Tech-driven or smart fabric backpacks are all well and good but if you want to look your best and do the rest of your outfit justice, a leather backpack is a genuine essential. There are few more infantilising juxtapositions than a smartly dressed man putting on a sports rucksack. It’s an ick. Sadly, it’s also a common feature of city centre commuting across this nation.
A leather backpack is a stylish and practical addition to any capsule wardrobe. The material is durable, the designs are neat and minimal and there’s a practicality to the material. Here’s our pick of the best leather backpacks for men on the market and a few reasons why you could benefit from owning one.
Why you need a leather backpack
First things first, you need a leather backpack because when invested in properly, leather is a quality material. It will age well, it’s robust and durable, it’s weatherproof and it’s a material that comes with a certain level of craftsmanship. As mentioned before it’s a grown-up material.
A leather backpack is a smart, functional and versatile piece of kit. The luggage equivalent of dressing up. A leather backpack will work as well on smart commutes into the office as it will on a weekend break. Internal pockets and organising details ensure everything is in the right place whilst ingenious construction means many on this list are easy to use on the go with others ensuring a capacity ideal for travelling.
Best leather backpacks for men in 2023
Velasca Sach Backpack
Italian label Velasca specialises in men's footwear, but has recently expanded its offering to include apparel and accessories – for which we're all the more grateful. This luxurious leather backpack epitomises the brand's meticulous attention to detail and deep respect for traditional Italian craftsmanship. Crafted from supple tumbled leather, it's soft yet durable, made to stand the test of time and destined to see you stylishly through each day.
Carl Friedrik Bowen Leather Backpack
Launched in 2012 by two brothers, Carl Friedrik is a London-based brand with an ethos centred on quality and functional design. The brand is an advocate of expert craftsmanship and traditional techniques, and the resulting collection is one of practical yet refined luggage pieces, leather backpacks especially. The Bowen all-leather backpack is a handsome piece of luggage. With a built-in padded laptop sleeve, secure wide zip main compartment and shoulder straps with padded mesh, it’s a dashing backpack that looks the part but doesn’t sacrifice on practicality.
Roderer Italian Leather Award Backpack
Everything at luxury essentials brand Roderer comes down to the ‘less is more’ principle. Elegance, minimalism and the best materials. Whilst the brand deal in a variety of goods including jewellery, leather goods and sunglasses, they’re especially notable for their backpacks. The Award backpack is a standout. Handcrafted from soft-grain Italian leather, the bag features handy front zip and internal pockets, a 13” laptop compartment and adjustable straps. It’ll fit the cabin luggage dimensions and it looks great.
Maverick & Co. Earthen Recycled Leather Backpack
Sustainable recycled leather is what sets this backpack apart from luxury bag maker Maverick & Co. Made from the waste products of the leather industry, the backpack carries the same gravitas of real leather counterparts whilst being kinder on the earth. Lightweight, waterproof and comfortable, the interior is a neat freak’s dream with a flexible organiser for everything from pens and keys to folios and a laptop. Available in black and navy, it’s a stylish option that won’t break the bank.
Montblanc Meisterstück Leather Backpack
There’s larger luxury bags and there’s slightly more compact ones. Sleek, comfortable and luxurious. Statements that’ll also carry your important bits from A to B, be it for business or pleasure. This Meisterstück black leather backpack from luxury goods brand Montblanc is exactly that. Crafted in Italy from smooth leather and with a minimalist design, complemented by the trademark Montblanc emblem, interior and exterior pockets tick the storage boxes, as does a classy interior lining. The perfect companion bag for a weekend city break.
Coach Hitch Leather Backpack
Indiana Jones but make it fashion, baby. This elegant satchel from Coach is peak Coach, channelling luxurious leather goods identity, but also pocket practicality at its finest. A mini version of the brand’s beloved Hitch backpack, it’s giving hiking aesthetic with luxury finishes. The inside lining packs a gorgeous contrast hue with plenty of pockets for storage whilst the detachable over-shoulder strap is comfortable and hardwearing. Sure to complement any outfit as a handy accessory.
Serapian Full-Grain Leather Backpack
It’s all about the luxury materials at Serapian. The finest materials and handmade in Italy craftsmanship. The red full-grain leather this backpack is constructed from has been tumbled to mimic the feel of soft cashmere, whilst the ‘ruby red’ hue makes it an eye catching piece. The structured base will ensure protection for what you’re carrying whilst the generous interior section ensures a decent capacity. Added organisation means card holders, laptop sleeves and a front zip pocket.
Carl Friedrik City-Hopper Backpack
Every last detail has been carefully considered for this Carl Friedrik City-Hopper backpack. Made from a robust and handsome nubuck leather, the fold-down top ensures a flexible capacity whilst an internal laptop pocket and water bottle pocket are handy additions that travellers will appreciate. A function side zip opening and suitcase attachment add further functionality. The key here is style hasn’t been sacrificed. A great, preppy style campus travel pack great for the commute or a weekend away.
Check out our pick of the best briefcases for men.