20 of the Best Backpacks for Entrepreneurs
The American workforce has been shifting gradually toward casual and comfortable workwear for decades. Now that hoodies and sneakers are acceptable in many office settings, so is a childhood staple accessory: the backpack. Commuters from L.A. to New York have embraced the versatility of backpacks, their ability to free hands for texting or reading and their options for storage and organization of gym clothes, happy hour outfits and water bottles -- details sorely lacking in the briefcase model. Not to mention, bags carried on both shoulders are easier on the back, which makes for happier commutes.
Recently, newer packs dubbed “smart backpacks” have been popping up everywhere, from Kickstarter to haute couture mannequins. These aren’t your average Jansports, either -- they have everything from phone chargers to customizable straps.
Click through to discover 20 of the best backpacks made not for middle schoolers, but for savvy grownups who get things done.
'An instant workspace'
With the ability to lay flat or hang open without spilling its contents, Baron Fig’s Backpack transforms into a workspace for those on the go. Designed with extensive feedback from real customers, this slim, minimalist pack is the definition of user-friendly.
From office to overhead bin
Sleek enough to bring to a meeting but roomy enough to fit a day’s worth of essentials, the Nomatic Backpack is designed with space in mind. Clever dividers keep things organized, from an extra pair of shoes to a 15-inch laptop. Plus, its straps are customizable, so wearers can turn their backpack into a briefcase at a moment’s notice. The Nomatic Backpack is now available for preorder on Kickstarter.
Smart, stylish and sustainable
The Hanover Backpack is not just fashionable, it’s functional. This pack includes a soft removable center insert and storage compartments perfect for keys, a passport and a water bottle, making it an ideal travel companion. Plus, its eco-friendly materials, including polyester made from recycled plastic bottles, help reduce your carbon footprint.
Everything but outlets
Boasting customizable features, synchronized charging ports and a wireless hard drive, the pair of backpacks from Co-alition are designed to keep you working, even when you’re on the go. You can charge a device in any compartment at any time, and when the bag’s battery itself is plugged in, your device can charge simultaneously, without overheating.
Airport security VIP
The Professional Weekender backpack by eBags is a travel pro, flipping open quickly and completely to make TSA screenings a breeze. It has a back lay-flat laptop compartment, and it seamlessly converts into a briefcase with vertical and horizontal strap options, so you can customize your style. Once you board your flight, it stows easily in the overhead compartment, too -- even on small regional jets.
A cyclist's best friend
The Manhattan Portage Harbor Backpack is designed with city biking in mind. Fully waterproof inside and out, this durable pack will make the trip, rain or shine. Other biker-friendly features include side straps for hauling loads, a tab for a taillight and visibility-boosting neon green interior accents.
Look good, do good
The State Greenpoint Bedford Backpack is made for trend-conscious urbanites, with laptop and metrocard storage features hidden within its minimalist body. But its benefits go beyond keeping commuters organized -- Brooklyn-based State donates one bag to a child in need for each bag sold.
Throw it in reverse
The Riut Bag introduces a “reversed” design to the world of backpacks, placing zippers against your back to discreetly and elegantly protect your belongings from pickpockets. At the factory, designer Sarah Giblin personally inspects each bag for quality assurance, offering a pack that is stylish, reliable and secure. Riut stands for “revolution in user thinking.”
'The most practical leather backpack'
Haute couture style, but subway practical: The 2Face Backpack 2 by Chivote has a detachable laptop “wallet,” and it easily converts to a shoulder bag with removable straps. Handmade with high-quality leather and metals, it is now available on Kickstarter.
Phone charged, will travel
The Bobby backpack by XD Design will give you peace of mind when traveling through the world’s busiest cities, day or night: The stylish yet secure backpack is designed to be anti-theft, with hidden zippers, and anti-cut, thanks to an advanced tough fabric On the interior, the Bobby also includes intuitive technology to keep your devices charged and ready anytime and anywhere.
Pack to the future
Show everyone you're from the future! In addition to adding futuristic flair to office attire, the Solid Gray backpack, with a hard shell made from plastic polymer, is both comfortably lightweight and extremely durable. Its unique features include a clip for boarding passes and other small documents, a retractable handle and interchangeable straps that come in different colors.Related: Future Technology Will Bring Terrifying Prospects You Can Innovate Against
Keep calm and carry all
Made with lightweight, supple and shock-absorbent neoprene, the Dakota backpack by Dagne Dover is a fashionable and practical accessory. It has plenty of compartments for work and play necessities, from lunch meetings to yoga classes, and it’s designed to equally distribute weight across the back, so you can focus on the day ahead.
A business-class companion
The BIZ backpack by Slicks combines the hands-free nature of a backpack with the wrinkle-resistance and storage of a suitcase. With an innovative insert for toiletry organization and internal systems to keep shirts and suit jackets smooth and crisp, travel is effortless. For regular workdays, its laptop pouch has a special protective design, keeping your computer elevated above the base of the bag for extra cushion.
Not all organizers are created equal
Made with just one continuous piece of water-repellent fabric, the Uno II backpack by Niid is modular and immediately adjustable for the needs of the day. The smooth, curved body unzips (or should we say unfurls?) in multiple directions to completely flatten. Created by a group of friends inspired by ancient Chinese baofu, or cloth carrying bags, the Uno II is practical yet sophisticated for 21st-century lifestyles.
Bike lane cool down
The Especial Medio Cycling backpack is specially designed by Timbuk2 with cycling commuters in mind. With features such as cooling ventilation built into the back body and shoulder straps with hydration and headphone routing for H2O and tunes on the go, this waterproof, expandable pack cools even the warmest commutes.
Funded through Kickstarter, Lifepack is meant for frequent travelers. It is both environmentally conscious, with a solar-powered USB charger and Bluetooth speaker, and secure, with a retractable combination lock and hidden RFID-blocking compartments for travel documents.
Portable and practical
The Sosoon USB-Charging Laptop Backpack is dedicated to practicality -- and to making commutes as convenient as possible. Innovative weight balance shaves off as much as 20 to 25 percent of weight, boosting and conserving its wearer’s energy.
Style it sleek
With a super sleek, modern design, the Blade 6 Backpack by Arc’teryx efficiently transports your essentials through crowded streets. The low-profile, shallow design, with zippers located only on the back and sides of the pack, deters pickpockets and makes the body as aerodynamic as possible for running, cycling and zig-zagging through foot traffic.
The Sami Studio anti-theft Business Laptop Backpack has 10 separate compartments to help organize your life, work and play. Separate wet from dry and secure your valuables with anti-theft technologies and a reverse zip design. It safely charges your smartphone, too.