The 8 Best Backpacks For Artists

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This wiki has been updated 15 times since it was first published in November of 2018. Any artist knows that the tools of their trade are among their most valuable possessions. Make sure you protect both your gear and your work by transporting them in one of these specially designed backpacks. Many can hold drawing pads and canvases up to 24 inches long, in addition to a litany of brushes, pens, and more. We've ranked them here by their durability, storage capacity, and style. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Sienna Plein Air Ultimate

2. Walfront 4K Canvas Bag

3. Zuca Utility

Editor's Notes

February 18, 2021:

We found that a number of our previous picks for this category were no longer available, which may be a result of the lack of well-established brands in this category, which was mentioned in the November 16, 2018, editor’s note for this page. The former choices we ended up removing were the Fanchuang Art Supply Portfolio, Heritage Arts PACK-C Traveler, Betwoo Art Portfolio Case and Transon Waterproof Portfolio. We also ended up adding two new selections to our list.

Our first new addition was the Jintn Artboard Carrying Case. Compared to some of the more elaborate offerings in this category, its design is fairly basic, but it comes at an affordable price and looks to be quite lightweight, so we thought it was worth including as an introductory option, or even as a selection that can be carried as a supplementary bag — for artists who travel heavy. Its main compartment is still big enough for a sketch book, and it has buckled straps attached to the back that can accommodate an easel. Plus, it comes in nine colors, which will likely appeal to many of the creatives shopping in this category.

Our second new choice was the Huion Portfolio Tote. In terms of the usual utility that defines this category – like ample space for ongoing projects and a serviceable means for organizing pastels, pencils and other implements – it comes up quite short, but it still seemed worth including for the benefit of digital artists who typically work with drawing tablets. It can accommodate any unit up to 15.6 inches, which makes it just the right size to house the company’s new Kamvas 16 model.

While we did come close to including several other options, we ultimately determined that our existing choices do a good job of representing the best value and functionality in this category. The only other models that came close were cosmetic bags, designed for makeup artists, which were highly compartmentalized and might’ve done a good job at keeping supplies organized, but presented no real means of storing ongoing projects, which we felt disqualified them from consideration.

November 16, 2018:

There aren't a lot of recognizable, reputable companies making significant contributions to this category, but brands like Zuca and Heritage Arts have some nice options if consumers are looking to avoid essentially brandless Chinese manufacturing. Some of those off-brand offerings are actually pretty nice, though.

Special Honors

Artist's Loft Tote Bag It doesn't offer the same convenience and security as a backpack, but given its wallet-friendly price, this open-top solution is still well worth considering, as a supplementary solution or even as an interim carrier — until you make a final decision on a long-term purchase. It has several pockets stitched to its exterior, to help with organization.

Gucci Off The Grid It isn't big enough to accommodate an easel, or even a large sketchbook, but some might be able to look past those deficiencies to justify purchasing the eye-catching Gucci Off The Grid, which is equipped with three sizeable exterior pockets and features patterned textiles in the company's signature style. It's available in black, blue or orange, but it comes at a price that most will find prohibitive.

4. Jintn Artboard Carrying Case

5. En Plein Air Pro 60L

6. Tanchen Multifunctional Shoulder Portfolio

7. Huion Portfolio Tote

8. US Art Supply Black Nylon Portfolio Bag

Will Rhoda
Last updated by Will Rhoda

After deciding that the pen was mightier than the pliers, Canadian electrical contractor William Rhoda abandoned his career and headed back to college, where he majored in marketing and advertising and won a scholarship along the way to earning a diploma in creative communications. His past career landed him a depth of knowledge in tools and hardware, while his current career schooled him in audio, video and camera equipment. During his leisure time, he’s learned lots about outdoor gear, and years of tiresome backyard maintenance have taught him all about pools and hot tubs. His recreational pursuits include rest, relaxation and revolutionary action, and his roommate’s a hairless cat.

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