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Alpha One Niner Whitley

Best Everyday Bag Champion | Carry Awards X

by , June 6, 2023

With its sleek style, durable build, multifunctional versatility, and awesome value for money, our Best Everyday Bag champion is a truly excellent daily carry companion…

1st Place

Alpha One Niner WHITLEY Backpack

This year’s #1 spot in the Everyday Bag category (the most competitive category by far) was a battle to the very end, but the folks at Alpha One Niner have claimed victory with the WHITLEY Backpack. After the numbers were in and calculations triple-checked, it was unanimous. This is honestly no surprise because the WHITLEY relied deeply on customer-sourced data to make the Goldilocks backpack, all based on feedback from real users. 

Best Everyday Bag Champion - Alpha One Niner WHITLEY Backpack

Available in a quality array of different materials (such as the iconic 500D Cordura nylon, super tough ballistic nylon, and X-Pac fabric), this pack just seems to do almost everything really well. AON’s legendary construction really shines through on this pack, as there honestly isn’t a lot of extra stuff to hide it behind. It’s incredibly simple… in a great way. Minimalist patterning keeps the pack looking great and incredibly intuitive to use without having to “figure it out”. Of course, it’s still feature-rich with a ton of stuff that we look for, like a suspended laptop, magnetic sternum strap, quick-access pocket, and more. 

Best Everyday Bag Champion - Alpha One Niner WHITLEY Backpack

All that stuff above is awesome, sure. But where the WHITLEY really shines… it offers simplicity and tons of features found on packs that fall in the $300-$350 price range. However, this pack rings in at only $179 (500D), which means that not only is this the best value proposition in the Everyday Bag category (again, the most competitive), but the Alpha One Niner WHITLEY just might be the best value in all of the Carry Awards this year. A well-deserved, first-place win. Bravo, Alpha One Niner!

Highly Commended

These are the pieces that just missed out, and in most cases, by the smallest of margins. To them, we award a High Commendation. The below were of outstanding quality, displaying fine craftsmanship and design flair. With honor, we bow our heads in the utmost respect and kudos. If this were a dais, they’d be biting their teeth into silver medals, while their flags were hoisted into the horizon – a feat not to be overlooked. And we’re sure they’ll be back, to take it one notch higher, next year.

Bellroy Venture Backpack 22L

Bellroy Venture Backpack 22L

Need a pack that takes you effortlessly from week commutes to weekend adventures? Bellroy delivers a great all-rounder with their 22L Venture Backpack. One of the key features of this pack is the adaptable opening, which provides both top-loading and front panel-loading access depending on your needs. The adjustable slide hook flap closure lets you expand or contract the volume to adapt to changing loads, while an array of thoughtfully considered organization options keep everything neat and accessible throughout the day.

An interior padded sleeve securely houses up to a 16″ laptop, with additional zippered and slip pockets to store smaller items. On the exterior you have two zippered hidden water bottle pockets and a quick-access top pocket. Made with water-resistant, 100% recycled nylon, the pack exudes clean style for city environments but is durable enough for a day exploring outdoors or even overnight travel. Fantastic job, Bellroy!



GORUCK’s M22 was inspired by the M1945 Field Pack created for use during WWII, but delivers a modern spin for everyday use today. The pack features a top-loading design with G-hook buckles on the flap over the drawstring closure. But you can also access the main compartment quickly through a side zipper. The pack provides three exterior-access pockets (including a water bottle pocket) for smaller essentials, along with an external-access laptop compartment for easy access to your tech.

The extra-padded shoulder straps and top handle provide comfy carry for heavier loads and the tough 500D Cordura construction easily embraces daily use. For those seeking a style departure from GORUCK’s usual designs, while still enjoying all the rugged functionality the brand is known for, the M22 makes a great daily driver with the flexibility for travel and outdoor use too. Awesome effort, GORUCK!


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