Backpacks are pretty much essential for any student in order to carry books, notebooks, laptops, tablets, or any other device or consumable that students need to carry. Although not necessarily required, it is best to invest in a backpack that offers a good UV protection along with an equally good water resistance. Not for nothing but you wouldn’t want to lose your notes at the first sight of rain or snow. So if you’re looking for a quality backpack to help you through, then maybe we can help. For your consideration, we put together a list of the ten best backpacks for college the market has to offer.
Best Backpacks for College In 2019
10Leaper Casual Style Canvas Backpack
Made of high quality yet lightweight Canvas material, this is a high volume college backpack that features Polka Dots design that makes it a girls’ top choice. The Leaper Casual Style Backpack is ideal for anyone who frequents places and needs to bring their 14-inch laptop with them. Its uniquely designed straps ensure shoulder comfort, support, and safety. The straps, as well as the back panel, are made of cushioned breathable materials to keep your back and shoulders feeling cool at all times.
9Zebella Vintage Canvas Backpack
The Zebelle Vintage backpack offers a great host of features that you can use. Among them, two side pockets for an umbrella and water bottle, and a front zippered pocket for securing your small items. Now, its main compartment is roomy and has a padded sleeve for holding up to a 14-inch laptop, a zippered pocket, and two other small easy-to-access pockets. Special design shoulder straps back padding ensures great comfort, made of breathable materials for a cool experience.
8JanSport T501 Superbreak Backpack
Boasting an authentic and professional no-nonsense design, the JanSport’s T501 Superbreak college backpack is a perennial favorite for anyone who wants a top-performance model. Its straight cut, well-padded straps and back offer a comfortable carrying experience. The Superbreak also features a roomy main compartment as well as a front utility pocket integrating an organizer. Fewer backpack models can rival the superior experience delivered by the Superbreak in terms of strength and durability.
7Under Armour Storm Recruit Backpack
Under Armour Storm Recruit is another wonderful college backpack that, thanks to UA Storm Technology, provides a functional water resistant and element-enduring finish. Its bottom is also tough and abrasion resistant. The UA Storm Recruit features a soft-padded sleeve for holding up to 15-inch laptops along with a front pocket for keeping your small valuables that is also water-repellent. Its padded and adjustable HeatGear shoulder straps ensure user comfort, and it also has a convenient top-grab handle. Other features include two side pockets for water bottles and front Molle webbing and D-ring for greater organization.
6Nomatic Travel Bag
The Nomatic backpack was designed for everyday use. It is made up of durable and waterproof materials, making it perfect for dealing with everyday wear and tear. It starts at 20L and expands to 24L. The bag is slim, however, it does expand if you have the need to pack more items. There is a versatile strap system on this bag which allows for you to switch the backpack to a briefcase for those times when you want to carry it in a different way. Some of the amazing extra features on this bag include magnetic water bottle pockets, hidden pockets, and RFID safe storage. On top of all the great features of this backpack, the Nomatic backpack is also very sleek and features a minimalistic design. This gives you the confidence you need in your every day life and when you are on the move.
5Swiss Gear SA1908 ScanSmart Backpack
The makers of the genius Swiss Army Knife brings you the SA1908 ScanSmart, one of the highest rated college backpacks out there. Its inner adjustable, well-cushioned laptop straps custom-hold various size laptops. A special quick-recognition window design conveniently accommodates up to 17-inch laptops, while a back multi-panel airflow technology offers additional padding for maximum comfort and back support. Moreover, there is an interior organizer to provide divider pockets for keeping pencils/pens, CDs and cell phones.
4Under Armour Storm Hustle II Backpack
Like its sister model described above, this is a highly convenient college backpack that features UA Storm technology to provide element and water-resistant finish. It has a sturdy and abrasion-resistant bottom panel for protecting a laptop against bumps and falls. Its soft-padded laptop sleeve accommodates up to 15-inch laptops. Among its other great features, we find a front water-repellent pocket for your valuables, easy-adjust padded shoulder straps for added comfort, two side pockets for water bottles, and a comfortable top-grab handle.
3JanSport Big Student Backpack
Anyone who needs a reliable and durable backpack for college use that doesn’t cost a whole fortune can trust the JanSport Big Student. It is a reasonably priced model that delivers the functionality of its pricier competitors, thanks to strong fabric and seams design. The Big Student is a classic school backpack series for students of any age carrying college loads. Its 2 main compartments and an organizer, well-designed stash pockets and comfortable shoulder straps make the Big Student a true favorite of many.
A highly appreciated model among students everywhere, this backpack was expertly designed to securely hold your good laptop wherever you go. AmazonBasics backpack has several storage compartments and other pockets for keeping extra items. Its premium-grade padded interior has a separate interior space which can hold laptops of up to 17 inches and notebook computers, and there is also a smaller tablet pouch. Its heavily padded shoulder straps are adjustable for your custom comfort and superior support, while a mesh compartment features on the left offers quick-access cell phone and other supplies storage.
1High Sierra Loop Backpack
High Sierra Loop is a highly versatile backpack ideal for college use and both on and off the trail if needed. Its multi-compartment design allows you to organize your gear neatly. It has adjustable side compression quality straps for holding items securely in place while easy-adjust bottom webbing straps make carrying a tent or sleeping bag a breeze. Moreover, the Loop offers ideal storage for your phone, tablet, and other digital devices. There is a pocket organizer integrating a key fob hook for storing all your small items. Either for hiking expeditions or class attendance, this particular backpack should definitely be atop your list of preferences.
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What To Look For In A Backpack for College
Given how practical a backpack has to be, you would be poised to find one that meets both your aesthetic standards and the need for practicality; not unless you take the time to learn about what makes a good backpack and what to look for when buying one. While it might be fairly obvious for some, the same characteristics that recommend a backpack for activities like camping or hiking aren’t exactly the trademarks of a good college backpack. To be more precise, here is what you need to consider when looking for such a backpack:
Fabric – The first thing to consider is the material of any backpack regardless of its intended purpose. Whether you need it for hiking, traveling, or school, a backpack should first and foremost be durable enough to resist wearing and tearing. This is particularly useful to remember if you live an active lifestyle or if you ride a bike or scooter to school. We say this because it is only a matter of time until you scrape your backpack against a hard wall or pole, which is why you need it to be comprised of strong enough materials to resist that.
Straps – Another thing to consider when buying a backpack is how comfortable its straps are. This is extremely important if you are the type to carry a lot of weight in your backpack or if you prefer to strap the backpack close to your body at all times. It is generally advised that you go for padded straps, but personal preference does indeed have a say in this. Overall, you should look for a backpack with fully adjustable padded straps.
Size – Depending on the volume you intend to carry, a sizeable backpack may or may not be a good idea. We say this because they make backpacks nowadays intended for specific electronic devices like laptops and tablets, meaning that you can definitely get a compact yet spacious backpack if that is what you’re after. At the same time, maybe a slightly larger backpack could also help you in the long run, especially if your curriculum includes reading a large number of books.
Compartments – For the most part, a regular backpack should do the trick for a regular student. If, however, you plan on using the backpack to also carry gym equipment, electronics, or any type of sensitive materials that require special attention, then look for a backpack with multiple compartments for you to use. If possible, make sure that each compartment is separated from one another through a thick fabric to isolate the contents.
Weight – Needless to say, backpacks for college students should preferably be much lighter in weight than hiking or camping backpacks. This is because of their urban purpose, on the one hand, not to mention how much easier compact backpacks are to store. It is hard enough to carry books, mobile devices, and clothes inside a standard backpack without having to worry about the backpack’s extra weight. Seeing how these backpacks aren’t exactly required to withstand any type of extreme weather, you can definitely opt for a lightweight version as long as it is spacious enough to accommodate all your belongings.
Ventilation – A high-quality backpack will not cause you any discomfort whatsoever when worn for long periods of time. The reason behind this being that good backpacks tend to offer a decent enough airflow throughout the day. This is precisely what to look for if you ride your bike to school or if you live in a warm climate. Either way, you definitely want a backpack that won’t cause you to sweat at the slightest sign of effort.
Water resistance – Although not entirely necessary, you definitely want the option of wearing your backpack through the rain if the situation requires it. While nobody expects a backpack to be fully waterproof, you still want a backpack that can withstand a light rain without the risks of ruining your valuables. For this exact purpose, some backpacks are equipped with additional covers that you can set up once the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Additional features – Last but not least, always look for a backpack equipped with additional features that you can use. For instance, in the case of college backpacks, perhaps a padded laptop sleeve might serve you well. If not, then at least a few organization pockets for you to use when storing your smartphone and/or valuables. In this regard, always pay close attention to the quality of the zippers the backpack employs. A good zipper will not just keep the compartments safely secured but it will also protect the backpack’s contents against humidity when it’s raining.