It’s in the Bag: 13 Ultra-Functional Backpacks for Busy Urban Lifestyles

A bag is definitely not just a bag when you’re commuting in all weather conditions, biking to work, carrying a lot of expensive gear and trying to look professional and stay organized all the while. These next-level backpacks, tote bags, duffels and briefcases are full of all kinds of cool features, like built-in solar chargers, bike safety lights, crash sensors, theft-proof locks, access from virtually any angle, extra durable materials and every manner of pocket, compartment and gear tie-down you can possibly imagine.

Aster: The World’s Safest Commute Backpack

Aiming to improve visibility, reduce accidents and save lives, the Aster commuter backpack features rear, front and profile lights as well as automatic brake lights and integrated turn signals. Not only will drivers in vehicles see you from all angles, you’re less likely to end up with a door in your face, too. The backpack includes a USB-rechargeable built-in battery that powers the lights for 10-15 hours of commute time. It ships with an app called Lumos Aster for additional functionality like low battery alerts and anti-theft protection features. A crash sensor inside the bag will alert your emergency contacts if something happens to you. Plus, it’s got a helmet holder, lock strap, whistle buckle, bottle pockets, shoe compartment and a rain cover. The bag opens completely so you can grab whatever you need without pulling everything else out.

SlingFin Honey Badger Backpack and Bicycle Pannier

Wear it as a backpack or a bicycle pannier. The SlingFin Honey Badger backpack is as tough as its name suggests with a semi-rigid external skeleton made of recyclable high density polyethylene that helps carry weight more comfortably than a fabric bag. The back and straps are made of padded mesh for airflow between the wearer and the pack, and the lid is magnetic. Throw an LED light or even your phone with the flashlight on inside, and it dramatically increases your visibility at night. It comes with a 25-liter dry bag that can be used to protect your belongings inside, or alone as an ultralight pack. The exterior is as customizable as you want it to be – you can draw right on it.

12L Cargo Motorcycle Tail Bag

If you get around on a motorcycle, you need tough waterproof gear that won’t bulk up your silhouette. The 12L Cargo Tail Bag by Shaun Lee is great for both everyday use and overnight trips, compressing down to a packable size that sits low on your seat.IT’s made of waxed canvas and metal attachment hardware with a waterproof zipper, hidden pockets and a removable cargo net for outerwear and water bottles. When it’s empty, it rolls down to a quarter of its size secured with clips. Attachment straps secure the bag to your bike without a specialized rack system.

The NOMATIC Travel Bag

Designed for a 3-7 day trip, the NOMATIC combines the best features from a backpack, duffel bag and luggage in the bid to be “the most functional travel bag ever.” It fits a whole lot more than you’d imagine, especially since it comes with a vacuum compression bag for your clothes. Other features include a laundry bag, shoe compartments, an RFID safe pocket, laptop and tablet slots, water bottle pocket, roller bag sleeve, TSA-approved lock, built-in cord management, a valuables pocket, notebook pocket, easy access pocket for boarding passes and other essentials, and more. It’s also water resistant, and meets carry-on size requirements.

The Everyday Backpack, Tote and Sling

The ‘Everyday’ set by Peak Design includes a backpack, tote bag and sling packed full of features that will please both professional photographers picky about their camera bags and everyday users. Available in 20L and 30L sizes, the backpack includes easy-access side zippers, a dedicated laptop sleeve, subdivided interior side pockets, outer side pockets, built-in expansion and lots of straps for bulky items like tripods. The tote has similar pockets and external carry abilities as well as dual side access and a flex-fold interior divider system. Need something even smaller? The Everyday Sling is super compact, but has many of the same features as the other two bags.