Best Commuter Backpack (2020): Reviews & Comparison

  • October 13, 2020
  • / By Keith Terrell
Public Transportation

If you’re a bike commuter or run to the office and are looking for a backpack that’s perfectly suited to your commuting lifestyle this guide is for you.

Public Transportation

We've spent the time researching the best commuter backpacks at the best prices so you can find yourself a great deal and save yourself the hours of research.

Here's out top picks:

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Name

More Info

Osprey Radial Bike Commuter Backpack

Osprey Packs  Commuter Backpack

Timbuk2 Spire Backpack

Timbuk2 Spire Backpack

Thule Pack-n-Pedal Commuter Backpack

Thule Pack-n-Pedal Commuter Backpack

Mission Workshop Fitzroy

Mission Workshop Fitzroy Rucksack 

Incase City Commuter Backpack

Incase City Commuter Backpack

Osprey Cyber Backpack

Osprey Packs Cyber Daypack

Samsonite UBX Commuter Backpack

Samsonite UBX Commuter Backpack

Kenneth Cole Reaction Brooklyn Commuter Backpack

Kenneth Cole Reaction Backpack

STM Goods Myth Backpack

STM Goods Myth  Laptop Backpack

Pelican Mobile Protect Backpack - MPB35

Pelican Mobile Protect Backpack - MPB35

Osprey Packs Radial Bike Commuter Backpack

Founded in 1974, Osprey packs its long experience and history into every one of its product offerings, resulting in high-quality goods that have won customers the world over. In fact, the company claims that every single one of their products goes through founder and owner Mike Pfotenhauer’s uncompromising scrutiny, with the top man actively participating in the company’s many functions and activities. We don’t know about you, but knowing this already earned this commuter backpack some major brownie points!  

Osprey Radial Bike Commuter Backpack

Source: osprey.com

Features

  • Designed specifically for a bike commute
  • Reflective print 
  • A laptop sleeve and document sleeve in the main compartment 
  • A clothing/ shoe pocket in the main compartment with zip closure 
  • Expansion facility via a zipper 
  • Kickstand equipped 
  • Mesh back panel of AirSpeed (adjustable and suspended)
  • A stretchy mesh pocket on one side 
  • Clips inside for keys
  • A side panel pocket with zip closure for small items 
  • Concealed LidLock helmet-carry attachment point 
  • High-visibility rain cover that’s integrated 
  • Heat-embossed slash pocket with zip closure that’s also scratch-free
  • Overall Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.7 x 11.8 inches
  • Product Weight: 3.31 pounds
  • Available in black and rise orange shades

Benefits

Engineered especially for bicycle commuters, the Osprey Radial Bike Commuting Backpack is designed to withstand heavy weather conditions, whether it’s the blazing sun or a torrential downpour. With a designated interior pocket for cycling gear to keep it apart from other belongings, the backpack is also equipped with a concealed LidLock attachment point in the front to secure your helmet and a kickstand to keep the backpack upright and prevent your belongings from spilling, when you set it down.

With features like these, and an unparalleled guarantee, the Osprey Radial Bike Commuting Backpack is quite the study in efficiency, we must say!

Pros

  • Spacious and voluminous; can pack enough stuff for a full day of work and after-work activities such as the gym and the bar or dinner
  • Commute-specific features such as multiple pockets for organizing, LidLock attachment points for helmets, a separate pocket for cycling gear and shoes,   high-visibility rain cover and reflective print (the last two are also important for safety)
  • Built-in kickstand for the bag to stand on its own
  • The AirSpeed back panel performs the dual function of reducing sweat as well as displacing the backpack’s weight for better stability while riding.
  • Extra storage space thanks to the zippered expansion facility 
  • Comfortable and wide shoulder straps for easy carrying 
  • Smart and well made 
  • The Osprey All Mighty Guarantee (lifetime guarantee and warranty)

Cons

  • Some users found the backpack expensive.
  • Some also reported that the backpack is a bit uncomfortable in the upper back area, leading to their shoulder blades digging in. 
  • Some users also reported that the mesh stretch pocket is too small and tight for water bottles, and even if the bottle does fit, it’s hard to retrieve the same while wearing the backpack.

Our Verdict

This Osprey offering definitely ranks high on our list of the best commuter backpacks, especially when it comes to bike commuter backpacks. With features engineered to make bike commute more comfortable, this backpack may seem slightly pricey but is a high-quality durable product that is definitely a worthy investment.


Timbuk2 Spire Backpack

With a fun and funky name that reflects in its products’ designs, Timbuk2 is known as much for its sustainable and advanced manufacturing process as it is for its high-quality backpacks, accessories, and bags. This San-Francisco-based company, incepted in 1989, is now a pioneer of customized products manufactured within the borders of the United States, producing bags that are stylish, functional, durable and promote the wearer’s individuality.

Timbuk2 Spire Backpack

Source: timbuk2.com

Features

  • Laptop compartment (can fit a 15-inch Macbook)
  • Separate iPad pocket 
  • Roll-top closure (waterproof) 
  • Zippered access at the back that’s incognito 
  • The main compartment can hold jackets, books, and other belongings. 
  • Water-resistant; built to withstand drizzles with a canvas fabric and polyurethane construction 
  • Daisy-chain webbing on the exterior for easy attachment
  • Expandable (via the roll top) 
  • Water bottle pocket on the side (elasticized); can also be used for a U-lock Volume capacity of 30 liters 
  • The back panel is ventilated. 
  • A zippered pocket in front for small items, an organizer inside for stationery and the like, and a secured zip-closure pocket for cables, cards, cash and the like 
  • Strap design is custom fit. 
  • Sternum strap that’s removable 
  • Bottle opener built into the strap
  • Overall Dimensions: 5.1 x 12.4 x 18.7 inches
  • Product weight of 2.4 pounds 
  • Available in 2 colors - nautical and new black

Benefits

The Timbuk2 Spire Backpack is no exception to the company’s high-quality offerings; this Apple-specific commuter backpack can protect your Macbook and iPad like Mother Gothel protects Rapunzel (minus the obsession and selfishness, of course!), among a ton of other wonderful features that make it a great backpack to have while commuting, whether you’re walking, cycling, running, or driving!

Additionally, it comes at a great price, which means you get the whole package of durability, convenience, and quality at a lesser price than most other brands will charge you. The backpack is also one of the most spacious we’ve come across, with a 30-liter capacity and an additional storage capacity thanks to its roll-top closure.

Pros

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • A built-in bottle opener 
  • Slim and compact; holds its shape even when loaded 
  • Extra space (via roll-top closure)
  • Sits high on the back, making it ideal for any type of commute
  • Extremely spacious 
  • Well-made 
  • Extremely water-proof; some customers have stated that though the exterior of the bag got drenched in a flash flood, the water didn’t seep through to the inside. 
  • Comfortable and versatile 
  • Zipper access to the laptop sleeve from the back 
  • Lightweight backpack

Cons

  • Some users have faced durability issues, stating that some of the seams came, as well as the mesh of the water bottle pocket tearing early and one side of the water-proof backing crumbling.
  • The outer velcro closure on the roll-top tends to get stuck on clothes.
  • As the bag is designed to fit a 15-inch Macbook, fitting any other laptop of the same size (generally 15.6 inches for other makes) can be a bit of a squeeze, with the laptop not reaching all the way to the bottom of the sleeve.

Our Verdict

Rated extremely high for its waterproof nature, weight distribution and commute/travel-friendly features, it’s no wonder that the Spire backpack enjoys the kind of popularity and positive reviews that it does. Plenty of users have nothing to say but good things about the backpack, praising its lightweight nature, spaciousness, and multiple storage pockets. At its price, it’s more than a worthy investment; a must consider for all commuters!


Thule Pack-n-Pedal Commuter Backpack

Stylish without compromising on its functionality, the Thule Pack-n-Pedal Commuter Backpack promises to be the perfect carrying solution for bicyclists, ready for any weather and any kind of load! With features specifically designed to ensure the comfort and safety of commuters, this backpack’s definitely got your back, come hail, rain, snow, and heavy loads.

Thule Pack-n-Pedal Commuter Backpack

Source: thule.com

Features

  • Waterproof back and compartment (main)
  • Roll-top closure 360-degree reflective elements 
  • Built-in light attachment 
  • Overall Dimensions: 18.9 x 13.4 x 6.7 inches
  • Product weight of 2.56 pounds  
  • A padded 15-inch laptop sleeve that’s detachable, as well as a tablet sleeve on top of the backpack 
  • High-visibility rain cover with a reflective print that’s hideaway 
  • A helmet attachment system (also hideaway)
  • EVA-foam-padded back panel with airflow channels 
  • Breathable, padded shoulder straps 
  • Attachment points on the back for blinker lights 
  • Available in one size and one color option (black)

Benefits

The Thule Pack-n-Pedal comes from a company that’s known for its high-quality products; the Thule brand has been going strong since 1942, capturing markets worldwide with its product offerings. As such, the Pack-n-Pedal is a backpack that perfectly balances style, efficiency, safety, and functionality. 

Though it’s built for bike commuters, the backpack is versatile, making it great for other purposes and activities, such as travel, work, school, and even hiking. Spacious and efficiently compartmentalized, the backpack can store 24 liters worth of gear, as well as a 15-inch laptop, safely secured inside a laptop sleeve that you can take off and put back as and when you desire.

Pros

  • Comfortable and sturdy
  • Holds its shape and doesn’t appear bulky even at full capacity 
  • Excellent waterproofing facilities 
  • The high visibility rain cover, 360-degree reflective elements, reflective screen print and light attachment points ensure the safety of the commuter as well as the backpack. 
  • Removable laptop compartment 
  • Tablet sleeve on the top for greater comfort, as opposed to the flat against the back 
  • Stylish and spacious 
  • Can withstand all weather conditions 
  • Multiple compartments for organizing belongings Ideal for all types of commuters

Cons

Our Verdict

If safety is your priority (and it should be!), this Thule commuter backpack should definitely make it to your list of finalists. One of the best backpacks for bike commuting, the Thule Pack-n-Pedal assures of its safety and carrying efficiency. Durability issues aside, many customers have found the backpack a perfect fit for their commuting (urban or otherwise), rating it high for its waterproofing, sturdiness, and comfort.


Mission Workshop Fitzroy Rucksack Backpack

Mission Workshop’s Fitzroy, advertised by the company as an “impenetrable fortress of a pack”, stays quite true to its description. This top-loading backpack is a great commuter backpack but is also quite versatile, just as ideal for travel and hiking trips as it is for urban commuting.

Mission Workshop Fitzroy

Source: missionworkshop.com

Features

  • Lifetime warrantyWeatherproof compartments for storage
  • YKK waterproof zippers coated with urethane 
  • Internal frame sheet 
  • Can fit a 17-inch laptop 
  • Waterproof fabric construction (PET membrane)
  • VX fabric build 
  • Built according to military specifications 40-liter capacity 
  • Available in charcoal, gray and olive 
  • Equipped with the Arkiv buckle system 
  • Overall Dimensions: 15 x 20 x 8 inches
  • Product weight of 3.3 pounds

Benefits

Durable, comfortable, and sleek, this tough-but-beautiful backpack is designed to last you a lifetime. Extremely capable, the backpack makes a great travel bag as well as a hiking or camping backpack. Though it doesn’t come with as many internal pockets, what it lacks in this aspect it makes up for with its extreme durability. Built to military specifications, the backpack is extremely weatherproof but retains the comfort and ease of use and wear that is expected of a good commuter backpack. 

The Arkiv buckle system makes it easy to access belongings within seconds and the storage space in the backpack ensures that you can easily carry a 17-inch laptop without any squeezing and stuffing. Built to endure, this backpack will last you for a long time to come!

Pros

  • Extremely durable
  • Weatherproof 
  • Sleek and minimalist design 
  • Comfortable straps and harness system
  • A silent Arkiv closure system 
  • The backpack comes with a large opening to the main compartment (top-loading), making it easy to pack and access belongings inside. 
  • Smartly constructed; well made and uniquely designed  
  • Spacious
  • Versatile
  • Holds its shape well even at full capacity  
  • PE board against the back panel to prevent items from digging into your back

Cons

  • Lacks sufficient features for internal organization and hence, may require packing cubes; this also makes the backpack less than ideal especially for those who carry a lot of gadgets, tech items, and bulky items
  • The backpack has bottom pockets that run all the way to the bottom but is built in a way that delicate items in these bottom pockets could get damaged or jammed. This also makes it hard to access them.
  • The hip belt, though detachable, can be an obstruction to smooth movement. No padded laptop compartment
  • Some reviews state that the backpack’s straps and the back panel could be better designed.
  • Expensive

Our Verdict

We won’t lie, the Fitzroy Rucksack Backpack is one helluva looker! It’s versatile, fitting into almost any environment seamlessly, and is super comfortable, admirably weatherproof, and easy to pack or unpack. That being said, you can’t ignore the cons of the product, one of the most significant being the backpack’s above-$200 price tag. So unless you’re willing to prioritize looking good over functionality, you’d have to give this backpack some thought. If not, there are plenty of cheaper options available, though you may have to give the superb quality, durability and lifetime warranty a miss. 

Cons aside, this backpack is definitely a great option and can cover most of your needs, especially if you’re looking for a bike commuter backpack or a work-travel backpack.


Incase City Commuter Backpack

An improvement from the smaller, more compact 2016 version, the full-sized Incase City Commuter Backpack retains all the excellent features of its predecessor but at the same time, has made them a hundred times better.

Incase City Commuter Backpack

Source: incase.com

Features

  • A laptop sleeve with 360-degree padding that can fit a 15-inch MacBook Pro or any other 17-inch laptop
  • Made of durable woven polyester blended with nylon (270 x 500D)
  • Front top-loading pocket with zip closure for quick-access items (fleece lined)
  • Additional storage space through an expandable back compartment
  • Overall Dimensions: 20 x 15 x 4.5 inches
  • Product weight of 3.9 pounds 
  • Available in black, heather black, heather khaki, deep red and dark khaki

Benefits

With the same durable woven polyester and nylon construction as its predecessor, the full-sized Incase City Commuter Backpack, the new-and-improved Incase City Commuter Backpack comes with tons of space to carry all those essentials you need, as well as those belongings you may carry just “in case”!

Just the fact that it’s an improvement from the previous model, which means that the company’s put some thought into making the backpack better, doing away with features that didn’t work, enhancing those that did, and adding in new features that work. Automatically, this also makes the commuter’s experience better, so full props to Incase for putting the needs of their customers first! 

The top-loading feature makes it easy to pack and unpack this backpack, saving you quite a bit of time in both activities, as well as accessing your belongings. Add to all this the backpack’s super-sleek look with which it’s sure to grab some eyeballs (and by default, so are you!) and you may just find that this backpack’s your perfect fit.

Pros

  • Plenty of storage space
  • Comfortable straps 
  • Ample ventilation for the back 
  • Versatile; ideal for a variety of environments ranging from professional to casual 
  • Relatively inexpensive 
  • Great value for money 360-degree padded laptop sleeve for superior protection 
  • Extremely durable construction 
  • Multiple pockets for easy and efficient storing of belongings inside and outside

Cons

  • The top and side of the backpack seem flimsy, according to some users; if the backpack fell on its side or top, it wouldn’t offer much protection to the belongings inside.
  • Some users found the backpack stiff and uncomfortable to carry around.
  • The bag becomes top-heavy if you put significantly heavy objects at the top of the main compartment and tends to tip over. 
  • No separate water bottle pocket

Our Verdict

Modestly priced, extremely spacious and extremely durable, the Incase City Commuter Backpack is, as the name states, designed for the everyday urban commuter. Some of the listed cons won’t even matter to most commuters unless they’re nitpicky like us; we’re sure you’ll be too busy with the amazing storage space and durability to even get to the cons of this commuter backpack! (Trust us, we were there, we know!)


Osprey Packs Cyber Daypack

This panel-style backpack, as the name suggests, is the perfect carrying solution for all things cyber. With convenient access to your gadgets and essentials, the Osprey Packs Cyber Daypack comes with multiple pockets for storage, superb quality and durability, and the company’s patented Powerhouse cord organizer. Add to that Osprey’s All Mighty Guarantee and we have quite the delicious cherry on top of this sweet cake!

Osprey Cyber Backpack

Source: osprey.com

Features

  • Multiple pockets - panel pocket with zip closure in front, document sleeve in the main compartment, a scratch-resistant pocket with zip closure to keep your shades in, a large organizer pocket with zip closure and a laptop sleeve
  • Padded laptop sleeve (15 inches)
  • Tablet sleeve
  • Comes with the Osprey Powerhouse cord organizer 
  • Dual pockets for water bottles 
  • A padded grab handle on top 
  • Access to the main compartment via front panel opening 
  • Facility to attach blinker lights 
  • Overall Dimensions: 20 x 8 x 13 inches
  • Product weight of 2 pounds 
  • Osprey All Mighty Guarantee 
  • Available in one size and 2 color options (black and shark grey)

Benefits

Well designed and sturdy, the Packs Backpack manages to fit in all your gear, keep it protected and still retain its shape. With the Powerhouse compartment, your cables are organized, while the other compartments and pouches add to the overall efficiency in organizing your belongings.

Additionally, the bag is rated high on durability, with a thick, sturdy exterior and high-quality zippers, so it would be safe to assume that this backpack can see you through quite a few years. Great for work and travel, the Osprey Packs Cyber Daypack is smart, well designed and packed with some outstanding features.

Pros

  • Lifetime guarantee (All Mighty Guarantee where the company replaces or repairs any damage or defect free of cost and regardless of the reason)
  • Modestly priced 
  • Multiple storage pockets for easy organization of belongings 
  • Excellent design; professional look 
  • Built with high-quality materials 
  • Reasonably sized 
  • Minimally branded 
  • Osprey’s cord organizing pouch 
  • Tablet and laptop sleeve are together 
  • Great weight management 
  • Comfortable straps

Cons

  • Though the backpack is smartly designed, the design is poorly executed. Storing items in the bottom pocket leads to the main compartment becoming awkwardly shaped and putting glasses in the main compartment’s top pocket obstructs access to the area.
  • Very few organizing features in the organizational section (no zippered compartments)
  • Non-durable zipper pulls
  • Obstructed access to the zipper on the bottom pocket Improperly planned space within the bag

Our Verdict

With the number of cons this Osprey backpack has, you may think that even an amazing lifetime guarantee couldn’t make up for it, but we believe the backpack’s many outstanding features definitely can (along with the All Mighty Guarantee, of course!). Ample storage space, multiple pockets for organizing belongings, a great guarantee (we had to repeat it!), a modest price, and quite a few functional and practical features despite its poorly executed design, the Osprey Packs Cyber Daypack is still one of the best commuter backpacks in the market, and definitely worth a shot!


Samsonite UBX Commuter Backpack

Touted to be the ultimate urban-commuter backpack, the Samsonite UBX Commuter Backpack boasts the capacity to hold all your gear, whether you’re merely commuting or running away on an urban adventure, as well as a ton of features that are safety, durability, and comfort-oriented.

Samsonite UBX Commuter Backpack

Source: samsonite.com

Features

  • A separate laptop compartment that’s padded (can accommodate a 15.6-inch laptop)
  • A tablet pocket that’s lined with tricot 
  • Highly water-resistant fabric
  • Foam padded 
  • An organization pocket in the front (includes a key fob)
  • Water bottle pockets on both sides 
  • Can fit over handles thanks to a Smartsleeve 
  • Shoulder straps and back are padded 
  • Multiple pockets 
  • Top grab handle that’s padded 
  • Loop holder for sunglasses on the shoulder straps 
  • Reflective (360 degrees)
  • Overall Dimensions: 18 x 13.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Product weight of around 2 pounds 
  • Available in black, grey/ slate, and dark olive

Benefits

The UBX backpack manages to be extremely spacious and lightweight without compromising its durability. Smartly designed, the features on this commuter backpack are engineered to make the commuter’s carrying experience comfortable and convenient, such as the textured zippers, multiple storage pockets, wide shoulder straps, and foam-padded nature, to name a few.

Many users have rated it high for its efficient weight distribution, stating that it’s super comfortable to carry the backpack even when it’s fully loaded. It’s also versatile, perfect for daily commuting (by any mode), work, or travel, and with a good price tag, it’s definitely both a steal and hard to beat!

Pros

  • Extremely comfortable
  • Durable 
  • Water-resistant
  • Dedicated tablet pocket 
  • Spacious 
  • Professional look 
  • Lightweight
  • Very moderately priced 
  • Uniquely designed zippers with partial texture for easy gripping 
  • Great weight distribution 
  • Versatile 
  • Flexible expandable material
  • Smartsleeve facility to travel hands-free

Cons

  • May be too big to fit in as cabin baggage
  • Some users found the backpack uncomfortable to carry.
  • Some users may find it problematic that the backpack comes without a warranty.

Our Verdict

The UBX backpack is a backpack we definitely recommend for its smart construction, lightweight nature, and superior durability. The features on this commuter backpack ensure that the user’s comfort is prioritized without any compromise on the bag’s functionality and performance. Versatile and high quality, this backpack promises to be a great investment.


Kenneth Cole Reaction Brooklyn Commuter Backpack

If you’re looking for a professional backpack with a stylish finish, tons of interior features, superb security, and extremely smart features look no further than the Kenneth Cole Reaction Brooklyn Commuter Backpack. Designed to keep your belongings safe and make your commuting easy, time-saving and convenient, this backpack combines both style and practicality effortlessly!

Kenneth Cole Reaction Brooklyn Commuter Backpack

Source: kennethcole.com

Features

  • A pocket on top with zip closure (front of the bag) that’s lined with soft-brushed polyester
  • Easy access pockets with zip closure 
  • Mesh pocket with zip closure 
  • A zip-down pocket that’s gusseted 
  • Side pocket on the exterior with zip closure 
  • Elasticated open pocket for water bottles on one side 
  • A separate tablet pocket that’s padded 
  • A business organizer with RFID protection 
  • The EZ-Scan feature that’s checkpoint friendly (also includes a full-length pocket and dual smaller pockets with zip closure)
  • Made of extremely durable 1680D ballistic polyester
  • Entirely lined with polyester 
  • A padded laptop sleeve that can accommodate 15-inch and 17-inch laptops 
  • A padded air-mesh back panel 
  • Padded grab handle at the top 
  • Shoulder straps are adjustable and equipped with sunglass loops
  • Trolley tunnel to effortlessly fit over upright luggage handles 
  • Available in black, navy and pink-dot charcoal 
  • Overall Dimensions: 7.5 x 13 x 18 inches
  • Product weight of around 2 pounds 
  • Manufacturer’s lifetime warranty and limited warranty

Benefits

After conquering the fashion world, it only makes sense that Kenneth Cole would maximize his empire and he seems to be achieving some success in the backpack space. Like other Cole products, this commuter backpack is stylish, with clean lines and standout colors, while also remaining extremely practical, with its durability, multiple compartments, and quality.

Versatile, the backpack is a great fit for a variety of environments, whether commuting, working or traveling. It’s also one of the most advanced commuter backpacks that we’ve come across, with great features such as RFID protection and EZ-Scan that keep your belongings secure and make traveling a whole lot easier, quicker and more convenient.

Pros

  • Stylish and practical
  • Tons of safety features; the RFID protection ensures that your cards and other confidential documents aren’t scanned, especially while checking in 
  • EZ-scan feature for fast and effortless airport check-ins 
  • Smartly designed 
  • Well made and durable 
  • TSA approved 
  • A great price; provides great value for money 
  • Multiple pockets for organizing belongings, including hidden pockets 
  • Can stand on its own when set down 
  • Trolley tunnel for hands-free traveling  
  • Slim and compact, yet spacious 
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Some users found the main compartment too small.
  • The pink option of the backpack can be boring and gaudy to look at, according to some users. 
  • Hard to handle zippers when the bag is filled to full 
  • The inner fabric lining makes a rustling sound, which some users disliked.
  • Some users also faced durability issues with the backpack, such as the straps snapping and the zippers ripping.

Our Verdict

First things first; if you thought the UBX was a steal, the Kenneth Cole Reaction Backpack is more than that, priced very competitively. Secondly, this backpack combines style, functionality, and durability seamlessly, resulting in a sleek, clean backpack with a ton of advanced features that make your life easier.


STM Goods Myth 15-Inch Laptop Backpack

Though it’s named Myth, the STM Goods Myth 15-Inch Laptop Backpack’s durability, quality and functionality are no myths! With advanced features for comfort, convenience, and protection, this backpack has found many takers for its smart features just as it’s found takers for its great design.

STM Goods Myth Backpack

Source: stmgoods.com

Features

  • Enhanced laptop protection with SlingTech technology
  • CableReady facility to charge your gadgets without the cord in sight 
  • A dedicated AirPod pocket that also provides quick access to wireless headphones 
  • A dedicated space for earbuds! 
  • Padded and fleece-lined laptop compartment that can accommodate a 15-inch laptop 
  • Available in slate blue, Windsor wine and granite black
  • Overall Dimensions: 6.7 x 18.5 x 11.8 inches
  • Product weight of 2.69 pounds
  • Volume capacity of 28 liters 
  • Features luggage pass-through

Benefits

One of the best benefits of the Myth Laptop Backpack is the SlingTech technology that protects your laptop by keeping your laptop suspended over the backpack’s bottom; this means that even if you should accidentally drop your backpack, the SlingTech technology reduces any impact on your laptop. The backpack is also extremely durable, spacious and comfortable; the best part is that thanks to its very moderate pricing, you won’t be shelling out the bomb that you generally would for backpacks with similar features in the market. 

Additionally, the backpack is equipped with tons of features that are technology-oriented, such as separate AirPod pockets, a space for earbuds, a CableReady facility and so on; this makes it a great option for those who carry a lot of tech or are digital nomads.

Pros

  • Great size
  • Moderately priced 
  • Lightweight
  • Spacious 
  • Functional and durable zippers 
  • Superior laptop protection with SlingTech
  • Advanced features for comfort and convenience of the commuter
  • Stylish; great color options

Cons

  • Some users found the backpack stiff, which made it uncomfortable, along with making it seem smaller in appearance than it really is.
  • Some users stated that though the back is padded, it slants weirdly and sits uncomfortably with a laptop inside.  

Our Verdict

Simple, functional, durable and comfortable, the STM Goods Myth Backpack is everything a commuter looks for in a backpack, especially the tech guys; however, if you’re someone who loves the frills and tons of features, this backpack may not be for you. It’s practical and functional, and efficiently fulfills the needs of any commuter, but that’s about it. Only go for this backpack if minimalism is your thing, along with bare necessities and indulgence in good looks.


Pelican Mobile Protect Backpack - MPB35

The last feature on our list of the best commuter backpacks, the Pelican Mobile Protect Backpack is rugged like Bruce Willis, secure like Area 51, and functional like nothing else! With a laptop sleeve and multiple compartments for organization, this backpack keeps all your valuables safe with its efficient weatherproofing and battle-tested durability.

Pelican Mobile Protect Backpack - MPB35

Source: pelican.com

Features

  • A water-resistant coating on the 1000D-nylon exterior shell
  • YKK zippers with a polyurethane coating and water resistance 
  • Loop and lock zipper pull system (media pockets and laptop)
  • EVA-foam-padded back panel and shoulder straps (compression-molded)
  • Sternum strap included
  • Ballistic nylon fabric construction
  • Large main compartment with pockets for organization 
  • A separate laptop and tablet sleeve
  • Tuckaway attachment loops on the side pockets 
  • Pockets are vertical for easy and convenient access 
  • Lifetime warranty 
  • An easy-access pocket in the front area of the bag 
  • Soft compartment for sunglasses 
  • Overall Dimensions: 14.9 x 7.8 x 24.4 inches
  • Weight of 2.43 pounds 
  • Can accommodate laptops up to 17 inches
  • Available in black, od green, camo, and grey

Benefits

The Pelican backpack is a great option for those who commute by bike; it efficiently packs in all your gear and keeps it organized, while being super lightweight and comfortable to carry. The special top zipper keeps out the rain efficiently, making this the go-to backpack, along with its durability, when you need to brave tough weather conditions to get somewhere. The unique zipper system keeps your belongings safe and secure. 

The backpack is also versatile and can be easily used as a travel backpack; it is even carry-on size approved and can conveniently fit overhead in the cabins or under the seat.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight 
  • Unique pull system for the zips - loop and lock 
  • Great weatherproofing 
  • Engineered for functionality, comfort, and style
  • Can be used as carry-on baggage 
  • Holds its shape well 
  • Well-built and high quality

Cons

  • Some users have stated the zips do not function smoothly and are tough to open.
  • The material is prone to attracting hair and dust which then gets stuck on it. 
  • Some users found the number of organization pockets insufficient.
  • The logo is just an iron-on sticker; for its price tag, you’d expect more quality! 
  • Slightly expensive

Our Verdict

On the pricier side, the Pelican Mobile Protect Backpack’s main con seems to be its zippers, which many users have found hard to open. That apart, the backpack seems to be comfortable, functional and durable, with many users praising the multiple pockets and storage capacity. A backpack that we recommend, but only if you don’t mind shelling out significantly big bucks!


Why Use a Backpack for Commuting?

If you’ve pondered this question, we don’t blame you at all. After all, weren’t backpacks reserved for the students (and the studious, at that!) and the backpackers? Yep, they were, but the humble backpack has come a long way from being reserved for use by specific groups to becoming a functional part of life. Backpacks today are stylish, functional, durable and engineered for specific purposes, making them the go-to choice over other forms of baggage such as purses, sling bags, messenger bags, duffel bags, and suitcases. 

Woman on A Bike

Additionally, your body will thank you for it; backpacks evenly distribute all the weight carried, and they do so over the strongest muscles of your body - the back and shoulder muscles. Single-shoulder bags, such as sling bags, duffels, and messenger bags, resulting in the weight being borne only on one side of your body, forcing you to counterbalance by twisting and straining against the weight.

As you can guess, this is highly unhealthy, leading to pain and stress on certain parts of your body, and of course, a killer backache, especially with heavy loads. Add to that shoulder pain, neck pain, injuries from improperly balanced bags (such as tipping over or falling), the risk of pinched nerves (leading to numb arms because of the interference in your blood circulation) and long-term nerve damage due to repeated stress on the same part of your body, and you’ll be switching over to backpacks in an instant.

In addition to being healthy and more stable, having a backpack will also give you the following advantages.

  • Comfort: The double-strap design of backpacks is engineered for comfort; these straps evenly distribute the weight of the backpack across your shoulders and back. Add to that features such as foam-padded straps and hip belts with adjustable lengths, ventilated air mesh and contoured back panels and sternum straps, and it can hardly get more comfortable than this! This is especially important when having to carry heavy loads for long distances or long periods, as commuters do, whether by riding, running or walking. A comfortable backpack makes doing so easier while also protecting your back.
  • Safety: The threat of pickpockets and thieves is very real, especially if your daily commute involves traveling on a crowded train or bus or even waiting at crowded places such as the subway and bus stations. Backpacks today come equipped with tons of safety features such as built-in locks, anti-slash fabric construction, locks for zippers, hidden compartments and even GPS tracking, making them one of the most secure options out there for carrying your belongings, especially while commuting.
  • Durability: A good quality backpack will easily last you 3-5 years, with the right usage and treatment (by which we mean “don’t buy a 20-liter backpack and use it like it’s capable of 28 liters!”). Because of their durability, backpacks tend to be one-time investments; they’re also generally backed by great warranties and guarantees from the manufacturers.
  • Organization: Commuter backpacks (as well as backpacks in general) come equipped with multiple storage compartments and pouches, each designed for a specific purpose/belonging, which makes it so much easier to efficiently organize your belongings and store them within the bag, instead of having to put your hand into a vast black hole and finding that pencil you were looking for, amid last week’s lunch that you forgot to throw, your gym socks, your books, your gadgets, the molten M&Ms and the spare change, nearly 20 minutes and 13 tries later.
  • Space: Remember how space is always a good thing? Well, that applies to bags too and backpacks are some of the most spacious baggage options out there, letting you store more yet stress your body less.

Along with the aforementioned features, backpacks are also extremely stylish, belong just as well in a party as they do at work or commute and are low maintenance. They’re also versatile; your commute backpack can also double up as a travel backpack if you need it to or as an extra pillow, as well as make it through a variety of weather conditions and terrains. They’re also easy to store and you can easily find a space for them either in the overhead cabin on a flight or the back of a crowded bus.

People at Train Station

In addition to this, they come with specific compartments for your technology, unlike most other bag options. Lastly (and perhaps the most underrated benefit!), they keep your hands free, letting you either ride, hold on in the subway or use your arms to run or walk; they keep you independent.

That being said, not all backpacks are made perfect - that’s just the Beckhams. A bad backpack (one that requires you to bend forward while lifting or carrying it or digs into your shoulders and back) can have you visiting the emergency room, along with issues in your posture and shoulder, neck and backaches. It could also aggravate already-existing adult issues like arthritis and degenerative neck issues. Not only does the “carry no more than 15% of your body weight (or 20 pounds)” factor matter in this, but the backpack itself, as well.

A backpack that unevenly distributes weight can result in not just backaches (upper and lower), but rounded shoulders, pinched nerves (due to tight and narrow straps), unnatural spinal compression, curved upper backs and injuries from improper balance.

Additionally, though a sweaty back may be inevitable in some cases while carrying a backpack, a well-ventilated backpack can lower the sweat levels; however, there isn’t such an easy solution to wrinkled clothes and decimated bank balances (with regard to some models and brands!).

How to Pick the Right Commuter Backpack

While choosing the ideal backpack for your commute, it will help to keep the following points in mind.

Brown Leather Bag and Boots
  • Mode of Transportation: Though commuter backpacks are meant for commute, one size doesn’t fit all. Different modes of transportation may require different characteristics in commuter backpacks. For example, bikers and walkers should look for durable, lightweight backpacks that are easy to carry and can withstand any type of weather, as well as features such as straps and belts to keep the bag secure. Subway commute may call for anti-theft backpacks.
  • Features: As mentioned, a good backpack should have sufficient pockets and compartments to store your belongings so that they don’t become a mess inside. They should also be protected from any damage, which is made possible by compartments such as laptop sleeves and phone pockets.
  • Comfort: Look for a backpack you’re comfortable carrying every day; also, ensure you pay attention to the fabric as some fabrics are heavier and lend unnecessary weight to the commuter backpack. Features such as ventilated back panels (for breathability) and thick padding (for protection against weather conditions like heavy rains and thunderstorms and preventing items in your backpack from poking or rubbing against your back) are also great in a commuter backpack.
  • Activities: By this, we mean that you should determine what activity or purpose you’re using your backpack for, as this determines the kind of backpack that you have to buy. A big backpack is great for cross country or international travel, while lightweight, small and well-padded backpacks are great for small commutes and bike riders.

Therefore, a good commuter backpack, whether it’s a bike commuter backpack or a run commute backpack or just a normal commuter backpack, is highly essential to not just make your commute a whole lot easier, but also fulfill any individual expectations that you may have of it. Our best commuter backpack picks are just as equipped to handle the hustle and bustle of city life as they are to handle adventurous treks in the wild!  

Conclusion

A good backpack is underrated only till you experience its efficiency; you’ll never settle for anything lesser once you’ve experienced it, and we believe that our picks are some of the best commuter backpacks. Though they may be differently styled and come with some unique and some general features, they’re all designed to withstand the bustle of city life and commute, whatever mode you choose.

Man in the Middle of the Street

Some of these backpacks are also extremely versatile and can double up as work or travel backpacks; it all depends on how, where and when you wish to use your backpack.

Given the variety of backpacks out there, you’re sure to find one that suits you perfectly; so don’t settle and look well, unless you urgently require a backpack for whatever reason. There’s a backpack out there for every budget, preference, and purpose, so put in the required research to ensure that the vast selection doesn’t overwhelm you. Be clear with your purpose and expectations to find results faster.