Thankfully for us guys, long gone are the days of not having many choices when it comes to awesome travel gear. Just because we’re about function, doesn’t mean we don’t have care about aesthetic. And, with all the options available now, we don’t have to choose one over the other.
So let’s talk here about the most useful accessory of all: the backpack. When it comes to having the versatility of carrying your stuff around while being comfortable, nothing can beat it. And backpacks have sure come a long way!
From practical hiking backpacks to sleek backpacks for digital nomads, there is something for everyone on this list, I assure you.
The backpacks featured on this list have been put through a rigorous testing process. Only the most innovative backpacks on the market right now made the cut.
When it comes to finding cool backpacks for men in every category, you’ve come to the right place. Whether it’s for travel or for everyday use, we’ll talk about my top picks to help you find the best backpack that’s right for you.
Table of Contents
- Quick Answer: These are the Best Cool Backpacks of 2020
- Cool Backpack for Men – Top Pick
- Nomatic 30L Travel Bag
- Cool Backpack for Men – #2 Top Pick
- Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack
- Cool Backpack for Men (Carry On)
- Tortuga Setout Divide Backpack
- Coolest Backpack for Photographers
- WNDRD PRVKE 31L Pack
- Cool Hiking Backpack – Top Pick
- Osprey Skarab 30 Hydration Men’s Pack
- Coolest Day Hiking Pack #2
- Osprey Talon 33 Men’s Pack
- Cool Backpack for Digital Nomads – Top Pick
- Aer Travel Pack 2
- Coolest Backpack for Backpacking Europe
- Nomatic 40L Travel Bag
- Coolest Backpack for Backpacking Southeast Asia
- Osprey Archeon 45 Men’s Pack
- Coolest Anti-Theft Travel Day Pack
- Pacsafe Venturesafe 25L G3 Anti-Theft Backpack
- Coolest Solar Backpack
- Solgaard Shore-Tex Lifepack
- Best of the Rest
- How to Choose the Coolest Backpack for Men
- Final Thoughts
Quick Answer: These are the Best Cool Backpacks of 2020
Nomatic 30L Travel Bag – Cool Backpack for Men – Top Pick
Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack – Cool Backpack for Men – #2 Top Pick
Tortuga Setout Divide Backpack – Cool Backpack for Men (Carry On)
WNDRD PRVKE 31L Pack – Coolest Backpack for Photographers
Osprey Skarab 30 Hydration Men’s Pack – Cool Hiking Backpack – Top Pick
Osprey Talon 33 Men’s Pack – Coolest Day Hiking Pack #2
Aer Travel Pack 2 – Cool Backpack for Digital Nomads – Top Pick
Nomatic 40L Travel Bag – Coolest Backpack for Backpacking Europe
Osprey Archeon 45 Men’s Pack – Coolest Backpack for Backpacking Southeast Asia
Pacsafe Venturesafe 25L G3 Anti-Theft Backpack – Coolest Anti-Theft Travel Day Pack
Solgaard Shore-Tex Lifepack – Coolest Solar Backpack
|Nomatic 30L Travel Bag ||Check on Nomatic|
|Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack||Check on Tortuga|
|Tortuga Setout Divide Backpack||Check on Tortuga|
|WNDRD PRVKE 31L Pack||Check on AmazonCheck on Wandrd|
|Osprey Skarab 30 Hydration Men’s Pack||Check on REICheck on Osprey|
|Osprey Talon 33 Men’s Pack||Check on REICheck on Osprey|
|Aer Travel Pack 2||Check on Aer|
|Nomatic 40L Travel Bag||Check on Nomatic|
|Osprey Archeon 45 Men’s Pack||Check on REICheck on Osprey|
|Pacsafe Venturesafe 25L G3 Anti-Theft Backpack||Check on REICheck on Amazon|
|Solgaard Shore-Tex Lifepack||Check on Solgaard|
Cool Backpack for Men – Top Pick
If you’re looking for a cool backpack for men that has it all – look no further. The Nomatic Travel Bag is the most versatile, well-designed bag I’ve seen yet. Its compact yet spacious 30-liter capacity make it as practical for daily use as for hopping on a flight for a long weekend getaway.
Finding space to fit in everything you need is a breeze with all of the Nomatic’s special pockets and compartments. Its shoe compartment with a ventilated door and water bottle pocket makes it ideal for the gym, while you also have pockets for underwear, socks, and an RFID pocket for longer trips.
Speaking of versatility, its innovative strap system allows you to easily choose between backpack and duffel-style portability. And with its sleek, all-black modern design, this bag has cool nailed down. I think it’s pretty clear why the Nomatic Travel Bag is my top pick.
Check out our in-depth Nomatic Travel Bag review
Cool Backpack for Men – #2 Top Pick
The Tortuga Outbreaker is an awesome bag if you need a bit more space to fit everything you need. It offers the convenience and comfort of a backpack but has all of the organizational features of a suitcase. It’s available in 35L and 45L size to accommodate longer trips.
The organization of this bag is stellar. The streamlined TSA-compliant computer sleeve is packed with pockets to keep all of your electronics tidy. There’s a front organization pocket to easily access important documents and accessories that you can arrange to your liking. Not to mention the side pockets to fit a water bottle or two and all the inner compartments to keep your clothing, underwear and toiletries in pristine order.
The Outbreaker is made with classic, resilient waterproof sailcloth that makes for one stylish, super cool backpack for men. And no need to worry about comfort – the padded hip belt and height-adjustable suspension system ensure the most comfortable fit possible.
Check out our in-depth Tortuga Outbreaker review
Cool Backpack for Men (Carry On)
If you’re light packer looking for a compact, carry-on backpack with just the right amount of space for shorter trips, the Tortuga Setout Divide is the one for you. You’ll appreciate its simple 2-compartment layout with mesh divider that lets you organize and focus on the essentials.
If you do need more packing space, the Setout can be easily expanded from 26L to 34L. In its unexpanded form, it’s compact enough to fit under the seat of most airplanes. Keep your important items easily accessible with its front organizational pocket and padded sleeve to safely stash a laptop or e-reader.
What also makes this such a cool backpack for men is that it’s the perfect companion bag for larger luggage. It has a pass-through sleeve that easily attaches to a luggage handle that you can then detach and use as your carry-on. Use it as your daypack to carry around your essentials while traveling and look stylish doing it!
Coolest Backpack for Photographers
There are lots of reasons why the PRVKE pack is an award-winning camera bag and makes my top pick as the coolest backpack for photographers. Its innovative design and high quality are unmatched in the world of camera travel backpacks. And it’s available in 3 cool colors for a sleek, stylish look.
Accessing your personal items is super easy with its roll-top that can also be expanded to create 5 more liters of space. It has magnetic handles for easier portability – how cool is that? You can be sure your gear will stay safe in all conditions with the pack’s durable and water-resistant material.
Any photographer knows that having easy access to your camera is key. The PRVKE has 2 access points to the bag’s main compartment, so no need for fumbling to get what you need. The removable camera cube makes things even more convenient and secure. When it comes to cool backpacks for photographers, this one can’t be beaten.
Check out our in-depth Wandrd Prvke 31 review
Cool Hiking Backpack – Top Pick
The Osprey Skarab pack has everything a hiker needs – space, comfort, functionality and versatility. If you’ve been worried about being able to find a cool hiking backpack for men, put your mind at ease because this is it!
Zippered, dual large side panel and hip belt pockets provide plenty of space for everything you need for a day on the trails. You’ll have access to plenty of hydration with the included 2.5L reservoir in the Skarab’s custom-built hydration compartment. Easily access your small hiking necessities in the front zippered pocket.
Besides the ample storage space and a multitude of compartments, you’ll also find plenty of attachment points and compression straps to attach accessories like trekking poles or ice axes. You can customize this hiking backpack to suit all of your needs, from a leisurely day trip to the most rigorous day hike.
Check out our in-depth Osprey Skarab review
Coolest Day Hiking Pack #2
If your hiking needs require packing a little extra gear – like layers for colder weather, for an overnight excursion or family-friendly accessories for kids – the Osprey Talon is the coolest day hiking pack you guys will find.
Its design is simple but includes everything a hiker needs – an ample main compartment, large front pocket, hip belt pockets, and side water bottle pockets. There’s plenty of space to pack in a down shell jacket, extra snacks, or your child’s favorite toy!
The hydration sleeve is conveniently placed on the outside of the main compartment that makes refilling a hydration reservoir easy and avoids the risk of getting your main contents wet. The frame is resilient and secure and you can achieve optimum comfort by adjusting the torso length for a snug fit.
The Talon has all of the streamlined effectiveness and style you can expect from Osprey. They’ve got it nailed down when it comes to cool backpacks for men at an affordable price.
Check out our in-depth Osprey Talon 33 review
Cool Backpack for Digital Nomads – Top Pick
It doesn’t get more streamlined and sleek-looking than this all-black Aer Travel Pack, making it my #1 pick for a cool backpack for men, specifically for us digital nomads. It’s compact, expertly designed for staying organized, and fits an on-the-go nomad’s lifestyle to a tee.
The Aer Travel Pack’s design is awesome. Packing is so easy with the clamshell opening and there are separate quick-access pockets for your most essential items like your small valuables and your laptop. You’ll appreciate the ventilated compartment that lets you keep shoes or dirty clothes away from the rest of your stuff.
You’ll get maximum versatility with a padded top and side handle to choose how you want to carry it. You can even convert the bag from a carry-on backpack to a smaller daypack. Seriously, guys, this bag doesn’t miss a beat.
Check out our in-depth Aer Travel Pack 2 review
Coolest Backpack for Backpacking Europe
What I love about Nomatic is that they make cool products – they just do. And you’ll see what their 40L travel bag easily takes the top spot for the coolest backpack for backpacking Europe.
Europe’s big cities – Rome, Paris, London, Vienna – are fashionable places. The beauty of the Nomatic is that its sleek, black design makes this one good looking bag. And it’s the perfect all-in-one solution for everything you need for an epic Europe trip.
You get loads of space with its roomy 40L interior plus all of the smart pockets and compartments that let you pack in so much more than you think. There are separate compartments for tech accessories, shoes, a water bottle, underwear and socks. It even comes with a hanging mesh laundry basket to keep your dirty clothes away from the rest of your contents.
Everyone knows that you’ll be doing a lot of walking in Europe and the Nomatic optimizes comfort with detachable waist straps. Thanks to its innovative strap system, you have the choice to carry it as a backpack or duffel bag. You can’t go wrong with this one, guys!
Coolest Backpack for Backpacking Southeast Asia
Backpacking through Southeast Asia can be beautifully hectic and unpredictable – which is why you need an awesome backpack that can handle anything. Look no further than the Osprey Archeon for one super cool backpack for men.
For one, it’s made with recycled materials treated with a water repellent finish and has a removable rain cover which is ideal for those sudden showers in Asia that can appear in the blink of an eye. Every inch of this backpack is functional, including the hip belts that include small zippered mesh pockets for stashing small items.
Lugging around all your gear can be hard on your back, but the Osprey is designed for all-day-comfort with an adjustable harness and sturdy internal frame to help spread the weight. You’ll also be grateful for the internal sleeve that can hold up to a 3-liter reservoir of water to keep you well hydrated in the hot, humid travel conditions.
Coolest Anti-Theft Travel Day Pack
When it comes to finding an ultra-secure, super cool backpack for men, pacsafe products nail it. The Venturesafe is the perfect, versatile anti-theft travel day pack for daily use or as a companion day pack for travel.
You can be sure your valuable personal belongings and expensive tech products will stay safe with all of its anti-theft features like lockable zippers and materials that are cut and slash-resistant. Keep your passport and credit cards secure by stashing them in the Venturesafe’s RFID blocking pocket.
On top of maximum anti-theft protection, pacsafe’s Venturesafe backpack features external attachment points to easily carry around small extras and an internal attachment point to easily access your keys and wallet. It’s got ample space and pockets for all of your essentials and removable hip belt for added comfort.
If security and theft are a top concern, this backpack is the right choice for you. You won’t regret it.
Check out our in-depth Pacsafe Venturesafe 25 review
Coolest Solar Backpack
The fact that this backpack lets you charge your phone and electronic devices with solar power already makes it cool. Add to that the fact that it’s made with a fabric that’s made from upcycled ocean-bound plastic, and you have the ultimate in cool backpacks for men.
You can get the Lifepack with our without the Solarbank, if you happen to already have one. The Shore-Tex is also jam-packed with security features – like 4 secret pockets to stash away important ID documents and credit cards and Solgaard’s anti-theft patented lock.
Another added bonus its extremely streamlined design with just the right amount of pockets and organizational features to make life on-the-go that much easier. It’s secure, comfortable, and smart – just about everything you could want in a solar backpack.
Check out our in-depth Solgaard Lifepack review
Best of the Rest
Another solid choice in the cool backpacks for men category is REI’s 28-liter Co-op Ruckpack. It’s a simple, functional pack that can serve a variety of functions from a hiking backpack to a daypack for longer travel.
It’s made of durable nylon material that makes it ideal for hitting the trails or for any off-the-beaten-track adventure. For travel, you have the option of using its attachable waistbelt and fastening the sternum strap for added comfort and stability. Oh, and the stowable rain cover is a nice bonus should you hit stormy weather along the way.
For a simple, versatile and affordable backpack, REI’s ruckpack has a lot to offer.
The 25-liter version of the REI Co-op pack is smaller and designed as a women’s backpack with contoured foam in the harness for a female-focused fit. It’s light, affordable and functional – making it a solid choice for a hiking trip or as a carry-on daypack.
A big plus about this backpack is that it’s made with all recycled materials, so you can feel good about protecting the environment and yourself! It has 5 compartments plus the main compartment, so you’ll have plenty of space to pack all of your essentials.
This travel backpack by Peak Design is also a strong contender in the cool backpack category. As far as having a functional yet fashionable all-in-one travel pack, this one delivers on all fronts.
Dual expansion zippers let this guy expand to 45 liters but compression snaps easily reduce it to its 35-liter configuration to meet international carry-on standards. The dual side zippers are a huge plus for having easy access to your camera or other important items. And it’s also 100% weatherproof.
Staying organized on-the-go is easy with the Peak Design pack’s front panel and four zip mesh pockets. You’ll love the zip-up dividing panel that gives you the option to separate the backpack into two separate compartments or merging into one depending on your needs. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, this backpack is worth it.
Check out our in-depth Peak Design Travel Backpack review
How to Choose the Coolest Backpack for Men
As I’ve mentioned before, there is no lack of choices when you’re in the market for cool backpacks. I’ve tried narrowing it down for you with my top picks, but as you keep shopping around, there are a few factors to keep in mind. Let’s take a closer look.
The Best Use for the Backpack
What was the backpack built for? A backpack designed for hiking will prioritize different features than a pack intended for travel photographers. A photographer is toting around expensive equipment so will want a bag designed for maximum protection of its contents while a hiker may prioritize a well-designed hydration reservoir compartment.
So it’s important to know the type of trip you’re looking to go on and what your most pressing needs will be. Often it’s not that a backpack is faulty or lacking, it’s just that it’s not being used in the way for which it was intended.
Cool Organizational Features
Perhaps the most essential feature of any backpack is how organized it lets you be while on-the-go.
Is it laptop-friendly? Does it have an accessible front panel for your ID and important documents? Does it provide easy access to a water bottle? Does it have a separate shoe compartment? Can the interior be divided into separate compartments?
Again, the definition of organized will depend on the activity you’re using it for, but having designated pockets, sleeves and compartments can definitely make your life a whole lot easier. Be sure you know what staying organized means to you and choose a backpack that fits the bill accordingly.
Cool Carry-On Packs
How important is it to you that the backpack you choose meets carry-on requirements?
The most notable benefits of a carry-on are avoiding the hassle of having to check in your bag, retrieving it at the airport – and possibly losing all your stuff in transit. One bag travel also means packing lighter and having less to keep track of and shuttle around.
If carry-on is one of your requirements, then you’ll want to narrow your search to packs up to 35 liters – anything over that will most likely be too big and will require check-in.
Durability vs Aesthetics
The good thing about backpacks for men these days is that you don’t have to sacrifice looks for function. Most modern travel backpacks are both tough and sexy.
Even the sleekest minimalist design – which screams cool – can be packed with innovative features and storage capacity that exceed your expectations. And the water-resilient, durable materials used in contemporary packs can handle anything.
The good news here is that a seemingly expensive pack is often worth every penny. Not only will it last you forever but a timeless design will keep you looking cool even in the most unsexy of travel conditions.
So, guys, I hope I’ve put your mind at rest about not being able to find a cool backpack for men that is functional in every way, yet also sexy.
Just be sure to know the main purpose of the bag, where and what conditions you intend to use it most, what your size limits are, and how long you want it to last. Once you’ve prioritized your needs, you’ll find the perfect backpack for you. Having trouible honing in on the right backpack for yourself? You can’t go wrong with our top pick: the Nomatic 30L Travel Bag
Starpping on a new backpack is actually a lot of fun, so enjoy it. More importantly, go out into the world and put it to good use!
What are your thoughts? Did this top cool backpacks for men review help you? Anything I didn’t answer? Let me know in the comments below – thanks guys!
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Chris Lininger is a writer and adventurer from California. His travels have taken him to the far reaches of the globe including Patagonia, New Zealand, Nepal, Central America, Europe, North Africa, South East Asia, Lebanon, and Pakistan. He is an advocate for low budget responsible travel and for the preservation of the worlds wild places. Chris leads expeditions to Pakistan for Epic Backpacker Tours when he is not writing or plotting some outdoor adventure. He is currently based in Portland, Oregon.