How To Make A Perfect, Sturdy Backpack

You’re ready to tackle any situation, whether it’s a camping trip or a long day at work.

But not all backpacks are created equal. The size of your backpack — the weight it can carry — can determine the durability. And while there’s no such thing as a bad backpack because you have nothing good to carry, some of us spend more time and money than we need racking up miles and miles of mileage on our carry-ons. Take advantage of this opportunity to upgrade your backpacking gear. This post features our first ever, super-sneaky, how-to tips for upgrading your backpack to keep it running longer and longer.

The Ultimate Carry-On Backpack

We can do a lot to upgrade your carry-on backpack

The best carrying on backpack for you will depend on the travel and work scenarios you work with. Most of the designs below meet the needs and requirements we have for us:

Travel : Large enough to hold a laptop but smaller than our bag.

Work : Light and small enough to keep our gear small, yet substantial enough to give us the mobility we need on the job (we don’t have a car, so we need a backpack!).

All three backpacks are designed to work with our work laptop and our office work tools.

The Travel Bag

If you’re going on vacation, you’re going to need a backpack! We recommend carrying on backpacks with a back panel: we used these bags extensively on vacation with our families, working from our bed and getting to work on a plane in 30 minutes. You can get them at a lot of places like Amazon and Target for $19.99!

You can even get backpacks in regular sizes , and sometimes in kids sizes too!

The back pocket is great for stuff you need to keep close (see: keys, phone) and for keeping all those gadgets close together. The small pocket in our backpack is perfect for smaller items like batteries and flash drives.

The travel laptop and our office tools were held in this bag.

The Carry On Backpack

If you’re taking a long trip, your workday is likely a little on the tippy tip, so we recommend you take up the slack with a carry-on carry-on (CBP) back pack. It’s designed to be held up over the shoulder with shoulder straps, instead of a back panel, like on a carry-on bag. A large backpack like this is the way to go if you want to use your laptop outside of the office.

For our first test, we used the most popular size CBP pack, a 23-inch laptop sleeve for a 17-inch body. You’ll find it at places like Target, Amazon , or for $35, at PetSmart.

Our carry-on CBP carries 18 laptops on a 22-inch chest strap, and we found this worked well, and a little extra space in the backpack for our work necessities.

The carry-on CBP is perfect for a business trip!

The Work Bag

If you’re going on a business trip to places like San Francisco, London, Tokyo, Miami, or wherever else, you’re going to need a carry-on work bag.

If your office is in a building that requires you to lock your desk doors, this is the best option. It’ll help you to not ruin your backpack by dropping things down while you’re at work.

Our work bag had a backpack-like shape, but could also hold a laptop, but we kept everything close to our chests with shoulder straps. The only drawback is that the bag was pretty big for our needs, so we had to be careful with all of our belongings. For a full review of the best all-around work pack for work travel, please see our guide for work backpack .