The 7 Best Leather Backpacks


Whether you’re ready to upgrade your trusty Jansport or need something sleek for work, a good leather backpack is an investment worth considering. The material is hardy and decidedly supple, connoting everything from vintage luggage to high-end handbags. Care for it well, and you’ll have it for years if not decades. The best leather backpacks are made from high-quality hides with plenty of design features that make life easier on the go — and there are plenty of options at multiple price points. That said, all leather is not created equal — here’s what to look for when you’re reaching for that credit card.

Full grain leather is considered the highest quality leather around. It needs minimal processing and, as such, is truly tough and durable with a visible grain that develops a deep patina over time. This is the kind of leather that looks good and lasts for decades. Then you have something called top grain leather, which has been smoothed to remove surface flaws for a pristine look. It’s a little bit thinner than full grain leather, but it’s still high-quality and a bit more budget-friendly than full grain leather, which makes it a popular choice for handbags. The term genuine leather is what its name implies, but it ranks lowest in terms of quality. That said, it’s easy to find and a lot more affordable than full grain or top grain pieces.

Leather backpacks look pretty stylish by default, but some are more utilitarian while others have fashion to spare. Commuters and frequent flyers will appreciate tech-friendly features like padded laptop sleeves (that zip down flat if you’re going through TSA), built-in USB charging ports, and padded straps for comfortable carrying. If you’re in the market for a chic backpack, look for exotic textures like crocodile or plush quilting that read luxe.

These are hands-down the best leather backpacks at every price point.

1

This Quilted Backpack That Looks High-End

With its quilted detailing, this chic genuine leather backpack is your on-the-go version of the Chanel 2.55 handbag (and costs considerably less than a designer purse). There’s a discreet wide zippered pocket on the outside for fast-access necessities and a small zip pocket tucked onto one side that’s perfect for items like keys or lip balm. The roomy main interior includes two sleeve pockets plus a zippered security compartment for just enough organization, and it will hold a large tablet. “Elegant design. Exquisite workmanship. Beautiful leather. Flawless stitching & construction,” a reviewer gushed.

2

A Mini Backpack With Rock ‘n’ Roll Edge

The delicate studs and contrast X-stitching give this mini leather backpack a handmade free-spirited flavor, but don’t think it skimps on function due to its size. There are two large external zip pockets plus a dedicated interior one, and it easily converts into a crossbody bag. Although the leather type isn’t specified, The Sak sources 90% of their leather from the Leather Working Group to ensure ethical and environmentally-friendly practices. “It’s super well made and fits everything I need. I am super picky about purses, but this one is too good not to rave about. It’s so comfortable as a backpack I forget it’s on,” one fan praised. “Then say I’m in a crowded place and want to keep it closer, boom it’s a crossbody within my sight. Amazing.”

  • Available style options: 3

3

A Travel-Friendly Backpack That’s TSA-Compliant

Breeze through airports with this full-grain leather backpack, with features made for clearing security without the hassle. There’s a laptop compartment for screens up to 16 inches that unzips completely flat so you don’t have to unload everything and there’s a separate sleeve for your tablet plus a padded pocket for your phone, in addition to zippered sleeves that wrangle charge cords. Once you’re through, a strap on the back slips over your carry-on handles as you speed to the gate. Aside from that, it’s also a genuinely nice bag that offers tons of organization with dozens of pockets, card slots, pen holders, and even a fob for your keys, plus an RFID-protected pocket for total peace of mind. If you need something fast, there are three zippered pockets on the outside. The leather straps and back are extremely well-padded and lined with mesh so, no matter how much you pack, it’s easy to haul. “I love this bag,” one shopper wrote. “It has so many compartments and pockets that I’m still trying to remember where I have things placed. 5 stars!”

4

The Adventure-Ready Drawstring Backpack You Can Stuff And Go

Ultra-durable with rugged good looks to match, this drawstring backpack is made from premium Italian full-grain leather double-stitched to last for years. The outside features three roomy flap pockets secured with high-quality metal buckles and magnetic snaps, plus a buckled flap over the drawstring for an extra layer of protection. The single large interior compartment is intended to keep things simple (and promises to hold laptops up to 14 inches in size), but shoppers happily reported there was enough room for larger screens. “This rucksack is beautiful and the quality is fantastic. The leather is thick enough to feel sturdy but still flexible and not heavy to carry,” a fan reported. “It will hold quite a bit, my 16” laptop would fit in there easily.”

5

This Convertible Backpack Purse With Embossed Leather

When form matters just as much as function, this stylish leather backpack is made from top-grain leather that’s embossed on top to look like alligator skin for a luxe finish. The roomy main compartment will hold a small laptop up to 13.4 inches (although there’s no dedicated compartment, there is a divided interior to keep things separate) with sleeves for small items and a zippered security pocket. A small zipper strategically placed in the back of the bag lets you access items inside discreetly, plus the bag is structured to stand on its own. Two small D-rings on each side hold a removable shoulder strap to convert the whole thing into a chic tote for day-to-night functionality. “This is a pretty, pretty, pretty bag,” a fan gushed. “Nice hardware and well-organized pockets. The ‘alligator’ on the top flap is super gorgeous.”

If you’re willing to spend a little more, this embossed leather backpack rocks full croc.

  • Available style options: 9

6

A Tech-Friendly Backpack That Streamlines Commutes

This genuine leather work backpack takes some of the sting out of rush hour with padded straps lined in breathable mesh, plus a contoured back for ventilation and comfort. Its slim 4-inch-wide profile squeezes into a crowd if you deal with transit, and a security pocket against your back keeps must-haves close. (There’s also a small pocket in one strap that can hold a MetroCard.) Inside is a padded laptop sleeve lined with microfiber to protect screens up to 15.6 inches and a built-in charging port for both USB and micro-USB that attaches to your power bank so, no matter what you’re carrying, you never lose power. “It’s durable and stylish and offers great protection for my laptop,” a shopper wrote. “Really quality leather and I’m sure will last for lots and lots of years to come.”

7

A Leather Sling Backpack That’s Light And Practical

More ergonomic than a backpack or messenger bag (and a bit more budget-friendly) this genuine leather sling backpack distributes weight and can be worn front or back. Although it won’t hold a laptop, you can still fit a small tablet inside. Other tech-friendly features include a USB charging port as well as a channel for earbud cables so you can listen on the go with your phone safely stashed away. There are two exterior zip pockets (plus one for security that lies against your back) and the main compartment is protected with a secondary snap closure. The adjustable shoulder strap can be hooked to either side for lefties and righties. “I can’t imagine not having this mini backpack now,” a shopper commented. “This thing has seven compartments! Great leather, style/look, design and craftsmanship — this will last a long time.”

8

Worth Considering: A Genuine Leather Belt Bag For A Trendy, Minimalist Option

Whether you’re finally ready to embrace the fanny pack trend or you want real leather but have sticker shock from the options listed above, this stylish, genuine leather belt bag is a lightweight, hands-free option for everyday. It features multiple zip pockets, plus a snap compartment for things you need easy to access, with a durable nylon waist belt and hard plastic buckle that’s adjustable up to 51 inches. “Remarkably high quality for the price. Soft, attractive leather, with 5 conveniently sized pockets to separately store different-size things like keys, cellphone, and a small wallet behind the security of a zipper…I use this bag instead of a purse, and when something belted around my waist looks too casual, I sling it over my shoulder for a little while as if it were a handbag,” a fan shared.

9

Also Nice: A Faux Leather Backpack With Rave Reviews

Shopping on a budget? Looking for a low-maintenance bag that you don’t have to worry about getting wet or scuffed? This convertible faux leather backpack has garnered nearly 6,000 ratings from shoppers who “absolutely love” it for being “well made” with “lots of pockets.” There are two large zippered compartments on the exterior plus dedicated pouches for an umbrella and water bottle, while inside the main compartment are a series of zip pockets to keep everything separate. It’s big enough to handle a 14-inch laptop, and a detachable strap at the top turns it into a shoulder bag when you want a practical purse to run errands. “This bag is perfection. It is on the large side, but it is so beautiful. There are so many zipper compartments that I can fit everything I need,” a reviewer wrote. “If you put everything but the kitchen sink in your purses this is the bag for you, and if you carry lightly, this bag is still for you…one of my best Amazon purchases ever.”



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