Types of Backpacks

20 Different Types of Backpacks Guide

(Last Updated On: November 4, 2022)

Backpacks comprise a group of bags that are mostly kept on your back or on your back. It helps you to carry more things and not care about back and shoulder pains from a shoulder or messenger bag while still retaining a personal look, owing to the weight distribution support from your shoulder when wearing a backpack. Each type of backpack has its own design and purpose, from tech backpacks to hiking backpacks.

In this guide, we go over the different types of backpacks for school, for traveling, for hiking. The best types of backpacks for each one and the best brands for backpacks. Need a backpack for school? Got a holiday vacation with your friends or family? Planning a backpacking trip to Europe? Don’t worry, we got it all for you.

1. Daypacks

Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack

A daypack is a slim or medium-sized backpack designed for regular use. They are suitable for work, school, or a quick hike because they are smaller and more portable than backpacks. They are mostly water-resistant to repel light rain. Checkout our guide on the best travel day packs and best day packs for hiking.

2. Everyday Backpack

Timbuk2 Spire Backpack

This is the most popular type of backpack because it can be used almost anywhere from work, school, gym, or a short hike. They come in different designs to suit any type of user of this bag. Be sure to check our guide on the best edc everyday backpacks.

3. Rucksack

Gootium 21101 Specially High Density Thick Canvas Backpack

Rucksack works the same as a conventional backpack similar to a traditional backpack. A rucksack ‘s appearance is distinctive and recognizable. Like a standard backpack, it has a main pouch (and may have other compartments), but it uses a flap and buckle mechanism to protect your belongings instead of a zipper closure. Be sure to check our guide on the best canvas backpacks if you fancy a rucksack style.

4. School Backpack

JanSport TDN7 Big Student Backpack

While school backpacks come in all shapes and sizes to suit elementary, high school, and college students, Most are noted for their wide main compartments designed to hold textbooks, as well as additional pockets and accessory organizers such as computers, pens, and even a snack. You may find our guide on the best backpacks for elementary school, high school, and college useful.

5. Drawstring

BeeGreen Drawstring Backpack Sports Gym Bag

A drawstring bag is secured by a drawstring closure. It is lightweight and also comes with a wide range of fabrics, such as canvas, nylon, leather, etc. The drawstring pack, suitable for short trips and daily use, it remains popular today because of its versatility and often inexpensive price. Don’t forget to check our selection of the best drawstring backpacks.

6. Tech Backpack

TIMBUK2 Authority Laptop Backpack

Tech backpacks are made for items such as laptops and tablets. For professionals or gamers who need a discreet and convenient way to carry around costly gadgets and accessories, these specialist backpacks are useful. Our handy guide to the best backpacks for tablets, and best gaming backpacks might prove useful to you.

7. Tactical Military Backpack

5.11 Tactical RUSH24 Military Backpack

These backpacks represent a significant emblem of our troops fighting for our freedom. But they also act as one of the most rugged and versatile backpacks with heavy-duty carrying features that are perfect. The key feature that separates them from other backpacks is their thick material and molle features. Read our guide on the best tactical backpacks and best military backpacks for more information.

8. Mini Backpack

Mini backpacks make for a great bag when traveling or going out for dinner. Mini backpacks are known to be a beautifully stylish and functional way to carry the essentials of everyday life without hurting the back or looking too large.

9. Work Backpack

Carhartt Legacy Classic Work Backpack for Men

Work backpacks are designed with business in mind, mixing the comfort and functionality that we enjoy about backpacks with professional styles that would not look out of place in the workplace. A wider selection of luxury fabrics, stylish colors, and special compartments for items such as laptops, corporate papers and other office necessities can be found for work backpacks. We have a guide on the best men’s backpack for work and the best women’s backpack for work as well.

10. Biking Backpack

Proviz Sports Reflect360 Cycling Backpack

Biking backpacks are built for bikers who bike to work or the mountains for a weekend ride. They have special features such that they don’t move or wiggle on your back while your biking. They also come with locking loops for your items like lights and locks. Be sure to check our guide on the best cycling backpacks and best mountain bike backpacks.

11. Climbing Backpack

Petzl Bug Climbing Backpack

Climbing backpacks are built for rock climbing, ice climbing, and wall climbing. Categories for climbing backpacks include crag, summit, alpine, and haul bags. Each one of this activity requires different demands but all of them will help you in your climbing activity.

12. Backpacking Backpack

Osprey Atmos AG 65 Men's Backpacking Backpack

These are bags designed for when you’re planning a multi-day hike to the canyons or planning a backpacking trip to Europe. There are usually gender-specific and unisex backpacks built for this kind of trip. Check out our guide on the best backpacking backpacks and the best backpacking backpacks for women.

13. Camera Backpack

Peak Design Everyday Camera Backpack

These are bags built to protect your camera, lenses and other camera gear. They will usually have pockets that you can organize yourself for the optimal fit of your camera gear. There are camera backpacks for travel and camera backpacks for hiking to suit your needs better.

14. Anti-Theft Backpack

Pacsafe Metrosafe LS450 Anti Theft Backpack

At first sight, anti-theft backpacks look much like normal daypacks. But you can find the zippers and zipper pullers are not noticeable on most of these backpacks until you really look at them. And that’s their key function in the design. Typically they have secret zipper pullers, but also cut-proof fabric, locks on pullers, compression bands over the zipper, and numerous belts and buckles to keep the pullers in place. In addition, RFID blocking pockets will even include high-end anti-theft backpacks, which would also shield you from cards.

15. Packable Backpack

Eddie Bauer Unisex-Adult Stowaway Packable 20L Daypack

These are backpacks that you can usually fold into pocket size. They are mostly used when traveling and you need to carry a small backpack with you throughout the day. In addition, they also make great hiking packs due to their versatility. You will love our guide on the best packable backpacks for travel or hiking.

16. Travel Backpack

Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack

Backpacks are becoming more popular as a carry-on alternative due to their hands-free handling and ease of use when on the move, while wheeled luggage still dominates for longer journeys. Backpacks fairly spread weight for a more convenient carry, unlike weekend duffel bags. New backpack designs have allowed travelers to totally abandon the carry-on suitcase by allowing items such as clothes, shoes, and toiletries to be smartly packed right on your back. Our handy guide to the best travel backpacks might be of use to you.

17. Hydration/Running Backpack

OMM Ultra Running Backpack

Hydration or running packs are usually those built when you’re doing a trail run or marathon. They will usually have built-in hydration bladders where you can sip easily while running. Check our guide on the best running backpacks and best hydration running packs in the market right now.

18. Ski/Snowboard Backpack

Dakine Heli Pro Backpack

Generally, skiing and snowboarding backpacks are somewhat similar to hiking backpacks. These packs provide mounting points for gear that are specially designed to hold the gear for skiing/snowboarding. They will also have a helmet spot, connection points for your skis or a snowboard, and your ski poles, as well as a position where a spare layer of clothes can be stashed easily. And they are made to be as compact as possible because nobody wants an overly bulky backpack/

19. Commuter Backpack

SwissGear Travel Gear 1900 Commuter Backpack

Commuter backpacks are built to hold your tech when you are taking your gear on public transportation. They will usually have dedicated pockets for your laptop and tablets. They are basically perfect for anyone who goes to school, work, or simply a weekend vacation.

20. Sports Backpack

Nike Hoops Elite Max Air Team 2.0 Basketball Backpack

This bag is for anyone who plays sports like basketball, baseball, soccer, bowling, or simply any other athletic games. They will usually have a separate shoe compartment, pocket for dirty clothes, and sometimes a dedicated ball holder. Check out our guide on the best basketball backpacks and soccer backpacks.