The Backpack That Will Have People Asking About Your Backpack

Buy $175, dagnedover.com


Welcome to The Esquire Endorsement. Heavily researched. Thoroughly vetted. These picks are the best way to spend your hard-earned cash.


Backpacks are bags of the people. We start using them in elementary school to lug around books and notebooks and dope pencil cases (soft shells only, thanks). And as school progresses, the backpacks get cooler and more intentional. Our Jansport turns into a Fjallraven, which turns into a Herschel. And those backpacks are all great for simple needs! For the bag of the people, there are no wrong answers, only answers better suited to certain situations. And when it comes to expert organization, it’s worth looking for something that does the job right for you.

That’s exactly what Dagne Dover’s Dakota backpack does. The neoprene bag is the perfect size, the perfect weight, and includes the perfect details that make carting around your stuff a whole lot easier. If your bag quickly turns into a black hole, this backpack keeps you from spiraling too deeply into bottomless bag oblivion. It’s good for bringing to the gym, to work, to vacation, and to anywhere else you might need a bag. Here’s what we love about it most.

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Smart details, like this removable pouch, make sure all your goods are easily accessible.

Allie Holloway

It’s perfectly casual.

For daily bags, there’s casual, and then there’s too casual. Maybe shouldn’t bring it to work kind of casual. Whereas something that looks beat up or prepped for a hike won’t do anything great for your style, the Dakota is casual without being too much so. The neoprene gives it a cool look, which stands out from a standard canvas, and the all-over coloring keeps it minimal. Both of those elements are essential for making it look good every day, no matter what you’re wearing or where you’re headed. You can commute to the office, to the gym, and to happy hour without ever feeling under- or overdressed.

Buy $175, dagnedover.com

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The neoprene fabric is soft and lightweight, which makes it easy (and enjoyable) to wear every day.

Allie Holloway

It does the organizing for you.

Function came first in this design. There’s not a detail that wasn’t expertly planned out to make accessing the stuff inside of your bag as easy as possible. In addition to the padded laptop case, which is par for the backpack course these days, there are also details on the outside of the pack that make the inside stay neat and tidy. Put your keys and wallet in the front pouch, your headphones in the side zip, and your hand sanitizer in the removable pouch. Keeping the necessities where you can reach them prevents you from having to dig through your bag ever again.

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Instead of digging around in a bag, these small pockets keep your most popular goods easy to access. Keep your headphones and keys here.

Allie Holloway

It won’t get gross. And if it does, you can wash it.

The neoprene fabric stands out the most, if we’re talking details. That’s because it doesn’t look like the fabric other backpacks are made out of—not a short-lived canvas or a hefty ballistic nylon. It looks soft and bouncy and comfortable to wear. And it is all of those things! But it’s a functional fabric, too. It wicks moisture, mostly in the form of rain or sweat. That means you don’t have to worry too much about getting caught in a storm and you can put sweaty gym clothes in it without worrying it’ll smell. Those are essential components for a bag that you’ll want to use everyday and for a long time to come. If you want to clean it up, hand wash it and let it air dry. You’ll have a fresh bag by morning.

Buy $175, dagnedover.com