Cool backpack for boyfriend?
August 24, 2010 4:12 PM   Subscribe

I am trying to buy a really cool, really high quality backpack for my boyfriend. Must be available for purchase online or in Los Angeles. Any recommendations?

This would be a daypack for lugging around a laptop (though need have a laptop compartment) and other stuff, both everyday and for light travel.

It should also look really cool. Somewhere in between retro preppy and techy streetware skaterishness.

I'd like to stay under $100, but a little above would be okay.

I love the Altadena Works Teardrop, but it's pretty spendy.

The Duluth Standard Daypack nearly fits the bill, but it's a little less designy than I'd like.

Some of the models from the JanSport Heritage Series but they seem a little too Urban Outfittersy and are hard to find online in any variety.

Help! All the other ones I like seem to be available only in, like, Japan!
posted by anonymous to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (25 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Osprey Flap Jack

$90 online looks like
posted by lbergstr at 4:25 PM on August 24, 2010

Timbuk2 makes some cool backpacks in that price range. Their stuff is durable as hell, and always looks cool. Plus: custom colors!
posted by vorfeed at 4:26 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

How about the Maxpedition Monsoon Gearslinger? It's somewhere between techy streetware and paramilitary.
posted by jaimev at 4:26 PM on August 24, 2010

Spire Volt.
posted by caek at 4:32 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

I have this one from Brooklyn Industries. The photo shows it in its messenger bag guise, but I fold out the straps and use it as a backpack for lugging my laptop around.
posted by Sara C. at 4:36 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Kanken! Pretty colours!

The site is Euro but the kankens are readily available in the US.
posted by mooza at 4:42 PM on August 24, 2010

The Herschel Supply Co. Pop Quiz Backpack.
posted by pwally at 4:49 PM on August 24, 2010

I bought a booq bag a few years ago. Several hundred thousand miles later, it's still in near-perfect condition. Recommended!
posted by jrockway at 4:56 PM on August 24, 2010

The MEC Megabyte (from Canada but available online) is more techie than preppie. MEC has a bunch of computer backpacks and is located somewhat closer than Japan.

Keen Concordia? Again, more techie.
posted by GuyZero at 5:01 PM on August 24, 2010

Tom Bihn out of Seattle makes great bags that are well-designed and well-made.
posted by dhalgren at 5:04 PM on August 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

I've bought more than one Burton backpack.
posted by yfatah at 5:13 PM on August 24, 2010

I got a Camelbak Talon for my go bag that I keep packed for spontaneous trips to wherever-change of clothes, water, flashlight, granola bars, you get the idea. The wife has a smaller version for the same stuff. The quality is high, the built in hydration is always a good idea, they fit pretty good and have pockets where you need them and the right size.
posted by bartonlong at 5:36 PM on August 24, 2010

One of these Chrome packs might fit the bill.
posted by contraption at 5:39 PM on August 24, 2010

Skate USA has some backpacks in a lower-ish price range, and some of them look pretty cool.

This one has space for a laptop and it's around 90$ USD - looks kinda neat.

This one's more of a plainer style, but it's pretty unique looking and doubles as a handle bag if you want.

All I know is this one's kinda eye-catching.

If you like Japanese backbacks, Blue Lug does shipping over from Japan and they've got some nice stuff.

Nixon bags? They look slick.

(I'll second MEC for quality - got one of their duffel bags I do my hardest to wreck on a daily basis and it still holds up.)
posted by zennish at 7:17 PM on August 24, 2010

I'm not totally sure this is what you're going for, but I am a fan of this style of LL Bean backpack. Imo there is no such things as a cool backpack, but these are pretty ok for the price.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 8:31 PM on August 24, 2010

I really like this one

I have no idea about the durability or quality of it, though.
posted by Everydayville at 8:54 PM on August 24, 2010

Nowhere near your price point but a Saddleback backpack will last him a lifetime and get better with age.
posted by dobbs at 10:57 PM on August 24, 2010

The Timbuk2 H.A.L. is amazing. Sleek, durable, comfy, and it has a sleek little laptop compartment that doesn't interfere with its otherwise massive amount of space. Unfortunately, I didn't find a single store in L.A. that carried it before I left for Bulgaria, but I got one through for a lot cheaper than ordering direct ... and they're having a 20% off sale at the moment, too.

My other choice was the Chrome Marathon. I have it on good authority that they have one in stock at the (otherwise frankly awesome) bike store Orange 20, because I ordered it and they took f**king forever to get it in before I had to finally buy elsewhere in time for my trip. They have a good selection of other bags as well, although they are admittedly rather messenger-focused in their styles.
posted by mykescipark at 11:23 PM on August 24, 2010

Check out the North Face Recon Backpack. It's awesome, stylish, feels like a dream, has a laptop pocket, is super durable, and comes with The North Face's lifetime warranty. I have one. I love it.
posted by arkitex at 11:42 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Crumpler bags.

I have two (a laptop messenger and a laptop backpack). Feelings about them? Love.
posted by weaponsgradecarp at 12:18 AM on August 25, 2010

My next bag will probably be the BBP Hamptons Hybrid. I saw somebody on Caltrain carrying one and thought, "I have got to get one of those."
posted by phoebus at 1:10 AM on August 25, 2010

These guys are made in the USA!
posted by Glendale at 3:26 AM on August 25, 2010

I've had the North Face Borealis backpack for five years now and it still looks brand new. Things I appreciate: waterproof, has the waist strap and chest clip, TONS of storage, works with a Camelbak. The straps are SO comfortable. I don't know if it's cool, but I love my backpack.
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:44 AM on August 25, 2010

Makr Carry Goods has a pretty sweet backpack that clocks in around $160 - a little above your price point but worth mentioning. Looks like they sold out the white and black versions, but they're taking preorders for the next run and they brown is available.
posted by Mendl at 5:08 PM on August 25, 2010

This Farm Tactics Nomad Bag, at $130, is also nice.
posted by Mendl at 5:11 PM on August 25, 2010

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