10 Best Waxed Canvas Backpacks: Your Buyer’s Guide (2018)

waxed canvas backpack

If you are looking for a stylish new backpack, you will encounter a variety of premium materials to choose between.

Synthetic waterproof options like Gore-Tex and NeoShell are touted as modern upgrades, but they are entirely outclassed by waxed canvas in both style and durability.

Waxed canvas is a long-lasting material that was originally used as sailcloth. It repels water, increases wind resistance, and grows more beautiful as it wears.

This material gradually develops a fine patina just like leather does. This turns each scratch and scuff into a mark of character.

For these reasons, waxed canvas is the ideal material for a backpack. But when picking a new backpack, you need to consider many factors beyond the build material, including storage capacity, comfort, and compartmentalization.

That’s why we’ve researched and highlighted our ten favorite waxed canvas bags and backpacks across all price ranges. Read on below to check out our favorite picks.

1. Diesel M-Rising Backpack



The Diesel M-Rising is a beautiful backpack that complements a robust waxed denim material with slick embossed faux-leather accents.

This bag only has one top loading compartment and a small flap pocket, but it stores 21.5L worth of gear in total.

The bag is 11.8 x 18.9 x 5.9 inches. Its main compartment has a padded laptop sleeve that can hold laptops up to 13 inches in size.

This bag’s external zip pocket is built into the flap for the main compartment, and makes a great place to keep your phone or keys.

This small, cylindrical daypack doesn’t have the most storage space, but it delivers long-lasting performance in a cool and modern style.

Price: $145.82

Buy the Diesel M-Rising Backpack here.


  • Beautiful embossed faux-leather accents
  • Top loading main compartment
  • Waterproof and durable


  • Limited carry capacity
  • No padding on compartment bottom

Find more Diesel M-Rising Backpack information and reviews here.

2. Fjällräven Rucksack No.21



The Rucksack No.21 is one of a small number of packs made from Fjällräven’s heavy duty cotton and polyester blend, G-1000.

This waxed blend is more durable and water resistant than traditional waxed cotton, while it maintains the same classy look. This look is complemented by attractive leather details all over the pack.

The bag comes in three different sizes, the largest of which is roughly 16 x 12 x 3 inches. This gives you a maximum 30L of storage capacity, which is enough for a full-time student.

The bag’s single top loading compartment is covered by a flap that buckles down tight.

Having to unbuckle the top flap can be tedious, especially when you are in a hurry, but it helps keep your belongings safe.

The padding for the bag’s 15 inch laptop compartment extends through the back and bottom of the bag. Unfortunately, the Rucksack No.21’s textile straps don’t share the same quality of padding, and are instead pretty flat.

This bag may be pricey, but Fjällräven’s Rucksack No.21 is a perfect example of what spending a little extra will get you.

Price: $69.99 and up

Buy the Fjällräven Rucksack No.21 here.


  • Top loading main compartment
  • Well-padded laptop compartment and bottom
  • Lightweight and durable


  • Straps need more padding
  • Buckle flap is inconvenient
  • High price tag

Find more Fjällräven Greenland Backpack information and reviews here.

3. Token Bergen Waxed Backpack



The Token Bergen waxed backpack is a stylish designer daypack whose signature look comes from its soft Martexin waxed canvas material.

The bag’s one main compartment is easy to load through its large top opening. It closes safely beneath a top flap with a belt closure.

It also has a front pocket with interior lining made from custom Token red tarpaulin vinyl lining. It is waterproof and rip resistant.

The bag is fairly small at 13.5 x 16 x 5 inches. Its 15L of storage is enough to store several large textbooks, but it still could be much larger.

The bag has padded shoulder straps and a plush back panel, allowing you to carry it around in comfort.

This bag may have a designer look and price tag, but don’t mistake for a delicate piece of art. Waxed canvas bags can survive all sorts of abuse.

Wear this one around without fear, as scuffs and scratches will only add to its look.

Price: $235.00

Buy the Token Bergen Waxed Backpack here.


  • Beautiful designer style
  • Comfy padded shoulder straps and back
  • Top loading main compartment


  • High price tag
  • Limited carry capacity

Find more Token Bergen Waxed Backpack information and reviews here.

4. Burton Tinder Pack



The Tinder Backpack from Burton comes in many styles, but only the Forest Night design is printed on durable waxed canvas.

Though synthetic packs are a bit lighter, they can tear and fray much quicker over time. Plus, they usually come in tacky neon colors.

That’s why the Forest Night stands out above other designs of the Tinder pack. It offers a refined look with leather accents, and a folding top with a drawstring.

The large top compartment uses two plastic buckle clips to keep it shut, which is quick and easy. This compartment has a padded laptop sleeve and a separate tablet sleeve.

These sleeves help make up for the lack of external compartments, as does the small zip compartment built into the flap.

The bag still has a nice 25L capacity, with its dimensions totaling 20 x 13 x 6 inches. The pack handles heavy loads well thanks to its ergonomic padded straps, plus a horizontal sternum strap to evenly distribute the load.

Price: $94.95

Buy the Burton Tinder Pack here.


  • Ergonomic shoulder straps and sternum strap
  • Padded laptop and tablet compartments
  • Top loading main compartment


  • Limited compartmentalization
  • Other color options are not waxed canvas
  • Not fully waterproof

Find more Burton Tinder Pack information and reviews here.

5. Manhattan Portage Waxed Canvas Europa MD



The Europa MD from Manhattan Portage is a small but reliable messenger bag that offers reinforced waterproofing in a vintage New York style.

Since this bag is meant to be carried cross-body via one shoulder strap, you won’t be able to hold as many large items.

At 15 x 11.5 x 3.5 inches, this bag holds a laptop and a few books, but not much else. Its storage capacity is just under 10L between the main compartment and the small zippered pouch on the bag’s double buckle flap.

The bag could use more padding, but instead, it does have a waterproof vinyl lining on the interior. This works in combination with the waxed canvas exterior to keep your stuff dry in the wettest of weather.

Price: $125.00

Buy the Manhattan Portage Waxed Canvas Europa MD here.


  • Water resistant and durable
  • Comfortable shoulder strap
  • High quality zippers


  • Limited storage capacity
  • High price tag
  • Bag needs more padding

Find more Manhattan Portage Waxed Canvas Europa MD information and reviews here.

6. Timbuk2 Walker Pack



Timbuk2 uses a variety of waterproof materials for their city-inspired backpacks, but only their Distilled Collection bags come in classic waxed cotton.

Their Walker pack is a mid-sized bag that is stylish enough to use in a professional setting, yet rugged enough to take on the trail.

This waxed canvas backpack features leather accents and riveted stress points, which reinforce it for daily use.

The Walker has an external side pocket that fits an umbrella, or expands to fit most water bottles.

The bag is 14.2 x 19.3 x 4.7 inches, making for a total 19L storage capacity. Most of its storage goes towards its large main compartment, which admittedly can be hard to keep shut when full.

This pocket has a sleeve that fits a 15-inch MacBook, but it doesn’t cushion your laptop as well as other options with its very thin padding.

You do also get two external pockets, one of which has an organizer for pens, phones, and other small stuff. This gives you a place to put anything you pack.

Price: $166.59 (33 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Timbuk2 Walker Pack here.


  • Great compartmentalization
  • External water bottle pocket
  • Comfy contoured shoulder straps


  • Laptop sleeve lacks padding
  • Canvas gets dirty easily
  • Button close is not as good as a buckle close

Find more Portage Kenora Waxed Canvas Backpack information and reviews here.

7. Zekar Vintage Waxed Canvas Daypack



Zekar’s vintage-inspired wax canvas backpack is a versatile bag because of how well it balances portability and storage capacity.

It’s neither too big nor too small, offering about 24L of packing room. The bag is roughly 19 x 14.5 x 5.5 inches.

Its main pocket has a padded laptop sleeve for laptops up to 14 inches. It is top loading, and is covered by a flap and a zipper.

This bag also has a zippered front pocket and a zippered water bottle pocket. And I do love my water bottle pockets.

The bag’s straps are comfortable, but they can some loose if you pack your bag heavy. Still, if you want an elegant and long-lasting bag for light loads, this is a great choice.

Price: $49.99 (29 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Zekar Vintage Waxed Canvas Daypack here.


  • 24L storage capacity
  • Zippered water bottle pocket
  • Low price tag


  • Straps come loose when overpacked
  • No interior organizers

Find more Topo Designs Klettersack information and reviews here.

8. Vintage Crafts Leather Backpack



Obviously, it doesn’t take an expert to notice that this Vintage Crafts backpack is actually made from leather.

However, this bag still takes advantage of the material qualities of waxed canvas by using it in the bag’s interior.

Leather actually has a lot of the same qualities as waxed canvas too. It is durable and develops a handsome patina over time.

This bag is best used as a daypack since it has only 14L of storage space. That’s about enough for a laptop and a textbook, with dimensions around 14 x 16 x 4 inches when rolled up.

This roll top backpack seals with buckling straps, which can be cumbersome if you are in a rush, but does add a nice sense of security. Your packed belongings will be safe from prying fingers.

On top of that, they will be safe from rain as well, since the leather exterior and waxed canvas interior combine to offer protection and waterproofing.

The contoured shoulder straps are incredibly comfortable. They are quite long as well, so you can adjust them quite large.

At the end of the day, this bag’s small size might not suite your needs. But if you want a classy and stylish daypack for a low price, then this is an incredible pick.

Price: $53.99

Buy the Vintage Crafts Leather Backpack here.


  • Beautiful vintage style
  • Durable waxed canvas interior
  • Comfy leather shoulder straps


  • Limited carry capacity
  • Roll top with buckles can be hard to get into

Find more Vintage Crafts Leather Backpack information and reviews here.

9. Mumoo Bear Oversized Crossbody Bag



Mumoo Bear’s Oversized Crossbody Bag is an asymmetrically designed rucksack that, despite its name, is actually smaller than your average messenger bag.

Its lone pocket’s storage volume is just shy of 9L, so it can really only fit small personal items. Think of it as a purse. Or a murse.

But at 13.8 x 15.3 x 2.6 inches, it can still fit a large book or two. Its shoulder strap is adjustable, but not particularly comfortable, so don’t pack this bag too heavy.

The bag has a small exterior zipper pocket. It is a nice place to store small items, as the main compartment’s organizer pieces and dark material can hide things at the bottom of the main compartment.

Price: $37.39 (47 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Mumoo Bear Oversized Crossbody Bag here.


  • Low price tag
  • Durable and waterproof
  • Stylish asymmetrical design


  • Expect some variation from pictured color
  • Busy interior makes it hard to find packed items
  • Thin shoulder strap

Find more Mumoo Bear Oversized Crossbody Bag information and reviews here.

10. S-Zone Waxed Canvas Duffel Bag



The S-Zone Waxed Canvas Duffel Bag merges the durability of a classic piece of luggage with the versatility of a large gym bag to make for a stylish and useful choice.

This one compartment bag makes a great travel companion thanks to its generous 40L of storage space.

At 21.6 x 11.8 x 9.8 inches, you will want to carry this bag around with its wide removable shoulder strap.

However, as someone who prefers to use bag handles, I wish the S-Zone’s handles had a little more substance.

The bag has plenty of space for bulky items, but you also have several zippered pouches and organizer pieces for smaller items.

Price: $45.99 (23 percent off MSRP)

Buy the S-Zone Waxed Canvas Duffel Bag here.


  • Massive 40L storage capacity
  • Plenty of zip pockets in main compartment
  • Low price tag


  • Thin leather handles
  • Zipper can be finicky

Find more S-Zone Waxed Canvas Duffel Bag information and reviews here.

See Also

Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.

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