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The Best Canvas Backpacks

🕚 Updated March 2023

Canvas backpacks have withstood the test of time for good reason---they're durable, functional, and fun for your next adventure. If you're ready to upgrade your backpack game, here are some canvas backpacks we recommend.

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  Best for Travel Vintage Look Most Color Options Best Patterned Option Best Mini Backpack
Men's Travel Backpack Canvas Rucksack
Vintage Backpack
Casual-Style Canvas Backpack
Women's Canvas Backpack
Women's Casual-Style Canvas Backpack
Our SummaryThis streamlined backpack is made of premium-quality canvas and can also be carried as a handbag or a shoulder bag.The main compartment of this backpack has a drawstring closure for easy access.Just because you want a canvas backpack doesn't mean you have to settle for classic brown or olive green colors---as this model aptly proves.This handmade embroidered canvas backpack has an anti-theft design and is available in eight different colors.This casual backpack is ideal for those who prefer to travel light.
Pros✓ Attractive vintage look
✓ Made of premium canvas and PU leather
✓ Large laptop pocket
✓ Inside and outside compartments
✓ Three-way adjustable shoulder strap
✓ Six color options
✓ Soft canvas and pure leather
✓ Easy-access drawstring closure
✓ Padded laptop sleeve
✓ Numerous interior pockets
✓ Color/pattern variety
✓ Ample compartments
✓ Padded straps
✓ Lightweight design
✓ Handmade
✓ High-quality canvas
✓ Lightweight
✓ Bohemian style
✓ Large main compartment
✓ Anti-theft
✓ Simple style
✓ Soft, lightweight canvas
✓ Adjustable straps
✓ Room for a 10-inch tablet
Cons✗ Limited access to main compartment
✗ Hard to reach laptop slot
✗ Fasteners or zippers may break✗ Lacks interior pockets
✗ Color or pattern on the back may not match
✗ Anti-theft design may hinder the wearer✗ Can't hold more than six pounds
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How Did We Research?

19 Models Evaluated

6 Hours Researched

40 Reviews Analyzed

The Best Canvas Backpacks

Vintage backpack, hiking mug, watches and binoculars. Tourism, travel, adventure on a natural autumn background.

Buying Guide for Canvas Backpacks

Handsome Asian man with close up white leather backpack smiling standing.

Why buy a canvas backpack?

Canvas backpacks are an excellent choice for their durability and style. They are constructed of heavy-duty natural or synthetic fibers, making them resistant to wear and tear. Canvas backpacks are available in various colors and styles, allowing you to select one that suits your needs and personality. Since many are weatherproof and often contain a good amount of exterior storage, you can enjoy the convenience of having a backpack that serves equally well for school, traveling, or camping.

What should you look for in a canvas backpack?

  • Comfort: You certainly don’t want to be stuck with an uncomfortable backpack all day. When choosing a canvas backpack, be sure the straps are padded and adjustable. You’ll also want to look at the back of the bag to be sure the shape contours well to the shape of your back.
  • Size: The size to choose will depend on what function you plan to use it for the most. A day’s hike through the woods requires a very different set of equipment than a 10-day camping trip. If you plan on carrying it for days at a time, you’ll want a backpack that suits your storage needs but isn’t particularly bulky or burdensome.
  • Organization: Canvas backpacks with exterior and interior compartments are excellent for organizing your belongings. External pockets provide convenient access to items you use frequently or need to grab quickly, such as your water bottle or an umbrella. Inside the backpack, it would be good to have both open and zipped pockets for easy access to keep your items securely in place. If you plan on carrying a sensitive electronic device such as a laptop, be sure the backpack you choose has a dedicated compartment to keep it safe.

How should you clean a canvas backpack?

First and foremost, you’ll want to check out the specific instructions on your backpack’s care label since different brands and styles may have different requirements. In general, however, you should get good results by first spot-cleaning any visible stains or dirt with a soft cleaning cloth or brush, then washing the bag by hand or in a washer on a gentle cycle, provided it’s a machine-washable model.

Our Picks for the Best Canvas Backpacks

Best for Travel

WITZMAN Men's Travel Backpack Canvas Rucksack

This streamlined backpack is made of premium-quality canvas and can also be carried as a handbag or a shoulder bag.

Pros: This canvas backpack is as attractive as it is functional. It has a vintage look and is made of premium canvas and PU leather. The dedicated laptop pocket can hold a 12- to 17-inch computer. With its two front zipper pockets, one side pocket, and one bottom compartment, you can be sure your items are secure and organized. The adjustable shoulder strap can be positioned to carry the bag as a backpack, shoulder bag, or tote bag for maximum versatility while traveling.

Cons: The main compartment is accessible only by one side zipper, which can be cumbersome. Also, it may be hard to access your laptop when the bag is full due to the location of the laptop sleeve.

Bottom Line: This canvas backpack is a fantastic choice for anyone needing a functional and stylish backpack that can withstand everyday use. It scores highly in terms of appearance, storage space, and durability, making it a reliable and practical option for both work and leisure.


Vintage Look

BLUBOON Vintage Backpack

The main compartment of this backpack has a drawstring closure for easy access.

Pros: This attractive and highly functional backpack comes in six colors and is made of soft canvas and pure leather. It has an easy-access main compartment with a drawstring closure secured by a flap with magnetized snaps. Keep your electronic devices safe from damage in the padded laptop sleeve and organize smaller items like your keys, phone, and water bottle in the interior pockets.

Cons: This backpack may not be the best choice for heavy-duty use, such as camping or backpacking, since you may run into trouble with the magnetic fasteners or zippers breaking in these scenarios.

Bottom Line: On-the-go students should find this canvas backpack perfect for carrying their books, devices, and other essentials in style. The multiple compartments ensure that everything is organized and easy to find, while the sturdy canvas material ensures that the backpack can withstand the rigors of everyday use.


Most Color Options

mygreen Casual-Style Canvas Backpack

Just because you want a canvas backpack doesn't mean you have to settle for classic brown or olive green colors---as this model aptly proves.

Pros: If you want the durability of a canvas backpack but don’t love the traditional colors associated with one, this model is a perfect choice. It’s available in 26 different colors and patterns, making it a much more colorful option than most while offering all the benefits of a classic canvas backpack. It provides ample space and has multiple compartments, so you can stay organized and easily find everything you need. This backpack has padded straps and a cushion for superior shoulder comfort. Plus, its lightweight design means you won’t feel weighed down while on the go.

Cons: There is a notable lack of pockets on the inside of the backpack, which may make it difficult to store and organize smaller items. Additionally, some designs may have a different color or pattern on the back of the bag, and the strap adjustment hardware isn’t made from metal on all the color choices, which may affect the overall durability of the backpack.

Bottom Line: Don’t settle for a flimsy backpack that won’t withstand everyday wear and tear. This canvas backpack is built to last and offers the perfect combination of functionality and style thanks to the variety of color and pattern options.


Best Patterned Option

Goodhan Women's Canvas Backpack

This handmade embroidered canvas backpack has an anti-theft design and is available in eight different colors.

Pros: This handmade embroidered bag is made of high-quality canvas with a copper buckle and zipper. It’s lightweight and has a soft, casual look in a bohemian style. The large main compartment has space for your books, laptop, and other essentials. Inside are two open pockets and two zipped pockets, while the large zippered pocket on the outside will be an excellent spot to keep items you want easy access to. The closure has an anti-theft design to keep your belongings secure while you’re on the go.

Cons: Due to the bag’s anti-theft design, the straps block the opening a bit, making it somewhat of a challenge to get into, even for the wearer.

Bottom Line: This canvas backpack is stylish, durable, and lightweight. There may be a bit of a learning curve to getting into the bag quickly, but the anti-theft features are there to ward off pickpockets and keep your valuables safe.


Best Mini Backpack

LuckyZ Women's Casual-Style Canvas Backpack

This casual backpack is ideal for those who prefer to travel light.

Pros: This canvas backpack takes us back to basics. It’s made of high-quality, super soft, lightweight canvas with a zipper closure. The bag is medium, measuring 10 inches long, 14 inches tall, and four inches wide, with one main pocket, one inner pocket, two side pockets, and one front zipper pocket. You can adjust the straps to a length of 30 inches, and the inside compartment offers enough room to hold a 10-inch tablet, clothing, books, and other daily necessities.

Cons: This lightweight backpack is not built to accommodate more than six pounds. Paired with this backpack’s smaller size means there are limits to what you can pack inside it.

Bottom Line: This is a basic canvas backpack that can be used for school, travel, or even as a casual, roomier purse. Choose your favorite from four available colors, but remember, it’s not designed to carry very large or heavy items.

Final Thoughts

A great backpack is an accessory that will never go out of style. Whether traveling, camping, or darting around a university campus, one of these stylish and durable canvas backpacks can provide the function you need in a classic look you can feel good about.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and How-To Geek and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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