10 best men's backpacks

Bring together style and practicality with a hands-free accessory

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The Independent Online

Few bags offer men a stylish way to transport their essentials but for the modern guy, backpacks are the new favourite hands-free accessory. Whether you’re commuting or socialising, the backpack remains a firm favourite both practically speaking and when it comes to the fashion stakes. Numerous designers offer a grown-up, updated take on the classic style, so whether you’re after a casual sportswear design or luxe leather detailing, check out our top ten backpack picks for this season. 

1. Carhartt Watch Backpack: £45, Carhartt WIP


A brand synonymous with work wear, Carhartt creates quality, durable items and this backpack is no exception. Constructed from heavy-duty cordura fabric, it features one large main pocket and two smaller pockets on the inside and the front. It’s a good all-rounder and available in a range of colourways – our favourite is Hamilton Brown.

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2. New Balance Mellow Backpack: £19.99, Office


This classic grey backpack with a textured outer strikes the perfect balance between form and function. There’s a zip round opening and a handy grab handle. New Balance’s signature logo detail gives an air of athleticism while the internal laptop pocket ensures that it’s office friendly.

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3. Eastpak Pak’R Tatenda Backpack: £58.52, Farfetch


Combining bold graphic style with reliable design, this backpack is robust and ideal for those with a penchant for pattern. It comes with a padded back and ergonomic shoulder straps, so it’s spot on for everyday use no matter how much you plan on stashing inside.

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4. Herschel Supply co. Reid Green and Ecru Backpack: £55, Urban Outfitters


Thoughtfully designed with the everyday traveller in mind, this bag is a timeless addition to your collection. Its classic silhouette, spacious interior and drawstring fastening offer modern functionality while the clean, contemporary design gives it a stylish edge.   

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5. Barbour International Rubberised Backpack: £100, House of Fraser


Quintessentially British brand Barbour is well known for its iconic wax jackets but for us, it’s all about the backpacks. This one has a rubberised roll top and is crafted from 100 per cent PVC to give it a super durable finish, skilfully straddling the perimeters of safety and style.

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6. Next Grey Rucksack: £25, Next


This vintage-inspired satchel style is great if you’re constantly on the go but equally, wouldn’t look out of place in the office. Its black straps contrast well against the textured grey fabric which updates an otherwise traditional take on the backpack. 

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7. Zara Leather Backpack with Flap: £99.99, Zara


The soft structure of this backpack gives it a more laid-back feel while the rich brown, textured leather reminds us that the wearer means business. With silver hardware and fold-over detailing, this is one of the more refined backpacks out there.

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8. River Island Buckle Backpack: £35, River Island


If your backpack budget doesn’t quite stretch to real leather then this one is for you. River Island has designed this super soft, leather-look version with silver buckle fastenings which ticks all the backpack boxes: classic, edgy and affordable.

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9. Fjällräven Kånken Backpack: £67, Selfridges


Originally designed to prevent back problems in Swedish children, this bag has since taken the backpack world by storm. It comes in a range of 29 colours but this burnt orange one is our favourite. And what’s more, it’s showerproof, making it a stylish essential for any weather weary Brit.

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10. Kenzo Seasonal String Bag: £150, Selfridges


For the more fashion forward among you, this drawstring backpack is a guaranteed winner. While fairly costly, any steadfast Kenzo fan will appreciate the impeccable quality and robustness of this functional yet stylish bag. Its all-over print and front logo patches are iconic and the perfect way to add a little punch to your get-up. 

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Our pick of the lot is Carhartt’s Watch Backpack. Its uncomplicated flair and hardwearing durability will see you through the daily grind as well as any weekend escapades. And what’s more, it comes in a variety of colour choices to suit your style. Affordable, versatile and high quality, this backpack is guaranteed to make the grade.

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