Top 10 Best Urban Backpacks in 2018

Most urban backpacks are used every day, so it’s important that the quality is high.

Unfortunately not all backpacks are of the same high quality, so it pays to spend some time checking the different brands and models before you choose your new backpack.

Having checked many thousands of urban backpack reviews, we can say that the Brooks Pickwick is the best choice for most people.

Brooks Pickwick

Brooks Pickwick

The best reviewed urban backpack
Rated 4.82 out of 5

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PS: We have checked 128,596 reviews to make this top 10 list!
1Brooks PickwickBrooks Pickwick4.82Check Price
2Patagonia Paxat 32Patagonia Paxat 324.80Check Price
3Patagonia Toromiro 22Patagonia Toromiro 224.79Check Price
4Deuter GigantDeuter Gigant4.77Check Price
5Fjallraven Raven 20Fjallraven Raven 204.73Check Price
6Patagonia Jalama 28Patagonia Jalama 284.70Check Price
7Dakine Foundation 26LDakine Foundation 26L4.68Check Price
8OGIO ClarkOGIO Clark4.66Check Price
9Kenneth Cole Reaction No Looking BackKenneth Cole Reaction No Looking Back4.66Check Price
10Osprey Momentum 26Osprey Momentum 264.65Check Price

How we rate the bags

We have checked 128,596 urban backpack reviews, so we can show you the weighted average rating of all the bags.

Using the average ratings, you can check what all the reviewers think instead of just viewing the subjective opinion of one specific reviewer.

It’s much simplier to find the best bags that way.

Not sure what urban backpacks to choose? Read on as we are going to take a closer look at each bag!

1 – Brooks Pickwick

5 review stars Rating 4.82 based on 24 reviews

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Brooks Pickwick

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Brooks Pickwick:

Reviewers like these things about the Brooks Pickwick

  • One user described it as smart looking and utilitarian.
  • Some users liked how the inside sleeves fits a full sized macbook pro.
  • Other reviewers thought it’s a nice vintage bag with a nice color.
  • Well built, solid zippers, perfect size, heavy duty stitching and materials, lightweight and long lasting materials are cited as the main reasons for choosing this bag.
  • Many users thought the wide straps are properly placed, no tangling, solidly made and high quality.
  • Some reviewers thought it has a clean look and simple design that goes well with some outfits.
  • Many owners liked how it’s very spacious yet very compact and sturdy.
  • Many agree that it’s got top notch quality and style and works great for commuting.
  • One user said that every detail of this bag was made with love.
  • An owner described it as an epic, aesthetically pleasing and functional bag.
  • Some users find the straps useful in keeping the bag’s weight well balanced.
  • Other reviewers find its straight forward simple design timeless.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users thought it’s a bit expensive for a backpack.
  • Other reviewers said it would’ve been perfect if the straps are padded.

2 – Patagonia Paxat 32

5 review stars Rating 4.80 based on 95 reviews

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Patagonia Paxat 32

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Patagonia Paxat 32:

Reviewers like these things about the Patagonia Paxat 32

  • Many reviewers noted that the nylon and polyester materials of the Patagonia Paxat backpack make it exceptionally durable.
  • Many users also pointed out that the presence of several pockets makes it easy for storing equipment and gears securely.
  • Several reviewers found out that the pack is lightweight, providing ease when using it for travel or everyday use.
  • Many of the users commended the internal organization feature of the backpack for keeping electronics and other supplies.
  • Users like that the main compartment of the bag is spacious to hold books and clothes for a getaway.
  • Other users noted that the bag might be repellent to water due to its fabric.
  • Laptop users found it easy to store their gadgets due to a compartment dedicated for laptops.
  • Reviewers noted that it was comfortable to use the backpack due to its airflow-mesh shoulder straps and back panel.
  • Other reviewers thought that it was easy to use the zippers.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A user said that the back panel of the backpack is not as efficient as a those from a hiking backpack.
  • A reviewer noted that the bag lacks a hip belt which could also offer more space.

3 – Patagonia Toromiro 22

5 review stars Rating 4.79 based on 68 reviews

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Patagonia Toromiro 22

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Patagonia Toromiro 22:

Reviewers like these things about the Patagonia Toromiro 22

  • Reviewers thought that the Patagonia Toromiro backpack provides optimal durability due to its Recycled-polyester fabric body.
  • Other reviewers noted that the pack is waterproof due to its durable water repellent (DWR) finish.
  • Many of the users were able to fit essential things and equipment due to its generous main compartment.
  • Those who have used the backpack felt that the bag provided enough safety for their stuff due to the bag’s zippered stash pockets.
  • Laptop users commend the pack for having a designated padded sleeve where they can place their laptop in place.
  • Other users found the backpack comfortable to wear.
  • Testers lauded the shoulder straps which are shaped after the human curve to provide additional comfort.
  • Other testers also commented that the backpack has a simple yet versatile design.
  • Many reviewers found the stability and load dispersion of the bag great.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A user said that the backpack might get saggy if he did not place much stuff in it.
  • Another user noted the lack of a water bottle holder.

4 – Deuter Gigant

5 review stars Rating 4.77 based on 46 reviews

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Deuter Gigant

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Deuter Gigant:

Reviewers like these things about the Deuter Gigant

  • Buyers said that the bag is quite spacious.
  • Majority of the users said that the bag is sturdy and highly durable.
  • Some reviewers commented that the backpack is light and is ideal for use at work or travel.
  • Reviewers mentioned that there are plenty of pockets to store the smaller items.
  • The side compression straps for volume adjustments work great.
  • The comfortable grab handle of the bag is quite useful as highlighted by buyers.
  • Other reviewers said that the back-air circulation of the bag is up to the mark.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users said that the bag’s side pockets are too tight.
  • A buyer mentioned that an outer pocket for rain cover would have been made the bag even better.

5 – Fjallraven Raven 20

5 review stars Rating 4.73 based on 268 reviews

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Fjallraven Raven 20

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Fjallraven Raven 20:

Reviewers like these things about the Fjallraven Raven 20

  • Many reviewers noted on the durability of the Fjallraven Raven backpack due to its G-1000 Heavy duty material.
  • Most reviewers agree that optimum support and comfort is provided by its padded back panel and shoulder straps.
  • A reviewer thought that the backpack ensures the security of belongings due to its zippered main compartment.
  • Laptop users agree that a zippered laptop compartment secures their laptops in place.
  • Other users lauded on its zippered security pocket which keeps valuable items such as phones and wallets confidential and secure.
  • Some reviewers also praised the presence of several external pockets where users can store equipment and valuables.
  • Some testers also pointed out that the backpack possesses a sufficient gear capacity.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A user’s primary concern is that the fabric material may be susceptible to being ripped, especially at its seams.
  • A reviewer thought that the water bottle pockets are not elastic, making it difficult for the bottle to place.

6 – Patagonia Jalama 28

5 review stars Rating 4.70 based on 36 reviews

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Patagonia Jalama 28

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Patagonia Jalama 28:

Reviewers like these things about the Patagonia Jalama 28

  • A reviewer thought that the Patagonia Jalama backpack could separate wet gear without spoiling the rest of the things inside the bag due to its waterproof main compartment.
  • Users mentioned that they are ensured of the security of their things placed inside the backpack due to its zippered panel access.
  • Reviewers noted the backpack is versatile enough to keep up with the activities in school and work.
  • Other reviewers thought that it could be an excellent carry-on bag for travel.
  • Laptop users lauded the presence of a padded sleeve dedicated to keeping their gadgets safe and secure.
  • Several reviewers noted that pockets were sufficient to allow organization of things.
  • A user thought that backpack could comfortably hold a water bladder due to its stretch-woven side pockets.
  • Other users mentioned that the pack ensures comfort and proper ventilation on their backs.
  • According to some reviewers, the backpack was durable and sturdy.
  • Some reviewers noted that the straps are comfortable to wear.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A reviewer thought that the backpack might not fit a 17-inch laptop.
  • A few other reviewers believed that only a particular portion of the pack which is waterproof. This means that the bag may still be prone to getting wet.

7 – Dakine Foundation 26L

4.5 review stars Rating 4.68 based on 81 reviews

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Dakine Foundation 26L

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Dakine Foundation 26L:

Reviewers like these things about the Dakine Foundation 26L

  • Many reviewers commend the Dakine Foundation backpack for the optimal comfort it delivers.
  • Users thought that its polyester material makes the bag durable.
  • Reviewers believed that the bag is versatile and lightweight.
  • Laptop users found it easy to store their gadgets due to a compartment dedicated for laptops.
  • Testers pointed out that the pack has a sufficient number of pockets making it easy to organize and secure things.
  • Users recommended that the pack could be used for school or work.
  • Other users also thought that the bag is fully functional for those who are into traveling and hiking.
  • Reviewers note that it has a specialized fleece-lined sleeve for tablets.
  • Reviewers said that its zip pockets allow quick compression or storage.
  • Other reviewers thought that its ergonomic foam back panel and shoulder straps are breathable, providing support and comfort to the users.
  • Testers pointed out that the straps are adjustable.
  • Several of those who have tried the bag found that its main compartment was roomy enough to store several items.
  • Users took notice of its padded flat bottom which keeps the pack upright.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A reviewer thought that the backpack might be quite small.
  • Another reviewer felt that the bag is not waterproof.

8 – OGIO Clark

4.5 review stars Rating 4.66 based on 14 reviews

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OGIO Clark

Here’s what the reviewers think about the OGIO Clark:

Reviewers like these things about the OGIO Clark

  • Most users said that this is a backpack that can hold things inside of it.
  • Many users said that the bag has a separate laptop compartment in addition to two front pockets.
  • They also said that it’s comfortable, well made, and looks awesome.
  • Users said that has super solid construction.
  • Most reviewers said that it has plenty of room for storage for multiple devices.
  • Some reviewers said that it is a great school backpack for the price, good organization inside.
  • Some other reviewers said that it is very comfy in the shoulders.
  • They said that there is plenty of storage.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • One user complained that it is sort of an odd shaped backpack.
  • Another user complained that the water bottle holder is not reinforced well so if the water bottle sweats it may get into the backpack.

9 – Kenneth Cole Reaction No Looking Back

4.5 review stars Rating 4.66 based on 40 reviews

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Kenneth Cole Reaction No Looking Back

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Kenneth Cole Reaction No Looking Back:

Reviewers like these things about the Kenneth Cole Reaction No Looking Back

  • Most of the users said that the bag is designed smartly and looks great.
  • Users also mentioned that the bag is quite easy to carry and comes with a strong carry strap.
  • Reviewers mentioned that there are lot of compartments and pockets available in the bag.
  • Other reviewers mentioned that water bottles can easily fit into the bag.
  • Buyers said that the internal full lining of the bag is pretty strong.
  • Many buyers said that the pricing of the bag is just.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Users said that the bag should have had better vented padding so as to keep sweat away.
  • Due to weird angle the side pockets zipper is difficult to open as per reviewers.

10 – Osprey Momentum 26

4.5 review stars Rating 4.65 based on 148 reviews

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Osprey Momentum 26

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Osprey Momentum 26:

Reviewers like these things about the Osprey Momentum 26

  • Many reviewers commend the Osprey Momentum backpack for the optimal comfort it delivers.
  • Bikers appreciated its lid lock helmet attachment which keeps their hands free after they park their bike.
  • Laptop users lauded the presence of a padded sleeve dedicated to keeping their gadgets safe and secure.
  • Reviewers mentioned that the pack is comfortable to wear due to its padded shoulder straps and back panel.
  • Even tablet owners praised the presence of a padded sleeve devoted to keeping their devices safe and secure.
  • Testers felt that the bag was durable due to its fabric.
  • Several of those who have tried the bag found its main compartment spacious enough to hold several things including extra clothes and essential gears.
  • Other users praised its integrated rain cover which keeps the bag dry when used during severe weather.
  • Reviewers praised its internal organization sleeves which can store files and documents.
  • Testers commend the backpack for its plenty pockets which make it easy to organize things.
  • Other testers noted that its scratch-free pocket makes it efficient to store sunglasses or electronics.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A reviewer thought that the backpack might be a little bit heavy.
  • Another reviewer noted that it jumped around a bit when he was running or jumping.

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Buyer’s guide to urban backpacks

If you need a backpack that is going to be your daily companion, then you need an urban backpack to help you out. In fact, this can be one of the most invaluable packs you ever own. Of course, since it can be difficult to narrow down what bags actually meet the necessary criteria, it isn’t always easy to find what you are looking.

Due to all of the confusion surrounding these types of backpacks, we decided to simplify things for you. Here, you will figure out what to look for with these packs and to how to be able to choose the best possible options. Here is the guide that you need.

Urban Backpacks: Find the One You Need

It is becoming more common to take a backpack with you, regardless of the nature of your journey or your destination. If this is something that you too are interested in doing, you are going to need an urban backpack to sling from your shoulders. This article provides you with all of the material that you need to make the right decision:

What Are Urban Backpacks?

Before we move any further, the first thing we need to do is actually define what an urban backpack is. From the name of the backpack, you may have surmised that this is something to do with city living and you would be right. See, urban backpacks are packs that you can essentially carry with you wherever that you go in a city.

The main difference between these packs and those that are meant for the outdoors is that urban backpacks tend to be a little less rugged. Not to mention, they are also often quite stylish and don’t look out of place in most urban settings. At the same time, they perform the same function as any other backpack – help you to transport your belongings from one place to another with as much comfort as possible.

Matching the Urban Backpack to the Environment

The best way to find an urban backpack that is perfectly suited to you is to determine what you need it for. Then, you can consider the series of features that will be most useful to you:

Your Daily Commute

Do you want a backpack that will securely hold all that you need while you are traveling? Now, if you are journeying in a vehicle, there are too many specifics that you need to worry about. However, if you are a runner (or walker) or cyclist, you may need to think a bit harder about backpack choices. If you are running, you should find a lightweight pack that is made from breathable material and that clings to your torso well. Cyclists should think about getting smaller backpacks that sit well on your back and doesn’t move all that much.

For School

With this type of backpack, you need to think about organization most of all and depending on how much you need to carry, space too. So, look for medium to large backpacks that are sturdily built and that have comfortable carrying systems. They should be equipped with lots of pockets and compartments as well.

For Work

Interestingly enough, it is actually becoming more commonplace to find backpacks in the workplace. Of course, the big difference here is that these backpacks don’t look like the traditional models. Rather, they have a more compact and stylish appearance and can even be made from leather or canvas so that they look more sophisticated. These bags also tend to have a greater number of compartments for documents and files.

For General Use

Then, there are the urban backpacks that you simply take wherever you are going to – a grocery run, outings, and perhaps even overnight trips. These backpacks need to look good as they should be versatile enough to blend into most surroundings. It can also be helpful to have more durable bags as they will be used frequently.

What Size Do You Need?

Urban backpacks tend to run a little larger than most other types so you will usually only find ones that are medium sized and bigger.

  • 18 – 25 liters: these work well as urban daypacks and are perfect for anyone who is commuting by foot or on a bicycle. They are smaller in size so they fit well on your torso but will also be able to carry most of what you will need for the day.
  • 25 – 30 liters: backpacks of this size work well for those who want to lug around laptops, books, and various other documents. It is large enough to carry all of this but will also avoid looking bulky at the same time.
  • 30 – 50 liters: if you are the type to live out of your backpack, then you will find this size to be quite useful for you. in addition to your digital devices, you will also be able to carry clothes and some pieces of athletic gear as well.

While the capacity of the urban backpack is one thing that you may want to pay attention to, the actual size and length of the pack is another. For the most comfortable fit, look for backpacks that are able to sit lower than the base of your neck and end above your waist. This way, the size of the pack will not impede your movement in any way and the weight will be distributed evenly across your torso.

The Carrying System

The carrying or suspension system on most urban backpacks tends to be quite simplistic. After all, you are unlikely to be carrying too heavy a load and don’t want a backpack that looks overly bulky. With urban backpacks that are geared towards corporate or professional use, you may find an additional shoulder strap. This is relatively common with backpacks that have a more satchel-like design to them.

In most instances, though, you will find that shoulders straps are the main component of the suspension system on urban packs. You should look for ones with slightly wider straps and perhaps a little padding. This way, the packs will be more comfortable to carry, especially if they are a bit heavy.

There are a few that sport a sternum strap although this is more to keep the backpack closer to your body so that it doesn’t move around as much. These should be high enough on your chest so that they don’t result in chafing if you have your backpack on for an extended period of time.

It isn’t often that you see hip belts in urban backpacks and they tend to be quite thin and offer very little padding, if any. Just make sure that the hip belt can fit properly around your waist and that it rests just above your hip bone.

Women Specific Backpacks

There are many urban backpacks that are available in women sizes. This usually means that the backpacks are a bit smaller and that the straps are suited for a woman’s body. If you are a bit taller or have a more narrow or athletic physique, you may be able to use traditional backpacks. On the other hand, if you are short or petite women-specific backpacks may offer more comfort and support.

How Durable Should Your Urban Backpack Be?

Now, since you aren’t scrambling through rugged terrain or walking through brush, you may feel that you don’t need a backpack that is all that durable. If you are using your backpack simply to carry papers and files and don’t abuse it too much, you may be right.

However, if you want an urban backpack for school, commuting, or general purposes you will need a slightly sturdy pack. In terms of school use, the main thing to pay attention to here is the stitching of the backpack. Since at times you may need to cart around heavy books, for instance, you need to make sure that your bag will not split in half. Here, double stitching or welded seams will come in quite handy.

If you take your urban backpack everywhere and leave it all over, you are going to need one that is made from tougher material. In this instance, rip-stop nylon will serve you well. Not only is it abrasion resistant, should any tears appear, they will not get any larger.

Since there is a chance that you will have to deal with rain at least some of the time, you will need to have an urban pack that will repel water. it is unlikely that you will require a full-blown waterproof backpack as you will always be close to some type of shelter. Nonetheless, getting a backpack made from water resistant material will help to protect your belongings in a drizzle.

If you are outside a lot and live in an area with a lot of sunshine, you may want to look into a material that has been treated to be UV resistant. This way, the fabric of the backpack will not degrade as quickly and you will be able to maintain its appearance more easily.

Other Features

Here are some of the additional elements that you may want to appraise in an urban backpack:

Laptop Sleeves/Compartments

If you want an urban backpack for either school or work purposes, you should definitely look for a laptop compartment. These keep your device in place and also protected against most minor dings and scratches. Some backpacks even have space for tablets and similar devices as well.

External Pockets

If you use your backpack to travel with, having external pockets can be quite useful. This ensures that everything that you need is within easy reach. It also helps to further organize and arrange your belongings more systematically.

Water Bottle Holders

Most urban backpacks aren’t outfitted with hydration sleeves as this isn’t what they are usually meant for. At the same time, you should always check for water bottle holders if you tend to walk or run around with your backpack on.

These are the aspects that you need to look for if you want to invest in an urban backpack for yourself.

Selected reviews

Utah Outside reviewed the SealLine

Sure, the design and function of dry sacks are nearly universal. It seems that the outdoor industry can agree on some things. The SealLine bags are priced very competitively, so there is no reason not to grab one before your next trip. If Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate, you’ll be glad you did.

Posted 3 May 2013 by Ryan Malavolta – Read full review

Notes about this top 10 list

The list was last updated 19/09/2018.

The list shows the best reviewed urban backpacks from a much bigger list of selected products. The list should not be considered a complete list of all available, excellent urban backpacks

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

About MightyGoods

Here at our site MightyGoods, we have checked thousands of reviews in order to build the biggest directory of backpacks, luggage, handbags and lots of other bags.

So far we have checked more than 2,1 million reviews!

Using our bag review summaries, we aim to help you find the perfect bag without having to spend a lot of time reading an endless list of reviews.

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