4 Best Patagonia Backpacks

Man in black backpack during golden hour

Backpacks, such as Patagonia backpacks, are not just reserved for students and avid adventurers. They’re actually useful for anyone of any lifestyle. The benefit of backpacks is primarily in their versatility. Unlike handbags, briefcases, and other bags, backpacks add balance throughout the upper body, which allows for ultimate comfort no matter how heavy your load is.

Unfortunately, not all backpacks are the same. Simply grabbing the nearest one off the rack will not guarantee that it will hold all the contents you want it to or be worth carrying on your shoulders for even a few hours. When looking for the right backpack, you want to consider the quality of materials as well as the construction. Those are universal things that everyone will want the best of. Whether you need a backpack for work or your next adventure, you don’t want to be disappointed when it falls apart after a week of use or if doesn’t protect your precious gear properly.

Another thing to consider is functionality. This will be unique to you and your lifestyle and will depend on what you specifically need a backpack for. If you’re a traveler, you may want a backpack with lots of deep pockets to carry extra clothing and equipment. If you spend most of your days in the office, you may want a backpack that can carry your laptop computer and lunch as well as your keys or bus pass.

With so many popular backpack brands out there, it can be challenging to know which ones are the most reliable for your needs. Luckily Patagonia backpacks are a brand that has caught our attention lately. The reason why we love Patagonia backpacks is for their versatility. Not only are their backpacks made of durable, recyclable materials that are environmentally conscious, but they also don’t skimp on comfort, space, or organization. The backpack you get for school can also be used on your summer camping trip.

Because we love Patagonia backpacks, we decided to review four of them that we think are worth every penny and that we’re proud to share with those who are in the market to get a backpack. We’ll consider their unique features, price, and pros and cons. Finally, we’ll offer our verdict on one that we recommend you check out.

Man wearing a black backpack near the bay

​Image via Pexels

What Are Patagonia Backpacks?

The Patagonia Arbor backpack is a bag with a large flap opening that’s secured with two side straps. The opening is further secured with a draw cord pulley. It also has a horizontal zipper across the body of the backpack with loop handles at the center top and bottom. Its shoulder straps are padded and include a waist strap for added stability and comfort. The interior is deep and has an open sleeve with a Velcro closure that can carry a 15-inch laptop computer. It also has a zipped pocket underneath the flap to store small essentials. This backpack is ideal for day travel, such as running errands, as well as camping or hiking. It has a 25L capacity, so it can hold your important electronics, clothing, food, and other items.

Product Specs

Man wearing a orange backpack on a cliff

​Image via Pexels

The backpack is made from 100% water repellent recycled polyester that’s solid and built to endure even the harshest weather conditions. This is a storage backpack, meaning that it’s meant to hold a lot and allow you to carry what you need for an entire day. It has a main compartment under the flap for small items, a slim laptop computer sleeve, and an exterior zipped pocket for more easy access storage. The shoulder straps are designed to conform to your shoulders and chest.

Pricing

This backpack is priced at approximately $​$ and can be purchased online at marketplace retailers such as Amazon.com or the company’s website, Patagonia.com. This backpack can also be purchased at their physical stores. The price for this backpack will vary depending on where you purchase it and if there are special sales or discounts available at the time of purchase, which often occur throughout the year.

What We Reviewed

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.

  • Patagonia Paxat
  • Patagonia Black Hole
  • Patagonia Refugio

Patagonia Arbor

Black Patagonia Arbor backpack

​Image via Patagonia

Patagonia Arbor Cla​​ssic Pack 25L

  • Recycled polyester fabric body with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish offers a perfect balance of weight and durability for everyday use
  • Generous main compartment; zippered stash pocket beneath flap; raised, padded laptop sleeve fits most 15″ laptops
  • Human Curve shoulder straps for carrying comfort
  • PRICE $$

    Comfort

    4 out of 5 stars

    This backpack has padded shoulders, a waist strap, and weighs around 1.5 lbs. when empty. The straps are designed to conform to your chest and shoulders. The shape of the bag is slim and lays flat against the back, making it easy to carry.

    Capacity

    4 out of 5 stars

    This backpack has a 25L capacity.

    Design Quality

    3 out of 5 stars

    The backpack’s design is made to conform to your body. It’s lightweight and has padded straps that eliminate tension on your shoulders. It also has a waist strap to balance the weight of the backpack on your upper body The flap cover reveals a deep interior for holding large items, interior sleeves to secure important documents and electronics in one place, and a hidden pocket underneath the flap to easily access smaller items. The front pocket provides quick access for daily necessities

    Warranty

    5 out of 5 stars

    This backpack is backed by Patagonia’s Ironclad Guarantee, which ensures that everything they make is of the highest quality If the customer is not satisfied by the time they receive it or if it doesn’t perform as it should, they’ll repair, replace, or accept returns for a refund. They’ll even repair damaged Patagonia backpacks due to wear and tear at a fair price.

    PROS

    • Easy to cinched shut
    • Feels weightless and durable
    • Stores a lot

    CONS

    • No side pockets
    • Have to dig around a bit
    • Not a lot of padding for a laptop sleeve

    Patagonia Paxat

    Patagonia Paxat

    ​Image via Amazon

    Patagonia Day Packs, Unisex Backpack

  • ripstop polyester
  • Main zippered compartment with padded sleeve holds most 15″ laptops or a hydration reservoir
  • Light and strong polyester ripstop with highly weatherproof TPU laminate
  • Large front stash pocket for organizing essentials
  • This backpack is made from 100% nylon plain weave that’s lined with 100% recycled polyester. It’s coated with polyurethane and a durable water repellent to ensure contents stay dry no matter the weather conditions. It has two major compartments, with side and front pockets. Side, front, and back sternum straps keep everything securely together, offering balance and comfort. The back is of padded mesh. This backpack is ideal for school, work, and all day use in nature or the city. This backpack is 1.9lbs. when empty.

    PRICE $$

    Comfort

    4 out of 5 stars

    This backpack has padded shoulders, a waist strap, and weighs around 1.5 lbs. when empty. The straps are designed to conform to your chest and shoulders. The shape of the bag is slim and lays flat against the back, making it easy to carry.

    Capacity

    4 out of 5 stars

    This backpack has a 32L (men’s) and 28L (women’s) capacity.

    Design Quality

    4 out of 5 stars

    The backpack’s interior pockets are deep and have a satiny finish. The large back pocket contains an open interior pocket and the second large pocket contains an organizer panel for keys and small supplies. The side pockets are zipped and useful for allowing easy access items such as snacks. There’s even an open front pocket, securable with the front strap, that’s large enough for glasses and water. The mesh panel in the back opens all the way down and contains a hidden sleeve for a 15-inch laptop computer.

    Warranty

    5 out of 5 stars

    This backpack is backed by Patagonia’s Ironclad Guarantee which ensures that everything they make is of the highest quality, and if the customer is not satisfied by the time they receive it or if it doesn’t perform as it should, they’ll repair, replace, or accept returns for a refund. They’ll even repair damaged Patagonia backpacks due to wear and tear at a fair price.

    PROS

    • Keeps everything dry
    • Comfortable to carry for miles
    • Durable and lightweight

    CONS

    • Fabric rubs against clothing, causing pill
    • No waist strap

    Patagonia Black Hole

    Patagonia Black Hole Backpack 30L

    ​Image via Patagonia

    Patagonia Black Hole Backpack 30L

  • 50 centimeters high
  • 14 centimeters wide
  • Light and strong polyester ripstop with highly weatherproof TPU laminate and a DWR (durable water repellent) finish Easy-access main compartment with padded sleeve holds most 15″ laptops; zippered top pocket for small items
  • Heavy-duty molded back panel for comfort and durability
  • This backpack is designed for career travelers who have a lot to carry. It’s a solid backpack made from 100% polyester ripstop material that’s weatherproofed with TPU laminate treated with a durable water repellent. So whether you’re in a torrential rainstorm or braving the sweltering heat, this backpack will protect your most fragile and heaviest gear, such as cameras and laptop computers of all sizes.

    PRICE $$

    Comfort

    3 out of 5 stars

    This backpack has two solid padded straps that can be secured together with sternum straps. The back is molded and heavy duty, allowing your contents to not poke through. This feature also provides airflow, eliminating moisture retention. When empty, it weighs just under a pound.

    Capacity

    4 out of 5 stars

    This backpack has a 25L capacity.

    Design Quality

    4 out of 5 stars

    This backpack is designed in a cylinder shape with a bucket style opening. The interior has two sleeves to secure important items such as a laptop computer and tablet. The larger sleeve has a strap closure, while the second sleeve is open for easy access. It also contains a mesh pocket for keys and smaller toiletries and an organizer panel as well. At the top of the opening is yet another pocket for extra storage. On the sides are stretch pockets for items such as water bottles or sunglasses. In the front exterior is a hidden side pocket for daily necessities you want to be able to reach quickly. In the front center of the backpack are daisy chain latch points.

    Warranty

    5 out of 5 stars

    This backpack is backed by Patagonia’s Ironclad Guarantee which ensures that everything they make is of the highest quality and if the customer is not satisfied by the time they receive it or if it doesn’t perform as it should, they’ll repair, replace, or accept returns for a refund. They’ll even repair damaged Patagonia backpacks due to wear and tear at a fair price.

    PROS

    • Lightweight for its size
    • Keeps items dry
    • Solid and sturdy

    CONS

    • No side compression straps
    • Zipper seams allow water to seep through

    Patagonia Refugio

    Patagonia Refugio Pack 28L

    ​Image via Amazon

    Patagonia Refugio Backpack 28L

  • Synthetic
  • Body: 7.5 oz 450 denier recycled polyester plain weave
  • Base: 7.85 450 denier recycled polyester ripstop
  • Lining: 200 denier polyester
  • Stretch pocket: 66% nylon/34%spandex
  • This is a mid-size backpack that’s ideal for school, work, or any time when you want to carry your everyday items hands-free. This backpack is made from 100% nylon plain weave with a 100% recycled polyester lining. Fabrics are protected with polyurethane and a durable water repellant, so this is an all-weather backpack. It weighs around 1.4 lbs. when empty.

    PRICE $

    Comfort

    4 out of 5 stars

    Shoulder straps are made of strong padded mesh. The back is made of molded padded mesh for breathability.

    Capacity

    4 out of 5 stars

    This backpack has a 28L (men’s) and 26L (women’s) capacity.

    Design Quality

    3 out of 5 stars

    This backpack’s design is sleek and simple and has two major zipped compartments, a center vertical zipped compartment, and stretch side pockets. Side straps secure contents and maintain structure, and the sternum strap adds stability and comfort. The first pocket interior has two slip pockets with the larger one having a secure strap to hold items, such as a laptop computer in place. The smaller pocket can hold items like documents and smaller electronics, such as a tablet.

    Warranty

    5 out of 5 stars

    This backpack is backed by Patagonia’s Ironclad Guarantee which ensures that everything they make is of the highest quality and if the customer is not satisfied by the time they receive it or if it doesn’t perform as it should, they’ll repair, replace, or accept returns for a refund. They’ll even repair damaged Patagonia backpacks due to wear and tear at a fair price.

    PROS

    • Keeps items dry
    • Lasts many years
    • Holds a lot of stuff

    CONS

    • Not many organization pockets in the second zipped pocket
    • Zippers get caught on the material
    • Vertical zipper not useful

    Conclusion

    Each of the four Patagonia backpacks we reviewed had something special about them that would make us happy to own them. No one can deny the quality of their backpacks as well as their versatility. They certainly have made it easy for backpacks to become an everyday staple in people’s lives, regardless of age or lifestyle. As mentioned before, finding the ideal backpack for you will differ from someone else. Personal lifestyle and functional needs are things you’ll have to consider as you make your purchase, however, something that is universal about these bags is their quality. No matter which backpack you finally choose, you’ll get one that’s sustainable in almost any environmental condition and can last many years. Nevertheless, if we must choose one out of the four Patagonia backpacks that stood out to us, that is the Patagonia Paxat with 4 out of 5 stars.First, we love the comfort this backpack has. It’s equipped with side and sternum straps to stabilize your contents, as well as fully padded mesh straps and back for breathability. We feel we could wear this backpack all day with no complaints. Second, it has tons of compartments for almost anything imaginable. It has side zip pockets, a slip front for your bottle, and importantly, a zip down padded laptop sleeve. Third, is its capacity. Even if you get the women’s size at 28 L, it can hold a lot. You can travel with this for the entire day with everything you need. It can even be an overnight bag for a quick excursion. It’s highly versatile for everything from work to summer trips. It’s definitely a backpack you’ll treasure for many years.

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