Best Minimalist Backpack 2020

Finding The Best Minimalist Backpack of 2020

Out of clutter, find simplicity!” said Albert Einstein. Minimalist travel brings this essence to our lives. It gives us the freedom and happiness of traveling light. The clutter-free travel will put the spring in your step to explore beyond the bounds. Minimalist travel is cutting down on the excesses and carrying the absolute essentials. A utilitarian bag with a simple design and functional support should be the ideal choice for a backpack. A minimalist backpack may look very plain and bare, but they are equal or more functional than the normal backpacks. So come let’s embrace minimalism! In this article, we will help you understand how to choose a minimalist backpack and also give you an insight into the 5 of the best minimalist backpack options on the market.

Looking for more backpack options? Check out these awesome smart backpacks

An Expert Minimalist Backpack Buying Guide

What should you look into why buying a minimalist backpack? A small backpack with less number of compartments is not necessarily how a minimalist backpack should be. Below we have spelled out a few criteria that can help you make an informed choice when finding the best minimalist backpack for your needs.

  1. Design – The appearance of the bag should not be compromised in the guise of minimalism. Aesthetic appearance, simple and sleek design with good organizational features is what one should look for. Most of the time we do not understand the numerous zips, straps, and pouches that our backpacks have. But when we use them we find that they may not be able to take the weight of the bottle, for which they are designed, or the weight of the padding behind and below is so much that the backpack keeps falling. With the right design, these practical problems would not arise. The comfort of carrying the backpacks around is also important.
  2. Size – Minimalist means going small. Limiting what you carry is the essence of minimalist travel. If you are going to carry a bulky big bag, then minimalism is lost. But small size or minimalist travel need not mean not being able to carry your essentials, it means finding the right bag with the required number of smart compartments to store your requirements without being overly large.
  3. Compartments – Most of the times the bags have numerous compartments of various sizes, which have no utility. If the backpack is designed keeping the practical usage in mind, then we do not need so many compartments, but a very few well thought of pockets. For instance, carrying your dirty shoes along with your clothes is a big no. The backpack with a separate shoe compartment would be ideal.
  4. Features – The purpose you intend to use the bag for will determine the essential features that the bag must-have. For instance, if it is intended to be used as a travel bag it needs to have lot of storage space. Whereas if it is going to be for office use, a minimalist laptop backpack, which has a laptop compartment that fits your laptop and is well padded would match your requirements. The features in the bag which may be useful for a particular activity may not go too well for another purpose
  5. Durability – the material of the bag and the durability is also to be considered while choosing the bag. You do not want to end up buying a bag every year and it should be worth the price you pay. If the bag is for hiking, waterproof material is essential. Also, the padding on the straps would make it easy to carry. If you plan to put it for everyday use, then it is likely to be abused a lot. The wear and tear is thus an important factor to take into account. Also, the zipper is the one that is most likely to be damaged first. Having a go*od quality zipper is also preferable.
  6. Style – The appearance of the bag should not be compromised in the guise of minimalism. Aesthetic appearance, simple and sleek design with good organizational features is what one should look for. A minimalist leather backpack could do the trick for an office goer.
  7. Weight – Lightweight backpacks are the ideal bags one must go for. Bulky backpacks that weigh very heavily on our shoulders would be very difficult to walk around with on a hike or tour across the city. So must always consider the weight of the backpack while choosing a good backpack.
  8. Comfort – This is another important feature to be considered while choosing a backpack. The pain of lugging around the bag can be eased by good padding on the back and the shoulders. A good comfortable bag eases out the weight evenly and they do not put added pressure on anyone part.

Our Recommendations for the Best Minimalist Backpack of 2020

It may help if you rank the 8 criteria above based off a scale from 1-8 in terms of importance to you. That will help make narrowing down the choices easier. Now that we know what to look for, let’s see the  5 options for the best minimalist backpack available on the market today –

The North Face Jester Backpack – Our Pick for the Best Minimalist Backpack

The North Face Jester Backpack, TNF Black, One Size
  • Make your commute an easy one with the organized Jester Backpack from The North Face.
  • Large main compartment fits books and binders.
  • Padded laptop pocket fits devices up to 15".

Sturdy, sleek and unmatched comfort – all rolled into one! This is the North Face Jester Backpack for you. For a day hike or as an office bag, this is sure to satisfy your needs. It has a single large compartment with a padded laptop pocket and other essentials. There is a smaller compartment to store pens and other items. Two sides mesh water bottle pockets. There is FlexVent support on the back panel and shoulder straps for added comfort. Removable hip belt for extra support. And all this comes without burning a hole in your pocket. This is a great choice for the best minimalist backpack.

Key Features of the North Face Jester Minimalist Backpack –

  • 26 liters capacity
  • 3 ounces weight
  • Polyester material
  • Padded laptop pocket to fit 15” devices
  • Front accessory pocket with organization panel for small items
  • 2 external water bottle mesh pockets

Pros of the North Face Jester Minimalist Backpack

  • Lifetime warranty for manufacturing defects for the original owner if purchased from an authorized dealer
  • FlexVent support and comfort
  • Durable and stylish. Lot of colors to choose from
  • A minimalist bag that can support a laptop, a few books, water bottles, and clear clutter
  • Budget-friendly

Cons of the North Face Jester Minimalist Backpack –

  • The organizer pocket only goes down to half of the bag, so it is top-heavy
  • The laptop pocket could have been waterproof
  • Warranty only if purchased directly

north face jester minimalist backpack

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Osprey Packs Porter 46 Travel Backpack

Osprey Packs Porter 46 Travel Backpack, Black
  • Stowaway shoulder harness and hip belt with adjustable sternum strap and whistle buckle,
  • Protected rear panel lockable zip laptop/tablet sleeve for quick access at security or while traveling
  • Front panel organization pocket for easy access to small travel items; storable belt with foam padding and 38 millimeter webbing

Smart design and comfort are what this backpack is all about. It is comfortable for short travel. The shoulder straps have load lifter straps that keep the straps tight on the shoulder. The shoulder strap and waist strap can be stowed away. It has ample space in the main compartment and multiple pockets to store your things in an organized way. This is a nice minimalist backpack for anyone doing shorter travels.

Key Features of the Ospery Packs Minimalist Backpack–

  • 4 pounds in weight
  • 46 Liters capacity
  • Nylon Material
  • Separate rear panel lockable zip laptop /tablet sleeve for easy access
  • Front panel organizational pocket
  • D ring attachment for adding a shoulder strap

Pros of the Ospery Packs Minimalist Backpack–

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Smart features like a separate laptop/ tablet pocket, additional shoulder strap provision to use as a duffel bag
  • Comfortable and sturdy with a lot of space
  • Padded top and side handle. Help carry the bag when not on the back.
  • Shoulder straps can be tucked away when not used.

Cons of the Ospery Packs Minimalist Backpack –

  • Not waterproof
  • The nylon material makes it very sweaty
  • Waist strap not very comfortable.
  • No external water bottle holders

Osprey Packs Porter 46 Travel Backpack

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Yorepek Extra Large Backpack – An Awesome Minimalist Travel Backpack

Travel Backpacks for Men, Extra Large College School Laptop Bookbags Gifts for Men Wowen with USB Charging Port,TSA Friendly Water Resistant Business Computer Bag Fit 17 Inch Laptops 45L,Black
  • Large capacity and organized: men travel backpack owns 20 independent pockets for large storage and organization for small items. 3 spacious main multi compartments with many hidden pockets can accommodate lots of stuff like college supplies, travel accessories, clothes, stationery, notebook, cord organizer, side deep zipper pocket for easy access essentials, Side elastic net pockets conveniently hold travel gear umbrellas or water bottles. A great back to school gifts for college students
  • TSA approved and multipurpose: At checkpoint, unfolds the extra-large backpack freely 90-180 degrees making you quickly through the airport security and keep items tidy, exclusive designed for airplane travel. The big backpack is perfect for indoor/outdoor activities. Served as a durable large backpack, large school backpack for Teen Boys/Girls, large laptop bag or spacious college backpack. Perfect travel gifts for men who like international travel, camping, hiking, and overnight trip
  • Practical and convenient: external USB port with set-in charging cable offers convenient charging your cellphone and other electronic devices everywhere. A hole for headphone outside gives easy access to Earphone usage. Also, the student backpack with a sturdy rugged handle with steel cable on the top for carrying. Side compression straps keep the exclusive backpack at whatever size you require.As a Men's/women's backpack,it's a great gift idea for men, can use as Mother's/Father's day gift.

Day to day use or daily travel, this is your go-to minimalist travel backpack. Equipped with features where you can charge your devices and listen to music without taking them out from your backpack. They are TSA friendly which can make your scans at the airport a breeze. Padded back panel with airflow ventilation technology prevents overheating. This backpack is duirable and reliable. It is a little more expensive than the other best minimalist backpack options but it is a great investment.

Key Features of the Yorepek Extra Large Minimalist Backpack–

  • 29 pounds weight
  • 45 Liters capacity
  • Polyester Material with waterproof zippers
  • Padded laptop sleeve for 17” device
  • 20+ organizational pockets
  • Mesh water bottle external side pockets
  • External USB charging port
  • Headphones hole

Pros of the Yorepek Extra Large Minimalist Backpack-

  • TSA friendly
  • A USB port and headphones hole
  • Ergonomic design
  • Comfortable and sturdy with a lot of space

=Yorepek Extra Large Minimalist Backpack

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Solo Everyday Max Hybrid Backpack

Solo Everyday Max Hybrid Backpack
  • Created to suit an on the go lifestyle, each bag incorporates smart details and hybrid silhouettes that easily transition from work to play
  • Fully padded 17.3 inches laptop compartment
  • Internal iPad/tablet pocket

A clean and streamlined bag is how you can best describe this one. A lot of storage room with two main storage compartments. The front compartment can be used for storing large items and is accessible either through a top zipper or a zipper from the side. There are five zippered pockets inside this compartment for securely storing smaller items. There is also a bottom zippered pocket which can be used for storing shoes. The large zippered side panels can hold tall water bottles and remove any tension if the bottle were to start leaking. This is a great option for the best minimalist backpack.

Key Features Solo Everyday Max Hybrid Backpack–

  • 43 pounds weight
  • Large zippered side pockets
  • 6 additional pockets
  • Fully padded 17.3” laptop compartment
  • Padded carry handle, back, and backpack straps

Pros of the Solo Everyday Max Hybrid Backpack–

  • Internal iPad/ tablet pocket
  • Separate shoe compartment
  • Zippered bottle pockets

Cons of the Solo Everyday Max Hybrid Backpack–

  • Zippers not of great quality

Solo Everyday Max Hybrid Backpack

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SwissGear 5358 USB ScanSmart Minimalist Travel Backpack

SwissGear 5358 USB ScanSmart Laptop Backpack. Abrasion-Resistant & Travel-Friendly Laptop Backpack Exclusive Bundle with Lock (Grey Heather w/Lock)
  • TSA FRIENDLY: TSA friendly ScanSmart laptop compartment with padded 15" computer sleeve and padded TabletSafe tablet pocket
  • USB READY: Built-in USB outlet power ready port for charging on the go (battery pack NOT INCLUDED)
  • UNPARALLELED COMFORT: Ergonomically contoured, padded shoulder straps with built-in suspension, breathable mesh fabric

Our final option for the best minimalist backpack is the SwissGear 5358. Innovative design, superior comfort and exceptionally organized best describe this. It is TSA friendly and USB equipped for a modern travelers’ need. It has a fully padded laptop pocket. The Swiss brand is synonomous with high quality backpacks and the 5358 is no different. This is a great minimalisat travel backpack and definitely a choice for the best minimalist backpack.

Key Features of the SwissGear 5358 USB ScanSmart Minimalist Travel Backpack–

  • 4 Liters capacity
  • Abrasion-resistant polyester fabric
  • Padded laptop sleeve for 15” device
  • Many storage compartments
  • Mesh water bottle external side pockets
  • USB ready


Pros of the SwissGear 5358 USB ScanSmart Minimalist Travel Backpack–

  • TSA friendly
  • USB ready
  • Ergonomic design
  • Insulated pocket to keep water cold
  • Crush-resistant sunglasses compartment
  • Separate shoe compartment
  • Ergonomically contoured

Cons of the SwissGear 5358 USB ScanSmart Minimalist Travel Backpack–

  • Zipper not of great quality

SwissGear 5358

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Final Thoughts on finding the Best Minimalist Backpack in 2020

We hope this article has convinced you that minimalist backpacking is one of the best ways to travel. Every minimalist backpack may have its own uniqueness, but what you choose should depend on your need for the unique feature.  So go ahead and make your choice based on your personal style and requirements. Happy shopping and happy travel!

Our Final Verdict on the Best Minimalist Backpack – The North Face Jester Backpack


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