After looking at hundreds of bags, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite daily carry bags for modern professionals, creatives and freelancers.
They are organized below by size of the bags, because some of us want slimline bags and others of us need to carry quite a bit.
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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.
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.
The Classic Backpack Plus from Bellroy has a clean aesthetic, lots of organization and some excellent build and materials… well suited to be your everyday carry for work.
- Very sturdy materials — you’ll notice as soon as you touch the fabric that it’s got a rugged durable feeling… even though it looks refined and classy.
- Classic and clean look — solid.
- Lots of organization — quick access, laptop pocket with internal pocket, main compartment with internal pocket and water bottle pocket.
- On the sturdy side of comfortable — the materials of the shoulder straps are sturdy and feel well made. They aren’t mushy or overly soft. I, personally, like that, you may not.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Small Daily Carry
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.
The Duotote from Bellroy is a killer daily carry bag for those of us who value style and organization in a tight, sleek package.
- Enough room for the essentials… but beware, if you want to fit a lot of stuff, this probably aint your bag.
- Very sturdy construction… excellent materials. Bellroy does a great job with this.
- Tons of organization… and the way things are organized, the materials of the mesh and zippers, all feel so quality to use.
- Very metro/urban stylish… fits in on the subway, in the board room (or bored room), at the cafe, the museum, the office, etc.
- I mean, it’s expensive for many of us, sure… but to me it’s bags like this that are worth the money because they get me SO MUCH in value (organization, style, great to use, comfortable, looks good, etc.) and it’s built to last.
View my review of the duotote:
The Duotote section gets started about 4:40s into the video.
The 24 Hour Tin Briefcase from Filson is easily my favorite briefcase-type bag I’ve ever used due to it’s excellent materials, organization, 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.
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.
The Daypack from Qwstion is a wonderfully simple, sustainable backpack for daily carry that stylistically fits just about any setting.
- It’s design is so simple you almost can’t believe how lovely it’s organization features are… truly a marvel of that old saying: “simple is more difficult.”
- The aesthetics — style — of this bag are second to none. Again, the simplicity here lends itself to lots of different outfits and settings… so you’ll look good in the office, at the park, in the cafe, at the beach, etc.
- Organic fabrics and sustainable values are at the heart of this company. Great design without sacrificing sustainability and thoughtfulness about resources.
- It’s not the cheapest bag, but this price is one I’m constantly encouraging men and women (and everything in between) to go for because, due to the design, sustainability, and all around stylishness of this bag, people are often times STOKED to be using the bag even years after purchasing.
Watch my video on this bag:
I show a larger version of the Daypack (they call it the Backpack) at 12:30 in this video… I prefer the Dayback to the Backpack for daily carry, personally, because the Backpack can feel a bit large and the Daypack is just right for me.
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.
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.
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.
Med-Lrg Daily Carry
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. EVEN THOUGH they won’t setup an affiliate program for me 🙁
A very modern, hip and elegant take on the classic, expandable roll-top bag. This is like a boojee Chrome bag or an extremely functional Louis Vuitton bag.
- An elegant, hip standard bag, or maybe it’s a “fancy basic bag”. Even though it has this basic kind of rolltop look, the feel, the details, the upgrades, the components, everything feels very elegant. You notice this in the padded straps, the leather details on the handle, the innovative latch, the feel of the main fabric.
- Well suited for diverse uses. The large capacity and expandable latch have made this excellent for random trips where I need to stuff a bunch of crap in. And when it’s just a basic daily carry day it still looks great.
- I could do with a little updates to the organization on this bag. The outer quick-access pocket I wish was a little larger, possibly with it’s own dimensions built in, but that’s not as important as a little more space. And the inner compartment has I think a bit too basic organization; the tablet sleeve could be a mesh pocket to accomodate more stuff, there could be multiple medium sized pockets to switch out the small internal zipper pocket.
- It is utterly comfortable and nice to use. Padded straps, slight lumbar support. You notice it!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Smith the Roll Pack from Millican is a perfect eco-friendly rambler for daily adventures that’s built excellently, has plenty of room for your stuff, but still looks good when it’s not totally full.
- Lovely look — vintage, honest aesthetic, but with the very modern fabric it makes it feel a little more stylish. Very conscientious materials — Bionic® Canvas Outer Fabric: 38% cotton, 57% recycled polyester, 5% high-tenacity polyester, 100% paraffin wax impregnated. Lining Fabric: 100% recycled polyester.
- Lots of pockets — easy access on the outside and the inside of the bag to lots of organization.
- Roomy, but looks good minimal — tons of room in here to make this sucker carry all your stuff, but it also looks carries great with just a few items in it. Best of both worlds.
- Very comfortable — the shoulder straps and back panel have very comfortable padding and it’s set up so your back can breathe.
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…
The Pro Executive Backpack from Waterfield Designs is an exceedingly great bag for any of you business-y type people out there. Whoooo doggie.
- Very executive look and feel. This thing is business class and it means it. Looks great on a suit or t-shirt and jeans.
- Feels great to use. The leather, the lining, the zippers, the straps, every interaction has a “better-than-normal” nice-ness to it
- Excellent organization for everyday use. Multiple internal compartments, several external access pockets, comfortable places for laptops, tablets and pouches.
- You get what you pay for with this thing… it’s solid, it’s executive, it’s professional, it’s well organized, and it’s gonna last a long time.
- Note: Waterfield does not compensate influencers with affiliate commissions at this time… and I implore you not to let that dissuade you from purchasing this bag.
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:
More Daily Carry Bags:
I sincerely hope you find the daily carry bag you LOVE to use. It’s such a nice upgrade to everyday life.
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Created by Chase Reeves