The classic backpack will never go out of style.
Choose a great designer backpack and it’ll carry you from the daily commute, to after work drinks, through to weekends away and everything in between. Available in almost all shapes and sizes under the sun, the best backpacks are a wardrobe essential for anyone and everyone.
These investment pieces promise to liven up all kinds of outfits, whether you’re pairing them with office-wear or weekend clothes.
Of course, you wouldn’t necessarily select just one backpack for all occasions. Especially when you have such variety around. A large, laptop-approved, water-resistant backpack is your best bet for commuting, while a smaller option is more appropriate for carrying the essentials on a casual daytime occasion.
But, if you are looking for an all-rounder, you’ll find a few options below that fit all of the requirements and more.
Hands free travel? This way please.
Read on for all of the best designer backpacks.
Ralph Lauren Drawstring Leather Backpack
Ralph Lauren’s Drawstring Leather Backpack is the leather backpack you’ll buy as an investment piece and use daily for the foreseeable future. This buttery soft backpack merges utility with classic style for a fully functional must-have piece that never seems to show any age.
As you might expect from the Lauren by Ralph Lauren brand, its sleek silhouette doesn’t draw too much attention but works perfectly as a staple addition to your accessories drawer to be pulled out multiple times a week. Its statement contrasting interior also adds a dash of fun if you want to use this backpack as a work bag.
Buy now £169.00, John Lewis
Prada small logo-plaque backpack
It's difficult to scroll through Instagram for too long without seeing at least one Prada backpack and the small logo-plaque backpack is one of our favourites. Available in three fun shades, baby blue, cream or black, this spacious bag has plenty of individual pockets to keep everything in its correct place.
While it's an expensive bag, it's not a high maintenance one. Made from nylon, it's easy to clean this backpack if - heaven forbid - you do accidentally spill something on it. Taking refined elegance to the next level, this is a backpack you'll love for years to come.
Buy now £1224.00, Farfetch
KHAITE Iris leather backpack
Khaite’s buttery soft Iris leather backpack is one you’ll treasure, possibly admiring from a distance before you finally take it for its first outing out the house. With its off-white colour and bucket-shaped design, this is a backpack that looks premium from afar, even before you’ve got a little closer and ran your fingers over its seriously soft material.
Its unusual design was created with motion in mind and, while you probably wouldn’t take this for weekend trips, it’s roomy enough for an overnight occasion with gold-tone hardware ensuring everything stays in one place.
Buy now £1730.00, Farfetch
Cambridge Satchel Co. The Portrait Backpack
Cambridge Satchel Co. definitely makes some of the suavest backpacks on the market, adding a formal touch to your outfit with a seriously high quality accessory to boot. Incorporating the brand’s iconic satchel design with the practicality and comfort of a backpack, the Portrait Backpack is a beautifully crafted bag made from brilliant quality leather.
It comes in two sizes - small or large - and a variety of colours, so you can keep it classic with a navy, oxblood or vintage shade or mix it up with brighter blue or something even louder. The brand’s embossing service adds a nice touch to make it uniquely yours.
Buy now £215.00, Cambridge Satchel Co.
Ally Capellino Patrick waxed-cotton backpack
You’ll never fail to spot this Ally Capellino backpack under your bed or tucked away in your wardrobe thanks to its vibrant orange shade. This waxed-cotton backpack is designed for all-weather occasions, making it suitable for cycling to work or running for the tube.
Its material works hard to ensure this backpack remains fairly water resistant: you wouldn’t want to throw it in the Thames but it’ll certainly survive a rainy commute. With one main compartment, two pockets at the front and three internal slip pockets, it makes organising your belongings a breeze.
Buy now £315.00, Selfridges
Ted Baker Ted Belax CrocPU Bkp Ld00
Ted Baker’s Ted Belax CrocPU Bkp Ld00 may not have the easiest to remember name in the world but this bag is certainly one you won’t forget to bring along with you whenever the occasion arises. Made from chic, green croc-style leather, it’s great for adding a colourful touch to a plain outfit and is a suitable size for carrying all of the essentials.
While you won’t quite squeeze a laptop in here, you’ll easily fit a water bottle, purse and a few other things. It’s available in black, too, but the green colourway is our top choice.
Buy now £95.00, Ted Baker
Burberry Jett Star checked cotton-blend backpack
Burberry's iconic pattern shouldn't just be reserved for trench coats, as proven by this cotton-blend backpack. Combining the signature brand print with a new-season update, this backpack is large enough to fit a laptop and plenty of other things at the same time.
A bit of a cult bestseller, this Burberry backpack is definitely not on the subtle side. Its bright tartan colour is one you'll spot a mile away. No worries there about your friends not spotting you at the station.
Buy now £990.00, Selfridges
Valentino Superman Backpack
Valentino’s Superman Backpack is a jack of all trades. Made from grained faux leather, it’s sleek and stylish and perfect for day to day travel. Looking a little like a modern day Mary Poppins’ bag, you’ll squeeze far more than anticipated into this backpack, be it an umbrella, your lunch, a tablet or all of the above. Be prepared to accidentally become that friend who always has the necessities to hand.
A great option for anyone looking for a new designer backpack who leans away from over the top branding, you’ll spy a subtle Valentino logo in the centre but nothing overly loud.
Buy now £129.00, Daniel Footwear
Matt & Nat Bremen Vegan Backpack
Matt & Nat is one of the champions of the vegan bag game and the brand’s Bremen backpack is up there with the best. This sophisticated, perfectly sized backpack is spacious enough to comfortably hold a 15 inch laptop as well as all of your other daily essentials.
Travelling a little further? It also doubles up as a brilliant carry-on bag for weekend trips. Much like all of Matt & Nat’s bags, the Bremen backpack is totally vegan-friendly, made from entirely from recycled water bottles. Inside you’ll find a padded sleeve with tab closure, a zipper pocket, smartphone pocket, two pen slots and a patch pocket.
Buy now £155.00, Matt & Nat
Kenzo Classic Tiger logo-embroidered backpack
Kenzo’s loud branding never fails to impress and the Classic Tiger logo-embroidered backpack is one with an equally loud spirit. The large size of this backpack means you’ll easily fit a couple of outfits in here alongside any other weekend away essentials.
With its black or navy blue background shade and contrasting oversized Tiger Head motif, it’s not one for the fainthearted but definitely promises to add a dash of personality to the rest of your look.
Buy now £1900.00, Farfetch
Givenchy Brand-embroidered shell backpack
Givenchy's brand-embroidered shell backpack fuses together traditional streetwear with a dash of French charm. This vibrant bag comes with subtle attention to detail, like silver-toned hardware and the brand’s moniker stamped across the top for good measure.
Ideal for adding a splash of colour without being over the top, this roomy backpack is designed for daily wear with a few extra compartments dotted throughout.
Buy now £815.00, Selfridges
Whistles Verity leather backpack
It doesn't matter what you wear with your Verity leather backpack, this Whistle's number ensures it remains the star of the show with its bright silver design. Its all-leather body is soft and supple that results in a bag that's stylish enough to outlive seasonal trends and good quality enough to keep you company for years to come.
With a large main compartment and a smaller front compartment, it keeps things simple for organisation purposes. It's also just really fun, regardless of whether you're taking it to a day festival or a weekend shopping trip. Not so much of a silver person but love the design? It also comes in black.
Buy now £295.00, Selfridges
Homme Plisse Issey Miyake Pleated woven backpack
Issey Miyake’s Pleated woven backpack is a little different from the usual, with an eye-catching design and muted colour scheme that’s unlike anything else in the backpack world. Its unique fabric means you’ll fit far more than anticipated inside this backpack thanks to its malleable shape.
With a drawstring closure and one main compartment, it’s a great day bag for bringing along on shopping trips or other casual occasions. It’s also available in jet black, if you’d prefer to turn the muted theme up a notch.
Buy now £495.00, Selfridges
Radley Sketch Street Medium Ziptop Backpack
Ever-classic Radley has a range of brilliant backpacks and the Sketch Street Medium Ziptop Backpack pays homage to the brand's original iconic design. In an off-white colour with black and red accents, this stylish backpack is understated enough to take to work but comes with enough personality to stand out on the tube.
Its boxy design and structured shape makes this a great choice for carrying around a tablet or other belongings that may not survive the journey in a nylon or cotton bag. It's a fan favourite design that's a little quirky, too.
Buy now £109.00, Radley
It’s hard to go wrong with a staple black backpack and the Ralph Lauren’s Drawstring Leather Backpack is our favourite. Its top quality material, spacious design and sleek silhouette makes this a great backpack for all occasions.