Typically, when someone says minimalist, they mean few visible pouch pockets. They want the silhouette of the bag to be unobtrusive, not shout 'I'm ready for anything!" To that end, a backpack with inward pockets that follow the lines of the bag will help marry the needs of form and function.
Uncompromising carriers may discover that a minimalist backpack can end up being minimalist inside too. Not helpful! Be sure to use the "interior organization" filter if a laptop sleeve and other pockets are important to you.
It might go without saying, but choosing the smallest size you actually need goes a long way in the name of minimalism. If you're not sure about litre sizing vs your daily items, take our quiz!
Call us purists, but what is the point of a clean lined pack if that doesn't include the straps? The brands that go to the trouble to do this know it makes you feel put together. Set it and forget it. If the tabs are flapping, it gives the impression that they'll loosen throughout the day too. Look carefully for this feature when shopping. You'll be glad you did.