These are the best backpacks for work, for dinner, or for a night on the town. They're chic enough to go everywhere you do—and sturdy enough to carry everything you need.
Backpacks are super useful, but if you carry the wrong one you're going to feel like a awkward middle schooler again. So we've rounded up the best backpacks for adults—the chic kind that you can carry with you wherever you go. Our picks are practical, too, with enough space to carry everything you need, including laptops, gym clothes, and an extra pair of shoes for that long commute.
Best Backpack for Exploring: Osprey Arcane Large Day Pack
The harness and back panel of this hardy backpack are covered in a breathable material, so you can stay cool on the go, whether that means you’re traveling to new places or just trying to make it to your next meeting on time. Plus, this backpack has a removable strap that can be used to secure your bag to your table or chair, so you can stop worrying about a potential theft and focus on what’s really important.
To buy: $110; osprey.com.
Best Mid-Sized Backpack: Herschel Supply Co. Nova Backpack
Herschel’s backpacks are go-tos for college students, school kids, and commuters alike, but this mid-sized option is perfect for those who like to travel light to and from work. It’s small enough to just hold the essentials, and the pop of gold in the zipper and striking hue give it an adult edge.
To buy: $65; herschel.com.
Best Backpack for Meetings: Timbuk2 Foundry Pack
The leather finishes on this luxe laptop backpack give it a mature feel that allows it to fit into even the stuffiest boardroom. This best backpack for work has padded straps and a loop that allows it to fit neatly over a wheeled suitcase, so it can go on all your travels with you; it even comes with a bottle opener, so you can enjoy a beer or cider once the workday is done.
To buy: $229; timbuk2.com.
Best Everyday Backpack: Everlane The Modern Snap Backpack
This good-looking work backpack has a padded laptop compartment, plus easily accessible side pockets for your keys, public transportation badge, and other commuter essentials. Carry it on typical days at work and on weekend adventures with friends—its laidback look means it can blend seamlessly into both.
To buy: $68; everlane.com.
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Best Statement-Making Backpack: State Kane Canvas Backpack
Just like white boots, white backpacks make a statement: They say you don’t care about potential spills or stains (or post–Labor Day fashion rules). This canvas option can be spot cleaned and has an assortment of interior pockets for organizing all your belongings. Also, for every State bag purchased, a bag of supplies is given to a child in need.
To buy: $75; bloomingdales.com.
Best Backpack for a Post-Work Workout: Lululemon City Adventurer Backpack Large
This 24-liter backpack will go from work to the gym (and maybe even back again). It has reinforced straps that can carry your laptop (in the padded pocket, of course), lunch, extra shoes, gym clothes, and more, plus an expandable pocket for sweaty gym clothes. There’s even a handy exterior pocket for your phone, so it’s always within reach during your commute.
To buy: $148; lululemon.com.
Best Leather Backpack: Madewell Lorimer Leather Backpack
Go high-end with this perfect backpack for work. The rich leather is sure to catch peoples’ eyes, and the rich patina it will develop over the years will serve as a reminder of exactly how far you’ve come at work.
To buy: $198; nordstrom.com.
Best Backpack for Running Errands: Convertible Tote & Backpack
Carry this organic cotton and vegan leather bag as a tote to work in the morning, then sling it on your back after you pick up some groceries or do a little stress shopping after a long day at work to make the long journey home a little easier on your shoulders.
To buy: $165; uncommongoods.com.