It’s usually pretty easy to tell when a pack is waterproof, and we don’t mean that in a good way. Modern Industry’s Drive backpack instead takes a more subtle approach to weatherproofing. Made in San Francisco of Martexin waxed canvas, Drive features a voluminous main compartment with expandable rolltop closure, waterproof YKK zippers, contoured padded straps, and a floating computer pocket that sits your 15-inch laptop comfortably away from your back.
Grab one at Modern Industry – $300
Nowadays, products are seemingly made disposable on purpose – whether it’s the styles that don’t keep up or materials giving out prematurely, we’ve got plenty of excuses for replacing our possessions way before they should’ve been due. Miljo’s Backpack aims to be different. This ultra minimal pack features a simple, straightforward design and monochromatic palette that’ll never go out of style. It’s also durable seeing as how it’s build entirely from heavy-duty 100% cotton canvas and fitted with all-metal hardware, features a waterproof lining to keep its contents dry, and boasts internal organizational pockets plus a padded laptop compartment, meaning it’s always equipped to carry your lineup of ever-changing modern amenities.
Find it here – $34+
In our eyes, backpacks are king for most situations – they’re just one less thing to carry with our hands – but showing up to work with our hardcore hiking packs usually sends a few heads turning. Waterfield Designs’ Staad, on the other hand, fits right in. These durable bags are made of waxed canvas or ballistic nylon and capped with a leather flap that stays secured shut thanks to a vintage WWII-era buckle. They’ve also got a multitude of organizational pockets, including one zippered side pocket on each side for on-the-go access, plus cushioned compartments for tablets and laptops (up to 13″ on the slim, shown, and up to 15″ on the slightly larger stout).
Grab a Staad in one of a large combination of colors at Waterfield Designs – $320 (slim) to $330 (stout)
Essentially the simplest backpack ever, Outlier’s minimal is made from nonwoven Dyneema, a material usually seen in more hardcore applications (such as racing sails). It’s ridiculously strong yet super light (roughly 8.3 ounces), waterproof, plus it floats. The top rolls shut to keep your contents protected from precipitation but clearly offering no shock protection of any kind – not that we’d put our laptops in a bag like this anyway. Surprising considering its 26 litre volume, it also packs down to a fraction of its size and can easily be stowed away in a jacket pocket.
Find it at Outlier – $168
With its decidedly vintage styling and use of slightly distressed materials, we’d be forgiven for not predicting that Property Of’s Hector backpack is packed with inner storage pockets and a padded laptop compartment good for devices up to 15-inches. Else, Hector is constructed using a wax coated cotton canvas outer, features a cotton ripstop lining, padded adjustable straps, leather trim, stays securely shut thanks to a front buckle fastener, and comes in 5 different colors – black, blue (shown), olive, coal and yellow.
Check it out at Property Of – $300
We avoid checking baggage like the plague, even on trips that last up to several weeks, in part due to paranoia while also wondering with what we’d actually fill a full-sized travel bag. Minaal’s ProTravel Carry-On bag is for like-minded individuals, with its 35 litre capacity, durable Cordura plus Ballistic Nylon construction, and YKK zippers all-around. It’s also got a variety of thoughtful features that put it above your current carry-on, including a removable seam-sealed rain cover, lockable laptop compartment that suspends your device in neoprene, lie-flat packing for easy loading and unloading, tons of small pockets for organisation, and major airline-compliant dimensions.
Learn more at Kickstarter – $200+
Most backpacks fall short with regards to storing our gadgetry in well-adapted compartments, resulting in us having to throw a bunch of loose gear into the main compartment, then later sifting through an ocean of stuff to find what we’re looking for. That’s a non-issue with Cocoon’s Slim Backpack, which sports a GRID-IT! organization system, composed of a series of rubberized interwoven elastic bands, that adapts to hold just about anything you throw at it, big or small. The Slim also features a faux suede lined 15″ laptop compartment, iPad slot, exterior map compartment, and waterproof zippers between its water-resistant ballistic nylon build.
Now you see it, now you don’t. Herschel’s line of packable goods features carrying solutions that pack away into their own internal pockets, shrinking down to a fraction of their original size to stash away into a jacket pocket (or inside your girlfriend’s purse). Each backpack and duffel is made of a custom tear resistant rip stop fabric and holds over 20 litres of stuff – just as much as their non-collapsible brethren – though we’ll save heavier loads for the latter.
Check out the full lineup at Herschel – $30
A good duffel bag and dopp kit is a must for every man who plans on travelling even a little. Hudson Sutler’s bags are built to last thanks to a heavy-duty 18 oz canvas construction, contrasting gingham liner, jam-proof/corrosion-resistant resin zippers, and come in a variety of colors to choose from.
If you don’t have cash to spare at the moment, don’t fret: we’ve got 1 Commuter duffel ($95) and 1 Dopp kit ($60) to give away in the colors of your choice, courtesy of Hudson Sutler. Enter via Rafflecopter below and do as many as you’d like, up to 6 entries per person.
Drawstring backpacks have a lot going for them – they’re lightweight, compact, scrunch up for easy transport when empty, but they’re also rife with faults, notably durability (or lack of it), the way their cords become uneven with repeated use, and the challenge that opening one poses. Mochibag greatly improves this design by removing standard fixed bottom corner anchor points and focing even open/close motions to ensure that the strings remain perfectly balanced on both sides for easy carrying. It’s also got a deep side zip pocket for quick-access stuff like a phone or a map, handles for easy opening that snap together to double as a handgrip, and is made, top to bottom, of resilient materials including water-repellant nylon, soft marine ropes, and durable plastic & metal hardware. Frankly, we’re torn between the leather-laden special edition models and the adventure edition, which sports 8 feet of paracord as a handle.
Grab one at Kickstarter – $25