College is an exciting time in the lives of students, but it requires some preparation. Aside from getting supplies like pencils, notebooks, textbooks, and folders, a backpack is an essential part of college. There is absolutely no way a student can comfortably carry their supplies, laptop, and books from class to class without one!
There are so many options on the market when it comes down to a bookbag. This is a choice that should be taken seriously because it can save students time and money in the long run! The best backpacks for college will last students through their entire college career while keeping them organized and in style.
18″ x 13″ x 8.5″
18” x 12.25” x 5.5”
17.5” x 13” x 7.5”
21” x 14” x 9.5”
Cordura, Polyester, Nylon
20” x 11.8” x 5.5”
20” x 12.5” x 8.5”
18″ x 12.8″ x 8.5″
JanSport Right Pack Backpack
It’s no surprise that this is number one on our list. Surely you have seen dozens of students wearing JanSport bookbags throughout campuses. This is because they can be found in just about any design and color. It is a practical, fashionable option that suits any student.
JanSport backpacks are made from premium Cordura fabric with a dimension of 18" x 13" x 8.5"). They have a sophisticated suede leather bottom that suits any color nicely. The padded straps offer comfort to your shoulders, and the firm grip makes it easy to carry as you get from class to class.
This bookbag only has one large compartment, a useful front utility pocket, and an internal sleeve that fits up to a 15” laptop. You’ll notice it’s a lot less complex than our other top picks, but while it’s simple, it’s also practical. This backpack is iconic and widely used by students. It’s sophisticated look paired with its usability will always make it a classic!
Herschel Supply Co. Heritage Backpack
You may recognize this backpack with the original black and brown colors. However, it is available in dozens of other colors if you’re not a fan of the classic look. Its relaxed style suits anyone, and it even complements you if you’re going for a more elegant, business look.
You can’t go wrong with the Herschel Supply Co. backpack for several reasons. It holds a large 15” laptop sleeve, a front pocket for smaller items, and an interior multi-function pocket with a key clip. Another fun feature is the media pocket inside the bag with a headphone port! There is a spot for everything in this bookbag, meaning you can securely carry your school supplies, keys, electronics, headphones, and more.
The dimensions of this backpack are 18” x 12.25” x 5.5”. One downfall that some users have experienced with this selection is due to its lightweight. It sometimes falls off the shoulder and can become a bit flimsy when it’s empty or half full.
SwissGear Travel Gear Bungee
As you may already know, SwissGear makes quality backpacks that can cost close to $100. These bags may very well be worth the price, but we understand that college students are not always able to pay for a bookbag of that cost. A less expensive option that still gives users the durability, comfort, and style of this more expensive option is the Travel Gear Bungee.
Made from polyester, it weighs 14 oz with dimensions of 17.5” x 13” x 7.5”. The main compartment is perfect for notebooks and textbooks. It also comes with divider pockets for your pencils, electronics, earbuds, and other small items.
Additional features include an audio interface with a headphone pull through, padded shoulder straps, a pocket for your cell phone, water bottle slot, a laptop compartment, and an airflow back system.
North Face Surge Transit Backpack
Our next option is the North Face Transit backpack and for several good reasons! It is fashionable, contemporary, and equipped with a TSA-approved fleece lined laptop compartment. This is a great travel bag as well as an ideal selection for commuters.
Additionally, it has comfortable shoulder straps that help evenly distribute the weight of your textbooks. It does come with removable waist straps that you can use to avoid any shifting around as you walk from class to class. Students can carry absolutely everything they need in this backpack. There are ample pockets, and it is compatible with laptops up to 15”.
The main compartment is perfect for books and binders. There are also two pockets designed for water bottles and an external fleece-lined pocket for your sunglasses or electronics. The two vertical zippered pockets on the outside will help you stay organized while the mesh zippered pocket on the inside helps keep smaller objects secure.
The last benefit of this bookbag is it comes with a lifetime warranty. North Face has always been a trusted brand and a great option for everyone. This selection is durable, practical, and stylish with a classic design that’s great for college students.
Tzowla Business Laptop Backpack
Tzowla products have a lifetime warranty and customer service office that is available 24 hours of the day! This business laptop backpack is great for college students as it’s water-resistant and equipped with anti-theft features. It holds a USB and headset port design, which allows users to conveniently charge their electronic devices when they connect their own power bank.
The headphone feature will free your hands while allowing you to listen to your favorite music. Keep in mind that the portable battery is not included.
Now let’s get a little into the anti-theft system it’s designed with. There is a lock that requires a password and durable metal zippers that keep all your valuables safe inside.
With this bookbag, you won’t have to worry about someone easily opening your backpack. It’s easy to leave your bag unattended, especially if you’re participating in a hands-on activity during class. With this anti-theft design, you will keep all your valuables safe.
This is a large capacity backpack with dimensions of 20 x 11.8 x 5.5 inch. It has several divider pockets for notebooks or folders, holds up to a 15” laptop, has a slot for your water bottle, among other items that come in handy. Not only is this bag comfortable, it is durable and made from lightweight polyester material. Good for school, business, college, travel.
ProEtrade Backpack Bookbag
The next bookbag on our list is no other than the ProEtrade. This backpack is made from anti-scratch fabric and has a water-resistant design. It is extremely durable, resistant to tears, rain, and dirt. This option is great for any occasion. It’s stylish with a classic design and suitable for your anyone.
This bag keeps everything organized the way you prefer and easily holds anything from clothing to books to electronics. Its dimensions are 20” x 12.5” x 8.5” with a weight of 1.8 lbs. It has a total of 9 pockets for you to carry all necessities and college essentials. There are 2 main compartments for your large items, a laptop pocket, two pockets in the front of the bag as well as 2 smaller ones. The inner pocket is for your keys, and there is 1 anti-theft pocket to keep valuables safe.
Additionally, it holds a nightlight reflective and an external USB charging port with a built-in charging cable meaning you can conveniently charge your electronics anywhere. There are adjustable straps to keep the bag securely in place and always comes with an air flow system to keep you comfortable. It is available in red, purple, and blue to suit your interests.
eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack
College students are usually having to haul a bunch of things around as they get from class to class. The eBags Professional Slim bookbag offers a great solution to walking around with a massive backpack. Its slim figure does not take away from its functionality.
This selection offers several compartments for your gadgets and supplies. It holds an AC adapter, front panel organizer, and comes with a lifetime warranty. One of the neat features included is its easy conversion from a bookbag to a briefcase. It has both vertical and horizontal luggage handles with a vented Airmesh back panel.
One downfall that we did see in this option was the price. It gets extremely close to the $100 range, which may be a little too high for college students. Nonetheless, because of its remarkable features, it made our list of best backpacks for college.
Choosing the Right Bookbag for You
The process of choosing a backpack for school can be fun. However, there are a few elements you want to consider getting the most value for your money!
Here are some tips you can follow to make sure you choose a bookbag that’s right for you:
- Consider the features. As you noticed from our reviews above, every backpack has different features. You want to begin by taking the size and pockets into consideration. What type of objects will you be carrying around? Do you need a laptop sleeve? How many notebooks or binders will you carry at once?
- Choose a fabric. This element will determine the weight and durability of your bag. Synthetic fabrics last the longest and are lighter than leather ones. However, leather ages in a nicer manner. If you go with a synthetic fabric (polyester or nylon), you will enjoy water resistant features.
- Look at the zippers. Yes! This is very important. You want to make sure the zippers are easy to close and heavy duty as they will hold better over time. We suggest double headed ones for easier access.
- Style. Everyone has different likes and preferences. Consider what fashion you are looking for. Do you want a specific color or design? Are you going for a studious, athletic, or casual look? Whatever it is, there is an option out there for you!
- Shoulder straps. Always choose a backpack with two shoulder straps as one can cause alignment problems. We recommend going with padded ones for increased comfort. If you plan on carrying heavy loads on a regular basis, we also suggest a waist strap to distribute the weight better.
- Price. Of course, you cannot overlook the price of a backpack. Set a budget on your bookbag and look for options around that amount. Remember that quality book bags may cost a little more than you’d like, but they will also last you longer than if you go the cheap route. A quality selection can last you your entire college career!
- Where to buy. You have two options when it comes down to purchasing a bookbag: online or in store. When you purchase online, you’ll be able to read about the advantages, look through more choices, and usually land a better deal. Shopping in person, however, allows you to try on the backpack and examine it thoroughly.
Every backpack is unique varying in price, color, size, and features. As you can see, our top picks all hold cool components including water-resistant materials, adjustable straps, and laptop sleeves. Whether you are going for an athletic, studious, or fashionable look, we are confident that any of the above selections will be as much as a fashion statement as they are practical.
We hope this guide has narrowed down your search for a quality college backpack. Get the best backpack for you out of this stellar line-up and best of luck in your studies!