7 Lifestyle Packs You Can’t Live Without

7 Lifestyle Packs You Can’t Live Without

Featured Image: Adam Wells

The Lifestyle Backpack has become a staple in our society, seen in schools, offices, airports, and on the streets of every city. Despite their popularity, these bags are often overlooked as an essential piece of gear, largely because an oversaturated market offers too many choices. Yet, the truly iconic backpacks stand out in some way, distinguishing themselves from the competition and instilling a sense of pride in their users. That’s what makes backpacks interesting: unlike almost any other part of a daily fit, a backpack remains constant, visible every day, enduring whatever conditions the user faces. However, choosing the right backpack can be challenging with so many available options. To simplify your search, here are our picks for the best lifestyle backpacks currently on the market.

Carhartt – 40L Nylon Roll-Top

The “work-wear” craze has taken off as more people seek extremely durable and reasonably priced products. Carhartt has led this shift, producing gear designed to withstand the rigors faced by those working in harsh and demanding environments. The Nylon Roll Top backpack, crafted from 700-Denier nylon, embodies this pursuit. It’s built to endure severe weather conditions and to wear in over time, ensuring longevity. The roll-top design features a vast main compartment that can expand to accommodate larger items and clasp down securely. Conveniently, that clasp doubles as a bottle opener—a thoughtful touch. This pack is equipped to handle inclement weather, with a weather-resistant front pocket that protects your valuables and a strap system at the bottom to keep outerwear accessible and isolated if it gets wet or muddy. A dedicated computer pocket at the back of the pack ensures your device stays protected from potential damage in the main compartment and safe from theft. The Carhartt Nylon Roll Top is ideal for those seeking a backpack that offers extreme durability and functionality, built to take on any challenge.

Cotopaxi – 18L Luzon Pack

Easily recognized by their bright and engaging colors, Cotopaxi is quickly becoming a household name in the outdoor industry, redefining sustainable production and forging a connection between consumers and the craftspeople who make the products. The Luzon Pack, part of the Del Día collection, embodies this initiative. In this unique program, the men and women making this product have full control over the styling and design, using fabrics that would traditionally be discarded. This not only empowers the workers but also reduces waste in an industry often criticized for its environmental impact. Consequently, each Luzon Pack is one of a kind. As a simple nylon bag, the Luzon is incredibly versatile. It packs down extremely small, making it easy to store in your car, another backpack or at home. Despite its compact size, this pack boasts numerous features. Notably, it includes a chest strap and waist strap, which distribute weight evenly across the body, making it easier to carry heavy items over long distances. It also features a drawstring closure for the main pocket, enhancing both ease of use and longevity—this is a feature anyone can repair at home, unlike the zippers found on other packs. The Luzon 18L is not just a capable pack; it tells a one-of-a-kind story.

DB – Ramverk Pack 26L

Forged from the dreams of exploration seen through the eyes of urbanites with deep connections to the outdoors, D____ B___ is a Scandinavian brand. It’s minimalistic and brutalistic styling forms the understated basis for a range of extremely capable bags and luggage pieces. Created by the legendary freeskier and prolific YouTuber, Jon Olsson, whose status afforded the brand unparalleled access to professionals in snowsports, surfing and skating. This access enabled them to craft products that are truly purpose-built. The Ramverk Pack in the 26L configuration stands as a prime example of this ethos, quickly becoming a fan favorite. This pack offers a sturdy, minimalist look with EVA side panels that protect contents during travel. A hidden computer pocket snugly hugs the back, keeping the computer safe and out of reach while on the move. The spacious main pocket allows the bag to carry all essentials, doubling as a weekend travel bag. For heavier loads, the pack’s ergonomic straps and chest strap distribute the weight comfortably. The Ramverk is built for the daily commuter seeking a durable bag that can also accommodate light travel, all in a minimalist statement piece.

Fjallraven – Kånken Bag

The Kånken backpack is a timeless classic that has not only garnered a cult following but also keeps customers returning due to Fjällräven’s commitment to sustainability. Founded with a deep connection to the mountains and seas of Northeast Sweden, the company was built on the need for gear that is practical, durable and simple. Although the company has outgrown its small-town origins, these three core values continue to expand its fan base and elevate its status within the outdoor industry. The Kånken embodies these principles with a large main pocket, a smaller front pocket, simple straps and convenient top carrying handles. The entire pack is made from water-resistant and extremely durable Vinylon F fabric, so robust that Fjällräven offers a lifetime repair policy, fixing any tears or rips in the fabric free of charge. Available in 53 unique styles on their website, the Kånken also offers a customization option where you can design your own colorway for an additional $50. Its simple and durable design appeals to those who prioritize a stylish aesthetic with a strong emphasis on sustainability and longevity. This bag has already become a powerhouse and is set to continue growing in popularity.

Kulkea – Käydä Travel Backpack

Kulkea has carved out a notable presence in the ski boot bag market, earning recognition for using high-quality materials and offering excellent organizational options. This attention to detail extends to a product that bridges the gap between a ski bag and a lifestyle backpack. The Käydä, a 40L travel backpack, is uniquely designed to fit a pair of ski boots in its central compartment, making it the only backpack built for this dual purpose. It functions as a boot bag throughout the winter and transforms into an extremely capable backpack for the rest of the year. Atop the pack is a pouch that not only stores valuables but also detaches to serve as a sling bag for short trips during lunch breaks or vacations. To accommodate heavier loads, the pack includes a removable waist strap. The real charm of this pack lies in its versatility, catering to nearly every need a skier might have year-round. Although it is the largest on this list, it still features a protective computer sleeve and modern styling, making it suitable for daily use. For weekend adventures, this pack holds all the essentials and includes a built-in to-go bag. It truly can do it all, no matter the season.

Patagonia – Black Hole Pack 25L

The Patagonia Black Hole line of bags and luggage has become a global staple in airports and offices. Known for its iconic rip-stop fabric, which is extremely tactile and nearly indestructible, this series is built for years of adventure. Patagonia aims to provide consumers with products that last a lifetime, aligning this model with their company values by donating 100% of profits to a variety of environmental charities. Beyond crafting durable gear, Patagonia also offers repairs, giving your pack many lives. The durability of the bag is complemented by a padded computer sleeve to protect your electronics. Additionally, a breathable back panel and padded straps keep your shoulders comfortable and minimize back sweating. This is combined with a single-zipper access to 25 liters of space, making the pack extremely versatile for carrying everything from bulky items to just work materials. The real appeal of this bag is the supreme durability and weather resistance of the rip-stop fabric, which surpasses all others on this list. This pack is ideal for explorers seeking a simple design and who don’t mind roughing up their gear.

The North Face – Woman’s Isabella Sling

The North Face has been one of the top names in the outdoor industry for nearly 60 years, blurring the lines between streetwear and capable outdoor clothing and gear. Their latest offering, designed in collaboration with rock climbing talent Margo Hayes, is the Women’s Isabella Sling. This pack features an extremely flattering, minimalist look, ready to handle quick trips around town and carry everyday essentials to the crag. Made from 100% recycled fabric, this sling has a strap that allows it to sit snugly and discreetly on the user’s back with minimal movement. The strap at the front of the pack includes a pocket for easy access to essentials, while the large main pocket provides just enough space to fit medium-sized electronics and other essentials, offering ample protection. Although it’s the smallest bag on our list, choosing the right sling bag can be a game-changer. For those wearing outfits without pockets, the Isabella Sling is an excellent choice. It’s lightweight and sleek enough not to be cumbersome, unlike larger, bulkier backpacks. Overall, the Isabella Sling is a high-quality choice, providing all the features one might need. What sets it apart is its sleek, minimalist design, making it exceptionally versatile when styling with various outfits.


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