Rucksack Brands and Reviews

Top 10 Rucksack Brands of the Year

Selecting the perfect rucksack can be as crucial to your journey as the adventure itself. From urban explorers to outdoor enthusiasts, finding a backpack that meets all your needs is no easy feat—until now.

With a robust history in evaluating travel gear and a keen eye for quality craftsmanship, I bring you an insider’s perspective on the most commendable rucksack brands available today.

The year has seen remarkable innovations in backpack design, addressing everything from ergonomic load distribution to environmentally-conscious materials. Herschel stands out as 2023’s top choice for travelers, combining style with practicality.

Read on and discover which brand aligns with your lifestyle—your ultimate pack awaits just ahead. Explore further; the best fit might surprise you!

Key Takeaways

  • Herschel is the top pick for stylish and affordable backpacks, popular with students and travelers.
  • Patagonia packs are tough, great for outdoors, and good for the planet because they’re made sustainably.
  • The Hyperlite brand is known for super-light but strong bags that work well for different sports.

How We Chose the Top 10 Rucksack Brands

In determining the top 10 rucksack brands, our meticulous testing process scrutinized each brand across multiple criteria – prioritizing durability, comfort, and versatility while also considering style elements that cater to modern aesthetics.

Our testing process

We take each rucksack through tough challenges to see how they handle stress. We load them with heavy books, laptops, water bottles, and travel gear like sleeping pads and tents. Experts wear the backpacks on long walks to check for comfort.

They tug at the zippers and straps to test strength. Our team also looks for features that make life easier such as laptop sleeves, water bottle pockets, and compression straps.

Each backpack is tested outside too. We want to know if they keep things dry in rain or if ripstop nylon can survive a hike through rough bushes. Heavy-duty bags get extra attention; we focus on their durability and warranties.

Next up is checking style and versatility – do they fit your laptop snugly? Can you take them from city streets to mountain trails? After all this testing, we find out which brands really stand up to adventure! Now let’s look at who made it into our top 10 list of rucksack brands this year.

Factors considered (durability, comfort, versatility, style, etc.)

Our testing process was thorough and helped us find the best rucksack brands. Now let’s look at what we took into account.

Top 10 Rucksack Brands of the Year

Delving into the Top 10 Rucksack Brands of the Year, adventurers and daily commuters alike will discover a lineup that merges durability and style; Patagonia leads with its commitment to environmental stewardship, while Everlane shines with minimalist design paired with practicality.

Herschel remains a go-to for students seeking a classic book bag look, as Tropicfeel offers versatile travel gear for globetrotters. GORUCK impresses with military-grade toughness, Rains brings Scandinavian chic to water-resistant carriers, and Terra Thread celebrates ethical production using recycled materials.

For polished professionalism, Troubadour stands out; Hyperlite caters to ultra-lightweight backpacking enthusiasts, and Lowepro provides specialized protection for photographers on the move.

Each brand exemplifies excellence in their unique blend of form and function for modern-day pack bearers.


Patagonia stands out with its rugged, high-quality outdoor backpacks. Since 1973, they’ve shown a strong commitment to social responsibility in making their gear. They make bags that last for travels near or far and have won people’s trust for being tough and reliable.

With packs like the black hole backpack, Patagonia shows they know how to blend quality and durability effortlessly.

They also care deeply about the planet. Patagonia works hard to create products that are good for the earth. Their mission is all about durable and sustainable outdoor gear, standing up as a leader in environmental responsibility.

Choose one of their backs, knowing you’re picking something built to last that also helps protect nature.


Moving from the outdoor-focused Patagonia, Everlane stands out for its balance of style and function in an urban setting. Known for sleek designs that fit right into a daily commute or as a personal item on your next flight, the brand has made waves with its modern essentials.

They create high-quality products designed to last but without hefty price tags.

Everlane’s commitment to ethical production is not just talk; they walk the walk by partnering with ethical factories and using materials like recycled polyester. This approach adds value to their rucksacks beyond just carrying your notebook or laptop compartment needs—it supports sustainability efforts too.

Take their ReNew Transit Backpack, which has impressed reviewers at The New York Times thanks to its smart design and comfort.

For travelers who need something reliable yet fashionable, Everlane delivers packs that protect your belongings while looking good doing it. Their products don’t just look great—they’re also built strong enough to handle the rough-and-tumble of travel + leisure without sacrificing water-resistance or versatility.

Whether you’re bikepacking across cities or sprinting through rain-soaked streets, an Everlane backpack fits seamlessly into an environmentally-conscious lifestyle while keeping up with the demands of modern life.


Herschel Supply Co. stands out for its cool designs and good prices. Many people know Herschel for the Little America backpack which many travelers love. Not just for travel, but also school bags like the Pop Quiz are really popular too.

They have lots of different styles to choose from.

They aim to be a fashion brand that everyone likes, not just young adults. Their backpacks look good and come in handy whether you’re going on an adventure or just heading to class.

Plus, Herschel sometimes has sales, so keep an eye out! You might find a great deal on a new bag.

Next up is Tropicfeel, another excellent choice among top rucksack brands this year.


Moving from the classic styles of Herschel, Tropicfeel brings something fresh to the backpack scene. They began by making shoes for adventure but now also make cool travel bags. Their Shell Backpack matches other top brands with its style and function.

It’s even a hit for business trips because it’s so smart-looking and practical.

Tropicfeel is big on adventure too. Their backpacks are perfect for people who work while they travel, like digital nomads. You can easily expand these packs when you need more space, whether you’re in the city or out hiking trails.

These bags are all about being ready for anything, no matter where you go.


Jumping from the travel-friendly Tropicfeel, we land squarely on the robust offerings of GORUCK. This brand shoots to the top with gear that withstands serious challenges. From ruckpacks designed for intense training events to daypacks ready for an urban commute, GORUCK brings a military-grade toughness to everyday carry.

The highlight is their GR1 backpack, acclaimed as “the toughest ruck ever built”. Users rave about its ability to take a beating while keeping belongings safe and secure. The Rucker 3.0 also shines among enthusiasts who demand durability and efficiency in one package, perfectly blending function with rugged style.

Crafted with special attention to comfort over long distances, these backpacks not only endure but also support GORUCK Clubs worldwide where members push limits together. With founder Jason McCarthy’s dedication to quality, it’s clear why adventure-seekers and mountaineers trust GORUCK when they step out into the wild or navigate city streets.


Rains steps up the game for stylish and practical backpacks that are perfect for work or play. Their bags come with a sweet 2-year warranty and they’ll ship to you for free if you spend over $50.

The Rains Trail Rucksack in Black, at $170, boasts a sporty look with its clean shapes and cool webbing straps.

These waterproof backpacks have two main spaces to keep things organized whether you’re heading outdoors or commuting to the office. Rains offers a range of sleek rucksacks and daypacks, all designed to handle some splashes and keep your gear dry.

Men and women can find something just right, with designs that easily fit a 15″ laptop.

Durability meets sleek design with Rains’s collection. They’ve got water-resistant wonders built for action-packed adventures or everyday treks across town. Plus, their focus on durability means these robust bags are ready to go whenever you are, rain or shine.

Terra Thread

Moving from the sleek design of Rains backpacks, let’s focus on Terra Thread. This brand stands out with its commitment to the planet and people. Terra Thread backpacks are made for those who care about the Earth.

They use only organic cotton and make their bags in factories that are certified fair trade. This means they treat workers well and pay them fairly.

Each bag you buy from Terra Thread helps a community in need. Their backpacks are perfect for students or anyone who needs a bag for everyday things. With every purchase you make, you’re doing something good for others too.

Terra Thread offers strong and comfortable backpacks. Plus, they promise to fix or replace your bag if it breaks within 10 years of buying it! These bags are great because they don’t hurt the environment and last a long time, which is rare these days.


Shifting focus to luxury and modern design, Troubadour stands out with bags that blend comfort with a sleek look. They make backpacks, totes, briefcases, and duffles. The Apex Backpack from Troubadour is a top pick for those who want one bag for workdays and weekends alike.

It’s great for office commutes, gym visits or just day trips around town.

Troubadour also puts big value on being kind to the planet. Their bags are known for eco-friendly practices without giving up style or function. The Ember Backpack shows off this balance well—it’s light but tough because it uses water-resistant materials all over.

People love the Apex 3.0 Backpack too—it looks sharp and keeps laptops safe inside its sturdy structure. Whether you’re heading to an important meeting or hopping onto a plane, these backpacks have got your back in both comfort and class.


Hyperlite Mountain Gear stands out for making tough, multi-sport backpacks. Their secret is Dyneema Composite Fabrics, a material that’s super light and very strong. For those who love to hike or go on big adventures, Hyperlite offers the 3400 Southwest.

It holds 55L and only weighs 2 lbs! This makes it easy to carry all you need without extra weight.

They also have the Unbound 40/55, which people say is the best pack if you want something ultra-lightweight for long trips in the wild. And if you’re a serious hiker hitting trails for days, check out their 2400 Southwest Pack – it’s built tough for the long haul.

Just like ULA, Zpacks, and Osprey, Hyperlite is known as a top brand when you want an ultralight pack that can handle anything.

Moving on from rugged outdoor gear to versatile urban designs..


Lowepro stands out for making some of the best camera backpacks and messenger bags. Photographers on the go love their gear because it keeps cameras safe. The LowePro Trekker Lite BP 250 AW is perfect for those who want a backpack that adapts to their needs.

This cool pack has a spot you can take out when you don’t need to carry your camera.

With Lowepro, hikers get backpacks built just for them, like the Tahoe BP 150. It’s well-loved by people who hike and travel because it’s tough and comfy. When adventure calls, Lowepro answers with reliable options that meet all your photography needs, whether in the city or up a mountain.

Their packs protect your gear from bumps and bad weather—real lifesavers for outdoor photographers!

Best Rucksacks /Backpacks for Different Purposes

Discover the ideal pack that aligns perfectly with your lifestyle, whether you’re scaling mountain trails, navigating city commutes or organizing campus life – delve deeper for a backpack that caters to your unique adventures.


Hiking is an adventure that calls for a good pack. You want one that’s strong enough to handle rough trails but won’t weigh you down. The Osprey Airscape is known as a top hiking pack because it mixes comfort and function so well.

It’s important for your backpack to fit right and feel good, especially when you’re walking for hours.

Look for packs like the Granite Gear Blaze 60 or the Gregory Paragon 58 with their adjustable suspension systems and easy access points. These are perfect for long walks in nature.

When choosing a pack, think about where you’ll go hiking, how long you’ll be out there, and what gear you need to bring along. If climbing mountains is your thing, make sure it has places to put ice axes and other tools too.

Always pick something durable that keeps your stuff dry when rain starts pouring down on the trail.

Business travel

Business travel often means moving fast and staying organized. A good backpack can make all the difference. It fits neatly in overhead bins or under plane seats, keeping your hands free and your essentials close.

Look for ones that are sleek yet roomy enough to store all work gadgets safely. The best business travel backpacks blend style with function, making sure you look professional while having quick access to laptops, documents, and other tools.

Many top rucksack brands design backpacks with the business traveler in mind. They offer water-resistant materials to protect against spills and padded compartments for laptops. Some brands even boast features like fair trade certified production or climate-neutral efforts, showing a commitment to both quality and sustainability.

Next up is “Student use,” where choosing a reliable bag plays a big role in daily campus life.

Student use

Students carry a lot in their backpacks every day, from textbooks to laptops and sports gear. The best backpacks for college and high school students need to hold all these items without breaking.

Brands like Herschel have created the Classic Backpack XL which is big enough for everything a student needs. It’s tough, looks good, and has pockets to help keep things organized.

Comfort matters too because no one wants a sore back after carrying books all day. Backpacks that get approval from the American Chiropractic Association are top choices. They make sure the bags won’t hurt your back when you wear them right.

Look for packs with padded straps, like JanSport Big Student or High Sierra Loop, so shoulders stay comfy even with heavy loads.

Next up are tips on how to pick just the right bag for you!


After picking the perfect backpack for school, it’s time to switch gears and think about traveling. A great travel backpack can make a trip much easier. You want a bag that fits in car trunks or overhead bins but still holds everything you need.

Look for travel packs that are water resistant and have lots of pockets.

For long trips, you’ll want a backpack with strong straps and a padded back. This helps when you carry your bag for hours. Some travelers like bags with room for things like ices axes and hiking poles.

Others prefer something small enough to use as carry-on luggage on planes.

The Osprey Farpoint or Fairview Travel Backpack stands out at 55 liters, just right for many adventures around Europe, South America, or Asia. Cotopaxi Allpa and Ebags Mother Lode also offer smart designs and durability that seasoned travelers love.

Picking the right pack can help turn any trip into an amazing journey! Keep comfort in mind and choose one that will last through all your travels – whether they’re across mountain trails or busy city streets.

Tips for Choosing the Right Rucksack/Backpack

To select the ideal backpack, familiarize yourself with trusted brands, assess your specific needs for space and function, and don’t compromise on comfort or long-lasting materials—your back will thank you.

Know the brand

Learning about a brand can help you trust the backpack you choose. A good brand will have a strong history of making quality bags. Some brands focus on being nice to the planet, like Patagonia and Terra Thread.

They try to make sure their bags don’t hurt the earth by using things like climate neutral practices and fairtrade materials.

Look for brands that stand behind their products with promises like a lifetime warranty. This shows they believe in what they make. Brands like GORUCK and Lowepro are loved by people who need tough backpacks, such as military members or backcountry skiers.

Find out what other users say too; check places like Instagram or Facebook for reviews and stories from real users.

Consider your needs

Choosing the right backpack means thinking about what you’ll use it for. If you’re a student, look for one with lots of pockets to keep your books and laptop safe. Travelers might want an ultra-lightweight pack that’s easy on their shoulders during long trips.

Think about how long you’ll be carrying the bag each day and what items you need with you. A good fit guide can help match a backpack to your body size and shape.

For outdoor fans, picking a rucksack that stands up to weather and tough trails is key. Hiking backpacks should sit snugly on your back, have strong zippers, and straps that hold tight without digging into your skin.

An environmentally-friendly knapsack could be great if taking care of nature matters to you. And if safety in snow is a concern, look into packs with an avalanche airbag feature for extra peace of mind.

The needs of rock climbers will be different from those using their pack for business travel or errands around town. Climbers may choose bags with special loops for gear while someone going to the office might prefer a stylish yet functional design that looks good in meetings but still keeps everything organized inside.

Prioritize comfort and durability

Your back will thank you for picking a backpack that feels good to wear, even when it’s full. Look for padded straps and a design that fits your body well. This helps prevent sore shoulders and backs after carrying your bag all day.

A comfy rucksack also makes it easier to move around, whether you are walking to school or hiking up a mountain.

A strong backpack can stand up to lots of use without falling apart. It should handle being tossed in the car, dropped on the ground, or hung up on hooks at home or work. Materials like nylon and polyester are tough and hold up well over time.

They resist water too, which is great when you’re outside in the rain.

Next up: How do these brands measure against different needs? Let’s dive into finding the best packs for hiking trails, business trips, school halls, and world travel adventures!


We’ve looked at some great rucksack brands this year. Remember, the right one for you depends on what you’ll use it for. Comfort and lasting quality are key when picking out your perfect backpack.

Try these tips to find a bag that fits all your stuff and feels good too. Take a step today towards easier travels or better days at school with a top-rated ruck. Keep exploring, stay comfy on the go, and pick a pack that’s just right!