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Putting in the time and effort to choose the best EDC backpack is essential since this will be the backpack that you carry around on a daily basis.
For over 15 years, I’ve used a wide range of EDC backpacks from many manufacturers. Some of them lived up to my expectations, while others barely lasted me a few months.
Based on my experience, the Bellroy Classic Backpack Plus seems like a robust choice for most daily commuters. It’s very functional, has enough space for all your items without being vigorously large, and is well-organized internally.
But I’m not here to just tell you, “go buy this”. I’m here to make your search for a suitable EDC backpack easier. After all, we all have different needs. That’s why I’ve reviewed 7 of the highest-rated EDC backpacks on the market, so you can choose the right one for your requirements.
Also Read: 32 Best EDC Knives in 2022
What Is an EDC Backpack?
An EDC backpack is an everyday carry backpack that you can use to carry all the items you use on a daily basis. They’re very functional and versatile. With an EDC backpack, you can carry food, gadgets, electronics, wallets, water bottles, and even clothes.
Since they’re meant for everyday use, EDC backpacks must be durable and comfortable.
Here Are the Best EDC Backpack (Our Picks)
Now, let’s uncover the ins and outs of some of the most promising EDC backpacks that are worth checking out.
1. Bellroy Classic Backpack Plus – Best Overall Pick
The Bellroy Classic Backpack Plus combines durability, versatility, and comfort into one. It flaunts a water-resistant venture-weave polyester construction that keeps your items safe and prevents premature wear. It also has some leather accents that complement its look and further enhance its durability.
What’s more, this backpack integrates durable YKK Aquaguard zippers that prevent rain from leaking into the backpack.
There’s a dedicated laptop compartment that can fit 15” laptops, which is highly appreciated considering that many people walk around with a laptop in their backpack.
The back panel is contoured to accommodate the natural arch of your back, so you can carry this backpack all day long without straining your muscles.
The vertical front pocket is ideal for small items like keys and vitamin packs. You also get a secret stretch pocket for valuable items like smartphones, jewelry, or sunglasses.
The Bellroy backpack has 22L of internal storage space, which is considered the sweet spot for most people.
The Bellroy Classic Backpack Plus is large, durable, and comfortable. It makes an excellent EDC backpack for everyday commuters.
2. Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 24 Backpack – Runner Up
The Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 24 backpack is inspired by the brand’s line of military bags. With a 330 robic fabric and DWR-coated YKK zippers, this backpack is up for a challenge.
It features easy access to the primary compartments, in addition to 2 external pockets that have a unique quick-pull system and magnet latches for convenience.
Integrating a floating padded sleeve with Velcro closure, the Mystery Ranch Rip Buck can accommodate 15” laptops easily. It also has a dedicated document sleeve that’ll preserve your important documents when commuting.
On top of that, the backpack is equipped with a low-profile PALS webbing that lets you add more items to your backpack in case you fully load up the internal compartments.
The Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 21 is a military-grade backpack made of top-notch materials and delivers all-day comfort. It’s a great pick for those who value durability.
3. Peak Design Everyday Zip 15L Backpack – Best Design
The Peak Design Everyday Zip backpack is a versatile backpack with a stylish, minimalist design. It’s made of weatherproof, 100% recycled 400D nylon, which, coupled with the single 270-deg zipper, provides the backpack with utmost durability in all weather conditions.
The zipper design enables you to access your items easily, even from the side. I also like that there are 2 hidden straps for hooking up some extra items from the outside.
In addition, the Peak Design backpack takes organization to the next level by including configurable FlexFold dividers that allow you to locate your items quickly.
There’s also a dedicated 13” laptop sleeve, which can be quite handy for students and anyone who needs to carry their laptop on a daily basis.
The backpack’s padding does a great job of protecting your fragile and valuable items from getting broken. Oh, and if you’re the type of person that likes to commute by bike, the Peak Design backpack has a removable buckle that holds the shoulder straps in place and prevents it from sliding off your body.
The Peak Design Everyday Zip backpack is a compact backpack with lots of internal storage compartments and an easy-to-access 270-deg zipper. It makes a good fit for those who need a small EDC backpack without compromising versatility.
4. Hazard 4 Pillbox Backpack – Best Rugged
The Hazard 4 Pillbox 24.5L backpack sports a molded foam shell to protect your expensive gadgets from getting damage. This is an EDC backpack that you can carry when hiking, camping, or even hunting.
Moreover, it has a Velcro interior that lets you configure the backpack’s compartments according to what items you intend to carry with you. You also get large military standard modular MOLLE web arrays for small items.
The Hazard 4 Pillbox has a 15” laptop compartment, and the pockets can be arranged like a camera bag. In fact, this backpack is specifically designed to protect optics, which are very fragile compared to a laptop, for example.
There’s a removable waist belt and a sternum strap for added support and slip prevention. The height-adjustable locking buckles utilize a high-quality design that prevents them from disengaging accidentally.
The Hazard 4 Pillbox is a rigid backpack that can definitely take a beating. Whatever you put inside, rest assured that it’ll remain intact and free of dents and scratches.
5. Osprey Daylite Plus – Best Lightweight
The Osprey Daylite Plus is a small and lightweight yet functional backpack that you can use to carry the essentials without having something massive on your back.
This EDC backpack is a bit small to accommodate most laptops, but it should comfortably take a 10” tablet or hybrid.
What’s more, the Daylite Plus backpack can be loaded up with a hydration reservoir, making it a good choice for hiking or camping trips.
Further, this backpack is pretty comfortable, thanks to the padded shoulder straps. In addition, it’s equipped with compression straps for ease of carrying.
The cherry on top is that the Osprey Daylite Plus will probably cost you around half the value of most other EDC backpacks on the market.
The Osprey Daylite Plus is an affordable and lightweight backpack that makes an excellent everyday backpack and an even better hiking companion.
6. Nomatic Travel Bag 30L – Best for Travelers
The Nomatic Travel Bag 30L is designed with travelers in mind. It’s not a full-blown travel bag, but it’ll easily double as one whenever you want it to. It’s basically an EDC backpack that you can also take with you when traveling.
With a 30L storage capacity, the Nomatic Travel bag has enough space for you to rely on it for a wide range of purposes. You won’t even need to buy any extra bags if you own this one. It should be able to fit your laptop, cables and chargers, camera gear, and a few clothing items.
Taking a closer look at the Nomatic Travel Bag’s design, you can easily tell that it’s made of durable materials. The waterproof exterior and zippers also mean rain won’t damage your belongings.
There are 2 ventilated side compartments for shoes, a laptop/tablet compartment, an easy access pocket, a notebook pocket, and a bottle pocket, in addition to an RFID and security pocket and a cord management compartment with a cord pass-through.
And while it’s a bit on the larger side for an everyday backpack, having some extra space is what makes it suitable for traveling.
The Nomatic Travel bag integrates a patented strap design that allows you to use it as a duffle bag and a backpack without worrying about dangling straps.
If you’re looking for an EDC backpack that can also function as a travel bag, the Nomatic Travel Bag would be your best bet.
7. Wandrd PRVKE Series Camera Bag – Best for Photographers
The Wandrd PRVKE Series Camera Bag is essentially an EDC backpack that’s designed for people who carry photography gear frequently. It’s capable of protecting your camera and other photography gear from getting damaged even with accidental bumps and drops.
Its capacity is 31 liters, but it can be expanded to 36L by extending the roll top, making it one of the largest EDC backpacks out there.
Made of waterproof tarpaulin and YKK weather-resistant zippers, the Wandrd PRVKE bag has what it takes to keep your camera gear dry and safe. I wouldn’t intentionally submerge it into the water, though.
The camera cubes inside this backpack are removable, so you can use your backpack more conveniently when you’re not carrying your photography equipment. Plus, it has a laptop sleeve, a bottle pocket, a hidden back pocket, and a tech pocket.
The camera cubes can be accessed quickly through a side opening. Oh, and if you want to maximize the capacity of your backpack, you can get some extra carry straps for tripods and keychains.
And when it comes to comfort, the Wandrd PRVKE comes with a removable waist strap that lets you carry it comfortably when it’s fully loaded up. You also get a top handle so you can use the backpack as a duffle bag.
If you’re looking for a backpack that can be used on a daily basis but can also protect and organize your photography gear, the Wandrd PRVKE Series Camera Bag would be an excellent choice for you.
How Big Should an EDC Backpack Be?
The size of your EDC backpack primarily depends on the type and number of items you carry on most days.
As a general rule of thumb, your EDC backpack shouldn’t be smaller than 15L to be able to accommodate all of your items. Also, it shouldn’t be larger than 30L so that carrying it daily doesn’t feel awkward or uncomfortable.
You should also consider the way you commute to work or college. If you’re a biker, you’d probably prefer sticking to a smaller backpack. On the other hand, if you commute by bus or car, going for a larger backpack would make more sense.
Some backpacks can be extended with a roll top. For example, if a backpack has a nominal size of 20L, it could actually be expanded to 25L by simply extending the roll top. These types of backpacks combine the best of both worlds between compactness and space.
Buying Guide: How Do I Choose an EDC Backpack?
Deciding on an EDC backpack is dependent on many factors, which can be summed as follows:
EDC backpacks don’t have a standardized design. Different EDC backpacks cater to varying needs by implementing various design factors. For example, a photographer won’t likely choose the same EDC backpack as a frequent traveler.
So, before picking an EDC backpack, check if there are any options that fit your needs better. In most cases, you’ll find a few models that have some extra additions to make it easier for you to carry and organize your items.
Since you’re mostly going to carry your EDC backpack on a daily basis, you’d want it to be as durable as possible. The construction materials and the quality of the zippers are all that matter here.
High grades of polyester and nylon are preferable materials for this type of backpack.
Carrying a poorly-designed EDC backpack from an ergonomic perspective on a regular basis may cause undesirable musculoskeletal complications in the long term. To maximize comfort, make sure that your EDC backpack is well-padded, both from the back panel and the shoulder straps.
The backpack’s shoulder straps should also be customizable so you can make the backpack stick to your back to avoid placing unnecessary stress on your muscles.
An EDC backpack shouldn’t just be a 2-compartment bag with no internal packets. The best EDC backpacks have customizable interior pockets that can accommodate all types of personal belongings without making them look like a big mess.
Small items should have designated pockets, while larger things like laptops and document files should have larger sleeves dedicated for them. As a general rule of thumb, the more pockets and configurations your EDC backpack has, the easier it’ll be for you to organize and access your items.
Other items, like tripods, can be carried by attaching them to external straps. Also, if you need to carry some clothing, it’s better if the backpack has some ventilated pockets.
An EDC backpack should have enough padding and water resistance to protect your sensitive items. An EDC backpack with a laptop sleeve, for example, will likely have internally padded back and bottom panels to maximize protection.
You should also make sure that the backpack is made of waterproof materials. In addition, the zippers should be heavy-duty and sealed to prevent water from getting inside the backpack.
Some EDC backpacks may have stand-out features that can be very helpful for you. For instance, some EDC models have cable management pockets that can be pretty handy for those who have many cables for various devices.
Another helpful feature is ventilated pockets. These allow you to carry items like shoes without making them smell.
You should also consider the different ways you want to be able to carry your backpack. Lots of backpack models can be carried as duffle bags using top handles. A few models can even be transferred into wheeled backpacks.
Oh, and if you usually take a power bank around, consider getting a backpack that has a pass-through hole for your power bank’s charging cable.
So that was my two cents when it comes to EDC backpacks.
If I had to pick a favorite, it’d be the Bellroy Classic Backpack Plus. This backpack has it all, from the well-organized internal compartments to the durable external materials and comfortable padding; you just can’t go wrong with it.
My tip here is to write down a list of all the items you carry on a daily basis and estimate whether a certain backpack size would be suitable. It’s also a good idea to have some extra storage space in case you need to carry more items.
Oh, and if you take things like laptops or photography gear, make sure that the backpack can accommodate them easily and provide enough protection.