Wherever it is you’re skating to, chances are that you’re not going to want to go empty-handed. Whether your destination is school, the office, work, or a friend’s house, you’ll probably have something that you need and want, to take with you. If you’re traveling via skateboard though, carrying whatever it is you’re taking with you can be a problem. A really, really big problem. Skateboards aren’t exactly made to carry luggage, baggage, or anything other than their rider, which leaves the skater with a bit of a dilemma. How do you get yourself and all of your everyday essentials to your journey’s end on your skateboard?
It might be a bit of a conundrum, but it’s one that has a relatively straight forward answer. You use a backpack. Whether you’re hip and happening and inextricably tied into the modern skating scene or a more casual rider who just uses their skateboard to get from home to work and back again, a good backpack is an essential, and necessary, piece of kit. It’ll keep all of your most precious belongings safe and give you peace of mind while you’re skating to your goal.
But, with a veritable skaters choice of options available, how do you choose the right backpack? How do you find the backpack that’s going to reassure your over-anxious brain that your stuff really is safe and will arrive, just like you, in the same condition it was when you left? That’s where we come in. We’ve searched high and low for five of the best skating backpacks that’ll do exactly that, and more so that you don’t have to. That said, and without further ado, because we know that you’ve got a lot to do and time is ticking, here are our five choices for the best skateboarding backpack any skater could ever want or need.
Best Skateboard Backpack
OUR TOP PICK
You can’t argue with more than half a century of knowledge, craftsmanship, and expertise. The North Face has been making backpacks that’ll cope with any environment and carry whatever you need them to, whenever and wherever you need them to. Since 1966 The North Face has been a name that every type of extreme sports devotee, adventurer, mountaineer, and outdoor pursuit enthusiast has been able to rely on. They make robust, durable, and surprisingly spacious backpacks that’ll meet any challenge you can present them with.
Made from tougher than an arctic winter polyester, the Jester is designed to take all sorts of knocks and spills. Its centralized laptop compartment has extra padding, so even if do take a tumble your computer is going to stay safe and snug and won’t take any bumps or suffer any unnecessary scrapes. With all sorts of additional compartments, including a fleece-lined one for your sunglasses, so they won’t get scratched and banged up during your travels, the Jester is a lot bigger than it looks and has far more storage space than its humble demeanor would lead you to believe.
Best of all though, it has a bungee strap system so that when you need to switch from wheels to feet, you can carry your skateboard and still be hands-free to surf the net on your smartphone and grab a latte at the same time. The Jester is the all-purpose skateboarding backpack that has all the bases covered and the room to carry a few more.
- First and foremost is the North Face lifetime guarantee. As long as you buy the backpack from a recognized North Face dealer and are the original owner, they’ll honor their guarantee for the lifetime of the backpack. That steadfast reassurance speaks volumes for the faith that North Face has in their product.
- With an indubitable smorgasbord of colors and styles, the Jester is the backpack built with the everyman in mind. There’s a Jester for everyone and the only real problem you’ll have with this backpack is choosing which shade speaks to, and was made for, you.
- You have to like that bungee system and the padded, uber-safe laptop sleeve. It’s almost as if North Face designed the Jester with skateboarders in mind. They might have done, we don’t know. It sure seems that way to us though. And it probably looks that way to you too.
- It’s not a purpose-built skateboarding backpack, but that said it does come with the North Face guarantee of quality and everything that a skater could need from a backpack. So it might as well have been made with the skateboarder in mind.
- There have been some online rumblings about the manufacturing quality of the backpack, but as it comes with that solid, no questions asked as long as you abide by its terms and conditions lifetime warranty, even if you do get a substandard one, North Face will replace it or give you your money back. You’ve got to love a warranty. We do.
Eastsport, the long-standing New York company that specializes in making bags of all shapes and sizes, has a simple motto - Our Bags, your life. They believe in producing innovative, quality bags at incredibly affordable prices and this Skater Backpack epitomizes everything in the simple mantra that Eastsport takes to heart and made their name by adhering to.
The city-bound New York skaters go-to backpack of choice, it has a deceptively large carrying capacity, so you can throw far more into it than you could into similarly sized backpacks. And thanks to the high-density foam panels that line its back, no matter how much you’re carrying, the Eastsport won’t dig into your back or make you curse your decision to add those extra books or sneakers.
It’s dedicated front skateboard straps can be fully adjusted to accommodate just about any skateboard, giving it that hands-free option and as it has a built-in handle, it also doubles up as carry on luggage for those plane and train trips to places (as yet) unknown. Oh, and those laptop compartments that every modern backpack needs? The Eastsport has one, and it’s fully padded and completely shockproof. It almost like the folks at Eastsport thought of everything. That’s because they did and they also added a whole host of smaller interior compartments for phones, sunglasses, and more. Bags and life, it’s a straightforward enough motto, but it’s one that Eastsport takes seriously.
- Have you seen that price? When Eastsport say that they make affordable backpacks and bag, they really mean it. It’s half the price of the Jester and as far as we can tell, does just as much. Slightly differently admittedly, but it does it nonetheless.
- We love the adjustable skateboard straps on this backpack. They’re made to make it easy to carry your board and your board alone. They give the backpack an individuality that money just can’t buy. Actually, that’s not true. Money can buy this backpack. And it can buy it for half the price of the Jester.
- That mesh padding on the back of this pack is going to be one of the best investments that you’ll ever make. Trust us on this, you’ll thank us when you’re skating through the city and this backpack is sitting high, tight, and comfortable.
- Oh, and it does all of that and, thanks to its padded laptop sleeve, it keeps all of your technology safe as well.
- Despite what Eastsport says, some skaters aren’t happy with the quality of this backpack, particularly the skateboard straps. The velcro fastening system that it uses, if some reviews are to be believed, isn’t strong enough to handle the weight of larger skateboards and can come undone just when you don’t want, or need, them too.
They may have started life as a manufacturer of high-quality sunglasses, but thanks to becoming the brand of eyewear favored by extreme sports adherents, Oakley soon expanded their remit and began to make, among other things, backpacks. Because they knew their fanbase and what it wanted, Oakley finely tuned its laser-sharp focus and became a lifestyle brand. They’re a brand that the skate scene has sworn by for more than three decades and there’s a reason for it. If something wears the Oakley name, it’s made to look good and its made to last.
The Oakley Enduro does both of those things and it does them well. It looks incredible and its tough, strong, and designed to take all of the damage that the life of a modern skateboarder can throw at it. With an astonishing thirty liters of interior storage space, including a fully cushioned laptop sleeve, the Enduro has an old school, retro sensibility. It’s a wide top opener that’s made to give you full access to everything inside, a feature that’s designed to make your life easier.
With a frankly staggering number of exterior compartments that are designed to carry everything from your phone to a water bottle and it’s double strap board fastening system, the Oakley Enduro is a backpack for skaters made by a brand who understand skaters. And as if that wasn’t enough, when your day is done, you can unpack the Enduro and hurl it straight into the washing machine to clean off the dirt and grime of your adventures and prepare it for whatever tomorrow has in store.
- That machine-washable feature? It may sound a little fancy and unnecessary, but when your backpack starts smelling funkier than a skunk with a personal hygiene problem, you’ll be glad that the Enduro is on first name terms with your washing machine.
- The bottom of the Enduro is reinforced so it won’t wear out as quickly as most of its peers do. When your backpack is full to bursting and you’re skating the streets, you’ll be surprised at how fast your stuff rubs holes in the bottom of your pack. So don’t be surprised and go for that Oakley brand stamp of quality.
- Thirty liters. No, you weren’t imaging it, this backpack has thirty liters, including a padded laptop sleeve, of easily accessible interior storage. For a skateboard backpack, that’s a lot.
- Those easy to fasten, easy to adjust velcro skateboard straps can handle just about any size of the skateboard. They may be old school, but Oakley lets you go hands-free too.
- It’s the same story with any famous, scene-specific, branded product. You’re going to pay more for the Oakley name, but it’s a name worth paying for. That said, the Enduro is the highest priced option on our list so far, and depending on which color you go for, you probably won’t come away with any change from a one hundred dollar bill. The Enduro isn’t cheap, but then, it is an Oakley backpack, so you wouldn’t expect it to be.
A skateboard backpack made by a skateboard firm, the Penny Pouch is designed to give skaters all the space and peace of mind that you’ll ever need. After all, if anyone knows how to make a skateboarding backpack with skaters in mind, it’s going to be a company that actually makes skateboards. Penny makes great skateboards and they make even better backpacks.
Made to be durable and fit in with every aspect of the modern skater’s life, the side, bottom, and back panels are reinforced to take every blow and hit that a skating backpack is inevitably going to take. The Pouch backpack not only has a padded interior laptop sleeve, it’s also got a tablet sleeve, so if you’ve doubled up on your tech, you can take it all with you, wherever you go. That includes your smartphone, as there’s a pouch for that too. In fact, there are pouches inside and out for just about everything that you’d need to take with you.
Penny, being skaters, know that you need to fix your backpack as securely as possible, so this Pouch also has a chest strap that fastens between the shoulder straps. That chest strap locks everything down, keeps all of your stuff secure, and keeps it all in place. One day all skateboarding backpacks will be made with skateboarders in mind, but until then, stick with Penny and they won’t steer you wrong.
- Penny knows that technology doesn’t begin and end with laptops which is why they’ve also added a tablet sleeve. It’s a small addition, but it’s an incredibly welcome one.
- It’s a tough little beast that, thanks to it’s reinforced back, bottom and side panels, will still be around long after most other backpacks have given up the ghost and gone to the big skatepark in the sky.
- Those wonderful board straps - it’s an easy system to use, but one that we adore. Penny likes it too, which is why they’ve included it on the Pouch.
- Then there’s that chest strap. Like the tablet sleeve, it’s a little thing, but it does so much and gives the backpack additional stability and stops it moving when you’re skating. It doesn’t just keep your stuff safe, it keeps you safe too.
- It isn’t exactly the biggest backpack on our list. Truth be told, it’s just the opposite and is almost certainly the smallest. It’s made for the skater who wants to travel light and who only needs the essentials. If you’re into carrying your whole life around in your backpack, the Pouch isn’t the pack you’re looking for. It’s all about simplification, not complication.
Good things come to those who wait, so we’ve saved the best for last. The Mohave is a longtime favorite backpack of the skateboard scene for a number of reasons. Produced by Element Skateboards, who have consistently raised the bar in skateboard innovation and design, the Mohave was made to be used by professionals and is beloved by amateurs. It’s everything that a skateboard backpack should be.
As it’s made from heavy-duty polyester, the Mohave is not only tough and durable, it’s also light so it doesn’t add a lot to the pack weight. It’s heavy enough to have all the strength it’ll need to carry everything that you’ll want it too without adding any unnecessary weight to the equation. Like most modern, urban backpacks it has the requisite padded laptop sleeve and enough pouches and pockets to keep the rest of your technology safe, but it only has what it, and you absolutely need. It’s a miracle of efficient design that does just enough to make it an invaluable weapon in any skateboarder’s arsenal.
The Mohave’s real piece de resistance though is the additional padding in its shoulder straps, the sternum strap that fastens across the rider’s chest, and the incredibly secure and tight inbuilt strap system that can comfortably carry everything from a twenty-two-inch cruising skateboard to a full longboard. It is, if we may be so bold, the skateboard backpack, of champions.
- It’s an Element branded, and manufactured backpack. Seriously, if you’re looking for a skateboarding backpack, the Mohave should be right at the top of your list. No ifs and no buts, the Mohave is our favorite for a reason. And that reason is Element.
- Skaters know what they’re talking about when it comes to skating and they certainly know what works best in a backpack. Element has cut the excess and cut the weight and the end result is a long-lasting backpack that’s designed to carry what you need and nothing more. And the shoulder and sternum straps? They ensure that you stay comfortable and everything you own is not only secure but also remains safe while it’s in the pack.
- Let’s talk about the price. For the backpack you get, you’re not paying a lot. Okay, so it isn’t the cheapest option on our list, but believe us, it’s worth every penny. Sitting comfortably in the middle zone, if we were pitting our money down for a backpack, the Mohave is the one that we’d choose every single time without fail.
- It’s time to be brutally honest, so with that in mind… We can’t find anything wrong with it. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zip. Skateboarders love this backpack and the reviews and the fact that it seems to fly off the shelves almost as soon as it’s stock anywhere just reinforce its reputation as a solid and dependable backpack.
Best Skateboard Backpack Buying Guide
There are a few things that you need to think about and consider, before buying a skateboard backpack. And they are:
Skateboard Straps / Carrying Ability
Invariably, you’re going to find yourself in places where you can’t skate, and so it would be handy if you could carry your skateboard on your backpack. It’s actually pretty much essential. Any decent skateboard backpack will have a system, either straps or bungee, for carrying your board. If a pack can’t hold your board, forget it. And if it can’t carry it properly, that’s a big old no-no too.
Will It Be Comfortable?
The last things you’re going to want your backpack to do while you’re skating are slide around on your back or be uncomfortable while you’re wearing it. You’re going to want your backpack to have as much padding as possible so it’s as comfortable as it can possibly be and, preferably, it should have a sternum or chest strap to make sure it stays firmly in place while you’re skating.
Is It Big Enough?
The age-old question as far as any type of bag or luggage is concerned is “Will it be big enough to hold everything that I need it to carry?” It may seem fairly obvious, but you know what you need it to carry and you know how big it has to be. Skate backpacks come in all different kinds of sizes, so make sure you check the capacity size. As we said, it seems obvious, but sometimes what’s right in front of you is the only thing that’s going to trip you up.
Will It Be Strong And Safe Enough?
Your skateboarding backpack is going to take a beating. It’s that simple. So you need to make sure that it’s tough enough to survive whatever punishment you’re going to hand out to it, that it’s going to be strong enough to comfortably hold everything that you’re going to want it to carry and that it has enough internal padding to keep whatever it is you’re going to be carrying safe and secure. Skateboarding is a tough pastime and your backpack needs to be tough enough to cope with whatever it is that fate is going to, and will, throw in your skating path.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Backpack Is The Right One For Me?
That’s a question that only you can answer, as you’re the only one who knows what you’ll be carrying, whether you’re going to be carving up bowls with your friends while you’re wearing it or just commuting to school or work and what, when all is said and done, you’re going to expect from your backpack, what you want it for and what you want it to do.
If you were to leave the decision up to us, we’d always recommend the Element Mohave or failing that the Penny Pouch as they’re both designed by skateboard companies to be skateboard backpacks. But you might want more from your backpack, you might want it to serve a dual purpose, in which case any of the other backpacks on our list would fill that role perfectly. There’s a backpack for everyone, you just have to find the one that does what you need, and want, it to do.