Last Updated: October 13, 2021
The struggle to find accessories that support your lifestyle is very real when you’re plus-sized. If you’re a big guy struggling to find a backpack that vibes with your size and your style, you’re in the right place. We’ve found and listed 5 of the best backpacks for big guys here for you.
Now we understand that many manufacturers will say something was made for the big guys without really understanding what that means. The result? You probably have ended up with a sized-up version of some backpack with the same specs as those in a regular size. The problem? Being plus-sized means you need a few extras on the things you use: a backpack is great if it can hold all your stuff, but it is big-guy-great if it also extends itself in ways that accommodate the needs of your size.
To meet your new big-guy-great backpack, scroll through our list, and read on for details.
5 Backpacks for Big Guys Reviewed
1. Herschel Little America Laptop Backpack
At 19.25” high and 11.25” wide, the Herschel Little America Backpack is created in the classic mountaineering style, and reviewers report that it is actually much nicer looking in the flesh! One of the major concerns for anyone with a larger stature would be how the bag would wear on their back or shoulders, and the super-soft padded straps and back panels of this backpack ensure that it wears extremely comfortably.
Aside from being a dream to carry and wear, it is useful in terms of the organized space it provides! It features a front pocket with a hidden zipper, and the laptop compartment is padded with fleece, fitting up to a 15″ laptop easily. You can store your smaller devices such as phones in internal pockets.
The bag is well-constructed and can carry a load of stuff.
- 25L volume
- 100% polyester with nylon lining
- Perfect to wear for longer periods
- Hidden zipper provides anti-theft protection
- Not enough organized pockets
2. LTINVECK Extra Large Travel Laptop Backpack
When they call the LTINVECK Extra Large Travel Laptop Backpack “extra-large,” they really mean extra-large! This backpack boasts dimensions of 19.0″ x 14.6″ x 10.2″ as well as over 20 pockets! Not only can you store a laptop of up to 17” in this bag, you can pretty much fit anything and everything you might need through the course of your day in it too.
The bag comes with an external USB charging port and built-in charging cable, as well as the option to go hands-free as you listen to music thanks to the headphone jack.
Of course, like all great long-wear bags and backpacks, this one pays attention to the comfort factor as well, giving the wearer breathable but sturdy materials, designed into a bag that minimizes the risk of overloading your muscles. Last but not least, this bag’s TSA-approved design also makes it perfect for travel, where it makes checking through security a breeze!
- Durable polyester fabric
- 2-way, waterproof zippers
- Steel cable handle
- Padded, breathable back panel
- Adjustable, breathable shoulder straps
- TSA-approved design
- Too large for daily-wear
3. Under Armour Undeniable 3.0
The Under Armour Undeniable 3.0 Backpack promises a great time based on looks alone! At 3.0, this bag has retained some of its original awesome qualities and definitely evolved and gained some new ones as well.
It’s perfect for daily wear, and reviewers vouch for its durability. Whether you’re trying to fit in a 15″ slim laptop, or books and notebooks, or even your gym gear, this bag will see you through the day. The laptop sleeve is lined, making it safe to carry your device in, and waterproof front pockets keep other items of value safe. The bag incorporates UA Storm Technology, making it weather-resistant.
- Abrasion-resistant bottom panel
- Padded back panel
- Large main compartment
- Zippered top-lid pocket
- Structure is not very organized
4. Burton Tinder Backpack
This backpack is a true lug-around kind of bag that is easy to use and super flexible. It comes with pockets to hold all your essentials, built to ensure your devices and belongings remain safe. Two pockets are customized to fit your laptop and your tablet.
An ergonomic shoulder strap, adjustable so you can wear it however you want, makes for comfortable wearing. Created for mountaineering enthusiasts, this backpack holds well for big guys because of the flexibility it brings without physically crowding the wearer too much.
You can attach items such as an extra piece of clothing to the bag’s adjustable webbing and utilize its internal mesh pocket too.
However, the bag does not offer many pockets. As such, it might not be ideal for people who like to carry multiple items with them daily, and therefore might be best for occasional use or packing fewer items.
- Comfortable to wear
- Variety of colors
- Not enough compartments/pockets
5. Oakley Men’s Kitchen Sink Backpack
Oakley’s Kitchen Sink backpack is not kidding around with that name! With the Kitchen Sink, Oakley combines the best of all its backpacks in one and presents them in a rather sharp-looking red-and-black piece.
As a backpack, it is device-and-delicates-safe, with a compression-molded top storage compartment. The metal add-ons such as zippers are also quite reliable and work to keep the stuff in your bag safe.
The exterior allows you to hook on additional things on the outside, which can be super useful if you’re out hiking, walking a dog, or have a jacket to carry.
Smaller inner pockets allow you to organize your things better, and a bottom compartment holds things that are wet or maybe smell bad.
- Lockable zippers
- Drainage port on the bottom compartment
- Padded and zippered sleeve for an up-to-17-inch laptop
What Makes A Good Backpack For Big and Tall Guys?
If you’ve read through so far, you must have seen that many of the specs of the bags we talked about were the same as the ones on a regular-sized backpack. So then why all the noise about a backpack specifically catering to bigger guys?
Big guys are, well, big. They tend to be taller, or broader, or pack more weight. Whatever the reasons to call someone ‘big,’ the fact remains that they require daily accessories that serve their size. It isn’t just enough to adapt a regular accessory such as a backpack to a bigger size; it has to consider how easily the person wearing it can use it.
The considerations remain the same while picking a backpack for a big guy, but they stretch out to pack in more things. An adjustable strap or durable zippers might mean something completely different to a big guy than to someone looking for a smaller backpack.
Firstly, a backpack with regular dimensions is simply going to look off on a bigger guy. Imagine being over 6-feet-tall, carrying a backpack made for someone much smaller. Optics matter – wear a backpack that doesn’t just complement your needs but your actual overall look.
Then, of course, you want a backpack that will store everything you need, right? Let’s say apart from your usual laptop and notebooks; you also want to carry a change of clothing and some water or snacks, plus your charging cables and maybe a jacket. A bag built on bigger dimensions is, of course, more likely to hold all your stuff and hold it comfortably as you cruise through the day.
Ease Of Access
If you’ve ever worn anything uncomfortably small, you know exactly how hard it is to reach around and get to the spaces and things you want. Invest in a backpack that has easy-to-reach pockets and compartments for the things you might need on hand right away, like travel documents, your phone, or your house or car keys. There is absolutely no need to make yourself uncomfortable with a backpack that forces you to stretch and bend and reach simply to access a pocket. Similarly, zippers and buckles should do their job of securing your belongings, but they should also be easy to open and close.
Comfortable Straps & Back
You know exactly the kind of character you need your shoulder straps to have. Too wide, and they’ll slide off. Too snug, and they’ll be tough to get off and on. Adjustable straps make life so much easier because you can simply fix the strap to a length that suits your exact frame. If you spend a lot of time hauling your backpack around, you know exactly how awesome a well-fitting backpack feels.
Similarly, the back panel needs to cater to your specific needs too. Breathable fabrics are always a plus because, with a backpack strapped on for long times of the day, your back will need some fresh air!
A backpack that allows the shoulder straps to balance weight across the shoulders and back is a good choice because it allows you to avoid that dreaded muscle strain or any chronic back issues.
Padded straps and back panels also are a gift. There will be days your backpack strains against your body, and the padding will work to cushion that strain.
Bigger guys will tend to put more weight on the things they use. And whether that was the case or not, quality and durability is always a top consideration when picking any luggage.
What would make a bag durable in your eyes? The materials used must be waterproof and weather-resistant. They have to be strong enough to not wear down easily with regular use, and they need to protect everything you’re storing inside the bag. Most of the bags on our list have been made with high-quality polyester and nylon, providing that water-resistance and exterior strength that is so desirable.
You also want zippers, closures, buckles, and snaps to be as solid as possible. They can simply stiffen or snap off with a little additional pressure. Rust-proof metallic attachments will tend to last longer. Zippers that go both ways to accommodate your position are ideal too.
Bags with bottom compartments and external hooks to store extra stuff are a plus. They allow you to bring along the things you need without stuffing up the interior, allowing your bag to have a longer life.
Which backpack do we think works? Simple! The Herschel Little America Laptop Backpack packs all the qualities we’re looking for in a backpack for big guys, for a fairly middle-of-the-road price.
It is wide enough to hold everything while sitting comfortably on your back and tall enough to be worn by people who are vertically blessed! The bag is super durable, made with 100% polyester, and lined in nylon to keep whatever’s inside safe. Thanks to the comfortable shoulder straps and ergonomic design, you can wear it easily for longer periods. Whether you’re hiking up a trail with your friends or walking across campus all day, this bag is your friend.
While you’re making your commutes-of-the-day, this bag will also keep your valuables safe in a pocket with a hidden zipper. Perfect for storing your phone in. It transitions well to various situations and can be worn every day as well as if you are reserving it for sporting activities or travel.
The only downside is that the bag doesn’t have enough pockets to host all your things, nor are the existing pockets structured to give a strong sense of organization. Overall a cool-looking bag; this is one to pick if you’re confused between all the options you are presented with.