Bags are an accessory that have long been a female associated fancy.  But thanks to the likes of companies like Jack Spade, men have have began to take a keen eye to fashionable totes designed to carry their laptop, change of clothing or, in this particular case, biking gear.  Mission Workshop, has built upon this trend, or so it would seem, and in my opinion has managed to produce a set of bags that are aesthetically desirable without sacrificing utility.

The Sanction Rucksack is the smallest of their backpack offerings, yet still provides 1000 cubic inches of storage.  However, at first glance the Sanction Rucksack looks like it can hardly carry a 15-inch laptop.  But on the contrary.  Unlike other backpacks of a similar capacity, the Sanction some how manages to maintains a certain elegance, even when you begin to stuff it with your goods.  The lines of the bag are simple and provide it with a slim profile.  So, fair to say, it makes for a good daily bag.

I took it on a hike and found it not too encumbering for a 6 mile trek.  While I didn’t encounter rain, I took comfort in knowing that the Sanction’s urethane coated zippers all but ensure a waterproof seal from any impending elements.  The largest pocket is not zippered, but covered by a waterproof flap that stays strapped down thanks to two plastic buckles.  Behind that is a zippered slot for up to a 15-inch Macbook Pro, though you might be able to squeeze in a fatter machine if need be.

Urethane coated zippers for added waterproofing – click to enlarge

In addition to the large pocket and laptop slot, there are 4 smaller pockets.  However, two of these are deceivingly small since they run almost the entire length of the backpack.  A some what welcomed surprise when I had to fish out my iPhone and wallet when returning from my hike.  Fortunately, the bottom smaller pocket can accommodate both of these items perfectly, though it doesn’t feature a zipper, so in theory something could slip out or get in, such as sand or dirt.  But on the converse, the top pocket includes this feature, though it’s a bit smaller and can probably only fit two to three small items.

I didn’t stuff the Sanction Rucksack to the brim with goodies, but I do have my concerns about the shoulder straps since they’re a bit thin on padding and while they compliment the lines of the bag, I can’t help but think that comfort has been sacrificed; the straps aren’t contoured to fit your shoulders much like the Powerbag Backpack.  Mission Workshop has however outfitted the back with padding and a back mesh that looks oh so breathable.

Padded backing – click to enlarge

I’m not about to discontinue using my Jackspade duffel for my day to day travels, but when I jump on my bike I’ll gladly, and always reach for Mission Workshop’s Sanction Rucksack.  It’s stylish yet practical thanks to the waterproof build and lifetime warranty. They just need to stuff in some additional padding and perhaps consider contouring the straps for added comfort.  And for those of you concerned about a grade school association, I suggest you checkout their messenger bags.

Editor’s Rating:

[rating: 4.5/5]


Bottom Line: The Mission Workshop Sanction Rucksack is a perfect daily commuter backpack, so isn’t ideal for long term trips and the shoulder straps could use some additional padding.

The Sanction Rucksack is available directly from Mission Workshop for $179. Choose between Charcoal, Olive, Gray or Black.


  • Finally, a stylish backpack
  • 1000 cu inches of storage in a slim profile
  • Waterproof build


  • Expensive for a backpack; $179
  • Shoulder straps could use more padding

Christen Costa

Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."

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