When you’re shopping for a new backpack, you have to keep a number of different factors in mind. One of the most important is the durability.
Bags are constantly being stuffed into cramped overhead bins and tight corners. Plus, we love to strain their interior capacity by loading them with as much stuff as possible.
The design and brand don’t matter as much as finding a backpack that’s durable.
Backpacks are among the most versatile bags for traveling. They can be brought on both short and long trips. You can use them in the office, outdoors, on planes, and in the car.
There are many different types of backpacks, but one of the most popular choices is canvas. Canvas backpacks have a vintage, retro aesthetic.
They’re also made from reliable and sturdy materials. In addition, canvas bags can be easily washed if need be.
Quick Comparison: The Best Canvas Backpacks
|#1. Fjallraven 21|
Our Best Pick
|30 liters||5.1 x 11 x 17.3 inches||Polyester cotton blend|
|#2. Gootium 21101|
|30 liters||13.5 x 8 x 17.7 inches||Cotton|
|#3. Tumi Sinclair|
|20 liters||13.5 x 15.5 x 3.5 inches||Canvas|
|#4. Herschel Supply Co|
|21.5 liters||18 x 12.25 x 5.5 inches||Polyester|
|25 liters||15 x 9 x 16.5 inches||Canvas|
What to Look For in a Canvas Backpack
You can find backpacks in a multitude of different sizes. You want to make sure to find the right size to suit your needs.
A backpack that’s underpacked will droop and slip, but an overpacked backpack tends to be unstable. You have to find the right balance.
When considering the size, you should take two factors into account: the dimensions and the storage capacity.
The dimensions of the bag will tell you whether it can accommodate your larger objects. Meanwhile, the volume will let you know exactly how much stuff the bag can handle.
Compartments for Laptops
The majority of travelers have a tablet or laptop that they bring along with them.
In today’s modern world, it’s increasingly necessary to have some kind of connection to the internet to do work and check social media.
Many backpacks are constructed with laptop compartments that can accommodate certain laptop sizes.
One thing to keep in mind is that the size of the laptop compartment might not always be accurate.
For example, a compartment may be capable of holding a thin 17-inch laptop, but struggle to accommodate a thicker 17-inch laptop.
If you have a bulky laptop model, you should find a backpack with a roomy laptop sleeve.
Laptop sleeves are a worthwhile feature to prioritize.
They tend to have padding that protects your electronics from being damaged by other items or outside pressure.
Some backpacks have a simple design, while others are made to have more heavy-duty organization. A well-designed backpack will let you keep most of your things on your back so your hands can stay free.
You should make sure there’s enough storage to hold your things, but you should also make sure that you can easily retrieve your things.
Some packs have small interior and exterior pockets to let you organize your pens, sunglasses, wallet, ID, and other small items. Some come with an interior or exterior pocket for a water bottle.
The level of organization will often depend on what the backpack is meant to be used for. Classic backpacks tend to have just a few pockets.
Outdoorsy backpacks often prioritize exterior pockets so you can easily access your water bottle and snacks, but they may have disorganized interiors.
Academic backpacks have the most potential for organization. If you’re going to be lugging multiple class materials from lecture to lecture, it helps to have a backpack that keeps everything where you can find it.
Different backpacks are designed with different purposes in mind.
A backpack made specifically for travel will be slightly different from a backpack for academia, or a backpack for outdoor camping, or any number of other purposes.
Some packs are versatile enough to be used in the office, at social get-togethers, on a hike, and while you travel. If you want to use your backpack for multiple different adventures, you should look for a versatile design.
Many canvas backpacks are made for outdoorsy activities. You can bring them with you when you go hiking or camping. They can even be brought to the beach.
Canvas is a great material for outdoor activities because it can withstand multiple kinds of weather, and it’s durable enough to stand up to rough terrain.
But you can also use canvas backpacks for traveling and academia.
#1. Fjallraven Rucksack Number 21
Fjallraven is a brand that has long been trusted by lovers of the outdoors. This rucksack is a great bag to use for a number of different purposes.
The bag includes a padded bottom that protects your items. You also have access to a removable seat pad that lets you camp in the forest or sit in the grass for a picnic with ease.
The exterior comes with a number of slip pockets. Meanwhile, the interior has a zip pocket and further organizational slip pockets.
There’s a pocket for your laptop, along with another pocket specifically made for a thermos or water bottle. The bag has a draw string closure, and the fold-over flap closes magnetically.
The bag comes with a waxed canvas construction that makes it very durable. Meanwhile, the natural leather straps age well as you use them. This is a design that will last for a significant amount of time.
You can purchase this rucksack in three different sizes: large, medium, or small. There are very few flaws in the construction.
One of the only drawbacks is that the design is thinner than its height, which means that taking items out can become a bit challenging. The bag is a little too deep, considering it only opens at the top.
#2. Gootium 21101 Thick Canvas Backpack
This is a great backpack that can handle just about everything the outdoors has to offer. The heavy-duty construction looks great and stands up well to heavy use.
The canvas backpack is made from 100 percent pure cotton. It’s been fitted with durable metal fastenings that make it look rugged.
The garment wash makes the bag look vintage, and though the aesthetic leans toward the masculine, both men and women can easily shoulder this bag.
The interior and exterior both feature multiple storage spaces, including slip pockets and zippered compartments.
There’s a padded laptop compartment capable of accommodating a 17-inch laptop. Like the previous bag, this backpack has a drawstring closure and is covered with a flap.
The flap closes magnetically. The bag also features top-grain leather trims to add a classy element to the overall design.
One of the biggest possible drawbacks is that there isn’t a great deal of reinforcement.
This is one of the most lightweight options on the list, so it’s good if you don’t want to add a lot of weight to your luggage. But the bottom of the bag doesn’t have support.
The construction is durable enough not to break easily, but the minimal support means your items won’t be as stable. If you have objects with sharp corners or hardcover books, they’ll poke through your bag.
#3. Tumi Sinclair Odell Convertible Backpack
Unlike the previous entries, this backpack isn’t designed specifically for outdoor use. Instead, it’s a versatile option that can bring you from the office to a party to travel.
This canvas backpack comes with a sleek and elegant design. The zippered laptop compartment can accommodate laptops of up to 15.6 inches.
It’s an ideal bag for travel because you won’t have to expose all of the contents as you travel through the airport.
The main compartment has a double zipper and contains several zip and slip pockets. There’s another zippered pocket on the exterior that can hold your phone.
Additional utility pockets house your ID cards and pens.
One neat feature is that the shoulder straps can fold into a pocket on the back, so you can carry the bag like a briefcase in professional settings.
The metal studs on the bottom keep you from damaging the bag when it’s put on the floor. One drawback is the lack of an over-the-shoulder strap, so you can’t carry this bag like a messenger bag.
#4. Herschel Supply Company Heritage Backpack
It would be difficult to make a list of the best backpacks without including anything from Herschel Supply Company. This company has established itself as one of the best manufacturers in the backpack industry.
The Heritage Backpack comes in a classic design that won’t ever be out of style. It’s a simple design, but the construction is extremely durable.
The canvas bag comes with an exterior zippered pocket with an interior laptop compartment. There’s also a small slip pocket. Unfortunately, that’s about all the interior organization there is.
While there aren’t many features, you can rest assured that any bag from Herschel will be easy to maintain, sturdy, and reliable.
The bag is available in multiple colors and patterns. You can choose from neutral tones or brighter expressions. There’s bound to be something that suits your personal preferences.
#5. Wowbox Canvas Backpack
This canvas backpack has a design that seamlessly blends functionality, utility, and aesthetic appeal. It’s available in seven neutral colors, so you can pick one to match any aesthetic.
The bag can be used by women and men alike for near-infinite purposes, including travel, work, and school.
The fabric body is made from heavy, rugged-wash canvas. It’s definitely durable enough to take a bit of a beating. If sensory appeal is important to you, you’ll be pleased to know that this backpack is very soft.
Thanks to the seamless stitching, the overall look is very sleek and refined. The bag features leather pull accents that have been attached to the buckles and zippers.
The leather straps close with a magnetic clasp.
The main compartment has a drawstring opening. You’ll find wall and zip pockets on the interior, which can hold your smaller items.
As for the exterior, you have four zippered pockets that provide additional organization and storage. If you want to protect your valuables, the back of the bag has an anti-theft panel to let you store your phone or wallet.
The large interior space includes a padded compartment that can hold laptops up to 15.6 inches. A slightly larger version of the backpack can accommodate laptops of up to 17 inches.
It should be noted that bulky laptops will have a hard time fitting, so this sleeve is best designed for thin laptops.
The Rucksack Number 21 is a great, versatile option for all your outdoor needs. However, it may be a little difficult to retrieve your items.
The Gootium bag is a good option if you’re a fan of a rugged aesthetic.
However, you should keep in mind that there isn’t inner support, so it’s not a good bag for carrying items with sharp corners.
The Tumi Sinclair bag is a great option for travelers and professional women. It allows you to organize your items for easy portability and simple travel through airport checkpoints.
The bag from Herschel Supply Company is a classic design that will suit you in multiple different adventures. It’s sturdy and reliable.
However, it leaves something to be desired in terms of organizational capacity.
If you’re looking for a versatile backpack with more organizational capacity, the Wowbox might be for you. It has two different sizes to accommodate multiple types of laptops.
However, bulky laptops might have a hard time fitting into the sleeve.