Welcome, fearless commuters and urban adventurers! If you’re on the relentless quest for the perfect commuter backpack that seamlessly fuses style, functionality, and durability, you’ve stumbled upon the ultimate guide. 

Not every bag is built for a week in the wild. Sometimes, we just need a bit of help getting to work and even to the gym afterwards. Well, enter the commuter backpack! These backpacks hold everything you need for the day while still being small enough to fit underneath into a tightly packed train carriage. 

There is a surprising number of gearheads who don’t properly invest in their commuting bag. Well, we’re here to help you make the most of your daily journey with the best backpacks for commutes on the market that include features and quality materials that last longer and hold more while staying compact. 

In the concrete jungle, where the rhythm of life beats to the sounds of bustling streets and whirring engines, your backpack is more than just a carrier of essentials – it’s your trusty sidekick! 

You only need to get caught out in the rain with your laptop one time to understand the value of a backpack that goes the extra mile to protect your gear. Whether it’s water, lunch, essential documents, textbooks, or electronics, your commuter backpack needs to be able to carry it all.

Plenty of cheap bags are nothing more than a black hole sack, and your shoulders will feel it too. So we’ve scoured the cityscape to unearth backpacks that not only withstand the demands of your daily grind but also elevate your style game too. 

Join us on this expedition through the urban landscape as we uncover the unsung heroes of commuter backpacks, those unassuming champions designed to carry your laptop, organize your life, and withstand the challenges of your daily hustle. Whether you’re zigzagging through crowded subway stations, cycling through city streets, or conquering your morning commute, we’ve got your back – quite literally.

Not all bags are made equal, and you don’t want to end up with an expensive bag that just talks the talk. Let’s dive in to find the BEST commuter backpacks, where form meets function, and every journey becomes a stylish, comfortable and well-organised adventure!

Quick Answers

Best Commuter Duffel Backpack
Best Commuter Duffel Backpack

Osprey Transporter Duffel

  • > $$
  • > Made from recycled materials
  • > Multiple carry options
Commuter Backpack For Students
Commuter Backpack For Students

Tortuga Outbreaker Laptop Backpack

  • > $$$
  • > Weatherproof
  • > Lockable zippers
Best Overall Commuter Backpack
Best Overall Commuter Backpack

Aer Travel Pack 3 Small

  • > $$
  • > Front zippers are lockable
  • > Extra rain protection
Ethically Made Commuter Backpack
Ethically Made Commuter Backpack

Gulu Made Inspire Pack

  • > $$
  • > Loads of extra pockets
  • > Unique design scheme
Best Waterproof Commuter Backpack
Best Waterproof Commuter Backpack

Arc’teryx Granville 16 Zip

  • > $$
  • > Completely waterproof
  • > Minimalist design
Most Stylish Commuter Backpack
Most Stylish Commuter Backpack

Toubador Pioneer

  • > $$
  • > Heaps of pockets and organisation
  • > Tough long lasting material
Best Commuter Gym Bag
Best Commuter Gym Bag

Aer Duffel Pack 3 X-Pac

  • > $$
  • > Loads of extra compartments
  • > Fits a basketball
Best Business Commuter Backpack
Best Business Commuter Backpack

Nomatic Travel Bag 14L

  • > $$
  • > Water-resistant
  • > Many carrying options
Best Commuter and Hiking Backpack
Best Commuter and Hiking Backpack

Osprey Aoede Airspeed

  • > $
  • > Extra shoulder protection
  • > 13 different pockets
Most Versatile Commuter Backpack
Most Versatile Commuter Backpack

Osprey Arcane

  • > $
  • > Tons of different colors
  • > Adjustable sternum straps
Bicycle Commuter Backpack
Bicycle Commuter Backpack

Osprey Radial Bike Commuter Pack

  • > $
  • > Durable protection
  • > Minimalist design
Best Roller Bag Commuter Backpack
Best Roller Bag Commuter Backpack

Nomatic Navigator Carry-on

  • > $$
  • > Rollers make carrying extra weight easy
  • > Super sturdy and hard wearing
Best Urban Commuter Backpack
Best Urban Commuter Backpack

LOJEL Urbo 2 Citybag

  • > $$
  • > Durable 600D construction
  • > Sleek look
Best Organized Commuter Bag
Best Organized Commuter Bag

Gregory Rhune 25

  • > $
  • > Made from recycled materials
  • > Nice and light
Best Commuter Laptop Backpack
Best Commuter Laptop Backpack

Harber London Commuter Backpack

  • > $
  • > Stylish backpack
  • > Secure magnetic closing mechanism

The Very Best Commuter Backpacks

Nomatic Travel Pack
All packed and ready for my morning commute.

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From Berlin to Bolivia, we’ve consulted loads of broke backpackers to put together this list of the best backpacks on the market. Of course, everyone’s needs are different, but one of these packs is bound to make your commute easier whether you’re walking to work, jumping on the bus or flying about town on your fancy electric bike!

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#1 – Best Overall Commuter Pack – AER Travel Pack 3 Small

Aer Travel Pack 2 Small backpack.

Our pick for best overall commuter backpack is Aer Travel Pack 2 Small

  • Size: 19” x 12.5” x 7.5”
  • Weight: 3.3 lbs
  • Capacity: 28 liters

The Aer travel pack small is a commuter backpack that can go anywhere. Whether you need a bag for work, sport, or a vacation, this pack will get the job done better than the competition. The bag fits as a carry-on, has a separate laptop compartment, and even has a stowable shoe compartment so your wet trainers won’t ruin everything you own.

In addition to protecting the rest of your clothes from damp shoes, the exterior of the bag features water-resistant nylon that is as durable as it is dry. Across the board, this bag is built tough with reinforced buckles, zips, and grips designed to last for decades.

While the bag comes with a hefty price tag, its various uses and high-quality materials more than justify the price.

I felt that this was a close contender for the best backpack for work commuting, only falling short due to it coming in slightly larger size for most people’s needs. However, what I do love about the bag was how well it can carry larger loads when needed as well as how well its design functioned for longer business trips. It also offers a different organisation options for keeping their wires and other tech accessories in order.

  • Great for Airplane Travel
  • Front zippers are lockable
  • Extra rain protection
  • Shoe compartment is large
  • A bit on the heavy side

#2 – Best Commuter Duffel Backpack – Osprey Transporter Duffel

Osprey Transporter Duffel

Osprey Transporter Duffel Bag is our pick for best commuter duffel backpack

  • Size: 22 x 15 x 10 inches
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 8 oz
  • Capacity: 40 liters

This duffel takes care of the details to make the bag easy to organize and transport, and the recycled materials make this bag stand out. Made out of plastic bottles and durable fabrics, the bag is minimalist but it’s still supportive. It’s a duffel style bag, so don’t expect too many front pockets or water bottle holders, just plenty of lightweight storage space. 

With handles, shoulder straps, and a full-body sling, you can carry this duffel bag however you see fit. No matter how you hold it, the interior is easy to pack, thanks to the full zipper that allows the bag to open further. 

If you’re looking for a lightweight everyday duffel that can also fit in the overhead lockers, this weekend pack is built sturdy and packs in fun features that make it work for all occasions. 

I made this the best men’s commuter bag (and women’s) for several reasons. The first being just how lightweight it was especially when considering how much this bag can fit inside. I also love the different carry options that this bag facilitates and how well that works whilst commuting.

For example, I was able to use the backpack straps to carry the bag whilst walking to the tube station and the duffel option whilst negotiating the queues and train carriages. In addition, for those traveling with a board, it makes for a great skateboard pack too.

  • Made from recycled materials
  • Multiple carry options
  • Works great with packing cubes
  • Not many pockets
  • No water bottle holder
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#3 – Commuter Backpack For Students – Tortuga Outbreaker Laptop Backpack

Tortuga Outbreaker Laptop Backpack

Tortuga Outbreaker Laptop Backpack is our pick for best commuter backpack for students

  • Size: 18.5” x 12” x 9”
  • Weight: 3.2 lbs
  • Capacity: 27 liters

With all the right reinforcements in all the right places, this bag will help carry your load. Extra cushioning in the shoulder pads help lug your books home from class, and it’s still small enough to fit underneath a seat. 

Many bags can fit a laptop, but no model goes further than this one to keep your electronics secure. An extra layer of ariaprene foam protects the laptop compartment, and lockable zippers make sure nothing accidentally slips open.  

When I got hold of this bag, it felt like a proper solid and durable pack that offered an awesome level of protection for gear on the daily commute. I am also a fan of the different pockets, zippered compartments and elasticated sections that are perfect for keeping all wires, papers, pens, journals and other bits organised and accessible.

  • Sternum Strap
  • Weatherproof
  • Lockable zippers
  • Feels bulky
  • Expensive

#4 – Most Stylish Commuter Backpack – Toubador Pioneer

Toubador Pioneer backpack

Meet the most stylish commuter backpack: Toubador Pioneer

  • Size: 11.8″ / 30cm x 19.3″ / 49cm x 6.3″ / 16cm
  • Weight:  2.4 lbs / 1.1kg
  • Capacity: 23.5 L

Get ready for your daily commute with this revolutionary backpack from Toubador, it’s the perfect companion for the urban traveller. Made from ultra-light waterproof fabric, this backpack will shield your valuables against the unpredictable twists and turns of city life… including the weather! With a dedicated laptop space for computers up to 16”, you’re most expensive accessories are covered. 

The front of the pack zips open to reveal a portable office that lets you keep everything organised and where you need it. So you can swing into the office and get right to work. Another great feature is the dedicated shoe compartment, making this bag perfect for those who run or cycle to work or want to hit the gym afterwards whilst keeping everything else fresh and non-foot smelling!

We all know the trip to and from work can take longer than we sometimes expect. Comfort is a priority with a breathable back panel and ergonomic padded shoulder straps ensuring that even the longest commutes are a breeze. The sleek, minimalist look and eco-friendly design with clean lines and environmentally conscious materials make it office-friendly. 

Another bonus is that each Troubadour product comes with a five-year guarantee.

  • Heaps of pockets and organisation
  • Luggage pass through
  • Tough long lasting material
  • Looks very buisnessy!
  • Not built for hiking.

#5 – Best Roller Bag Commuter Backpack – Nomatic Navigator Carry-on

Nomatic Navigator Carry-on roller backpack 37l expandable

Best Roller Bag Commuter Backpack: Nomatic Navigator Carry-on

  • Size: 22″ H x 14″ W x 9″ D
  • Weight: 7.8 lbs
  • Capacity: 37 liters (expandable to 44L)

Say hello to the Nomatic Navigator Carry-On, a budget-friendly hero for commuters and business travellers alike. This versatile two-wheeler carry-on is not your bog standard bit of luggage, it’s an adaptable companion for the hustle without burning a hole in your wallet. Starting at 37 liters, it expands to a generous 44 liters, giving you ample room for your commuter essentials and anything unexpected that might come your way. 

Carrying a 17” laptop? We’ve got you covered with dedicated storage, ensuring your tech stays safe and secure. Inside there are heaps of pockets and compartments designed to keep all your cords and work accessories exactly where you need them. On the outside, the bag is crafted out of sturdy, water-resistant materials, to keep the weather out and roll with the punches. The tamper-resistant zippers and RFID safe pocket are there to safeguard your valuables.

The Nomatic Navigator Carry-On is designed for smooth travels, whether on the daily commuter for those with larger carrying needs or for those three-to-five-day work excursions.

  • Rollers make carrying extra weight easy
  • Super sturdy and hard wearing
  • Built for not just work but trips too
  • Is heavier than anything else on this list.
  • Wheels can sometimes be a pain on public transport.

#6 – Ethically Made Commuter Backpack – Gulu Made Inspire Pack

Gulu Made Inspire Pack ethical backpack

Meet the ethically made commuter backpack: Gulu Made Inspire Backpack

  • Size: 19” x 12” x 9”
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Capacity: 25 liters

Team up with the women of Gulu for your next commuter pack, and you’ll receive a roomy pack with plenty of small pockets for essential items. The Gulu Made brand set up shop building a backpacking factory in Uganda and has entrusted the local community with making sustainable backpacks built to last. 

These bags are designed and built by local tribes. The women of Gulu took modern comfort features into account, adding water bottle holders and ten different organization pockets with an extra computer sleeve. 

The Motivator is the most spacious Gulu-made pack on the market and offers everything you need to commute in a sustainable style. If you are after an ethical product, this is perfect for you.

I am a big fan of this bag I have to say. One of the standout features in terms of the organisation is the three main sections of the pack. I appreciate that laptops can be placed in their own section at the back away from all their other gear, making it easy to access when needed, but easy to keep secure too.

If you are looking for cruelty-free gear, we have a cracking vegan backpack round-up on the site.

  • Unique design scheme
  • Loads of extra pockets
  • Built for life
  • Not protected against the weather
  • Not built for mountain treks

#7 – Best Urban Commuter Backpack – LOJEL Urbo 2 Citybag

Lojel Urbo 2 Citybag backpack commuter
  • Size: 17” x 11” x 6”
  • Capacity: 18-21 liters

When searching for a good commuter bag, it’s a good idea to imagine yourself wearing it every single day. You want something functional and comfortable, but also a backpack that’s aesthetically pleasing. The Urbo 2 Citybag finds the perfect middle ground between making sure all your belongings are safe and secure while looking rather sleek while slipping through transit systems and narrow streets.

This bag offers plenty of space inside to pack your laptop, some journals, and whatever else you may want to toss in here for your commute. A really cool feature of this bag is the side zipper, allowing you to expand the internal capacity of your bag by 3 liters. This may not sound like much, but packing is a game of inches and this could be the difference between leaving that windbreaker at home or bringing it just in case. This feature also makes it a good backpack for university IMO.

Another thing I really liked about the pack was the separate laptop sleeve on the back, giving you an extra level of protection while zooming around the city. Combine this with the 600D abrasion-resistant material this city bag is constructed of, you’ll be commuting with a clear conscience wherever the road takes you.

Want some more options from this brand? Check out our guide to the best LOJEL backpacks and luggage here.

  • Durable 600D construction
  • Sleek look
  • Internal organization pockets
  • Not waterproof
  • Tight fit for a larger laptop

#8 – Best Waterproof Commuter Backpack – Arc’teryx Granville 16 Zip

Arcteryx Granville 16 Zip backpack commuter water resistant

Arc’teryx Granville 16 Zip is one of the waterproof commuter backpack

  • Size: 18.5” x 12.2” x 10.6”
  • Weight: 1.65 lbs
  • Capacity: 16 liters

There’s no good reason to take a risk with your commuter gear. Your everyday bag will have to get the job done rain or shine, and this lightweight Arc’teryx pack will make sure everything stays dry no matter the weather. 

The waterproof technology is everywhere from the external pocket built for holding your cell phone down to the watertight zippers. Don’t expect any bells or whistles on this pack. The minimalist, monotone exterior only comes with one extra pocket. 

Inside the main compartment, you’ll find a few more storage options. A laptop sleeve, mesh separators, and secret pockets make a convenient and dry space for everything you’ll need in a day’s work.  This is one of the best waterproof backpacks I’ve ever tried.

For those of us in rainier climates carrying laptops and cameras on a daily basis, this bag is a bit of a godsend. I really rate Arc’teryx gear and this offering also justifies its price tag. The lowkey sleek and modern appearance of the bag also resonates with me, as does the different pockets and organisational features.

Need more storage, have a look at the Arc’teryx Konseal Backpack.

  • Completely waterproof
  • Minimalist design
  • Reinforced straps
  • Zipper is finicky
  • Not many external pockets

#9 – Best Organized Commuter Bag – Gregory Rhune 25

Gregory Rhune Backpack 25l

The Gregory Rhune is the most organized commuter pack

  • Size: 20.3 x 50.8 x 33 cm 
  • Weight: 0.925 kg
  • Capacity: 25 liters

The Gregory Rhune brings a durable and sustainable approach to the everyday backpack concept. All fabrics used in this pack are made from recycled materials resulting in a 51% in the production cycles carbon footprint. 

However, eco-credentials aside, this is a genuinely bloody good pack with excellent attention to detail. Designed for an active user the Rhune packs have an integrated shoulder harness pocket that is perfect for earbuds, transit passes, or mints.

The pack is accessed by a top-lid opening that pulls back – that’s not an opening style that I am too used to but it’s pretty useful. Insider the pack, the main compartment is split into 3 handy sections including a very generous laptop sleeve.

To the touch, the material used in the construction of the Gregory Rhune feels quite strong and durable and yet, the pack feels very light to carry.

Overall, this is a great backpack for commutes and for day travel. It’s a great bag for when we have to carry quite a lot – it feels roomy and yet not bulky once fully packed out. Oh, and the shoulder straps felt comfortable even at full capacity.

  • Made from recycled materials
  • Great organisational capacities
  • Nice and light
  • Not cheap (yet not expensive)
  • Not great for hiking

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    #10 – Best Commuter Gym Bag – Aer Duffel Pack 3 X-Pac

    Aer Duffel Pack 2

    Aer Duffel Pack 3 X-Pac is one of the best commuter gym bag

    • Size: 21.5” x 12” x 8”
    • Weight: 2.4 lbs
    • Capacity: 24.6 liters

    Don’t let the name fool you – this is more than a simple duffel bag. Three separate straps allow you to carry the bag however you feel that day, giving you one less excuse to skip the gym. An extra compartment prevents stinky shoes from spreading, and a top pocket lets you store your keys and flash your key card with ease. The bag is a hybrid model built for the gym and the office. 

    With a separate laptop compartment, you can keep everything together in their respective space, making Aer’s Duffel the perfect bag when you want to stop by the gym on the way home. 

    My view is that some of you will love the multi-use aspect of this bag. Those of you who love to nip to the gym after work will not feel out of place carrying it to the office first. The shoe section is particularly useful in keeping gym and business separate (never mix business with pleasure)!

    • Loads of extra compartments
    • Several carrying options
    • Fits a basketball
    • Only comes in black
    • No rain protection

    #11 – Best Business Commuter Backpack – Nomatic Backpack 14l

    Nomatic Travel Pack 14l backpack

    Meet the best business commuter backpack: Nomatic Backpack 14l

    • Size:17.5″ H x 11″ W x 5.5″- 7.5″
    • Weight: 3.5 lbs
    • Capacity: 14 liters

    Nomadic broke backpackers across the world have been using Nomatic for years. The technology we pack inside our backpacks is constantly improving, and travel bags like these provide the extra features to keep everything secure no matter what we take with us. 

    The 14l volume is just the perfect size for laptops, cords, a packed lunch and a notebook. Various exterior pockets make security checks a breeze, and sternum and waist straps will keep the pressure off your shoulders. 

    This is one of the larger packs on the list, so it’s a great business backpack for those needing extra capacity or heading off for a night away.

    We have used loads of Nomatic gear over the years and all of their packs are high quality. We made this one the best commuter laptop backpack on the market due to the separate pocket at the back of the pack just for your laptop.

    If you want something a little bigger, then there is a 20l version. Also for an even bigger one take a look at the Nomatic Travel Pack instead.

    • Does a bit of everything
    • Water-resistant
    • Many carrying options
    • Doesn’t ship to Europe
    • Expensive!

    #12 – Best Commuter and Hiking Backpack – Osprey Aoede Airspeed

    Osprey Aoede Airspeed backpack

    Osprey Aoede Airspeed is our pick for best commuter and hiking backpack

    • 18.7H X 11.61W X 8.86D IN
    • Weight:2.26 LBS
    • Capacity: 21 liters

    Packed full of easy-to-reach outside pockets, this bag has tons of fun features that make it a great companion on the way to work or the trail. The outside storage pockets all have different functionality, with two side pockets for water bottles or walking sticks and a scratch-free central pocket to protect your phone from rocky scrambles. 

    There is an included laptop sleeve, although, at 14 inches, it can’t quite hold every laptop. However, this small size does have its advantages. The pack is so light, that you can carry the bag in one hand, or use the included sternum strap when it’s full of gear. 

    To top it all off, an exterior layer of mesh doubles the amount you can carry, providing a convenient place for wet shoes or souvenirs. The Aoede Airspeed is quite simply, a great everyday backpack that I quite literally use every single day!

    I like that this bag is super versatile and that it can be used not only on the daily commute but also for fun on the trails on the weekends. The hard-wearing exterior and dark colour mean that any potential damage or dirt from the weekend’s adventures won’t be seen.

    Check out my detailed Osprey Quasar review, a very similar bag, you shall see why.

    • Can handle a beating
    • Extra shoulder protection
    • 13 different pockets
    • Not the most laptop-friendly

    #13 – Most Versatile Commuter Backpack – Osprey Arcane

    Osprey Arcane backpack

    Our pick for most versatile commuter backpack is Osprey Arcane

    • Size: 17.7 x 11.8 x 8.7 inches
    • Weight: 1 lb. 6 oz.
    • Capacity: 20 liters

    Affordable, breathable, and lightweight, there are not many commuters that wouldn’t benefit from the Arcane on their backs. The slim bag doesn’t provide high-tech features but does offer plenty of pockets and padded protections. 

    Two separate internal dividers keep space for your computer and important documents, but a cleaner layout ensures nothing gets lost in cracks and crevices. While there’s not much weight on this bag, Osprey still found space for some really useful features, but all in all, it’s one of those super light bags for getting around the city quickly.

    This bag won’t win any awards, but its simple features do enough to help out in any scenario. Personally, I prefer the Osprey Quasar but for those looking for a simple, durable and smart bag that is super light and gets the job done wherever you use it, this is the one. Oh, what I do love about the Arcane is the fact that there is an attachment for your keys inside!

    • Tons of different colors
    • Internal key clip
    • Quick reach pocket
    • Not many extra features
    • No back ventilation

    #14 – Bicycle Backpack For Commutes – Osprey Radial Bike Commuter Pack

    Osprey Radial Bike Commuter Pack backpack

    Osprey Radial Bike Commuter Pack is one of the best bicycle commuter backpack

    • Size: 20 x 14 x 12
    • Weight: 3 lbs. 5 oz.
    • Capacity: 34 liters

    You may have noticed the trend by now – Osprey makes tons of great backpacks for all occasions. The Radial Bike Commuter Pack combines some of our favorite features from across Osprey’s backpack repertoire, making it a great bag to strap on if you wear clip-ons to work.

    We love this backpack’s Airscape ventilation system, a rare find on backpacks that feature a laptop compartment. The frameless back allows a better fit for biking, and the variety of pockets and volumes of dedicated storage allows you to fit a change of clothes easily.

    You won’t find a gear hauler better suited for biking to work in this price range. There are even built-in blinker light attachments if you plan on working late!

    In many ways, this is a step up from the Centauri with the addition of the additional middle organisational section. I like that it offers a higher level of organisation as a result and makes the weight distribution much better. I am also a fan of the key hook which means no more digging around in the rain for your keys!

    • Hidden LidLock helmet carry attachment point
    • Durable protection
    • Minimalist design
    • No hip strap
    • Not much external storage

    #15 Best Laptop Backpack For Commutes – Harber London Commuter Backpack

    Harber London Commuter Backpack

    The Harber London commuter backpack is a great laptop ready backpack

    • Size (Large): 43 x 28 x 14
    • Weight: 1.81lbs
    • Capacity: 16.85 liters

    This hugely stylish backpack from Harber London is designed for everyday urban living. It employs a safe and secure magnetic closing mechanism, comes with a padded laptop sleeve and utilises top-quality materials throughout.

    When I laid hands on this pack I was taken with the two-tone style of the bag and just how stylish and hip it looked – it wouldn’t look out of place in the cafes of Williamsburg! In terms of practical features, I really like the floating bottom of the padded laptop compartment. I also loved that the bag felt compact and yet at the same time felt roomy and offered massive amounts of storage.

    The best present of all… is CONVENIENCE!

    Now, you could spend a fat chunk of $$$ on the WRONG present for someone. Wrong size hiking boots, wrong fit backpack, wrong shape sleeping bag… As any adventurer will tell you, gear is a personal choice.

    So give the adventurer in your life the gift of convenience: buy them an REI Co-op gift card! REI is The Broke Backpacker’s retailer of choice for ALL things outdoors, and an REI gift card is the perfect present you can buy from them. And then you won’t have to keep the receipt. 😉

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    Best Commuter Backpacks
    NameCapacity (litres)Dimensions (CM)Weight (KG)Laptop Compartment (Y/N)Price (USD
    Osprey Transporter Duffel4022 x 15 x 10 inches2 lbs. 8 oz.Y160
    Aer Travel Pack 3 Small2848.26 x 31.75 x 19.051.50Y200
    Tortuga Outbreaker Laptop Backpack2746.99 x 30.48 x 22.861.45Y225
    Toubador Pioneer23.530 x 49 x 161.1Y
    Nomatic Navigator Carry-on3722″ H x 14″ W x 9″ D7.8 lbsY399.99
    Gulu Made Inspire Pack2548.26 x 30.48 x 12.70.91Y129
    LOJEL Urbo 2 Citybag18-2143 x 29 x 14.5Y
    Arc’teryx Granville 16 Zip1646.99 x 30.99 x 26.920.75Y180
    Gregory Rhune 252520.3 x 50.8 x 330.93Y119.25
    Aer Duffel Pack 3 X-Pac24.654.61 x 30.48 x 20.321.09Y170
    Nomatic Backpack1417.5″ H x 11″ W x 5.5″- 7.5″2.50Y179.99
    Osprey Aoede Airspeed2118.7H X 11.61W X 8.86D IN2.26 LBSY140
    Osprey Arcane2017.7 x 11.8 x 8.7 in1 lb. 6 oz.Y110
    Osprey Radial Bike Commuter Pack3420 x 14 x 12 in3 lbs. 5 oz.Y195
    Harber London Commuter Backpack16.8543 x 28 x 140.82Y228

    How and Where We Tested To Find The Best Backpacks For Commuting

    To test these packs and compile our list of best commuter bags, we took each one of them out and gave them a proper test ride. To do this we gave each bag to various members of our team over an extended period of time so they could take them on various different trips to many locations around the world.


    A backpack is primarily designed to carry your gear, so packability was one of the main areas where we judged these bags. When it came to selecting the best commuter bag, we awarded points for how well each one maximised its space and how easily they allowed effective packing.

    It’s not only packing that is important, but unpacking too. We awarded points for how well each pack made it to retrieve items quickly and easily from each bag. When it came to commuter bags, that was especially important for items like travel cards, headphones and wallets.

    Weight and Comfort of Carrying

    No one wants to be carting around a super heavy backpack, having uncomfortable straps that dig in and a pack that unevenly distributes its weight over your back is no fun at all. A good commuter backpack enables you to pack inside it heavy papers and laptops whilst remaining comfortable for a potentially long journey where you’ll be carrying, wearing and holding your pack at various points.

    With that in mind, we awarded full marks for packs that minimise weight and maximum carry comfort.


    In order to test out how well a pack fulfilled its primary purpose we used it for this purpose. So when it came to the best backpacks for commuters, well, we used them whilst travelling to and from workplaces. For us, when it came to the functionality of commuter packs, being easy to carry on and off transport and negotiating crowds with ease were top priorities.

    Nomatic Travel Pack
    We love packs with heaps of features.


    When it came to selecting the best commuter backpacks, looks were super important to us. A pack that will be used in and around the workplace needs to look sleek and professional. With this in mind, we chose packs with a minimal amount of colour and external features.

    Durability and Weatherproofing

    Whilst commuting it’s likely you’ll be bringing along expensive and important documents, laptops, hard drives and other gear you really don’t want to get wet! The chances are you’ll also be standing at a bus stop or walking from the underground station to the office in all kinds of weather.

    As such, we tested each bag on its ability to keep its contents dry and safe by pouring over a pint or two of water and checking the inside! Equally, with everyday use, these bags need to be durable and strong. So we looked at the various pressure points where packs often fail, inspected the seam sewing quality alongside the materials used, the traction of the zips and how well other hardwear faired over time.

    FAQ about the Best Commuter Backpacks

    Still have some questions about the best commuter backpack? No problem! We’ve listed and answered the most commonly asked questions below. Here’s what people usually want to know:

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      Final Thoughts

      Aiden in Kuala Lumpur with Osprey Quasar Backpack
      Some commutes are more colourful than others

      Whether your commute takes you through city streets or snowy pastures, the backpacks on this list offer lightweight protection and stylish features that help you carry more with you. 

      Whether you want all-around performance or best-in-class features, these bags run the gambit of industry-leading commuter backpacks. What’s more, with their quality, if you look after your backpack they’ll last you years to come.

      Stay organized and stay ahead of the game with the right backpack on your shoulders. Decide what you want out of your bag, and find out what the best gear haulers on the market can do to ultimately decide which bag is best for your arsenal. You can even easily combine one of these bags with a stylish and lightweight travel purse to keep your wallet and passport handy if needed.

      You’ll likely be using your commuter backpack more than any other bag in your kit, so make a list of demands, check it twice, and gear up properly with the bag built for you. 

      Hopefully, you’ve found the best commuting backpack for your needs. Let us know below.

      If you’re looking for something super unique for your commute, then have a look at the Vantage Nemo.