IF YOUR workplace has opened up again and you're spending long commutes lugging your laptop or gym kit to work, you need a backpack in your life.
These nifty designs distribute weight more evenly, so they look after your posture, decrease backache and generally make your life a lot easier.
If recent runway shows have taught us anything, it's that just because a rucksack is functional, doesn’t mean it can’t look chic and stylish.
Workwear isn't what it used to be. With the rise in flexible hours and freelancers bringing in relaxed office dress codes, these days, you've got loads of freedom when ut comes to choosing a work bag.
As athleisure infiltrates the high fashion world, you can even make sporty rucksacks look cool for work as well—so you have no excuse not to hit the gym afterwards!
Not just reserved for "gap yah" students, hitchhikers or boy-scouts, rucksacks can look chic and sophisticated too.
Just take a look at our list: we’ve found all the best bargains and fashion statements available online now.
What features should I look for in a work bag?
The features of your work bag are highly dependent on your job and your habits.
You might need to carry a laptop, notepad or water bottle; in that case, it's best to choose a backpack with a padded laptop pocket and additional storage space.
But if all you need is your purse and your phone, you might get away with a stylish smaller model.
Some backpacks are also specifically designed for runners or for those who run-commute.
On hectic days like these, you need as many pockets and dividers in your bag as possible, to ensure easy access and organisation for those flustered and stressful moments.
1. Best desk-to-dinner bag: Fiorelli's Grey 'Finley' Backpack
- Fiorelli – Grey 'Finley' Backpack, £55.20 (was £69) from Debenhams – buy here
For a chic commute, opt for this beautiful duck-egg grey "Finley" backpack by Fiorelli – the square shape is so immaculate.
It’s the ideal size for iPads, notepads, kindles and any other office essentials and the multiple fastenings mean your belongings will always be secure.
We love that it can double as a gorge handbag at weekends too!
2. Best soft backpack: Seasalt Cornwall's Island Tradition Backpack
- Island Tradition Backpack, £45 from Seasalt Cornwall – buy here
A little traditional Cornish style is always a good thing, especially in the summer. We're loving this roomy backpack by Seasalt Cornwall, which proves that backpacks don't have to be hard of fabric and sharp of edge.
Made from pure cotton with an adjustable roll-top and straps, this features a zipped side compartment, water bottle pocket and an internal slip pocket for your phone. It comes fully lined too—great value.
3. Best work & weekend backpack: Accessorize's Judy Backpack
- Judy Backpack, £35 from Accessorize – buy here
The Judy backpack from Accessorize will complement a range of outfits.
Made from faux leather, it has zip fastenings to keep your laptop safe and a top handle so you can take it off when squeezing on to the Tube.
So technically, by buying this bag, you’re thinking of your fellow commuters.
4. Best bargain rucksack: Uniqlo's Beige Backpack
- Beige Backpack, £24.90 from Uniqlo – buy here
Beige is bang on trend right now so this Uniqlo backpack isn’t just practical, it’s fashionable too.
Made from robic—a durable, tear-resistant fabric—it’s robust and practical, so you can pack your laptop and other office necessities inside without breaking your back.
It’s also water-resistant, so you can wear it through rain or shine. The many interior compartments make for easy access to each item too.
5. Bestseller work backpack: Fjällräven's Kanken Classic Pink Backpack
- Fjällräven Kanken Classic Pink Backpack, £69.99 from Amazon – buy here
This list would be incomplete without a trusty Fjällräven Kanken backpack, aka those stylish Swedish bags you see absolutely everywhere.
Dating back to 1978, this brand makes backpacks for school kids and commuters alike.
From the top handles to the reflective iconic badge on the front, they’ve really thought of everything for your journey to work.
We love this one in a beautiful candy pink tone; it will add a bit of pizzazz to even the most ordinary work-wear wardrobes. Plus there are many more colours to choose from.
6. Best athleisure backpack for work: Adidas's Floral Backpack
- Her Studio London Backpack, £29.95 from Adidas – buy here
This colourful backpack by Adidas is a breath of floral fresh air for your stuffy commute to the office.
This laptop-friendly backpack boasts a multicoloured floral print, comfortable padded straps and a handy zipped front pocket.
As athleisure enters high fashion, this one’s a definite fashion statement and comes stamped with the iconic trefoil logo.
7. Best mini backpack: Boohoo's Metal Bee Mini Rucksack
Boohoos's Metal Bee Mini Backpack is for those who travel light, but want to make an impression.
- Metal Bee Mini Rucksack, £14.40 (was £18) from Boohoo – buy here
The five metal bees make this standout backpack a winner, and extra cute given the diminutive size.
Measuring 28 x 20cm, the bag features two compartments fastened by metal zips, as well as two shoulder straps and a main strap with stud detail.
If you're pro-bee (and who isn't?) what's not to love—the bag is faux leather too, for extra animal-friendliness.
8. Best for runners: Sweaty Betty's Icon Backpack
- Sweaty Betty Icon Backpack, £90, John Lewis – buy here
With lives getting busier and busier, many runners have found that running to or from work is a really efficient way to get in the miles.
If that's you, then it's well worth investing in Sweaty Betty's icon backpack.
It's designed in a super lightweight, breathable fabric for on-the-go comfort and comes with adjustable padded shoulder straps as well as a secure chest and hip strap.
There's plenty of space to fit your water bottle, your work gear and even a laptop—a must for every runner.
9. Best for space: Herschel Supply Co's Dawson Backpack
Herschel Supply Co. Dawson Backpack, £70 – John Lewis – buy here
Herschel Supply's backpack is good for those who need a large bag to carry everything: from their laptop and office essentials to gym gear.
It might be pricey but it is a solid investment that comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Made from a lightweight fabric, this Herschel backpack features signature striped fabric lining, a 13" laptop sleeve, adjustable drawcord closure as well as external storage compartments, a classic woven label and a sturdy reinforced base.
It's ideal to go from the gym to the office or to take with you on a weekend adventure.
10. Best for rainy weather: Rains's Backpack Daypack
Rains Backpack Daypack, £64.90 from Amazon – buy here
Cycling to work come rain or shine? We would recommend investing in a Rains backpack.
In addition to being completely waterproof, this bag also feels like a bottomless pit that you can keep loading without it ever feeling bulky.
We love the cream colour, but it's also available in blue, scarlet red and black.
11. Best laptop backpack: M&S's laptop backpack
- Laptop Backpack, £45 from Marks and Spencer – buy here
This black laptop backpack from Marks and Spencer is the perfect office accessory.
Made from black nylon (which is all the rage thanks to Prada), it features a plethora of zipped pockets plus a load of compartments and interior card slots for organising your stuff.
If all that wasn’t enough, it has a water bottle holder, plenty of pockets, and it’s water-resistant.
We’re also obsessed with the popping orange interior.
Enjoyed our roundup of the best women's work backpacks? Check out the best women's handbags here.
We've also rounded up the best summer dresses here.
Looking for some inspiration for a wardrobe revamp? Check out our dedicated Sun Selects fashion section.
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