Find Success with the Best Backpacks for College

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Are you currently enrolled in college? If so, you might want to make sure that you have all the necessary equipment to prepare yourself for your college life. One of the most important pieces of equipment that you will need is to get a laptop. You will most likely spend countless hours researching on it, as well as writing papers/reports. Apart from this, you’ll need to purchase or rent all of the textbooks and other materials that your classes require. Last, you will need a great backpack. A backpack will be useful for storing your textbooks, notebooks, and your laptop or tablet. Getting a good college backpack is important, as it allow you to comfortably carry all of your equipment on your shoulders.

There are lots of different brands and models of backpacks on the market. So much so, that it can be difficult and overwhelming when you’re trying to find the perfect backpack that suits all of your needs and preferences. Luckily for you, we dug into the best college backpacks on the market, and broke down our top picks into categories including best for laptop, best functional, best sporty bag, and more.

Check out the video below to see our top choices for each category, as well as an in-depth description for each backpack…

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Continue reading for even more choices for best college backpacks. While these backpacks weren’t our top choices for each individual backpack category (except for the overall champion Jansport “Big Student Backpack”), we think these are great backpacks that you can’t go wrong with!

Here are our choices for other great college backpacks…

JanSport Big Student Classics Series Backpack


Product Info
  • Pockets: 5 interior slip, 4 exterior

When purchasing a backpack for college, the choice of color is also quite important since you will be carrying it around with you each time you go to school. The JanSport Big Student Classics Series Backpack gives you several color choices to choose from with whopping 28 different colors. The company priced all their bags per their colors, but they would typically cost less than $50 to purchase. The bag has a very large capacity of 2100 CU inches, so you will have plenty of space to put in all your textbooks and a laptop as well. The bag consists of a polyester material that offers a reasonable amount of comfort when you carry it on your shoulders. There are two main openings in the bag, and both are quite spacious. There are several front compartments in the bag as well that lets you put in various other items that you may be carrying with you. The shoulder straps are S-shaped, so you shouldn’t feel too much strain on your shoulders when carrying the bag.

AmazonBasics College Laptop Backpack


Product Info
  • Large multi-compartment backpack with a padded sleeve for laptops
  • Holds up to 17" notebook computer
  • Mesh water bottle pockets at side

AmazonBasics has always been a favorite for us, regardless of the product line that we are reviewing. This is since they usually give great value for your money with their products and tend to always have positive feedback by customers. This backpack comes in two different variants. You can either purchase the backpack alone or go for the option which comes with a wireless mouse as well. The backpack alone will cost around $30, but the option with the wireless mouse will cost you slightly more. There is a padded laptop sleeve in the bag which can store your laptop without it getting damaged when carrying it around campus. It can hold most laptops up to 15 inches in length with ease, but there is space to even store a larger 17-inch laptop if it has a slim form factor. Apart from this, there are several compartments in the bag to store pens, keys, and even your mobile phone. The water bottle pockets on either side of the bag let you conveniently carry your water bottle with you as well.

Hotstyle Vintage College Laptop Backpack


Product Info
  • [Stylish Backpack] Vintage-inspired preppy design, cute for school, college, work, commute, weekend getaway, casual...
  • [Comfortable Bookbag] Lightweight construction. Ergonomic padded mesh shoulder straps for pain relief
  • [Utility Daypack] Flap top keep your stuff safe. Built-in padded laptop compartment fits 15.4-inch MacBook perfectly

This is another reasonably priced backpack that offers a slightly different design compared to the other best college backpacks we have listed. The backpacks come in three different variants. There is a Black, Navy, and Khaki colored backpack, all of which have the same price. The bag costs a little less than $30, so it is not too expensive or too cheap. The bag uses a strap to close the main compartment, as opposed to the zipped mechanism most backpacks use. The bag mainly consists of a polyester material and has a small percentage of polyurethane as well. There are two zipper compartments in the front of the bag, which you can use to store small objects in. There is also a much larger main compartment, but it isn’t as big as some of the other bags we listed. It can only support a 14-inch tablet or netbook. The main highlight of this bag would be the design, with the downfall being that it isn’t the most spacious bag out there.


Bolang Nylon Waterproof College Laptop Backpack


Product Info
  • Dimensions & Material: H 18.5" x L 12" x W 6"; Weight: 0.7kg(1.54lbs); Made from high-grade water resistant,...
  • Large multi-compartment design, with dedicated laptop compartment that holds laptops up to 16 inches; Airflow back &...
  • Structure: 4 main pockets & 6 smaller inner pockets, 2 pen pockets, 2 mesh side pockets, provides a separated space for...

Choosing a backpack that repels water can be quite a worthy investment as you can never know if you might end up getting caught in the rain on your way to or from college. The Bolang Water Resistant Nylon School Bag College Laptop Backpack is the most expensive on our list, as it costs over $100, but this is due to the water-repelling property of the bag. There are several different colors that you can choose from, but they all feature a very simplistic design without any designs or color schemes. The backpack consists entirely of nylon, which gives the bag its durability and ability to resist water. There are various compartments in the backpack, and the laptop compartment is spacious enough to hold a 16-inch notebook. This makes it great for taking it with you to college or even if you are going shopping. Though the bag is quite expensive, we still highly recommend this backpack if water resistance is important to you.

Leaper Casual Lightweight College Backpack


Product Info
  • Material: High Quality Canvas and Smooth Zipper; Quantity: 3PCS: School Backpack + Shoulder Bag + Pencil Case. The...
  • Size: Canvas backpack: 11.7"Lx16.6"Hx5.3"D; capacity: 25-30L; compatible for a laptop up to 15"; Padded Laptop...
  • Main compartment with double-zipper closure; 1 exterior zipper pocket; Water-bottle pockets on both sides; 1 padded...

This is another one of the best backpacks for college, especially if you want to purchase multiple bags. The backpack comes in a set of three, which includes two smaller bags apart from the main backpack. There are several different colors and designs that you can choose from, with the option of choosing only the backpack as well for some of the designs. This is not an option for all the designs, as most of them only come in a set of three. The set will cost you almost $70, but it does go on sale every now and then for a much cheaper price. If it does go on sale, we highly recommend you purchase it for all of your backpack needs as it gives you great value for the price. One of the special features of this backpack is that the company makes it with a canvas material, which feels a lot softer than the polyester materials in many other backpacks for college. If you purchased the set of three, you will get the backpack, a shoulder bag, and a pencil case, all with matching designs and the same material.

Weekend Shopper Lightweight College Backpack


Product Info
  • Material-- Oxford fabric material,durable and cool style.It is very attractive and perfect for college, school, travel...
  • Size-- 32*43*17cm(L*H*W); 0.7kg, it is lightweight but capacious to carry
  • Fit for: 15 inch laptop for the interior compartment, with protective velcro closure that keeps the laptop safety in...

This is another great bag that is offered by Weekend Shopper. The design is quite different from the previous backpacks that we reviewed from the same company, but it is still elegant in design. There are three different colors that you can choose from, which may not be ideal if you would like a specific color of the backpack that you want. However, the colors have some diversity to them, so all three versions look different from one another. The material the company uses for the backpack is an Oxford Fabric Material that is durable and gives it a great style. This backpack is ideal to use for college or for outdoor activities such as hiking. What really makes this bag one of the best backpacks is that it comes with a 45-day satisfaction guarantee. This means that if you aren’t happy with the product, you can still return it for a full refund of your money.

High Sierra Swerve Backpack


Product Info
  • LAPTOP and TABLET SLEEVE: features a fully-padded Cushion Zone laptop sleeve that fits most 17" laptops and a TechSpot...
  • LARGE MAIN COMPARTMENT with ORGANIZER POCKET; a student laptop backpack with a large main compartment, an organizer...
  • DESIGNED FOR COMFORT, EASE OF CARRYING: this boys laptop backpack's padded shoulder straps and back panel provide...

If being able to pick the right color is the most important factor in getting a backpack for you, then this is one of the best options out there. With almost forty different colors to choose from, you are probably not going to find many out there that offer this many options. The bag consists of a fabric and Nylon material, which gives it great durability. The backpack has a reasonable price at almost $40, although some colors may be a bit more expensive than others. There is a cushion pad on the bag that can fit even a 17-inch laptop. The laptop compartment comes with a special laptop sleeve that also offers added protection to your laptop. There are multiple pockets on the bag as well. This allows you to store all your textbooks and even small items, including your keys and stationery items. One feature that we really liked about the bag is that it has a special media pocket with a headphone port on it. This way, you can listen to music through your phone or music player without even having to take it out of your backpack.

High Sierra Access Backpack


Product Info
  • 100% Polyester
  • Imported
  • Large main compartments and multiple pockets allow you to keep all of your gear secure and organized

The Access series of backpacks are another popular line of backpacks by High Sierra. These backpacks differ significantly when you compare them to the previous line that we reviewed by High Sierra. You get the option of picking the color you want for the bag, and there are several different colors to choose from. Some of these backpacks have various designs on them as well, rather than having the plain look that some of the other colors have. The price of the backpack varies significantly for the color that you are choosing, so you should make sure that you choose a color that is suitable for you. The bag entirely consists of Polyester, which offers durability and keeps the bag light in weight. There is also a computer sleeve in the backpack that has extra padding on it to protect your laptop while it is in your bag. The front compartment is quite large and has ample space to keep your tablet in it if you want to as well.

High Sierra Loop Backpack


Product Info
  • Large, multi-compartment design
  • Dedicated TECH SPOT tablet computer sleeve (12.5 x 11 x 0.75 in.)
  • Dedicated media pocket

The Loop is another one of the top-rated lines of backpacks that High Sierra offers, and we consider them some of the best backpacks for college. One of the notable features of this backpack is how great the design looks. The colors schemes tend to have a very simplistic, yet stylish, look about it, which many students in college will appreciate. There is a wide variety of colors to choose from, and they are all quite different from one another. Some of the colors are a single-color option, but there are multicolored options as well. The price is quite reasonable as it costs a little over $30 to purchase. The bag entirely consists of polyester, which gives the bag its durability and high quality. The bag has a dedicated laptop sleeve that is perfect for storing your tablet or laptop to give it the additional protection it needs. Another great feature of the backpack is that it has a media pocket. This allows you to keep your media devices like your iPod or smartphone inside the backpack while still enjoying music or podcasts.

Mancro College Backpack


Product Info
  • ◆DIMENSION & LIFETIME QUALITY ASSURANCE: 20 x 12.2 x 5.7 inch backpack built with laptop compartment fits most...
  • ◆MULTI-COMPARTMENT: 3 MAIN pockets/ 9 INNER small pockets/ 2 SEALED SIDE pockets for computer, notebook, mobile,...
  • ◆USB PORT DESIGN: With built in USB charger outside and built in charging cable inside. This usb backpack offers you a...

One of the essential features in backpacks for college is that it needs to be slim and lightweight, especially since you will be carrying it with you pretty much every day. The Mancro Backpack has just that as it has a very slim design, which not only looks good but also feels good to wear. Though the backpack is slim, it is still large enough to hold a laptop of 15 inches with ease. This is another important feature that every college bag needs to have since a laptop has become a staple for every university student. There are many compartments in the bag, which you can use to store all your laptop cables, the laptop itself, and your textbooks as well. Apart from the three main pockets in the bag, there are small pockets located within the main compartments, in which you can keep tiny items like your pens and stationery items. Mancro properly sealed both of the side pockets, and this allows you to keep your keys and even wallet safe within your bag.

Weekend Shopper College Backpack


Weekend Shopper is another company that produces a lot of high-quality backpack lines, which are great to take with you for college. One of the attractive features of this backpack is that the company prices them cheaper than most of the other best backpacks out there. The backpack costs a little over $20, which is significantly cheaper than some of the other backpacks we have featured on our list. Though it is cheap, it does have a great design and quality to it. The materials Weekend Shopper uses for the backpack are a high-quality cotton canvas for the bulk of the bag and leather for the attachments. The zippers consist of leather as well, which a nice change compared to the traditional metallic zippers that most of the best backpacks come with. The bag is quite spacious and large enough to hold all the necessities that you will be carrying with you to college. There is a special sleeve for keeping your laptop as well, but it will only hold a laptop that has a screen of 15 inches or less. There is a special pocket for keeping your tablet as well, which is another handy addition to the bag.

Vaschy Unisex Water Resistant College Backpack


Product Info
  • DURABL&CLASSIC:The VASCHY Unisex Classic backpack is made of water resistant durable Polyester which could ensure the...
  • EASY TO ORGANIZE:Main compartment with double-zipper closure;One exterior zipper pocket; Water-bottle pockets on both...
  • LARGE CAPACITY:External dimensions: 18.9" x 12.6" x 5.9" ( HxLxW); Capacity: 23 Liters Adjustable Shoulder Strap Length:...

The Vaschy Unisex Classic Water Resistant School Rucksack is slightly smaller than all the other backpacks that we have listed. It can still fit a laptop, but it may not be able to fit in your 15-inch laptop as it has a maximum supported laptop size of 14 inches. There are several different colors that the backpack comes in if you are particular about that aspect. The design is quite simplistic as there is no fancy artwork or colors mixed in. The main drawback of this backpack is its price. The backpack costs almost $70, which is significantly more expensive than the other laptop backpacks that we have featured on this list. However, this is due to it having a feature to resist water. Apart from this, it is quite light in weight as well, but this is due to its smaller size than the other backpacks we have listed. The materials the company uses in the construction of the backpack is mainly polyester. There is a good amount of cushion on the padded shoulder straps and back portion of the backpack, which makes it comfortable to wear as you walk around campus.


Wimblo Lightweight College Backpack


Product Info
  • ★DURABLE & SIMPLE - External made with durable linen fabric and 210 nylon fabric internal,soft and comfortable.The...
  • ★LARGE CAPACITY & DUAL COMPARTMENT - A super organized laptop backpack with quick-access & large front pockets(6.5" X...
  • ★ROOMY COMPARTMENT - This travel laptop backpack approximate dimension is 17.71"H x 11.81"W x 3.93"T,Laptop...

This backpack is slightly more affordable than most of the other laptop bags that we have listed so far as it costs a little over $25 to purchase. There are quite a few colors to choose from, but some of the colors aren’t very different from one another. The price remains the same for all the colors, so you don’t have to use this as a deciding factor when choosing your favorite. The bag is quite durable as it consists of a linen and fabric material with a nylon fabric internal. The bag is overall quite soft and comfortable to use. Another great feature about this backpack is that the back portion of it has extra padding so that it will rest on your back without any discomfort when you carry it. There aren’t many patterns on the bag, so it has a simplistic design. However, this would appeal a lot better to a university student. The bag is quite spacious and has multiple compartments. There is even a special compartment for keeping your laptop, and it can be as large as 17 inches. Overall, it really is quite spacious.

Advocator Waterproof College Laptop Backpack


Product Info
  • What Is the Material?-----Nylon Fabric with Two "S" curve PADDED shoulder straps.
  • Does it Fit with 14 inch Laptop?-----12.9*17.7*7 Inch, fit up to 14"laptop.
  • Will it Be a Mess with Various Items?----1*Main zipper compartment with a 14 Inch laptop sleeve, Ipad sleeve and a mesh...

The Advocator backpack is slightly more expensive than some of the other backpacks that we have listed as it costs a little over $50. There are three different colors to choose from, and they all have the same price. The main highlight of this bag is its strong build quality. The bag consists of an eco-friendly nylon fabric, and it has two S-shaped shoulder straps. This makes the bag feel lighter, regardless of what you put in it. The laptop compartment of the backpack is large enough to fit in a laptop of up to 15 inches, which a college student will typically be using. If you own a larger sized laptop, then this might not be the best option for you. There are various other pockets on the bag that you can use to easily store smaller items, including your water bottle or a foldable umbrella. Apart from only holding your laptop, you can even keep your tablet in it because it has a separate compartment for other items.

JanSport Big Student Backpack


Students have called Jansport a top pick for backpacks for several years now. They have a reputation for producing backpacks that can last, and they even manufacture fancy designs. It comes with a reasonable price, costing a little under $40. However, some of the designs may be a little more expensive or even cheaper, depending on the option that you pick. One of the notable features of this backpack is that it has an ergonomic design, which allows you to wear the backpack for several hours without feeling much strain on your shoulders. There are plenty of compartments in the backpack, and the largest compartment is spacious enough to hold all your books and your laptop. The front pocket has a convenient audio electronics section, which allows you to keep your earphones well organized in your backpack. There are two front pockets, both of which are zippered and allow you to store several items in them. The back is made of fabric and polyester, which gives it the look and feel that it needs.


Kopack Lightweight College Backpack


Product Info
  • 【Anti-theft Hidden Laptop Zone】 Separating type laptop compartment design hidden in the back of the backpack (under...
  • 【Detachable USB Cable】 External USB port with cable is convenient to charge phone/tablet/other devices with your...
  • 【Comfortable back support system】Ergonomic design of S-shape padded shoulder straps and padding back design, made...

Since we did not feature many student backpacks that resist water, we decided to feature the Kopack Backpack as well. This backpack is another on the list that consists of a water-resistant material, which does have its benefits. The backpack comes in two variants: black and light gray. Thankfully, both of them have a similar price. They both cost a little under $40 to purchase, which is quite reasonable, considering that they are waterproof. The backpack is spacious enough to hold your laptop of 15 inches and still have plenty of space for other items on top of that. The fabric is also a tear resistant nylon material, so it will most likely not give in to any weight that you throw into the bag. Another great feature of this backpack is that it has a back-waist compartment that lets you keep any valuable items, including your wallet. There is both a padded shoulder and back on this bag, so you will not feel tired after carrying it for several hours.

Everki Titan Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Backpack


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Whether you’re sitting in class or sprawled out at the library, quick access to all of your belongings is a must. The Everki Titan Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Backpack opens to 180 degrees to provide full access to your textbooks, notes, laptop, and more. Even if you’re a commuter who has to fill their college bag with countless textbooks each day, the five-point strap system will help save your back and shoulders from repetitive strain. Inside this bag, you have over 2,400 CU inches of space at your disposal. This backpack can fit laptops and textbooks up to 18.4 inches, and the interior features several pockets to help organize your items. There is even a soft, felt-lined pocket specifically for your tablet or e-reader. This product will protect all of your belongings from the rain or snow with its weather-resistant cover. While this student backpack is only available in black, it does feature a high-contrast orange interior that makes it easier to find small items. This backpack retails for $150 to $200, so it certainly isn’t the cheapest option around. However, if you’re looking for a heavy-duty backpack for college that will last throughout your entire college career, then this backpack is an excellent investment.

Incase Icon Pack


Product Info
  • SPACIOUS, ORGANIZED STORAGE: Features three large dedicated compartments for your MacBook, iPad and iPhone, along with...
  • COMFORTABLE, CUSTOMIZED DESIGN: Incase engineered airflow channels into the compression molded back panel and padded...
  • LAPTOP PROTECTION: The dedicated laptop compartment is fully padded and faux-fur lined for optimal MacBook protection.

In our current digital age, your laptop is more valuable than any textbook or notebook you might have in your backpack. If you prefer to pack light and rely heavily on personal technology for your classes, then the Incase Icon Pack might be a good choice. This perfect university backpack has a sleek and slim profile, but you still have several inner pockets at your disposal. The company has built it to function primarily as a laptop bag, but it can also hold notebooks or small textbooks. On top of that, its durable 840D nylon construction means that all of your belongings, from iPads to textbooks, are safe inside. Despite its slim design, this backpack has a capacity of over 2,200 CU inches. You can fit a laptop up to 15 inches inside the main compartment of this college bag. If you fill this product to its maximum capacity, the padded straps will also help protect your shoulders. It comes in several colors, though they all land on the neutral spectrum.These options may not satisfy someone looking for a bright or patterned bag for their college supplies, but they are a nice alternative to plain black. This backpack for college will cost you between $150 and $200, but its durable construction should stand up to years of wear-and-tear.

NIKE Sport III Golf Backpack


Product Info
  • Fold-over top and buckle closure offers secure storage.
  • Zippered shoe compartment separates footwear from other items.
  • Large main compartment along with multiple accessory pockets inside helps keep items organized and a mesh side pocket...

Though NIKE may be marketing this backpack toward golfers and other athletes, it is a quality option for college students looking for a new backpack. The NIKE Sport III Golf Backpack features one large main compartment (with a couple of small periphery pockets) that can hold textbooks, a laptop, and more. Unfortunately, the lack of inner organization might pose a problem for those who easily lose their belongings inside their bag. On the plus side, this college bag has a unique bottom compartment that is completely separate from the rest of the bag. If you’re a commuter, then this could serve easily as a built-in lunchbox. This bag also opens up in the back with a zipper to give your full access to large textbooks or other items that can be a struggle to take out of your backpack. Since this backpack does not have internal pockets to organize your items, this might not be the best bag with which to transport your laptop or tablet. If you do, you’ll want to invest in a neoprene sleeve or other protective cover for your technology before placing it in the bag. This backpack for college is currently available in a handful of colorways, though they are all primarily black or navy blue. This bag certainly isn’t for everyone, but at around $100, it is a reasonably affordable option.

Herschel Heritage Mid-Volume Backpack


Product Info
  • Fully lined with Herschel Supply's signature coated polyester fabric
  • Up to 13 inch laptop sleeve pocket
  • Front storage pocket with key clip

If an understated style is more your thing, then the Herschel Heritage Mid-Volume Backpack could be the perfect addition to your college wardrobe. This backpack offers a design reminiscent of retro skate brands, all while providing durability and simplicity. However, this simplicity comes a lack of compartments for organizing your belongings. While some college students are fine with just a few large pockets, others will find that this student backpack doesn’t offer the easy access that they desire. You should also consider additional protection for your tablet or laptop when carrying them inside this bag because of its lack of an inner sleeve. This backpack can fit a laptop as large as 13 inches, but it only has room for a little more than 850 CU inches. All in all, this student backpack probably isn’t the best choice for students who carry several textbooks at one time. However, if you like to listen to music between classes, this backpack features a built-in headphone port. You can also choose from dozens of unique colors and patterns in this college bag, so there truly is something for every style. Plus, this backpack is surprisingly affordable. If you’re a light packer who prefers style over pure function, then you can grab this college bag for around $50 to $70.

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One response to “Find Success with the Best Backpacks for College”

  1. Denise says:

    Thanks for sharing. I see lots of people using the style if a backpack. The wrong one can cause back, neck, and shoulder pain. I hope the manufacturers make stylish and more supportive.

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