Looking to get the Best College Student Backpacks, Best College Student Backpacks and best backpacks for college 2020? Students carry a heavy burden. They need to move books, tech and food from class to class. In many ways, a backpack is their most important organizational tool. However, not all of them are equal. The best bags have water-resistant builds, adjustable straps, a ventilated back and plenty of compartments.
But it can’t be ignored that your backpack is as much a fashion statement as it is practical. It should reflect the tastes and interests of the student. Whether they are athletic, fashionable or intellectual, there is a bag that matches their personality and needs. If you’re looking for the best options on the market, we’ve got your back.
Best College Student Backpacks
JanSport Right Pack Backpack
This iconic JanSport backpack comes in more colors than Skittles, plus it holds almost anything. There is a front stash pocket for school supplies, tech accessories and important documents along with a utility pocket for keeping organized. The suede leather bottom adds some visual flair while padded shoulder straps will make sure your arms don’t fall off carrying heavy books.
Herschel Supply Co. Heritage Backpack
Another classic, the Herschel Supply Co. Heritage backpack has a timeless, refined design. It’s also practical, featuring a slot big enough to hold a 15-inch laptop and another front pocket for smaller items, like keys, supplies or electronics. If you’re not a fan the traditional black-and-brown color scheme, there are dozens of other options that are sure to fit your personality.
Kaukko 22.4L Rucksack
This Kaukko rucksack is a classy party up front and a sturdy carrying-aid around the back. Its top-down leather straps, which loop into silver buckles, gives it a deft sense of style that’s similar to the more expensive (and popular) Herschel bags. But the Kaukko focuses on comfort: a big, soft pad and comfortable shoulder straps reside on the back. The Kaukko rucksack’s available in 20 different color and material combinations, some of which include a free pencil case that matches the shade and cloth of the bag.
SwissGear Travel Gear Bungee
SwissGear makes quality backpacks but they typically cost close to — or even more than — $100. The Travel Gear Bungee gives you everything the company is known for — durability, loads of pockets and comfort — for less than you’d expect. For under $50, the Bungee offers multiple divider pockets for pens, electronics and other small items. It also has a large main compartment for all the folders, notebooks and textbooks you’re required to carry from class to class.
Modoker Vintage Laptop Backpack
For fashionistas of academia, we chose the Modoker Vintage backpack. The bag’s fabric is a smart look of denim and brown leather accents, and it mixes practical features (roomy interior pockets, dedicated laptop pouch, exterior slots for beverages and umbrellas) with comfortable add-ons like honey-comb cushions on the straps and an out-facing USB port to charge a smartphone as you walk. No power device included, but you can find excellent portable chargers at our partner site, Tom’s Guide.
Timbuk2 Especial Tres Backpack
If you just need a supersimple bag design, Chrome’s Cardiel O.R.P. (Operation Readiness Pack) Rolltop is what you want. All you get is one big water-resistant main compartment with a roll-top opening and a separate divider for your 13-inch laptop. But because it’s made out of durable and lightweight ripstop nylon, the O.R.P. won’t weigh you down like some of its competitors.
North Face Surge Transit Backpack
This stylish, contemporary backpack is a traveler’s best friend. It comes with a TSA-approved fleece-lined laptop compartment, which means you don’t have to take your 15-inch laptop out when you go through security. The North Face Surge Transit features molded shoulder straps to help distribute heavy loads evenly, and sternum and waist straps so that the bag doesn’t shift around when you’re walking around. The Surge is also available in men’s (38-liter capacity) and women’s (35-liter capacity) sizes.
HP Powerup Backpack
HP’s Powerup Backpack lets you charge your gear while you carry it. The laptop has a built-in 22400 mAh battery for charging up to three devices. Two of those can be USB-powered, like phones and and tablets, but the third uses a barrel-shaped connector for laptops. HP’s website suggests it works with most HP notebooks, so it may not be compatible with other laptops.
Alienware 17-inch Vindicator Backpack
Getting a 17-inch gaming laptop, along with a pair of headphones and a full keyboard, into one bag is a pretty tall order. However, the 17-inch Alienware Vindicator 2.0 Backpack is one of the few backpacks that’s up to the challenge. In addition to an armored back panel that helps protect your gear, the Vindicator comes with a weather-resistant reinforced base, multiple padded sections and even a separate bag for holding all your power adapters. Oh, and if you prefer a backpack that’s not quite as big, the vindicator is available in 13 and 15-inch sizes too.
eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack
Nobody wants a massive backpack in school, but what should you do if you need to haul a bunch of stuff around? The eBags Professional Slim Laptop bag is the solution to this predicament. It’s a slim, stylish backpack with a wide range of compartments for all of your gadgets and school supplies. Highlights include a crush-proof AC adapter “garage” and a loaded front panel organizer. Before you glance at the price and run away, consider that this bag comes with a lifetime warranty.