The 10 Best Drawstring Backpacks

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This wiki has been updated 19 times since it was first published in June of 2018. Drawstring backpacks are available in various styles, from small, sporty models that are good for hauling around gym clothes and athletic equipment to large designer bags with cushioned laptop sleeves and a host of pockets to help professionals keep their lives organized. Our picks include a bit of everything, so you can find the perfect solution for your carrying needs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Steve Madden Utility

2. Calvin Klein Whendi

3. Coach Men's Hudson F36811

Editor's Notes

April 29, 2020:

During this round of updates, while the LanGui Cinch Bags, BeeGreen Sport and Samgoo Sackpack all needed to be removed due to availability issues, we also decided to eliminate the Ababalaya Rucksack and Kaukko Yoga, in order to make room for some fresh additions. Some of our new inclusions this time around are the Steve Madden Utility – a serviceable bag for students that has a padded laptop sleeve and cushioned shoulder straps, the Armani Exchange Royal Red – a basic model that’s available in more than 20 colors, and the Coach Men's Hudson F36811 – a pebbled leather bag with a slot for a 15-inch laptop.

A few things to think about for in this category:

Laptop Storage: For users shopping for a gym bag or an extra tote to take occasional trips to the beach with, this might be a non-factor, and one of our sporty selections – like the Nike Alpha or Puma Heather Gray – might do just fine. But for students and many professionals, a well constructed laptop sleeve is an essential feature in any bag. Models like the Steve Madden Utility, and Coach Men's Hudson F36811 effectively capture that drawstring-backpack aesthetic, but still have provisions for safely transporting your computer.

Shoulder Straps: Bags like the Calvin Klein Whendi and Armani Exchange Royal Red feature straps that are easy to adjust, as one would expect from most backpacks. However, models like the Nike Alpha and Puma Heather Gray feature string straps – which are essentially oversized shoe laces – that can’t be adjusted.

While this undoubtedly makes them ergonomically inferior, the presumption is that users won’t be carrying heavy loads in these bags, so adjusting shoulder straps for comfort and safety really shouldn’t be all that necessary. If you’re into the string-strap look, but you’re adamant that straps need to be adjustable, check out the Amatory String Sack and Vorspack Gym Bag. Both of these options feature adjustable string straps, and the latter even comes with shoulder pads that are secured to their straps via Velcro.

Additional Pockets: Once again, how important this is to you likely depends on your intentions for the bag. If you’re just looking for something simple and reasonably affordable that you can throw a pair of shorts and a sweat towel into, a basic model like the Nike Alpha – which does, by the way, still have a single zippered pocket – might do. But if you’re looking for something that offers you a few more resources to help stay organized, consider an option like the Coach Men's Hudson F36811 – which has four exterior flap pockets, or the Steve Madden Utility, which has several auxiliary pockets, and even a headphone port.

4. Armani Exchange Royal Red

5. Adidas Alliance II

6. Vorspack Gym Bag

7. Amatory String Sack

8. ButterFox Cinch Sack

9. Puma Heather Gray

10. Nike Alpha

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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