Young women standing on the beach in a canvas backpack.

The 5 Best Canvas Backpacks: Durable and Stylish

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A quality backpack is a veritable lifesaver when traveling. Lightweight, yet comfortable, the perfect backpack can hold all of your must-have gear without feeling burdensome or like it’s holding you back.

Carry around a low-quality backpack all day, however, and you’ll certainly regret your decision come nightfall as a sore back and aching shoulders remind you to get a more comfortable pack the next time you’re out shopping. Thus, it’s important that we do our research so that we each find the best backpack for our individual needs.

That being said, there are a whole lot of different backpacks out there these days. So, to keep things simple, we’ve got the low down on the ultimate travel companion: the canvas backpack. Coming up, here are reviews of the five best canvas backpacks around!

The 5 Best Canvas Backpacks

Fjallraven – Kanken Classic Backpack

The Fjallraven Kanken is an all-time classic in the canvas backpack world. Made with the same great iconic Kanken design since 1978, this backpack has been a fan-favorite of active travelers around the world for decades.

With a large main zippered compartment, a front zippered pocket, and two side pockets, the Kaken has plenty of space for organizing your gear without feeling overwhelming and redundant. Plus, the Kaken is made almost exclusively with Vinylon F fabric, which is water and dirt-resistant for long-term durability.

Two ergonomic shoulder straps and a pair of dual top snap handles make the Kaken easy to carry, while a built-in sitting pad provides an impromptu-sitting surface during an adventure. Oh, and with 16 liters of carrying capacity, there’s a lot to love with the Fjallraven Kaken.

Pros:

  • Very durable Vinylon F fabric
  • Water-resistant
  • Good organization pockets
  • Stylish look

Cons:

  • Relatively small
  • Expensive
Sale
Fjallraven - Kanken Classic Backpack
2,503 Reviews
Fjallraven - Kanken Classic Backpack
  • ICONIC: Same classic Kanken design since 1978. Stash everyday essentials in the main zippered compartment, front zippered pocket, and two open side pockets.
  • PRACTICAL: Meet the material: Vinylon F. It has a weird name but it's dirt-resistant, water-resistant, and wipes clean.
  • FUNCTIONAL: Two-way zipper with rain flap for protection. Ergonomic shoulder straps for the long haul. Dual top snap handles for quick carry. Sitting pad for impromptu seating. Reflective logo.
  • ROOMY: 16 L of storage space for everything you need and some things you don't. Measures 14.9" (38 cm) x 10.6" (27 cm) x 5.1" (13 cm). Weighs 0.7 lb.

Gootium 21101 Canvas Backpack

Durable to the core, the Gootium 21101 is made with 100 percent thick cotton canvas that’s designed to last a lifetime. With metal fastenings and a sturdy fabric build, the Gootium 21101 is a hardworking canvas backpack. 

With several exterior pockets for ample storage and a large main compartment, the Gootium 21101 is a do-anything pack that’s ready for adventure. Plus, the Gootium 21001 Specially High Density Thick Canvas Backpack is large enough to carry a 17-inch laptop without feeling bulky, so there’s nothing this pack can’t do.

Pros:

  • Large main compartment
  • Plenty of small exterior pockets
  • Durable canvas fabric
  • Can hold a 17-inch laptop

Cons:

  • Not weather-resistant
  • Heavy 
Sale
Gootium 21101 Canvas Backpack
1,192 Reviews
Gootium 21101 Canvas Backpack
  • 100-Percent Pure Cotton Thick Canvas Backpack With Durable Metal Fastenings;Garment Washed For Vintage Look And Enhances Soft Hand Feel
  • This High Density Canvas Backpack Features A Classic Shape With Several Pockets For Storage And Organization; Ample Interior Room Accommodates A 17 Inch Laptop As Well As Holding A Variety Of Other Items
  • This Rucksack Has A Roomy Main Compartment, 1 Large front Pockets Closed By Button, 1 Internal Security Zippered Pocket For Valuable Items And Two Side Pockets With Button Closure
  • Overall Dimension: Approx. Large:13.5" x 8" x 17.7" (L x W x H);Small:12" x 8" x 15" (L x W x H)

BLUBOON Canvas Vintage Backpack

The Bluboon Canvas Vintage Backpack is designed to be stylish and functional, all at the same time. Made exclusively from a blend of soft canvas and genuine leather, the Bluboon backpack is soft to the touch while being durable enough to resist years of abuse and use.

Thanks to the Bluboon canvas backpack’s 22.6L capacity and wide dimensions, it can fit a 15″ laptop, as well as a wide array of personal items in it for safekeeping. Multiple interior pockets, as well as three exterior zippered pockets, help keep things in organized with the Bluboon backpack, making it a top pick for travelers everywhere.

Pros:

  • Soft leather and canvas blend
  • Soft to the touch yet durable
  • Can fit a 15” laptop
  • Three exterior pockets and multiple interior pockets for organization

Cons:

  • Not weather-resistant
  • Difficult to clean
BLUBOON Canvas Vintage Backpack
1,120 Reviews
BLUBOON Canvas Vintage Backpack
  • This BLUBOON vintage canvas backpack is classic, it shows you outstanding temperament. With drawstring design for the main compartment to tight well. Its magnet closure makes the back pack very easy to open and close
  • You can also use it as a laptop backpack, with padded laptop sleeve, it could fit 15.6" computer, velcro strap add security and protective. Perfect backpack for school, work, daily use and travel
  • There are multiple interior pockets to keep your little things organized, like wallet, keys, ipad, tablet, glasses, cell phone, water bottle, umbrella, clothes, books, school or other supplies
  • Material: soft canvas and genuine leather feels very comfortable to wear and a nice touch, the canvas material won't rip or tear, the shoulder straps are extendable and padded for comfort

GINGOOD Canvas Backpack

The Gingood Canvas Backpack is made with 100 percent durable canvas fabric and leather straps. The pack itself features one main compartment, three exterior zippered pockets and a handfull of interior pockets to make organization easy in the 19L Gingood Canvas Backpack.

Inside, one can fit a 14” laptop into the purpose-built padded compartment, which makes the Gingood Canvas Backpack a great option for those tech-savvy travelers. Plus, the pack comes in a variety of different colors to appeal to a wide range of stylistic choices.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Made from 100% canvas fabric with leather straps
  • Interior and exterior pockets for organizing gear
  • Padded 14” laptop compartment

Cons:

  • Not very large
  • A plethora of pockets can make packing difficult
GINGOOD Canvas Backpack
500 Reviews
GINGOOD Canvas Backpack
  • SIZE: 19L: Approx. 13.8"L x 15.7"H x 6.7" W.
  • MATERIAL: The canvas backpack is made of 100% durable canvas, leather decorative straps and zipper buckles, and metal zippers.
  • STRUCTURE: 3 exterior zipper pockets; 5 interior pockets; 1 rear zipper pocket; 1 tablet/up to 14" laptop padded compartment.
  • MULTI-PURPOSE: The vintage canvas backpack can be used as a hiking backpack, school rucksack, causal travel daypack, high school or college bag, shopping daypack, work or office rucksack etc.

P.KU.VDSL Vintage Canvas Backpack

This commuter-friendly backpack from P.KU.VDSL is made from a durable canvas fabric with a cow leather trim. With fully adjustable padded shoulder straps, this vintage backpack feels comfortable after hours of travel in nearly any environment.

Plus, thanks to this pack’s large capacity, you can easily fit a handful of books, a laptop, and spare layers for a day out on the town. If all of that wasn’t good enough, the P.KU. VDSL’s anti-theft design features a hidden back pocket for protecting your most valuable belongings while traveling.

Pros:

  • Large carrying capacity for travel
  • Hidden back pocket for storing valuables
  • Durable canvas fabric

Cons:

  • Not very weather-resistant
  • Heavy
  • Bulky
Sale
P.KU.VDSL Vintage Canvas Backpack
1,050 Reviews
P.KU.VDSL Vintage Canvas Backpack
  • UPGRADE SIZE DESIGN -- 17.7''(H)x13.8''(L)x6.3''(W). Canvas Backpack with NEW PLUS SIZE offers more space. Thick padded sleeve protects laptop up to 17''
  • UPGRADE POCKET DESIGN -- Laptop Backpack with several pockets for storage and organization. 2 main compartments and laptop padded sleeve. 1 rear pocket for security. Extra card slot and side mesh pockets
  • UPGRADE MATERIALS -- Thick canvas, genuine cow leather with durable metal fastenings. P.KU.VDSL canvas leather rucksack features a soft back padding and shoulder straps for wearing comfort
  • IMPROVED ZIPPER -- Hardware zipper with leather pull and protective zip tap. Never scratch your fingers while using this vintage backpack

Features to consider in a canvas backpack

Choosing the right canvas backpack is no easy feat. With hundreds, if not thousands of options out there on the market, it’s easy enough to get overwhelmed. Since it’s important to find the right pack for your needs, it’s important to understand the different features of a canvas backpack before you buy one. Here are the top features to consider in a canvas backpack:

girl wearing green backpack climbing tree


Number of pockets

In the world of backpacks, there are so many different designs to choose from. Particularly when it comes to organizational features, you’ve got a lot to choose from. Pockets, in particular, can make or break a backpack, so it’s important to pay attention to them when shopping around.

Essentially, a backpack is one big pocket for carrying around gear. Outside of that primary storage compartment, however, some canvas backpacks offer many more pockets and options for organization.

While many packs will feature one or two side pockets, which are great for water bottles, mini umbrellas, and thermoses, some will have a front pocket for items that you like to keep accessible. Others will have a variety of different zippered pockets for smaller items, too.

That being said, while pockets do aid in organization, they also increase the weight of your pack and make it bulkier. Additionally, pockets do reduce the amount of packable space in your pack while also making it more difficult to pack large items. So, you should determine whether or not pockets, and certain pocket styles, in particular, are important to you before you buy a new canvas backpack.

Versatile design options

When you invest in a quality canvas backpack, you want to get a pack that’s as versatile as you are. Whether you’re traveling, hiking, or just walking around town, a good canvas backpack should be able to do it all. 

Thus, when purchasing a canvas backpack, it’s helpful to look specifically for models that feature versatile design options. Whether this means a laptop pocket, space for a hydration system, or a number of different attachment points really depends on what you look for in a backpack. But what’s important is that you’re attentive to the importance of versatility in a backpack, as this will help you choose the model that’s right for you.

Storage

A backpack is meant to carry around gear, so it’s important to find one that can store all of the gear you normally bring with you on your travels. In particular, you want to be sure that you can store everything you need on the inside of your pack to minimize any tendencies to attach things to the outside or to overstuff your pack.

While you may have to attach gear to the outside of your pack or overstuff your pack on occasion, we should try not to make a habit of these things as we want to protect our gear from the environment and the weather at all times. Plus, when we overstuff our packs, we make it difficult to account for the unexpected, which could be as simple as a rain jacket or leftovers from dinner.

Thus, it’s often best to buy a pack with a slightly larger capacity than you need. This allows you to pack all of your gear but still have space for when life gets in the way.

Organization

Organization is a very personal matter as what’s organized for one person might not be for another. When it comes to backpacks, many people thrive with a pack that has lots of pockets as this allows them to feel very organized. Others, however, feel constrained by all of these pockets and would much prefer to have a single tube to pack all of their gear in to.

Thus, when you’re buying a pack, you’ll need to decide which camp you belong to. If you need a plethora of pockets to stay organized, opt for a pack with pockets. Otherwise, a simpler model might do the trick.

Carrying handles

While pretty much every backpack has a pair of shoulder straps, only a select few also come with a quality set of carrying handles, usually around the top of the pack. Although carrying handles might not seem like a big deal on a backpack, they can make your life much easier while traveling in tight spaces.

Carrying handles make it easier to carry a backpack in crowded areas. Plus, they offer a great way to hold onto a pack as you dig inside to find that one pen you’ve been looking for. While carrying handles aren’t a requirement for a good canvas backpack, they are very useful.

Size

A backpack’s size is directly correlated with the amount of gear it can carry. Modern backpacks are almost all measured for storage capacity in terms of liters, with some United States-based companies also expressing this measure in cubic inches. We’ll use liters here for simplicity’s sake.

For the most part, your average traveler or daily backpack wearer can get away with a pack that’s between 15-25L in capacity. If you carry around a lot of gear, you might want between 25-45L of carrying capacity in your pack. Over 45L and you’re moving out of carry-on size and into the realm of expedition packs and checked bags.

The Verdict

When we’re walking around town, we can only carry one backpack with us at a time. Thus, we need to find the right pack to meet all of our diverse needs. If we had to choose just one pack from this review, we’d have to pick the Fjallraven Kaken, as it’s simple, durable, and water-resistant design makes it a practical option in nearly any situation. While you might have to pay a pretty penny for the Kaken, we think it’s well worth the investment for the quality.

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