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I'm looking for a good everyday backpack that is durable and has quite a bit of room. Currently I'm using this backpack that I received as a gift: http://www.mastodonrocks.com/files/merch/preview/detail_backpack.jpg

It's a great backpack in that it has the features I want- rucksack style loading, two small front pouches (about the size of a deck of cards) and one larger front pouch (about the size of a graphing calculator) but it's not very durable (it is just band merch, after all). It has almost no structure at all, and while I don't want something with an actual internal frame, I'd like something a bit more rigid.

I use the backpack mostly for taking my laptop to class and for weekend trips- the top flap is great for throwing a sleeping bag under.

asked Jul 27 '11 at 12:58

wilbus's gravatar image


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I have to second LL Bean's backpacks. I know people who have gotten them in middle school, and now, in our 30s are still using them. LL Bean does honor their lifetime warranty, and has great customer service.


answered Aug 01 '11 at 13:01

Courtney%20Ostaff's gravatar image

Courtney Ostaff

Use this one daily as an IT infrastructure engineer. Carries my laptop and tools easily ,comfortably & you can beat the heck out of it.



answered Aug 01 '11 at 14:13

WehrGeist's gravatar image


answered Aug 01 '11 at 14:46

Jeremy%20Smith's gravatar image

Jeremy Smith

The Duluth Backpack is the simple and elegant solution.

See: http://duluthpack.com/


answered Aug 01 '11 at 16:10

bjohnson's gravatar image


Eddie Bauer Adventure backpack - $80 with lots of great features that allow flexibility for laptop bag (padded), for weekend camping or camera bag.


answered Aug 01 '11 at 19:16

GhostRider's gravatar image


edited Aug 01 '11 at 19:16

I highly recommend the GORUCK Echo.

  1. https://www.goruck.com/shop/images/40/echo_1-goruck-backpack_100.jpg/
  2. https://www.goruck.com/shop/images/55/echo_3-goruck-backpack.jpg
  3. https://www.goruck.com/shop/images/79/GR-ECHO_2.jpg/
  4. https://www.goruck.com/shop/images/78/GR-ECHO_1.jpg/

It's a tough as nails, ballistic nylon bag built to military specifications but designed for city folk. There are two compartments - a large main pocket and a rear, reinforced compartment that is designed to hold a laptop or a hydration pack. There are a pair of zip pockets on the inside and a front slash pocket too.

The bag is substantial without being heavy. The straps are supportive and comfortable. The zippers are strong and error free.

This one is the right size for my everyday stuff, but they have larger ones too.


answered Aug 01 '11 at 20:39

dtbrady77's gravatar image


These are all pretty busy backpacks added so far... I use a Black Diamond backpack and not only is it cleaner looking than all of these, it is certainly lighter and probably cheaper.



Quality is insanely high for the price... comparable to Arc'teryx or other top-end brands. The best part about the Magnum I have is that whether it's loaded with clothing and sketchbooks for a weekend trip to the beach, holding just a change of clothes while I run to work, or crammed with metalworking tools while I bike to studio, it looks great and fits like I was born with it.


answered Aug 01 '11 at 21:24

nhfoley's gravatar image


What you want is the MEC Klettersack. Cheap, cool, functional, no excessive garbage, just a great functional pack.

MEC Klettersack


answered Aug 02 '11 at 13:32

johnnyt's gravatar image


Is there a way of ordering the MEC Klettersack in the US?

3 years, 4 months ago
oliver's gravatar image oliver

You can buy anything from MEC and have it shipped to the U.S. that is MEC branded. That is, you can't buy anything that isn't made by MEC. They do this to prevent people from exploiting the exchange rate and lower MSRP's in canada. You just need to pay a one time membership fee which back when I signed up was quite inexpensive. The only issue with purchasing items and having them shipped to the U.S. is the shipping is a little high. But the savings by buying MEC products makes it very worthwhile. Take a look at the different textiles, bags, and the classic yellow hardman isomat.

3 years, 4 months ago
johnnyt's gravatar image johnnyt

Many good suggestions above. I am a fan of Tom Bihn products (someone suggested the Synapse above -- a good choice!) but on the trip I'm on right now, I left behind my Brain Bag (another good choice from Bihn) and am carrying a Jansport Agave 32 (http://www.amazon.com/JanSport-Agave-Outdoor-Lifestyle-Backpack/dp/B000XQ6BUE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1312404292&sr=8-1), which I bought at a good price from ebags.com -- an addictive site for bag junkies like me. The Jansport looks small (I have a larger similar Jansport with more rigidity, too), but holds an impressive amount. It also looks nicely inconspicuous (doesn't scream "valuable laptop inside!") but has a padded slot that fits any smallish laptop well. I've used it to hold enough things for casual 2-3 trips, including clothes, snacks, computer, a paperback, phone, etc. Flexible to load, with mesh pockets on the side for water-bottles or other small-stuffables (even a small umbrella).

My favorite feature: a small suede(ish) pocket up top, perfect for wallet and phone while going through airport security system. I bought this one as a mostly toy bag, but have been impressed way past its price.


answered Aug 03 '11 at 13:49

Timothy%20Lord's gravatar image

Timothy Lord

I use Rickshaw's Commuter Backpack.

Image of Rickshaw Commuter Backpack from rickshaw.com

Sturdy yet not as pedestrian as the Kensington Saddlebag, which is similar in design but doesn't have the same level of materials or function.

I like how it has some PALS/MOLLE attachment points for extra pouches and the like but doesn't scream "imperialist contractor, shoot me first" when transiting through foreign airports. I also have some fantastic Maxpedition bags but purposely don't carry them overseas for that reason.

Is it worth 3x the price of the Kensington? Not sure, as I got mine (actually one of the TED2009 swag bags) for free. But it is hella nice. :-)


answered Aug 04 '11 at 17:00

jameshom's gravatar image


edited Aug 04 '11 at 17:02

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Asked: Jul 27 '11 at 12:58

Seen: 17,892 times

Last updated: Sep 08 '11 at 16:01

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