This Stylish Neoprene Backpack Is the Most Functional Bag I've Ever Owned

With compartments to fit my laptop, reiki board, and crystals, I can work from anywhere.

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backpack
Photo: Courtesy of Nordstrom

Post-college, I'd never thought I'd willingly walk around with a backpack again. But when my family had gathered for a birthday party, I noticed this sleek black backpack draped over my aunt's shoulders. She'd just come from work, but it didn't look like a work bag; the bag was doing work, though, alongside her chic silk midi skirt and oversized sweater. "What is that and where did you get it?" I blurted out before even saying hello. My admiration for her Dagne Dover backpack certainly didn't go unnoticed: Come Christmas, I found it under the tree. And now, it's one of my favorite bags.

To start, the Dagne Dover Medium Dakota Backpack is made from ​neoprene, which is so soft to touch, and it comes in five trendy colors. (I have it in the all-black Storm, below, which goes with everything by default.) All other backpacks I've owned have felt stiff, but this feels so cushiony against my back and shoulders — there's even a little extra cushioning where it hits your lower back, and you can feel the difference. And not only is the exterior super soft, but it's also water-resistant, so my belongings stay nice and dry. This was handy back when I was commuting to work in New York every day, but it's even more so following my move to Hawaii, where it rains practically every day.

backpack
Courtesy of Nordstrom

To buy: nordstrom.com, $185

Whether I'm hiking the Lanikai Pillbox or jetting over to a nearby island, the Dagne Dover Dakota is my go-to backpack because it's supportive, has a ton of space to fit all of my belongings, and can be tossed in the wash after each use. Even the muddiest of muddy waterfall hikes fail to stain this bag permanently — it's still as sleek as the day I got it. And since I have a virtual reiki and yoga business, I always travel with my 13-inch Macbook Pro, reiki board, and crystals for remote sessions, in addition to my usual toiletries and clothes; luckily the backpack is packed with so many pockets and compartments to keep all of this organized. I especially love the mesh laptop holder, which is secured with a hook and loop closure. And on the outside, you can count on three pockets, which I use for easy access to my headphones, phone charger, and wallet.

But the padded straps are probably my favorite feature of this backpack. They're so supportive for walking around Honolulu doing errands, hiking up Diamond Head, and navigating through the airport to fly back to the East Coast to see family. My shoulders never become sore regardless of what I've weighed the backpack down with.

backpack
Courtesy of Nordstrom

To buy: nordstrom.com, $185

It seems like I'm not the only one obsessed with the Dagne Dover, Nordstrom shoppers totally agree with my assessment that this is one of the best backpacks you can buy right now. "This bag is perfect — fits my laptop, large water bottle, lunch and an extra pair of shoes," one customer wrote in a review. "The outside pockets and inside organizers are amazing." Another reviewer summed it up simply, calling it "durable, stylish and super functional."

You really can't go wrong with the Dagne Dover Medium Dakota Backpack, whether you're buying it for yourself or giving it to something else..

backpack
Courtesy of Nordstrom

To buy: nordstrom.com, $185

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