Dagne Dover Dakota Backpack Review

dagne dover dakota backpack reviewI've mentioned my Dagne Dover Dakota backpack several times on Wardrobe Oxygen. I've featured it in capsule wardrobes and outfit posts, but I haven't done a proper review of this bag. It's crazy I haven't as it's the most used Dagne Dover bag in my collection!

The Dagne Dover Dakota backpack is made of neoprene, which makes it lightweight, easy to clean, water repellant, and gives it a modern and stylish look. This bag comes in seven different colors and textures; I chose the all-black option because I felt it would go best with my wardrobe and would look more polished and less athletic. This bag retails for $175 and that may seem like a lot for a backpack; I find this to be one of the most-used and most functional; bag in my wardrobe. Seriously, the design of this bag is so genius.

dagne dover dakota backpack review what can it hold

The contents of my Dagne Dover Dakota Backpack when I telework outside the home: journal, wallet, well-worn headphones, the included pouch full of cords etc., 40 oz. water bottle, MacBook Pro and cord, protein bar, cosmetic bag, bandana, keys, and various beauty products.

The bag is 17″ tall; large enough to be a practical carry-on for a flight or your work bag, but small enough to look sleek and sophisticated. The hardware from the zippers to the logo are the same color as the bag, no matter which color you choose. I love this feature, it makes it look more expensive and unique.

There is a standard small zipper pouch on the front of the Dakota backpack. In this pocket are two elastic loops which can keep small bottles or items corralled and upright. Also in the corner of the front pocket is a small carabiner to hold your key ring. The pocket is fully lined. On either side of the bag is a pocket about 3″ deep which is big enough to hold a bottle of water; they too are lined. There are two zipper compartments on the bottom back of the bag; it's a great way to maximize space. These pockets are big enough to hold your entire hand, so you have plenty of room for snacks or smaller items.

dagne dover dakota backpack full

The back packed up; you can see the zipper pockets built into the front flap; one is holding the bandana and protein bar. I have my keys clipped to the second pocket's zipper.

When you unzip the main compartment, on the flap you'll see two more zipper compartments. These are surprisingly deep. When I am on travel, this is where I tuck toiltries such as dry shampoo, deodorant, my toothbrush and toothpaste. In the back of the main compartment is a deep pocket with a Velcro flap to hold items in place. This pocket is made for a laptop and my Macbook Pro fits in there with room to spare. There is another caribiner on a loop in the main compartment, but this one has a zipper pouch attached to it. This makes it easy to detach the pouch when necessary, but also makes it easy to find this pouch in a full backpack.

what can you fit in a dagne dover dakota backpack

In the front pocket I store my regularly-used beauty products – face mist, hand cream, dry shampoo, and my go-to red lipstick.

I took these pictures the same day I worked from Vigilante Coffee so the contents represent a day of teleworking. As you can see, the backpack holds a great deal and even here, I didn't take advantage of three pockets and had room to spare.

When I took the train to New York, the only bag I took was my Dakota Backpack. I had my laptop, a hardcover novel, my sunglasses in a case, all my makeup and a lot of hair products to touch-up once I arrived, an umbrella, and accessories to keep me warm as there was a chance for snow (pashmina, beanie, gloves, and thick socks).

For flights, I put my clear bag of toiletries in this backpack since it also carries my laptop and other electronics. The bag is easy to unzip, even with one hand, when in a rush at TSA. I use this backpack in place of a purse and love that I can sling it over one shoulder, or put it completely on my back if I have to hoof it across the airport to catch a connecting flight.

review dagne dover dakota backpackThis bag is over a year old; I received it as a gift from Dagne Dover last March to use for my trip to Dallas for the rewardStyle conference. I have used it since for 99% of my flights and train trips, often as my work bag when I was going to the office on a regular basis, and is now my favorite bag when I work at a coworking space or café. While I did receive it for free, I always provide honest reviews. I didn't get paid to use this bag; I continue to use the Dakota backpack all the time because I truly love it and find it so brilliantly designed. I am not paid to do this review, I chose to do it because I love the bag and wanted to share it with you. If you have any questions about the Dakota backpack or any Dagne Dover bag (I own several), ask in the comments and I will answer honestly.

Dagne Dover Promo Code:

Use ALISON10 at checkout to get 10% off your order at Dagne.


  1. Alexa
    October 24, 2021 / 4:40 pm

    Love this review! Currently between a medium Dakota and a medium Landon duffle. Which do you prefer???

    • October 24, 2021 / 9:06 pm

      Oh gosh, that’s kind of an apples to oranges question. It depends on what you are using it for. The Dakota is better for carrying heavy and awkwardly shaped items. I wouldn’t want to use my Landon to carry, say a laptop and a few books and a water bottle but it’s fabulous for the gym or as a purse/commuter bag hybrid with soft items mixed in. The Dakota does a better job of separating items and keeping them upright.

  2. Anne
    April 1, 2021 / 2:44 am

    Hi Alison

    I think I”m ready to buy the backpack. I walk back and forth to work with a laptop, shoes, lunch, water bottle and the rest of my life. If you were buying this today, would you get medium or large? Thanks!

    • April 5, 2021 / 9:52 am

      Sorry I missed this! I would get the large.

  3. SusieG
    March 16, 2021 / 2:48 pm

    Thanks for this great review. Now that we are finally starting to contemplate a return to the office, I searched on eBay and scored a new olive-colored one. So happy and excited to trot it out!

  4. Vina
    June 3, 2019 / 5:32 pm

    Hi there! Do you feel like the black color shows dirt more easily? I’m debating between black and the heather grey. Thank you for this informative post!

    • June 3, 2019 / 5:35 pm

      I haven’t really had an issue with it. Dusty dirt does show quickly, but it’s also easy to clean off with a damp cloth. I still use my bag almost weekly and it’s been through a lot and still looks great. That being said, I have the heather gray in the Ace fanny pack and that’s my gym bag and it looks great too though it’s pretty dirty!

  5. Taylor
    May 14, 2019 / 7:36 pm

    Hey! I’m seriously considering the Legend Signature Tote in Graphite. Do you have this bag or one for the Signature Tote line? I’m curious if the stiff handles are annoying.. do the handles constantly slip off of your shoulder? Is it easily tuckable under an airplane seat? I travel a lot for work so I’m looking for a bag with a zipper to make sure nothing fall out and plenty of room for my laptop, charger and supplies. Id really love to get your thoughts. Thank you!

  6. Elizabeth
    May 2, 2019 / 4:09 pm

    About to purchase the Dagne Dover Dakota backpack for trip to Chicago for mother’s day. Looking over your review convinced me. The picture of your airport outfit is what I noticed first. I’m 5’4 similar in size to you. Are you carrying the Large or Medium. I thought I read large, 17”
    High, $175 in price. So.. not sure which one. Thank you for your recommendation!

    • Elizabeth
      May 2, 2019 / 4:17 pm

      .. ok I just read you have the medium, as large not available at the time you received. If I read correctly, and you have the medium, would you choose medium again or choose the large? Thank you again.

  7. Katie
    May 1, 2019 / 4:01 pm

    Has this held up for you so far? I’m looking at getting a large grey one for law school, so I need super durable!

    • May 1, 2019 / 4:19 pm

      Yes it has! In fact I just took a trip to California and used it as my carry-on bag shoved under the front seat. It truly shows no wear other than the occasional stain (easy to spot clean).

  8. Mary Anne Wilson
    April 1, 2019 / 7:30 pm

    One of the young gals in the office has a Dagne Dover bag which I loved, but I want a back pack. I found your review and am now inspired to get one but was hesitant at $195 (I need the large one). Your 20% off code enticed me though so I went to purchase it. The code does not work. Any ideas?

  9. DH
    February 26, 2019 / 6:06 pm

    What about water? What happens in the rain?

    • March 1, 2019 / 1:11 pm

      It repels water. It’s not waterproof but it’s done great for me when caught in the rain walking to my hotel.

  10. Anna
    November 28, 2018 / 3:50 pm

    What size water bottle can fit on the side? Can it fit a Yeti? Do you have trouble fitting a water bottle on the side if the bag is full inside?

    • November 28, 2018 / 3:54 pm

      If the bag is full you may be able to fit a small bottle of Poland Springs or that type, or maybe a narrow Swell bottle but that’s it. I haven’t been able to fit my larger water bottles like Nalgene or Thermo Flask, but more narrow bottles that don’t have rubber on the outside (gets caught on the elastic) will fit if the bag isn’t full.

  11. Vaidehi Mody
    November 23, 2018 / 8:42 am

    Just ordering this backpack for my friend. Will this medium bag fit a 15” pro with sleeve on ?
    Dont want to order a large bag because the medium seems compact and nice

  12. Ioanna
    October 17, 2018 / 10:10 am

    Hi! I tend to carry a lot in my bag for school, so I am looking for something that will not strain my back. Did this backpack wear well over the year that you have had it?

    • October 17, 2018 / 10:11 am

      Yep, I just used it this week and is still looks like new. I am not kind to my bags either. Very impressed!

  13. al
    October 9, 2018 / 7:55 am

    hi! thanks for the detailed review. just wondering if this bag in medium can fit a laptop together with a pair of running shoes? Would it be just right or have some spare space for a towel? thanks!

    • October 11, 2018 / 11:04 am

      Yes it can! I’m carrying it today and inside I have my laptop and cord, my purse basics (large wallet and two pouches), a pair of sneakers and a denim jacket plus some snacks!

  14. Rose
    June 25, 2018 / 5:20 pm

    Does the back have a sleeve to slip the bag over a luggage spinner handle?

      • SusieG
        March 16, 2021 / 2:50 pm

        If you’re coming to this review later, I just want to add a quick update. Yes, the new version does have a luggage sleeve for spinner bags.

  15. Brit Liz
    May 24, 2018 / 10:23 am

    How big is your laptop? Is there room for a 15inch?

    • May 24, 2018 / 10:26 am

      I have a MacBook Pro but had a 15″ at my old job and it fit.

      • louise
        September 3, 2018 / 7:58 pm

        so a 13inch would fit in the medium size? do you have the medium size or large?

        • September 3, 2018 / 8:00 pm

          When I got this bag, the medium was the only size. So yes, a 13″ will fit in the medium.

  16. joyce
    April 24, 2018 / 11:25 pm

    Thanks for the review and the discount! I just ordered one in black. i’m trying to walk to work more, but using a tote with my laptop is too awkward and hurts my neck .

  17. April 9, 2018 / 7:56 am

    I love this bag I am going to order one. You look amazing by the way!!!

    • April 9, 2018 / 10:07 am

      Thanks so much Lisa! And I hope you love the bag as much as I do mine!

  18. Marisa
    April 8, 2018 / 9:18 pm

    Nice! Do you need to use a laptop sleeve, or are you comfortable going without since the bag is neoprene?

    • April 8, 2018 / 10:06 pm

      I go without a sleeve. The back of the backpack is padded enough, it’s well covered inside, and like you said the whole pack is neoprene.

  19. snaphappy
    April 7, 2018 / 11:14 am

    Once again . . . you sold me. Just ordered this backpack! I’ve been on the fence for a while, because I do have a backpack that I use when traveling, but this one has so many more features.

    • April 8, 2018 / 10:05 pm

      It’s a great bag I hope you love it!

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