Backpacks

You can't have too many bags. Big, small, wide, narrow, with shoulder straps or short handles: each design specification makes for a unique advantage depending on what you need. I don't use a backpack much, but am thankful to have one when I'm rushing on my bike to the grocery store for some last-minute shopping, or when I'm on the go and need to be able to use both of my hands without contorting my body. A backpack is pretty essential, and, like most of the other things we list here, will open up new possibilities for how you approach everyday life.

1. Kletterwerks Flip

Among modern climbers, Dana Gleason is well known for being at the forefront of creating equipment and bags that are tough as nails and will last forever. Kletterwerks packs are storied for their durability and endurance, and are still made in Bozeman, Montana.

Available in six colorways @ Kletterwerks ($229)

2. Topo Designs Rover Pack

Topo Designs makes all of their bags and apparel in the USA and is impressing for their products' hardiness as well as the uniqueness of their designs. The two-tone coloring on the Rover pack and compact yet roomy main compartment make this backpack very good looking and handy to have.

Available in four colorways @ Topo Designs ($139)

3. Epperson Mountaineering Climb Pack

Epperson Mountaineering is another maker from Montana whose packs come loaded with useful details and are fun and colorful to boot. Their climb packs have a cylindrical shape that make the main compartment roomier than it looks, and the extra pockets will make it easy to keep small things like keys or papers at the ready when you need them.

@ Grizzzly Store ($175)

4. Patagonia Black Hole Pack

This backpack means business. Patagonia's Black Hole Pack is small enough to fit in the under-the-seat storage on an airplane but can hold a few days' worth of clothing, plus a computer and any other accessories you'll need. The thoughtful design details mean that no matter how full or empty you've got this bag, it'll always be useful.

Available in six colorways @ Patagonia ($149)

5. Duluth Pack Scout Pack

Among the other backpacks featured today, this Scout Pack by Duluth Pack is the outlier, as the other four styles are inspired or drawn from climbing and hiking. However, if we're talking about pedigree, it's of the same ilk. The canoe pack style is timeless, and Duluth Pack is known for its very legit, tough bags. Canoe packs can often be unwieldy, and that's what makes this Scout Pack ideal as a do-anything bag (but maybe not a grocery store backpack).

Available in thirteen colorways @ Duluth Pack ($115)