My Current Bag Recommendations

Ok, on this page I’m going to give you my personal recommendations for several categories of bags.

These are my personal recommendations… I don’t know what you need a bag for, so take this advice with a grain of salt.

 

Best Selling Tech Daily Carry Bags:

Bags with sleek, technical aesthetics and innovative functionality and organization.

Peak Designs Everyday Backpack

The Everyday backpack from Peak Designs is so thoughtfully designed and innovative that it deserves to be in a damn museum!

  • Techy Look: First and foremost, this sucker has a techy look, like it’s a backpack made for Robocop. That turns some people off right away, but the features are good enough to win most people over in the end.
  • Excellent Organization & Accessibility: the organization, configuration and access of this bag are off the charts. Totally customizable inner main compartment with side access from both sides, as well as deep organization and quick access… this thing is stacked for however you want to design your own carry.
  • Great for Photography: the Kodra fabric has padding and insulation, and the inner compartment has these customizable padded dividers, making for a very safe, customized and secure carry of your photo gear… however you want to organize it.
  • Drone People: you drone and photography enthusiasts should be drooling with the possibilities.
  • Build Really Well: From the fabric to the padding to the straps and reinforcements throughout the bag, this thing is solid. 

A killer bag that, if you love the look, will be able to get you through every daily adventure you can throw at it (and even some minimal travel as well!).

Honestly, get this bag if you want to discover a new feature you didn’t even know about 2 and a half years from now. You’ll be like, “Holy sh*t, didn’t even know this hip strap was here!”

I dig this bag for the innovation, organization and durability. One of those bags that will be a loooooong term companion for you on your journeys.

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Boundary Supply Errant Backpack

An extremely versatile and feature rich bag that doesn’t look half bad, the Errant has lots of organization in an innovative pack for everyday use. One of my favorites.

  • What’s so great about this bag is all the innovative tech and organization features (which enable a whole shit-ton of applications for this bag) AND it doesn’t look like some extremely technical crazy use-case-specific behemoth. It actually works great as a basic-ass backpack even though it has all these killer features.
  • Great straps and back support. Very breathable for all you bike commuters out there. Rigid straps that I’ll bet will wear in really nicely under heavy use.
  • Speaking of heavy use, the materials and built are going to last a very long time. 500D Duramax Kodra feels great to the touch while providing a very durable soft shell to the bag. AND all the materials are sourced sustainably from Bluesign approved vendors.
  • Ok, tons of pockets on the bag, both outside and inside. Secret compartment against your back, side pocket, bottom shoe pocket for gym rats (I use it for more tech organization), lash straps, water bottle pocket… and then on the inside there’s some great organization for your laptop, charger, and extra tech.
  • Tons of accessories you can get for the bag as well… multiple camera cubes (the one that integrates at the top of the bag is actually really nice), extra organization pouches, etc.

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Evergoods CPL 24 Backpack

A very clean, minimal, stylish and extremely lovely to use daily carry bag from one of our favorite new bag companies.

  • Built really well — the two founders are from GoRuck and Patagonia, and the quality of the manufacturing and design on this bag resemble that pedigree.
  • Love the look — minimal, simple, clean, modern, but not without a little of that “rugged,” old-school vibe.
  • Perfect size for daily carry — if you don’t need a pocket for every dongle or to bring the whole house along with you when you leave, this bag’s size is perfect.
  • Delightful to use — I mean it, i really like using this bag.
  • HOWEVER — i work with bags all day long and so my sense of style and what I want in a bag may not be the same as yours. So, check out the video to get a feel for yourself.

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Boundary Supply Prima System Backpack

The Prima System from Boundary Supply is, to me, the best in this category of kickstarter-y tech/camera/daily-carry because of the material feel and functionality in use.

  • Materials are dense and enjoyable to use. Instead of being some hard, thick, unwieldy stuff, this 500D DWR Kodra has a nice amount of both sturdiness and give.
  • The back panel and straps are the most comfortable in this class. EVA foam with lots of ventilation and vertical weight distribution from the top of the bag to the center of gravity in the hips.
  • Lots of nice pockets in varying sizes both inside and outside of the bag (for first-order access).
  • VERY LOVELY MATERIALS and details throughout the bag, from the fidlock magnetic clips to the Nywool and magnetic closure in the quick access pockets.
  • They integrate the camera cube excellently. Besides the Peak designs (which basically IS a camera cube), this is the best I’ve seen in a functional daily backpack.
  • Overkill?

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Wandrd Prvke Rolltop Backpack

The Wandrd Prvke (pronounced “provoke” or “perrrrvrkeeee”) is a great bag for technical daily carry and minimal travel. Built rugged, good looking, water resistant with tons of pockets. It comes in 2 sizes — we like the 20L for daily carry and minimal travel and the 30L for bigger bodies and longer trips.

The rolltop expands to fit so much stuff! This is one of my favorite features of this bag. You can expand it to fit a literal ton of shit, and then, pull the shit out and roll it up so it looks like a regular bag again.

I also love the organization and accessibility of this bag. It has tons of little pockets hidden throughout, as well as zippered access to larger internal pockets. That Zippered access is a must for me on a rolltop because I find it annoying to roll and unroll the bag every time I need to get into it.

This bag does a great job of tech organization too. The laptop compartment, the optional camera insert, and the pockets throughout make it a seriously functional companion to the digital nomad.

And I have to say how rare it is to find a bag that you can both travel with AND use as a daily carry. It’s similar to the Synapse 25 that way. And that’s why these two are a couple of my favorite bags currently.

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Nomatic Travel Pack & Backpack

Ok, these bags from Nomatic are chock full of pockets. There are 2 different bags: the Travel Pack expands up to about 30L, perfect for short trips and minimal travel. The Backpack is 20-24L daily carry. Both are very sleek and, like I said, so many pocketzzz!

I mean, these things are a pocket lover’s wet dream. There are so many nooks and crannies and pouches and zippers on this sucker it’s like a BDSM outfit.

They’re both plenty comfortable as far as bags go. The straps are soft and padded, and the bag is rigid, so it feels solid and in place on your back.

The zippers leave me a little worried, to be honest. There’s nothing ostensibly wrong with them, I just don’t love the way they feel. They get a little stuck-up sometimes, and they feel kinda thin.

I’m also not personally crazy about the look of these bags. They seem a little too jet-pack-y for my personal taste.

Ultimately, tho, these bags are excellent for the organization-minded person. So, if you like the way it seems in the video, you’ll know it!

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Tom Bihn Synapse 25

One of my all time favorite bags for it’s utterly functional design and rock solid manufacturing (made in the USA). To me it may not be the best looking bag on the street, but its accessibility, organization, comfort and capacity make it a LEGENDARY BAG. Seriously.

More often than I care to admit I simply grab this bag because I KNOW it won’t let me down. That’s how I feel about this bag.

All the organization is on the outside of the bag, which makes it insanely easy to access everything you need.

Then the capacity inside the main compartment is surprisingly roomy. I’m amazed that I can travel with this bag for 3 weeks and beyond (as long as I’ve got access to some laundry :).

Also, it’s very comfortable to travel with, even when it’s completely loaded to the brim. When you pack it for minimal travel all the clothes rest up against your back, so it’s soft and comfortable (compared to most bags which place the laptop against the back). I was surprised to see how much I noticed the comfort of this setup.

Tom Bihn also sells loads of accessories you can use with this bag. I use the laptop cache and a few of their pouches that connect to “O” rings inside the bag.

And it needs to be said how much I love the fact that I can use this bag as both a travel bag AND a daily carry bag. Similar to the Wandrd Prvke in that regard, and a feature I find myself really hungry for these days.

If I could combine the functionality of this bag with the look of a GoRuck bag I’d be in heaven. That being said, I reach for this much more often than I reach for the GoRuck. Love this bag!

Just literally the best bag to use. Not my favorite style, but I shit you not: if you use this bag you will love it. I reach for this all the time — especially in travel — because it makes such a great daily carry, hiking bag, or minimal travel bag. The fact that it does all three so well makes it one that’s always in my quiver of bags.

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Sleek Tech Daily Carry Bags:

Tons of organization in a sleek package, perfect for those of us who prefer smaller, lighter backpacks.

Arktype Dashpack Mark II Backpack

The Dashpack Mark II from Arktype has lots of small organization and some very modern styling in a tight, sleek 15L daily carry.

  • A very modern/sleek look in a very useful (if a little tight) 15L daily carry bag.
  • Very nice build… Useful, sleek innovation in how they handle the shoulder strap adjustment… i.e., no dangling straps. Mil-Spec (military standard) badassery in the add-on attachment straps and the compression straps.
  • Lots of little pockets.
  • 2 places for laptops… the back laptop compartment is a bit too tight for my 15″ laptop, though.
  • Hand-fucking-made in the U-S-of-A.

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Aer Work Day Pack

Brand: Aer
Bag Uses: Daily Carry
Features:    Affordable   Looks Good   Slim Profile
Bag Style:

The Day Pack from Aer’s Work Collection was instantly one of my favorite simple daily carry bags because it’s minimal frame but high-functioning insides.

  • Lots of organization — loads of places to put your dongles and adapters and chargers, etc.
  • Slimline Profile — it’s minimal and sleek.
  • Quick Access — easily access the stuff that’s most important to you on the go.

This is just one of the bags in Aer’s Work Collection. Be sure to check out the Tech Pack if you need a little bit more space in your bag.

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Minaal Daily Backpack

If I wanted a more understated tech look for my daily carry, this is where I’d go.

It’s a delight to use this bag. Sits small and comfortably on the back, lots of tech organization, great feeling materials, and some space to fit your lunch, a sweater, and a book.

Besides that, the materials they use just feel really good. If you like the look and functionality on this bag, it can last you a loooong time.

Small, light, great tech organization, great materials, solid look. This bag is really fun to use.

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Aer Flight Pack 2

The second version of this bag is a welcome update, creating a much more stylish looking bag with plenty of organization for daily carry.

  • Looks great — nice width/height/depth ratio, black on black, minimal aesthetic, doesn’t say too much.
  • Great organization — Quick access, front pocket, internal tech org, main compartment org. There’s lots of org, and it’s all set up pretty solid.
  • Converts well between backpack and briefcase — a lot of bags try to do this, but few do it this well. You can use the shoulder strap if you’d like, but I prefer just the handle.. looks better.
  • Built solid — 1680D Cordura ballistic nylon, YKK zips.

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Aer Fit Pack 2

This is what I call the “badass bargain option.” Everything you need in a daily carry, organized innovatively so it stays fun to use, and it’s super affordable.

  • Just Right Organization: the thing I love so much about this bag — and I’m speaking personally here — is that there’s just the right amount of tech organization. Not too much, not too little. Goldilocks style.
  • Not Too Flashy: the look kind of flies under the radar — doesn’t show off, doesn’t say too much.

Aer bags don’t tend to have the best feel to me (the lining feels a bit cheap), but you get a TON of good stuff for the money on this one. Super affordable.

And, honestly, this bag is a delight to use. It’s small and light, it fits plenty of stuff for daily carry (if you don’t need to carry too much) and it’s organized really well.

Affordable AND good tech organization AND built well; this one is hard to beat. If you need a quickie it’s a good one.

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Elegant Daily Carry Bags:

These are bags for those of you who want to dress it up a bit and have a fashionable aesthetic to your daily carry bag.

Waterfield Bolt Backpack

The Bolt Backpack from Waterfield Designs is a damn classy bag. If I was playing the “raise money” game in the bay area, this is the direction I would go.

The bag is a treat to use. Plenty of pockets, sure, but it’s the quality of materials that really spoke to me. (Btw, there are plenty of pockets. One of my favorite pocket configurations of all time!)

Handmade, gorgeous, utterly functional… this thing doesn’t cut corners, won’t stress you out or leave you high and dry. It’s a phenomenal bag and one of the reasons why I love reviewing bags.

One of my favorite pocket/organization setups in a daily carry ever, AND your fingers will love touching this bag because the materials are so quality.

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Trakke Bannoch Backpack

Trakke Bannoch Backpack

A gorgeous bag with a kind of modern urban-alpine aesthetic and absolutely lovely, dense, long-haul materials.

  • Materials on this bag are excellent. I love how they bound the edges of the straps and flaps with waxed cotton… nice touch.
  • The metal latches will take some getting used to, but they’ll last a million years… I use them all the time on one of my bags and, while it’s definitely some cognitive load, I also respect the bag enough that it feels kind of like a nice moment in my day.
  • I like the two tall pockets on the front of the bag. Nice organization.
  • Lots of space for daily carry, but not the biggest bag out there. This is made to be stylish and useful, not massive and spacious.
  • Laptop pocket with a little bit of organization on a panel round out the inside of the bag.

Video about this backpack:

 

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The Classic Backpack from Bellroy

The Classic Backpack from Bellroy

A perfectly sized bag for tight daily carry packed up in a very modern, functional package.

  • Perfect little size for my daily carry needs. Plus it looks very sleek… modern but classic. It really is a stylish bag.
  • The materials all feel more than quality, especially the details. The canvas feels solid, straps have a nice feeling to the touch, the leather handle is excellent. And then the inside pockets have a very plush, stretchy mesh that sets the whole thing into a different category of… uh… niceness, I guess.
  • Fits up to a 15″ laptop. Very easy to get mine in and out.
  • BUT #1: I wish there was one more pocket.
  • BUT #2: this quick access pocket is challenging.

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Qwstion Simple Daily Carry Bags

Brand: Qwstion
Bag Uses: Daily Carry
Features:    Affordable   Looks Good   Packable

Qwstion is a product design studio in Zurich Switzerland who makes very stylish bags for the “hipper” areas of town without sacrificing functionality.

There’s three daily carry bags I focus on in the video, all of which I really like as daily carry bags because they have enough pockets for my dongles AND they look dope.

In the video I showcase three bags:

  • The Simple Pack — go with this one if you want something really minimal and understated.
  • The Simple Office — excellent for both backpack and briefcase look, and one of my favorite pocket configurations.
  • And the Day Tote — a little more roomy with an innovative handle/strap feature.

I haven’t found anything better for a minimal, understated but still stylish daily carry.

Don’t let the small form factor fool you, these stylish commuter bags were designed for modern metro needs.

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Baron Fig Backpack

Brand: Baron Fig
Bag Uses: Daily Carry
Features:    Packable   Slim Profile
Bag Style:   

This backpack from Baron Fig is really thoughtful, minimal and useful. Lovely daily carry bag.

  • Organization — lots of it. Tastefully and minimally implemented as well.
  • Nice Look — looks really unassuming and mellow. I like the style of this bag.
  • Well Built & Comfortable — the material is soft and dense, the zippers feel nice, the straps feel great, and it will last you a long time.

A simple, minimal aesthetic with exceptional organization and thoughtfulness in design.

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Filson 24 Hour Tin Briefcase

The 24 Hour Tin Briefcase from Filson is easily my favorite briefcase-type bag I’ve ever used due to it’s excellent materialsorganization, and classic aesthetic.

It’s called the “tin” briefcase because it uses Filson’s tin cloth, a thick cotton canvas with an oil-finish wax applied. It’s got such a beautiful look and feel, and the wax can be applied again and again over the years.

I truly love the organization and access on this bag. The two big pouches on the front make me pine for this kind of design in every bag I use.

And yea, sure, it’s expensive. But the best thing about this bag is it’s going to last FOREVER. The leather, the buckles, the canvas, it’s all gorgeous and it’s gonna last for ages and never go out of style. So, you know, amortize the cost over 50 years and you’ll realize it’s actually an affordable bag.

If you need a bag for the office or cafe or just for your Hemingway halloween costume, this is the one for you.

 

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Street-Style Daily Carry Bags:

For those of us who want a more classic, street look for our daily carry bag.

Kletterwerks Summit 20L

Kletterwerks Summit 20L

A truly worthy daily carry bag with simple and useful innovations and rock-solid build-quality. I. Love. This. Bag.

  • Wow, what an utterly delicious backpack. Fits just as well in the cafe or mountaintop. Classic enough, modern enough, excellent materials and features.
  • Excellent materials — 1000D cordura, YKK #10 zips, straps are padded and sturdy, great classic hardware.
  • GREAT, simple, innovative organization — Front pocket with a little stash pack, two built in compartments on the main compartment.
  • LOVE this bag. What a delight to use. What a stylish, understated look.

We show this bag at 20:37 in this video:

 

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Hideout Pack from Everyman

The Hideout Pack from Everyman is a solid take on a street/urban/heritage bag with lots of organization at an affordable-ish price point.

  • When it’s packed full or just carrying a few things, it has a good look. Aesthetic is, as the kids say, kinda dope.
  • Materials are solid, but I will say there are a few places that feel a little unconsidered. (Namely, handles and straps.)
  • Lots of pockets and organization. First-order access is excellent as well as some solid internal organization.
  • And I have to say this is a total contender for a minimal travel + daily backpack! Works great as daily carry AND as a minimal travel bag.
  • It’s affordable for this kind of materials and organization.

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Mission Workshop Rhake Backpack

The Rhake backpack from Mission Workshop is a killer weatherproof bag for daily carry and minimal travel.

  • Weatherproof — this sucker is so well protected against the elements!
  • Excellent materials — this bag will last a looooooooong time.
  • Excellent organization — I fell in love with how it organized all my stuff.
  • Very comfortable — these straps, there’s something about them… so comfy.

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Greenroom136 Rainmaker Backpack

The Rainmaker backpack from Greenroom136 is an extremely solid everyday backpack suited for carrying lots of gear or compressing down to a minimal daily carry haul.

  • Nice feeling materials — the bag feels great in your hands/on your back without needing to be fancy.
  • Lots of organization — 3 separate compartments, each with distinct organization inside.
  • Expandability — the bag is a great size for daily carry, is compressible when you don’t have to carry much, but it’s quite roomy when you need it to be! (Bag comes in 2 sizes, I believe I’m using the Large size in this video.)
  • Very comfortable — I was surprised by how nice these straps feel on your shoulders.

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GoRuck GR1

The GoRuck GR1 is one of those bags I have loved since the first moment I saw one online years ago. The look of this bag is simple, understated, but powerful.

  • Unbelievable Build Quality: the quality of materials, sewing and construction on this bag is off the charts.
  • Excellent Warranty: the bag is bombproof, and the SCARS warranty is there for everything else. Basically, you never have to worry about this bag because they’ll repair or replace it.
  • The Aesthetic is Killer: it just looks so good. Simple + sturdy, minimal + uncluttered, utilitarian + comfortable. Just a gorgeous looking/feeling bag.
  • Multiple Sizes: the bag comes in a few different sizes. I like the 21L for daily use and the larger sizes for minimal travel.
  • Daily Carry & Minimal Travel: the 26L is definitely doable for minimal travel!
  • A Life-Long Companion: this bag will be with you through SO MANY ADVENTURES. Buy one and forget about other bags for a couple decades.

Simple, minimal, tough, bulletproof, classy as f*ck. What more can I say? I wish there was a better quick access pocket and a little more organization, personally. But this thing is a life-long companion.

It will last you your whole life. If it at all looks interesting to you, sell out to this bag and use it for the next 2 decades. 21L is the only size for daily carry IMO.

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Outdoorsy-Style Daily Carry Bags:

From the vintage alpine look to the modern panel loader, these packs are stylish and functional.

Evergoods Mountain Panel Loader

The Mountain Panel Loader from Evergoods is a well designed, sturdy, nimble and very comfortable companion for the discerning bag user.

  • Definitely a “mountain” or “active” look to it. Minimal branding is a total plus.
  • Made from excellent materials that your fingers will appreciate again and again. 420D high tenacity nylon.
  • Great pockets and organization. External pockets have their own volume, which is so nice.
  • Very comfortable.

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Tom Bihn Guide Pack

The Guide Pack from Tom Bihn is a bag geek’s boner pill. It’s classic design and exceedingly excellent manufacturing make it more like an heirloom than a bag. But this bag also performs great as a travel bag!

Pockets: The top flap has a spacious pocket which I use as a quick access pocket while traveling. Then there’s the accessory side pockets which are removable; I use one for my water bottle and the other for whatever I need it for. Then there’s just the inside of the bag… cavernous. There’s no frills or thrills, but Tom Bihn makes accessories like their laptop cache and freudian slip which can help you organize this inner compartment for your tech goods.

Another big bonus of this bag: it works as a travel bag AND a daily carry bag. It’s hard to find a bag that can work as a daily carry once you get to your destination. This is one of them.

It’s one of my favorite all time bags because it’s simple with a classic look, works well as a travel bag and a daily carry bag, and I know it’s going to last my entire life.

That said, the “no frills and thrills” thing can get a little annoying. That main compartment of the bag has literally nothing; it’s just a sack. And it’s deep and dark in there. So, in use, I tend to prefer a bag that can open much more, laying flat if possible. But, then again, my inner dialogue easily tells me to stop being a little bitch when I complain about shit like that on a bag like this.

However, in my opinion this bag is world class and you don’t get it because it has every pocket or every functionality you want in a bag. You get this bag because you want a bag that will last forever with a classic look that will stay classic forever (or until Elon gets us all to space).

Quality of build, throwback aesthetic, customizability. This is one of those bags that if I had to throw out every bag but one, it just might be this one. It’s spendy, but it’s an heirloom…

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The Best Maximal 1-Bag Travel Bags:

Maximal one bag travel bags can have lots of space to fit things, but can also be heavy, bulky, uncomfortable, and impossible to use as a “daily carry” bag once you get to your destination.


Peak Designs Travel Bag

The Travel Bag from Peak Designs is an extremely well designed, quality bag for modern carry-on adventure and business travel.

  • Extremely well built and thought-through — There are tons of unique features for modern travelers and they’ve all been thought through, designed and executed at a level that means it will work smoother for you most of the time. External lash straps, stowable hip straps, quick access pockets, expansion, contraction to a smaller bag for daily carry, water bottle pockets, etc. And all the basics of the bag (straps, stitching, stress points, comfort) are utterly solid.
  • Massive capacity for carry on travel — they utilize every inch of this bag for cargo and even have an expansion feature to give you an extra 10L. The bag is well padded, however, so it’s a little less capacity than, say, the Heimplanet Monolith 40L or tortuga setout.
  • The accessories are really damn killer — The packing cubes, easily my favorites, the tech pouch, easily favorite, the wash kit, a little less my favorite, but still a favorite. I wish the last two had a more flat dimention to them to be easier to get into any bag, but these things are utterly well designed. And that’s not even to mention the camera cubes they’ve made.
  • The bag is rigid and hefty, but not uncomfortable — the materials are sturdy for protection of your stuff and durability, so this bag comes in heavier than many other bags. The rigidity is not my favorite feel (though it’s better feeling than the nomatic and wandrd travel bags), compared to a more soft bag feel. However, the bag is more comfortable than many other bags because the straps, back padding and stowable hip straps are well executed.

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Heimplanet Monolith Weekender 40L

The Monolith Weekender from Heimplanet is a massive bag for maximal one bag travel. This thing is surprisingly useful.

  • Maximum carry-on size — this sucker is HUGE. Tons of capacity.
  • Built solid — excellent materials, stitching and components.
  • Hip strap accessory — I think this is necessary for a bag of this size. (Though the shoulder straps are dang comfortable.)

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Tortuga Setout Travel Backpackpack

This thing has so much capacity! One of my favorite bags when I know I need to bring a ton of sh*t. There’s a simple tech organizer which is totally satisfactory, and then there’s just a huge space for everything you need.

And it’s got one of the most comfortable shoulder strap setups out there so when you pack it full it won’t break your back.

Ultimately this is a really killer bag for 1-bag travel, and one of my go-to bags when I need to pack a ton of shit.

Pro Tip: this bag is big enough to fit a minimal daily carry bag inside of it. That’s what I do.

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Aer Travel Pack 2.0

A very well designed, stylish travel bag for one-bag travel with enough pockets, organization and access to make travel smooth.

  • Killer size — not too big, not too small. Fits plenty of stuff without being a behemoth to carry or travel with.
  • Lots of external pockets and internal organization — lots of places to stash and access things while you travel, lots of organization for your tech items.
  • Low key, minimal yet stylish look — black on black, technical, doesn’t say too much.
  • Built solid — 1680D Cordura ballistic nylon, YKK zips.

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GoRuck GR2 Backpack

This bag is built like a tank and I think it’s one of the best looking bags out there. Simple, minimal, bulletproof aesthetic, excellent materials and build quality, and enough space to carry your sh*t!

It needs to be said again: this is the kind of bag that will last you your entire life… your kids will fight over it when you die.

And it needs to be said again: I love the look of this bag! I don’t know what it is… do I feel like I’m not masculine enough? Do I need a heavy duty military looking bag to make me feel better about myself? Is this the modern day equivalent of a little red sports car? I like to think that it’s the minimalistic, no bullshit, completely focused aesthetic of this bag that I like so much. But that may just be some weak justification. I don’t care. I love it anyways.

It comes in 2 sizes: the 34L and the 40L. The 40L is massive. So, unless you’re really big-framed or really need to fit a crap-ton of stuff, I recommend going with the 34L.

There is one drawback for me on this bag: the quick access pocket in the front of the bag could be a little easier to get in and out of. I talk about that in the video. This, to me, really sucks. I personally wish there were a couple smaller pouches on the front of the bag, easier to get it into stuff. But it’s also just a part of the simple, clear, streamline aesthetic.

The bag will last you forever, the look is classic, the warranty is killer… you throw it on and you’re ready to go.

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Nomatic Travel Bag

The Travel Bag from Nomatic is a solid offering in one bag travel.

First of all, it’s got tons of organization. That’s one of the things you gotta be into when you purchase this bag. It’s got a lot of little bells and whistles for organizing your things into their own nooks and crannies. Shoe pocket, water bottle pocket, full featured tech pocket with an RFID area… all that and enough capacity to travel for weeks.

Second of all, it’s damn comfortable when you use the hip straps. I was really surprised by this. Because the bag is so rigid, it settles the weight easily on your hips. Honestly, high marks for how comfortable it is to carry this bag.

One caveat on the comfort: the part of the bag that goes up against your back is totally flat tarpaulin (a rubber-like material), which makes for your back getting sweaty. Not the best look. However, it’s a small price to pay for the other comfort and capacity and organization capabilities of this bag.

There’s a good deal of capacity in this bag as well. I’d say maybe not as much as the Tortuga Setout, but damn near close the largest capacity you can get in a carry on bag.

Tons of organization, comfort, capacity… this thing’s stacked!

My Personal Take: I don’t love the Nomatic logos so big across the bag, but it’s one of the most organization-rich options for large one bag travel. My wife loves this bag cuz she’s a total pocket whore. I’m not personally attracted to all the organization that much — as long as I have a place for my laptop and some quick access then I’m good to go. BUT, I do love how it feels to be in transit with this bag on my back. I tend to go more minimal with my bag choice, however.

 

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Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack

The Outbreaker backpack from Tortuga is a solid 1-bag travel pick. I personally prefer the less bulky (and more spacious) experience of traveling with the Tortuga Setout, so be sure to check out that bag too. This Outbreaker, however, has quite a bit more padding and protection around the entire bag, so if you know you’ll have delicate stuff inside you may prefer this one.

This bag also boasts excellent padding and comfort. The straps, lumbar support and hip straps on this bag are killer. They do, however, contribute to the bulk of the bag.

This bag also has a ton of pockets and organization throughout. Tortuga do a good job of creating a single pocket for your tech stuff.

And finally, it’s really well built. The water resistant fabric, the zippers, the stitching and shoulder harness, all of it is built strong.

If you need a massive bag with good protection for your belongings, then this is a solid option because it’s got the comfortable straps and plenty of pockets.

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Tom Bihn Aeronaut 30 + 45

Tom Bihn makes two Aeronaut bags — the 30L and the 45L. These bags are excellent for any traveller who a). wants a bag that’s going to last forever, b). doesn’t need a laptop or tech organizer built into their bag, and c). wants to fit so much stuff in a bag!

These bags have an innovative way of segmenting the main compartment into multiple sections. A nice way to organize your stuff. It’s completely customizable, so you can break down the segments if you want.

Basically, think of these guys as duffel bags with backpack straps. Duffels are great because you simply have a large space to fill up with clothes But the difference is 1. they have a good deal of customizable internal segmenting for organization (a major improvement over basic duffel bags), and 2. you can carry them on your back!

There is, however, no tech organization. You can put your laptop in with your clothing, and you can use some accessories and packing cubes to organize some tech stuff, but there’s nothing built into the bag, per se.

And it needs to be said: these suckers are built to last. The fabric is intense, the YKK zippers are burly and sealed for water resistance. You will likely own this bag for your entire life without it breaking down.

The 45L is massive. My wife often travels with it because it’s large enough to fit her own clothes and our 1 year old baby’s clothes as well. So, if you need TONS of capacity, go for the 45L, otherwise I recommend the 30L because it’s plenty roomy for myself.

My personal take: If you don’t need tech stuff while you travel, this is one of the best options out there. Massive capacity, excellent build quality, easier to travel with than a roller bag.

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Wandrd Hexad Access Duffel

Wandrd makes 2 duffel bags — the Hexad Access (this bag) and the Hexad Carryall. This is the one you want to be looking at for carry on travel.

  • Solid look — my wife says it’s too “bro/military” feeling, but lots of us like that look.
  • Large capacity — excellent for one bag travel.
  • Nice clothing/gear organization — you may really like the organization of the main compartment into 3 different “cubes”. I certainly do.
  • Can be used with a camera cube — they make a camera cube that you can use in one of the main compartments… features access to the camera cube from the outside of the bag!
  • Material is rigid and zippers are a little stiff —  this is one of the bummers on this bag. But it’s only about a 20% bummer… not a full bummer.
  • Not quite enough organization for all my daily carry needs — Tortuga’s Setout Travel Backpack, for example, has a lot more first-order access to tech organization.

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The Best Medium Sized Travel Bags:

Medium sized one bag travel bags are smaller than the big ones, but not quite small enough to be carried as DAILY CARRY bags once you get to your destination. (For bags that do both, see the “Minimal 1-bag Travel” section below).


Minaal Carry On Backpack

This is the bag that started it all for me. The Carry On backpack from Minaal is one of the professional traveler’s best friends with its sleek design, killer materials and medium sized capacity for minimal travel.

  • A very good looking and well built bag. This thing is sleek in both aesthetics AND in what it’s like to travel with.
  • It won’t break down on you anytime soon because it’s made from excellent materials and built well.
  • The capacity is medium sized to me. Other carry on bags can easily fit more stuff. But that’s intentional on this bag — the designers wanted a bag this size so they travel only with what matters… because when you travel lighter, you’ve got more freedom to explore.
  • Decent organization. Two external pockets on the top of the bag and a laptop and document compartment on the back of the bag. When the bag is totally packed out it makes getting into these pockets a drag. As with all travel bags, don’t overpack!
  • Does not work as a daily carry bag when you get to your destination. It’s floppy and much bigger than you’d like it to be. This is ultimately why I started looking for other bags.

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Trakke Storr Travel Backpack

The Stor backpack from Trakke is a lovely 30L pack for travel and gear moving.

  • 30L capacity — perfect carry on size, easily enough space for a long weekend (or for forever, if you can pack minimally!).
  • Killer waxed canvas material — British made, feels so dense and nice to the touch, will last for a long time.
  • Water resistant — all zips and materials are reinforced against water.
  • Simple and honest — it’s ultimately a very simple, honest bag that’s useful for travel, gear carry, and loads of other applications.

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The Best Minimal 1-Bag Travel Bags:

Minimal one bag travel bags are smaller, lighter and easy to travel with, fits under seat in front on the airplane (no jocking for overhead cabinet space!), works as a daily carry once you get to your destination! But you have to pack light!


Boundary Supply Prima System Backpack

The Prima System from Boundary Supply is, to me, the best in this category of kickstarter-y tech/camera/daily-carry because of the material feel and functionality in use.

  • Materials are dense and enjoyable to use. Instead of being some hard, thick, unwieldy stuff, this 500D DWR Kodra has a nice amount of both sturdiness and give.
  • The back panel and straps are the most comfortable in this class. EVA foam with lots of ventilation and vertical weight distribution from the top of the bag to the center of gravity in the hips.
  • Lots of nice pockets in varying sizes both inside and outside of the bag (for first-order access).
  • VERY LOVELY MATERIALS and details throughout the bag, from the fidlock magnetic clips to the Nywool and magnetic closure in the quick access pockets.
  • They integrate the camera cube excellently. Besides the Peak designs (which basically IS a camera cube), this is the best I’ve seen in a functional daily backpack.
  • Overkill?

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Wandrd Prvke Rolltop Backpack

The Wandrd Prvke (pronounced “provoke” or “perrrrvrkeeee”) is a great bag for technical daily carry and minimal travel. Built rugged, good looking, water resistant with tons of pockets. It comes in 2 sizes — we like the 20L for daily carry and minimal travel and the 30L for bigger bodies and longer trips.

The rolltop expands to fit so much stuff! This is one of my favorite features of this bag. You can expand it to fit a literal ton of shit, and then, pull the shit out and roll it up so it looks like a regular bag again.

I also love the organization and accessibility of this bag. It has tons of little pockets hidden throughout, as well as zippered access to larger internal pockets. That Zippered access is a must for me on a rolltop because I find it annoying to roll and unroll the bag every time I need to get into it.

This bag does a great job of tech organization too. The laptop compartment, the optional camera insert, and the pockets throughout make it a seriously functional companion to the digital nomad.

And I have to say how rare it is to find a bag that you can both travel with AND use as a daily carry. It’s similar to the Synapse 25 that way. And that’s why these two are a couple of my favorite bags currently.

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Hideout Pack from Everyman

The Hideout Pack from Everyman is a solid take on a street/urban/heritage bag with lots of organization at an affordable-ish price point.

  • When it’s packed full or just carrying a few things, it has a good look. Aesthetic is, as the kids say, kinda dope.
  • Materials are solid, but I will say there are a few places that feel a little unconsidered. (Namely, handles and straps.)
  • Lots of pockets and organization. First-order access is excellent as well as some solid internal organization.
  • And I have to say this is a total contender for a minimal travel + daily backpack! Works great as daily carry AND as a minimal travel bag.
  • It’s affordable for this kind of materials and organization.

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Heimplanet Monolith Daypack 22L

The Monolith Daypack from Heimplanet is a 22L carry-all daypack made from great materials with a solid aesthetic and plenty of attachments for accessories.

  • Killer simple aesthetic. The meta look of the bag as well as the details on the clips all please.
  • Made really well. 1680D ballistic nylon. Custom hardware.
  • Plenty of room for all your daily stuff. In fact, maybe a little too much room for some.
  • Very comfortable carry as both a backpack + messenger bag.
  • Tons of carry options with molle attachments inside and outside the bag as well as external straps

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Nomatic Travel Pack & Backpack

Ok, these bags from Nomatic are chock full of pockets. There are 2 different bags: the Travel Pack expands up to about 30L, perfect for short trips and minimal travel. The Backpack is 20-24L daily carry. Both are very sleek and, like I said, so many pocketzzz!

I mean, these things are a pocket lover’s wet dream. There are so many nooks and crannies and pouches and zippers on this sucker it’s like a BDSM outfit.

They’re both plenty comfortable as far as bags go. The straps are soft and padded, and the bag is rigid, so it feels solid and in place on your back.

The zippers leave me a little worried, to be honest. There’s nothing ostensibly wrong with them, I just don’t love the way they feel. They get a little stuck-up sometimes, and they feel kinda thin.

I’m also not personally crazy about the look of these bags. They seem a little too jet-pack-y for my personal taste.

Ultimately, tho, these bags are excellent for the organization-minded person. So, if you like the way it seems in the video, you’ll know it!

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Tom Bihn Synapse 25

One of my all time favorite bags for it’s utterly functional design and rock solid manufacturing (made in the USA). To me it may not be the best looking bag on the street, but its accessibility, organization, comfort and capacity make it a LEGENDARY BAG. Seriously.

More often than I care to admit I simply grab this bag because I KNOW it won’t let me down. That’s how I feel about this bag.

All the organization is on the outside of the bag, which makes it insanely easy to access everything you need.

Then the capacity inside the main compartment is surprisingly roomy. I’m amazed that I can travel with this bag for 3 weeks and beyond (as long as I’ve got access to some laundry :).

Also, it’s very comfortable to travel with, even when it’s completely loaded to the brim. When you pack it for minimal travel all the clothes rest up against your back, so it’s soft and comfortable (compared to most bags which place the laptop against the back). I was surprised to see how much I noticed the comfort of this setup.

Tom Bihn also sells loads of accessories you can use with this bag. I use the laptop cache and a few of their pouches that connect to “O” rings inside the bag.

And it needs to be said how much I love the fact that I can use this bag as both a travel bag AND a daily carry bag. Similar to the Wandrd Prvke in that regard, and a feature I find myself really hungry for these days.

If I could combine the functionality of this bag with the look of a GoRuck bag I’d be in heaven. That being said, I reach for this much more often than I reach for the GoRuck. Love this bag!

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YNOT Magnetica Rolltop Backpack

I love how functional a solid rolltop bag can be, and this is one of my favorite rolltop bags.

YNOT is a small company in Canada making killer bags by hand, giving them the capabilities of completely customizing a bag to your specification. If that sounds good to you, check into this co.

This Magnetica bag is one of my favorites from them. It’s utterly functional and has some surprisingly useful features (the water resistant liner as separator!?).

A bag like this works excellent for daily carry or for minimal travel… making it one of my favorite kinds of bags to use as my minimal travel bag.

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Greenroom136 Rainmaker Backpack

The Rainmaker backpack from Greenroom136 is an extremely solid everyday backpack suited for carrying lots of gear or compressing down to a minimal daily carry haul.

  • Nice feeling materials — the bag feels great in your hands/on your back without needing to be fancy.
  • Lots of organization — 3 separate compartments, each with distinct organization inside.
  • Expandability — the bag is a great size for daily carry, is compressible when you don’t have to carry much, but it’s quite roomy when you need it to be! (Bag comes in 2 sizes, I believe I’m using the Large size in this video.)
  • Very comfortable — I was surprised by how nice these straps feel on your shoulders.

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Packable Daypacks:

Sometimes when I’m going “maximal” with my main travel bag, I need to pack a daily carry bag inside. I need this bag to be as thin and packable as possible, but it also needs to work as a daily carry bag when I get to where I’m going (which often involves laptop carrying).

YNOT Deploy Packable Backpack

YNOT Deploy Packable Backpack
Brand: YNOT
Bag Uses: Daily Carry
Features:    Looks Good   Packable
Bag Style:   

This very packable bag from YNOT is SUPER minimal, very simple, and a favorite choice of mine for packing away into a larger travel bag for daily use.

I get into this bag at 1:30 in this video: 

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Tom Bihn Daylight Backpack

Tom Bihn Daylight Backpack

This is a dope little bag you can pack away inside your larger travel bag.

It’s got a couple simple pockets/pouches. If your laptop has a case of some kind you’ll be relatively satisfied with carrying it in this (tho, of course, the more protective the case the better 🙂

Not much to say about this. It’s the best I’ve seen so far at the quick, packable daily carry you can literally crumple straight into your larger travel bag.

This one’s my favorite right now. It’s very thin and minimal, but if I bring a laptop “cache” from Tom Bihn or a sleeve of some kind, I feel OK bringing my computer around. It’s comfortable and simple… and most importantly it takes up almost NO space when you pack it away.

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Qwstion Simple Daily Carry Bags

Brand: Qwstion
Bag Uses: Daily Carry
Features:    Affordable   Looks Good   Packable

Qwstion is a product design studio in Zurich Switzerland who makes very stylish bags for the “hipper” areas of town without sacrificing functionality.

There’s three daily carry bags I focus on in the video, all of which I really like as daily carry bags because they have enough pockets for my dongles AND they look dope.

In the video I showcase three bags:

  • The Simple Pack — go with this one if you want something really minimal and understated.
  • The Simple Office — excellent for both backpack and briefcase look, and one of my favorite pocket configurations.
  • And the Day Tote — a little more roomy with an innovative handle/strap feature.

I haven’t found anything better for a minimal, understated but still stylish daily carry.

I like the look and feel of this simple pack. It’s got more protection than the Daylite backpack, and has a better style too. If I’m living somewhere urban for a few months, this is what I’d bring.

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Minaal Daily Backpack

If I wanted a more understated tech look for my daily carry, this is where I’d go.

It’s a delight to use this bag. Sits small and comfortably on the back, lots of tech organization, great feeling materials, and some space to fit your lunch, a sweater, and a book.

Besides that, the materials they use just feel really good. If you like the look and functionality on this bag, it can last you a loooong time.

If I have enough room and I really want to get fancy with my daily carry, I’ll bring this. There’s a little more bulk than the other two bags, but you’d be surprised how well this fits on top of your crap in a bigger bag. Not my favorite look, but also not my least favorite… and it has a good deal of features and protection.

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Baron Fig Backpack

Brand: Baron Fig
Bag Uses: Daily Carry
Features:    Packable   Slim Profile
Bag Style:   

This backpack from Baron Fig is really thoughtful, minimal and useful. Lovely daily carry bag.

  • Organization — lots of it. Tastefully and minimally implemented as well.
  • Nice Look — looks really unassuming and mellow. I like the style of this bag.
  • Well Built & Comfortable — the material is soft and dense, the zippers feel nice, the straps feel great, and it will last you a long time.

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More Bags:

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Ok, hopefully these recc’s are helpful for you. Make sure you check out the other pages on this site for more bag ideas. Remember, those above are just my personal recommendations.

Cheers, y’all! If this was helpful, say what’s up on twitter or insta or something.

 

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Created by Chase Reeves