Finding a backpack that can hold all of your gear, but that’s also stylish, comfortable and rugged can be a struggle. Fortunately, the folks at Mission Workshop have produced a backpack that meets all those needs and beyond. Allow me to introduce you to the Sanction Rucksack ($179, link).
The Mission Workshop Sanction Rucksack is just one of several functional (and extremely tough) bags that the company offers, featuring an abundance of pockets in all sizes, and plenty of room to hold your stuff, all while keeping a slim profile.
This is one of the toughest bags I have ever seen, made from commando-strength waterproof fabric (that also manages to be breathable) and heavy duty zippers. The bag also takes advantage of flaps that fold over in order to contain its contents (in addition to zippers), which is unique among backpacks, at least in the U.S.
What amazes me most about the Sanction Rucksack is that it keeps a fairly sleek appearance while holding plenty of gear. I was able to fit my 15″ MacBook Pro, my iPad, a power adapter, a reading book, a couple of large water bottles and a hoodie in this bag, all without the bag looking overstuffed.
The bag makes exceptionally good use of space. The size of the pockets was perfect for all the gear I packed into it, and there’s a pocket to suit seemingly every purpose (even though this bag wasn’t actually designed to hold computers and tech gear). The number, size, and placement of the pockets is ideal for a wide variety of possible uses.
The Sanction includes a wide variety of pockets to hold your gear – A large slit-like pocket intended for your laptop (up to 17″), a second large pocket to cram full of gear, a medium-sized pocket perfect for an iPad, a front pocket perfect for holding various cables, and a front pouch that almost seems to be made to hold my MacBook Pro power adapter.
Each of the bag’s five compartments are also completely weatherproof, and even feature urethane coated zippers, so you can be sure your gear is protected from the elements at all times.
All of the Sanction’s seams are double-stitched and reinforced using heavy duty thread. I scuff-tested this bag by dragging it briefly across pavement without leaving a single mark. I even took some medium-grit sandpaper to the outside of the bag, and was finally able to create some minor scuffing (but it took some elbow grease, and the scuffing was still barely noticeable).
The Sanction truly is built to last a lifetime, which is a real rarity in today’s society where throwaway products and planned obsolescence so often mar consumer product experiences.
What’s especially nice is that, while the bag is extremely capable, it’s also very comfortable. The firmness and placement of the mesh and straps, the way it fits around your back and over the shoulders – all of these elements combine to make it one of the most comfortable bags I’ve ever used.
The bag also features a soft internal frame of sorts, which naturally occurs due to the strength of the fabric and the way it’s stitched together. This makes the bag much easier to carry on your pack, even when its not evenly weighted.
The Sanction is a beast of a bag – a portable stronghold you can carry with you wherever you go. It’s sleek, attractive, and durable, protects your gear, and is large enough to hold a decent amount of gear without being unwieldy or overly bulky.
I can see myself using this bag for years to come in a variety of situations. It looks nice enough to use in upscale settings, yet it’s casual enough that you can take it anywhere, and the versatility of the pockets means that this bag has a place for everything you need.
Rating & Conclusion
The Mission Workshop Sanction is one of the very best bags (if not the best) I have ever used. It’s comfort, appearance, capacity, and size all served to delight me, and its durability and protection are second to none.
Considering its many merits, and with no real flaws that I encountered, I award the Sanction 4.5 out of 5 stars, leaving a half-point off due to its $179 price, which, while fairly reasonable, may put this bag out of reach for some would-be purchasers.
To learn more, or to purchase the Sanction (or to check out any of MW’s other great offerings), head on over to Mission Workshop’s product page on the net.
- Has plenty of storage space without looking bulky
- Sleek design can be tucked away almost anywhere when empty
- Extremely durable weatherproof construction
- Five separate compartments to organize your stuff
- Extremely comfortable, even when full
- Lifetime warranty
- Price may be out of some people’s range
- Lacks a dedicated water bottle holster