What is a true mark of a boy turning into a man? Certain African tribes task boys to hunt crocodiles as part of their initiation rites into manhood. Some religions involve male circumcision. Over in the fashion world, the task is simpler: replacing your ratty college canvas backpack with designer men’s backpacks.

The backpack is perhaps the most versatile of bags one can carry. It fits a great number of items — even a laptop and a spare change of clothes. The double straps sit snugly on your shoulders, allowing for even weight distribution and your hands free to do anything else.

However, most men seem to be making a major faux pas with their backpacks. Take a look at your own collection and ask yourself these questions: Have you had them since your days in college? Do they look severely weatherbeaten? Is your backpack the same one they give away for free when you purchase a new laptop?

If your answer is yes to all of the above, then it’s time for an intervention. You’re a man now, purchasing your own bespoke suits and getting a haircut from proper barbers. You even know how to appreciate your cognac now. Don’t let that go to waste by carrying a ratty backpack with your fancy bespoke suit. Get yourself one of these designer men’s backpacks that’s worth rolling with the big boys and start getting taken seriously at the office and even at social events.

1
Alvaro

This Alvaro Agape leather backpack is the grownup backpack you need. Its lush and butter leather looks and feels expensive, and the best part is that the leather will eventually wear according to your lifestyle. Like wine, it’ll only look and feel better with age. Now, this is the kind of worn-in look you’ll want.

RM4,700 (approx. conversion), Mr Porter

2
Bottega Veneta

If the canvas is still your preferred fabric of choice when it comes to backpacks, we’ll let you compromise with this new-season, leather-trimmed canvas backpack from Bottega Veneta. This rucksack style bag is certainly large enough to hold more than just your essentials while still looking sleek. We understand if you love this enough to want to bring it on your travels too.

RM7,800 (approx. conversion), Mr. Porter

3
Burberry

Remember those drawstring backpacks from your childhood days? Well, they’re making a comeback in men’s fashion. This time around, instead of nylon, they’re given a more grown-up twist at Burberry — leather. Paired with a graffiti logo print, these sleek leather backpacks with the classic Burberry vintage check lining is going to earn you some serious style points.

RM7,500, Burberry

4
Burberry

So you want something that’s not your standard issue black leather backpacks, yet you want it to stand out subtly. This leather-trimmed, London check backpack from Burberry is your answer. It has minimal bells and whistles, comes in a durable dark checkered pattern, yet it allows you to stand out from the rest of the style plebeians. What more do you need?

RM4,990, Burberry

5
Givenchy

All about maximalism? Then you should get this striking number from Givenchy. The MC3 backpack features red and black calf leather, with extra pockets to keep more things. We love the sporty design of the MC3, which will definitely get you a second glance from others.

RM9,200 (approx. conversion), Farfetch

6
Maison Margiela

Black backpacks do not need to be boring. Maison Margiela certainly didn’t make theirs look monotonous. Fashioned from thick corduroy, the backpack is accented with a front pocket that’s made of smooth leather, which subtly stands out. Then, a bright pop of yellow where you least expect it — at the bottom of the padded straps.

RM3,000 (approx. conversion), Mr Porter

7
Moncler

If you love Moncler puffer coats, then you’re going to love this backpack. The quilted New George backpack is reminiscent of the brand’s famous puffer coats, and this one is just as comfortable. It’s simple enough without looking too childish. Definitely workplace-approved.

RM2,700 (approx. conversion), Farfetch

8
Paul Smith

Not all Paul Smith items have to be bold and full of prints. This backpack shows you that it’s Paul Smith, just by a sleek stripe of colours down its black leather. When you want a backpack that is minimal-looking yet with character, this is your pick.

RM2,100 (approx. conversion), Farfetch

9
Prada

Still fancy the rucksack-style backpack? Do it in still with this Prada nylon rucksack with leather trims. The utilitarian design still looks sleek thanks to the black details accented with silver hardware. The abundance of pockets means that you can properly organise your bag essentials, and you won’t be scrounging around looking for that one thing.

RM5,600 (approx. conversion), Mr Porter

10
Saint Laurent

This sand-coloured City backpack from Saint Laurent stands out mostly because of its colour. You don’t see a men’s backpack in this shade every day, and that is precisely why you’ll be the talk of the town (or office). Fashioned out of tough leather, the interior is roomy and will fit plenty of knick-knacks. Even an extra pair of shoes.

RM3,200 (approx. conversion), Saint Laurent

PohNee Chin
Editor, Kuala Lumpur
Poh Nee is the editor and writes about travel and drinks. When she's not living out her holiday dreams via Google Earth and sipping on an Old Fashioned down at the local bars, you can find her snug at home bingeing on Netflix and mystery fiction.