Best Budget-Friendly Backpacks / Rucksacks For Men 2019

Whether you’re gearing up for a new semester at school or headed off to work, a stylish and functional bag is an important accessory. You want to find a bag that has the right features (laptop storage, pockets for organization) but also one that has clean, minimal design. Our favorite bags are also proof that style and functionality don’t have to be expensive, all these bags are under $150.

Here are our picks for the best Budget-Friendly Backpacks for Men 2019!

 

Incase – $100

Sleek and stylish, this bag from Incase has an outstanding design and a ton of integrated features. It’s nice and deep with plenty of storage and a padded laptop sleeve.  We love how Incase uses thoughtful touches in their design like hiding the zippers and plenty of interior organizational pockets for all your accessories and gear.  Dorian is a personal user of their products and we’re definitely big fans.  We also really like the larger version of this style if you’re looking for a bit more room for travel or more gear.

 

Herschel -$100

We’re big fans of Herschel’s backpacks, they’re great quality and very reasonably priced. Their standard version is great but we’re even bigger fans of the mountaineering vibe of this version.  It comes in a huge range of colors and patterns and the padded shoulder straps and snapping strap details are nice features.  The interior features a padded laptop sleeve and the exterior zipper pocket has plenty of room for keys and tech accessories.

 

Aer – $135

We love Aer’s lowkey, minimal designs, and futuristic style.  The durable, ballistic nylon is incredibly tough and the overall construction is very high quality. This pack features a very cool central zipper design and a ton of room, much more than you’d think for a small size.  It’s great for lugging around school stuff and can do double duty as a great bag for the gym with its shoe compartment.  Overall, this is an outstanding backpack that will last you a long time. If you’re looking for a slightly more traditional backpack style, Aer’s Day Pack is also an awesome choice.

 

North Face – $69

A classic school or work bag that’s very affordable, this North Face backpack features a technical, outdoorsy vibe and a lean profile.  It features dual pockets and protection for your laptop. The details set this one apart, it has a ton of functional pockets and space for attachments, including space for a water bottle.

 

Bellroy – $95

We love Bellroy’s products and have featured them before, so it’s no surprise that they make a great backpack.  The design is sharp and clean with an integrated front zipper for easy access.  The padded straps are comfortable for long wear and the interior features plenty of space for organization and a padded laptop sleeve.

 

Topo Designs – $129

Like the North Face pack, this backpack from Topo designs has a cool outdoorsy vibe and matching technical features that are tough enough for years of school and adventures. Padding and interior organization options are top-notch and its size is perfect for your daily work or school routine but also is spacious enough for travel.  The backpack comes in a bunch of very cool color options and features stylish color accents mixed in.

 

Everlane – $68

Clean, well-designed, and very affordable, this backpack from Everlane is an awesome choice.  It’s got a modern look but with some traditional strap details which give it a nice overall vibe.  Like with all things Everlane, there’s zero branding and a very nice minimal aesthetic. Like the Herschel, it has a top-loading design, snap straps, and features plenty of space for your gear and a padded laptop sleeve.

Back To School Style Mistakes Men Make

You’re headed back to campus and we’ve got some style tips to help you look your best this Fall. We see a lot of these common mistakes young guys make by either trying too hard or not trying enough. You want to find a balance between effort and casual dress, all while staying comfortable.

The good news is a little birt of effort in the style department goes a long way, so all of these back to school style mistakes are easily avoidable.

 

Socks and Slides

There’s no excuse ever. Pick up some Vans slip-ons, they’re just as comfortable and low-maintenance, plus they’re much more stylish.

Slip-On Picks:

Vans

SeeVees

Sperry

 

Too many logo tees

Leave that for all the annoying kids who are decked out in their logo tee, pants, and socks. They look ridiculous, don’t join them. Stick with the basics and go with something from H&M and Uniqlo, they make our favorite t-shirts that Ashley uses all the time with clients.

 

Not Putting In Any Effort

Your wardrobe doesn’t have to be fancy but you should care about what you’re wearing.  That’s why we made it easy on you and put together a list of all the essentials you need for a stylish back to school wardrobe.

 

Basketball Shorts All The Time

Why? Unless you’re on the court or on the couch you shouldn’t be wearing basketball shorts.  Grab some dark joggers instead, they’re just as comfortable and look a lot better.

Jogger Picks:

H&M

PacSun

Gap

Mack Weldon

 

Too much hypebeasting

It reeks of trying too hard. If you want to sprinkle it in here and there, totally fine. But don’t jump in with both feet and wear all the trends at once, all the time. Again, we did a back to school essentials article that sprinkles in just the right amount.

 

Not caring about grooming

Look, there might be days you don’t want to style your hair. Fine, no problem, throw on your favorite baseball cap. But, here’s no excuse to have overgrown, unwashed hair or neglected skin. Your overall appearance, especially when it concerns hygiene, will be a huge make it or break it situation when it comes to people wanting to hang out with you. Check out all of our grooming tips in our grooming section. From haircuts to skincare, we’ve got all the tips you need.

 

Wearing only workout gear

Unless your an athlete and it’s absolutely necessary because of your schedule, then there’s no excuse. It’s lazy and looks like you might be hiding a less than desirable physique. You wanna feel just as comfortable? A pair of some Adidas Ultraboosts, black joggers, a tee or a hooded sweatshirt, and a bomber jacket will look 100 times sharper.  All of our picks are right here.

Men’s Back To School Essentials

You’re headed back to campus and we’ve got some picks to help you look your best this Fall. We know that school can be stressful and the last thing you have time for is thinking about what to wear. However, we can all agree that you still want to look your best which is why picking up these pieces will take the guesswork out of what outfit you should wear because they all can go together easily and stylishly.

The key to solid back to school items are ones that are comfortable, stylish, inexpensive, and versatile, and these back to school style essentials will have you covered for the entire year.

 

 

Sneakers

You need a good everyday sneaker that’s comfortable, stylish, and affordable. We’re huge fans of the Vans Old Skool sneakers which come in a bunch of different colors and patterns, though I love the black and white ones the most. If you’re going to get a pair of white sneakers, I’d opt for leather like the Stan Smiths which are easier to keep clean than canvas kicks.

Picks:

Vans

Stan Smiths

More Sneaker Picks

Jason Markk sneaker cleaning wipes

 

Well-Fitting Jeans

Some well-fitting slim jeans in dark indigo, black or dark grey will get you through the entire year and beyond. Remember you only need to wash them every few months if you let them air out every day on the back of your chair or on a hanger.  Want some fit tips? Check out our jeans fit guide.

Picks:

Levis

Uniqlo

J. Crew

 

Pull-Over Hoodie

A pull-over hoodie is super comfortable and versatile. You can wear it on on its own or you can layer underneath your jacket when it gets cold. Definitely skip the logos here, leave that to the kids who look ridiculous in their all logo fits. One note, we’re not fans of the zip-up hoodies because they tend to look sloppy and have this weird bunching in the front when you sit.

Picks:

Champion

J.Crew

Uniqlo

H&M

 

T-Shirts

Pick up 5 or 6 of these since you’ll pretty much be wearing this every day and stick with basic colors like black, white, navy, and grey. Remember fit is king. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-fitting t-shirt and jeans outfit – it’s unbelievably attractive and that simple knowledge on fit will instantly set you apart from everyone else.

Picks:

Uniqlo

H&M

Amazon Goodthreads

The Best Budget-Friendly T-Shirts

 

A Versatile Jacket

Our favorite being a bomber jacket – whether it’s leather, nylon or cotton. It doesn’t matter what your size or build is, this jacket looks great on every guy and it’s super easy and comfortable.  It’s really easy to add layers, like a hoodie, underneath when it gets cold. Also, it just looks cool-as-hell so wear in and out of school.

Picks:

H&M

Gap

J.Crew

Bonobos

 

A Casual Button-Down Shirt

Versatility is key here and you want one that you can wear untucked or partially tucked in the front. Casual button-downs are shorter in length then dress shirts so they should hit around mid-crotch. Pair this with your jeans and sneakers, maybe throw on your bomber jacket for the ultimate, “Oh this? I just rolled out of bed and threw this on.” It looks cool, stylish, and like you put in zero effort in the best way possible. We recommend solid oxfords and darker, fall plaid casual button-downs.

Picks:

J. Crew

H&M

Uniqlo

5 Shirts Every Man Should Own

 

Crew Neck Sweatshirt

We like sweatshirts because there’s a casualness that compliments your on-campus fits and you can throw them in the wash instead of having to have them dry cleaned.  As with hoodies, skip the logos and keep them clean and simple.

Picks:

Champion

Everlane

Uniqlo

Todd Snyder

 

Backpack

Like everyone, you need something to carry your notebooks, laptop, and gear every day and just like your clothes, it’s important to pick up a backpack that keeps you organized, looks sharp, will last you all year, and won’t break the bank. We’ve discussed the ins and outs of our favorite backpacks before, and the key is finding the right size and style.

Picks:

Incase

Herschel

Aer

Everlane

More Backpack Picks

 

Sunglasses

The right shape can instantly up your style game, but the wrong shape can really work against you. Stick with a classic style that compliments your face shape.  Check out this article for more on how to choose the right sunglasses for your face shape.

Picks:

Ray-Ban

MVMT

Crap

Warby Paker

Additional Picks

 

A Second Pair Of Pants

A man can’t live on denim alone so it’s wise to consider a few more options. We definitely recommend chinos, they’re comfortable, stylish, and affordable. If you go for chinos, go with navy or charcoal grey as that’ll go with everything. If chinos aren’t your style grab some sharp jogger pants for a different option. Go with black or charcoal as they’ll not only look the best but it will keep them from looking too much like your workout gear.

Chinos:

Bonobos

Uniqlo

J.Crew

Gap 

Joggers:

H&M

PacSun

Gap

Mack Weldon

 

Should You Wear A Polo Shirt Under A Sweater?

It’s officially polo shirt weather but you’re probably still needing a layer here and there. In this week’s edition of 2 Minute Tuesday we’re going over a few rules when it comes to layering a sweater with a polo shirt. Here’s how to do it right.

Layering Tips

  1. Skip the polo under a sweater
    Wear a button up dress shirt or an oxford underneath a sweater, a polo shirt shouldn’t be worn over a sweater as the collar of the shirt doesn’t have enough structure. This goes for all types of sweaters – crewneck, v-neck, and shawl collar sweaters.
  2.  Wear a blazer, bomber, or Harrington instead
    If you do want to add a layer over a polo shirt, try a bomber jacket or Harrington jacket instead, they are better suited to the style of a polo shirt.  A blazer can be worn over a polo but we recommend sticking to a polo that has a neat, structured collar and stays put underneath your jacket.

 

 

4 Colors Of Denim You Should Own

Denim, it’s an absolute staple, and you can wear jeans just about anywhere these days. But, it’s important to have the right colors for the job. I don’t recommend all colors of denim for every occasion so you should not only know what 4 colors you need to have, but also the right and wrong times to wear them

For more, don’t forget to check out our Jeans Fit Guide and our tips on how to take care of your denim!

The four colors of denim I recommend owning are dark indigo, a lighter wash of blue, grey and black.

Dark Indigo

If you own just one pair, a dark wash indigo is the one to own, so buy these first!  It’s the most versatile and can be worn dressed up with something like a blazer and loafers or with everything casual like sneakers and a t-shirt. If you work in a business casual office dark indigo jeans are a great alternative to chinos on casual days.

Light Wash Blue

Not as versatile as a darker wash, I recommend a lighter blue for more casual situations.  Be careful not to go too light on the wash as the very light shades tend to be a bit too trendy and can veer a bit too young.

Grey

While not as important as dark wash jeans, grey jeans can be quite versatile.  Stick with a medium to darker grey wash and don’t be afraid to dress them up.  Think of them kind of like a pair of grey chinos in terms of how and where you would wear them.

Black

I love a good pair of black jeans and they’re almost as vital to your wardrobe as dark indigo jeans. They have a little bit of a rocker vibe to them and look great for nighttime occasions. You can never go wrong with a pair of black jeans, a white or grey shirt, and a pair of sneakers or boots.

Denim Picks

Dark Wash:

Diesel Buster

APC Petit Standard

RRL

Uniqlo Slim Fit Selvedge

Levis 511

Gap Slim

Light Wash:

Jbrand Tyler

Paige in Birch

Diesel Larkee

Uniqlo Slim Selvedge

Levis 511

Grey:

Jbrand Tyler in Luna

Hudson Blake in Metal

Jbrand Tyler in Slate

Gap Slim Fit

H&M Slim Fit

Black:

Diesel Buster

AG Tellis in Deep Pitch

APC Petit Standard

Levis Made & Crafted 511

Uniqlo Slim Selvedge 

 

Your Questions, Answered

You asked, we answered! In this Q&A video, we discuss things like what to splurge/save on, our upcoming wedding, some of our favorite motivational books and podcasts, and much more!