You can see there are a ton of brands online when searching for quality backpacks. You’ll find many that are on the first page of Google that you have never heard of. These online backpack manufacturers and sellers make it hard to tell who, or evern what are good quality backpack brands?
The good quality backpack brands are:
- The North Face
What Makes a Quality Backpack?
A quality backpack is one that performs well in its job and lasts a long time to do it. You don’t want this backpack to take a bunch of sick days. I assume we look at backpacks as tools to get a job done. How stylish, or thought provoking the design can be is a secondary ideal when making this brand list. A quality backpack is measured by the materials used, the reviews by thousand of people using them, and the anecdotal opinions from a guy named PAtrick who write for Boss Laptop Bags. Thats me by the way.
What Are Quality Backpack Materials?
- Pack-Cloth Nylon – Slick to the touch and shiny material. These brands use this material because it is very resistant to punctures, easily bonds with water resistance coatings, and its highly scratch resistant.
- Cordura – This material is typically used because it is scratch resistant and very light. Cordura is a very popular hiking backpack material.
- Ripstop Nylon – This Nylon uses a weaving technique that binds together multiple materials. In intervals of about 6 mm during weaving thick reinforcement threads are interwoven into a crosshatch pattern. This material prevents tearing and ripping.
All the backpack brands listed use one or all of these high quality materials. The fascinating part of the backpackpack industry is the piecing together of these various materials into a quality product. Most backpacks are made with these materials, but so many of the mass produced backpacks rip or tear easily. The decision to use thicker amounts of one Nylon type in specific areas of a bag and the leave some areas thin to lighten the same bag for performance is a balancing act. I don’t believe I would have the patience to go through months of testing fabric combinations to get a backpack into production.
Are These Backpacks Adaptable?
I took the liberty of listing brands that have an one-size-fits-all backpack lineup. A specific backpack brand may share similar color pallets but they don’t make one backpack for one specific activity. A company like Timbuk2 has an urban, primary school, and hiking ready bags. All the backpack companies listed have backpacks with laptop sleeves, organizational storage, and a water bottle holder. The goal is to have one backpack for everything. This may not be acceptable to hard core hikers or marathon cyclists. I made this list for the average consumer who just want something that will last and can be brought to work or the park. I have a review I recently posted about my experience with the Timbuk2 Armory Pack, this is a good example of an adaptable backpack.
What These Brands Have In Common
All of these brands have key features I want to highlight. These aren’t groundbreaking features but I think they matter in terms of quality backpacks.
- Lifetime Warranties
- 17 inch Laptop Sleeve Options
- Thousands of Positive Reviews
The manufacturing lifetime warranties are a must in my opinion. No reasonable person will expect to get a warranty replacement of their backpacks if they burn their old backpack to start a campfire for s’mores. When I see a 5 year warranty on a backpack, I immediately think the company expected a college student to discard it senior year so they cheap out on materials.
Today, most people carry laptops in their backpacks. Backpacks made with water resistant materials is a no-brainer. The 17 inch laptop bag options are nice, but rare because most backpack companies want to only make 15.6 inch laptop bags or smaller. A lack of 17 inch laptop bags is a main reason I write this blog. There are thousands of reviews for each of the backpack companies I list above. It’s not worth copying and pasting them here. Look them up and you’ll see their track records are out in the open.
What’s the Average Price of a Quality Backpack?
The average price for a quality backpack seems to be in the range of $50 to $150. At the $100 range of backpacks I believe the style and visuals are what cause the price to be so high. I don’t see leaps and bounds in differences between a $50 backpack and a $150 backpack if all you need an all-around quality backpack. If you need a backpack to hold your camera gear or specialized water packs for a few days of continuous hiking, you’ll want a more specific product or brand. If you need to carry books to class or I would prefer to never buy a $150 backpack, but I already have. I do own a review website on laptop bags and backpacks though.
Quality Signals from Unknown Brands
As long as your backpack doesn’t look like a bindle and has a similar material makeup as listed above you should be fine. Find a backpack that is waterproof or water resistant. A backpack brand with a beefy warranty. It doesn’t matter if its only a manufacturing warranty, there’s no apple care for backpacks. Make sure the company has plenty of reviews and that you can find plenty of Youtube videos on them. Do a reverse image search of unknown backpack brands or sellers if their product pictures look stock to you. You can find out if they are being imported or drop shipped straight from China.
Most unknown brands selling backpacks that make us want to buy them are on Amazon. A lot of these backpacks have power supplies to charge your phone or other fancy features at low prices. I haven’t tested these backpacks for myself but I would offer a word of caution. Do not buy cheap backpacks based on electronic features. If you plan to store expensive electronics in a backpack, it’s much more important that you find a high quality backpack to protect these electronics. I would recommend these Dell gaming backpacks if you want a lot of electronic benefits from a backpack. Do you know a brand that fits this criteria and isn’t on the list? Please comment them below and I’ll be happy to add them!