How To Choose Your Work Daily Carry

In The Wild

How To Choose Your Work Daily Carry

All of our day packs feature laptop sleeves, highly durable, highly water-resistant materials and classic go-anywhere styling. So how do you choose which one makes sense for you? To help, we asked our Sales and Product Development teams to walk you through some of our best EDC (Everyday Carry) options. They’ve pointed out some of the key features, highlighted best use cases, and added in a dash of personal experience.

Step 1: Front loader or top loader?

We’ve designed our pack lineup so that most top loaders have a front loader counterpart and vice versa, so this can be an easy way to narrow things down.

Generally speaking, front loading packs tend to work best for people who prefer a sleeker look or anytime gear straps (the two lengths of nylon webbing that close with buckles) will get in your way more often than they’ll help you. In other words, indoor or casual outdoor use.

Top loading packs typically feature top flap pockets, gear straps, cinch closures, compression straps, and/or multiple external attachment points which dramatically increase their storage capability. They tend to work well when you have awkwardly shaped gear items (think fishing rods, tripods, climbing ropes, snowshoes, etc.) that are best carried outside your pack, or if you’d like to access certain items without even opening your pack. In other words, frequent outdoor use.

Keep in mind: both front and top loaders work well for work, travel, and outdoor, so it really does come down to personal preference.

Step 2: What else will you be using your pack for?

Do you travel often for work? Do you coordinate your pack as part of your #ootd? Does it need to blend into a corporate work environment or are you more concerned about its functionality for your outdoor sport(s) of choice on weekends? Some questions to think about as you consider your options.

Step 3: Get to know our packs.

Daypack Tech
  • Top or front loading: Front
  • Key features: External laptop sleeve, weather-resistant zippers, work-appropriate styling
  • Best for: Work/school first, travel second, trail third.

“It’s a good urban commuting bag, and definitely a good travel bag because of the extra moisture protection with the weather-resistant zippers. If you work in a city and ride your bike to work, this will be perfect for you. Not having gear straps means it’s easy to get in and out of and looks sleek while on. It’s got an external laptop sleeve, expandable water bottle pockets, and with weather-resistant zips and 1000D nylon across the exterior for durability, it really has no weaknesses. Plus, it has an axe holder. You know, just in case.”

Daypack Classic
  • Top or front loading: Front
  • Key features: External laptop sleeve, large color selection, easy work to trail transition
  • Best for: Tie with work/school + trail, then travel second.

“Kind of an all-around, all-purpose option. It won’t be quite as dialed for work because it lacks some of those work-specific features, but it may transition a little better to outdoor use because of it. It also gives you way more color options to choose from. It’s a little smaller, but if I'm not bringing product samples into the office, it’s just the right size and it’s very sleek.”

Rover Pack Tech
  • Top or front loading: Top
  • Key features: External laptop sleeve, extra volume, weather-resistant zippers
  • Best for: Travel first, work/school second, trail third.

“Similar to the Daypack Tech. The only difference is if you prefer a top loader or a front loader. The Rover Pack Tech is handier when traveling, because you have that top pocket for easier access to essentials and the gear straps for a neck pillow or extra layer, which also provides an extra layer of security because there’s more than a zipper people have to get past.

It’s a bit more spacious than the Daypack Tech if you need a little extra room for lunch or need the rectangular shape to accommodate pack bags. (Or if you don’t need the extra room, side compression straps give the option to cinch it down.) The compression straps are really useful. When I went to Washington on a work trip a couple weeks ago, I brought two fly rods with me by stashing them in the water bottle pockets and strapping them down with the compression straps.”

Rover Pack Classic
  • Top or front loading: Top
  • Key features: Compact design, expansive color selection, easy work to trail transition
  • Best for: Three-way tie between work/school, travel, and trail.

“It’s so hard to choose between the Tech and the Classic. I have a Classic, I love it, and that’s the one I bring to work. There are tons of different colorways to choose from, so it feels really individual to me. Going to happy hour after work, it can be more of an accessory to my outfit than just a utility item. And the nice thing about the internal laptop sleeve (versus the Tech’s external one) is I can use it to carry my hydration bladder on the trail. I like that the pockets aren’t hyper-specific so I can use them for whatever I need them for. It’s also more compact than the Rover Tech or even the Daypack, so it’s great for smaller bodies.”

Global Briefcase
  • Top or front loading: Front
  • Key features: 3-way carry, big front pockets, two compartment structure
  • Best for: Work/school first, travel a close second, trail third

“The Global Briefcase was my go-to travel bag for all of 2019, pretty much since we introduced it. So I’m a little partial. It holds everything I need except for a water bottle. You have to put your water bottle inside or just carry it. It’s got the compartment for your laptop and notebooks, and a compartment for just stuff - layers, chargers, photo/hobby equipment, etc. It’s definitely a work-first pack. The cyclists on our team love it for biking to work because the backpack option means it doesn’t swing around, the load is really compact, and the big pockets on the front make essentials super accessible. (They fit small Accessory Bags perfectly, mediums on the 3-Day version.) It’s also great for travel because of the pass-through sleeve that attaches it to your roller when you’re in the airport, and then doubles as a daypack when you’re on your trip.

I love having options for how to carry it (you can wear it as a backpack, messenger-style, or carry it like a briefcase). If you’ve really packed it out or have a long walk, it gets too heavy for one shoulder so being able to switch to backpack mode is key. Also, this may seem like a small thing, but when you’re taking a car to a train to a plane, it’s really nice to have the grab handles for those really short distances. I even slip one of them onto my arm and carry it like a tote so I’m still hands-free.”

Commuter Briefcase
  • Top or front loading: Front
  • Key features: 3-way carry, made in US, classic/ work-appropriate styling
  • Best for: Work/school first, travel second, trail third.

“The Commuter is pretty similar to the Global Briefcase, except it’s a little less feature-rich, a little heavier, and more work-appropriate. It’s sleeker and more professional looking than the Global, but still holds up to weather. Good organization and pioneered the three-way carry in our line. Good for people who favor a classic look and/or made in US packs.”

The Pack You Already Have

Friendly reminder that if you already have a pack from us, it comes with a lifetime warranty and a robust Repairs Program to help keep things sustainable. But if you do need to add to your collection, we hope this helps!

Shop all work carry options.