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An Everyday Carry Backpack or EDC Backpack is fairly self-explanatory. When you leave your house in the morning, this is the pack that will help you carry everything you need to conquer the day! The Everyday Carry (EDC) revolution has been around for quite some time.

There are Instagram accounts and subreddits dedicated to people showing off their EDC. Everything from cool pens, phones, headphones, pocket knives, and first aid kits can be in someone’s EDC. Personally, my EDC is quite simple: keys, phone, wallet, and headphones if I know I’ll be on the move a lot. When I was working as a guide in the Canadian Rockies, my EDC changed to a more outdoor-based set up that involved a multitool, first aid kit, bear spray, and extra layers.

So what does this all mean? What do you carry daily on your way to and from work or on your way around town? Can your current backpack accommodate all of these odds and ends? Are they well organized? All of the packs on this list are essentially developed for everyday carry needs and offer ample space and organization for urban travel and even some backcountry activities. Let’s dive in!

How Did We Judge?

What qualifies a bag to be one of the Best Everyday Carry Backpacks of 2020? The judging was simple enough. Does this backpack accommodate everything that may be needed throughout a day? A lot of people travel with laptops on their daily commute, so that was important. Storage and organization are essential. Comfort is also quite important, and, as you will likely be carrying this bag around for most of the day, you want it to be comfortable. Finally, material and durability are at the top of the list. Sure, the bag may have all the coolest pockets, but if the pack tears or the zipper breaks, it is going to be a headache—and no one likes headaches.

We also took the price of the pack into account. Some packs are more expensive than others, and that fact often comes down to the materials and where the backpack was manufactured. Backpacks that are manufactured overseas are often much cheaper but have a higher carbon footprint, and while backpacks manufactured in the US or Canada often trend up in expense, some believe these packs last longer and are higher quality. So the price was a consideration, but there are a lot of factors to consider when looking at the price of a backpack.

Best Everday Carry Backpacks of 2020

Our Top Picks

Aer Flight Pack 2Best Everyday Carry Backpack for Travel

The North Face BorealisBest Everyday Carry Backpack for a Student of 2020

Dayfarer BackpackBest EDC for Gym Goers in 2020

Tortuga Setout Laptop BackpackBest EDC Backpack for Carry-on

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: Aer Flight Pack 2 Gray - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Aersf.com

  • Storage and Organization 90% 90%
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Durability 80% 80%

Pros

Amazing Organization

Cons

A Bit Too Small For Everything You Might Need In A Day.

Dimensions: 18x12x5” 

Weight: 2.8lbs

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: The Northface Borealis Backpack - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Backcountry.com

  • Storage and Organization 80% 80%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Durability 80% 80%

Pros

Great Organization

Fleece-Lined Laptop Sleeve

Cons

Seems To Be Built Only For Students—Not Professionals.

Dimensions: 19.75x13.25x9.75” 

Weight: 2.9lbs

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: Modern Dayfarer Backpack - Gear Hacker
  • Storage and Organization 80% 80%
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Durability 90% 90%

Pros

Shoe Pocket

Fully Accessible Main Compartment

Cons

Limited Accessory Pockets On Exterior

Dimensions: 18x12x7” 

Weight: 2.4lbs

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: Tortuga Setout Laptop Backpack - Gear Hacker
  • Storage and Organization 90% 90%
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Durability 80% 80%

Pros

Laptop And Tablet Pocket

Cons

Straps Take Time To Break-In

Dimensions: 18.75x12x6.75”

Weight: 2.8lbs

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: GoRuck GR1 Backpack - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at GoRuck.com

  • Storage and Organization 70% 70%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Security 100% 100%

Pros

Extremely Durable

Good Internal Storage Options

Cons

Limited External Organization

A Bit Big For An EDC Pack

Dimensions: 20x12x6.75”

Weight: 3.20lbs

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: Osprey Daylite Plus-Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Backcountry.com

  • Storage and Organization 90% 90%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Durability 70% 70%

Pros

Versatile For Urban Or Backcountry Uses

Cons

May Not Be Great As An “Office” EDC Pack

Dimensions: 18x10x9”

Weight: 1lbs

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: Peak Design Everyday Backpack - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Backcountry.com

  • Storage and Organization 80% 80%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Durability 80% 80%

Pros

Great For Photographers

Cons

Quite Heavy

Hipbelt Is Sold Separately

Dimensions: 18x13x7”

Weight: 4.43lbs

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: Mystery Ranch Urban Assault Backpack - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Gearx.com

  • Storage and Organization 70% 70%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Durability 90% 90%

Pros

Material Quality

Room For Both Laptop And Tablet

Cons

Limited External Storage

Dimensions: 20.25x10x8.75”

Weight: 2.8lbs

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: Timbuk2 Parkside Laptop Backpack - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Amazon.com

  • Storage and Organization 80% 80%
  • Comfort 60% 60%
  • Durability 60% 60%

Pros

Super Inexpensive

Cons

Shoulder Straps Are Not Very Comfortable And Twist Easily

Dimensions: 18x11x5”

Weight: 1.7lbs (1.69kg)

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: Tom Bihn Synapse Backpack - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Tombihn.com

  • Storage and Organization 90% 90%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Durability 90% 90%

Pros

Design Quality

Waterproof Zippers

Cons

Center-Mounted Hydration

Dimensions: 20x13.4x9.1” (expands to 7.5”)

Weight: 2lbs (for the 525D nylon version)

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: Evergoods CPL 24 v2 Backpack - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Huckberry.com

  • Storage and Organization 90% 90%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Durability 90% 90%

Pros

Side Access Pockets

Side Handle Combination

Cons

Price

Dimensions: 18.25x12x7.25”

Weight: 2.9lbs

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: Fjallraven Kanken 15” Laptop Backpack - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Amazon.com

  • Storage and Organization 80% 80%
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Durability 80% 80%

Pros

Simple Pockets And Top Handle

Cons

Thin Shoulder Straps

Dimensions: 15x11x6”

Weight: 1lbs

Aer Flight Pack 2

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: Aer Flight Pack 2 Gray - Gear Hacker

Best Everyday Carry Backpack for Travel

  • Storage and Organization 90% 90%
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Durability 80% 80%

Price: $160.00

Dimensions: 18x12x5”

Weight: 2.8lbs

What We Like: Amazing organization

What We Don’t: A bit too small for everything you might need in a day

Aer Flight Pack 2 is a ready-built travel companion. With room for all of your electronics and important documents, this pack is ready for meeting rooms in Shanghai or lecture halls in college. The organizational features are excellent, and the accessories that make this backpack travel-ready include the three styles of carrying options that are both aesthetically nice as well as comfortable. Other than the overall size being a bit small for our liking, the Aer Flight Pack 2 is almost perfect and was an easy selection as the Best Everyday Carry Backpack for Travel.

The North Face Borealis

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: The Northface Borealis Backpack - Gear Hacker

Best Everyday Carry Backpack for a Student of 2020

  • Storage and Organization 80% 80%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Durability 80% 80%

Price: $89

Dimensions: 19.75x13.25x9.75”

Weight: 2.9lbs

What We Like: Great organization and fleece-lined laptop sleeve

What We Don’t: Seems to be built only for students—not professionals

The North Face Borealis is our Best Everyday Carry Bag for a Student of 2020, and here is why. The organization is set up for carrying a laptop as well as books and binders. The aesthetic is very “school bag” forward, and even North Face has marketed it towards college students. The material is solid, and the price is excellent, sitting at a comfortable $89. The backpanel is comfortable, and the bungee system on the front is great for stuffing a raincoat while sprinting out of the door. I wish I could go back as a college student, just for this backpack (among other things).

Dayfarer Backpack

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: Modern Dayfarer Backpack - Gear Hacker

Best EDC for Gym Goers in 2020

  • Storage and Organization 80% 80%
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Durability 90% 90%
Price: $175

Dimensions: 18x12x7”

Weight: 2.4lbs

What We Like: Shoe pocket and fully accessible main compartment

What We Don’t: Limited accessory pockets on exterior

Are you a business person who loves to hit the gym after or before work? Look no further, the Dayfarer Backpack was designed with you in mind. With a shoe pocket, padded laptop pocket, and easy to access main compartment, everything has been designed to make it easy to transition from the weight room to the workplace. Read on to find out why the Dayfarer was named our Best EDC Backpack for Gym Goers in 2020.

Tortuga Setout Laptop Backpack

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: Tortuga Setout Laptop Backpack - Gear Hacker

Best EDC Backpack for Carry-on

  • Storage and Organization 90% 90%
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Durability 80% 80%

Price: $125

Dimensions: 18.75x12x6.75”

Weight: 2.8lbs

What We Like: Laptop and tablet pocket

What We Don’t: Straps take time to break-in

The Tortuga Setout Laptop Backpack will be your favorite carry-on travel companion if you give it the chance. The organization is simple but versatile and very convenient. There is a great laptop pocket that will hold a 15” laptop and a tablet as well as your cables. The main compartment opens fully, with additional mesh pockets inside for added organization, and the shoulder straps are stowable for easy side carry. It’s easy to see how we chose it as the Best EDC Backpack for a Carry-on.

Other Backpacks

GoRuck GR1

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: GoRuck GR1 Backpack - Gear Hacker
  • Storage and Organization 70% 70%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Durability 100% 100%

Price: $265

Dimensions: 20x12x6.75”

Weight: 3.20lbs

What We Like: Extremely durable, good internal storage options

What We Don’t: Limited external organization, bit big for an EDC pack

The GoRuck GR1 will be the last EDC Backpack that you ever need. It does merge slightly into the one-bag travel sizing, but I think that helps to show its adaptability. The main compartment is large, and the laptop pocket will hold up to a 16” laptop and is solid—no worries there. There is not much on the outside except for some Molle straps and a thin zippered pocket that will become the first place to look whenever you lose something. If you like the tactical look and feel of the GR1, then it is an excellent option. It even has a hydration bladder pocket and hose hole which is a nice addition. If you want to bring a backpack into a meeting and then quickly go into the forest to fight a bear while wearing a backpack the entire time, look no further than the GoRuck GR1.

Osprey Daylite Plus

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: Osprey Daylite Plus-Gear Hacker
  • Storage and Organization 90% 90%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Durability 70% 70%

Price: $65

Dimensions: 18x10x9”

Weight: 1lbs

What We Like: Versatile for urban or backcountry uses

What We Don’t: May not be great as an “office” EDC pack

Osprey has upgraded an already great pack. The Daylite Plus is perfect for just about any day trip, whether that’s into the city or for a long hike. The organization is excellent, and the stuff pocket on the front of the pack is great for those days where you aren’t sure if you’ll need a coat or not. The Daylite is also compatible with several of Osprey’s larger travel packs and would be an excellent carry-on bag while exploring the planet. At $90, there are very few reasons why you shouldn’t buy the Daylite just to see where in your life you need a great little backpack.

Peak Design Everyday Backpack

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: Peak Design Everyday Backpack - Gear Hacker
  • Storage and Organization 80% 80%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Durability 80% 80%

Price: $289.95

Dimensions: 18x13x7”

Weight: 4.43lbs

What We Like: Great for photographers

What We Don’t: Quite heavy and hipbelt is sold separately

If you are a photographer, look no further. The Peak Design Everyday Backpack is our Best EDC Pack for Photographers of 2020, and here is why. The internal organization comes with FlexFold dividers to keep your cameras and lenses separate and organized. The bag’s material is waterproof to keep your gear safe from light rains, and the external straps and pockets make carrying larger equipment like tripods or other large items a breeze. You get all of this while carrying a very attractive bag and still having room for a laptop or tablet.

Mystery Ranch Urban Assault

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: Mystery Ranch Urban Assault Backpack - Gear Hacker
  • Storage and Organization 70% 70%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Durability 90% 90%

Price: $124.95

Dimensions: 20.25x10x8.75”

Weight: 2.8lbs

What We Like: Material quality and room for both laptop and tablet

What We Don’t: Limited external storage

The Mystery Ranch Urban Assault is a great commuter and trail bag. The exterior simplicity will make it appealing to everyone from office workers to college students. The internal storage and ability to hold both a laptop and tablet are excellent features for anyone tackling the urban jungle. The pack also comes in 13 colors, which is a nice feature, and for only $125, it is a great value.

Timbuk2 Parkside Laptop Backpack

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: Timbuk2 Parkside Laptop Backpack - Gear Hacker
  • Storage and Organization 80% 80%
  • Comfort 60% 60%
  • Durability 60% 60%

Price: $52.24

Dimensions: 18x11x5”

Weight: 1.7lbs

What We Like: Super inexpensive

What We Don’t: Shoulder straps are not very comfortable and twist easily

Timbuk2 has produced a very inexpensive but sleek and modern looking backpack for a variety of EDC needs. Business people and students alike will find functionality in this pack, and for $52.24, the price is hard to beat. The drawback is that the shoulder straps are a bit thin, and the backpanel is not that breathable. The storage is excellent, and the material is durable. So, if you can get past a thin shoulder strap, the Parkside Laptop Backpack is worth a shot!

Tom Bihn Synapse

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: Tom Bihn Synapse Backpack - Gear Hacker
  • Storage and Organization 90% 90%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Durability 90% 90%

Price: $220

Dimensions: 20x13.4x9.1”

Weight: 2lbs (for the 525D nylon version)

What We Like: Design quality and waterproof zippers

What We Don’t: Center-mounted hydration

Tom Bihn has created what can only be a cult following with their products. So please do not let this humble gear reviewers’ opinion rattle any cages. The Synapse 25 is an excellent backpack, however at $220, it is quite expensive. There are great pockets on the exterior for organization, and the material and design are top-notch. The pocket that confuses us the most is the center-mounted hydration pocket. It is able to hold a hydration bladder, but if you have a water bottle in there, you need to take the bag off every time you need a drink. There is also the fact that for the pack to be at its absolute peak level of performance, you would need to purchase 3-5 separately sold Tom Bihn accessories to go along with the bag. We like our packs ready to hit the streets right out of the shop!

Evergoods CPL 24 v2

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: Evergoods CPL 24 v2 Backpack - Gear Hacker
  • Storage and Organization 90% 90%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Durability 90% 90%

Price: $179.98

Dimensions: 18.25x12x7.25”

Weight: 2.9lbs

What We Like: Side access pockets and side handle combination

What We Don’t: Price

The Evergoods CPL 24 v2 is everything it promised to be: a great update on a great pack. The versatility and option to use the laptop pocket for a hydration bladder is excellent. Having all of the pockets accessible while the bag is on its side, even interior pockets, is proof of great initial designing. The material is durable and weatherproof, and the exterior material and zippers are both covered in a DWR finish. The clamshell opening’s main compartment allows for excellent organization and storage opportunities. Everything is perfect—except for the price.

Fjallraven Kanken 15” Laptop

Best Everyday Carry Backpacks: Fjallraven Kanken 15” Laptop Backpack - Gear Hacker
  • Storage and Organization 80% 80%
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Durability 80% 80%

Price: $110

Dimensions: 15x11x6”

Weight: 1lbs

What We Like: Simple pockets and top handle

What We Don’t: Thin shoulder straps

Fjallraven’s Kanken line is very diverse, as it includes around 20 different varieties of packs. The Kanken 15” Laptop Backpack performs exactly as advertised: it will hold your stuff plus a 15” laptop! Made with a durable Vinylon F and really only having 3 pockets, this bag is perfect for a high school or college student.

We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!