Today I’m sharing my review of the Dagne Dover Dakota backpack.
I had been on the hunt for a couple of years for a sturdy backpack that I could use for both traveling and at home.
In my research, I kept seeing the Dagne Dover Dakota backpack come up, but I had a hard time swallowing the price tag.
Finally, this past spring, I decided to pull the trigger. Our 3 week Europe trip with our daughters was approaching, and my packing game needed to be airtight. As soon as this backpack arrived, I knew I had made the right decision.
Since I myself agonized over this decision so much, I decided to write up a review today that will hopefully be helpful to others who are debating the purchase.
Dagne Dover is known for their sturdy, Neoprene backpacks and duffels and their structured, multitasking work bags. Their bestsellers all come in an array of sizes, allowing customers to select the size that makes the most sense for their lifestyle needs.
I bought the large size of the Dagne Dover Dakota backpack.
We took this on our trip to Europe as well as on every trip since then. I’ve also carried it on long days out with the girls. This backpack has already served me SO well.
On our trip, I carried this on our travel days. I’d have it stocked with my personal stuff as well as coloring stuff and snacks for the girls. (In the next section I’ll walk through how I utilized each compartment on travel days).
And then on days we were exploring a city or out and about, Tyler would carry the Dakota backpack as our day bag, and I’d just carry a crossbody bag. On those days, we’d keep our camera, water bottles, sunscreen, and snacks in the backpack.
Outside of its durability and sleek design, I think the best aspect of this backpack is the number of compartments and zipper pockets. Each compartment is thoughtfully placed and functional.
There is the main big compartment which has an internal sleeve with a velcro strap (I put my laptop in this), two interior smaller pockets on each side (perfect for deodorant and small snacks), and then there are three zipper pockets on the inside of the front panel (I put my sunglasses, Kindle, and sleeping eye mask in those).
On the exterior of the backpack, there is a traditional front pocket that has a couple of pen straps. There is also a water bottle pocket on each side. This is my ONLY qualm with the backpack–these water bottle pockets are on the tighter side and you need two hands to put even a slim bottle in the pocket.
There is also a totally separate, huge laptop sleeve compartment on the back of the backpack. When we are traveling with the girls, I use this sleeve for their coloring supplies because it’s easier for me to grab mid-flight, but when I am not with them I put my laptop in there rather than the internal sleeve.
And then on the very top of the external laptop sleeve, there is a small, open pocket that serves as a great place to quickly store your phone or keys if you need to be hands free.
Also, there is a super helpful trolley sleeve on the back of the backpack, so you can easily slip the backpack on top of a suitcase when you’re waiting in line or making your way through the airport. I LOVE this feature.
The backpack comes with a detachable small zipper pouch that is the perfect size for holding all four of our passports. It also comes with a small, lightweight shoe pouch that is easy to stow when not in use.
The Dagne Dover Dakota backpack is, like most of their bestsellers, made from their signature Neoprene material. This material is sturdy, comfortable, and looks so chic. It’s also water resistant and hand washable.
The lining is made from their REPREVE® recycled polyester which is composed of recycled bottles–so cool, right?
The straps are adjustable and BY FAR the most comfortable backpack straps I’ve ever worn. The straps fit snuggly and help distribute the weight as evenly as possible. This came in handy on long travel days.
The Dagne Dover Dakota backpack in the large size costs $215. The medium costs $195, and the small costs $155.
I went back and forth a long time on color too but ultimately decided on the Dune color which is this really rich mauve/purple/brown. It’s GORGEOUS in person. I do feel like it does show dirt more than a darker color would, but I’m still really happy with the choice. It looks great in pictures and is neutral enough to go with most outfits.
The Dakota backpack is also available in black, heather grey, dark moss, storm (navy), and camel.
The large size weighs 2.6 lbs and holds 20L volume. It measures 13.25” L x 5.25” W x 17.5” H, and the external laptop sleeve can hold most 16” laptops.
The large is HUGE, but it doesn’t feel at all like a “black hole” type of bag because of the way the compartments are placed. I found the large size to be perfect for our needs. It’s big enough to hold everything I needed it to hold on travel days but doesn’t feel too big on days we carried it with us as our day bag.
The medium size weighs 2 lbs and holds 16L volume. It measures 11.5” L x 5” W x 17” H, and the external laptop sleeve can hold mosts 13” laptops.
The small size weighs 1.8 lbs and holds 8L volume. It measures 9.5″ L x 5” W x 13″ H. The small size does not have a laptop sleeve.
You can purchase the Dakota backpack through Dagne Dover’s website.
It looks like some retailers like Nordstrom and Shopbop do carry Dagne Dover products, but I didn’t see the Dakota backpack in stock anywhere but their own site as of this week.
I have been SO happy with this backpack. It’s sturdy, chic, and, most importantly, functional. I highly recommend this if you’re traveling with kids OR by yourself.
The Dakota backpack is easy to keep organized and has helped streamline our sometimes-chaotic travel days. I absolutely love the large size–it holds a ton of stuff but not in a way that makes you feel like you’re rifling through a dark abyss. Everything has a place–lifesaving!
After having used this backpack now for about four months and carried it on several trips I can say that it was definitely worth the price. I expect to use this for years to come.
And for what it’s worth, if you’re a new mom, I think either this or the medium version would make a fabulous diaper bag!
Dagne Dover offers a 15% discount on “build your own” kits. I just went through the tool, and it looks like there are a ton of great options if you are looking to stock up.
This tool has the backpack listed alongside the tech case, a couple of different cosmetic bags, and even the diaper changing kit which would be amazing for traveling with a baby. Mix and match to build a duo that makes the most sense your travels.
And this page has the backpack accompanied by some of their larger pieces like the Landon Carryall duffel and their diaper bags.
It’s a pre-weekend pick me up: just a little note with links to the latest blog posts, what I’m reading lately, and products I’m obsessed with. Think of it as a friend dropping off a surprise latte in the morning--you know?