The Best Backpack For Commuters

The best commuter backpack lets you haul all of your work and everyday gear from Point A to Point B in comfort and in style. When we first designed our Knack Packs, we wanted to be sure that our bags take some of the hassle out of commuting, so we listened to what commuting-consumers were looking for in their daily commuter bag:

“I was tired of carrying my laptop bag in addition to my gym duffle bag”

“ I need to travel light, have all my gear stored safely, and look presentable with everything I'm carrying.”

“I was tired of straining my back carrying a tote / multiple bags”

“I wanted a tough backpack to use on my daily commute that had all the features I was looking for.”

“I wanted a backpack for a bicycle commute of about 3 miles, to carry both a 17” laptop and a 15” laptop without being overly large or bulky."

A lot of Knackpackers are gearing up for commutes back to the office, a coffee shop, or a coworking space. To help you as you start up your daily commute again, we’ll cover the features that we think make Knack the best commuter backpack, and we’ll walk you through comparison of each Knack so you can pick out the best bag for your commute.

Knack Pack for public transportation

What Makes Knack The Best Commuter Backpack?

You'll Never Look Out Of Place

Knack’s streamlined aesthetic means that you can take it anywhere you work, whether that’s a professional or a casual setting. Your Knack doesn’t look bulky even when fully stuffed, which means that you can carry it into a business meeting without looking like a hiker. 

I have no problem using this with casual/formal business meetings.” - John F

Knack’s backpack straps can tuck away for an even sleeker look. And with the side handle on the Series 2, you can carry your Knack like a briefcase. That said, Knack still looks cool at the gym, after work, or at a weekend picnic.

You'll Stay Organized All Day Long

Before we made Knack, we were sick of digging through our bags and having to pull everything out to get what we need. So we designed Knack with lots of really functional pockets. When everything has a place, you’ll always know where everything is. Knack has dedicated pockets for the items that commuters use with frequency - like phone and sunglasses, charging cables, water bottle, and headphones. 

“Smartly designed, there are numerous pockets exactly where you need them to be.” - Kim K.

You'll Have A Peace of Mind

Caught in a downpour? No worries. Knack Pack’s water-resistant exterior fabric and reverse double-coil zipper keeps the interior dry should the weather take a turn for the worse. And for commuters that take public transportation, lockable zippers on the main compartments safeguard your belongings from sneaky pickpockets. When commuters know that their stuff is safe, they move through the day with a peace of mind. 

“The 2 locking zippered compartments are very important to me since I travel crowded NYC subways.”  - John C.

Commuting with expensive tech can be nerve-racking. We’ve all had that “Oh no!” experience after fumbling our phone or hearing the thud when we drop our laptop bag. Luckily, the sling bottom in the laptop sleeve pads your laptop from accidental drops.

You'll Stay Comfortable

Whether your commute involves standing, sitting, biking, walking - or all four - Knack Pack is comfortable. The padded and curved straps are fitted for both men and women and can adjust for every shape and size. Strategic pocket placement and the adjustable and removable sternum strap makes sure that weight in your Knack is evenly distributed. Carrying a load is easy and comfortable no matter how long your commute is.

“I am amazed at how comfortable this pack is on my back loaded with my work essentials and bike EDC.” - Ray

A backpack for bicycle commuters

You Can Stay In Touch

Commuters have to carry more and more electronics with them. As a commuter laptop backpack, Knack Pack has space for all of the required tech that you need to work and stay in touch - including laptops, tablets, cables, hard drives, and batteries. And besides the padded side-access laptop sleeve, the micro fleece-lined pocket for tablets keeps the sensitive glass screen from getting scratched. 

“I often carry two laptops and this bag seems to gobble them up and still has plenty of room for power adapters, files, other cables, and a notebook. That's without even expanding the clothing compartment.” - Michael

Do you have to carry multiple laptops? Check out this post.

You Only Need One Bag

While Knack Packs do a great job with your daily commute, what really makes them special is that they’re actually two bags in one. This is all thanks to the expandable travel compartment. When unexpanded, the travel compartment can serve as another main compartment for anything that you want to keep separate from your work stuff - like gym gear or stuff for your kids.

If you want to go from work mode to travel mode, the travel compartment expands to give you 50% more carrying capacity. This lets you pack what you need for a spontaneous overnight trip in the same bag that you take to the office. 

“Made me a believer… #onebaglife” - Bryan M.

Knackpacker commuting on a train

Which Knack Do You Need For Your Commute?

Series 1 Small Knack Pack

The Series 1 Small is the best Knack for lightweight or minimalist packers. Although the Small can still hold a lot of stuff - especially when the travel compartment is expanded - it works best as an “around town” bag. As the Small is 17” tall, it’s an excellent option for shorter people, or for those with smaller frames.

Keep in mind that the laptop pocket in the Small is designed for a 13” laptop. However, many Small Knackpack users store a larger laptop in the expandable travel compartment or the main compartment.

Series 1 Small Knack Pack Specs for Commuters:

15L unexpanded, 27L when expanded

Fits a 13” laptop

Holds a 17ox S’well or 18oz Hydro Flask water bottle

Can pack 1-2 outfit changes

Shop the Series 1 Small Knack Pack here.

Series 1 Medium Knack Pack

The Medium Knack can carry a lot of everyday things. For most commuters, the Medium Knack has plenty of space for all of your work and personal activities. If you go to the gym after work, the expandable travel compartment will easily fit a pair of sneakers and a change of clothes. 

The Medium Knack is also an excellent option for commuters who take 1-2 night trips. With 39 Liters of space when expanded, the Medium is the perfect commuter-to-travel backpack. 

Series 1 Medium Knack Pack Specs for Commuters:

27L unexpanded, 39L expanded

Fits a 15” laptop

Holds a 17 oz S’well or a 24 oz Hydro Flask

Can pack 2-3 outfit changes

Shop the Series 1 Medium Knack Pack here.

Series 1 Large Knack Pack

As a commuter bag, the Large Knack is best for those who like to be sure they’ve brought everything with them. “Just in case” packers love that even with the extra capacity, comfort isn’t sacrificed. Also think about using Knack Packing Cubes to add more organization to the main compartment and the expandable travel compartment. 

The Large makes a great backpack for big and tall people. Read more about it here.

Series 1 Large Knack Pack Specs for Commuters

30L unexpanded, 46L expanded

Fits a 17” laptop

Holds a 25oz S’well or a 24oz Hydro Flask

Can pack 3-4 outfit changes

Shop the Series 1 Knack Pack here.

Series 2 Medium Knack Pack

In the Series 2 Knack Pack, we brought the external pocket organization of the Series 1 inside. The Series 2 has a super clean look, with the same awesome functionality and organization of the Series 1. And for extra security on public transportation, the organization compartment and the main compartment can lock up to keep all of your things safe.

Series 2 Medium Knack Pack Specs for Commuters

24L unexpanded, 35L expanded

Fits a 15” laptop

Holds a 17 oz S’well or a 24 oz Hydro Flask

Packs 2-3 outfit changes

Shop the Series 2 Knack Pack here.


Knack Packs are great multipurpose backpacks that address the needs of commuters: comfort, function, and style. If you’re getting ready to start commuting again but you still don’t know which Knack is best, take a look at our Knack Pack Comparison Page.

About Knack

Knack Packs are designed by mobile workers, for mobile workers. Knack makes it easy to work and play, anywhere you go, with just one bag. Read our story here.