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Waxed Backpacks – Five Plus One

Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.

The rainy season is coming, and what better a way to keep your everyday items dry than in a wax backpack? They’re durable, water resistant, and look better with each-and-every wear.

Whether you like half-zips, rolldowns, or fold-tops, there is a waxed backpack out there for you somewhere. Finding the bag that’s right for you isn’t always easy, so to help you in your search for your perfect pack we’ve compiled some of the best options on the market. Some cost a little more — some cost a little less — but whatever price-point you choose you’ll likely find yourself falling more in love with for you new pack with each passing day.

1) Tanner Goods: Wilderness Rucksack in Waxed Field Canvas


First up is Tanner Goods’s Wilderness Rucksack: a classic roll-top backpack, which, in combination with its waxed canvas outer, is ideal for repelling water. Like all of Tanner’s products, this pack is made from some of the best materials–an 18oz. canvas, all brass hardware, and timeless English bridle leather. On the inside of this back you’ll find a felt-lined laptop slot, a main compartment, and several smaller pockets. This pack has some serious room in it, but don’t worry about it being too hard on your shoulders — just like the inside pockets, the straps are well padded with felt to ensure they’re comfortable.

Available for $400 from Mildblend Supply Co.

2) Winter Session: Day Pack in Waxed Grey

Winter Session

Rucksacks may be rising popularity, but some of us still prefer classic, half-zip backpacks. If that sounds like you, then this may be your perfect pick. Winter Session’s pack is made from an ultra-durable 20Oz. canvas, all leather straps, heavy duty brass rivets, and the always appreciate YKK double-zipper. And if you’re one of those college students whose back gets tired lugging around heavy textbooks, then look no further–the entire quilted back of this bag is lined with foam to ensure your back feels the same at the end of the day that it did at the beginning.

Available for $285 from Winter Session.

3) Mulholland: Rucksack in Waxed Canvas

Photo courtesy of Mulholland Brothers

Mulholland’s Waxed Rucksack is another timeless design, this one featuring a combination cinch/flap closure system, two flapped side pouches, and several smaller zippered pockets. And like many of the other bags on this list, this one too features padded shoulder straps for comfort. This pack is made from a heavy duty waxed canvas, bridle leather accents, and heavy duty metal hardware.

Available for $470 from Mulholland.

4) Archival: Roll Top in Waxed Brown Canvas


What list of waxed backpacks would be complete without something from Archival? Their Roll Top backpack is timeless: cleanly designed, durable, water resistant, and large enough to carry whatever you need for your day. It’s made from a 24oz. waxed twill, Horween leather, and solid brass hardware, but a bag is more than just its materials. This pack’s design is excellent, particularly for cyclists, as the side pouches are sized to snugly hold a U-Lock.

Available for $260 from Archival.

5) Filson: Backpack in Tan Tin Cloth


Filson has long been known for their outdoorsy designs, use of durable materials, and solid construction — and all of this is present in their Tin Cloth Backpack. The style is simplistic, featuring a main cinched pocket and secondary buckled pocket, both of which are covered by a large front flap. The materials heavy-duty, featuring Filson’s famous tin cloth as well as their own bridle leather. And their construction? Guaranteed not to fail under Filson’s workmanship guarantee.

Available for $260 from Filson.

Plus One – Southern Field Industries: PX Backpack in Black x Black

Souther Field Industries

In the world of waxed backpacks, it is hard to find one that truly stands out from the rest, but the PX Backpack from Southern Field Industries does just that. Sure, there are other waxed minimalist backpacks out there, but this model has a certain simplistic flair that eludes the rest of the waxed backpack industry. But just because this pack’s design is unique doesn’t mean it is any less substantial of a bag — like many of the other backpacks on this list, it is made heavy-duty canvas, brass hardware, and features YKK double zippers.

Available for ¥30,000 (~$244) from Southern Field Industries.

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