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Our Favorite Versatile Backpacks

by , January 18, 2012

Our Favorite Versatile Backpacks

Our Favorite Versatile Backpacks

For all the thousands of carry products we discuss on this site, we figure we should occasionally step back and reflect on some of the best pieces. What are the bags and wallets and luggage pieces that have become our go-to gear?

So we’ll kick it off with an update to our Versatile Carry theme, and then in the coming months we’ll dive in to some more specific themes. To achieve Versatile Carry status, a backpack needs to adapt from work to play to adventure and back again. It needs to carry a laptop and some tech, clothes and toiletries, it needs to travel well, and it needs to look appropriate while it does it all (fluoro pink doesn’t look great in an office).

This is not a definitive list, but rather a starting point. As always, we’d love to hear your comments if we’ve missed some firm contenders.

You’re keen to view a real clean, high res of the image above, huh? Here’s the above image in 1800 glory for your screen.

In price order:

Goruck GR1

Sometimes it feels like the whole world is getting on the Goruck wagon. Blending a conservative aesthetic that fits in a work space, with a military spec that can John Rambo through war zones, the GR1 is a super-versatile workhorse. It ain’t cheap, but it will definitely last.

Buy the Goruck GR1 now.

Our Favorite Versatile Backpacks

CamelBak TriZip

A surprise realisation was that this backpack intended for forced marches through hostile territories actually makes for a great go-to pack. With really smartly organized pocketing, a spot that works fine for laptops, and an incredible tri-zip opening for awkward loads (like big SLRs), this Dana Gleason collaboration will surprise you. You just need to order it in black.

Buy the Camelback TriZip now
Watch the demo clip.

Our Favorite Versatile Backpacks

Mission Workshop VX Large Rucksack

The better cycling commuter packs generally make for great versatile carry, as they need to work for active peddling, and in conservative workspaces. Mission Workshop have loads of goodness in this space, but we have to admit to being suckers for their Advanced Projects bags. Better fabrics, a great closure system, and all the usual thought and innovation. Love this stuff.

Buy the MW VX Large Rucksack
Watch a demo clip.

Our Favorite Versatile Backpacks

Quiksilver Grenade

Quiksilver designed their Grenade backpack years ago. It has sold with almost no changes, through a mountain of fabric options, and for the same price since. It’s something like the cargo pant of bags, with a tonne of external pocketing and a visual language that speaks of adventure. Foam structure deals great with your tech, and the price represents awesome value for this sort of bag.

Buy the Quiksilver Grenade now.

Our Favorite Versatile Backpacks

Gravis Metro

Yeah, the Metro also keeps popping up in our discussions, but it’s deserved. It ticks all the boxes for a versatile carry, it offers a gazillion fabric and print options, and it does it all with street smarts at a great value price. The Metro outshines many bags at twice its price, but never makes you feel cheap for running it. We love you, Metro.

Buy the Gravis Metro now.

Our Favorite Versatile Backpacks


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