Top 150 Best Reviewed Urban Backpacks - Buyers Guide 2017

Finding a good urban backpack isn't easy. To help you choose the very best backpack, we have checked thousands of reviews (488,924 reviews so far!) Based on the many reviews, the top 150 list below shows you exactly what urban backpacks that are the best choices here in 2017.


Top 150 urban backpacks 2017


Gregory Patos
Gregory Patos
Size 28 L (1709 CI)
5.0
3 reviews

Mountainsmith Grand Tour
Mountainsmith Grand Tour
Size 19 L (1159 CI)
5.0
5 reviews

Mountain Hardwear Piero
Mountain Hardwear Piero
Size 25 L (1526 CI)
5.0
1 review

Marmot Eldorado
Marmot Eldorado
Size 29 L (1770 CI)
5.0
14 reviews

Gregory Velata
Gregory Velata
Size 30 L (1831 CI)
5.0
1 review

Burton Gorge
Burton Gorge
Size 20 L (1220 CI)
5.0
1 review

Marmot Urban Hauler
Marmot Urban Hauler
2 models available. Large and Small
Size 14 L (854 CI)
5.0
30 reviews

Dakine Foundation
Dakine Foundation
Size 26 L (1587 CI)
5.0
2 reviews

Mammut Xeron
Mammut Xeron
3 models available. 20, 22 and 25
Size 20-25 L (1220-1526 CI)
5.0
3 reviews

Mountainsmith Divide
Mountainsmith Divide
Size 22 L (1343 CI)
5.0
5 reviews

SealLine Urban
SealLine Urban
2 models available. Large and Small
5.0
5 reviews

Filson Ranger
5.0
1 review

Osprey Cyber
Osprey Cyber
Size 22 L (1343 CI)
5.0
10 reviews

Chrome Bravo
5.0
1 review

Mammut Flip
Mammut Flip
3 models available. 18, 22 and 25
Size 22 L (1343 CI)
5.0
2 reviews

Thule Pack n Pedal
Thule Pack n Pedal
2 models available. Large and Small
5.0
1 review

Mountainsmith Adventure
Mountainsmith Adventure
Size 20 L (1220 CI)
5.0
20 reviews

Sherpani Indie
Sherpani Indie
Size 21 L (1281 CI)
5.0
15 reviews

Oakley Gearbox
Oakley Gearbox
2 models available. 26 and 32
4.9
9 reviews

Fjallraven Ovik
Fjallraven Ovik
2 models available. 15 and 20
Size 15-20 L (915-1220 CI)
4.9
23 reviews

Burton Annex
Burton Annex
Size 28 L (1709 CI)
4.9
13 reviews

Patagonia Ironwood
Patagonia Ironwood
2 models available. [1595] and 20
Size 20 L (1220 CI)
4.9
58 reviews

Patagonia Stormfront
Patagonia Stormfront
Size 20 L (1220 CI)
4.9
8 reviews

The North Face Wavelength
The North Face Wavelength
Size 27 L (1648 CI)
4.8
6 reviews

Dakine Jewel
Dakine Jewel
Size 26 L (1587 CI)
4.8
103 reviews

Fjallraven Raven
Fjallraven Raven
2 models available. 20 and 28
Size 20-28 L (1220-1709 CI)
4.8
176 reviews

Patagonia Toromiro
Patagonia Toromiro
2 models available. [1568] and 22
Size 22 L (1343 CI)
4.8
66 reviews

Osprey Questa
Osprey Questa
Size 27 L (1648 CI)
4.8
53 reviews

The North Face Jester
The North Face Jester
Size 26 L (1587 CI)
4.8
15,940 reviews

Osprey Flapjill
Osprey Flapjill
Size 19 L (1159 CI)
4.8
126 reviews

Arcteryx Arro
Arcteryx Arro
Size 22 L (1343 CI)
4.8
83 reviews

Dakine Garden
4.8
214 reviews

The North Face Router
The North Face Router
Size 35 L (2136 CI)
4.8
392 reviews

The North Face Borealis
The North Face Borealis
Size 25 L (1526 CI)
4.8
15,087 reviews

Gregory Matia
Gregory Matia
Size 28 L (1709 CI)
4.8
22 reviews

Mountainsmith Tour
Mountainsmith Tour
Size 9 L (549 CI)
4.8
87 reviews

The North Face Recon
The North Face Recon
Size 31 L (1892 CI)
4.7
11,081 reviews

Ultimate Direction Fastpack
Ultimate Direction Fastpack
4 models available. 15, 20, 25 and 30
Size 24 L (1465 CI)
4.7
33 reviews

Deuter Freerider
Deuter Freerider
5 models available. 24, 25, 26, 28 and 30
Size 24-30 L (1465-1831 CI)
4.7
42 reviews

The North Face Berkeley
The North Face Berkeley
Size 19 L (1159 CI)
4.7
137 reviews

Burton Kilo
Burton Kilo
Size 27 L (1648 CI)
4.7
48 reviews

Osprey Celeste
Osprey Celeste
Size 29 L (1770 CI)
4.7
83 reviews

Burton Bravo
Burton Bravo
Size 22 L (1343 CI)
4.7
1 review

Mystery Ranch Kletterwerks
Mystery Ranch Kletterwerks
Size 20 L (1220 CI)
4.7
10 reviews

Osprey Flare
4.7
12 reviews

Sherpani Camden
Sherpani Camden
Size 20 L (1220 CI)
4.7
84 reviews

Under Armour Recruit
4.7
648 reviews

Patagonia Jalama
Patagonia Jalama
Size 28 L (1709 CI)
4.7
41 reviews

Osprey Escapist
Osprey Escapist
3 models available. 18, 25 and 32
Size 16-30 L (976-1831 CI)
4.7
1,115 reviews

The North Face Isabella
The North Face Isabella
Size 21 L (1281 CI)
4.7
272 reviews

Dakine Prom
Dakine Prom
Size 25 L (1526 CI)
4.7
5,118 reviews

Granite Gear Voyageurs
Granite Gear Voyageurs
Size 30 L (1831 CI)
4.7
35 reviews

Mountainsmith World Cup
Mountainsmith World Cup
Size 25 L (1526 CI)
4.7
9 reviews

Dakine 101
Dakine 101
Size 29 L (1770 CI)
4.7
423 reviews

The North Face Surge
The North Face Surge
Size 35 L (2136 CI)
4.7
4,087 reviews

Osprey FlapJack
Osprey FlapJack
Size 21 L (1281 CI)
4.6
82 reviews

The North Face Iron Peak
The North Face Iron Peak
Size 28 L (1709 CI)
4.6
94 reviews

Arcteryx Blade
Arcteryx Blade
3 models available. 20, 28 and 6
Size 6-28 L (366-1709 CI)
4.6
27 reviews

Dakine Trek
Dakine Trek
Size 26 L (1587 CI)
4.6
29 reviews

Timbuk2 Robin
Timbuk2 Robin
Size 20 L (1220 CI)
4.6
28 reviews

Patagonia Refugio
Patagonia Refugio
2 models available. 26 and 28
Size 28-30 L (1709-1831 CI)
4.6
1,299 reviews

Dakine Mission
Dakine Mission
2 models available. 18 and 25
Size 3-18 L (183-1098 CI)
4.6
86 reviews

Burton Kettle
4.6
19 reviews

Thule Paramount
Thule Paramount
3 models available. 24, 27 and 29
Size 27 L (1648 CI)
4.6
17 reviews

The North Face Pivoter
The North Face Pivoter
Size 27 L (1648 CI)
4.6
1,118 reviews

Dakine Factor
Dakine Factor
2 models available. 20 and 22
4.6
166 reviews

Jansport Watchtower
Jansport Watchtower
Size 28 L (1709 CI)
4.6
83 reviews

Burton Prospect
Burton Prospect
Size 21 L (1281 CI)
4.6
40 reviews

Granite Gear Champ
Granite Gear Champ
Size 30 L (1831 CI)
4.6
18 reviews

Marmot Calistoga
Marmot Calistoga
Size 30 L (1831 CI)
4.6
15 reviews

Dakine Greta
Dakine Greta
Size 24 L (1465 CI)
4.6
12 reviews

Jansport Big Student
4.6
99,302 reviews

Jansport City Scout
4.6
1,090 reviews

Patagonia Petrolia
4.6
78 reviews

The North Face Haystack
4.6
676 reviews

Fjallraven Kanken
Fjallraven Kanken
6 models available. 13, 15, 17, Maxi, Mini and No. 2
Size 20 L (1220 CI)
4.6
4,104 reviews

The North Face Vault
The North Face Vault
Size 28 L (1709 CI)
4.6
2,287 reviews

Timbuk2 Jet
Timbuk2 Jet
Size 30 L (1831 CI)
4.6
119 reviews

Pacsafe Metrosafe
Pacsafe Metrosafe
6 models available. LS100, LS140, LS200, LS250, LS350 and LS450
Size 5-25 L (305-1526 CI)
4.6
643 reviews

Carhartt Legacy
Carhartt Legacy
4 models available. 14, 16, 23 and 36
4.6
79 reviews

Burton Tinder
Burton Tinder
3 models available. Pack, Tote and Youth
Size 25 L (1526 CI)
4.6
52 reviews

Osprey Pixel
Osprey Pixel
Size 22 L (1343 CI)
4.6
30 reviews

Timbuk2 Parker
Timbuk2 Parker
Size 25 L (1526 CI)
4.6
17 reviews

Osprey Ultralight
Osprey Ultralight
2 models available. [4917] and [4979]
Size 30 L (1831 CI)
4.6
1,128 reviews

The North Face Hot Shot
The North Face Hot Shot
Size 30 L (1831 CI)
4.5
43 reviews

Thule EnRoute
Thule EnRoute
2 models available. 21 and 24
4.5
137 reviews

Timbuk2 Command
Timbuk2 Command
Size 22 L (1343 CI)
4.5
1,711 reviews

Jansport Hatchet
Jansport Hatchet
Size 3 L (183 CI)
4.5
309 reviews

The North Face Kaban
The North Face Kaban
Size 26 L (1587 CI)
4.5
108 reviews

The North Face Microbyte
The North Face Microbyte
Size 17 L (1037 CI)
4.5
424 reviews

Fjallraven Greenland
Fjallraven Greenland
2 models available. Large and Small
Size 15-20 L (915-1220 CI)
4.5
142 reviews

Patagonia Atom
Patagonia Atom
3 models available. 16, 18 and 8
Size 7-18 L (427-1098 CI)
4.5
881 reviews

Timbuk2 Uptown
Timbuk2 Uptown
Size 2 L (122 CI)
4.5
161 reviews

Arcteryx Cordova
Arcteryx Cordova
Size 24 L (1465 CI)
4.5
4 reviews

The North Face Electra
The North Face Electra
Size 12 L (732 CI)
4.5
55 reviews

Osprey Quasar
Osprey Quasar
Size 28 L (1709 CI)
4.5
73 reviews

High Sierra Swerve
4.5
12,480 reviews

Jansport Superbreak
4.5
276,429 reviews

The North Face Aurora
The North Face Aurora
Size 19 L (1159 CI)
4.5
10 reviews

Dakine Capitol
Dakine Capitol
Size 23 L (1404 CI)
4.5
619 reviews

Arcteryx Lunara
Arcteryx Lunara
2 models available. 10 and 17
Size 10-17 L (610-1037 CI)
4.5
10 reviews

High Sierra Access
High Sierra Access
2 models available. 26 and 30
4.5
4,144 reviews

Fjallraven Foldsack
Fjallraven Foldsack
3 models available. No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3
Size 16-17 L (976-1037 CI)
4.5
57 reviews

Pacsafe Citysafe
Pacsafe Citysafe
11 models available. 75 GII, CS100, CS150, CS175, CS200, CS25, CS350, CS400, CS75, LS100 and LS200
Size 20 L (1220 CI)
4.5
369 reviews

Osprey Daylite
Osprey Daylite
Size 20 L (1220 CI)
4.5
850 reviews

The North Face Access
The North Face Access
3 models available. [1457], 22 and 28
Size 28 L (1709 CI)
4.5
79 reviews

Timbuk2 Parkside
Timbuk2 Parkside
Size 25 L (1526 CI)
4.4
207 reviews

High Sierra Powerglide
High Sierra Powerglide
2 models available. [4894] and [4957]
4.4
3,564 reviews

Deuter Airlite
Deuter Airlite
6 models available. 14, 16, 20, 22, 26 and 28
Size 14-28 L (854-1709 CI)
4.4
76 reviews

Jansport Right Pack
4.4
15,134 reviews

Under Armour Hustle
4.4
504 reviews

Timbuk2 Ramble
4.4
19 reviews

Osprey Comet
Osprey Comet
Size 30 L (1831 CI)
4.4
215 reviews

Pacsafe Vibe
Pacsafe Vibe
2 models available. 20 and 25
Size 20-25 L (1220-1526 CI)
4.4
111 reviews

Timbuk2 Gist
Timbuk2 Gist
Size 14 L (854 CI)
4.4
13 reviews

Timbuk2 Rogue
Timbuk2 Rogue
Size 27 L (1648 CI)
4.4
183 reviews

High Sierra XBT
4.4
655 reviews

Patagonia Yerba
Patagonia Yerba
Size 24 L (1465 CI)
4.3
146 reviews

Granite Gear Boundary
Granite Gear Boundary
Size 30 L (1831 CI)
4.3
40 reviews

Arcteryx Cambie
Arcteryx Cambie
Size 12 L (732 CI)
4.3
4 reviews

Arcteryx Pender
Arcteryx Pender
Size 20 L (1220 CI)
4.3
10 reviews

Timbuk2 Tuck
Timbuk2 Tuck
Size 20 L (1220 CI)
4.3
77 reviews

Gregory Peary
Gregory Peary
Size 22 L (1343 CI)
4.3
4 reviews

Gregory Sula
Gregory Sula
3 models available. 18, 24 and 28
Size 18-28 L (1098-1709 CI)
4.2
4 reviews

Arcteryx Granville
Arcteryx Granville
Size 20 L (1220 CI)
4.2
23 reviews

Gregory Sketch
Gregory Sketch
3 models available. 22, 25 and 28
Size 22-28 L (1343-1709 CI)
4.2
12 reviews

Oakley Enduro
Oakley Enduro
3 models available. 20, 22 and 25
4.2
55 reviews

Pacsafe Camsafe
Pacsafe Camsafe
10 models available. LX10, LX3, V17, V2, V4, V6, V8, Z14, Z15 and Z16
Size 16 L (976 CI)
4.1
36 reviews

Mountain Hardwear Enterprise
Mountain Hardwear Enterprise
2 models available. 21 and 29
Size 21-29 L (1281-1770 CI)
4.1
27 reviews

Osprey Trillium
Osprey Trillium
3 models available. 30, 45 and 65
4.1
14 reviews

Thule Departer
Thule Departer
2 models available. 21 and 23
4.1
39 reviews

Osprey Pandion
Osprey Pandion
Size 30 L (1831 CI)
4.0
1 review

Gregory Sucia
Gregory Sucia
Size 28 L (1709 CI)
4.0
3 reviews

Burton Cadet
4.0
15 reviews

Marmot Root
Marmot Root
Size 12 L (732 CI)
4.0
3 reviews

Deuter Step Out
Deuter Step Out
3 models available. 12, 16 and 22
Size 12-22 L (732-1343 CI)
3.9
3 reviews

Pacsafe Travelsafe
Pacsafe Travelsafe
4 models available. 12, 5, X15 and X25
Size 16 L (976 CI)
3.8
7 reviews

Burton Frontier
3.8
1 review

Granite Gear Eagle
Granite Gear Eagle
Size 29 L (1770 CI)
3.4
12 reviews

Mountain Hardwear Frequent Flyer
Mountain Hardwear Frequent Flyer
2 models available. 20 and 30
Size 22-30 L (1343-1831 CI)
3.0
1 review

Osprey Perigee
Osprey Perigee
Size 29 L (1770 CI)
2.0
6 reviews

Vaude Varyd
Vaude Varyd
2 models available. 22 and 30
Size 22-30 L (1343-1831 CI)
1.0
2 reviews

The North Face Kabyte
The North Face Kabyte
Size 20 L (1220 CI)

Osprey Palea

Gregory Muir

Gregory Millcreek
Gregory Millcreek
2 models available. [1624] and 25
Size 25 L (1526 CI)

Fjallraven Kiruna
Fjallraven Kiruna
2 models available. [1448] and Small
Size 15 L (915 CI)

Lowe Alpine Core
Lowe Alpine Core
2 models available. 33 and 34

Gregory Tahquitz

Osprey Bitstream
Osprey Bitstream
Size 30 L (1831 CI)

The North Face Rovara
The North Face Rovara
Size 27 L (1648 CI)

The North Face Yavapai
The North Face Yavapai
Size 27 L (1648 CI)

Marmot Empire
Marmot Empire
Size 30 L (1831 CI)

Nixon Grandview
Nixon Grandview
Size 25 L (1526 CI)

Marmot Anza
Marmot Anza
Size 22 L (1343 CI)

Nixon Swamis
Nixon Swamis
Size 25 L (1526 CI)

Gregory Satuma
Gregory Satuma
Size 26 L (1587 CI)

Gregory I-Street

Burton Switchup
Burton Switchup
Size 22 L (1343 CI)

Mountainsmith Wizard
Mountainsmith Wizard
2 models available. [4221] and [4887]

Timbuk2 Leader

Timbuk2 Showdown
Timbuk2 Showdown
Size 22 L (1343 CI)

Timbuk2 Vault
Timbuk2 Vault
3 models available. Large, Medium and Small
Size 18 L (1098 CI)

Burton Curbshark

Dakine Explorer
Dakine Explorer
Size 26 L (1587 CI)

Gregory Workman
Gregory Workman
Size 28 L (1709 CI)

Marmot Arbor
Marmot Arbor
Size 18 L (1098 CI)

Chrome Yalta

Ogio Clark

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 (Buyers Guide)

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.


Last updated on December 14, 2017

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