We Found The Best EDC Backpack For The Outdoors

Written by: Karyn James

Whether you’re going on a vacation, a day trip down to the beach, or up in the mountains for a hiking adventure with your friends, you need a good EDC pack.

You need an everyday carry bag that is large enough to hold all of your essentials, all while providing you with the comfort you need to carry it around throughout your journey.

We’ve tried and tested different everyday carry bags and we’ve come up with the best EDC Backpacks. 

Whether you’re after a simple lightweight everyday carry bag, an all-in-one backpack with bottle holders, an easy-access laptop sleeve, or a heavy-duty tactical backpack for hiking, trekking, or fishing, we’ve got you covered!

We’ve also included an extensive Buying Guide and FAQ section to help you choose the ideal backpack for your specific needs so keep reading!

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An Everyday Carry Backpack, more commonly known as an EDC Backpack is a type of backpack in which you can carry a variety of things whether it’s for traveling, commuting, hiking, fishing, and more…

When searching for the best EDC backpack, you will come across quite a lot of different EDC Backpacks that all showcase a variety of endearing features.

So, how do you choose the best EDC or everyday carry Backpack for your daily needs? How do you differentiate the aspects that make a particular EDC pack stand out from the rest?

everyday carry backpack

In this article, we answer some of the most common questions to determine what makes an EDC pack better than another. We’ve looked at some of the most popular EDC pack brands to come up with the 5 best EDC Backpacks that you can use on a daily basis.

Our Top Picks: Everyday Carry Backpacks

Quick Answers: Best EDC Backpack

In this section, we will quickly go over the Best EDC Backpacks that we personally think are the most suitable for everyday carry. All of these EDC packs present an array of unique features that set them apart from the rest. So, let’s begin!

1. Osprey Daylite Plus Everyday Backpack

Best Overall

The Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack  is a simple and versatile backpack that is suitable for travel and a variety of outdoor activities.

The Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack consists of a large panel-loading main compartment which makes it convenient and easy to access all of the belongings inside the bag.

The Interior Sleeve of the Backpack is made from 210D Nylon Double Diamond Ripstop. This sleeve can be used to store your hydration bladder or your tablet.

The Front Panel of the Osprey everyday carry bag is a “shove-it” type pocket that you can use to store small things such as your phone, wallet, or flashlight. You can access those items quickly when you need them.

Furthermore, it comes with mesh-covered side pockets which are great for carrying your drink bottles. You can also store a few snacks in there too.

This EDC backpack is made from polyester and it has a total carrying capacity of 20 liters. It has straps made from spacer mesh with a mesh-covered foam back panel so your back doesn’t get too hot while you’re carrying the bag.

Overall, we really liked the Osprey Daylite Plus Everyday carry backpack. It’s a simple, yet super convenient and versatile backpack you can use for pretty much any type of activity.

  • Volume: 20 L
  • Weight: 1.19 lbs
  • Dimensions: 21 x 13 x 3 inches


2. Maxpedition Falcon-II Backpack

Most Durable
Maxpedition Falcon-II EDC Backpack


The Maxpedition Falcon-II is a great EDC backpack that’s tough and durable. It’s waterproof and resistant to tears. It can carry all your essentials whether you go hiking, camping, fishing or sightseeing.

The Maxpedition Falcon’s ergonomic shape, the padded shoulder straps along the sternum & waist support make it really comfortable and an absolute pleasure to wear.  

The Falcon-II has independent compartments with plenty of pockets, pouches, and PALS attachment points which we found really impressive for a backpack of this size. 

You’ll find that the Falcon-II Backpack is really spacious with room to accommodate all your camping essentials and a water bladder of up to 3 liters. 

We really liked how you can open the main compartment completely with the dual-directional zippers. You pack it up and press it down with the front and side compression straps.

You can use it around saltwater and throw it around without worrying it will get damaged. This bag is well-designed, durable and comfortable. We find it perfect for carrying our gear and we’re huge fans!

  • Volume: 23 L
  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10 x 19 x 8.5 inches


3. NEEKFOX Lightweight Backpack

Value Pick
NEEKFOX Lightweight EDC Backpack

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We found the NEEKFOX Lightweight Packable Backpack to be the best value EDC Backpack. It’s super lightweight, compact, and is great for hiking, camping or for an overnight trip.

The NEEKFOX Lightweight Packable EDC Backpack measures  20.8 inches high by and 9 inches wide. This EDC backpack has a carrying capacity of 35 liters.

The bag is made of highly durable, reliable, and comfortable “Ripstop” nylon fabric that can withstand heavier weights without causing any wear or tear in the fabric.

The s-shape straps are made of breathable material which makes the bag pretty comfy. Furthermore, the straps are adjustable so that you can customize the size according to your shape and size.

The NEEKFOX Backpack features a number of compartments and can fit a decent amount of gear. It features a good sized main compartment that can hold a laptop as well, two front pockets, several small pockets on the inside and finally two mesh pockets on each side of the bag to carry your drink bottles.

  • Volume: 35 L
  • Weight: .88 lbs
  • Dimensions: 18.5 x 11 x 9 inches


4. Vertx Commuter Sling 2.0

Best sling bag

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The Vertx Commuter Sling has an extremely thought out design that is super versatile. You can use it as a tactical pack for everyday carry, camping, hiking, hunting and so on. We found it to be one of the best EDC slings we’ve tried.

The Vertx Commuter Sling features a large rapid-access platform that enables you to carry all your essentials. The convertible front compartment opens up wide for easy access.

This Sling has an adjustable padded shoulder strap with 1919 webbing attachment points for your accessories.

The main compartment has an adjustable laptop retention strap with a zippered pocket and a key lanyard. It also features four gear slots, a large loop panel as well as other hook and loop-compatible accessories.

There is space to fit up to 15’’ laptop and a hydration bladder. It comes with mounting panels for Tactigami accessories.

Overall, we really like the design of this bag. The hidden MOLLE on the front is something we wish more bags featured. The bag is generally comfortable to wear, though we would not recommend overloading it.

  • Volume: 17 L
  • Weight: 3.15 lbs
  • Dimensions: 20 x 12.5 x 6 inches


5. The North Face Recon

Best Laptop Compartment
The North face reckon everyday carry bag with laptop sleeve

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The North Face Recon EDC Pack made our list for its great laptop sleeve and other awesome features such as a FlexVent Suspension System, lumbar support and convenient water bottle tabs.

The North Face Recon EDC Backpack features a 16 inches shoulder drop. This bag is 20 inches long and 16 inches wide with a carrying capacity of 30 liters.

The North Face backpack features a FlexVent Suspension System with customized injection-molded straps, a simple yet comfortable lumbar panel, and a padded mesh back panel.

The backpack also features a 15-inch fleece-laced easy access laptop sleeve located in the main compartment. 

The front compartment also has a tablet sleeve that is heavily padded for extra protection.

The North Face Recon EDC Backpack offers plenty of storage and includes two multi-use pockets made from durable mesh material to store water bottles and other small items.

Overall, this is a high-quality, durable and best everyday carry backpack for any outdoor activities or travel.

  • Volume: 30 L
  • Weight: 2.63 lbs
  • Dimensions: 19.29 x 9.45 x 14.17 inches


6. 5.11 Rush 12 Backpack

Best Tactical EDC Pack
5.11 Rush 12 Tactical Military Backpack

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The 5.11 Rush 12 Backpack is one of the most resistant EDC Backpacks we found. It has loads of features that make it a top choice if you’re after a heavy duty backpack to store your tactical gear.

The 5.11 Rush 12 Backpack is made from high-quality 1050D Nylon Material and features 16 separate compartments with a large main storage compartment and a hydration compartment.

The backpack has a comfortable and adjustable height sternum strap, a structured yoke shoulder strap, and two compression straps on the exterior.

The bag also features a hook and loop nametape, pull tabs that you can pull even with your gloves on, and flag patches. 

The 5.11 Rush 12 Backpack is waterproof, is also durable as well as reliable. Plus, it has a total carrying capacity of 24 liters!

Overall, we found the 5.11 Rush 12 Backpack to be the most resistant EDC Backpack along with the Maxpedition Falcon. It has loads of features that make it a top choice for rough environments. If you want a backpack for hiking, trekking, camping or hunting, then you can’t go wrong with this bag.

  • Volume: 24 L
  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Dimensions: 14 x 6 x 18 inches


7. Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack

Best for day hikes
Kelty Redwing 50 Best Everyday Carry Bag

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We found this EDC pack the easiest to carry with its straps and stabilizers that can be customized to get the perfect fit. It’s roomy and you can quickly access all your items with ease.

The Kelty Redwing Backpack has a Hybrid-loading U-zipper opening that can be packed as a standard top loader, or you can unbuckle the side compression straps to open up the whole bag for easy access.

The backpack features a Dynamic AirFlow back panel and Lightbeam Single Aluminum frame which helps keep your stuff stable and firmly in place no matter how rough the journey is.

The Kelty Redwing has a dedicated padded hydration sleeve that can double as a laptop compartment. It also comes with side pockets where you can keep your water bottle securely.

The shoulder straps are made with mesh whereas the waist belt has dual-density foam which is not only really comfortable but also stops you from getting too hot while you’re carrying it.

You can adjust the bag for your own comfort by using the load lifters, the sternum straps, the hip stabilizer straps, and the waist buckles.

  • Volume: 51 L
  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Dimensions: 26 x 16 x 12 inches


Buying Guide: Best Everyday Carry Backpacks

As we mentioned before, it can be quite a tiresome task to find the perfect everyday carry bag if you’re not too sure what to look for. A lot of questions might come to mind – Does this bag have enough room for all my gear?

Can I use it for trekking, camping, fishing, or as a carry-on when I travel? What are the most important aspects to look for in an EDC Backpack? 

In this section, we cover all the details on how you can choose the best EDC Backpack for your needs.

Types of Everyday Carry Backpacks

When it comes to Everyday Carry bags, you can get different variants. The three most common types of EDC bags are Backpacks, Sling Bags, and Tote Bags.

Everyday Carry Backpacks

We have already discussed in detail the purpose of an EDC or everyday backpack and also the different things you can put in it. They have a huge carrying capacity. You can conveniently carry things from food, water bottles to knives, ropes, books, and laptops.

Sling Bags

Sling bags usually have a singular strap. They are best suitable for carrying small, lightweight items like your phone, keys, wallet, and other smaller items.

Usually, sling bags are only used to carry the most essential stuff. However, you might not be able to carry your laptop and other heavy items in a sling bag.

Tote bags

Tote bags are small to medium-sized bags usually best for carrying lightweight items. They are known for their style, sturdiness, and their compact size. The main purpose of a tote bag is to provide you with a convenient carry-all solution, especially for carrying groceries and other mixed items.

Most tote bags are made of cotton or linen fabric. They are not as durable as Best Backpacks for everyday carry as those are made of Nylon or Polyester, which gives you the ability to carry heavier items.

Everyday carry EDC Backpacks

Factors to Consider When Looking For The Best EDC Backpack

Let’s go over the different aspects to keep in mind while searching for the best EDC Backpack.

Purpose of the Backpack

The first thing to take into consideration is the reason you need an EDC Backpack in the first place. This is important because this will determine the kind of features to look for.

If you want a backpack for daily use, then you might need a simple backpack that has basic features like a sufficient carry capacity, roomy compartments, and side pockets. The Osprey Daylite Plus EDC Pack falls in that category.

However, if you want an EDC Backpack for a longer trip; like trekking, camping, or fishing, you might want to invest in a backpack that has additional features like water resistance, large carry capacity, etc. In this instance, the Maxpedition Falcon-II could be what you’re after.

The Size of the EDC Backpack

The size of the EDC pack will determine the number of items you can carry in it. This again depends heavily on the purpose you want an EDC Backpack for.

If you want a lightweight EDC backpack for daily use, then you might need a smaller backpack that can carry all of your essentials. For this, a bag with a carrying capacity of 20-30 liters is sufficient.

Whereas, if you are going on a trip for several days, you need a backpack that can provide maximum utility. This means that it carries most of your things so that you do not have to carry any additional bag. For this purpose, an EDC Backpack with a carrying capacity of 50 liters or more is a good option.

Customizable Features

Most of the EDC Backpacks have adjustable straps. Adjustable straps are useful because you can adjust them according to your needs to get the perfect fit. Thus, try to opt for a backpack that has the maximum number of adjustable features so you can customize the bag accordingly.


Most customers believe that just because a product is expensive, it will be more efficient and better than the inexpensive ones.

This is simply NOT the case. First, you need to take note of the different features each of the bags has instead of the price tag.

For this, you need to set your budget first. This will help you to concentrate only on the backpacks that fit into your budget and make your bag-hunting a bit easier. Then, look at the features each of the backpacks have – is it waterproof? Does it have one side pocket or two? Does it have a tablet/ laptop sleeve?

Compare all the features of different backpacks and then select the one that ticks all of your boxes.


Accessibility of the backpack is an important feature, especially if you want a tactical Backpack for hunting or trekking. The accessibility can be evaluated by determining how easy it is to get your food, water bottle, tackle box or different items out of the backpack.

Furthermore, you can evaluate accessibility by noticing whether the zipper closures are smooth and swift in their function and if there are different ways of opening the backpack.


The material of the backpack will determine its durability as well as its waterproofness. Most of the backpacks are made of Nylon or Vinyl fabrics, which are best to withstand harsh conditions. These materials are typically resistant to water as well so they will keep your gear nice and dry during stormy weather.

In addition, you should look for backpacks that have breathable straps and include lumbar and back padding. These features will make the EDC backpack a lot more comfortable to carry for long periods of time.

Color of the EDC Pack

Though this is not as significant as the other points, it is just as important. If you are investing in a backpack that you want to use on a daily basis, you might want to opt for a neutral color so that the backpack fits in with your wardrobe just right (at least from a girl’s perspective!).

Moreover, if you are going hunting, you should opt for a color that will help you camouflage more easily. However, if the neutral colors do not seem interesting and you want bold colors, then you will have plenty of options. Most of backpacks offer an array of colors that you can choose from.

Everyday Carry backpacks

Frequently Asked Questions: Best EDC Backpack

What can I put in an EDC backpack?

An EDC Backpack is an everyday Carry Bag. This means you can carry almost anything in your bag. This can vary from carrying laptops, chargers, make-up items, painkillers to knives, first aid items, keys, and water bottles.

What capacity EDC backpack do I need?

As we have discussed above, this solely depends upon the purpose of the backpack. Why do you need it? What will you use it for? Do you want it for daily use or a hunting or fishing trip? There are many variants when it comes to the size of an EDC bag.

Thus, if you do not have a lot of things to carry in your bag, you can opt for a bag with a small carrying capacity (10-20 liters).

However, if you are going on a trip, a larger EDC backpack with a capacity of 20-50 liters is best suitable.

What is the use of the leather tab on an EDC backpack?

Many backpacks have a small leather tab on the backpack. They are usually in different shades of brown. Commonly, they are known as the pig snout or the lash tab.

Leather tabs are particularly useful if you are going on hiking, trekking, fishing, or on a hunting trip. The tab is used to string the rope through it or to fasten other equipment to it.

However, as you will notice, a lot of backpacks do not have a leather tab. Instead, they have a rubber or plastic tab since they are more resistant to water damage.

All in all, it seems that nowadays, leather, plastic, or rubber tabs are mostly added to the backpack for aesthetics.

Wrapping Up

EDC Backpacks are among the most useful products ever made. They are convenient and allow you to organize the gear you need in a small space.

The prime qualities of a good everyday carry backpack are functionality, durability, and comfort. There are a lot of factors that define the worth of an EDC pack. Thus, you must examine all these in order to choose the very best everyday backpack for your personal needs.

If we look at the given 7 Best EDC Backpacks, we found the Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack to be the best overall everyday backpack. It has an array of features that makes it really versatile.

Whether you need it for hiking, fishing, hunting or to go to work when you get back to the daily grind, it’s a super comfortable and strong backpack.

If you’re after a more tactical-type backpack, the Maxpedition Falcon-II is our top choice because of its superb design and functionality.

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Karyn James

Karyn often went camping and boating as a child with her family where she has learned a lot about wildlife and the environment. Now that she has two very active little kids, she knows that planning is key to a fun and stress-free journey. You can find out more about Karyn here.

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