a shoe compartment, isolated and ventilated, which can easily fit a men’s size 13 to get an idea.
The AER Fit Pack 2 is manufactured from 1680D Cordura nylon, a very durable and water resistant material, so the backpack will last you a lifetime. The dimensions allow for carrying a 15.6″ laptop with ease and the price is decent as well at $135.
8. Victorinox Altmont Classic Deluxe Flapover – $119
The famed Swiss knife creator Victorinox brings a nice addition on the market, the Altmont Classic Deluxe Flapover laptop backpack. It comes in three colors – Black, Blue and Olive – and fits laptops of up to 15″. The pack features a padded rear compartment, divider for files, two padded storage slots, pen and card slots and key fob on the inside.
There’s also a vertical side zip pocket with a bottle opener, a quick access front storage pocket on the outside. The bag features air meshed and adjustable shoulder straps for better comfort. The backpack is soft and comfortable to wear due to the padded back panel. The price spins around a decent $119.
7. eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack – $100
The eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack is exactly what the name preaches: a pro slim laptop backpack with plenty of organizational panels and pockets. What’s more, the bag is superb, with a beautiful design and four lovely colors to choose from – Heather Graphite, Solid Black, Sage Green and Brushed Indigo.
In terms of accessibility and organization, there’s a front panel with several internal pockets and a key leash. The shoulder straps are stowable, the sternum strap is adjustable and removable and the back panel made of breathable air mesh. The laptop and tablet compartment is lockable for added security and also has a crush proof AC adapter pocket. The middle compartment comes with a diagonal slash pocket for papers and folders, perfect for students. Other features include business card pockets, mesh pockets, pen loops, small accessories and a zippered water bottle pocket. The price is only $100.
6. XD Design Bobby XL 17″ – $100
The famed design brand XD Design comes with a nice and affordable minimalist option for those looking both great design and awesome features. Able to stow away a 17″ laptop, the XD Design Bobby XL 17″ has an integrated USB charging port, perfect for those who spend more time on the road than at home.
The backpack has a water repellent fabric on the exterior, with illuminating safety strips for walking or cycling in the dark. There’s a luggage strap to use the backpack as a luggage bag when traveling. Hidden elegant zippers add a lot to the minimalist appearance of the backpack. Probably one of the most impressive features is that the pack is shock proof, so you can get rid of the worries regarding baggage handling in airports. And all that for only $100.
5. Porter-Yoshida & Co. Beat Day Pack – $315
With a price to make you think at least twice about the purchase, the Porter-Yoshida & Co. Beat Day Pack promises a high quality bag with attractive and minimalist design manufactured with care and great attention to detail in Japan.
Made from soft cotton canvas, with zip around closure, zip pockets both out front and on the interior, padded back panel, adjustable shoulder straps and a superb beige, the backpack is really a stylish and functional way to take your EDC around every day.
4. Arc’Teryx Veilance Nomin Pack – $800
Probably one of the most sleek looking backpacks out there, the Arc’Teryx Veilance Nomin Pack features a lightweight profile, durable quality materials and superb functionality. It’s like a modern minimalist urban carry taken to the extreme.
The outer fabric is of course waterproof, with taped seam construction and watertight external zippers. The Nomin Pack features a large front storage compartment with all the organizers and pockets you’d ever need, easy access side pocket and tablet divider. The top carry handle and low profile laminated shoulder straps make the pack versatile and super comfortable to carry around. Its only downside is the price – $800 – which might drive most people away to more affordable options.
3. Defy Bucktown Backpack – $289
The Defy Bucktown Backpack is proudly hand crafted in the USA using tough M35 military truck tarpaulin so it’s a fantastic day pack that can take a beating no matter the conditions. The pack comes with two easy access large compartments, a convenient laptop sleeve which makes it useful for keeping all that tech with you everywhere you go. It can take a laptop of up to 17″ in size. The price – $289 – is higher than most other backpacks, but it seems worth it.
2. Pacsafe Intasafe Anti-Theft 20L – $140
As the name implies, the Pacsafe Intasafe Anti-Theft 20L is a day pack designed with security in mind. Well, coming from a brand dedicated to anti-theft items, this is a no brainer. A great option for those worried about their laptop getting stolen while on the road, the Pacsafe Intasafe fits almost any large laptop and tablet.
The features include internal pockets, pen loops, water bottle pocket and plenty of attachment points and accessory pockets for your wallets, keys or any other item you might have in your EDC. The pack comes with a Roobar Locking System for securing the interlocking zippers, plus an RFID safe blocking material for credit cards and ID protection.
The eXomesh Slashguard stainless steel wire mesh built into the fabric provides security against slash and run theft attempts. Despite so many security additions, the pack comes out as really light. And we can say the same about the price, which rises to only $140.
1. Incase City Collection Backpack – $100
The Incase City Collection Backpack is our top pick as the greatest minimalist backpack from what we’ve seen so far. It has a superb and sleek design and is made from blended weave polyester in the USA.
The bag features a laptop sleeve which can take a 17″ laptop, adjustable shoulder straps with air mesh padding for comfort on the go. The Incase City backpack boasts quality, great functionality and superb looks all the while being among the cheapest options on the market today at $100, which makes it a top choice for any minimalist and frugal urban wanderer who cares about what matters.
- 10. Heimplanet Monolith Minimal Daypack – $120
- 9. AER Fit Pack 2 – $135
- 8. Victorinox Altmont Classic Deluxe Flapover – $119
- 7. eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack – $100
- 6. XD Design Bobby XL 17″ – $100
- 5. Porter-Yoshida & Co. Beat Day Pack – $315
- 4. Arc’Teryx Veilance Nomin Pack – $800
- 3. Defy Bucktown Backpack – $289
- 2. Pacsafe Intasafe Anti-Theft 20L – $140
- 1. Incase City Collection Backpack – $100