In a world where the digital reigns supreme, the humble backpack stands tall as the unsung hero of the modern man’s arsenal. A backpack isn’t just a glorified grocery bag for your MacBook and gym shorts—it’s a mobile man cave that cradles your ambitions and escapades, from the boardroom to the gym, and from there to the farthest corners of the globe.
Remember the exhilaration of choosing a new backpack for school? A top-notch travel backpack should evoke that same sense of invincibility, transcending its mere utilitarian function to become a symbol of a lifestyle. It embodies comfort, functionality and preparedness for the unexpected—an absolute must-have for any travel gear collection. From General Henry Merriam’s 1878 canvas and wood rucksack to today’s nylon wonders, the backpack has come a long way, thanks to pioneering innovators and brands like JanSport, which brought the accessory to the forefront in the ’70s and ’80s.
Fast forward to the present, and the travel backpack has become the go-to luggage alternative for the discerning gentleman who prefers the freedom of traveling light. Made from resilient materials like canvas, nylon, leather or suede, the best backpacks age gracefully, acquiring character over time. Their timeless design suits all ages and can be dressed up with a blazer and jeans for business travel or dressed down for a weekend escape. Black leather backpacks, in particular, lend a sophisticated edge to the trend and are a favorite among the fashion-savvy. When pairing leathers, strive for harmony—match black leather shoes with a black leather bag. However, a streamlined black backpack can stylishly offset a fall leather jacket.
From robust weatherproof packs to minimalist fashion-forward accessories, the backpacks listed below have been meticulously curated for their robust blend of style, functionality and durability. Elevate your backpack game, make a statement that aligns with your style and ambition and conquer the world.
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The Best Travel Backpacks for Men
Our top picks for the best travel backpacks.
Tumi Nomadic Backpack Alpha Bravo
Your jet-set digital nomad lifestyle deserves a backpack that can keep up. Meet the Tumi Alpha Bravo Nomadic, a fusion of rugged durability and sleek design inspired by tactical military gear. Crafted from ballistic nylon, it’s built to withstand the rigors of travel, while the padded laptop compartment and expandable base (ideal for longer trips) make it the Swiss Army knife of backpacks, further enhanced by TUMI+ modular compatibility.
$775, SHOP NOW
Troubadour Orbis 1-Pocket Backpack
Part of the Orbis Circular Collection, this backpack is constructed entirely from super-durable recycled polyester. It offers versatile performance and organization with 11 pockets, a large separate back compartment and a padded pocket for a 16-inch laptop or tablet. Plus, it is remarkably designed to be fully recycled at the end of its life, creating zero waste—a true realization of your green dream. The trolley sleeve also allows you to easily slide it onto your carry-on luggage, for a seamless getaway.
$295, SHOP NOW
Antler Chelsea Backpack
Antler’s restyled Chelsea Daypack offers extra space and a plethora of handy features, including a back sleeve that slots over a suitcase handle, a full zip opener for easy packing and access, a zipped front pocket with a card sleeve and key clip inside and a spacious laptop sleeve. It also includes a removable packing pocket, a mesh pocket and a zip pocket, making it the perfect companion for the organized traveler.
$195, SHOP NOW
Master-Piece Progress 2way Textured Leather-Trimmed Nylon-Twill Backpack
Hailing from Osaka, this backpack is the samurai of daily commutes, featuring water-resistant properties and hardwearing nylon-twill panels trimmed with leather. Ideal for long commutes, it includes a padded laptop compartment and numerous pockets to organize small essentials, all in a one bag.
$192, SHOP NOW
This Ferragamo backpack, crafted from soft textured calfskin leather, is both practical and elegant. Unzip the bag to find two well-organized compartments with practical pockets and slots. A padded back and straps are made of technical fabric, and there’s also a strap for attaching it to hand luggage or other travel bags, and it’s stowable. The discreet all-black aesthetic exudes city-slicker sophistication.
$2,300, SHOP NOW
Away The Transit Leather Backpack
Away is perhaps best known for their polycarbonate luggage, but they also make plenty of duffel bags, packing cubes and other travel accessories, including this new leather backpack. A wraparound clamshell zipper allows easy access into the bag, while the interior organization system features multiple compartments with both zipper and slip pockets. Plus, it fits most airline requirements for a personal bag, so you can easily stow it under your seat or in the overhead bin.
$375, Shop Now
Horizn Studios Gion Backpack Pro
Inspired by the mesmerizing Gion district in Kyoto, famous for its geisha and tea house culture, this revolutionary waterproof backpack stays faithful to tried-and-true minimalist Japanese engineering and design. Waterproof and sleek, it’s ready to follow you from the office, to the gym, to the ends of the Earth.
$215, SHOP NOW
Shinola Runwell Leather Backpack
Crafted from supple leather, Shinola’s Runwell rucksack is where Detroit tough collides with Wall Street elegance. It features adjustable padded shoulder backpack straps, a deluxe top carry handle and gunmetal hardware for an industrial touch. The cotton-lined interior includes dedicated spaces for your electronics (there’s a padded laptop sleeve) and phone, making it the perfect companion for the office, gym and weekend adventures. There’s also a zippered external pocket on the front, which is ideal for holding chargers.
$1,095, SHOP NOW
Bottega Veneta Medium Intrecciato Backpack
Renowned for their exquisite craftsmanship, Bottega Veneta’s signature intrecciato weave is instantly recognizable on almost all of their accessories. This iconic backpack, made from cord and smooth high-quality leather, is sized to hold plenty, with a roomy internal pocket and front pockets for conveniently stashing everyday essentials.
$4,200, SHOP NOW
Serapian Backpack in Evoluzione Leather
First introduced by founder Stefano Serapian in 1965, the eponymous brand’s resilient handmade Evoluzione calfskin leather blends Milanese craftsmanship and innovation. Sleek and sophisticated, this handmade backpack is a must-own for men who appreciate subtlety in style.
$1,420, SHOP NOW
Bellroy Via Backpack
Introducing your go-to tech protector. The many pockets in this thoughtfully designed backpack are hidden behind water-resistant zippers that keep the elements at bay. The accessible sunglasses pocket and drop-down panels keep your valuables within reach, eliminating the need to remove your backpack from your shoulders. A special internal Apple AirTag slip pocket is ideal for anti-theft protection. Plus, it comes with a three-year warranty. The sleek, streamlined fit makes this one particular easy to stow under the seat on a plane or in the overhead compartment.
$129, SHOP NOW
Loewe Military Backpack
For those seeking a fashion-forward yet functional backpack, this Loewe pick ticks all the boxes, starting with the supple soft-grained calfskin. It features one main compartment, an additional section under a fold-over flap, adjustable shoulder straps with metal sliders, and a large internal pocket to accommodate a laptop. Metal fastening and buckles add a touch of eye-catching elegance.
$2,500, SHOP NOW
Patagonia Black Hole Backpack
The Black Hole Backpack is the ultimate adventurer’s travel pack. It boasts Patagonia’s legendary Black Hole fabric, innovatively made from recycled polyester ripstop, treated with a laminate, and further bolstered with a durable water-repellent finish. The hiking backpack’s interior works just as hard, offering an easy-access main zippered compartment for storing a day’s worth of gear, a dedicated laptop pocket, stretch-woven side pockets for travel essentials and an air mesh back panel for comfort and increased ventilation. This sturdy bag is durable enough for trekking along on a hike, but sleek enough to use as a carry-on travel backpack.
$149, SHOP NOW
Porter-Yoshida and Co. Tanker Day Backpack
Inspired by midcentury MA-1 flight jackets, Porter’s Tanker Day backpack is manufactured using the traditional Japanese three-stitch method for added strength during everyday use. Lightweight and hardwearing, it features a front zipped pocket and an internal slip pocket for your laptop, making it a reliable sidekick on daily commutes and long travel days.
$515, SHOP NOW
Lululemon Everywhere Backpack
Indeed, this Lululemon backpack can be taken anywhere and everywhere, with its rugged water-repellent fabric, spacious front zippered pocket and side water bottle pockets that double down on practicality. It’s a perfect accessory and carry-all for short trips.
$78, SHOP NOW
Filson Dryden Backpack
Filson uses 1000-denier Cordura nylon in the construction of their Dryden backpack, which offers proven weather-resistant protection with a double-layer reinforced bottom for added robustness, and a zippered rear panel that conceals a padded laptop pocket. Moreover, the uber-strong coil zippers are specially designed to prevent any snagging, guaranteeing smooth operation every time. It also meets major airline TSA carry-on size requirements.
$265, SHOP NOW