What to Look for in an Everyday Carry Backpack

In our post-pandemic world, our everydays aren't so routine anymore. With online work and events, we could find ourselves in the office one day, and telecommuting the next. Or we might travel for work, but extend the trip a few days just because we can. 

Most backpacks are designed for going to and from the same places, everyday. But not Knack. Knack Packs are everyday carry bags built for our dynamic and ever-changing schedules.

In this article, we'll walk you through our thought process in developing a multipurpose everyday backpack with the versatility to go anywhere your hybrid life takes you and everything you need to get. What super intelligent features make Knack the best everyday backpack? Read to find out.

What is an EDC backpack?

An EDC, or an everyday carry, is the bag that houses all the essentials that you bring with you on a typical day. Whether you're going to work, on an errand run, or to see friends, your EDC backpack is your accomplice.

And because we never really know what the day holds, your EDC backpack should also be able to accommodate unexpected changes to your schedule - whether that means going on a last-minute trip to the store, or on a last-minute trip across the country. 

What makes the best everyday backpack?

  • It can accommodate everything you need for the day, and keep it all organized.
  • It has a professional look, so you can take it to work.
  • It's comfortable to carry, even when fully-loaded on a long commute. 
  • It's adaptable, so it can flex with you and your ever-changing days.  

How do I choose an everyday carry backpack? Let's take a deep dive into the features that make for the very best EDC backpack. 

An everyday carry backpack that accommodates everything you need for the day

"I've been using my Medium Series 1 Knack Pack for a few weeks and now I'm dazzled by how comfortable it is, how much it packs into a tight space, and how much it holds both daily and when expanded for my trips!" - Marie H.

We've all experienced a frantic last-minute search for our keys and wallet when trying to leave the house. We made Knack with a dedicated space for all the things that you never want to leave the house without, so you always know where your smallest and most essential things are. 

The front triangle compartment of the Series 1 Knack Pack has an RFID-blocking lining for protecting passports, and smaller pockets that hold credit cards and business cards. A deeper pocket in this space gives easy-access to a book, tablet, or e-reader. 

Series 1 Knack Pack RFID-blocking lining for protecting passports and credit cards

We also made sure that other common essentials - such as sunglasses and water bottles - are easy to grab when you need them.

knack pack everyday carry backpack with sunglasses pocket

Lined with microfleece, the top pocket in this EDC backpack is ideal for sunglasses or an iPhone, or for anything that you want quick access to. And a zip-up stealth water bottle compartment means that you can stay hydrated, without looking like a hiker. 

How big should an EDC backpack be?

While a lot of your everyday essentials are on the smaller side - like your phone and your wallet - on most days, you'll want to bring extra layers of clothing with you; a jacket for chilly evenings, or a raincoat for sudden downpours. That said, your EDC bag should have enough room to hold those extra layers. 

Because Knack Pack's expansion feature, you can store a lot of extra clothes if you think you're going to need them. But if you won't need them, you can compress the expandable compartment. 

An everyday carry bag should meet your tech requirements 

"I carry up to a 14" laptop, 2nd display, 30mAH battery bank, earbuds, over ear headphones, range of cables/adapters, and a full keyboard (for the really remote working). It fits everything in an organized fashion." - John F. 

So many of us are working remotely, and we can’t risk forgetting any of our work essentials as we move our mobile offices from one place to another. Knack Packs are designed with space for all of the vital technology that allows us to work from anywhere. 

A padded laptop sleeve, a microfleece-lined tablet pocket, and mesh pockets for small and loose items like earbuds and batteries keeps your tech protected, in sight, and organized. And a bottom-access charger compartment ensures that you’ll never have to untangle a mess of charging cables again.

Learn how to pack your tech for travel here. 

Series 2 Knack Pack holds tech

Of course, each of the three different Knack Pack sizes have different tech capacities. Smaller Knacks are perfect for people who like to go lighter on the tech - like for those who carry a 13” laptop or just a tablet - while a Large Knack Pack has room for packing multiple laptops.

What's up with all the pockets?

Pockets on an everyday carry backpack

Struggling to figure out what or how to carry in your EDC backpack? We designed the Series 1 Knack Pack with lots of external pockets. Pockets on the outside keep the stuff that you need to access most frequently readily available. This is a game changer in business meetings, when you don’t want to create a disturbance by rummaging through your bag. 

The Series 2 Knack Pack has the same great pockets - so finding and accessing your stuff is still easy - but we moved them inside the main compartments for a more minimalist exterior look.

In our Convertible Duffel, pockets line the interior and the compression flap, so you can have internal organization even in a duffel bag, while keeping it lightweight. But as will all Knack products, the Convertible Duffel is multi-functional, and you can use it as an everyday carry backpack as well. 

What is the best backpack for everyday use?

Most backpacks are only good for one thing. You might have a duffel bag for the gym and a briefcase for the office, or a roller bag for a work trip and a small backpack for shopping around town. But these days, we don’t want to carry around a whole bunch of bags with us, so how big should an EDC backpack be?

Knack’s famous expandable travel compartment gives you a suitcase-like space for travel or for any extras that you need to haul around, such as groceries, gym gear, or a few changes of clothes. But it zips away when not in use. We made Knack so that you can bring just one bag with you, with enough space for everything. From 15L to over 45L, our expandable bags have the power to adjust to your specific load requirements. Check out our product comparison here for more detail on our most popular sizes. 

An everyday carry backpack for professionals

"This bag truly is 'sleek and sexy professionalism meets extreme functionality'" - Jason L.

Your college backpack was fine for your Econ class, and your hiking backpack was perfect for a weekend trip to Yosemite. But neither work for an important meeting with a customer. 

Your everyday carry backpack needs to blend into most everyday settings and situations, like a chameleon. That’s why we made Knack Pack with a sophisticated, suit-inspired fabric that lets it blend into a professional setting.

As Carryology.com says about Knack Pack:

"It's for those who want a bag that doesn't scream for attention, but rather subtly suggests they're professionals who appreciate good design. It's for the minimalist who wants to one-bag travel but longs for adaptability" 

Series 1 and Series 2 medium backpack side by side

As an amazing bonus feature, the backpack straps fully tuck away for an even more refined look. And with the side handle on the Series 2 and the top handle on the Series 1, your Knack goes into briefcase mode - making it a truly 2-in-1 everyday backpack.

Man working with series 2 backpack

Importantly, your Knack will still look pretty sleek when fully loaded. 

“One thing you never want, regardless of where you are, is a bulky backpack. The Knack Pack's hybrid design maintains a slim profile when both compressed for when you're packing light, or expanded at full capacity.” - Everydaycarry.com

A comfortable everyday carry backpack

"Back panel has good air flow and is very comfortable. The overall weight distribution on the bag is great." - Chuck S.

Your everyday carry can end up hauling way more than just your keys and laptop - particularly if you have a full day of errands and meetings. How did we make sure that Knack Packs are still comfortable when fully loaded?

  • A molded, comfort-cool memory foam back panel means that your Knack is easy on your back.
  • Padded and curved straps are adjustable and fitted for every shape and size.
  • An adjustable and fully removable sternum strap creates additional support and security, particularly for bicycle commuters.

"I've been using it as my bike commuter bag for work, which is 16 miles round trip." - Ray

Adjustable sternum strap on a Knack Pack

The pockets also play a huge role in the perfect comfort of the Knack Pack. In so many backpacks, the heavier items fall to the bottom of the bag, and this concentrated weight contributes to back pain and discomfort.

Knack Pack’s pockets - such as the laptop compartment - keep the heavier items closer to your center of gravity. No matter how much you’re carrying, the weight is evenly distributed throughout your EDC.

And the Knack Pack itself is extremely lightweight, giving you that much more weight allowance. The Large Knack Pack - which has a carrying capacity of 46 liters - weighs just over three pounds. 

Knack Pack as an adaptable everyday carry backpack

"I travel extensively for business and pleasure. I was looking for a flexible bag that fits both needs, and the Small Knack fits the bill!" - R. Park

The past year taught us how to adapt to a world that changes incredibly fast. Although we don’t really know how tomorrow’s going to unfold, our Knack Packs can adapt to whatever the day demands. 

If you suddenly have to commute on a bicycle because the Metro broke down, it can be done with a Knack Pack. If you're at the gym and a client schedules a last-minute in-person meeting, our Knack Pack makes it look like you were ready. 

Knack Packs enable you to move freely through your day, without the physical burden of multiple bags and without the mental burden of trying to remember where everything is. 

What to carry in an everyday backpack

While everybody's EDC gear is unique to them, some of the general everyday carry essentials include:

  • Wallet - ID's, credit card, and membership passes (for your gym or coworking space)
  • Phone plus charger.
  • Possibly your tech - like a lightweight tablet. 
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle
  • Hand sanitizer (a COVID-era addition)


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

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