Your EDC backpack is more than just a backpack. It is your go-to when you are outdoors. Pick the wrong one and you may not have enough space to carry all your essential gear or you may end up carrying extra weight around. Well, this could be frustrating if you have spent a lot on your EDC backpack.
There is actual science behind choosing the right backpack and this article will help you find the perfect EDC backpack for your daily needs with the help of some great recommendations from Reddit. Subreddits dedicated to EDC backpacks have brought about the EDC revolution where you don’t just use your backpack but show it off because of the amazing design and features it has to offer.
But first, you will have to look at the essential features of a good EDC backpack. This is good information to gain to ensure you get the right backpack for the job before making your purchase.
What is an EDC Backpack?
An EDC Backpack or Everyday Carry backpack is pretty self-explanatory. It helps you carry all the things you need daily. It has to be tough enough, big enough, and reliable to carry around your must-have gear.
Essential Features Of A Good EDC Backpack
- Gear-type: Make sure you choose your gear first rather than picking your gear based on your backpack. EDC backpacks for civilians differ from backpacks for military personnel or law enforcement pros. So it is vital to plan your bag around your essential items and where you are headed.
- Water-Resistant Material: You do not want to open your backpack to find your things wet or soaking. Waterproof material prevents it from getting wet in a drizzle or a heavy downpour. Even a semi-waterproof material will do. Some backpacks also have a cover that you can put over them. Materials like treated nylon fiber are a good choice. Strong polymers are vital for the primary construction of the backpack.
- Ergonomic Design: The design determines the space you have to keep the essential items. A well-designed backpack reduces clutter and seems well-organized. EDC backpacks with multiple compartments with sleeves, webbing, velcro, or pouches can help store your items efficiently. This helps optimize the use of the limited space that the backpack has.
- MOLLE Integration: This is an optional feature but very useful. First developed by NATO for the marine corps, this feature stands for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. It increases the load-bearing capacity of the bag while making it seem lightweight.
- Zippers: If you are paranoid about someone breaking into your bag, look for bags with two zippers to lock them together with TSA-friendly locks. The zipper should be designed from hard plastic or rust-resistant aluminum giving it long durability.
- Multiple Compartments: There is nothing more frustrating than not finding something like your phone charger when you need it most. Multiple compartments let you sort items into smaller sections making it easier to find stuff. You know which item goes where so you can grab it without hunting for it.
- Internal Frame: Internal frame packs have built-in rods and a frame. It makes your bag slimmer and gives it ease of movement. Internal frames made of carbon fiber or tough plastic make the bag lighter and more durable.
- Padded Shoulder Straps: They make it easier to carry the load as the weight pushes down on your shoulder. It reduces the pressure on your shoulders and your lower back. Thin straps can bite into your shoulders, look for straps that are thick and heavily padded. Rigid corrosion resistance straps prevent the bag from falling off.
- Front-loading: This type of backpack lets you open the bag from the side to access all your stuff. A top-loading bag lets you access the items in your bag from a single hole at the top which is not very convenient. Front loading backpack gives you easy access to your stuff.
- Capacity: The size of the backpack must be proportional to your body. Getting a size bigger or smaller can cause back pain. Buy a size that can fit all your things but also has a bit of extra room. A size anywhere between 15-30 liters is sufficient for people who have a moderate or average body size. The most ideal size is anywhere between 20-24 liters.
Here are some of the best Reddit recommendations for EDC backpacks.
Best EDC Backpack Reddit 2023
1. Nomatic Backpack – Water-Resistant RFID Laptop Bag 20L
Nomatic is known for its minimalist products that are highly functional. Its goal is to design products that inspire confidence for life on the move. This brand is the most highly recommended brand by Redditors. The Nomatic EDC Backpack is designed for everyday use and has a sleek minimalistic design. It is packed with features and is fantastic for organization and carrying a lot of gear as it has various pockets. It may be a little pricey but the features it offers and the high-quality material makes it worth it.
What Redditors had to say about it
u/Splint0r “I’m a big fan of Nomatic’s backpack for work and maybe short travel. I like the level of organization they have for various small items and I like the water bottle holders. I do think they are a little overpriced but they are high quality. If you like their style it is worth checking out.”
u/SkyeFarg0 “Bought my Nomatic Backpack when my role at work changed and suddenly involved greater travel. I wanted an everyday backpack that I could turn into an overnighter when I hit the road without having to transfer my day-to-day stuff. 2+ years later it’s all I use.”
u/TinKnightRisesAgain “Nomatic is the only backpack that does everything I need (laptop, document storage, water bottle, tech options) that doesn’t look like a kid’s backpack. The build quality is exceptional, and it looks sleek.”
- Price and availability: Nomatic backpack is available online through pre-order on Amazon and comes with a lifetime warranty where you can make the payment using Afterpay. Although on the pricier end, it is worth the value as it has long-lasting durability and is built from quality materials.
- Material: The Nomatic Backpack is constructed from a durable tarpaulin exterior. Tarpaulin sheets are usually used to cover up construction work or performance stages to protect them from snow or rain. This material is very durable, waterproof, and flexible. The polyester or canvas cloth is coated with polyurethane which makes it water-resistant. This makes the cloth almost indestructible and provides great protection against weather conditions. The backpack has excellent abrasion and tears resistance.
- RFID Safe Pocket: This feature protects you against digital thieves. This anti-theft backpack features an RFID-safe pocket in the front to keep your information safe.
- Great back panel: Nomatic’s back panel has thick padding which feels very soft against the back. This provides the required layer between bulky items in your bag and your back. The spaced-out foam ridges in the back panel allow the air to circulate between them which keeps you dry during summer.
- Design: The solid black material makes the backpack look very sleek and professional. It has padded adjustable shoulder straps. The thinner sides of the straps are covered with breathable mesh that prevents sweat stains on the front of your shirt.
- Useful Sternum Strap: This useful addition helps keep shoulder straps in place and reduces the strain on your back. This strap is not removable.
- Organization and Accessibility: This bag has one main compartment which is very spacious and roomy. It has a full perimeter zipper that helps you expose the entire main compartment to access the items easily. It is great for carrying books, laptops, or files that can stand upright. It has various internal pockets to carry small accessories. It also has a padded laptop sleeve.
- Magnetic Side Pockets: Nomatic has two stretch side pockets that are created to fit water bottles. They are magnetic so they snap back to place when not in use. It has 20 different pockets that are either zippered or slip pockets. This helps you organize all items neatly making them easily accessible.
- Other features: It has a retractable key leash and a dedicated shoe compartment. With expandable capacity, you can also transform the backpack into a briefcase. The cord pass-throughs connect all compartments which are great for charging your phone. The hard shell sunglasses case does an incredible job of protecting your sunglasses.
2. Goruck GR1 USA Backpack (21L and 26L)
This is another favorite of Redditors as the Goruck brand claims that this is the toughest backpack ever built. It’s not only made for everyday use but also warzones and traveling the world. So you get the idea of how durable this backpack is. It comes with SCARS Lifetime Guarantee and was designed and proven by Special Forces soldiers. Built to last, this bag will last you a lifetime.
What Redditors had to say about it
u/pandadude “The GR1 fits what I usually need in my everyday carry (or carry-on travel) with ease and is as comfortable as a loaded backpack can be under heavy loads. The black is unassuming and blends into most casual situations and outfits. The proportions are nice for getting on a crowded subway or tossing under an airplane seat. My Thule laptop sleeve for a Macbook Pro 15″ fits into the laptop compartment. Shoulder straps are very comfortable. The bottom of the pack is slightly bigger than the top, which allows for more storage”
u/jdmess401 “I EDC’d a 21L every day for about three years when I commuted 1.5 hours each way via train between my home and Boston for work. Since I didn’t have a dedicated spot in the office, I had to carry everything I needed for a full 8-hour day: food, water, laptop, chargers, mouse, cables, battery packs, etc etc. I needed a bag to carry all those items. The GR1 held up incredibly well while performing these tasks. (The wide straps made it easy to lug the weight around, sometimes for hours if there was standing room only on the train.)”
u/heatx “GoRuck backpacks are great! I’ve used mine daily for the past few years. It’s one of the most versatile backpacks I’ve seen. It can work for almost any scenario. I’ve used this bag for traveling, college, photography, etc. it easily fits everything I need in it. “
- Water Resistant Material: The backpack is made of nylon material that is water resistant. The main body is highly water resistant and can handle heavy amounts of rain. The channels for zippers have double-layered rain flaps to prevent water from entering the bag.
- Material: The main body is designed from 1000D CORDURA Nylon which increases its durability and has resistance to abrasions. D which stands for deniers tells us how thick or tough the fabric is. The usual nylon used for backpacks is 600D nylon, so the GR1 is superior when it comes to the quality of the material.
- Organization and Accessibility: This backpack has various compartments. The bombproof laptop compartment is at the back of the main compartment. It is very well protected as it is well padded and has a false bottom. With a U-shaped zipper, this bag opens flat and lets you organize the main compartment easily.
- Pockets and other pouches: The GR1 comes with three pockets that are placed inside and one slanted pocket on the exterior. The back section has a sleeve for tablets and other gear. It also has a velcro section on the exterior.
- MOLLE Webbing: The MOLLE Webbing on the exterior and interior lets you customize the bag as you want. You can purchase extra features like pouches and organizational sections separately to attach to the MOLLE.
- Value for Money: It’s an incredibly durable material that lasts a lifetime justifying the price point. It is covered by SCARS Lifetime Guarantee so you can get your bag replaced or fixed in case something goes wrong. It’s close to being waterproof and abrasions resistant. This is the bag you can have for life as it has great quality while offering good value for money.
- Other features: It has extra padded shoulder straps so you can carry heavy loads comfortably. It has YKK zippers with silent zipper pulls. As it is TSA-compliant it fits very well in the seat in front of you making it travel-friendly.
3. Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack 35L
The Tortuga Outbreaker Laptop Backpack is a best-selling model of the Tortuga brand and rightly so. According to Redditors, this backpack has great volume and depth to carry just about anything. It has a separate electronic compartment to keep all your electronics secure and well-protected from any damage. This backpack has tons of features and an excellent organization panel. It is great for people who are tall and have a broad build. This organized personal-item-size backpack is a must-have for anyone that requires a ton of space for their gear.
What Redditors had to say about it
u/wrathfulgrapes “I’m loving it so far, the thing feels like a premium product from top to bottom and it’s well thought-out. Overall it’s a beautiful, well-made bag that is perfect for me… Can’t thank you guys enough! The biggest selling points are the high-quality materials, understated but classy looks, well-thought-out organization, and extremely comfortable and breathable harnesses. Very happy so far.”
u/SeattleReaderTiny “I carry the Outbreaker 27L… the more I carry it, the more I like it. Quality built, VX21, quality webbing, nice weather seal, nice hip strap that distributes the weight off the back. Stores easy (removable shoulder straps, hip belt…all get packed in the pack and cinch away compactly).”
u/gooner92 “Tortuga was comfortable, the straps were wider and better padded. I felt the back panel was good as well. I could fit more in the Tortuga and felt the Tortuga just had more usable space and fit what I typically pack without feeling overstuffed. The water bottle pocket on the Tortuga is much better designed in my opinion. Tortuga is more or less waterproof. Not essential for me at all, but a nice cherry on top.”
- Material and design: Tortuga Outbreaker Laptop bag has a VX21 sailcloth exterior made from a combination of 210D nylon with DWR and UV-resistant coatings, polyester, and PET film. This fabric is high quality, highly water resistant, and lightweight. It has YKK AquaGuard Zippers with a thin polyurethane coating that repels water. This pack is solid when it comes to weather resistance. The zippers on the front, main, and laptop compartments can be locked for greater safety.
- Straps and back panel: The shoulder straps are made from Ariaprene foam that is hypoallergenic and non-abrasive. It has a mesh overlay which makes it quite breathable. The straps are wide, making them sit nicely on your shoulders and distribute the weight evenly. The back panel has a luggage passthrough which is useful while traveling. The adjustable sternum strap is elasticated for flexibility and to adjust the positions and is removable.
- Organization and Accessibility: It comes with three compartments and the large compartment offers a fantastic organization panel. With multiple compartments, quick-grab pockets, and other accessories for organization this pack can store everything you need. The bag opens around clamshell-style making it easy to access anything you need.
- Compartments and pockets: The pack has a water bottle compartment on the exterior which is expandable and zips down and stays flat when not in use. There are two quick grab pockets on the pack. Behind this is a large compartment. It has three pen holders and multiple flat-liner pockets. The mesh pocket is super stretchy making it suitable to store bulky items. The tablet pocket is lined with faux fur that protects the tablet screen. The other two compartments that are the main compartment and the tech compartment are loaded with features that help fit the tiniest of items to the bulkiest ones.
- Great Durability: This bag has a great harness system and is made of durable material. The material won’t rip or tear and is lockable. It has best-in-class buckles and hardware. This bag is made to last for life.
4. Peak Design Everyday Backpack V2 (20L and 30L)
This award-winning backpack is built around organization, protection, access, and expansion. Available in two sizes this backpack is aesthetically pleasing with its simple design. It is very versatile with minimal dangling straps. This pack makes quite a statement with its clean silhouette.
What Redditors had to say about it
u/JonkeyFresh “This bag is very well put together! I spend some time with the bag to thoroughly inspect where future points of failure could be. The stitching on the EDBP was not an afterthought. The durability therein rivals, if not exceeds, that of military-grade and tactical equipment, and I can imagine the shear and tensile tear tests far exceed industry standards. Overall, I am extremely pleased with my purchase and highly likely to make future purchases from PD.”
u/plaid-knight I used the Everyday Backpack 20L as EDC for work for a while, as well as on some short trips. I don’t have any photography gear, so it was just EDC. It was a fantastic bag, with thoughtful features. But the weight was above average. The weight comes from the extra padding all around the bag since it’s designed to protect photography gear. Honestly, it’s a great bag, so if you like the organization and the weight is okay with you, go for it.
u/lordkire “I have the 20L and the 30L of the Everyday Backpack and I think they work great. I take 30L to work every day. I like the extra room of the 30L for commuting because I’m free to stuff an extra jacket or sweatshirt in the main compartment or pick up some groceries during the day and I’m able to put them in my backpack for the bus ride home.
- Minimalist design: The design is well thought out and hides a lot of nuances while offering great functionality. The loops and straps are hidden away and you can secure them in any combination to create extra hanging loops for small items. This backpack is expandable.
- Compartments and Pockets: The main compartment is divided into smaller units by Peak Design’s origami-inspired shelves and is enclosed by a flap via a Maglatch magnetic clasp. The side pockets are deep and shut magnetically and are made from nylon that adds stretch and drains away water. The internal side and top pockets are stretchy and the internal strip pockets are great for storing wallets or other items. The dual external pocket is great for fitting water bottles. The laptop sleeve is adjustable and can fit 14-16″ laptops. The luggage pass-through is magnetized.
- Waterproof Material: The backpack is made from 400D nylon that is weather resistant and has a DWR coating. It is water resistant as well.
- Adjustable Straps: The shoulder straps have magnets that make them stick to the rear panel of the bag when not in use. They are well-padded and comfortable. The straps have swivel points making the bag easy to swing around. The sternum strap is removable and adjustable. The handles on either side of the bag make it easy to grab and go.
5. Bellroy Classic Plus Backpack 24L
This backpack is a more affordable option than the other brands on this list. It doesn’t compromise on quality and is comfortable and sophisticated for everyday use. It offers easy organization and is thoughtfully designed. Its classic and streamlined design makes it a perfect backpack for an office commute to an urban getaway.
What Redditors had to say about it
u/eterbrownboy “It’s worth the price. I’ve had mine for over two years and recently passed it on to my wife and it still feels like a new bag. Looks great and is still in great condition.”
u/PNW247 “I just bought the Bellroy classic plus backpack. It was on sale and honestly, I can’t believe how nice this bag is for the price. I wish they had a longer warranty but I am super happy with it.”
u/Aesthetigeek “I bought the classic for uni and love it. It’s comfy, high quality, and still looks brand new after the 6 months I’ve now had it. I carry particularly a lot every day, such as a small selection of tools, a tool belt, and headphones, (live sound and lighting) alongside my laptop, lunch, and water bottle; sometimes a thermos as well. For anyone that carries a laptop, a couple of books, and maybe some lunch or snacks, this would be a perfect bag. “
- Material and Aesthetics: This pack is made of several recycled fabrics depending on the color you choose. Some of these materials are recycled polyester, nylon, and other materials. The material is water-resistant with YKK zippers and an AquaGuard zipper on the top.
- Well-built harness system: The harness system is very comfortable and sleek-looking. The durable metal hardware helps manage excess straps. The sternum strap has plastic hardware giving the bag a clean look. The back panel has a natural contour that is comfortable. The handle at the top is made from a belt-like material making it convenient for grabbing.
- Pockets and compartments: The front pocket has a zipper that runs vertically which is different from what we usually see on other backpacks. It also has a dedicated key leash inside. The quick grab-and-go pocket on the top is covered by a fabric welt that keeps it secure. The soft and stretchy mesh pocket inside is great for storing bulkier items. There is a dedicated laptop compartment with a quilt-like lining and padding to keep any 15-inch laptop protected. It also features an internal mesh zip pocket for valuables and an iPad / A5 document sleeve inside.
- Organization and accessibility: With a 24L capacity, this backpack offers an easy-access pouch for tech accessories. The main compartment has a horseshoe-style opening offering great visibility inside. The pockets are segmented in a great way for ease of access.
There are many options out there today and each one may have a different use. If you are looking for a stylish commuter bag for work, gym, travel, or uni then the list given above is great for any use. The backpacks above are functional and practical that go with casual or professional attire. Choose your backpack based on your daily needs and make sure you feel comfortable while carrying it.
Last update on 2023-02-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API