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Buyer's Guides

Load Bearing: The 8 Best EDC Backpacks

For many of us, our daily commute isn't as simple as just hopping in a car and going to-and-from work. Some of us walk to work, some ride their bike. We are also partial to public transport and car sharing. And since we've always got a full complement of gear on us, it also means we need something in which to carry it during out daily grind.

Sure, you could stash your stuff in a JanSport, but is it really going to meet all your needs? If you're a tech professional, wouldn't it be nice to have a laptop sleeve in which to stash your computer? By the same account, if you hit the gym right after work, you might want a bag with a separate storage pouch for your dirty clothes and/or shoes. There are a lot of contingencies to look for when picking out your ideal bag. Luckily, we've got a wide variety that meet a lot of those requirements. The following packs are the most exceptional everyday carry backpacks available right now.

Aer Fit Pack

Though it might look like a standard backpack to the average onlooker, this bag from Aer is one of the best-equipped for the modern on-the-go man. The 19 liters of internal space is nothing to scoff at, but what really makes it impressive is the way the bag is laid out. Within the 1680D ballistic nylon exterior, there is a padded laptop pouch that fits up to a 15" MacBook Pro, a spacious front-load main compartment, and an isolated moisture resistant compartment for shoes or dirty gym clothes. It also features a quick-access top compartment for smaller items and the whole thing is lined with a moisture resistant polyester. If you need something versatile, but not huge, this is your bag.

Purchase: $120

MIS Backpack

The fact that this bag was made using equipment that once crafted gear for the U.S. military is reason enough to trust its durability, but the fact that it was made right here in California makes it all the better. This bag is one of the best options for someone that doesn't need all the frills, but still wants a pack that can take a beating. It's made from 1000D Dupont Cordura nylon, which is coated with a water-resistant urethane, and is equipped with PALS webbing for expandable carry options. The inside has 18 liters of space, which includes a 15" laptop pouch and a small internal mesh zippered pocket for small items. It's also fitted with a self-repairing YKK zipper that won't snag and break with regular use.

Purchase: $135

Tessel Supply Jet Pack 2.0

There's no rule that dictates that a functional piece can't also look good. And this backpack from Tessel Supply is proof positive. The unique geometrically paneled exterior is constructed from 210D polyurethane coated ripstop nylon and it is equipped with waterproof YKK zippers. The small external access front pocket is perfect for small items and features a storm flap to protect the contents from moisture. And the large main compartment is equipped with a faux fur lined 15" laptop sleeve. Overall, this handsome pack can hold 19 liters worth of gear.

Purchase: $140

Aer Duffel Pack

One of the most comprehensive everyday carry backpacks ever made, the Aer Duffel Pack is probably the best option for anyone that needs to keep all of their gear for the office, gym, and otherwise on them at all times. This large dual-carry style bag has a whopping 24 liters of internal space across a number of different specialized pouches. Theres a large main compartment for your bigger gear, dual quick-access side pouches for small personal items and electronics, and an isolated ventilated pocket for gym shoes and/or clothes. The exterior is crafted from 1680D ballistic nylon and features a waterproof YKK zipper, while the insides are lined with a moisture-resistant durable polyester. Simply put, this bag is stunning.

Purchase: $150

Alchemy Equipment Minimalist Daypack

Don't let the name of this bag confuse you, as it is as capable and comprehensive as many other bags on the market. The "minimalist" part of the bag is more in the overall styling, as it was inspired by the work of German design pioneer Dieter Rams and his "less but better" ideal. This 20 liter bag features an ultra-tough 3x polyurethane coated 900D Kodra base, which you could literally set in a puddle without worrying about the contents getting wet. It's also equipped with custom anodized aluminum hardware, a TPU grab handle at the top, a YKK waterproof zipper, and low profile shoulder straps. And if you want to stash your laptop, theres a 15" padded internal sleeve.

Purchase: $170

Mystery Ranch Kletterwerks Flip Pack

Styled like a mountaineering pack (and, honestly, as tough as one), this daily carrier is handmade at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Bozeman, Montana. And although you could certainly take this pack on a cliffside jaunt, it's also exceedingly capable as an EDC pack. For starters, it has a 23 liter capacity - some of which is within a padded internal 15" laptop sleeve. It also features an easy access lid pouch for smaller items, like your phone, passport, wallet, etc. The exterior is crafted from a combination of 1000D Cordura and 1680 ballistic nylon and it features heirloom leather labels and zipper tags. Even with all those features, this bag still only weighs 1.71 lbs empty.

Purchase: $199

Defy Bucktown Backpack

Named for the Bucktown neighborhood in Chicago (the city in which this bag was built), this pack from Defy Bags was built to be the ultimate urban daypack. The exterior is made from Martexin heavy waxed canvas - which can be relied upon to keep all your gear safe and sound - and the interior is lined with 1000D Cordura. The rugged top handle and padded shoulder straps are made from 2" seatbelt material - the same kind we depend upon to stop us from launching through windshields, so you know they're tough. This bag also has the largest laptop sleeve of all the bags on our list, which can fit up to a 17" MacBook Pro.

Purchase: $289

Colfax Design Works Standard Issue Daypack

If nothing but the absolute toughest, most capable and expandable will do, then say hello to the Standard Issue Daypack from Colfax Design Works. This beefy bag is probably what the military would come up with if you asked them to create the ultimate pack for off-duty soldiers. The exterior is made from an X51 1000D Cordura with a tear-resistant X-ply layer that is then backed with a laminated PET waterproof membrane. That means nothing is getting in unless you absolutely want it to. It also features mil-spec webbing, hardware, buckles, and a moisture-wicking air mesh. The inside is equipped with 21 liters of storage, including a hydro pack sleeve and an internal document and/or laptop pouch. And the exterior is fitted with an Advanced Modular Cargo System (similar to MOLLE webbing), so you can add or remove attachments, as needed. And, best of all, it's handmade right here in the USA.

Purchase: $345

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