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When you’re clocking serious hours in transit, locking down the best backpack for your everyday city commute can make your days smoother and easier.

But with so many on the market, how do you zero in on the pack that’s right for you? Well, we’re here to help. Below are four universal features to keep an eye out for and a selection of proven packs, for all budgets, that will be a worthy companion from 9 to 5 and beyond.

Easy-access pockets

Easy-access pockets are really helpful for getting to those little things that you reach for on the regular: headphones, books, snacks and your water bottle.

Streamlined design

A slim profile is ideal so you can navigate your way through the crush without scraping your pack across the chest of a stranger every two strides.

Weather protection

Weatherproof or coated fabric is a must.Weatherproof zippers and/or weather guards are also nice to have, and you’ll need to pay a little extra for those.

Urban style

A sleek and versatile city-slanted aesthetic. Keep the pop-colors for hiking through the sticks, and choose subdued for the urban jungle. Think blacks and blues and greys, so it’ll match any outfit, be it for school or the office.