Compact and robust external-cavity diode laser (ECDL) systems are a mandatory requirement for many next-generation quantum technology applications, e.g. quantum communication and quantum sensors. Today’s commercially available ECDLs are used for proof-of-principle demonstrations of such applications, however do not meet the requirements for the use in real-world environments. We investigate a novel design for a compact and robust ECDL suitable for the integration into first quantum technology applications. Experimental results of first prototypes are presented and compared to a commercially available ECDL and numerical simulations.