What Is the Best Designer Backpack? 

 March 25, 2023

By  Diane Wuthrich

A designer backpack is much more than a coveted status symbol: when chosen well, it can be a worthy investment that will last you a lifetime. That’s why it’s important to think about several of the bag’s features before you invest in a designer backpack. But how do you choose the best one?

There are a few things to consider before buying a designer backpack. Many designer brands are known for quality, but always check the workmanship before buying. A timeless style, instead of trendy, is recommended. In addition, consider that its price, material, and maintenance meet your standards.

Read on below to learn more about how to identify the best designer backpacks for your needs.

Features Of The Best Designer Backpacks

Designer backpacks can cost upwards of $1,000, which is a hefty price tag.

In fact, some can cost as much as $4,000 or more. The designer name attached to the product commands a much higher price, but there are also other factors that make them a worthy investment.

Given the high cost, choosing a designer backpack carefully is important. Below is a list of features to think about before you buy one:


All designer products, backpacks included, cost significantly more because of the quality that goes into making each one. Unlike regular and commercially-produced backpacks, designer backpacks are constructed with premium materials and have to undergo rigorous testing to guarantee their quality and durability. Many brands have also been around for decades, sometimes over a century, which attest to their heritage and workmanship.

Having said that, not all designer backpacks are perfect. It’s always ideal to purchase a designer backpack at a physical store where you can inspect it. Here are some things you should look out for:

  • Is the stitching lined and uniform?
  • Can the zipper open and close without problems?
  • Are the seams even and tight?
  • Is the material or fabric consistent throughout the backpack?
  • Are special or unique fabrics used in the bag’s construction or trimmings?

Always make sure the designer backpack is in perfect condition before you leave a store. You can also ask the sales associates to bring out new stock for you if you find any imperfections.

However, if you are buying online, the safest bet is to buy from an authorized distributor or the manufacturer’s website. It always helps when they offer a warranty, which should give you peace of mind if a defective backpack was shipped to you.

Timeless Style

Unless you’re a designer bag collector, most people want to get more wear out of their designer backpacks. The best way to ensure this is to select a timeless silhouette and design, usually in neutral colors or one that complements most of your shoes and wardrobe.

On the other hand, a trendy or season-specific style and shape may not be something you will still appreciate a few years down the line. Why spend lots of money on a backpack that’s only considered chic for a few months?

When choosing a style, also consider the size of the backpack. If you only need a backpack to carry your essentials such as toiletries or cosmetics, your wallet, your mobile phone, and a few other essentials, then you can go with a mini backpack. Just be sure to check that its dimensions can accommodate your phone and other items.

If you intend to carry larger things such as a tablet, more toiletries or cosmetics, larger wallets, and more, then you can consider a larger designer backpack.


A designer backpack should help you organize your belongings with its use of pockets. Most designer backpacks have less pockets than traditional backpacks, given that they aren’t intended to carry a laptop and textbooks. Designer backpacks are also significantly smaller than traditional backpacks.

Think of them as a fashion statement, but they should also be functional. At least one small pocket in the bag’s interior or exterior for your smaller belongings, such as your keys, lipstick, and other accessories, are adequate.


Define an amount you’re willing to spend and work around that price. Many top-tier designers will easily fetch four-digit price tags, such as Chanel, Prada, Gucci, and Hermes.

There are also many sophisticated and timeless pieces that are under $900. These include backpacks by Marc Jacobs, Mansur Gavriel, and Stella McCartney, among others. If you are unsure of how much you’re willing to spend, you may want to use a cost-per-wear calculator to define the true cost of the designer backpack each time you use it.  The calculation helps to determine if an investment is really worth the high price tag.

The formula simply works by dividing the backpack’s price by the number of occasions you’ll use it. A low cost-per-wear is usually a no-brainer: yes! But if it still has a high cost-per-wear that you don’t feel comfortable with, this is a sign that you need to look for a designer backpack that costs less.

Be realistic about how often you intend to use your designer backpack. For example, if you are looking for a classic black backpack that you can take to the office 3-5 times a week and one that can go from day to night if needed, it will be worth investing in a pricey bag known for its durability. If you think the backpack will only be worn a few times a year, it may not be such a good idea if you’re working on a tight disposable budget.

Unless you have deep pockets, there’s no need to have a large collection of designer backpacks. A few good pieces are already excellent investments.

Brand Name

The name attached to a designer label is what usually drives up the price. Certain brand names are well-known for the quality of materials and craftsmanship that goes into each of their bags. In addition, many luxury designer houses have stood the test of time, which is why they are massive fashion empires today.

For example, the French luxury handbag brand Hermes was established in 1837. Many European royals at the time, and even celebrities later on, acknowledged and used Hermes bags. Then in 1854, Louis Vuitton opened his shop in Paris though he had already spent almost 2 decades before that learning about the market.

Other iconic designer brands that have been around for several decades include:

  • Chanel
  • Balenciaga
  • Prada
  • Gucci
  • Fendi
  • Valentino
  • Christian Dior
  • Burberry
  • Ferragamo

Furthermore, authentic designer backpacks are made to last a lifetime. The stitching is perfect, and the entire bag is created by craftsmen who have spent decades mastering their skills. In that sense, there’s much more to designer bags than simply the names.


Different luxury designer houses work with various high-end materials. All of them have specific care and maintenance requirements that should be carefully considered before you buy the bag. Do you want a backpack that can withstand daily use, or are you only looking for one luxe piece that you can bring out on special occasions?

A sturdy leather, nylon, or canvas backpack is always reliable because it will last you many years. Calfskin, lamb skin, or Saffiano leather are also great for those who need a sturdy bag. High-maintenance materials are usually more textured, such as suede, crocodile, or snakeskin, and other exotic materials – though these are delicate and not ideal for everyday wear.

Many designer bags also make use of gold-plated hardware, such as those that are found in many vintage Chanel bags and Hermes purses. Some brands also have their own signature materials, such as the printed canvas used by Dior, the caviar leather and tweed of Chanel, and the monogram of Louis Vuitton to name a few.

Vegan leather, fair trade, and recycled and upcycled materials, such as recycled nylon and polyester, are growing increasingly popular even amongst big designer brand names. These are terrific choices for environmentally conscious consumers. They are just as fashionable but are produced in an ethical way.

You can check the product website for a detailed care guide to determine if its maintenance requirements suit your lifestyle and needs.


For many consumers, the versatility of a designer bag is important. This means being able to use and wear it on many different occasions. You simply get more value out of your purchase when a backpack offers practicality and versatility - not just something that looks good on the runway.

If this sounds like you, look for backpacks that have convertible straps or features that allow you to use them as a tote, handbag, or shoulder bag.


Since the best designer backpacks and bags are handmade, there are usually a limited number of pieces manufactured and sold around the world. They are not mass-produced, which makes certain models more highly coveted and exclusive than others.

There are many designer backpacks and handbags that are also unique. Luxury fashion houses often have a long waiting list of customers waiting to get a hand on models that have quickly sold out. Vintage and limited-edition pieces are more exclusive and thus cost more.

Our Recommendations for the Best Designer Backpack

Now that you know the style, material, and budget you’re looking for in a designer backpack, you can have a better idea of which label and style are best for your needs. There are hundreds of designer brands in the market that you can choose from, many of which are established in terms of incredible artisanship, quality, and heritage.

Below, you’ll find a list of popular designer backpacks in different categories. Check out the reviews to see which ones you may like (note: we earn a small commission if you decide to purchase any of these).

Best Designer Backpack Mens

Paul Smith Suede Leather Backpack: Paul Smith is a renowned British fashion designer with flagship stores located in London, Milan, Tokyo, Paris, and New York, plus over 200 other stores around the world. He is known for his unique aesthetic and elegant clothes as well as accessories for men.

This Paul Smith Suede Leather Backpack is designed for the style-conscious modern man. It’s made from premium Italian suede with Italian calf leather panels. The rustic shade is versatile for all seasons, but it’s also got many practical features.

The asymmetrical zippers on the front pockets are one-of-a-kind: this isn’t a design that you see in other men’s designer backpacks. Each of the two front pockets offers generous space for keeping small tablets, your mobile phone, and other essentials. Inside, the main compartment boasts lots of space for a laptop and other belongings.

The stitching and workmanship on the Paul Smith Suede Leather Backpack are impeccable, but so is the rest of the bag. It would have been amazing to see this design in other colors. But for now, it seems that its rust color is making waves among stylish men.

Best Designer Backpack Women

Yves Saint Laurent Joe Backpack: The Yves Saint Laurent Joe Backpack is a timeless minimalist designer backpack for women that transcends decades and fashion trends. Featuring the iconic chevron Matelassé quilting on leather that Saint Laurent is known for, this beautiful backpack is made in Italy and will last you a lifetime. It’s constructed out of soft, supple lambskin leather and adjustable gold metal and leather shoulder straps that are also used to open and close the drawstring top.

The Joe Backpack is 11.8 inches high, 79 inches wide, and 5.5 inches deep: it’s perfect for a day or evening out. The front magnetic flap pocket is ideal for keeping essentials such as wipes, your lipstick, and keys, while the main compartment can keep a small water bottle and other valuables. The antique monogram pattern adds a nice touch to the bag’s overall look.

The bag has a steep price tag, but given Yves Saint Laurent’s reputation and legacy in fashion, you’re paying for some of the very best quality materials and workmanship in this backpack. If you are looking for a classic designer backpack to elevate your wardrobe on special occasions, this could be the bag for you.

Prada Re-Nylon Small Backpack: Women who need a functional designer backpack for work or school will appreciate the versatility of the Prada Re-Nylon Small Backpack. It’s constructed from superior recycled plastic materials that have been collected from the sea, which also makes this an eco-friendly and sustainable choice compared to other designer backpacks.

The nylon lining and exterior, plus durable metal hardware and zippers make this a great choice of a backpack for daily use. The small version has a height of almost 14 inches, 6-inch length, and 9.8-inch width – just right for everyday errands. There are other sizes to choose from as well.  

It would have been nice to have side pockets for water bottles or other essentials, such as a small umbrella. Hopefully, the brand updates this bag later on to include these compartments.

Overall, the Prada Re-Nylon Backpack is a great low-maintenance choice. Modern women with active lifestyles can rely on this designer backpack: aside from school or work, you can use this backpack to and from the gym, traveling, errands, and much more. The water-resistant exterior does a good job at protecting your belongings, whereas other designer backpacks are far too delicate to be as versatile as this.

Best Leather Designer Backpack

Coach Mini Court Backpack: Coach, an American mid-range designer brand, is renowned for their collections of stylish and elegant handbags and backpacks. This Coach Mini Court Backpack is a wonderful minimalist leather backpack that’s small in size but big in practical features.

Constructed with durable pebble leather, this unisex mini backpack can be worn from day to night. Its dimensions are 8 x 9 x 3 ½ (length, height, width) inches, and it has a bag handle for added versatility. The minimalist design will complement just about anything you have in your closet.

The Coach Mini Court Backpack features a front zippered pocket for your small essentials. Meanwhile, the main compartment can fit a tablet, light sweater, notebook, and your wallet. Take this backpack with you when meeting your friends for coffee, lunch, dinner, and just about anywhere else in between

This is one of the more affordable designer backpacks out there, great for anyone just starting out with fashion investments. It doesn’t have too many frilly features, it’s simple and also elegant.

Best Designer Mini Backpack

Gucci GG Supreme Backpack: The classic, vintage look of the Gucci GG Supreme Backpack is highly coveted by women around the world. It has an elegant and neutral design with numerous practical features.

Made from durable canvas that has been embossed with the signature Gucci logo, this model is the ultimate designer mini backpack. The brown leather top handle allows you to use this backpack as a handbag. Keep your smaller belongings safe in the zippered front and internal pockets.

The rucksack interior is spacious enough for keeping a tablet and other essentials. The main compartment is accessible through a drawstring closure as well as a front magnetic flap, which provides an extra layer of protection.

The Gucci GG Supreme Backpack is made in Italy, so you can be assured that your investment is worth it. World-class craftsmanship is evident in all the stitching and details both inside and outside of the bag. Aside from its sleek design, this logo backpack also has wide and comfortable shoulder straps – something that not many designer travel backpacks have.

This mini backpack is a must-have for urban use, and it will also complement just about any wardrobe. However, care has to be taken to ensure the canvas doesn’t get dirty. It can be challenging to clean if it has numerous stains and dirt. It’s best you keep it clean whenever possible.

Best Designer Diaper Backpacks

Dagne Dover Indi Diaper BackpackDagne Dover is a modern, approachable mid-range luxury brand founded by three women. The label is quickly rising to worldwide popularity because of its stylish, functional bags. This diaper bag is proof that moms don’t have to sacrifice fashion for performance.

The exterior looks just like a regular backpack, but it’s loaded with features specifically for parents. It’s made from 100% vegan materials: the bag is constructed with premium neoprene, while the lining is made from recycled plastic bottles. The zinc-alloy hardware is impressive: it is thoughtfully big enough to grasp, open, and close even with just one hand.

The Dagne Dover Indi Diaper Backpack comes in a range of beautiful neutral colors, plus three sizes to choose from. It already comes with an air mesh changing mat plus smaller pouches for your toddler’s things. In addition, it comes with two detachable key leashes, a washable and water-resistant zipper bag, stroller attachment clips, and an insulated neoprene bottle holder.

Behind the backpack, there is an interior air mesh pocket sealed via Velcro. It would have been more practical to have a zippered pocket in this part, though it works just fine for holding tissues. This diaper bag has solid reviews, definitely one of the best out there.

Best Designer Backpacks For Travel

Gucci GG Ophidia Medium Backpack: The Gucci GG Ophidia Medium reigns supreme in the travel category for many reasons. This versatile piece features many iconic details that Gucci is known for, such as the twin logo, monogram, and red and green webbing that the label has been known for since the 50s. 

In addition, the antique gold hardware makes this model look vintage. If you are looking for a mini backpack that will never go out of style, this one is highly recommended. It’s a great choice for a book bag, day bag, or travel bag.

The bag’s dimensions are 9.4 inches in width, 15.7 inches in height, and 6.3 inches deep. The roomy interior features zippered pockets for your smartphone and other items, and there is enough space to carry the items you need for a day of sightseeing. These may include a light sweater, small camera, and wallet.

However, keep in mind that the Gucci GG Ophidia should be kept away from direct sunlight, rain, and heat. While it’s constructed with durable materials, it should not be exposed to the elements or it could easily compromise the bag’s integrity. Gently give it a good wipe with a soft cloth if it accidentally gets wet.

That said, the Gucci GG Ophidia Medium Backpack is a good option for travel and sightseeing. Just like other Gucci bags, it’s made in Italy, so you can be assured of world-class craftsmanship.


A designer backpack can be a great investment. With thoughtful consideration of the many brands and styles out there, you’ll be able to find one that’s perfect for you.

About the author

Diane is our head writer and researcher for our backpack informational content. Her everyday carry is a Herschel.

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