College is more than getting your finances ready, attending classes and carving a path to great education success, it’s also about collecting your gear and starting your educational journey with style and comfort.
This is why you need the right backpack. A good backpack not only serves as a container to hold books, notes, and stationery, but it’s also a vessel that helps you keep organized, comfortable, and focused.
Without much ado, let’s have a look at 15 best backpacks for college.
15 Best Backpacks for College 2019
|Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag||Polyethylene||Multi|
|Under Armour Hustle 3.0 Backpack||Polyester||Multi|
|Modoker Vintage Laptop Backpack||Nylon Fabric||25L|
|KOPACK Slim Backpack||Resistant Fabric||Multi|
|J World New York Sundance||Polyester||38L|
|Smatree Business Travel Backpack||Nylon and Eva||25L|
|SwissGear 1900 Scansmart TSA Backpack||Ballistic Polyester||20.1L|
|Swiss Gear Bungee Backpack||Polyester||26L|
|Targus Drifter II Backpack||Nylon||Multi|
|Outlander Packable Handy Hiking Backpack||Nylon Fabric||Multi|
|P.KU.VDSL Vintage Canvas Backpack||Canvas||20L|
|Swiss Gear Granite 16 Nylon Backpack||Nylon||Not List|
|Wenger Synergy Backpack||Polyester||26L|
|WolfWarriorX Military Tactical Assault Backpack||Polyester||39-64L|
The best kind of backpack is one that offers comfort, security, and closure. Timbuk2 offers all three. It’s labeled as the messenger bag because it can accommodate a lot of stuff which is why it’s the right fit for college students.
Superior Comfort: This backpack is made up of Cordura fabric which is both light and smooth. It doesn’t irritate the body and feels easy to wear.
Airmesh Shoulder Straps: The curved shoulder strap has air mesh quality which is often used in athletic shoes. This is why it is so comfortable to wear.
Double Loop CAM Buckle: The buckle of this bag is such that it doesn’t cause the straps to dangle or make it difficult to attach or detach. Expect no frustration with this one.
Weatherproof: The stuff inside bag remains dry even in a downpour thanks to the bag being weatherproof and waterproof.
- Lifetime warranty.
- Reduced sweater-pilling.
- Available in many colors/sizes.
- Bottom compression offers secure closure.
- Water bottle pockets.
- Can be grabbed, worn on shoulder/back.
- A bit expensive.
- Might be too small for some people.
If you’re a sporty student with lots of energy and will to run and dash then Under Armour Hustle is for you.
Water Resistant: The fabric of the bag is waterproof and won’t get damaged in rain.
Durable: The bottom of the backpack is abrasion resistant and there’s UA storm technology that offers element battling strength to the backpack.
Laptop Sleeve: You can store your laptop of 15” max in the bag along with notebooks.
Straps: The straps of the backpack are heat resistant and won’t irritate the shoulders even when worn for a long time.
- Friendly Return & Exchange policy.
- Excellent customer support.
- Available in multiple sizes and colors.
- Front pockets are water repellant.
- Shoulder straps are adjustable.
- Large compartment in the bottom and two water pocket bottles at the sides.
- The straps might slip a bit.
- Gets stained very easily.
This backpack can store both your books and your laptop (15.6”) easily. It’s a lightweight backpack that also looks very stylish.
USB Charging Port: There’s a USB charging port at the side of the bag. You can charge your phone or laptop while it carrying it in your bag.
Compartments: The bag is quite vast and offers 6 compartments in total. Even when it’s full, the straps distribute the weight evenly. Therefore, it is easy to handle.
Nylon Fabric: The backpack is made up of 600D nylon fabric which offers scratch resistance, water-splash resistance, and protection from wear-and-tear.
- Available in 3 colors and 3 sizes.
- Budget-friendly option.
- Water bottle pocket available.
- Durable leather belt enhances aesthetics.
- 1-year warranty.
- The zippers are not very durable.
- Slippery straps.
If you feel unsafe when roaming around in campus then you need a backpack with anti-theft capabilities such as the KOPACK slim backpack.
D-Ring Zipper: There’s an anti-lock zipper featuring a D-ring zipper which will hide your stuff and keep the items secured. Moreover, this zipper is also puncture proof.
Hidden Laptop Compartment: The laptop compartment is hidden at the back of the bag to keep it away from the prying eyes.
17 Slots: The bag has 17 slots in total; they’re enough to accommodate a variety of things.
USB Port: The backpack has a USB port system to charge the laptop or phone.
- 15-day replacement guarantee.
- Available in many colors/sizes.
- Ergonomic design with back support.
- Tear and water resistant.
- Highly secure
- No padding at the bottom slot often makes the laptop hit the ground.
- Is very slim and may not be able to accommodate all your items.
5. HIKPRO 20L
If you want a backpack that will suit your college, biking, and hiking needs then HIKPRO can be your best bet.
Water Resistant: This backpack is made up of nylon material both from the outside and the inside. It will keep the contents of the bag dry for up to 1 hour in rain.
3 Compartments: It features a large compartment to store journals and heavy items such as laptops. Then there’s a medium compartment to keep notebooks and finally a smaller slot to keep cards, notes, etc.
Foldable And Tough: The backpack is super tough due to textile threadings on the fabric and double fabric at the bottom. Moreover, it can also be folded into a sandwich size.
- Breathable mesh type straps.
- Suitable for biking, hiking, etc.
- 5-year warranty.
- Side mesh pockets to keep a water bottle.
- Ergonomic design puts no strain on the body.
- Not entirely waterproof.
- Not padded.
If carrying your backpack on the shoulders seem overwhelming then opt for J World rolling backpack. You may choose to carry it or roll it away.
Comfortable Handle And Straps: The S-style shoulder straps are cushioned and ergonomic which is why it won’t irritate your shoulders when you wear it.
The T-shape handle of the backpack is constructed with PU coated materials of high density. Moreover, the aluminum pipe is sturdy and has an excellent grip as well. You can adjust the height and lock it in place using the stage lock.
Laptop Sleeve: The laptop sleeve is nicely padded and ensures that the laptop or any device kept in the backpack sustains no damage.
Durable Wheels: The wheels under the backpack are both shock and wear-and-tear resistant. They are made up of good quality and make no noise.
Reflective Tape: There’s a reflective tape on the back of the bag which makes it more prominent in poor light conditions. It’s a useful feature that will ensure safety from traffic as you walk on a dark road.
- Available in many colors.
- 100% polyester made.
- Offers a lot of space.
- 2 side mesh pockets.
- The bag is a bit on the heavier side with over 5 pounds.
This backpack is all about toughness. It is made up of durable material that prevents external pressure from damaging the contents of the backpack.
3 Roomy Compartments: This backpack features three large compartments. The front one can store books, cables, chargers, etc. The one in the middle is to store bigger things such as laptops, tablets. The last compartment can store clothes and similar items.
Comfortable: The back of the backpack is padded and offers good comfort to the back even when worn for a long time. Moreover, the shoulders straps are also made up of a breathable material which is super comfortable.
Long Lasting: The backpack is made up of high-quality nylon fabric which is hard to tear. Therefore, this backpack will stay in a good shape for years to come.
Zippers And Buckle: The zippers and buckles on the backpack are of top-notch quality and very reliable.
- Offers both upright handle and straps to carry it.
- Classy look.
- Suitable for both men and women.
- Cushioned back for comfort.
- Available in a single color only.
- A little heavy at 3.5 pounds.
If your experience with previous backpacks hasn’t been great then you need a backpack which can handle rough use and harsh conditions. Here’s where Swissgear 1900 comes into play. It’s reliable and quite tough.
Extremely Durable: The backpack is made up of high end 1200D polyester material. It can withstand harsh use and worse conditions.
Laptop Compartment: This backpack offers a large capacity for laptops that isn’t found in many other backpacks. You can easily store a 17” laptop in this backpack thanks to the lay flat technology it has.
Padded Shoulder Straps: Both the shoulder straps of the backpack are contoured with mesh fabric to provide comfort to your shoulders. The straps are also adjustable according to how you want to carry it.
Breathable Back: The backside of the backpack is padded so that your back doesn’t feel irritated or heavy. The padding also has air ventilation properties. Hence, you won’t feel sweaty when you wear it.
- Available in different colors and sizes.
- Zip mesh accessory pockets available.
- Molded and rugged handle offers good grip.
- Stylish in looks.
- 5-year limited warranty.
- Zippers are not of good quality.
College students are on a lookout for a backpack that is both stylish and convenient. Here’s where Swiss Gear Bungee Backpack comes into play. It’s a large backpack with an excellent design that catches the eye.
Headphone Pull Through: If you are used to listening to music when going to college then this backpack will offer a great feature. It has an audio pull-through slot which will eliminate the need to carry your music device in the hands at all times.
You can place the device in the backpack, pull the headphone out, and enjoy music as you travel.
Laptop Sleeve: The backpack has a reserved compartment to place a laptop. It can accommodate one that’s up to 15 inches.
Airflow Back System: The backpack has an airflow system which will prevent your back from sweating when you wear this bag.
- Mobile device pocket in the backpack.
- Water bottle pocket.
- Padded shoulders.
- Available in two colors (black and grey).
- 5-year limited warranty.
- It’s not water resistant.
If you’re in search of a long lasting backpack then Targus Drifter II can be an excellent choice. It is resistant to outside elements and offers other benefits as well.
Separate Laptop And Document Slot: The backpack offers two large compartments that will fulfill your carrying requirements whether it’s a laptop, notebooks, or other such stuff.
There’s a reserved laptop compartment where you can place your laptop easily. There’s another compartment to place documents, books, etc.
Lumbar Back Support: One noteworthy feature of this backpack is the cushioned back. It offers lumbar support and gives a hug like feeling.
Reinforced Handles: The handles on the backpack are sturdy and won’t tear off even when the backpack is fully loaded and you grab it by the handle. This will help you hang or tie the backpack with luggage when travelling without worrying about it being torn apart.
Small Pocket: There’s a small compartment in the front that lets you keep cards, cables, small books, keys, etc.
- 1-year limited warranty.
- 30-day money back guarantee.
- Comfortable to wear.
- Highly durable.
- Suitable for handling heavy loads.
- Very spacious.
- Feels a bit bulky.
- May not fit the overhead compartment of a plane if it’s too full.
This backpack is for people who have to carry a lot of stuff. It does look bulky but is quite useful.
Extremely Durable: The backpack is made up of high end fabric material which gives makes it very durable. It also contains stress points that make it long lasting.
Water And Abrasion Resistant: The nylon fabric material of this backpack keeps water from getting inside. This way your contents won’t get wet easily.
Apart from that, the metal zippers on this bag are abrasion resistant and won’t get damaged easily
Carabiner Clip: This is a rather rare clip which is made up of aluminum. You can use it to attach small items.
Whistle Clip: This clip helps fasten the backpack around the chest with great ease.
Smooth Zippers: There are no flaps on the zipper therefore you won’t find yourself struggling with the zipper.
- Lifetime warranty.
- Can be folded.
- Free multipurpose carabiner.
- Water and wear-and-tear
- Very easy to use.
- Available in multiple colors.
- Might seem too big to some users.
- Not suitable for laptops.
This backpack is a complete package for college students. It can accommodate books, laptop, notes, and even has a USB port for charging electronic devices.
Charge And Listen To Music: This backpack has a headphone jack and a USB port to charge your laptops or mobiles. You can plug in your headphone and listen to your favorite music while having a stroll with your backpack on your back.
Extra Space: The backpack has a wide internal area that will take care of almost all the contents of a college student. It consists of a laptop compartment that can accommodate a 17” laptop easily. Apart from that, the bag offers two more large compartments.
Stylish: The bag has leather straps and zippers that enhance the overall look of the backpack. It gives off a vintage look when you carry it around.
- Side mesh pockets available.
- 1 rear pocket available.
- Available in many colors and designs.
- Laptop compartment has thick padding.
- 45-day satisfaction guarantee.
- The fabric isn’t very durable.
- Using the zips can be a bit frustrating.
This backpack offers all the space you need to store your college stuff. It is quite accommodating and durable.
Material: The backpack is made up of a sturdy nylon fabric that will last for years as it resists wear-and-tear. It is suitable for long journeys as well.
Padded Straps: The straps of a backpack are of vital importance. This one has nicely padded straps that feel smooth when worn. There’s no irritation or heaviness when you wear the straps around your shoulder.
Space: There’s enough space in this backpack to store a laptop and at least 5 textbooks easily.
- 5-year limited warranty.
- Extremely durable.
- Cushioned straps.
- Available in 4 colors.
- The zipper isn’t much durable.
This backpack has all that you need to take to college. It can store laptops, books, clothes, and even electronic devices. As for the aesthetics, it is a stylish looking backpack that will definitely turn a lot of eyes.
Air-Ventilated Back: The padding uses air-ventilation technology which makes it comfortable to wear and reduces sweating.
Convenient For Laptops And Books: The backpack can easily store a 15.4” laptop, along with several books in other compartments. It also offers padded pockets to store fragile things or computer accessories.
Music Player Pocket: There’s a music player pocket that can help students place their music device in and listen to music as they walk.
- Comfortable back straps.
- Blended color (black/grey).
- Extremely durable.
- 12 month warranty.
- It is TSA friendly.
- Not ideal for consistent travelers or bikers.
- A little heavy at 3.5 pounds.
If you love military then WolfWarriorX Military Tactical Assault Backpack can be a good choice. You don’t have to be in the military to get this backpack. All you need to do is click on the order button and it becomes yours.
Heavy Duty: This backpack is made up of 600 polyester material which is super durable at resisting wear-and-tear.
Expandable: There aren’t many backpacks that can expand but this one can, hence it can accommodate a lot of goods.
Extra Pockets: This backpack is loaded with pockets. You’ll find a water bottle mesh pocket, two accessory pockets, and two pockets on the shoulder straps as well. These pockets let you store a lot of smaller items such as keys, cards, etc.
- Lifetime warranty
- Available in many colors.
- Heavy handle that can handle its weight.
- Perfect for outside use.
- Quite heavy at 3.6 pounds.
- Does not have an internal frame.
Things To Consider Before Buying
There are many backpacks available on the market but they’re not made equal. To make it easier to purchase a backpack that suits your college needs, you need to consider these things:
1. Weight: The first thing to look into is the weight of the backpack itself. This is because you’ll be adding additional weight into it and it would become heavier. Since, you will need to roam around a lot, hop into the bus, walk a few blocks to your college, considering the weight on your shoulders is of great concern.
An ideal backpack is one that weighs less than 2 pounds. You can opt for backpacks heavier than 2 pounds if you do not have to carry a lot of items.
2. Space: Consider the things that you want to store in your bag. If you’re habitual of taking along a laptop then make sure that the backpack has an extra compartment for it.
Moreover, there should be extra compartments to store books and small pockets to store smaller stuff such as keys, notes, cards etc. Pay attention to a mesh pocket for water bottles, too.
3. Material: The material of the backpack plays a vital role in deciding if it will run for many years or not. Tpu and nylon bags are quite durable, however, the same cannot be said for polyester made backpacks.
In case, you do buy a polyester-made bag, make sure it is 100% polyester and is also wear-and-tear resistant.
4. Water Proof: You never know when it might rain. Go for a waterproof bag so that none of your items are at risk.
5. Padding And Comfort: The straps and the back of the backpack should have soft padding so that it doesn’t hurt your body when you carry it around on your back.
6. Safe: Many backpacks today offer anti-lock technology, if you live in an area where theft is common then you should ideally go for a bag that offers more protection.
7. Technologically Advanced: Try to get your hands on a bag that allows you to charge your laptops and phones with a built-in charger if you are an avid user.
8. Air-Ventilated Back: This feature is not a dire need but having it will benefit you in the long run. It prevents your back from sweating as there’s an air-ventilated fabric installed.
Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag is our top recommendation because it offers superior comfort, durability, and high-end security. It’s also affordable and comes with a warranty.
Our second pick would be Under Armour Hustle 3.0 Backpack. It offers padded straps, laptop compartment, and uses the UA storm technology that makes it extra durable. However, it may be a bit expensive for some users.
If you’re looking for a budget friendly option then go for Modoker Vintage Laptop Backpack. It offers a USB port and is made up of nylon fabric which makes it a long lasting backpack.